back to article Windows 10 blamed (partly) for stalled PC sales recovery

The recovery in PC sales has been postponed until 2017 – and Microsoft and Windows 10 are partly to blame. Worldwide PC shipments will now fall by 8.7 per cent by the end of the year and growth won’t return for another two years, the IDC said. The number cruncher had expected that the arrival of Windows 10 in July would …

  1. Chika

    To be honest, I doubt that Windows 10 will make a huge difference to the market until the Enterprise version starts making an appearance and even then it's likely to be slow to move given the huge effort in recent times that was put into getting the corporate world off Windows XP and onto WIndows 7 or 8. The lack of real movement in PC design would make it harder still as the corporate IT section will look to maximise the use of its existing tin, so it's possible that Windows 10 will only make it in as a possible replacement when the existing iron has reached its end of life. With Windows 7 still in extended support until 2020, you could see little change overall before then.

    As for the home market, go fig. Microsoft have never been brilliant at predicting the next shift there - they got lucky a few times, that's all. Indeed forcing down people's throats could be a bad move, negating any benefit of a "free upgrade". I guess we'll find out for sure come next July...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yep. My company looked at simultaneous upgrade of 2,500 laptops to Windows 10 and Office 365 but decided we'd defer Windows 10 until the h/w is swapped out in 2017.

      1. 404

        This was actually considered?

        O.o

        Tim: There he is!

        King Arthur: Where?

        Tim: There!

        King Arthur: What? Behind the rabbit?

        Tim: It *is* the rabbit!

        King Arthur: You silly sod!

        Tim: What?

        King Arthur: You got us all worked up!

        Tim: Well, that's no ordinary rabbit.

        King Arthur: Ohh.

        Tim: That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!

        Sir Robin: You tit! I soiled my armor I was so scared!

        Tim: Look, that rabbit's got a vicious streak a mile wide! It's a killer!

        Sir Galahad: Get stuffed!

        Tim: He'll do you up a treat, mate.

        Sir Galahad: Oh, yeah?

        Sir Robin: You manky Scots git!

        Tim: I'm warning you!

        Sir Robin: What's he do? Nibble your bum?

        Tim: He's got huge, sharp... er... He can leap about. Look at the bones!

        King Arthur: Go on, Bors. Chop his head off!

        Sir Bors: Right! Silly little bleeder. One rabbit stew comin' right up!

        [after Bors is killed by the killer rabbit]

        Tim: I *warned* you, but did you listen to me? Oh, no, you *knew*, didn't you? Oh, it's just a harmless little *bunny*, isn't it?

        <Starring El Reg as Tim, The Enchanter and Microsoft Windows 10 as The Rabbit>

  2. Banksy
    Trollface

    El Reg agenda

    I heard that Windows 10 also ate someone's homework, pulled down another person's pants and refused to help some grannies cross the road.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Re: El Reg agenda

      Also Windows 10 stole candy from babies, will bring rain on the bank holiday and got squiffy on Blue Nun and made a pass at the Vicars wife. Also, says Mrs Thatcher was Britain's best leader since Churchill.

      1. Chika
        Trollface

        Re: El Reg agenda

        I know it ate my hamster...

        1. Fungus Bob

          Re: El Reg agenda

          If a roadster is a car with no roof, what is a hamster?

          1. Jos V

            Re: El Reg agenda

            Maybe a KIA... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQKjs-RXF2U

          2. NeilMc

            Re: El Reg agenda

            A Pig without a head?

          3. Gray
            Windows

            Re: El Reg agenda

            If a roadster is a car with no roof, what is a hamster?

            Hell ... errrr ... Ham on wheels!

            1. Chika
              Happy

              Re: El Reg agenda

              I think we need to look at it the other way around. If a hamster is a small burrowing rodent, then what is a roadster?

              Possibly another name for road pizza?

  3. Mikel

    Cancel Christmas again

    No end in sight.

  4. Bladeforce

    Who Cares..

    ..After all Windows isnt a necessity anymore

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Who Cares..

      >..After all Windows isnt a necessity anymore

      Nice try, I wish that were true. Sadly its not true for most businesses.

      What is true is that the OS just provides a platform on which to run applications. Businesses don't run on an OS for its features, they run Applications to facilitate business requirements.

      The Applications don't need a Store or Cortana, they need a way to use a CPU and memory, read and write data to storage, interface with a user and communicate across networks. Some applications are used to distribute others.

      XP did this ok. W7 added a bit more security and enough memory to last a long time. W8 added tablet access (which very few people in business need or wanted to rewrite their apps for) and W10 adds, erm, what exactly?

      W10 might be a bit of a boon to business if a Corporate Store is easier/cheaper to use than the current software distribution software, but most companies already have a sunk investment in software management. It might be a requirement for those who need a "supported OS" but not for a few years yet.

      W10 might never be enough is if Cloud means even Windows apps get containerised. I'm not talking (necessarily) AWS, I'm talking the logic extracted from a Windows-specific app and maybe the UI moved to a browser. The whole lot could still be installed locally. I mean, if you have to rewrite the UI to be a universal app, wouldn't you just use HTML instead allowing "clientless" network execution and possibly Cloud-provided software rental at the same time?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IDC previous predictions fail...

    ...come up with excuse and make new prediction.

    I love how these companies still get paid for these constant predictions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IDC previous predictions fail...

      IDC and Gartner are still in denial about the fall in PC sales, which peaked in 2011 and have been in decline since. They have consistently predicted a return to growth is just around the corner ever since, first blaming the "temporary" decline on the trouble in Greece, then people waiting for Windows 8, then the poor reception of Windows 8, then some more excuses, then people waiting for Windows 10 and now it is because MS is giving away Windows 10 for free.

      When the decline continues in 2017 they'll have another excuse, like global warming or the Cubs having won the World Series in 2016.

      1. Philip Lewis

        Re: IDC previous predictions fail...

        "Cubs having won the World Series in 2016."

        Sadly, just in our dreams

  6. Alan Denman

    Is that right?

    The question now is, will 10 PCs and their abandonment of consumer OS rights appeal to the average punter?

    I'm guessing so, there being so little inthe way of main media outcry to school us.

  7. Pascal

    Setting Windows aside for a second...

    It used to be that PCs got a lot faster on a year by year basis. Along with that, Windows was bloating at a frightening rate and the older PC just couldn't run it.

    Consumer PCs just don't scale at that rate anymore. The systems people bought 5 years ago are probably still good enough. They had Windows 7 back then, but they could run 8, 8.1, and probably can also run Windows 10 as is. And they're probably still good enough for whatever they're used for.

    If the whole PC industry was eagerly awaiting the next Windows because the "bloat factor" would have forced new purchased, or worse (as some always do), were hoping new hardware purchase would happen because "Win 10 drivers aren't compatible with your old hardware" (hello, Creative Labs), that's really THEIR issue, and has nothing to do with Microsoft.

    So, Windows 10 popularity aside, even if it were to become the most popular OS ever, I still don't get why "the industry" expects a new OS to resuscitate an industry that's slowly winding down - they need to accept that some people are happy with just their phone and are unlikely to ever buy a home desktop PC again.

    1. Kunari

      Re: Setting Windows aside for a second...

      Agreed. Most users needs are quite modest compared to the power of today's CPU & GPUs. The average user's biggest power need is probably editing a movie they took with their webcam or cellphone. A modern cellphone or tablet can do basic video editing these days. Streaming media isn't too big a load for today's hardware nor is farting around on Facebook or other websites. Gamers are power users, but that segment is small comparatively, and even then, a good chuck is on a console and not a PC.

      My 2009 laptop is still perfectly capable for 99% of my needs. I just bought a new one with SSD drives and larger screen as my eyes aren't as young as they used to be. ;) Did I "need" an upgrade? No, I could of gotten another year or maybe two our of my old system if I needed to delay a purchase.

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Setting Windows aside for a second...

        Agreed, I would also add almost all consumer oriented applications are mature products. There are very few if any features that a consumer would spend money to get the latest and greatest. This extends to OSes, the features I want are mostly kernel improvements such as the Linux 4.0 kernel hot updates. Even so, they are not something to make me go out a buy a new version to have. All the stuff MS is pushing on W10 is not really something that people are slobbering for.

        Relatively old kit which runs the applications the consumer wants does not need to be replaced just because W10 has been released. Nor does anyone really need to upgrade to W10 for a fantastic new feature.

  8. Drudgery Leak

    Five year old

    I for one have a five-year old Win7 machine - back then it was fairly powerful, these days its a bit of a slug. I dread having to replace it and may instead abandon the few software packages that only run on it - and going Linux/FOSS all the way.

    Come to think of it - the same hardware will run the free software no problemo.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Five year old

      Chances are a fresh install of Win7 would fix things. Though I have no interest in Win10 for various reasons (e.g. I like my privacy and for the machine to do what I tell it), I know at least one person who did the "upgrade" on her Win7 laptop and is very happy with its performance.

      But why not try one of the Linux distros on a USB stick? You might find you like it enough to change. Even if you do depend on Windows for some programs, making a clean Win7 VM without AV crap, etc, and only installing the stuff you really need is a way to get the best of both worlds.

      1. Drudgery Leak

        Re: Five year old

        Oh I already embrace xubuntu on my regular use lappy. No its the old Win7 machine I need for processing my photos using Adobe Lightroom. I also need it for the Garmin map updater and a camera firmware updater software. These I still need, but I may ditch the Lightroom for whatever I can find as a free alternative, because while Lightroom is proper I loathe Adobe.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Re: Five year old

        Paul,

        get out of here. A Linux user with a balanced and sensible attitude. BEGONE and never darken these forums again.

      3. Chika
        Linux

        Re: Five year old

        To an extent I agree with that. Although I've run Linux for many years, I've been slowly moving various stuff across to Linux since roughly 2005 with access to two machines to the point where my Windows 7 machine is now primarily used for only a few things that I still do that are locked into that OS which means that it often sits there powered down, poor thing!

        As the two machines are almost identical hardware-wise, if my Linux system goes bang through overwork, chances are that this Win7 box will be scrubbed and turned into another Linux box with Virtualbox providing the last vestiges of Win7 use. Hopefully, by the time Win7 finally goes the way of WXP, I'll have sorted out the final bits that need to go across, then Microsoft can take a long walk off a short pier!

        And before anyone says anything, no. I don't use Mint or Ubuntu.

    2. Kunari

      Re: Five year old

      Agreed with Paul, a fresh Win7 install or upgrade to 10 would speed up your system. My old 2009 laptop is a whole new machine after a fresh Win7 install, Win10 freezes after a shutdown or I'd have stayed on 10.

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Five year old

      My 2010 Vaio notebook was faster under Windows 8 than under 7. Under Windows 10 it is a bit slower than 8 at the moment, but it has only been a couple of days, so I'm assuming re-indexing has something to do with it at the moment.

      The 2010 notebook (Core i7, 8GB) is more powerful than my 2014 Windows tablet (Atom, 2GB). Windows has been put on a diet since Vista and lower and lower powered processors have been released for mobile devices, so Windows couldn't really bloat up.

      I having a sneaking suspicion that the washing machine, cooker and fridge industries went through something similar, after they matured. At some point it all slows down and people just buy when the old device stops working or consumes too much electricity to be economical...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There won't be a recovery

    Let's face it, the modern casual tech user has no need or want for desktops (and even laptops, to some extent). They check e-mail and Facebook on their phones or tablets and don't mind the lack of performance or potential for upgrades or repairs. They don't care about having gimped mobile OSes that can't run PC software designed for x86 processors.

    Maybe their workplace has a desktop, but for their home computing they see no need for what they perceive as clunky, outdated tech. Nowadays the average joe sees tech as a fashion statement and a gateway to social media more than anything else. You don't need an i7 to use Twitter, and most people prefer the look of a thin iPhone over a big bulky mid-tower.

    And then the people who actually do see the benefits of having more performance, being able to use Windows or Linux, having the ability to swap out hardware, etc. are probably more likely to assemble their own PCs rather than buy prebuilt ones.

    "Postpone" implies there will be a recovery at all.

    1. keithpeter
      Windows

      Re: There won't be a recovery

      @Hmmph

      There is a third category filled nicely by the iMac user (and Windows based machines of equivalent spec). This user does photos with a stonking big DSLR and edits 1080p video, and might want to edit 4k soon. Also laying out graphics work/posters &c. Perhaps they knock out some tracks using Logic Pro and Reaktor and a sequencer (or Ableton Live). Possibly this category of user is as numerous as the PC builder/gamer. Perhaps more so.

      iMac like object gives you decent welly, nice screen, tidy cables and is fast. If I ever use a desktop again at home it will be that kind of device (although running Linux in my case and doing some large maths models).

  10. Brian Souder 1

    Offerings

    Maybe they should fire the product development teams. The price points and offerings are off. 5400 RPM drives in business laptops? I was expecting maybe one large 7200 RPM drive and the rest SSD and mSATA drives. 4 GB of RAM anymore - really? Everything should be 8 GB min. They can't figure out what they are doing with docking connectors. Strange 1990's UBS 3 offerings with very little details. HP still does not have the WiGig stuff. It's like all these new technologies came out, but inventory is like 2 years old. I am hoping dome of the tech specs were wrong. I found both HP & Dell with SATA 2 listed for the drives they were putting in.

    How about a reliable 15 inch laptop with options for 8 and 16 GB, maybe a 1 TB 7200 RPM drive option, but then 256, 512, 768 GB SSD drive. 802.11AC and Bluetooth, A docking station that supports dual monitors. If you look at the inventory it is all Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 with Windows 7 downgrade. This inventory has to be old. They should just blast through it - take the hit and move on. Probably burry some of these designs with the mac Lisa.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Offerings

      HP still does not have the WiGig stuff.

      The HP 1011 X2 G1 does - it's a Core M based detachable 2-in-1 with vPro and 802.11ad (WiGig).

      Works wonderfully with the HP Advanced Wireless Dock.

      I've done extensive testing of WiDock on this hardware combination; ask me if you need any more info.

  11. BigAndos
    FAIL

    Did they *REALLY* believe people would rush out and buy a new PC just because there is a new version of windows on it? Joe Public: "Hmm I think I may spend £500 on a laptop because Windows 10 is out".

    I think since XP the general public views a new version of Windows as a bit of a pain in the bottom rather than a reason to buy new kit. In fact the majority of users probably don't really know what "new version of Windows" even means. Not saying that to sound superior, but based on my observations of non technical friends/family.

    1. ben_myers

      Windows 10 blamed (partly) for stalled PC sales recovery

      Too true. How many consumers have been burned by past efforts of Microsoft to over-hype new operating systems? And this one turns out to be the most invasive of privacy of all, even worse than the previous champ, Windows 8. Sensible people have gotten wise by now. But I predict an uptick in the sale of new computers after a few months, and even more war stories of either failed or extremely difficult Windows 10 upgrades.

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      I tend to recommend to my non techie friends and family that they only upgrade their OS when the current one is at EOL not when released. If they can not run the latest Windows I often recommend a trial of Linux Mint after considering their needs.

    3. Mike 125

      it's shifting

      @BigAndos

      Agree completely.

      The irony is that since NTFS turned Windows into a real OS, each new version has offered very little new. And that's really always been the elephant in the room for MS. OS as a service is their only way out, with a "Support and Security Fix" tag line. Windows 10 is the start of that shift.

    4. Chika
      Coat

      The thing is that I still hear from some home users that they would be happiest going back to WXP, assuming that they left it at all.

      Read that as you will...

  12. Howard Hanek
    Happy

    Climate Change Opportunity Lost

    Oh dear! I was so confident that declining PC sales were the result of Climate Change. From static to mobile.

  13. Bladeforce

    I wouldnt trust anything IDC or Gartner put out..

    anyway.

    http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Gartner_Group

  14. big_D Silver badge

    Have we become such a wasteful society, that we just throw working things away, because there is something new?

    My 2010 notebook is still more than fast enough for Windows 10 (a bit slower at the moment than it was under Windows 8, but that is probably down to re-indexing). We have moved towards more mobile and more energy saving hardware over the last couple of years, so the bar for the operating system resources has come down, not gone up, so it isn't a wonder that many older PCs, especially high-end when they were bought, are still doing their job.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A few weeks ago I upgraded Win-7 to Win-10.

    My Creative audio card failed to work because of a lack of drivers. I rolled back to Win-7 (that bit worked beautifully.)

    Yesterday Creative released the Win-10 drivers for my Creative audio card.

    Yesterday I upgraded Win-7 to Win-10 and the drivers provided by Creative installed, didn't work and then bolloxed up the system when I tried to remove them ... I rolled back to Win-7 (that bit worked beautifully.)

    Get it together MS and Creative because this is painful!

  16. Reg T.

    Free Win 10

    allows Nadella to axe 26,000 MS employees throughout the system as there is no revenue for Win10 yet, and the Windows phone is a huge success. It doesn't matter that new kit is not being purchased, since Win 10 updates are mandatory and will not be documented. Its free! Win Phone was discontinued since it was such a success, as are all MS products.

    How could that logic be faulted?

    Note that there is not one iota of difference in the MS scheme, since the beginning. It has always been 3 cups and a bean, and "look quick - sorry, wrong cup".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: Free Win 10

      since Win 10 updates are mandatory and will not be documented. Its free!

      "On a few domain joined pc's which may not of been locked down properly, so user may we'll have done this themselves (out of 10 million installs)"

      "Win Phone was discontinued since it was such a success,"

      So we'll just ignore the new ones coming out then shall we

      "...as are all MS products."

      Windows, SQL, Office, Xbox, Mice, Keyboards......

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