Shipments of PCs slipped 13.2% last quarter, the biggest drop recorded in the nearly twenty years that IDC has been keeping track of such things. The desktop alone has seen declining shipments for years (the majority of PCs shipped are laptops) and now it’s the PC in its entirety that’s heading out the door while companies like Dell and HP scrambling to fix its consumer hardware divisions. Will this industry ever recover? Probably not.
It seems ironic that Windows 8, the purported savior of the full personal computer, is aiding in its demise. Not only are PC makers not allowed to ship out stock computers anymore, consumers are demanding touch experiences and enhanced capabilities, something that Windows 8 finally provides, but is now scaring managers to buy new parts and displays with digitizers built in. Laptops making debuts are getting shrugged at if they don’t have a touch screen built-in.
A lot of that, of course, is because the iPad is cannibalizing netbook and notebook sales, which is why Microsoft chose the radical direction with Windows that they did. People aren’t interested in twenty years worth of legacy apps, they’re more than happy to start anew with entertaining and exciting apps that simply never existed under Microsoft’s regime. Had Microsoft headed in this direction three years ago with Windows 7, they could possibly be kings, but we all know they have a reputation for being late to the ball.
Once upon a time, millions of beige boxes filled homes across America, but now they’re the size of a magazine and slightly thicker. Unless you’re a power user, the world is chaaaangin’…