Windows 8 Blamed for Biggest PC Shipment Plunge Ever

Global PC shipments fell by 13.9 percent in the first quarter of 2013, and according to analyst firm IDC , Windows 8 could very well be the reason. On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that 76.3 million PC units shipped during the most recent financial period, marking the biggest decline since the IDC began publishing quarterly numbers 19 years ago.

“The reaction to Windows 8 is real,” Jay Chou, an IDC analyst, said to The Wall Street Journal.

Increased demand for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have also played a role in this decline, but Windows 8 hasn’t helped. IDC continued to say that the OS actually contributed to the slump, saying that Windows 8 devices come with “features that don’t excel in a tablet mode” and take away from traditional PC usage.

MORE: 5 Windows 8 Apps to Bring Back the Start Menu

PC demand for business users has declined as well. According to Chou, companies now buy computers every four or five years as opposed to every three years. Estimates for global PC shipments may fall even lower than the already-grim 1.3 percent contraction for 2013, IDC told WSJ. 

“At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market,” said Bob O’Donnell, IDC Program Vice President, Clients and Displays. “While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the UI, removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices.”

The pressure is on Microsoft to make Windows 8 more compelling to consumers, whether it be through lower prices or big changes to the operating system. The Windows Blue update expected this summer promises several enhancements, including the ability to view more apps on the screen at once and easier access to settings, but it may not be enough.

via The Wall Street Journal

AUTHOR BIO
Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa has been reporting on all things mobile for Laptopmag.com since early 2013. When she’s not reviewing gadgets, she’s usually browsing patent databases or interviewing experts to track down the hottest tech trends before they even happen. Lisa holds a B.A. in Journalism from SUNY Purchase and has contributed to The International Business Times, The New York Daily News and Guitar World Magazine.
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  1. joe Says:

    I bought a laptop with WIN 8, I took it back after 2 days. WIN 8 is a total joke, unless you have a touchscreen. this OS has no business on any computer used for business, period.

  2. M. Hinton Says:

    I recently bought a new laptop and it came with Windows 8 installed. I hate it. Windows 8 looks like it would be great on a tough-screen computer or tablet, but it is clunky and difficult to use on non-touch screen computers. I don’t like all of the Apps. I want programs, not apps. If I want to run apps, I’ll buy a tablet.

  3. Steve Kasian Says:

    Microsoft just sux, plain and simple. Always has, always will.

  4. Samir Shah Says:

    x86 needs only Windows 7. ARM needs Windows RT. Windows 8 is unwelcome by both.

  5. Randall Whitted Says:

    Win 8 came on the nice Lenovo I just returned. As a laptop OS, it’s just terrible – actually a few cool things, but a real pain for no apparent reason. Microsoft is a GREAT follower, but a bad leader.

  6. Mr J Says:

    Not only windows 8, PC manufacturer also to be blame too, expensive, poor design, ugly display…etc

  7. EZD Says:

    Windows 8 will sell more Macbooks than any marketing strategy Apple could ever think of. If this is the death of Microsoft – good riddance. Microsoft hasn’t made a decent product since MS-DOS.

  8. LinuxMan Says:

    Even after installing Classic Shell to bring back “Start” button/menu, I still don’t see Windows 8 as one complete and fluid OS. I’m seriously considering installing Zorin 6.2 Linux distro on my laptop.

    One thing for sure, If Microsoft doesn’t redesign stupid and ugly modern interface and appalling live tiles in future Windows releases, it lost me as a customer.

  9. Ocseer Says:

    If Microsoft doesn’t fire Balmer immediately, the company is in grave danger of failing. Balmer has made a long series of serious mistakes on everything from the Zune to Vista, from the Kin (remember that thing?) to ‘Bob’ – all deeply influenced by Balmer, all total and abject failures. It is not surprising that Windows 8 is yet another trophy for the Balmer Hall of Failures. Hopefully someone will take charge and fired this man for cause and bring in a real engineer – and not Balmer the Snake Oil Salesman.

  10. Ontolon Says:

    Just like Vista held PC manufacturers hostage, so does Windows 8. Fortunately, Windows 8 isn’t nearly as horrible, but it does manage to be different enough to trip up some users. The problem I see is that there are still many people using old computers with Pentium 4 CPUs as well as Core 2 Duos. The P4’s are slow and the motherboards and hard drives are failing. They are not sufficient for repair, and that is when people buy new PC’s. The choice they have are new PC’s running Windows 8 unless they go with a custom build. Alternately are that computers with Core 2 duo’s, for example, are good enough for basic computing needs. They run Windows 7 just fine, and that OS is up to date, and can run your software. People may not be in a hurry to upgrade to a new PC, if their old one can continue running and handle the chores well enough to not warrant a new build. That is why I believe that we are seeing a slump as well as learning a new OS puts a dent into the numbers. Now, I am hungry for a nice new computer, seeing as I am running reasonably decent on a socket 939 AMD platform build using windows 7. It operates, and is responsive to my commands, but yeah, that is 2006 technology and it’s 2013! This is an old box for sure, and playing with the Ivy Bridge whets my appetite for some speed, but this is the crux of my statement. People will buy a computer when they can no longer operate the old one because it has failed. With the across the board capacitor failure fiasco behind the industry finally, computers should be even more reliable than ever. My next question is, when will people really and honestly need 8 cores? I, for one, would love to use it, and really, I can make use of it, but when the bulk of users operate Microsoft Office applications, web browsers, accounting software, and other database client software, what will an 8 core CPU do for them? (using AMD’s FX 8350 for example or even a Core i7?) Enthusiasts and gamers love it! Business computers will have a Pentium G series or Core i3’s, and they’ll either purchase custom from Dell/HP or a local builder. They will order XP (maybe) or 7 as their OS of choice. Businesses do not buy new OS’s unless that is their business to do so. I cannot see companies fitting each user with a new high end PC or get everyone Windows 8 because it’s new. Add this up and it is no wonder why sales are down for PC’s and Windows 8. Change is tough, and it doesn’t help the PC arena when Apple iPads are the novelty of this decade. ARM CPUs have a chance to become alternatives as well. There’s a lot on the horizon for PC users to think about. x86 CPU’s may be nearing it’s last few iterations.

  11. ramon Says:

    i got a windows 8 computer and after a day put ubuntu on it and then it worked and i could get it to work the whole windows 8 is vista again

  12. DSchmidt Says:

    Looks like a bunch of Microsoft haters on this blog. Win 8 has been awesome for me. Is it a desktop OS or non-multi gesture interface in Metro mode? No

    Folks, if you bought a PC with Win 8 and don’t take advantage of the new interface you will not like the OS. That said, all but one person I know loves the Win 8 Metro interface and operating system. The reason for the decline is multi-fold. First, the world is shifting away from PC’s in general. With the advent of lower power consumption electronics tied with stabilization of high power density batteries, people have shifted to lightweight tablets and featherweight notebooks.
    The next component is that there has been a shift in how we use PC’s. With the exception of certain high horsepower applications, we don’t need the power of the desktop of old. Web browsing, word, excel, and powerpoint don’t need much to run. Contrast that with CAD, high end graphic design, and high order data analysis, and high end gaming you don’t need a power machine.
    The final area I will cover is the influence of the internet and media. In the early years of the computer you needed intelligence and solid understanding to have your comments respected regarding computers and operating systems. Today, any person with internet access and the ability to talk and put their words in type can spread their opinion like it means something. Long before Win 8 was released the “press” was bashing Microsoft’s effort. Is this done with Android, OSX, Linux, etc… No. Why, because Microsoft is the granddad of popular computer OS’s. The influence of lies, misinformation, and misplaced anger is leading people to incorrect decisions and conclusions. The age of, I like it therefore the world needs to follow what I say is rampant. The funny thing is that during this same era, there is a rapid convergence of technology and doing things the same.

    Bottom line is that the changes to the computer landscape are not Microsoft’s fault, but a changing of the world of computers in general. Microsoft did a great job with Win 8 and people just cannot seem to accept it. Change happens and Microsoft needed to move forward with their business. Every company needs to do this or close their doors. I for one predict that Microsoft did the right thing and they are stronger for it. As I type this on my Surface RT purchased the day after it was released and glad I bought this wonderful and useful tool. Was there a learning curve? Yes. But it was a small one that in the end has made my computing life easier. Look, I am 46 and have been using computers since I was in second grade. For those of you that don’t know what that means, I started off using a VAX machine with a deck card reader. I have used, programmed, and lived to at least some extent with every OS since then. VAX, Unix, TRS-80’s OS3-5 and 9, MAC, IBM OS, Linux, BeOS, NeXT, etc… I doubt Mr Jay Chou has this background nor do I think he should be saying what he has said about Microsoft. In fact, I really hope Microsoft goes after this person legally for defamation not only of the company but for the personal attacks on the management of the company. It’s clear he does not know how hard it is to manage a tech business, how hard it is to change industries, or how hard it is to predict the future when there are people like Mr. Jay Chou crudely pushing their own agenda.

  13. kled Says:

    windows 8 is innovative in its own rights,, like the new task manager is really amazing and user friendly, same goes with the copy paste window which has pause feature, along with really educating graph info. then comes the refresh windows mode which is of real help, the lockscreen is decent too,and some useful shortcuts like windows+x bring really nice setting menus.. overall good job has been done to makeover the os. but my quesstion is why take out the best feature of ur os. u know i mean the start menu. the search in the metro is not helpful. i speak on behalf of many so i don’t include because i’m using an alternative start8 which fills the void. this is suicidal, the windows 8 is really heavy that can’t be installed on netbooks and lower spec computers, something win7 was able to do easily. a windowsstore are u serious. this is not a tablet atleast not built to be one. and i really don’t understand why the innovation in computer so slow, every year mobile changes in leaps and bounds while the current laptops are for atleast next two years for the general consumers like us. seriously this is a suicidal time , like make or break and still the strategy hasn’t changed. why are ultrabooks still expensive and low on specs, and why is traditional laptops still popular.i really pity these companies for understanding the moment but not doing much to help the situation. there is no integrity as one company blames the other, like manufacturers blame the chip makers and the os providers while chipmakers have set themselves in vietman or some othe poor country with cheap raw material and cheap labour but is unwilling to decrease the price.os provider is unwilling to cut their cost. and so goes on,in this cycle i see most companies negating the pc market and swiftly making the shift to the smartfone market.. this is so unreal.. pc can’t fully and is a long shot from being replaced, gaming, programming,graphical usage,storage,optical drive, and other functions are best performed in pc.

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