back to article 2015's horror PC market dropped nine per cent

PC sales ended 2015 on a low note, according to analyst firms IDC and Gartner. The former firm says 2015's final quarter saw 71,889,000 PCs fly off assembly lines around the world, -10.6 per cent growth compared to the same quarter in 2014. Gartner's numbers are similarly grim: 75.7 million shipped for the quarter, down 8.3 …

  1. Nate Amsden

    maybe I'm tired

    but I see Acer as being the only one growing, apple is down 18% in the charts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: maybe I'm tired

      Apple gained YoY, so the Reg just screwed up the entries in the table. Or they did it deliberately, because they really want to get back to their 'peak Apple' tagline.

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      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wearing mine as I write.

        > Sorry but who wants to be tied to a desk any more? Anyone?

        I do.

        I can't tell if that's sarcasm, but seriously: Why would I want to bring my work everywhere I go and try to do it with a small touchscreen and lightweight CPU, when I can sit down at my desk, bang it out 10 times faster, and take a proper break?

      2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: Wearing mine as I write.

        See also

    2. Semtex451

      Re: Wearing mine as I write.

      BTW I'm IoT ready, emphasis on the T.

      Now ssshhh I'm pretending to be asleep


  3. Mikel

    Down 10%

    As expected, 2015 was the first year that iOS devices outsold Windows PCs (the sum of all Windows PCs from all vendors, laptops and desktops both). So there's that. Apple is now bigger than the entire PC client industry.

    Android outsold them both by five to one, but that is a different issue.

    The world has changed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Down 10%

      "The world has changed"

      And it's going to change again. I just bought an HP laptop / tablet device and Lenovo and others make ^them but I have no idea if they are included in these stats or not. Anyway, hybrid devices that allow you to do real work as well as mobile and play are the future and MS with continuum have a very bright future IMHO.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Cavehomme2 - those Windows Surface type devices

        it doesn't matter whether they count those Surface like devices, only a few million a year are being sold. They aren't going to move the needle enough to matter.

        Adding in all iOS devices to make Apple #1 isn't all that interesting to me. What is interesting is how close Apple is to being the #1 PC manufacturer in the world, a little behind Lenovo. At Apple's growth rate and Lenovo's shrink rate, in 2017 Apple will sell more PCs than any other company in the world without even needing to redefine what a "PC" is.

        1. Naselus

          Re: @Cavehomme2 - those Windows Surface type devices

          "What is interesting is how close Apple is to being the #1 PC manufacturer in the world, a little behind Lenovo. "

          A little? You may want to check the table again - El Reg cocked it up mightily a couple of times, but here's the actual PC figures excluding iOS things:

          Lenovo 15,384 shipments

          Apple 5,675

          I make that just over 35% as many shipments. About 40% as many as HP, or around 50% as many as Dell. Apple probably will overtake Asus in desk/laptop output, but are not going anywhere near the big three.

          At Apple's 3% growth rate and Lenovo's 5% shrink rate, it'd still take over a decade for Apple to become the biggest PC manufacturer in the world - and that's driven entirely by Lenovo losing 50% of it's very high output in that time, rather than Apple gaining 30% of it's mid-range output.

          That is, unless you specifically DO redefine "PC" to include tablets (and even then, it's still going to need 3 years to overtake Lenovo). Otherwise, Apple aren't going anywhere near the top 3 spots any time soon - and nor should they, since their market strategy is exactly NOT to compete with mass-market commodity hardware vendors like Lenovo or HP.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Cavehomme2 - those Windows Surface type devices

            Ah OK thanks for the clarification. That seemed a bit too close. Those numbers would likely make Apple the #1 PC vendor worldwide by revenue, however.

    2. Naselus

      Re: Down 10%

      "As expected, 2015 was the first year that iOS devices outsold Windows PCs (the sum of all Windows PCs from all vendors, laptops and desktops both)."

      Why would you bother with that metric, though?

      I'm serious, what use is it, really? Adding together all iPads and iPhones and measuring that against desktop+laptop only for 1 OS is just a pointless measurement. Add servers or VMs and MS is back on top. Add tablet sales for Windows as well and MS again overtake Apple (yes, Windows tablets do have some market share). Add non-windows desk/laptops (including Macbooks) and Desktop/laptop is again back on top... Basically, the only people who are interested in adding all iOS devices together and comparing it to just Wintel PC sales are 9to5Mac, for obvious reasons. A more useful metric is smartphones vs PCs, in which case phones overtook desktop+laptop years ago (but hey, 80% of them are 'Droids, so Apple fansites didn't care about it back then), or PCs vs Tablets (where Tabs are nowhere near and have been steadily falling).

      Moreover, the assumption that phones and tablets are replacing PCs is dubious at best, especially given the oversaturated, declining tablet market. Tablets are basically content consumption devices; trying to do work on one is a nightmare (hence the rise of convertables) and they're borderline disposable. And the only thing that I've moved from my PC to my phone for in general is email. Most of my actual work needs to be done on either a laptop or a desktop, and trying to do it on a phone or tablet would slow me down enormously. All the devices are for different tasks, and not directly comparable just because they all happen to have processors in them (so does my car, but we don't have headlines about how Volvo has outsold Acer).

      The whole thing is apples (no pun intended) and oranges. You may as well compare Samsung TV sales with Apple Watch sales and try to infer something from it.

      1. David Lawton

        Re: Down 10%

        I think its a very fair metric now, its a very different world. If it was the Year 1999 for example i would have to boot up my PC or Mac to get on the internet or write a letter. So to only include desktops and laptops then is fine.

        Its now 2016, and i don't need them to read the register anymore or to use a word processor. I use my iPhone just as much as my Mac now for viewing websites if not more. My nan has not touched her Windows 7 laptop in over 2 years since i got her an iPad, she's on the iPad every day (normally spending on Amazon). My parents primary internet device is no longer the HP laptop, its their iPads now (they have 1 each) gambling away on the racing post website.

        At work we have removed 350 Windows 7 devices and replaced them with 350 iPads over the last 2 years, as they can run Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook , few other apps , and there is a web browser . Suites the needs of those users fine. We have also installed a few hundred Macs too to replace the PCs.

        So yeah in short its VERY fair to include iOS and Android devices in, as they are being used for tasks we would have traditionally used a PC/Mac for.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How are we supposed to believe IDC and Gartner

    When the 'others' category supposedly gained 19.7% according to Gartner but dropped 19.7% according to IDC?

    Or did the Reg screwed that up too, like they reversed Apple and Acer in the table?

    1. Naselus

      Re: How are we supposed to believe IDC and Gartner

      It's alright - they've now changed the table, but not the wording of the article, so it now makes even less sense...

  5. petur

    Possible explanation

    Maybe PC's have gotten fast enough that even MS and Apple are failing to come up with bloat to slow them down enough to warrant an upgrade?

    (my last PC served 5 years and was only replaced because of a broken motherboard, linux still ran fast on it)

    1. Stuart 22

      Re: Possible explanation

      Yep, Linux and a sub £30 SSD can take make a PC feel 5 years younger. Its really strange but profitable to still have the same number of active working PCs but buying less than half of what we used to per annum.

      Bye HP, Dell, Lenovo - hello OS-free Zoostorm!

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: Possible explanation

        All in all another excellent year for nearly everyone as computing costs fell providing higher profits in all industries and increasing disposable income.

    2. Salts

      Re: Possible explanation

      I know what you mean, two of my personal laptops are circa 2008 upgraded to 4gb memory and SSD, run Linux and are more than fast enough for most tasks, why replace them?

  6. Aniya

    Re: Windows 10's arrival in business should help sales to pick up

    Really? In such a competitive market these days and with bad economic outlook I cannot see most companies wanting to upgrade Windows at will. Maybe small businesses who need new hardware and buy their PC's (with Windows 10 already installed) at their local shopping centre?

    For companies with volume licensing I do not think many would be keen on upgrading. Most users are happy as long as their OS can run web, mail and office. Windows 10 does not offer any worthwhile features (well, for users at least...) to want to upgrade.

    I think maybe one reason why PC sales are slow is because hardware power overtook software requirements quite a long time ago for the average user. When my company last changed their desktops each one was bought with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 CPU. This was a very good choice because this CPU, from 2007, still runs super in 2016. Those PC's were bought with 2GB RAM but were upgraded to 4GB a few years ago.

    Also I think SSD's made an impact too. If your user does not need much storage, it does not cost much to put a 128GB SSD inside and suddenly the PC becomes super fast. So our old E6850 desktop with those upgrades don't perform much worse in day-to-day applications than brand new PC's.

    1. Dazed and Confused

      Re: Windows 10's arrival in business should help sales to pick up

      It's the arrival of Windows 10 which is killing off the PC business.

      Users got their hand burnt so badly by the s*&t which is W8.* and they are scared stiff that the forced on us virus ware that is W10 is going to just make things worse they are no longer interested in PCs.

      Thanks MS, you just screwed the whole business!

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Windows 10's arrival in business should help sales to pick up

        "It's the arrival of Windows 10 which is killing off the PC business."

        YOU, sir, are ABSOLUTELY! CORRECT!!! Well said!

        And my $.10 worth on this: I predicted it, on Microsoft's 'answers' forum for Windows 10 insiders, and also on USENET in alt.hacker.

        Then again, I think it's been predicted by MANY others, and obvious to those of us who read the marketing data (and 'The Register') and see what's going on.

        New computers have a hard time selling because Moore's Law is no longer making the PERCEIVED speed 1.5 times last year's model. cores get wider, but OS's like WINDOWS don't take advantage of multi-core very well.

        Slabs were a fad, so PART of past sales drops were due to that. Now that slab owners have slabs, it's not so much.

        The economy is SUCKING, for political reasons. not saying more. But people have LESS MONEY to spend, so that affects new computer sales.

        But the BIG piece, the OBVIOUS piece, is the UGLY 2D FLAT Sinofsky-style interface that made Win 8 computers COLLECT DUST while 7 machines FLEW off of the shelves, a couple of years ago. I read the article about it in 'The Register'. I wish I had a link, though...

        So while it's OBVIOUS that "Ape" (8.x) is harming new computer sales, the "threat of windows 10" via GWX, and ACTUAL Windows 10 pre-loaded, is most likely giving people 2nd thoughts when it comes to getting a new computer.

        "Let's wait for Microsoft to get it right". I think THAT is going through a LOT of minds of potential new computer buyers.

        Eliminating W10 spyware/adware *AND* restoring at least the OPTION of 3D skeumorphic appearance and settings customization (like XP and 7 had) would be a good start.

  7. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Neither Gartner nor IDC could tablets as PCs. But let's have some fun and see what would happen if they did.

    No, let's not. How about fixing up the data table instead? And while you're at it: create some nice table styling for El Reg.

    It's unusual for me to agree with Gartner and IDC but I do on this. While tablets are increasingly replacing PCs and notebooks for web/e-mail/video it's still a separate market. Apple's still making a lot of money from it but not as much as it might: for the majority a 10" for £200 is more than enough. And I'm also seeing a dramatic fall in IPad web traffic from 2014 to 2015.

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Gartner in back-to-front shock

    Windows 10's arrival in business should help sales to pick up, as should upgrades made by consumers who've been putting it off for a while.

    I'm not sure how they've arrived at that conclusion, it's the exact opposite of what's happening... businesses are avoiding it like the plague and customers are stampeding to Apple because putting up with a Windows install slowly disappearing up its own fundament does get old after a while.

    1. Naselus

      Re: Gartner in back-to-front shock

      "I'm not sure how they've arrived at that conclusion, it's the exact opposite of what's happening... businesses are avoiding it like the plague and customers are stampeding to Apple because putting up with a Windows install slowly disappearing up its own fundament does get old after a while."

      Yes, they're stampeding to Apple at such a phenomenal rate that Win 10 already has nearly double the market share of all versions of Mac OSX combined. The iThings which are selling well aren't replacing my desktop fleet (and neither are the vastly more popular 'droid devices that fulfill the same roles). They're selling devices which exist alongside my Wintel machines.The ones that are supposed to compete with Windows desktops are doing about as well as they always have: Poorly.

      Let's please leave tribalism at the door and look at this like adults. Business is avoiding installing Win 10 for the same reason business didn't install Windows 7 for the first year. And Windows XP. And Windows 98. We don't install brand-new operating systems on hundreds or thousands of machines unless there's a bloody good reason, and the last time we had a bloody good reason was when we moved from 98/2000 to XP.

      MS still haven't really solved the problem that plagued Windows 8. No, not TIFNAM. The problem is that Windows 7 is good enough and we already have it installed on everything. I don't have a problem with Win 10 - there's some quite nice admin features in it and the big telemetry controversy doesn't exist in Enterprise editions, at least if you know how to configure it properly - but I'm not exactly keen to lash out on a site-wide license (it ain't free for anything but Home) when Windows 7 is still in support for another 5 years and is doing it's job just fine, thank you. There's a couple of things from Win 10 I really want (mostly APIs for Powershell), but it's kind of hard to justify spending quarter of a million quid on Win 10 licenses so that I can make login scripts more easily.

      We'll move to Win 10 once we do a hardware refresh and the new machines come with Windows 10. But note that this is the opposite of Gartner's prediction - I'm not going to refresh to get Win 10. I'm going to get Win 10 because of the refresh. I get the feeling that's where almost all IT departments stand at the moment; I've not really heard of anyone who would seriously suggest moving their whole workforce over to OSX machines, just as there were no mass exoduses (Exodii?) when Vista and Win 8 turned out to be absolute turds.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Gartner in back-to-front shock

        Yes, they're stampeding to Apple at such a phenomenal rate that Win 10 already has nearly double the market share of all versions of Mac OSX combined.

        I imagine that a lot of that is to do with MS pushing updates to old hardware.

        there were no mass exoduses (Exodii?) when Vista and Win 8 turned out to be absolute turds.

        But there are more options now, especially in the consumer market.

        As for businesses, Win 7 is staying until MS stop making it available to OEMs. And again, businesses moving to Win 10 is not a foregone conclusion, there are more options available, especially now that office is available for mobiles, tablets, and OS X is at feature parity.

        1. Naselus

          Re: Gartner in back-to-front shock

          "And again, businesses moving to Win 10 is not a foregone conclusion, there are more options available, especially now that office is available for mobiles, tablets, and OS X is at feature parity."

          It's a foregone conclusion when it's statistically already got twice as many of our end users familiar with it than with MacOS (and four times as many as any Linux distro). We're not in the business of retraining our workforce to use new operating systems when we can just dump them onto something near-identical to what they already understand, and which our support staff are already trained to support. The reason Win 8 bombed was not because people fled to Mac and Linux; it's because they already understood Win 7 and so they stayed on Win 7.

          Because those are the actual, realistic options in enterprise. Do we stick with Win 7 or do we buy another Microsoft OS. When it comes to arguing for the budget for a fleet-wide refresh, Apple are not mentioned. Linux is not mentioned. They are irrelevant, obscure, and considered as either exec toys (for Apple) or maintenance tools for engineers (Linux). The normal worker will be on a Windows machine and the only question is, which flavour.

          I'm not a big fan of MS, but we've been hearing about how they're doomed and the whole world will flee to Mac/Linux/OS2/using an abacus this time for sure since Vista. And they haven't. Even when Macs became the cool thing for execs to be seen with, no-one who actually did anything more involved than using an email client was shifted off Windows. And the email client on the Macs was MS Office 90% of the time, too, because then they knew how it worked.

          The only serious challenge between Windows 10 and market domination is Windows 7, which is exactly why MS are pushing Win 7 fans to upgrade so hard - they honestly don't care about Linux or MacOSX, because they aren't relevant in the desktop space, never have been, and never will be. This week's sales stats show that Apple sells less than a third of a single PC producer's Wintel output, and is comfortably outsold by four manufacturers. This is not the herald of the Age of Jobs, and Linux's constant position at 2% desktop market share for all distros combined means we can forget the bullshit about the Year of Linux on the Desktop. The argument is over. It's settled. MS won and aren't going anywhere in a mature market that they have almost complete control over. The story of Desktop OS has been a matter of Microsoft vs Microsoft (with Microsoft in third place, closely followed by Microsoft) for years and it remains that way.

          The same can be said for mobile, where Android has comfortably won with 4-5 times the share of any rival, Apple are slowly withdrawing to occupy the same high-price, low-volume market space they do in desk/laptops, and Microsoft very occasionally spike up to be a rounding error. IoT might be a battleground, but by the looks of it Linux has already won that one in spite of Microsoft and Apple's recent moves in the area.

  9. Sil

    Mix up

    Please don't mix tablets and smartphones with PCs, they are different markets even if sometimes competing for the same budget.

    Or why don't you add Apple Watch, Apple TV, Kindle, Kobo, Sony PlayStation4 and Microsoft Xbox while you're at it.

  10. Loud Speaker

    I just did a count: we have three PCs running now (powered up) in the house, and two laptops. And there are only two of us at home.

    Why do we need another PC again?

  11. AegisPrime

    PCs tend to be in use for a lot longer than any given i or Android device too - I built my current desktop in early 2009 (i7 Nehalem) and simply haven't had the need to replace it (over the course of 6 years I've added more RAM and replaced the graphics card once).

    On the mobile/tablet front, since then I've had:

    iPhone 3GS (given to a friend)

    iPhone 4 (sold)

    iPad 1 (sold)

    Samsung Galaxy Ace (sold)

    Lumia 520 (current phone)

    And I suspect I've invested in far fewer mobile devices in that time than many on el Reg.

    A slowdown in desktop CPU innovation has stymied the PC upgrade market (why would I switch from Nehalem to Skylake?) plus PC gaming being held back by the console gaming albatross means there's simply nothing coming down the pipe (except VR possibly) to prompt a new motherboard etc. The system I have does everything I need it to (video, graphics, audio, games) - perhaps the next generation of consoles will finally render it obsolete for gaming and then I'll upgrade - so what's that? 3-4 years from now on its 10 year anniversary?

    Oh, and my *last* PC (a Prestonia-based dual-Xeon) is now 13 years old and still going strong...

    1. jason 7

      Yes I shudder to think how many mobile devices I've had in my 2009 Windows PC's lifetime.

      Hmmm probably 7?

      As you say the PC market hardware is sorted. The fact that current software doesn't tax it at all for 98% of users doesn't help shifting hardware either. I remember swapping my CPU and GPU 3-4 times a year. Now its once a decade almost.

      It's like buying a car. Even the cheapest new car you can buy will have electric windows, CD player, airbags and get you from A to B reasonably safely and comfortably.

  12. A Ghost

    This is a really interesting time.

    Microsoft are cutting their losses with the tech savvy and power users by alienating them with the Win X fiasco. It's all guns blazing now come hell or high water. This is war.

    There are laws against what they are doing, but they will get away with it because they are doing the government's bidding, when they should be doing jail time.

    Still, most people will either fall for it or be so worn down by the war of attrition they have been slowly (not so slowly past year) ramping up. So they know they will get what they want and the rest of us users be damned. They are all in for the luser market and that is the end of that. Expect even the most die hard microsoft fan boy to become disgruntled this year - it's only going to get worse.

    Microsoft weren't happy with being microsoft - they want to be Google now. Oh how they missed those tricks, but damn it they are microsoft with a monopoly and they will still do what the hell they damn want. Such is the obliviousness of those at end of empire. Think Ceaucescu enjoying a fine meal, and bam, two weeks later, on the steps...

    Now they have even more competition from the Google monopoly. I just bought my brother a chrome book. Acer in fact. I got it refurbished at Argos for 80 quid less, and my brother said it was actually brand spanking new. I wonder (seeing as they had quite a few of them left) if it wasn't actually a new machine, and they've got a couple of hundred of them they want to shift quickly in a stagnant market.

    My parents are refusing to buy a new PC. It still has XP on it. I have explained the dangers, but it is slowly stopping working and falling apart. So their solution was to buy a Dell laptop. That actually works and though it is small, they can get by with that and the XP machine. Some people aren't users, they are lusers. They are lusers. The computer is a white box appliance to them. I had to actually pay for antivirus for them as they refuse to spend any more money on it (they have plenty of money) and they refuse to back up anything as well.

    In fact, I am not even allowed to install any more software on it, because ghostery blocked the disqus comments section. Instead of fucking phoning me up and asking me for a solution, they brooded and became bitter and now I am persona non grata in the tech department. Except for when my brother gets ransomware on it via surfing porn and other sites. He doesn't know what a browser is. He thinks google is a browser. He gets a bit shirty if you even try to explain the difference. That is why I bought a chrome book for him so he can surf porn without infecting the other machines.

    This is what we are up against.

    There will come a time, this year probably when the machine will either just go kaput, or there will be another more serious ransomware on there that I won't be able to fix. I pray that they don't get their bank account cleaned out, but it's out of my hands now.

    They will just buy a new machine (if they have any money left) and they will take whatever OS is on there. My mum has played scrabble on the xp machine every day for years, but that won't be possible in a new OS without using Virtual Box, which I am not allowed to install, because it might slow the computer down. I used to be angry about it but I''m just philosophical now.

    Why this long post? Well, Google will only grow in power as people just want a white box appliance (basically a bigger tablet for surfing) that switches on and off instantly. The rest will use their mobiles or tablets. The market for PCs is only going to shrink, and what is Microsoft doing? THEY ARE ALIENATING THE VERY PEOPLE WHO COULD KEEP THEM ALIVE AND THRIVING. I guess we aren't a big enough market, or someone has made them an offer they can't refuse. It makes no sense.

    So more and more people are going over to Mac and Apple and that will just increase as well. Because those that do not want a computer as white box appliance, want it as a status symbol. All the creative types use it already, but that is of course a miniscule market.

    So it makes perfect sense to me that Apple are getting bigger. They are voracious bastards and the world is not enough for them. Their greed knows no bounds, but eh, it works for them as a business model. We live in the age of marketing above substance. But I predict that Google will keep making greater leaps as well. I didn't know what a chrome book was a month ago. Now I can see that that sort of appliance is all that a large proportion of people need/want. When more people pick up on this and see their mate with one, they will fly off the shelves.

    Why pay more for a PC with all the shit that entails (security problems, microsoft taking over your system with malware), when you can get an appliance from Google? Those that can afford it and want a status symbol will buy Apple and keep buying apple with all its planned obsolescence.

    The problem is not PCs. The problem is Microsoft's monopoly on the OEM. The reason people aren't buying PCs is because they don't want fucking windows 8 or 10. So they have pushed people towards Apple and also Google.

    Then again, now that computers are fast enough to do what most people want to do with them, and they last a few years without breaking, and everyone has one, even the cat, then obviously there comes a saturation point. So this is a double edged whammy.

    Microsoft's solution smacks of desperation as well as malice now. I wonder if the new generation coming up will even know who they are in 5 years time. MicroWho?

    We are caught between a rock and a hard place and the devil and the deep blue sea. The golden age of computing is now officially over. It's not going to be any fun from this point in. But the masses will not just enjoy their slavery, they will demand it...

    ...and the public wants what the public gets...

    1. Liz 1

      Re: This is a really interesting time.

      A Ghost, you sound lile you need a hug... have a beer instead.

      Moving over to linux has made computers fun again for me, and my 80 year-old Dad let me put it on his box too - as long as he can still surf, play mahjong and read his email, he doesn't care.

      1. pompurin


        Same here.

        I think Windows 7 was peak Windows for me. I don't know what they were thinking with Windows 8 onwards.

        Ubuntu 16.04 will be out in April this year and should prove another stable release and a milestone for Linux in general. Xubuntu comes recommended if you're used to Windows, it feels more similar in my book.

      2. A Ghost

        Re: This is a really interesting time.

        Cheers mate.

        But I have Cubase, Studio One, Ableton Live, Reason, Podium, FLStudio, but never mind about all that, I have thousands and thousands of pounds worth of VST plugins invested. FX too. Even Waves.

        None of it runs on Linux, and what does, does not utilise the plugins I have.

        Windows is the only game in town. I'm fucking locked down man. Just like those creative types that Adobe raped for monthly payments.

        I'm going to go back to using cracks and not paying for sofware. I'm ok with this. I already have stuff I paid for I have not downloaded.

        It's not the small software devs I hate, it's the OS manufacturers.

        There is no option but to use windows.

        And now no option NOT to pirate.

        fuck you microsoft.

        1. PaulFrederick

          Re: This is a really interesting time.

          "There is no option but to use windows."

          Of course there is an option. Get your disgruntled buddies together and form a kickstarter to develop the applications you need for Linux. Actually own the software you pay for for once.

    2. Captain DaFt

      Re: This is a really interesting time.

      "He doesn't know what a browser is. He thinks google is a browser. He gets a bit shirty if you even try to explain the difference.

      This is what we are up against."

      This. Exactly this. They don't know, they don't want to know, they just want it to do what they want, they way they expect it to work.

      If someone was to make a computer/phone/tablet/whatever that had a red button that came with the warning:


  13. Zot

    Who buys from them anyway?

    Are places like DinoPC included in this list? Are self builds in this report? Yeah, some people have gone to the dark side that is Apple, but journalists and money wasters don't really count. And some have gone to Linux. But Windows remains the most popular OS out there despite journo efforts to make it go away.

    1. A Ghost

      Re: Who buys from them anyway?

      As for self-builds, that will only appeal more and more to those of us that like to tinker. But it's not about us anymore.

      The 'computer as appliance' crowd are taken care of with tablets and chromebooks.

      The 'computer as status symbol' crowd are taken care of by apple.

      There is some serious confusion up ahead, when the law of unintended consequences becomes apparent.

      At first guess, I would say more OEM are going to buy into the google thing, and will rue the day they got hooked on all that microsoft koolaid.

      This is a serious impasse, but there is a massive opportunity now for some kind of standardised linux distro (I know, herding cats) that 'just works' on new desktops. But the devs have put all their eggs in the microsoft basket (well it was the only basket really) so as they count their chickens, they will find less of them coming home to roost.

      Everyone loses, except apple and google, which is what we are seeing here with these statistics.

      I actually was going to spend over 300 GBP on a Lenovo laptop for my brother, but when I realised the hassle of it, I bought a chromebook for half the price. Not a difficult decision to make.

      [I'm a bit confused as well if the statistics include chromebooks - I don't really think of them as a PC - but maybe they are counted.]

      1. Salts

        Re: Who buys from them anyway?

        @A Ghost

        You could view Chrome Book/Box as a standard Linux desktop, they do what most users want and don't need much in the way of support and as you point out they are cheap.

    2. Vinyl-Junkie

      Re: Who buys from them anyway?

      I was going to ask the same question. I recently bought a new gaming rig from PC Specialist, and my impression is that a lot of other people are doing the same thing, judging by the activity on their forums. Plenty of other specialist builders out there, too. I suspect that those who want a PC that does more than run Office but don't have the time, energy or expertise to roll their own are staying away from the big manufacturers and going to those where they can precisely specify the hardware they want, without buying a load of other stuff that they don't, and where they can specify exactly what software they want on it (in my case Win 7 64-bit, Firefox as the default browser, and nothing else).

      1. Naselus

        Re: Who buys from them anyway?

        "my impression is that a lot of other people are doing the same thing, judging by the activity on their forums."

        We've recently switched from buying our heavyweight CAD-capable PCs from HP (for £4k each) to getting them custom-built by a chop shop for £1500 a time with better specs. It's way easier to get the beancounters to agree the expenditure, and the various 'extras' that you get form the big name brands are meaningless for desktop equipment. I wonder if other places are doing something similar.

  14. A Ghost

    Here's a suggestion:

    Why don't the OEM get together and design some kind of PC that people actually 'really' want to buy.

    You know, something with a decent sized screen (I am assuming laptops are part of this survey) and more importantly - decent resolution. Google Chromebooks are impossible to find in this country with anything above a 1366 (technically hi-def) res. You can buy a full on Hi-Res one in America cheaper but they refuse to sell them here. We have to pay more for less in the UK as usual. I'm talking equivalent prices obviously.

    Something with really decent graphics capability. Yes, on chip gfx is fine for average use, but if I want to play Elite or some such thing, I have to start thinking of add on cards above the 100 quid price point. Include one! Make it a bog standard one, that just works. Once hooked, we can save up and buy a better one. Get some kind of deal from nVidia and provide an upgrade path to better hardware.

    Something with really decent audio capability. Something compatible with most of today's audio software. Ok, it's a tiny market, I understand that, but there are those among us that would love to have this. A lot of people go to mac for this very reason. Apple are happy to have the creative type graphics and audio people, even though it is a tiny market. It brings kudos and ropes more people in all the same. Why would they have bought out eMagic to create Logic and practically give it away (making the mac as much of a dongle as anything else), why would they buy out Camel Audio just to have a decent synthesiser in Logic? It's a minority market right? So why go after it at all? So people buy Macs, duh. This fact escapes the OEM Pc makers.

    Something that has a decent OS on it! This is a big one, and of course the main bug bear with all of this (apart from computers being fast enough and everyone having one - can't do much about that). Hell, why not put a dual partition on it - empty if you like - or horror of horrors, Linux Mint? We all know the answer to that. But that hardware is just going to keep sitting there, exponentially more so, if they don't start thinking outside the microsoft box. I wonder how much longer they will play slave to their master.

    Something that has decent hardware interfaces on it. Back to audio for this one. They already include facility for surround sound on most mobos these days, but why not partner with someone like focusrite and provide a basic 2 in/4out with quality converters. Provide an upgrade path with that as well, if people want more. Not only us music producers would like this, but people that run home theatre entertainment systems. I don't know, maybe the converteres are 'good enough' for people who do this already.

    Something that has some added value - you know - USB on the front, lots of ins and outs for connecting all the stuff that we use today - SD cards for example. Make it fun. Make it so that you think 'that is too good to pass up - it's got everything and more'.

    And finally, make it look good! Make one for the gamer kind of spaceship market with all the blinkenlightz, and make one for the more tasteful refined connosieur (never could spell that word) of such things.

    Throw in a bit of proper customer support. Yeah, we know most people are idiots, but humour us eh? If it works out the box (and let's face it - things are more compatible today then when you had to hack a printer cable to get your usb toaster to work [made that one up]), then most people won't need it. If you do need it, give us someone that speaks English and don't bloody call us 'wacist' for wanting that, thank you very much.

    I don't know. Maybe include some kind of overall upgrade plan where in three years time you can expect to get the next upgrade (helps with brand loyalty) of the next great new machine. As long as it is in half-decent condition kind of thing. Make it so that the bloody thing does not have to dumped into an obscure atoll in the mid Pacific and poisoning all the fish (and us eventually). Make it so that it goes to a good place and someone that needs it (third world countries and little black babies with no feet that have to type with the stubs of their little worn out fingers). That way you don't have to think about dumping it for another few years and you get proper usage out of it making everyone happy.

    I'll stop there as I'm veering into the ridiculous even by my standards.

    I know I'll probably be branded a communist or something or other for even positing these wild ideas, but eh, PC sales are not suddenly going to start going up now are they. It's all down down deeper and down from here...

    And on that 12 bar note, I think I'm going to try and find nurse - she's been gone for quite a few hours now and even I can tell I'm starting to get a bit uppity...

    1. AJ MacLeod

      Re: Here's a suggestion:

      "Google Chromebooks are impossible to find in this country with anything above a 1366 (technically hi-def) res. You can buy a full on Hi-Res one in America cheaper but they refuse to sell them here. We have to pay more for less in the UK as usual"

      We certainly pay more for them but this Chromebook (Dell 13) has a 1920x1080 screen. There's also the Pixel if you're really desperate to burn money... I would certainly like to see a similar 15" model available too and would have bought one in preference to this, but as far as a no-hassle premium quality hardware device for the masses goes, this is a very, very nice machine.

  15. x 7

    " IDC says Windows 10's arrival in business should help sales to pick up"

    I always thought IDC's report were a load of bollox, now I know they are.

    Business sales are going to fall this self-respecting company is going to buy Win10

  16. Al fazed

    Can anyone tell me why businesses are going to be tempted to buy into Windows 10 ?

    Even Gartner and IDC are relying on corrupted logic today.

    Windows 10 Business Case anyone ?

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