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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.