IDC: Windows 8 won't immediately fix slow PC growth

By on August 24, 2012, 12:00 PM

Many large PC manufacturers are betting that Windows 8 is just what they need to immediately reverse the trend of lagging computer sales but not everyone is invested in that prediction. Market researcher IDC has lowered their PC outlook for the rest of the year as mid-year shipments have declined due to a weak economy, competition from tablets and smartphones and people waiting to see what Windows 8 and the next wave of Ultrabooks will bring.

While IDC does believe that Windows 8 will help to revive PC growth, it’ll take some time. Shipments of Windows 7 systems are already slowing despite the usually lucrative back to school season as inventories are being cleared out to make way for what’s coming in a few months. Prices on current generations systems are dropping to their lowest levels ever, making it a great time to buy if you aren’t yet sold on Windows 8.

A crop of new systems running Windows 8 is expected to lead to a bit of confusion among consumers out to get the best bang for their buck but that uncertainty should be cleared up by the end of the year, IDC says.

The worldwide PC market is forecasted to grow by 0.9 percent in 2012, marking the second year in a row with growth below 2 percent. This should rebound to around 7.1 percent from 2013 to 2016 although it’s still lower than the previously forecast growth of 8.4 percent from 2012 through 2016.

User Comments: 4

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Guest said:

Most people already have a working computer and not a lot of extra cash. Windows 8 has mixed reviews thus far, especially with a standard keyboard/mouse configuration. I don't see a lot of people rushing out to buy a new computer. Maybe when new tablets/touch based devices come out Windows 8 will look better, which may lead to more sales. I'm sticking with Windows 7 myself on my 5+ year old desktop, still runs like a champ.

yRaz yRaz said:

Everyone keeps saying that the economy sucks but I keep seeing Apple, EA, and Activision break sales records...

pixelstuff pixelstuff said:

Everyone keeps saying that the economy sucks but I keep seeing Apple, EA, and Activision break sales records...

The entertainment industry always does better when the economy is difficult (up to a point). People want to escape from the everyday grind even more when times get tough. Apple on the other hand created new product categories (smart phones and tablets) which are not remotely close to market saturation.

The PC industry in general has a two fold problem (maybe three fold). 1. They are getting close to market saturation. 2. The slow economy means that instead of replacing a PC every 3-4 years most people will wait 5-6 years. And 3. PC's have mostly reached a power vs performance plateau, which means that until a users sees an actual hardware failure, they won't see significant benefits to buying a new PC.

Of course, gamers and content creators don't fall into these categories. But then, they aren't the ones affecting the sales records either.

yRaz yRaz said:

while the entertainment industry might always do better than other markets, they shouldn't be breaking sales records. I can certainly see them making more than other markets, but breaking sales records? Part of the reason I think the PC industry isn't doing well is that PC's can do all the basic tasks someone might need to do. Windows XP can still read emails and browse the web just fine. As long as people can continue doing what they already do on their PC they may see no reason to upgrade.

Would you count things such as the iPhone and iPad as entertainment? It's not just apple though. While Samsung isn't doing better than apple, they have still sold a ludacris number of devices that I would considered a luxury. Apple and Samsung might be the biggest manufacturers of smartphones and tablets, but it's not like other manufacturers are in hard times selling their respective devices.

If I am trying to make any point, it's that the money wouldn't be there to go to these companies if the economy is as bad as FOX news makes it out to be. If it was then people simply wouldn't be able to give the entertainment or luxury industries record profits. I'd hazard a guess that people during the great depression would be more concerned with eating and paying bills than something like an iPad. I've heard people talking about how Apple might be the first trillion dollar company. Apple wouldn't be able to sell their overpriced products if people were as broke as the media says they are. Best buy wouldn't be able to sell enough things(PC's, smartphones, HDTV's, Audio equipment) to stay in business if no one had money. Going to the movies is one thing, but dropping $600 or more on a phone or tablet while worrying about feeding your kids is just crazy. It's not like your paying 15 cents(adjust for inflation since the great depression) to see a movie, you are buying you, your wife and your kids smart phones while paying hundreds of dollars a month for your service. On top of that people have HD cable/satellite and hi speed broadband.

Perhaps things are different in Pittsburgh, PA, but all industries as a whole are doing much better than what I'm hearing on the news.

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