back to article Windows 8 has put the world's PC market to sleep - IDC

The global PC market is dwindling, and Windows 8 could be to blame, according to the beancounters at IDC. The analyst firm released its rundown of global PC shipments on Tuesday, and the year-on-year double digit decline blows a cold wind for traditional PC makers like Dell and HP, and OS-slinger Microsoft. "It seems clear …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you manipulate geolocated imagery, such as multiple ecw or geotiff images weighing gigabytes (not uncommon), you will find the HORRIBLE state current tools are in. Have eight cores? No worry! They'll be helpful in prolonging the life of your processor since there will only one active at a time and that keeps the other 7 cool.

    Consumer applications are bad. Enterprise tools are as bad.

    1. qwarty

      Multithreading much image processing is straightforward, I can easily keep 4-8 cores busy and GPU via CUDA etc. is useful - what software isn't doing this? SSD helps too so plenty of reasons to use an up to date system for more demanding applications.

      1. Charles 9

        But what about applications for which multicore techniques aren't as well optimized because the job, by its very nature, works best with one or few threads? Take media encoding. Any attempts to make them use GPU resources have fallen flat because the most important part of the process, motion estimation, is inherently divergent and not well-suited for GPUs. It's still OK for multicore CPUs though, as you can slice the media in a few ways (doing it by keyframes, for example). As I understand it, if a job requires a very rigorous schedule and/or timing, then it's not well suited for multithreading, either, because of the risk of race conditions.

        1. qwarty

          A lot of media encoding/processing doesn't need to be done real-time, or at least doesn't needn't be processed at highest quality levels in real-time. Real time - what you are referring to isn't really a technical problem in practice with modern hardware, these issues you allude to were more of a factor several years ago when people were trying to push slower PC CPU/GPU beyond some intrinsic limits. Still a problem on most current ARM and Atom devices but nobody seriously expects to run the more demanding stuff here until upcoming performance bumps are available.

  2. Steven Roper

    It's not just the lack of a Start button or the UI changes that are keeping people away from Windows 8. It's the Appleification of the entire OS - the walled-garden app store; the requirement to sign in to a Microsoft account to use the system (or at least the constant nagging to do so if you choose not to), and the concomitant spying that goes with it; the remote-control mentality; and the emphasis on cloud rather than local storage.

    No doubt the Windows 8 fankids will counter by saying "but you can get around those by..." but that's not the point. I shouldn't have to "get around" these restrictions. They simply shouldn't be there. My computer is mine, not Microsoft's, and the sooner they realise that it is this Apple-like control-freak mentality as much as the radical UI changes that is keeping businesses and individuals alike away from it, the quicker their market will recover.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Getting tired of being a Gooogel, Faceboo, Microsoph bitch! But its not a cause to be sad...

      I have a suspicion that a lot of people are fed up with overpriced Windows 8 Ultrabooks when Win7 / XP netbooks will suffice....They are also fed up with privacy issues from searches engines to social networks, such as the 'sign in to a Microsoft account to use the system (or at least the constant nagging to do so...)'.

      That's going to leave a heap of people sitting on the sidelines-- not spending-- not buying. And that is quite exciting, because I think its going to bring new innovation. The PC market became stale long before Vista! But Vista took the biscuit!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I agree with you about the desirability of keeping a PC personal and I'm not happy either with some directions in the Microsoft user model. However to be fair there are definite benefits from cloud integration and the way the Windows 8 store app approach lets me use my data and apps across the several devices I use day to day.

      Desktop apps on 8 are used the same way as with 7 so for the time being 'Metro' is not a problem in practice - just don't use the store apps if you have an issue with them. My concerns are more about what might come next if opportunities for spying etc. become non opt-out in future Windows versions.

      I'm not convinced these issues account for much about current sales figures of PCs though. Consumers seem happy to buy into suspect systems Apple, Google or Microsoft. Enterprises move slowly with many other reasons that market remains mainly a Windows 7 business this year.


      1. big_D Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        @AC 1:12

        I agree with you.

        I upgraded to Windows 8 on my machines and I find it great, after a short time getting used to the changes.

        As to the market slow-down, I think this has more to do with the move to ultra portable devices and tablets. These have less power than desktops from 4 or 5 years ago, which means that if the OS runs fast enough on a new Atom based tablet, then it is going to be more than fast enough on old kit.

        That either means, there is no need to upgrade from Windows 7, because you don't see Windows 8 bringing you any advantage or you want Windows 8 and the old hardware suddenly runs faster than before, so why bother buying new? The only benefit buying new brings is a touch screen or maybe a touch enabled mouse or trackpad.

        Add to that an economic downturn and soaring costs on essentials, like food, heat and electricity, it isn't really a wonder that people are looking at the current performance of their devices and saying "if it is still working, why would I replace it?"

        According to figures, Windows 8 is selling in similar volume to Windows 7 during its entire life (20 million a month), although pundits looking to cast it in a bad light will look at the percentages, because there are more PCs around now than there were back then...

      2. Tom 13

        Re: so for the time being 'Metro' is not a problem

        any defense of an OS that starts with 'so for the time being' failed well before your fingers touched the keyboard.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Maybe Apple's frog boiling has been successful on me, but I believe that as far OS X 10.8 goes you can get still by quite well without an Apple ID and the Mac App Store. It certainly doesn't nag you as much as Windows 8 does nor does the GUI lurch around like a wounded elephant.

    4. Andrew_b65

      Lack of Start button?

      I offered my kids the low cost Win8 upgrade licence that came with my puny netbook which I bought last year and they turned it down because of the 'too different UI'. One of them uses a Nokia Lumia WinPhone. They like new things, usually.

      They discovered the Windows key +D combination last week and are now kicking themselves.

      Perhaps Microsoft DO need to point out that Windows 7 is still there, kinda. I think this will be putting a lot of people off. Average Joe Public doesn't think about walled gardens. The kids thought the Metro Start was 'too simple' and wouldn't offer them the flexibility of the familiar near twenty year old desktop experience.

      I bet the software engineers envisaged the Win8 Start screen as an introductory bridge to the Metro UI, which was clearly designed for touchscreen devices, so that they could have the same look and feel across phones, tablets and PCs. The marketing people probably just decided to go all in for Metro and neglected to point out that Windows is still there for proper computers and real working environments.

      1. Nuke

        @Andrew_b65 - Re: Lack of Start button?

        Wrote : _ "They discovered the Windows key +D combination last week"

        But I understand that even the desktop mode lacks a Start Button (without a 3rd party add-on). Is this true or not? I have never used Win8 and it sound's like you haven't either - can anyone help here?

        Moreover, according to a review I read, some apps MUST be run in Metro mode, and others MUST be run in desktop mode, so the user needs to switch between them.

        1. jason 7

          Re: @Andrew_b65 - Lack of Start button?

          Metro apps run in Metro mode.

          Desktop/Standard apps run in the Desktop like they have for decades.

          It's basically you now have a choice of two kinds of the same app in a way. Metro version or Desktop version.

          If you don't want to use the Metro version (for many of us why would we) then you just uninstall it and set your default applications to the Desktop/Standard ones and carry on as normal.

          Takes all of 5 minutes.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Andrew_b65 - Lack of Start button?

          Yes. What you say is true, and they have a saying for things like this in the north. "It's W@nk."

          It's an operating system, and they expect people to do mulitple jobs at once on it. If I wanted a glorified web browser I'd use Android, and do, because it was designed from the ground up.

          Thankfully, Windows 7 will last me until I retire.

          1. mmeier

            Re: @Andrew_b65 - Lack of Start button?

            And where is the problem of doing more than one job on Win8? Like running a Firefox, an Eclipse, an Android Emulator and a PDF reader all at once like I do right now (Waiting for the stupid Android to start)?

            Guess my old friend Bill aranged for sending me a special version of Win8. Like he did with Win7, WinXP, 2000 and NT4...

        3. Tom 13

          Re: I read, some apps MUST be run in Metro mode,

          therein is the nub of the problem, and which I broached in my post above. Yes the idea of forcing a mouse and keyboard machine into a touchscreen metaphor is abysmally stupid even for Balmer. But what is truly worrisome is the future road map. Management at MS have clearly indicated they aren't happy with their current revenue model and want to move to subscription, which is effectively what the Apple Store is. So while Win 8 MIGHT support the old stuff, they clearly intend for it to be a legacy bridge and not the operational model.

          1. mmeier

            Re: I read, some apps MUST be run in Metro mode,

            There is no "forcing a touch screen metaphor" on Windows. Looking at the way most people use WinXP / Win7 they drop the commonly used programs on the desktop and/or taskbar and use the "Start" menu for shutting down the PC.

            On Win8 my most used programs are on my Metro start screen, the taskbar only contains the running programs and instead of "Right click Taskbar->Choose Display Desktop" to get at the lesser used programs on the desktop (Taskbar-space is scarce in Win7) I do "Hit Win-Key". After selecting the program I get returned to then desktop and do NOT need to re-open/re-arrange windows. They are all as I left them

            About the only thing missing is the "last used documents" feature of the start menu. Something most people are not even aware of due to the way the start programs from the menu (IF they do that at all, see above). And most programs have that feature build in anyway even under Win7.

        4. aqk

          Re: @Andrew_b65 - Lack of Anti-virus?

          Do you have an anti-virus program on your Windows? Is it the integrated Win-Defender?

          No? Then it is a 3rd-party add-on. Better get rid of it.

          How about your anti-spyware or registry-cleaner. Oh. Don't have those, huh?

      2. RyokuMas

        Re: Lack of Start button?

        When I first upgraded to WinXP, I vaguely remember there being an option to "take a tour" and review a load of the features. Upgrading to Win8, I was just presented with TIFKAM and no instructions or help - which I could see most people getting very confused over.

        Maybe a new install of Win8 (as opposed to an update) has a walkthrough - I don't know. What I do know is that as a game developer, the first game I launched got a lot of flack for people not knowing how to play, which dropped off almost immediately after I put in a tutorial mode which was the default play mode on the first run. Surely something similar with Win8 would not be too difficult to implement and would help with this?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Andrew_b65 - Re: Lack of Start button?

        Win8, Nokia Lumia! Are you really doing this to your children?!

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

    6. mmeier

      No need to "get around it" since most of the thinks you claim are simply not there. Windows asks ONCE to register an MS-Live accound to your user IF you are not in a Windows domain (and most privat users are not). After that it asks no more.

      The App-Store is coupled to an account - just as in iOS or Android. I use Win8 since it came out and the ONLY apps I use on my privat boxes are Mail and Messenger (on the company T731 I use Outlook). Standard desktop programs install as they have for decades and offer better functionality so why use an App?

      Where is "cloud" emphasised? SkyDrive is included as a software but that's it. OneNote offers it as an option as it did under Win7 (and likely Vista - skipped that) and that makes sense for privat use (company units likely use a company-owned and VPN-accessed Sharepoint) If you want "cloud emphasised" look at iOS/Android/Chrome not at Win8.

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


    Make your kit-shifting dependent on a rape-bus piloted by a head salesman with the meat sweats and staffed with his band of motley fools and serfs trying to follow the yuppie transporter in front.

    Reap what you sow.

    On a related tack, I'm sure state-worshippers will demand that "austerity" measures be relaxed for a righteous uptick in sales. Yeah, that's gonna help (as if there were any in the first place)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just consider this real-life equivalent. You buy a new car.

    It is a tad faster than your old one, corners very slightly better and returns a slightly better fuel consumption.

    Would you then expect the dashboard and controls to be so awful that you woudl then willingly go down to your local motor mart to have the gear shift taken down from the roof and reinstalled on the prop tunnel, the square steering knob replaced with a round wheel and the dashboard you had to rotate to view one dial at at time, replaced with a couple of convetional instruments.

    Would you find that accceptable?

    That, friends, is the real-world analogy of the excerable wonder of Win 8.

    Probably a product only loved by those managerial staff who should be leaving on the "B" Ark and those prople who use the word "Leverage" as a verb.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Graham 32

      But this is actually happening. Not to the main driving controls, but to all the others. Some manufacturers have started putting touch screens into cars, which makes it difficult to change something like the radio/heater without taking your eye off the road because you can't just feel the button/dial like you used to.

      Hopefully car buyers will reject this and good old fashioned buttons and dials will stay - or the various laws in the world about operating phones/satnavs on the move will expand to cover stupid car touch-screens too.

    3. Green Nigel 42

      Square steering wheel.

      With that one analogy you made me think of W8 as the Austin Allegro of operating systems.

      Was' nt that a fugly mess that was forced on us by arrogant management & thrown together by a demoralised work force too.

      To cap it all it became known as the "All agro" in the trade too!

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Square steering wheel.

        I remember them - some had a "square" steering wheel (actually square with rounded corners - something for the Apple eaters to ponder upon), and a gearbox that felt like you were stirring marbles with a long spoon.

        A very sad day for the UK motor industry when that got approved for production :(

    4. mmeier

      Actually had my wheel replaced with to steering levers so I could "feel like grandpa" during my last trip to France. Took the scenic root throug the Netherlands and Belgium he recommended

      Worked nicely. Locals where a tad unfriendly so

    5. aqk


      The car analogy does not work here.

      Doing all those things on your car above takes hour and hours and costs lots of $$.

      In my case I installed a FREE one-meg utility (much smaller than either my anti-virus, my anti-spyware or my registry cleaner)

      And it took two minutes.

      My Win-8 now looks like XP (or preferably like my old "classic" Win2000). And it is fully supported too!

      Say- did you write that old "If GM designed cars like MS designed Windows"? Hmm.. which of these two companies went broke a few years ago?

      1. Obvious Robert

        Re: BS.

        "In my case I installed a FREE one-meg utility (much smaller than either my anti-virus, my anti-spyware or my registry cleaner)"

        The thought of having to endure Windows 8 made me switch to Linux Mint Cinnamon edition (after road testing a couple of other desktops along the way)... By default I have a start button and don't need anti-virus, anti-spyware or a registry cleaner.

        Apart from Metro, horizontal scrolling (ugh!), no start menu, signing in to MS accounts, apps not quitting from the X button, schizophrenic menu options depending whether you right or left click, hidden options/menus/hot corners, ugly flat window decoration, constantly being unexpectedly dumped between desktop and Metro... I'm sure Win 8 is lovely.

        Thank you Microsoft for finally producing an OS so atrocious that it gave me the impetus to do something I'd been meaning to try for years. I feel at home again with my PC, like I've got all the best bits of usability from XP and 7 with the security, stability and customisation of Linux. The future's bright, the future's Minty.

  5. Dr. Ellen

    Some people say 'different is better'. If they annoy you, just point to Windows 8.

    1. mmeier

      Contra-productive since you help them proof they are right. Win8 IS better than the alternatives.

  6. Barnie

    Remember when the Windows fanantics would say "...but its not like Windows..."

    The biggest problem Microsoft have it is guided by Arrogant bar stewards that believe they have a $deity given right to everything IT related and customers should be grateful to be able to use Microsoft's offerings.

    This could be the tipping point that's been building up for years as all the major PC builders were quite happy to go along with any legal or illegal tactic as long as they got a cut.

    There could have been a switch to Linux or BEOS or many other alternatives but they chose instead to keep the monopoly going.

    You can fool all of the people ..etc.etc..

    1. Salacious Crumb

      Re: Remember when the Windows fanantics would say "...but its not like Windows..."

      You have a point.

      Linux advocates took the track of "My gran can use Ubuntu - it's easy" or "My three-year-old can use Mint", but this was never good enough for Windows fans, because it wasn't "just like Windows."

      Now Windows is not "just like Windows".

    2. mmeier

      Re: Remember when the Windows fanantics would say "...but its not like Windows..."

      Maybe switching to another OS is NOT as simple as some people believe. Even Solaris, a well-maintained, long term (10+ years) stable OS with NO distribution wars would have problems to replace Windows. Let's assume Oracle "sets the x86 version free" (or sells it for Windows-style prices). That would still mean

      + Games won't run. Win7 games (and many XP games) run fine on Win8. And games are one of the reasons for a home pc

      + No MS-Office. And as Munich shows nicely(1) Office is deeply integrated in many workflows in companies and cities. And changing the software is often not an option due to costs. OTOH elder office versions run on Win8

      + No SQL Server. And that is a rather common database, one of the "big three" when it comes to commercial products. Even if one does not use Triggers/Stored Procedures most of the "free" replacements are not in the same league and the commerical ones (DB/2, Oracle) cost a lot more

      + Need to set up a completely new user structure, new software distribution systems etc. Windows desktop often means Windows Server (at least for Login/Authentification) and Windows Software Distribution systems (that work beautiful in a Windows setup)

      + No Sharepoint, no Exchange, no Outlook. The latter two can be replaced by Domino/Notes - for at least the same price. The former has no integrated replacement


      (1) The Limux "migration" makes massiv use of Citrix. So massive than Munich has double the permanent staff than any other german city. And permanent stuff in germany is very costy/difficult to get rid of - for short term jobs everyone uses contractors

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    underlying issues

    Shortages of touch panels look like continuing through most of the year keeping costs high for the new convertible/detachable formats. DRAM prices are up. Battery life boost via Haswell only hits the shops second half of the year and Atom processor upgrades are very late, not expected until end of year. Improvements to desktop processors is slow this year on account of focus on mobile power usage. On the plus side, SSD prices continue to fall.

    Many OEMs add to the underlying problems by offering notebook 768p displays which are often lower resolution that the 6 year old notebook a user may consider replacing.

    All adds up to 2013 being a less than satisfactory time to upgrade notebooks and desktops for cost/function/battery life reasons, although the price function equation may be better by last quarter.

    It would be interesting to hear some estimates of what proportion of PC sales represent replacements and what are new installations. I suspect much of the slow down is due to notebooks and desktops being kept for longer and the number of PCs in use is still increasing at >10% per year despite the 'death of the PC' catchphrase.

    Understandable that Microsoft and others who make a significant fraction of revenue at time of purchase of a new PC but for many of us its the installed base that counts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: underlying issues

      I wonder what 2/3rds of the world population thinks of this? the 2 in ever 3 people who are hard pressed to get a decent meal, who live in shanties, and or have little to no medical facilities, money etc...

      "Oh no... microsoft sales.... Damn...!"

      and I wonder how many of you people reading this, are spending $5000 on a home entertainment system, while people in your own town, have no home, no one to talk too, need a hand around the place doing things, blah blah blah blah....

      It's the goverments job to fix society up....

      No - it's your society, it's your world, you fix it up.

      Start by throwing the TV out.

      1. Nuke

        @Oh4FS - Re: underlying issues

        Oh4FS wrote :- "2 in ever 3 people who are hard pressed to get a decent meal, who live in shanties, and or have little to no medical facilities, money etc... "Oh no... microsoft sales.... Damn...!"

        You sound a bit depressed this morning. Way off topic. Why not paste this rant into every discussion?

        But perhaps it is relevant to world hunger after all. If people and corporations are no longer forking out for every "upgrade" that Microsoft want to ram down their throats, like they have these last 20 years, with the associated tossing of hardware into landfill, maybe there will be more resources left over for other things, like food. Personally, I am not saying "Damn!" ; I glad to see Microsoft being cut down to size.

      2. mmeier

        Re: underlying issues

        Spend about 3000€ for household goods last year. That kept quite a few people with a 9/10 years schooling (and low grades in that) in employment at delivery drivers/assembly guys. So spending money is good, keeps the economy running.

        As for the "poor guy in <third world country of choice>": If he wants money he should ask his "esteemed leaders" about it. Maybe suggest that "infrastructure not nuclear weapons" / "hundreds of new tanks/planes/an aircraft carrier" is a nice idea of using the state budget. Might need a few meters of hemp and some sturdy trees to convince the replacement of the replacement of the current government to see it the same way. But places like India, Pakistan or Korea would be a lot safer after that...

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: underlying issues

      "Many OEMs add to the underlying problems by offering notebook 768p displays which are often lower resolution that the 6 year old notebook a user may consider replacing."

      Don't you mean ALL - I've yet to find any OEM who can offer an equivalent (or better) screen size and resolution to my 2008 midrange Thinkpad. I'm at the stage where I'm seriously considering doing a disk upgrade (to SSD) and an LCD panel replacement (dead pixels and colour fade), whilst not cheap it will enable my laptop to last a few more years.

      1. mmeier

        Re: underlying issues

        Upgrading core2duo and better units with SSD, 64bit OS and more memory is currently the most common "new notebook" variant. The basic speed is still good enough, spare parts for the upgradable systems are resonably cheap to get. Used systems with 2nd gen core-i (sandy bridge) CPU are coming on the market and again they get the treatment. I.e T731/T901 is no longer current but replace the HDD with an SSD (easily done), upgrade the memory and it can still do 90+ percent of what the T732/T902 can do(1). And the better units from that generation even have user-replaceable batteries enhancing their lifetime even more.

        Companies that did not lease the notebooks do the same. And some that did lease them consider "buy and upgrade" at least for the "non manager" users since the units are still good enough and well supported

        (1) The fact that T731/T901 came with a non-touch matte display as an option makes this an interesting alternative

    3. Patrick R

      Re: On the plus side, SSD prices continue to fall

      I can understand you get memory for double the price when added by the manufacturer, but a laptop "with an SSD" will cost you 350 more when the part itself is just worth 50 more! So people won't buy a laptop with an SSD because they don't want to feel scammed.

  8. Neoc

    Bottom line

    If I wanted my interface to look/behave like a tablet and be forced to use Apps, I would be using a tablet. MS's tight-linking of the GUI with the OS/Kernel is coming back to bite them in the ass.

    Here's a hint: decouple the two and (assuming you've done a proper job of it) you can run the same OS with a desktop GUI on a PC and a tablet GUI on a fondleslab.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: Bottom line

      Um, the GUI has been uncoupled from the Kernel for a long time. Probably for ever. The graphics engine got moved back in with the Kernel but not the GUI. You can replace the Windows 'shell' very easily and have always been able to.

      List of replacement shells

      Some of those are actual replacements, others just resource changes but Classic Shell addresses your main point by providing a Win7 or XP experience for Windows 8.

      There's no technical reason why MS had to provide the same experience on all versions of Windows. It's purely a marketing choice. They obviously felt - wrongly in my opinion - that Windows should mean the same thing and look the same regardless of hardware.

    2. Andrew_b65

      @ Neoc

      Dude, the old Windows desktop is still there. Just hit the Windows key +D i.e. "Desktop mode"

      Microsoft really need to point this out. What you think is probably the prevailing understanding of Windows 8. It's wrong.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ Neoc

        My work mate now has a new Windows8 laptop for a project, and the Fsck'ing thing keeps throwing a 'metro' at him when we least expect it during desktop mode work. I don't know why, maybe some magic non-obvious wiggle on the touch pad, but it is annoying as hell.

        Makes Unity desktop look like a model of sanity :(

      2. AndrueC Silver badge

        Re: @ Neoc

        Just hit the Windows key +D

        True but that's an extra key press that ought to be optional. When you get there you discover that the Start Menu has gone. You can work round it (put icons on the desktop, task bar and use the Run dialog) but most users seem to find that inconvenient. Another problem is that with a multi-monitor set up there are glitches and gotchas that grate if you prefer the traditional desktop view.

        It's not really 'Desktop Mode' at all. More like 'Desktop if You Really Have to' - like a separate part of the GUI that Microsoft have left in place for legacy applications. It can make you feel like a second class citizen for not using the computer they way Microsoft intend.

      3. Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ Neoc

        No, the 'old Windows desktop' is not still there, not for the average corporate worker (where the money is). No Start Menu may as well mean no desktop for most of them. You and I may use shortcut keys without thinking about it, but I guarantee you if I walked around a corporate office and asked the staff if they know how to use Windows shortcut keys (Office perhaps less so) they'd give me blank looks. I could put that down to training, or down to simplification, but it's how most people in business use computers, because of and/or thanks to Microsoft.

        They made the Start Menu a paradigm for 17 years; with a straight face they've then turned around and completely redesigned the GUI and application ownership/privacy models. They did it because they saw Apple and Google take a slice of developer app profits and now it's monkey see, monkey do. They did it because they wanted to have their cake and eat it, 'saving' money by developing one OS for two completely different use cases, bolting TIFKAM on top of the old OS. Separately they're both decent UIs - combined they turn the equally decent OS underneath into a miserable abortion of a product.

        Now we've seen Windows Blue, we know that there's another year or so (at least) of the same ahead, and adoption in the Enterprise will remain negligible (and no Microsoft, claiming Software Assurance upgrades constitute actual usage of Windows 8 licences that will never be installed does not cut it).

        Time to eat humble pie MS, and strip that crap out for a 'Corporate Desktop' edition, or something, anything. If you won't listen to business, we sure as hell won't listen to you.

        1. mmeier

          Re: @ Neoc

          The average office user does not use the start menu except to switch off the PC. He/She has a few "big, bright icons" on the desktop and is trained to klick on them and then use the software. Re-Training them can be done in 30min (With use of electricity) to 8h (without). No need for "tons of shortcuts", those users only need the "Win" key (back to desktop is "klick the shiny grey icon")

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista Part II...?

    There will never be another Vista travesty. Even novice purchasers ask friends and family and read Amazon reviews. Back in 2007 there was still no real alternatives to Windows. Its such a different playing field now, but MS are still behaving like the old monopoly. Not allowing Win-8 to be customized (except embedded) is foolhardy. And Win8 & Office pricing is a joke. Game Over MS!

    1. Asok Asus

      Re: Vista Part II...?

      "There will never be another Vista travesty. Even novice purchasers ask friends and family and read Amazon reviews. Back in 2007 there was still no real alternatives to Windows. Its such a different playing field now, but MS are still behaving like the old monopoly. Not allowing Win-8 to be customized (except embedded) is foolhardy. And Win8 & Office pricing is a joke. Game Over MS!"

      You are correct, sir!

      Microsoft's strategy of letting others innovate and develop markets and then swoop in much later with slapped-together, half-baked, copy-cat products and then using their size and marketing prowess to muscle out the original innovators doesn't work anymore.

      That used to work back when there was no competition, no social media, and the world moved slower. But not anymore. The word now gets out and it gets out quickly, and product cycles are so fast people still remember the last crappy Microsoft product (e.g. Vista) that they got burned with.

      Microsoft now only gets one chance to get it right, because first impressions of a product are now final impressions. No one gets a second chance anymore, especially Microsoft. And finally, each time Microsoft attempts to catch the back of a wave, another wave has already come along that they missed. Microsoft is now going to have to innovate or die, especially now that they they've abandoned the one and only market they had a lock on, namely the enterprise and SMB. And when I say "innovate", I mean developing brilliant products that people suddenly discover they just simply have to have, and which no other company makes. And I think we all know Microsoft is incapable of such true innovation.

    2. Ken Darling

      Re: Vista Part II...?

      "There will never be another Vista travesty."

      I never had a problem with Vista; it worked very well on a dual core system with 8GB RAM. Mind you, I did encounter a few people who had terrible issues with the initial release on laptops. So it was a mixed bag. That said, it was superior to Win 95/98/2000/ME.

      "Back in 2007 there was still no real alternatives to Windows. Its such a different playing field now, but MS are still behaving like the old monopoly."

      I don't think it is much better. What are the alternatives? Mac OSX? Linux? I could probably cope with OSX (though the price of hardware is prohibitive), but Linux is still a terrible joke for the home user.

      "Win8 & Office pricing is a joke. Game Over MS!"

      Can't disagree with you.

      1. Nuke

        @Ken Darling - Re: Vista Part II...?

        Wtote : - "I never had a problem with Vista; ...... it was superior to Win 95/98/2000/ME"

        Crikey, you had to scrape the barrel to find something to which it was superior.

        Your putting 2000 in there as if it were part of the Win9x consumer line is a bit odd though (it was in a different development line, aimed at servers, and not bad I've heard), but the point is that Vista was inferior to its own immediate predecessor which was Windows XP.

        1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

          Re: @Ken Darling - Vista Part II...?

          To some of us, 2000 remains the best GUI Microsoft ever produced. In fact, I dare say if I could run the Win2k versions of the Start Menu, Explorer, Control Panel, and MMC on Server 2012, I'd be a happy admin and 98% of my bitching about Server 2012 would cease immediately...

          1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

            Re: @Pirate Dave

            I liked w2k, and the only advantage as far as I could see for XP was decent USB support.

            I disliked XP's Fisher Price style of start menu, etc, but at that time MS had the sense to allow you the choice - and I chose "classic desktop".

            1. aqk
              Thumb Up

              Re: @Pirate Dave The CLASSIC Desktop.

              Yep. The Classic desktop is what I use on my Win8. Sometimes for fun though, I right-click and switch over to the XP menu.

              And instead of some huge bloated 3rd-party AV program, I use Win8's WinDefender.

        2. mmeier

          Re: @Ken Darling - Vista Part II...?

          Vista on XP rated hardware was crap. Sadly it was sold that way a lot. Vista on proper hardware (about the same as Win7) was a solid system and had quite a few nice advantages over XP and even XP/SP2.

          This is not a problem in the W7->W8 step since hardware requirements are actually a tad lower for W8

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Ken Darling - Vista Part II...?

            'Vista on proper hardware (about the same as Win7) was a solid system..'

            Must respectfully disagree! The Vista File SEARCH was quite a departure from XP and fundamentally flawed... There were other gotchas too that I can't recall now... due to the physiological torture endured from having to help friends and family out...

            I don't quite see how someone who searches for the movie TAKEN for instance with Liam Neeson should be presented with a "select date or date range dialog". How are they supposed to reconcile that with the former XP search system? For the novice now needing to learn to type *taken* or worse system.filename~="taken" is A-Bridge-Too-Far... If this is what MS thinks is progress for the novice user, then give me Apple anyway!

      2. aqk

        Re: Vista Part II...?

        I hear that Vista actually works uite well now. But I don't really care anymore.

        Since I am reired, I cannot afford much. So I shop carefully.

        I upgraded my Win-7 to Win-8 for $39.95.

        And installed the FREE libreoffice.

        Is $40 really that big an expense for you?

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Vista Part II...?

          Why did you "upgrade"?

          What was key feature in Windows 8 that you didn't already have in Windows 7, that you felt was worth your $40?

          Because if a prospective user can't answer that question, it doesn't matter what it costs - it's too expensive.

          Even if something is free, it still costs time. If you don't gain anything, why spend the time?

          - Incidentally, you can actually buy a whole computer for that $40 these days.

          1. mmeier

            Re: Vista Part II...?

            Better WLAN (or general Network - don't use cables any more) stack is a reason I will never go back to 7. Under 7 the WLan typically did not come up fast enough during boot to connect to the NAS so it was "enter password again". Under W8 - works

            Modern beats the old start menu for me. Only problem is that my mouse is feeling lonely since I no longer need it to start new programs. I hate rodends anyway so no problem there

            I got a Pro licence instead of a H/P that was Win7

            Better speech and handwriting recognition - two of my systems are penables

      3. Obvious Robert

        Re: Vista Part II...?

        "but Linux is still a terrible joke for the home user."

        Complete unadulterated FUD, and shows you haven't tried it recently. Here's the entire list of what I had to do to get things working on Mint:

        1) Download single file from Mint website

        2) Burn it to DVD

        3) put DVD in PC and switch it on.

        4) click 'install Linux Mint'

        5) EVERYTHING works. Seriously.

        1. mmeier

          Re: Vista Part II...?

          Tried that. Widi not working, Pen not working. Restored win 8- works

        2. Cipher

          Re: Vista Part II...?

          Obvious Robert

          Re: Vista Part II...?

          I have to agree. Mint 13 works on every machine I've put it on just fine. I use Wine for Acrobat, but other than that there apps for everything I do.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Vista Part II...?

      This is SO much worse than Vista. Vista was at least bearable. Windows 8 is truly hopeless no amounts of service packs will sort out it's fundamental flaws.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft still hasn't learned..

    They release a product and at first its hopeless, then they start working on it and either completely rehaul it or actually fix all the nastiness. I know its sounds clichéd, but it still holds truth today.

    Visual Studio 2012, quite a modern product; the first release sucked (its interface actually gave me an headache). The first update (2012.1) turned it into a "workable environment" but at that time I still didn't buy into the 'doctrine' that "Visual Studio 2012 is the continuance of Expression Web 4" (Microsoft website editor / designer).

    Then several months later 2012.2 was released (only a few days ago at the time of writing) and what do you know? I haven't fired up Expression Web 4 ever since I updated. Intellisense now picks up my stylesheets, it picks up ASP ContentPlaceHolder sections from master pages, it responds better...

    They fixed most of their horrendous colour change (read: remove all colour from the program) and although I wouldn't call it perfect, it does allow me to code and actually have some fun doing so. This evening I did a rather major rehaul on one of my hobby websites.

    Thing is... Making developers having to wait approx. 6 months before your main development platform becomes "workable" isn't the best approach when you're trying to compete with others. That is, if you actually hope for them to upgrade to the latest version...

    Sometimes I get the feeling Microsoft doesn't seem to care at. all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft still hasn't learned..

      Up until a couple of years ago one positive aspect of Microsoft was some of their development teams engaged in fairly open discussions with external developers. I had useful conversations with various members of the VS2010 team. Along came the Sinofsky-lead drive to an Apple-like culture of secrecy.

      Anyone who has worked on open source projects is used to software being less than perfect but that's ok as we know theres a roadmap to address issues. Its not so much that we've had to wait until VS 2012.2 for some key improvements that annoys me, its the fact we don't even know whether the problems are being addressed until its released.

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: Microsoft still hasn't learned..

        I do agree with you. MS has not done a good job of communicating their intentions or in gathering input from users. Even with 7 we got some feedback & forward looking info from MS. With 8 we got next to fuck all info from them until dev releases were already being distributed & things were largely set in motion.

        Microsoft customer feedback FAIL.

        (I've been wanting to beat Eadon to that, sorry)

        1. RyokuMas

          Re: Microsoft still hasn't learned..

          "(I've been wanting to beat Eadon to that, sorry)" - only works if the entire last line is in caps

        2. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Microsoft still hasn't learned..

          You need to use more caps.

          Then mock anyone who doesn't use *nix.

          Then blame MS for something less than relevant to the discussion.


    2. Neoc

      Re: Microsoft still hasn't learned..

      Makes you wonder... if VS2012 was such a PoS, what are MS developers using to as a coding environment?

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Microsoft still hasn't learned..

        Makes you wonder... if VS2012 was such a PoS, what are MS developers using to as a coding environment?

        vs2012 is quite good in my opinion. Definitely better than previous versions. It does require you to install a widget to gain control of the colour scheme and another to set up better bookmarking keys (seriously why does MS think that 'go to next/previous' is enough. I want to be able to go to a specific bookmark not cycle through them) but overall it's a good release I think.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are Surface and other detachables counted as PC?

    Do these figures include PC tablet devices like the Microsoft Surface Pro? If not, as appears to be the case going by notes on the IDC site, then the numbers are understated by a couple of percentage points or so.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are Surface and other detachables counted as PC?

      A 12% drop isn't really any better than a 14% drop, and the lackluster market reception to Surface only compounds Microsoft's troubles.

      If you include Surface, you should include iPad, Nexus and all the other Android devices as PCs, should you not? In which case the numbers look great, and the PC market is growing - but Microsoft's share of that market is shrinking at an alarming rate. They may prefer the story that has the market shrinking by 14% while they at least remain in firm control of it...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are Surface and other detachables counted as PC?

        Love or loath Windows 8, when the article is about 'Windows 8 has put the world's PC market to sleep' it should at least state if figures omit some Windows 8 PCs. Downvotes for pointing out sloppy journalism suggests not everyone here has a STEM education.

      2. qwarty

        Re: Are Surface and other detachables counted as PC?

        @DougS. The distinction I make as to what constitutes a real PC is the device and its OS must enable software development on the device for the device.

        So OSX and Linux PCs count. Surface Pro counts as a PC. Surface RT doesn't. iPad doesn't until we can run XCode to do development in iOS. Similarly as long as Android needs an ancillary PC for development its still a sub-PC OS.

    2. mmeier

      Re: Are Surface and other detachables counted as PC?

      They don't. Neither do the backyard assembly boxes or the upgrades. Only units that leave the factory "ready to run" (with or without OS) do count. IIRC not even stuff like the basically locally assembled Atelco units (big chain in germany) count in that statistics.

  12. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    If the manufacturers are losing sales and blaming it on W8

    Then why aren't they doing the obvious and offering their machines with W7? Or even Linux - with the exception of windows-only games there's nothing that most domestic users do that, say, Mint 14 or any of the other alternatives doesn't.

    Could it be the MS wont *let* them?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If the manufacturers are losing sales and blaming it on W8

      No, most PC manufacturers also make Android devices (apart from Apple) and other non-Windows products. No conspiracy or hidden contracts with Microsoft not 'letting them'. They are quite capable of creating crap products all on their own,.

  13. Tim Roberts 1


    Win 8? Well I have no opinion on that as I havent used it, but one thing I do know is that having touch as a "feature" does not interest me one scrap. I'm so used to using my keyboard and mouse on my PC that even if I purchased a touch compatible screen I very much doubt that I'd use it much. Having said that using touch on a tablet is logical and now, in 2013, somewhat obvious, but would I buy a in win 8 tablet? No, not if past experiences buying win os's is anything to go by - too much extra crap to get rid of before the os is bare enough to be of any use.

    1. mmeier

      Re: touch

      Then do not use touch, it is overrated anyway (Pens OTOH - I'd sell my neighbours grandma for a pair of Cintiq). It is ABSOLUTELY not required for Win8. The systems works fine on a non-touch HP Pavillion with 5+ year old 21'' TFTs. Using it since it came out, pestering the company it for getting Win8 on my company maschine (got it on my company T731 at least)

      As for the Win8 tablets - they work fine. The penables are great and easily beat iOS/Fragmentdroid and RT. The Atoms have similar runtimes to the ARM but better software and all Win8 tablets have the "non app-store/install your own" approach. And if you do not like Win8 - downgrade to Win7.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: touch

        If your employer moves to Win8 this year, you should update your resume because that company is unlikely to be long for this world.

        A few testing machines, certainly. However, a general roll-out anytime soon would be a disaster for most businesses.

        Win8 actually causes a world of pain with a lot of professional 3rd party software and drivers (can only install in "Safe mode"! WTF?), and most corporates use some of that kind of software - not everything is Office.

        Aside from that, retraining the staff and the lost productivity would cost a fortune during the transition period. It's simply too different.

        - Mostly side effects of the "MS own your computer now" attitude.

        1. mmeier

          Re: touch

          Since my T731 is our first "Win8" test maschine and works like a charm:

          What professional software has what problems with Win8? I know some systems have a problem with Photoshop (driver related) and a certain AV company was totally surprised by MS releasing Win8. What else?

          As for retraining staff: IT pros should be able to switch in 1-2 hours on their own. Office drones working on "trained monkey reflexes" need a day since electricity based training is illegal.

  14. Tony W

    Absolutely true for me

    My wife needs a new desktop PC and Windows 8 has stopped me getting one in the last few months. I've set up a W8 laptop for my sister and that was enough for me to say never again. I hated it and she doesn't like using it.

    It would have been a lot nicer with a touchscreen but that was outside her budget. And I don't feel like telling my wife that she needs to spend an extra £200 on a touchscreen just to suit the OS.

    Yes there are Windows 7 machines available but the choice is limited and I can't find an all-in-one desktop PC with performance to suit her at a reasonable price.

    In the end we'll probably go for a Mac despite the cost and inconvenience of changing OS. But I'm putting it off as long as possible.

    1. tabman

      Re: Absolutely true for me

      @Tony W

      Why not install a start menu replacement? Then your wife will effectively have a Win7 environment to use.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Absolutely true for me

        Because then you'll have a start button on a piece of shit.

      2. Pat 4

        Re: Absolutely true for me

        First, NOBODY should be expected to install third party software on a brand new OS in order to make it "useable"... this is NOT acceptable.

        Second: When the next update comes out, named Blue if I remember correctly, according to rumors this will no longer be possible. Microsoft will effectively be blocking the installation of the addons that return Windows to a semblance of useability. They are betting the farm on Metro... they will lose.

        1. mmeier

          Re: Absolutely true for me

          Prediction for Q4/2014:

          Windows: 92 percent

          OS/X: 6 percent

          Linux: Still trying to "take over the desktop"

          The "the stole my start button" screaming is already dying down/gets boring for the press. Back to normal - buy a PC in a big chain and use the OS that comes with it - Windows (now 8). Once people use it (and most have to) they find it works just as well / better than Win7.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: Absolutely true for me

            mmeier, what makes you think that?

            It didn't work for Vista, it didn't work for ME and it didn't work for Bob.

            In the past, Microsoft ended up having to release a new version with a different name - and even though Vista is actually ok now, nobody touches it with a bargepole.

            Why is Windows 8 going to be any different?

            In every other industry, if the incumbent market leader radically changes the UI, the customers always think "Well, if I've got to learn something new anyway, might as well look at the competition".

            And in many cases, the incumbent loses huge amounts of market share.

            In the case of Windows, it looks very much like the radical change of UI is making people think "You know, I don't actually need a new PC. One of them tablet thingies does what I want."

            Worse, many are thinking "Those tablets actually do everything that new Windows [8] does anyway. They even look pretty similar."

            So, by copying tablet functionality (everything full-screen, 'app store' etc) and styling on the desktop, Microsoft are killing the desktop.

            If they don't wake up soon, the commodity desktop will die - and be replaced by piles of tablets.

            Then the only thing people like us will be left with are enthusiast SBCs (RPi etc) and very expensive "Gamer" desktops and "Developer" laptops.

            That's not a world I like the sound of.

            1. mmeier

              Re: Absolutely true for me

              Actually they never released a new version of ME, that was the "last of the DOS-Extenders". And Vista is alive and running on quite a few maschines. Typically those that had enough horsepower to run it since it needs more than XP.

              And there is the big difference - Win8 actually needs a bit LESS hardware than Win7 so every Win7 maschine will run Win8 just fine (Unlike the XP->Vista step). Same for drivers etc.

              MS is not copying tablet functions - MS has been doing tablets for more than a decade! And the current Win8 tablets are mature devices that offer quite a bit more useability than an iOS/Android unit. I have compared an Ativ500 with a Note 10.1. While I ultimately returned the A500 it won hands down against the Note in all areas except endurance where it was about equal. So people will actually see Win8 and Android and say "This does everything Android does but with the same software I own/know" and "No Appstore / Litttle new learning"

              Both Android and Win8 require learning but Win8 far less. There it is more "forget the Start button" and then everything is like it was while Android is completely new and different. Same for the software and the Android stuff is often less mature/stable/capabel.

              Win8 works great on the desktop. Modern becomes a beautiful replacement for the "many icons pinned on taskbar/desktop" and the tunes and added functionality works easily. And remembering to press "Win" for the start menu and the off switch to turn off the box - well my 75 years old father got that and he is not the most computer savy person around.

              So yes, we might see a lot more tablets in the privat sector - WINDOWS tablets (and hybrids)

              1. Richard 12 Silver badge

                Re: Absolutely true for me

                I give up mmeier, either you can't read or you won't read.

                MS are copying tablet functionality and styling on the desktop.

                That means they are making the desktop look and behave like a tablet.

                That is the problem, and that is why it's stupid.

                They are very different. No matter how good it is, you simply cannot put a tablet or phone UI onto a desktop and expect it to be useful, just like you cannot put a good desktop UI onto a phone or tablet and get something useful.

                This kind of UI design is my day job - I build touch interfaces - and their core rules are the antithesis of the decades-accepted rules of keyboard & mouse desktop GUI design.

                Win8 breaks those rules, and breaks many of the universal UI rules as well.

                1. mmeier

                  Re: Absolutely true for me

                  Unlike you I have been using Windows penables for a decade. Currently using TWO Win8 units, a pure tablet and a convertible. The later has a dock with two external monitors attached for "office use", the former a BT keyboard/mouse available but rarely used. The systems behave "as needed" switching between the two (or three - the T731 is a mobile workstation) modes quite nicely.

                  Pen when in tablet mode, mouse when in desktop mode - works

                  Either hardware key or Win-key to bring Modern up - works

                  I know exactly ONE feature Win8 has not that Win7 had and that is one most persons didn't even know existed since it only comes up when you start programs through the menu and most don't

                  As for "rules": They exist to be tested, re-evaluated and changed. MS has done so more than once. And rightly so.

        2. aqk
          Thumb Down

          Re: Absolutely NOT true for me

          "....First, NOBODY should be expected to install third party software on a brand new OS..."

          I assume you do not run an AntiVirus program?

          Keep shooting yourself in the foot.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Absolutely true for me

      "I can't find an all-in-one desktop PC with performance to suit her at a reasonable price"

      Either you are looking for a really really cheap machine or you're not looking in the right places. I've been able to supply All-in-One's running Windows 7 for family and friends, however the price point I use is £600 and I select from the business ranges, adjusting price and specification depending upon offers and user needs.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Absolutely true for me

      are you limiting your shopping to PC world only (or equivalent)?

      first place I thought to check (ebuyer) offers nearly 100 different desktops with any flavour of win 7 you want.

      They offer OS-less PCs (currently 12) and OEM win 7 of any version you like.

      Shop around. Win 8 Pcs aren't selling, most tech retailers are offering more windows 7 machines than 8 like ebuyer are (and many of the 8s advertise the ability to be 'downgraded' to 7 FOC when you get your hands on it).

      Shopping for windows 8 pre loaded stuff currently offers me LESS choice than shopping for pre installed with 7 everywhere i've shopped recently (MISCO, ebuyer etc etc)

    4. aqk
      Thumb Down

      Re: Absolutely true for YOU?

      Try shooting yourself in the foot also. Or maybe pluck an eye out.

      Win8 upgrade was $39 for me, and I quickly installed a FREE third party Start-button on y desktop that Win8 boots into.

      But I have not yet installed a big third party antivirus. Instead I use the integrated WinDefender.

      I would have liked a touchscreen also, just to play with this "Spawn of Satan" alternate Metro interface -

      but that was outside MY budget.

      But hey - you keep on shooting yourself in the foot.

  15. Majid

    Cheap upgrade also a factor

    I know a lot of people who just upgraded for 35 euros.

    Before you needed to buy a full version for about 170 euros or so, if you didn't buy a new machine with an OEM version on it/with it.

    That always got me, when my hardware was getting a bit old. The 170 euros seemed like a waste of money, when I would 'save' about 80 euros if I could get an OEM version with new hardware.

    Nowadays hardware doesn't really get old. (Well older but not much slower). And when you plug in a new GPU card and an ssd you are as good as new.. So thats 35 euros + 400-500 euros for some hardware upgrades. So why buy a new PC for a 1000-1200 or so?

    1. mmeier

      Re: Cheap upgrade also a factor

      If someone told me "spend 500€ in new hardware for the existing box" I accuse him of ursurie or extortion. I can get a brand new (albeit HDD equiped) tower pc for barely a 100€ more. And not a "kitbashed in the backyard" box - a Lenovo / Dell / HP core-i5 unit. And desktops benefit a lot less from SSD for most use cases than notebooks do.

      Upgrading/modernizing a top end (Lenovo Thinkpad T, Fujitsu Lifebook or T) notebook for that money is another thing. With mobile units SSD is a "must have" IMHO just for the "no more thinking about shakes/moves/roadbumbs"

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smart TV vs. Win-8 Ultrabooks...

    I'm buying a TV right now and it reminds me of the over-hyped PC market.

    Cheap Netbooks were thrown under the bus as reported by the Reg and its such a SHAME!

    Ultrabooks with Windows 8 -> Snore! And what about the TV market right now?

    I want a large-screen economical TV for gaming, but the sales reps keeping trying to steer me to Full-HD 1080P LED Smart TV's costing thousands. The pricing is crazy when you can buy a 51" Plasma for under $500. It has no Smart TV! But who cares, a laptop with VLC and Firefox/Chrome connected via HDMI using a wireless USB keyboard, far surpasses any onboard Smart TV software.

    And 3D-- don't get me started. I own 3D gaming laptops but I hardly ever use the active shutter glasses, as the games are darker and lose clarity, and you get eye strain too! How much programming is even available for 3D? Yes, 3D Animations are good, but how much sport and feature film content is actually available in 3D? Articles on the net say the industry is retrenching too from both over-hyped Smart TV and overrated 3D.

    My home office consists of Win7 high-end media laptops and cheap XP netbooks for me and the missus. When we go out or travel we take the latter and leave the expensive stuff at home. I intend to nurse maid the gear for as long as possible... I will buy nothing meantime! One day in the future, someone will put a fully functional version of Linux in a TV or something like that which will catch my attention... and then maybe...

    1. tabman

      Re: Smart TV vs. Win-8 Ultrabooks...

      Possible suggestion:

      Buy a Raspberry Pi and connect it to your TV. Bluetooth Keyboard/Touchpad combo + Wifi and HDMI connection to the TV and you have Linux to your TV.

      It is a bit slow but a very cheap and fun solution.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Smart TV vs. Win-8 Ultrabooks...

        Good point @tabman!

        Your suggestion is a reminder that once-upon-a-time PC's were hobbyist. People would routinely MAKE THEIR OWN gear.... including Maplins hardware kits, soldering iron in hand etc... With all the over-hyped Win-8 PC nonsense, in these times of austerity maybe home projects will start making sense again...

      2. aqk

        Re: Smart TV vs. Win-8 Ultrabooks...

        Have you actually TRIED running a Raspberry Pi on your HD TV?

        With a H264 AVI movie (on a thumbdrive) being decoded by it?

        Slow. To put it politely.

    2. mmeier

      Re: Smart TV vs. Win-8 Ultrabooks...

      Where on earth do you guys shop? A 42'' smart TV from Samsung is 600€ at Amazon, 55€ is a grand. Similar units from other vendors are about the same. And those units integrate nicely with stuff like the NAS for videos

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Smart TV vs. Win-8 Ultrabooks...

        A 51" Plasma Samsung on (PL51E450 / PL51E530) is listed for around $600 for a 720P, and $700 for a 1080P. But if you read the reviews therein, you'll find people saying they paid less i.e. $400 - $500 from Wal-Mart and other discounters....

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Personal opinion here

    On a few things

    Windows 8: People do not like change. I am a prime example. When they changed to the ribbon in Office 2003 (i think) I tried it for a few months, didn't like it and migrated to OpenOffice. As Microsoft made more of their tech with the ribbon, I migrated more of my software to alternatives. Now the only microsoft product I have is Windows so that I can play games on Steam, and that isn't entirely necessary these days either.

    Because of Microsofts forced "we've made a new OS, every computer must have it" approach, those who do not want windows 8 are not going to buy a new PC.

    Then there's the business aspect. On the one hand companies are probably shelling out a lot of money right now upgrading to windows 7 awaiting the xp cutoff. At the same time, very few if any companies are touching windows 8.

    And finally the tablet / phone arguement. I kinda agree here as well. For a lot of people who just surf the web and visit facebook, a PC isn't needed anymore. That's a large chunk of the market that no longer exists.

    On to the hardware arguements.

    CPU: The last big "here's the new CPU" launch in my eyes was sandybridge in 2011. Anything much higher is a waste unless you want bragging rights. As a pure example of this. Gaming, how many games these days require you have a sandybridge quad core CPU? Not many, hell even the more demanding games I see these days are still listing the cpu equivalent to a q6600 as their recommended (or higher) the cpu age is dying/dead The only people buying new top of the range computers these days are out there for bragging rights, or because their old PC died and they don't want to get left too far behind next generation.

    GPU: Again there's less reason to upgrade. My GTX260 can still play the vast majority of games with everything set to high and get a respectable framerate. Can it get the frame rate up to the 100 range? No, does it need to? no. Anything above 60fps is once more bragging rights with no real requirement in the real world (unless you have a monitor with a 100hz refresh rate)

    Yes GPU/CPU are getting far more powerful, but nothing is making use of them. The CPU is limited by the fact that multithreading is still an alien art known by few and mastered by fewer. Until somebody invents a language that makes multithreading easy to understand, track, control and debug it's going to remain that way. And the same goes for the GPU but for other reasons. Videogames are already costing millions, a large chunk of this is the cinematics and graphics. Until they can find a way to lower the cost of making these high quality graphics they're going to remain at the current level, anything higher has no benefit to the games companies on a cost / quality scale.

    I honestly believe the next graphical leap will only come when GPUs get to a stage that they're so powerful, they can render almost anything in realtime. Why do I say this? It's relatively easy to make high quality graphics, the main cost is cutting them down. As an example you can have, 1,000,000 vertices per rendered scene. The artist makes the main character concept and that alone takes 1,500,000 so they have to spend time refining this model, removing vertices and faces while maintaining the maximum quality they can. The initial model may take a month to make, but the attempts to lower the vertices on it while keeping the quality high may take another month or two.

    I think that's part of the reason mobile games are doing so well. They don't have the expectation to be AAA quality graphics, so they don't go in with the intention of lifelike realism wit ha limited number of vertices. Instead they go in with the intention of making a fun game. It takes months rather than years, is aimed at gameplay rather than graphics, and costs $10,000 rather than $10,000,000

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Personal opinion here

      Since 2011, most of the Intel focus on CPU/GPU has been driving down power requirements for mobile use and cost reductions for SoC. ARM vendors meanwhile are moving to attempt to try to compete with Intel on performance. Not so much happening for desktop, take this years Haswell lineup for example.

      Graphics wise its a chicken and egg situation. While so many people continue using 2005 PC technology in notebooks and desktops there is not a huge market for software that makes the most of modern hardware. Attitudes may change once the new generation of video consoles PS4 and Xbox.Next is out (both are based on PC technology).

      BTW multithreading is not so hard with modern tools and current top of the range GPUs are capable of a lot.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I work for a PC reseller and I can tell you its very rare for anyone to request Windows 8.

    The amount of downgrades we do from Win 8 pro to Win 7 Pro is suprising. At £25 + VAT for each downgrade its some nice money as well.

    Lenovo and HP are selling well as they have Windows 7 either pre-installed or as a downgrade.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 8 could be to blame

    I don't think there any could about it. Everyone I know is simply not upgrading to the clusterfuck that is known as Windows 8.

    They are either making do with what they have, or if they desperately need a new laptop, hunting around for the remaining deals for older stock with Windows 7 installed.

  20. StorageBuddhist

    gamers moving to xbox and ps3?

    It would be interesting to know if the slowdown is a corporate spending slowdown or a consumer slowdown. Also, games have traditionally driven a lot of high end PC sales, but game consoles have become a cheaper option. Also tech gamers sometimes buy or assemble white box systems and torrent a copy of windows - completely under the radar of IDC PC numbers. I suspect the slump is a combo of many of these factors, rather than because of win8.

    I have procured 3 PCs in the last 6 months for family members. Alienware with w7, HP i7 laptop for multimedia (came with w8 which was considered a minor annoyance initially) replacing a 4Yo dell, and a white box i7 with w7 for gaming replacing a 6yo dell (which had been GPU upgraded at the 3yo point). All of those people also have iPads., and I'm writing this comment on an Acer Android tablet.

    So it's more of a perfect storm than a single factor (w8) I think.

    1. roselan

      Re: gamers moving to xbox and ps3?

      actually, it's the other way around. Gamers are coming back to PC in throves.

      PC gaming is flourishing again for a number of reasons (esport, waaaays better graphics, cheap games, mods, etc)

    2. Gordon Fecyk

      Good: We can stop using Origin then.

      Along with PC games that insist on making us compute recklessly just to play them.

  21. roselan

    A cheap phone/tablet plays videos and surf the web smother than some mid range laptop at the same resolution. Plus it has no start time, no virus, no update, no recovery, doesn't crash each day, etc.

    what did you expect?

  22. Green Nigel 42

    And today we are going to look through the Square Window

    Knock on the Door,

    Turn the key

    Open the door & its Playschool.

  23. monkeyfish


    A day old MS/Windows discussion without... Eadon?

    Where is he, is he alright? Maybe it was Maggie in disguise after all.. Eadon?


  24. jason 7

    Well at least it appears to be sinking in... the Reg Journos that it may also be due to the fact that most desktop PCs since 2006 are just fine for doing most tasks except for extreme gaming.

    It's only taken what? About 6 versions of this same article over the past 4 months to get there but well done all the same.

    If any of my customers call in wanting to buy a new PC and its not a single core running 40GB IDE drives I'll always investigate upgrading their existing dual core machine first. Often that works out better, especially if it was a good quality machine to start with.

    Those Zoostorm machines may look super value but take the half decent CPU out and they are as rough as...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well at least it appears to be sinking in...

      I imagine most PCs would be "rough" if you, for some reason, "took out the decent processor".

      I'm no zoostorm evangelist but for the price point I know many SMBs using them and aside from one or two HDDs going there's been no issues what so ever. Last time I installed 25 dell machines one of the HDDs was DOA too so.....

      I must have attended 25 sites in the last few months using zoostorm kit, either exclusively or mixed wiht other stuff. The zoostorm stuff is no slower, no more prone to faults and no less reliable than equivalent spec'd lenovo,dell or HP kit.

      Yes you get what you pay for with some bits of kit, but IME zoostorm kit is fine for its price point.

      £400 currently gets you

      - Intel Core i5-3330 3.0GHz

      - 8GB RAM + 2TB HDD

      - DVD Writer

      - Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

      None too shabby, and they are all over the place in the SME/SMB world (in which I work). Day-to-day experience tells me the sack of meat in the chair can break a £900 lenovo just as easily and as well as a £400 zoostorm.

      It also tells me that for 90ish% of SMB users (made up stat alert) their almost exclusive use of a couple of MS office programs, email and "internet when the boss isn't looking" is just as good on the £400 zoostorm unit as the £8-900 lenovo jobbie.

      Again - no fanboyism or association, but I DO encounter these zoostorms every_single_day and in my experience the likelyhood of breakdowns increases as the amount of time it's been in the possesion of a f*ckwit, and not so much according to the badge on the front.

      Sorry for the rambling ranting bit, I just failed to see how "removing or making the CPU worse" should ever be the basis of an opinion on the reliabilty or performance of any bit of kit.

      1. jason 7

        Re: Well at least it appears to be sinking in...

        Well of the few I've had to work on it was the hair dryer loud grey box power supplies and the bean can strength steel in the chassis that made me feel somewhat less enamoured with them.

        I don't trust those £4 power supplies keeping my precious i5 alive for long. I'd buy a Zoostorm on a good deal for the internals and then pay £40 for a new power supply and £40 for a new case. No problem.

        They are rough machines but if that's what you want to pay and are happy with it then fine.

        The whole CPU bit was due to the age old tradition of PC manufacturers building desktops with good spec CPUs in them but surrounding them with sub par under-performing components. Basically sticking a F1 engine in a 2003 Hyundai Accent Coupe.

  25. Ant Evans
    Thumb Down

    Not helping

    IDC wouldn't get away with this shallow analysis in their other sectors. The number of boxes shipping really doesn't matter. Is revenue declining even faster than unit sales? I'm none the wiser reading the canned summary. Worse, market share in unit terms masks relative success at selling fewer, more expensive boxes.

    Plus, this is capital equipment, not consumables. Some markets are saturated, some not. Capital equipment has a limited life, implying a replacement rate (hinted at above). In saturated markets, overall sales numbers are not meaningful except in relation to this rate. (You can still argue about market share).

    Maybe IDC have all this in their report, but all I see on IDC's site is metadata.

    Blaming Win 8 is speculation. My experience is that Win 8 is on the good side of okay. There are problems: dropping volume shadowing causes backup locking problems, and tifkam apps have v1 issues, but everything else works. Power users hate tifkam, but they can just disable it, as corporates probably will.

    1. Piro Silver badge

      Re: Not helping

      I don't expect most corporates won't use it. Or they will use it in a very specific way.

      There are too many businesses out there still on XP. They'll probably plan to migrate to 7, but I don't see 8 being on the plate.

      1. mmeier

        Re: Not helping

        Any company with an IT department worth it's salary will have a lengthy trial period before switching operating systems. 6-12 month is common, the bigger the company the longer. So any switching done currently is to Win7 since Win8 is not out long enough. The first XP->Win8 switches will happen in Q3 for smaller companies.

        And many companies, often having skipped Vista, did the switch in 2011/2012, So the next switch is not before 2014/2015 (Three years lease-time). IMHO MS timed the release of Win8 right. Enough time for the OS to mature / get an SP1 and still have the it guys test it in the "lab" to be ready for the next switch. A switch that will mostly be notebooks (Those typically have a higher turnover rate). And guess what - in 2014 we will see two new notebook cpu (Haswell/Baytrail) on the mass-market that offer benefits above the 2011 era SandyBridge and CTrail.

      2. jason 7

        Re: Not helping

        I think MS was behind the scenes/in private, quite aware that Windows 8 wasn't going to be the OS of choice for business as 7 had been chosen already. It goes in pretty rigid cycles, NT then XP then 7.

        Hence why MS decided to go with a more domestic orientated OS instead. Essentially they could get the future workforce used to it via the domestic route. So by the time it comes round to 2016 and the corps are looking for the next OS upgrade the changes wont be so drastic.

        Probably looking at Windows 7 going for business till Windows 10/11.

        MS doesn't really care as it gets paid whether they buy 7 or 8 or 9...

        My theory anyway.

        1. mmeier

          Re: Not helping

          I'd say the timed it well. As you said, Win7 is currently on the way into the offices (Has been since 2011) with the last XP/Vista replacements running in 2013. The next "round" will start somewhere 2014 for the first boxes. By that time Win8 is mature, the screaming minority is no longer of interest for the press and the system will be evaluated and then introduced based on merrits not on "My startmenu is gone" screaming.

  26. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Unintended consequences

    I've never been a Microsoft hater.

    I've used almost every version and could adjust to them quickly.

    But the shiny new laptop with Win 8 installed drives me mad.

    For one simple reason and two consequences.

    There lots of bits that are hidden away so that either I can't find them without stopping the actual task I'm on to locate them or - most significant of all- an incautious movement of the mouse and the f***ing screen vanishes* or something equally stupid..

    It only takes a moment to resolve, but it all interrupts the flow of the work - and I've never that problem before, not even with MS-Dos.

    *(This was a bit of a problem with Linux Mint but I could turn that off)

  27. The last doughnut

    Legacy != a good thing

    I hope I never have to buy another Windaz box.

  28. Sil

    The economy

    Surely the economy is one of the biggest reason for the PC decline in many countries.

    It's not the only product too just look at the bloodbath in the car industry.

    Also much to blame are PC makers delivering crap product, with 0 innovation, 0 progress/research (e.g batteries), abyssimal component selection - why in the world can't consumers take decent screens or keyboards or trackpad for granted), rushed out products that are overheating and do more noise than a Ferrari at 200mph.

    While Windows 8 may be a factor it's all too easy to put the blame on Microsoft when incapable of offering decent attractive devices.

    1. jason 7

      Re: The economy

      Exactly. It's not Windows 8. Still a lot of folks out there that don't even know its out. A lot still think Vista is the latest version.

      Money is tight and folks are either pushing their old XP/Vista machine longer (because they can) or they are buying cheap laptops. I've shifted plenty £350 laptops in the past 18 months. People are swapping their spare bedroom/study desktops for laptops so they are not stuck the other side of the house. They want to sit in front of the TV. I've sold quite a bit of Windows 8 kit as well. Customers out there really don't seem to care. No one has come back shouting and screaming they can't use it.

      Desktops really are becoming a niche product. I really only recommend them if folks want to do video editing or gaming. I sell very few video editing/gaming machines these days either.

      Another factor is that a lot of people bought Windows 7 machines in 2010/2011 and they are not going to be replaced for a long time yet.

  29. El Andy

    It's interesting that so called industry experts decide the cause of the slump in PC sales must be Windows 8, despite the fact the Apple Mac sales are equally down. Little bit too much bias showing through, methinks.

    1. jason 7

      Isn't the current downward trend with Macs, that in 5 years no one will be buying them at all?

  30. Gordon Fecyk

    We've had multi-threading since 1995 and this is the progress we've made?

    some of the performance increases have been blunted by a lack of applications that have been coded to really get the most of multicore systems.

    Twenty years and we don't know how to write an application that uses threads? Even Quake II was multi-threaded. If an app uses multiple threads it's supposed to use multiple cores transparently.

    Here, devs: read. Specifically, always treating threads like they're running on different cores even if they're not.

  31. Steven Pemberton

    Don't forget the pricing

    When Win8 came out I watched prices of machines going up; luckily I bought my new machine before that. I'm sure the manufacturers thought "New OS + Ultrabook = we can charge Apple prices!" not realising that a lot of people don't buy Apple for exactly the inflated price reason. I'm waiting for the PC industry to come to their senses before buying again. Recently I built my own computer instead, and was shocked, shocked I say, at what a good machine I could create for so little money...

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I work tech support for a major ISP

    I can count the total number of Windows 8 calls I've had on 2 fingers.

    1. Green Nigel 42

      Re: Flop

      Maybe that's because they are so trouble free!

      1. Green Nigel 42

        Re: Flop

        Or can't work out how get them online!

    2. Rukario

      Re: Flop

      Are those two fingers the middle ones on each hand?

  33. Pat 4

    The Metro interface was designed by the same woman who designed the Ribbon.

    In other words, back in 2007 Microsoft released a new version of Office. Immediately upon it's release, pretty much everyone flooded Microsoft with complaints that the new Office UI SUCKED. Things had been moved around uselessly, some features were now hidden under layers and layers of difficult to find sub menus, the menus themselves were meant to "adapt" with use, which caused this to move around and become unpredictable, etc etc etc... Personally... I'm STILL not used to it.

    So in their great wisdom, what did Microsoft management do?

    They gave that person, who was obviously clueless as to what users actually wanted, who designed that failure... the responsibility of designing an entire operating system UI...

    In my humble opinion... they couldn't have done better had they PLANNED to sabotage the company.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      I wish 'd said that.

      @pat 4

      Yes, a trillion times yes!

      Significant with the"ribbon" is that you can no longer edit the menus, so that they would only contain the bits that you actually might use, or drag and drop to put these items next to bits you might use them with.

      Instead you now have to painfully create complete new versions of the menus, containing what you want, then hide the overstuffed, poorly organised ones.

      1. mmeier

        Re: I wish 'd said that.

        Helpdesks like that! A lot! Most users are not able to do the "construct new menu" stuff so the poor helpdesk people are no longer forced to guess what user "Ignatius Nevil Capabel" has done to his Word/Excel/Powerpoint menues. With 2010 he has exactly the same UI they have!

        The same goes for "wildly clicking parents" - Since I installed 2010 on dads and mums PCs I no longer get the "my menu is <insert problem>" calls on the weekend (typically at 11 when I am still sound asleep)

        1. Tim Bates

          Re: I wish 'd said that.

          Most users are not able to do the "construct new menu" stuff so the poor helpdesk people are no longer forced to guess what user "Ignatius Nevil Capabel" has done to his Word/Excel/Powerpoint menues.

          That's a good point, however MS ballsed it up. The tools people use regularly are split across different tabs, forcing people to constantly click around them. The old toolbars had all these there all the time. The average Word document or Excel spreadsheet requires users to constantly switch tabs as they create it.

          Simply making it more difficult to enable menu/toolbar editing than accidentally right clicking would have worked equally well for helpdesk types.

        2. Vic

          Re: I wish 'd said that.

          > Helpdesks like that!

          The helpdesk operators don't own the computers...


          1. mmeier

            Re: I wish 'd said that.

            No. The guys who pay the helpdesk and user I.N. Capabel do!

  34. Rick Giles

    All you need to do...

    is request that MS Windows not be installed on the PC when you buy it. I think that would send an appropriate and clear message to the hardware vendors that they need to pull their heads out of Ballmer's ass and see what the consumer really wants.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      But I do/did want Windows

      I'm quite, even very, happy with this Win 7 device I'm using now.

      I was equally happy with Office 2003.

      Because they both worked.

      It's not because I was used to them, I've been through every version since Word with MS-Dos, and mostly the next versions have improved usability, so I've been happy.

      But this is something different. It's as if these new releases were never intended for people who sit and do things. They are more like a kind of demo version, not based on real world usage.

      In the real world you know there are some menu items you will never use, but just clutter up your desk top ( and yes I mean the wooden one as well as the one on the screen).

      In the real world we put things where we know we can find them.

      In the real world it matters if someone else's unnecessary decision in a design studio screws up the rhythm of your work and concentration.

      Or to put it another way. I do not want to have to spend any of my working life making the computer do the things that it is meant to do for me anyway.

      Now if they had bothered to make sensible improvements, like changing the default setting in WORD that automatically selects the entire word I'd be a lot happier. Or even invent some thing that automatically sorts out where the "and" goes when you drag the word after it to the other side. (as in changing "boy and girl" to "girl and boy").

      Now that would save me a few minutes a day!

    2. Nuke

      @ Rick Giles - Re: All you need to do...

      Wrote :- "All you need to request that MS Windows not be installed on the PC when you buy it."

      Sorry Rick, you can't do that. []

      Almost all PC makers are contracted with Microsoft to pre-load a copy of Windows on every machine. Your post does not sound like you are joking, so have you been on a desert island these last 20 years? If they do not, they lose the right to buy Windows at a discounted price, so would become uncompetitive for most of their sales, as most customers do want Windows pre-loaded, unfortunately.

      If you buy from a small supplier he might wipe the disk for you, but you could do that yourself and he will probably charge you extra for the bother. Microsoft would still get their licence fee and no "message"

      If you want a Microsoft-free PC, build it yourself. That is what I do.

      1. Rick Giles

        Re: @ Rick Giles - All you need to do...

        I will admit that it has been a while since I've bought a brand new PC. Doesn't it still have the stipulation that if you don't agree to the license, to return it to the vendor, or some such verbiage?

        As for the Writ In Stone wiki link, TLDR, it all boils down to Microsoft DOES have a monopoly bordering on RICO and they are getting away with it (for now).

        You can always ask, even if they wont do it, and MAKE them put it on the order form where applicable.

        Stand up for you rights and self. They will learn eventually.

      2. Rick Giles

        Re: @ Rick Giles - All you need to do...

        Oh... and IT work is pretty much all I've done for the last 20 years.

        Some how I doubt you would build a system being a MS shill and all.

      3. Rick Giles

        Re: @ Rick Giles - All you need to do...

        And the messages was to the HW vendors, not MS.

        I tell them how much I loathe them every chance I get.

  35. ecofeco Silver badge

    Cry me a river

    Win 8 is FAR too radical a GUI departure for the average user. Most users are still getting used to Win 7, mostly because their company waited too long to switch from XP, so for them Win 7 is still the hot new thing.

    But I'm also reminded of post I saw somewhere else regarding the Metro interface: it looks almost exactly AOL Kids from 1996.

  36. W. Anderson

    (Windows) Desktop PC sales plunge

    Since both IDC and Gartner have both produced similar results study reports on the terrible decline in PC sales, it behooves the many Desktop (Windows) PC fans commenting in technology media to refrain from stating ad nauseam and incorrectly that the PC market is strong and gaining every day, simply because they cannot accept that Microsoft has a weak presence in the booming Tablet and ChromeOS Netbook (re: Amazon stats) sales and marketshare – which are significantly outperforming traditional desktop PC sales including Windows 8 notebook sales to a large degree, and Microsoft is therefore also not projected to be a force in pending Phablet (Smartphone/Tablet) segment.

    This is one of the many times that personal anecdotal experiences of Windows PC users have no relevance to the realities taking place with respect to technology use world wide.

    Major changes to technology procurement policies and practices in China, Russia and much of the European Union (EU) as well as South America - away from the desktop and even Windows 8 notebooks toward mobile devices on Apple iOS and Android are also ominous for the continuing precipitous PC and Windows based computing sales plunge.

    1. mmeier

      Re: (Windows) Desktop PC sales plunge

      The "toy breed" tablets do have cannibalized some of the PC sales. Old one is still "good enough" and so instead of a new one a tablet was bought. But that is not all. Money is tight so buying new toys is delayed and upgrading the old box is more often the way to go. Only reason I got a new box in 2011 was that the old was damaged and repairing the P935 based box was 2/3 of a new core-i5 (sandy) otherwise I would have delayed till this year (5 years replacement intervall is my typical way)

      And for those interested in penables there is a "let's wait a bit" attitude in the forums. Some new units are not yet fully out (Helix, Q572) and some have an upgrade reported (Sony Vaio Duo, Fujitsu T-series) with y-Series or Haswell CPU. Same for the smaller penables/convertibles (BayTrail) The "old unit" will do until Q4/2013 or Q1/2014 is a common idea. What gets replaced are the single core Atoms like the Q550 that where simply "to slow for everything" but those where rare units anyway. Add in massiv teething probles (Samsung) and stupid configurations (Acer, Asus Taichi) as well as low initial production runs (Asus Atom tablet)

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So... any MSFT shill/fanboy still insists that Win8 is a tremendous success?

    60 million licenses hurr hurr...etc.

    Go on, I'm listening.

  38. Green Nigel 42

    Intro Offer

    It would be interesting to know how many W8 licences they've sold sans the £40 & other upgrade introductory offers.

    1. Tim Bates

      Re: Intro Offer

      I doubt it means much. I bought a $15 upgrade in that offer, but I don't use it. It's installed on a VM we created to show customers what it looks like, and we've not logged into it for over 2 weeks now.

      Plus, all those laptops still coming with Windows 7 preinstalled actually have a Windows 8 Pro license, and MS will tell you how successful Windows 8 is because of these.

  39. Zack Mollusc

    Lost a sale with me..

    I wanted to play world of tanks at a reasonable framerate, so I considered buying a new pc (the first for a good number of years). Oh dear, everything has win8 on it. Instead, I said 'sod it', sellotaped a new motherboard and graphics card into an old case and installed Vista on it because I had a Vista license kicking around.

    A £1000 shiny new machine sale turned into £500 carrier bag of parts.

    1. mmeier

      Re: Lost a sale with me..

      You where ripped of! Massively!

      For 500pounds (actually: 599€, close enough) I can buy a Lenovo H520 with 8GB, core i5 and 2GB GeForce® GT640 at the local Saturn (and that is NOT the cheapest shop around!)

      And if you absolutely insist on keeping with Win7 - Lenovo offers a downgrade option

  40. Antony Evans


    Used it, quite like it. Don't understand why so many pixels are devoted to hating it. Get over yourselves and ......well.......yeah.....move on.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........

      Good for you. But you're the minority.

      Microsoft is screwed if it doesn't give the majority what they want.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The PC market was sleeping before Windows 8 came on to the market.

  42. Rafael L


    Are Mac or Linux sales any better?

  43. Tim Bates

    We're still selling 95% Win7

    We're showing customers the Windows 8 start menu before finalising sales of new PCs - in most cases the response is along the lines of "ugh yuck" or "so how are you supposed to <insert commonly done task>".

    And then they ask if we can still sell them Windows 7 (thankfully yes).

    And one of the few customers that bought a Win8 box managed to wipe everything we'd put on it for him (including his old data) because Windows offered to "refresh" his PC when it BSODed (he installed a dodgy driver for a USB device he had at home). Well done Microsoft - why not just make "Format C:" one of the boot options in Windows 9?

    1. mmeier

      Re: We're still selling 95% Win7

      That just shows one thing:

      "Wat der Bur net kennt fret hey net" - "What the farmer does not know he does not eat"

      Showing != explain. Once it is explained to the end user most actually LIKE Win8.

  44. Doc Adam

    coincidence, not cause

    The bean counters at IDC should stick to counting beans, something they may be good at, because they don't understand the computer business.

    The decline in computer sales began long before the introduction of Windows 8. Laptops expanded their market greatly, stealing market share from desktop computers, and then tablets came along and stole share from laptops. The decline has accelerated as more tablets have become available, probably aided by a global economic slowdown. To suggest that Windows 8 has caused all these effects is myopic, to say the least.

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