back to article Experts gathered round corpse of PC market: It's ALIVE! Alive, we tell you

The XP replacement bonanza reviving the PC market isn't yet over, with estimates suggesting that one in five biz machines out in the wilds is still running the thirteen year-old OS, an HP exec has told The Channel. After eight consecutive quarters of declining sales, the commercial PC market returned to life in the first …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As it has been said elsewhere in another El Reg thread

    Microsoft has currently a very strong presence on both business and home computers. The end of XP support is likely having an impact on business, but no so much on home machines.

    Microsoft currently is letting down family customers with Windows 8 so much that there is going to be little in the way of replacing XP for these users. Outside of course of the El Reg reader population who supports family members, of course. But these are going to move to Windows 7. So even in that case it does not mean a new machine is bought.

    1. proud2bgrumpy

      Re: As it has been said elsewhere in another El Reg thread

      MS have their backs to the wall. The current generation of <U>business</U> users probably had a PC with Windows XP/98/95/3.1 at home or at school and came to the working environment with the familiarity of the MS Office/Windows environment - having worked in their organisations for 5/10/15/20years, they become increasingly influential in their corporate IT investments, so they bought/buy Windows for the Desktop. Those that deal with important IT systems probably took some form of IT education at college / Uni where they were exposed to Unix systems, so they bought Unix and increasingly Linux Servers. Simple.

      The next generation will come to the working environment having grown up with Android on their phone/tablet/TV or iOS on ther iPhone/iPad. They too will become influential in corporate buying policies, they will into buy Windows/Linux/OSX for their enterprise IT.

      Each successive generation marked in say 5 or 10 year cycles will see successive dilution of MS Windows in the business place unless there comes a time that MS can once again dominate the home and education sectors - their only chance is to get Windows8/Metro (or whatever its called now) onto 90% of teenagers phones and tablets. If I were MS, I would simply give away Windows Phone 8.1 licences to recover their lost market and prevent Windows becoming a legacy/niche market.

      The future is increasingly *NIX - ie: Some form of Unix or Linux (Android is a Linux Distro) or OSX or iOS which are both BSD Unix based. You think that Linux/Unix on the desktop will never happen? Think again - Linux/Unix has already won, we're just beginning to see the beginning of the end for Windows (not necessarily MS)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: As it has been said elsewhere in another El Reg thread

        I sincerely hope this is an accurate analysis and not just my computing wet dream typed out by another (eagerly awaits the day when I can uninstall Windows forever).

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Reports of its death are greatly exaggerated

    Over 80 million PCs shipped!

    No, that's not last year's (2013) total - that's just the last quarter.

    Since we know that when they ship 16 million units a year, nobody talks about the demise of the Mac market [ source: ], we can safely say that the PC market could shrivel by 95% and it would still be bigger than that.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Reports of its death are greatly exaggerated

      Uh...people talk about the demise of the OSX-based Mac market all the time. Will they/won't they? Mac Pro refresh wot? Etc ad nauseam.

      Where the bagel have you been?

      1. Pete 2 Silver badge

        Re: Reports of its death are greatly exaggerated

        > Where the bagel have you been?

        I've been here, safe in PC-Land.

        As for Mac's, I consider them a bit like Herpes: lots of people talk about it but almost nobody has any direct experience of it. And long may it stay like that! <g>

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My work PC was crap when it was new with a celeron processor and 2GB ram. Its 8 years old or so, runs office 2007 and is on XP. The only thing thats been added is addition RAM.

    It does everything I need it to if a little slow and I am a power user.

    That is why the PC market is the way it is. Ther is no reason to upgrade.

    Plus windows 8 sucks mouldy donkey danglies.

    1. 45RPM Silver badge

      Define Power User

      Please define 'Power User’. If running Office and Windows XP on a Celeron with 2GB of RAM qualifies as ‘Power User’ then I am a top gun fighter pilot*

      *I fly rather elderly gliders.

    2. Caesarius

      @AC: "no reason to upgrade"

      I was going to say that keeping XP alive can only hold back PC sales, surely? (I think this takes your point on a bit, rather than disagreeing with it.)

      Based on these ideas:

      1) I expect that, if the typical PC owner cannot use XP any more, then he might buy another PC, even if some people can actually make Win7 run on a lesser PC.

      2) There must be many PC users who keep their PCs running XP by upgrading hardware and hanging on to old versions of applications.

      3) IIRC, XP resists being transplanted into different hardware.

  4. keithpeter Silver badge

    "...the average organisation had 20 per cent of its employees' devices running XP."

    Did the analyst really say that? I'm wondering what kind of average and if they had any cutoff on the size of the organisation. A self-employed person working from their shed would count as 100% XP otherwise. Some averages would ignore that tail of extreme values but some would not.

    Did they really mean 20% of *PCs* in a large collection of organisations still run XP?

    Icon: the nearest I could find

    1. Steve Knox

      No, they mean THE average organisation.

      The Average Organisation -- Mediocrity since 1834.

    2. Mpeler

      20 percent....40

      That's what they get for leaving them to their own devices.... (sorry)...

      Good point, though...would it be for each employee, one device out of five (hopefully it's not the embedded OS in the stapler...), or is it 20 percent of the TOTAL devices across the entire employee base?

      (Yes, I know, both are ridiculous, I'm just being snarky about "Gartnerisms", i.e. numbers grabbed from thin air...).

      Have a beer (there aren't any brandy or cognac ones.....).

  5. Gambler

    Microsoft is just trying to make money by selling the only thing they can- software. They tried to kill XP by no longer supporting it, but they were too successful for their own good. Windblows Seven is a decent reliable product, but it needs to be able to run more of the old software than it supports. I had a project and had to break out my XP tower to run the software because Seven would not run the device driver. Windsucks 8 is a steaming pile of Fondleslab look alike operating system rejects that needs to be sent back to the factory as a true "lemon". Seven is the only viable alternative beside XP if you actually want your computer to work without falling on its face every other session. Linux/Ubuntu needs to get its apps together for streaming movies, or Netflix needs to allow adobe to play its media. Is it possible to get an OS that just does its job and does not try to control my life or worse give away all my information to venders? At this point we need to go low tech and start using books again because they don't need a Cat 6 wire to be useful and they do not get bsods. The rise of the fountain pen is upon us. The technology is antiquated but it still works better than microchips, but requires a real education on how to actually write on paper and follow a straight line with no spellcheck to save you from your ignorance of the English language. One perk of a writing set is it can be branded to declare to the world who its owner once was. Written correspondence once was the primary form of long distance communication, short of going to your friends door and drinking a glass of tea. I am not a technophobe, but I also learned the old ways of doing things and the purity of taking the time to actually see a friend, not using some form of technology to do it for me and give me a receive and read receipt. That is extremely impersonal and plain inconsiderate. Phones are the alternative to a visit but must be used as a backup. It is truly a shame that social skills have declined so drastically after reaching a zenith in the twentieth century. Please do not criticize me for using twenty dollar words in this blog; if you do not know what they mean-look them up in Mr Websters dictionary- you just might like what you see.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Please do not criticize me for using twenty dollar words in this blog"

      No problem. But the total lack of whitespace is a problem, if you actually want people to read the stuff.

      Better luck next time.

      1. Wibble

        Must give him/her some credit for using capital letters and avoiding s2pid abbreviations.

    2. Nuke


      Wrote :- "requires a real education on how to actually write on paper and follow a straight line with no spellcheck to save you from your ignorance of the English language

      Let the education start with the use of paragraph breaks.

  6. Telecide

    Small business upgrades

    With the majority of businesses being small, many of these will have (or will be in the process of) migrated across from XP to Windows 7, with the (extremely likely) need to upgrade the pc's they currently run. This is what my business did this year, with a similar server upgrade planned for before July 2015 (ref SBS 2003). This has to be steady, bread-and-butter business for the PC market, no?

  7. Software and Security

    Email platform from MS Outlook Express to MS Outlook

    XP migration is seen as excellent growth for successor versions of MS Operating systems products as well as MS Outlook email clients. Most of users also are changed their email platform from MS Outlook Express to MS Outlook. It becomes more useful due to availability of DBX to PST converter methods. This methodology is provided by Microsoft certified vendors. Stellar DBX to PST converter methodology is approved by Microsoft that has potential to migrate all emails from Outlook Express to MS Outlook. Basically, it converts Outlook Express supported DBX file in to PST file. Then, User can continue their work with old emails of Outlook Express in MS Outlook premises.

  8. Gaius Maximus

    Wouldn't it be nice ...

    ... if fewer shills exacerbated an already ailing market? And M$ is the chief offender here. Your 'evangelists' have you eating your own cooking.

    You want to know what killed the PC market? Sure the economy has something to do with it. And yet, there are movies making over a billion US$. So what else ya got? Could it be your absurd insistence on 'cool' for coolness' sake? Everyone seems to have decided that whatever Apple is doing is what they should be doing, entirely forgetting what a niche role Apple still plays. Chicklet keys, all eye-candy UIs, and San Fran sex-appeal was never going to fly with most of us. Knock it off, and we'll start buying your products again.

    And I've got some advice for M$ in particular. Shed your Snidley Whiplash approach to customer AND PARTNER relations. Cease ALL the psychopathic attempts to generate your own 'reality distortion' field, and by this, I mean all the stupid marketing hyperbole (yes it it!) like 'charms' and 'digital life experiences'. (Get over yourselves!) (We're not Apple fanbois.) Simpllfy and standardize the UI (and the terminology). (And by standard, I mean that you STOP changing it with every release, as if that's supposed to fool us into thinking that we're buying something truly different when we all know that it isn't.) Expand the scriptability of your applications a la *n*x. ('Power' shell is a joke!) And try to do for web(site)-development what you did for application development with VisualBasic, the absolutely last truly great thing you've ever done (XP, after all, really having been nothing more than the logical development/merging of 98 and NT). (Yeah, I know, they just bought it, and marketed it.)

    If I can't do it within a few keystrokes, it's broken. If reaching for the mouse is the only way to do it, it's broken. Icons are broken. 'Tiles' are DOA. If I can't script it, it's useless. So, pretty much everything out of Microsoft for the past decade has been broken. Did you not hear your own users complaining about the ribbon in Office? How deaf can you be? And then you seriously think we're going to love Metro?!

    Phone users aren't PC users, and those who are, don't want their PCs working like their phones. They only wish their phones were as useful as their PCs, but that can never be. So stop trying.

    Surface RT?! Brilliant packaging. Brilliant move with the keyboard cover. I'm almost tempted to get one. But I can't install any real OS on that ARM processor. Besides, no 4G. Dumb. Seriously, seriously dumb.

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