back to article PC market sinking even faster than first thought, thanks to Windows 10

The abacus-shufflers of analyst firm IDC have revised their 2016 PC sales forecasts downwards. The firm now says PC shipments “... are forecast to decline by 7.3% year over year”. That's “roughly two per cent below earlier projections as conditions have been weaker than expected.” The firm names “weak currencies, depressed …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Knew it!

    MSFT baaaad!

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Knew it!

      The headline is that the PC market is shrinking. MSFT is mostly a software company, going through a transition to compete with free. Requiring a 8GHz 64 core CPU and 4 graphics cards was not going to drive another hardware refresh and repurchase of software licenses. PCs have been fast enough for years, and people were going to stick with what the have even if the next version of Word had to do real time VR rendering of clippy swimming through a burning aquarium while you type.

      MSFT's future revenue will be your choice of ads or a rental fee to block the irritating and disruptive adverts. Shrinking PC yearly sales does not matter if the installed base keeps growing from longer PC life times. What will matter is the rate at which desktop tasks become phone tasks and if Office for Android becomes a popular product.

      1. energystar
        Trollface

        Re: Knew it!

        "Requiring a 8GHz 64 core CPU and 4 graphics cards was not going to drive another hardware refresh"

        Should OEMs inject a little money to FOSS user space?

      2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Arctic fox
      Headmaster

      Re: Knew it!

      I fear that the El Reg subbies are being their usual mischevious selves with that subheading. The writing was very clearly on the wall for the PC market before Win 10 was even in beta and the first signs that the tablet market was slowing down had also been spotted (we are of course now seeing the same thing in the phone market ). Indeed that is entirely unsurprising. All markets reach maturity sooner or later and that is what we are seeing now. The refresh cycle in the private retail market is probably nearer 5 years than 3 and that is no surprise. Before the advent of the smartphone and the tablet the tech that the average person owned consisted of their home pc and the dumb-phone they carried with them. The situation you have now is that three major pieces of tech purchase are competing for the customers money - hardly surprising that the profile in these markets has changed.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        Re: Knew it!

        I think that VR might just manage to create a bit of an upswing in the next couple of years, depending on how well it's taken up and the availability of applications that don't just involve head-shots for example.

        To help things along AMD's latest 'consumer' graphics card is apparently going to be $199 and it hits the mark of VR readiness - that is a major shot in the arm for the VR industry.

        Although by the time it gets to blighty that will be £200, a bit like the NVIDIA 1080 is retailing around £550 in the UK and $600 in the US :(

        1. Code For Broke

          Re: Knew it!

          I might have a go at the shop with a console that does VR, but it's value in anything other than gaming is totally lost on me. I appreciated the earlier comment about Clippy-VR. Most people are paid to get shit done, not have an "immersive experience." Then, when they are done working, most people have real lives to contend with.

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon

            Re: Knew it!

            "when they are done working, most people have real lives to contend with."

            I can certainly appreciate this aspect of the VR challenge.

            When I were a lad, I dreamt of having an immersive VR spaceship exploration experience.

            Right now I could go out and build a kick-ass rig and play ED - I could even splash out for a real doozy chair to spend days in (built in commode etc.) - but that doesn't get the roof fixed or the patio cover built :(

            So I haven't even upgraded my rig yet. However, with these cheaper VR ready cards and (once the second Gen headsets are out) cheaper headsets I might just take a punt on it for those few hours a week I might get to have a go. There might be a lot of people in that position - where large $£$£ expenditure vs time to use it isn't adding up - so cheaper kit that offers up a useable experience is bound to be a game changer.

            Just my 2p though, ymmv. After all, everyone said tablets were a fad (including me) and since I got one about 3 months ago it's always nearby. Most useful aspect is not having to get out of my chair to look something up when required during a conversation with my wife - not exactly killer-app territory but it's very useful/convenient.

            1. x 7

              Re: Knew it!

              "Right now I could go out and build a kick-ass rig and play ED"

              "ED"? Whats that? Erectile Dysfunction? Comes from too much willy waving while playing shoot-em-up games

              1. Sir Runcible Spoon
                Happy

                Re: Knew it!

                "Whats that? Erectile Dysfunction?"

                Lol, that sounds weird enough to be true :P

                No, it's Elite:Dangerous. A space-sim.

            2. Updraft102

              Re: Knew it!

              My tablet has fallen into disuse lately. I'll still use it as a GPS unit if I have to go somewhere I'm not familiar with, but in general, I've found the tablet to be too much of a PITA compared to my PC.

          2. Brangdon

            Re: Knew it!

            In addition to gaming, VR should have applications in architecture (visualising new buildings etc), tourism, estate agency, sports and arts spectatorship, and porn. All of this will take a while to come on-stream; we'll probably see it play out over the next 10 years or more.

            1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

              Re: VR

              just listen to yourselves!

              The 90s called , they want their VR blurb & hype back.

              1. Sir Runcible Spoon
                Facepalm

                Re: VR

                "The 90s called , they want their VR blurb & hype back."

                The 1900's called, they want their attitude back.

                The internet wasn't mainstream in the 90's when VR last reared it's head and I believe the display technology (both headsets and GPU's) have come a long way since then.

                1. W. Anderson

                  Re: VR

                  The description of need for VR on this and other forums as expressed by many windows 10 supporters as erectile dysfunction compensation is apropos.

                  It certainly could be used in many other cases of Windows losing it's virility.

          3. Cynic_999 Silver badge

            Re: Knew it!

            "

            but it's value in anything other than gaming is totally lost on me

            "

            VR has great potential in all sorts of design (CAD) applications. Designing a complex mechanical part where not only do all the bits have to fit together, but must also be able to be assembled and disassembled would be far easier if you could manipulate everything in virtual space.

            Not to mention something as mundane as re-designing your living room layout without actually having to hump heavy furniture from place to place until SWMBO is happy, only to discover that it is then impossible to reach your curtains when you want to close them.

          4. energystar
            Windows

            Re: Knew it!

            "Most people are paid to get shit done,.."

            Productive stuff has not stopped being coded. They now want to exploit all of the ecosystem just for themselves, [diving into a vertical attack,] never surrendering it to Prospective Customers, going for the Users themselves. Need it? Lend the service, from Us.

            Layers of the economy are suppressed by the 'cloud' approach. Layers of expertise, mastership, reliability, security, personalized service, customer satisfaction...

            Ambition stagnating the economy, as always.

            1. energystar
              Linux

              Re: Knew it! - "Most people are paid to get shit done,.."

              Corollary: As 'Sweet Dreams' of the Big Software Houses stand now; You, the little people -the Most- are left with few strategies:

              -Build your own tools enabling you 'to get shit done'.

              -Work for Them, or

              -Surrender your pay, to Them.

              Our teachers failed at Us. We need our Childs to be Builders, again.

              1. energystar
                IT Angle

                Re: Knew it! - "Most people are paid to get shit done,.."

                Stragetegy: "-Build your own tools enabling you 'to get shit done'."

                Why EMBEDDED is so HEALTHY now?

                Really, IT Industry [Investors, Strategists] avoiding to stare at the mirror.

        2. Michael Hoffmann
          Thumb Up

          Re: Knew it!

          Thing is, you may be absolutely right.

          Using the missus - non-gamer, doesn't use PCs beyond web-browing, social media, Office and some minor photo-editing - as coal-miner's canary (figuratively speaking, sheesh, you guys!), VR has been a topic of fascination for her.

          Even since she read and enjoyed Ready Player One. Now she wants to get on the OASIS!

          I had to gently talk her down and explain to her that with the utter incompetence of Australia in getting the necessary network infrastructure in our lifetime, a PC upgrade and some fancy headset wouldn't do her any good.

          Still, in some countries with less corrupt and bungling politicians and unions, this may turn out to be the proverbial Killer App.

          When the movie comes out is may give this whole complex a boost.

          1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: the proverbial Killer App.

            This VR thing will soon blow over , just like it did in the early 90s.

            1. energystar
              Pint

              Re: the proverbial Killer App.

              Don't dismiss so fast. Porno Industry is already rendering floor slippery of plenty salivating.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          VR outside gaming

          Some of the guys here are looking into VR for examining large multi-dimensional datasets when simple 2-D displays don't give the full story.

        4. ADRM

          Re: Knew it!

          Prices in the UK include VAT. Prices in the USA do not include sales tax (rate depending on State), county tax, green recycling fee, left arm and leg etc so in reality prices are pretty much the same and considering the warranty is on the retailer in the UK and after 30 days in the USA you have to deal with the manufacturer (wherever they may be) the UK deal is IMHO actually better than it seems.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Knew it!

          "Although by the time it gets to blighty that will be £200, a bit like the NVIDIA 1080 is retailing around £550 in the UK and $600 in the US :("

          £550 includes vat. Take that off and the price is £458. $600 will be subject to sales tax which varies depending which state it is purchased in. $600 in pounds currently is £421.

          So those prices are not as far apart as you might think.

  2. Douchus McBagg

    4 out of 7 teapots would agree

    not being funny, but I'd have thought that in the consumer space, being able to bring the latest software to potentially aging hardware would have been a good thing?

    so this market shrinking headline could be just a small view of the overall PC world environment?

    or would we rather hear a re-run of the vista woes of "you need to buy a new pc".

    at least if you did buy a new machine for vista it'd probably be at least a core2 equiv. device that it still supported in windows10.

    sorry Microsoft, you're damned if you do support older kit, and dammed if you demand the latest..

    meanwhile in the enterprise space, we have a 3 year life cycle, so my corporate gen3 i7 laptop and hexcore xeon "desktop" are going end of life, and are unfortunately due a visit to the shredder, and will be replaced. Plus I've just sent off the first batch of perfectly fine, just out of currency, 30" screens to be destroyed. *sad sigh*

    So Dell and HP et.al and their corporate resellers that don't really care about the consumer space. its the enterprise that keeps the money flowing. crack that, and you're made. Something Lenovo seem to be struggling with and to their cost.

    like the business class seats on a plane pay for the aircraft, fuel etc. with a bit of creamy profit on top, and the cheap seats are just pure profit... meanwhile the lower tier vendors scrap it out for the crumbs off the economy floor.

    As for Microsoft, well, we're staying windows7 and office2010, so no more bones to the big BillyG till we start getting vendor qualified applications to roll out that demand anything else.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 4 out of 7 teapots would agree

      What have you got against CAPS? TL:DR

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 4 out of 7 teapots would agree

        What have you got against CAPS? TL:DR

        He's using a non-Microsoft keyboard (that and their mouse was about the only good bit of hardware they ever produced).

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: 4 out of 7 teapots would agree

        "What have you got against CAPS?"

        His employers can't afford them. They're spending too much money replacing functional kit because 3 years. Maybe he should take up CV polishing so as to be ahead of the game.

        1. VinceH
          Coat

          Re: 4 out of 7 teapots would agree

          Upper case is cheaper than lower case. You can tell because it comes earlier in the ASCII table.

          1. Dwarf Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: 4 out of 7 teapots would agree

            Think of all the savings. I count one bit not set per character.

  3. Bob Vistakin
    Happy

    "... stable volume in 2018"

    When Android Desktop will be in full flow.

    1. RyokuMas Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: "... stable volume in 2018"

      You mean the next proprietary operating system from the next would-be monopoly?

      Pot, kettle...

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. localzuk

    I wouldn't blame Windows 10

    I'd blame the increase life expectancy of modern computers.

    Gone are the days of 3-5 yearly refreshes being a necessity. A first generation core i5 machine with an SSD is still perfectly fine for business use today, so why bother replacing it?

    The market is just adjusting to this really, which is why it'll stabilise.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wouldn't blame Windows 10

      Oh don't worry, I'm sure that the OS writers will find new an imaginative ways to soak up CPU cycles and persuade us all that they're all essential to have.

      On the other hand, it's been a while since they've managed to do that. I've still not thrown away my previous PC because it's still perfectly good enough for all purposes. Tried giving it away, no one wants it.

      i5 + SSD? Still very good indeed. Core 2 Duo + SSD is still perfectly good too. A late 2008 Mac Book with a 1TB SSD is a pretty good machine to use. The only thing one can possibly whinge about in normal day-to-day use is that the screen resolution isn't as good as is the norm these days. There's no need to upgrade to a newer one because i) no extra performance is needed, 2) new ones cannot realistically be repaired and are essentially a throw away disposable item that costs too much, 3) I can probably fix this one indefinitely until either batteries or CPU fans become unavailable.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: I wouldn't blame Windows 10

        While there are a lot of shitty things about Win10 (pushed "upgrade", data slurping) it is not the resource hog Vista was at the time. I guess MS' recent focus on mobile and cloud has made them realise OS bloat is bad.

        One wonders how long they will keep things that way though?

      2. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

        @AC Re: I wouldn't blame Windows 10

        Gotta disagree with you on one point:

        i5 + SSD? Still very good indeed. Core 2 Duo + SSD is still perfectly good too. A late 2008 Mac Book with a 1TB SSD is a pretty good machine to use. The only thing one can possibly whinge about in normal day-to-day use is that the screen resolution isn't as good as is the norm these days.

        My company laptops are Core 2 Duo and have an SSD and are as you say very good indeed. They would have been replaced at least twice by now but I keep them because the screens are better than the norm these days. 16:9 sucks donkey balls even at the very high resolutions available now. The only non 16:9 options are a mac or a surface. The eye watering price of these is not what puts me off, it's the niche/limited I/O and inability to repair or upgrade.

      3. Code For Broke

        Re: I wouldn't blame Windows 10

        Whaaaat? You're able to find after-market batteries (for anything) that aren't total shite? Do tell!

        1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

          @ Code for Broke Re: batteries

          Buy OEM not compatible - this is hard to do as vendors on tat bazaars lie. My history:

          - Compatible for a previous laptop lasted a year, replaced laptop instead of trying another.

          - Fake for HTC phone lasted about 3 months.

          - Genuine for same HTC phone out lasted the phone.

          - Genuine for current Acer laptop has lasted longer than the original.

          - Genuine for Samsung phone working fine, too soon to declare good as yet

    2. Medixstiff

      Re: I wouldn't blame Windows 10

      "Gone are the days of 3-5 yearly refreshes being a necessity. A first generation core i5 machine with an SSD is still perfectly fine for business use today, so why bother replacing it?"

      This is what cracks me up with the current smart phone situation. They all said the smartphone will take over from PC's but the simple fact was multi core CPU's, 8GB's of RAM being cheap and SSD's being cheap enough for people to replace their spinning rust, made a huge difference, so they continue to run everything fine years after the PC was bought.

      Now mobiles are 4 core's plus, 3GB's plus of RAM and either 16GB + external storage or up to 128GB's internally, so why bother replacing their iPhone 6 for a 6 Plus or their Galaxy S6 for an S7, when their existing phone runs perfectly fine and the camera's etc. all do a decent job?

      Mobile manufacturers didn't learn from the PC industry, they built these nice quick devices with plenty of storage that run everything just fine even a few years later, so why bother upgrading?.

      Where it took the PC industry decades to get to this point, it took them maybe 5 years and now Apple's sales have slumped and so have Samsung's. So they are now they are trying to figure out how to get people in a saturated market to keep spending half a fortnights pay packet on their new whiz bang phone that in reality, only the vain would think about upgrading to, if their current device works fine.

      1. James 51

        Re: I wouldn't blame Windows 10

        Unlike desktops phone manufacturers have a not so secret weapon to perpetuate enforce obsolescence for the foreseeable future, non-removable batteries.

        1. hplasm
          Happy

          Re: I wouldn't blame Windows 10

          "...non-removable batteries.."

          Anything is removable. Replaceable- that's another thing...

        2. cambsukguy

          Re: I wouldn't blame Windows 10

          My new phone has a removable battery and additional storage slot so it has 96GB now.

          It doesn't seem as durable as my previous phone but that is partly the wall to wall glass screen.

          There does still seem to be choice if you are not tied to a single manufacturer loyalty-wise.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I wouldn't blame Windows 10

        These mega Corps are creating their own demise in another way, too. They're outsourcing jobs from from developed economies which drives down wages and creating jobs in developing economies but at the lowest possible wages. So, the problem is that fewer people in the developed economies can afford a new, shiny, powerful computer but can just afford to replace a minimally effective device as it fails with a similar device and in the developing economies many of these "new" jobs don't pay well enough to afford the infrastructure or devices.

        No long term thinking, at all. Only the current quarter matters and sooner than later that'll collapse. When that happens if these assholes get bailed out I think that's when the revolution will start in earnest. :)

        1. Fihart

          Re: I wouldn't blame Windows 10 @Anonymous Coward

          You have a good point historically -- Henry Ford (hardly a philanthropist otherwise) paid better wages so his many workers could afford to buy a Ford.

          However, Henry was the boss and the biggest show in town so he could play that way. Today's tech companies have to shrink costs constantly to keep up returns to investors and to fight off competitors.

          Ford's approach was coupled to a model run for the Model T that continued long after it was outdated simply because it remained in vast demand.

          In a mature market, costly development and retooling is essential so new products can create demand.

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: I wouldn't blame Windows 10 @Anonymous Coward

            You have a good point historically -- Henry Ford (hardly a philanthropist otherwise) paid better wages so his many workers could afford to buy a Ford.

            Realistically, most buyers of Ford were NOT Ford workers.

            What made Fords buyable were not higher wages at Ford, but mass production and thus LOWER wages per unit produced (aka "cheapening").

            This is also why you can buy an iPhone under USD 10'000 at all: cheapening.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: I wouldn't blame Windows 10

      WARNING! Conspiracy theory!

      Blame or deliberate?

      Perhaps MS with Win10 are deliberately killing off the PC market, it would create space for their Surface-as-a-Service offering...

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. John Sanders
      Holmes

      Re: I wouldn't blame Windows 10

      Makes one wonder how stupid some people in the PC industry is, as you say the real issue is that except for very few operations that normal people hardly do (Heavy video editing, video compression, 3D rendering, big data, etc) computers have been fast enough for everybody in the last 5-6 years.

      I can imagine them looking out of the "window" hoping someone comes to rescue them.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wouldn't blame Windows 10

      This.

      I've even seen Core 2 Duo boxen with SSDs still merrily and quite adequately doing good work.

  6. Tom 7 Silver badge

    You could say

    MS is pissing in Intels chips!

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: You could say

      Intel could not produce a chip that competed with ARMs on power, performance and price at the same time. Without that, people could not move their legacy software from PC to phone. Both sides of Wintel have broken monopolies so neither can help the other to the extent that they used to.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: You could say

        MS seem unable to offer anything other than basic Windows on ARM. In a few years all MS will be legacy.

        1. John Sanders
          Linux

          Re: You could say

          That has a very easy explanation.

          Windows has no value on itself it is a very limited bloated OS, its only value comes from the large ecosystem of proprietary applications one can run on it.

          If you port Windows to ARM devices (or anything non x86) you have no applications other than MS, and sorry but running IIS or MSSQL on a Pi is not only complicated, it is also stupid.

          Enter Linux and free software, once you port Linux and the GNU userland to a given platform you can re-compile mostly every application in the Linux ecosystem in a relative short period of time, and have not only an OS but an entire catalogue of applications for free, both in human freedom and monetary freedom.

          Applications that are happy for the most part to run on little power and limited memory.

          Running Apache and MySQL on a Pi gives surprisingly good results, which is why many people is intrigued about the idea of ARM servers.

          If you want further proof MS's own ARM devices tanked almost immediately.

          I did not run windows because I loved it, I needed to run windows because my applications ran on Windows.

          These days Wine runs some of the Windows apps I need (fewer and fewer) and whatever doesn't run in Wine I run on a VM.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Benelux weirdos

      "MS is pissing in Intels chips!"

      That's still not as disgusting as putting mayonnaise on them.

  7. PhilipN

    All bollocks

    Compared with 10 or 5 - even 2 - years ago the sheer volume of "computing" I do every day has increased exponentially. It is just that it is now spread around a large number of devices crunching 1's and 0's.

    Obvious much?

  8. TRT Silver badge

    "because lots of people are availing themselves of free Windows 10 upgrades"

    Really? That's a brave new definition of availing.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Death of choice... Rise of we'll-tell-you-what's-good-for-you!

    "PC market sinking even faster than first thought".....

    Yet not one of these schmucks has the humility or foresight to open a survey to users... If they did I'd happily fill it out and say: PLEASE LET ME PAY MORE FOR....

    .....Quality gamer gear, but not VR that snoops.

    .....Linux installed @ factory but no crapware!

    .....No bloatware, No trial-ware, No spyware on any OS in fact.

    .....M$-Office set up as 2000 / 2003, i.e.. No ribbon!

    .....Windows-10 if there was no-slurping & no-forced-updates.

    .....Windows-10 without UWP shoved in my face (side-loading is a joke).

    .....Windows-10 that looks & behaves at the UI-level like XP / Win7...

    (Don't want to have to learn a new UI to find where settings are obfuscated this time)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    While we're on the topic I'd pay more for a basic 'offline' TV and a smartphone that doesn't slurp on me too. If you ever listened, you'd know this, and maybe just maybe sales wouldn't suck so much! But you're like a shallow music / film celeb, only hearing what your management or entourage want you to hear.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    This started two decades ago. Marketing took over and everything became about spin, not facts. Stuff like: 'Its not the product that's god its the industry, and like God, you'll take what you're given and be grateful'. Well I spend far less on tech now, and with more $ for world travel and other pursuits, have to say... I'm really grateful!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Death of choice... Rise of we'll-tell-you-what's-good-for-you!

      The white reeducation van is on the way. Please assume the marketing submission position and await further developments.

  10. sanf

    How about virtualization? Where I work, no more workstations are bought anymore. What you get is a windows laptop, two screens and a RHEL6 instance you can connect to. If you want more processing power, you know the directions to the computer farm.

  11. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    Desktop Android is the future

    I kind of wish it wasn't, as I've been a Windows developer for 20 years. But I have a feeling that the writing is on the wall. Sooner or later, it's going to be Android on the desktop, Windows or Linux on the (mainframe - ahem, sorry - cloud) server and that's the state of the world. There will still be a few % of desktop Windows, Linux and OS X ( or macOS or fruitbat or whatever name they finally decide to change it to ) but I think it's inevitable...

    1. Updraft102

      Re: Desktop Android is the future

      I... can't imagine anything worse. Well, sure I can, but that idea is still pretty frightening.

      I don't even find Android to be fit for purpose on the platform for which it was designed, let alone on PCs.

      One of the things that makes Windows 10 really poor IMO is that it isn't designed exclusively for the desktop. It tries to be a jack of all trades, and ends up at being a master of none. It's too mobile-oriented for the desktop, and too desktop-oriented for mobiles.

      Android, though, is purpose-built as a mobile OS, as it should be. It would be considerably worse on desktops than 10 is now, and it's such a poor match that I could not imagine why Google would want to put so much effort into trying to cram a square peg into a round hole. If they did, it would essentially be another Linux distro, only one with yet another desktop environment and the ability to run apps designed for a very different kind of device.

      1. Zippy's Sausage Factory
        Windows

        Re: Desktop Android is the future

        Yeah, I can't imagine much worse either. But sadly I think that is what is going to happen.

        And hey, my least popular Reg comment ever. Three thumbs down - a new record :)

        1. energystar
          Trollface

          "...my least popular Reg comment ever..."

          Newbies... I have proudly achieved on the half hundred at just days of registering.

      2. Code For Broke

        Re: Desktop Android is the future

        Ptzzap. I so disagree with you, Updraft102. At this point, anything that lets me open a remote session to a VM is fit for purpose. Android meets my criteria just fine. If I need a Windows machine, I've got one on my 'droid.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Desktop Android is the future

        Want to elaborate?? I find android very fit for purpose on mobile and tablets, far better than its counterparts in iOS and windows phoney.

        Having seen what Google is doing in N with multi windowing, I can see android working well on desktop with both touch and keyboard mouse control scheme.

        And best part, all open source, no proprietary nonsense. Googles closed part is entirely optional on top of open source part of android, just like Microsoft part is (Microsoft already have an android launcher shell that is tied to cortana). https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.launcher

        1. Updraft102

          Re: Desktop Android is the future

          It's been a couple of months, but I just now saw this question, so...

          Why is Android unfit for purpose?

          Simple. It has an absurdly broken update system. It relies on third parties to distribute updates that they have a financial interest in suppressing. As long as this is the case, it's not good enough.

  12. Code For Broke

    If MSFT had done nothing, I mean all we had today was a patched Win7, and none of the sturm und drang, does anyone think PC sales would have remained stable?

    I'll be the first to ridicule MSFT for their ham fisted attempts to innovate, but I don't really think anyone was going to keep the PC platform relevant.

    1. Wade Burchette Silver badge

      If Microsoft had released a Windows 7 clone except with the performance enhancements of Windows 8, people would have gladly paid good money for it. (A Windows 7 clone requires a working F8 button without any hack.) Talk around, Windows 10 has a worse reputation than Windows 8. And these are by people who have no idea what Windows 10 is really doing.

    2. John Sanders
      Flame

      Relevance of the PC platform

      >>>I'll be the first to ridicule MSFT for their ham fisted attempts to innovate, but I >>>don't really think anyone was going to keep the PC platform relevant.

      The relevance of the PC platform remains the same as it has been the last 30 years.

      It is the most relevant computing form in the planet, do this mental exercise, picture companies without PCs, see, not only the world's economy runs on PCs (servers included) but PCs make possible the rest of the computing platforms, can you imagine game development without a PC? Architecture without AutoCAD? Photography without PS, the internet without PCs? have you tried to write a mobile application without a PC?

      Now what people want to say is that market sales of PCs is are not that relevant any more as they have reached plateau while other platforms enjoy sales growth.

      News about the death of PCs were typed on the very same PC where they will be written within the next god knows how many years to come.

  13. BobChip

    Consume vs Produce

    Another reason for the decline of the desktop / PC market, or perhaps rather, the rapid growth of small and mobile, is that "computers" are increasingly being used to consume stuff, rather than to produce it. If all I need to do is to look at / listen to / comment on / download stuff, then a tablet or even a mobile phone with a browser will do the job perfectly well.

    As a designer using CAD, I spend my days PRODUCING new stuff. I absolutely MUST have a large screen and a mouse - touchscreen really does not have the precision required for CAD. Traditionally, this is a desktop, and that is what I currently use.

    That said, it would not surprise me in the slightest to find that, in a few years, I am using a phone / tablet attached to my large screen and mouse. Mobile devices will almost certainly have sufficient computing power and memory, and will for sure take up much less space on my desk.

    More importantly, the operating system and the CAD software doing the job simply do not matter, provided that I can get the results I need and my customers want. I left M$ behind years ago for Linux, and if I have to use Android or Free BSD or something else entirely in the future, so what?

    It is not Microsoft or Win 10 that are the problem per se. It is that, because they have no foothold in the future (mobile), they are actually irrelevant. Hard to see how to recover from that....

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. energystar
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Consume vs Produce

        "...laborer 2.0"? Please explain, you Coward.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. energystar
      Headmaster

      Re: Consume vs Produce

      "That said, it would not surprise me in the slightest to find that, in a few years, I am using a phone / tablet attached to my large screen and mouse. Mobile devices will almost certainly have sufficient computing power and memory, and will for sure take up much less space on my desk."

      And you [could easily] be out marketed by those Designers still attaching paraphernalia to something at their Desks...

      Future is such a huge load, to be at so few hands. Big Actors should know by now.

  14. Chika
    FAIL

    Talk around, Windows 10 has a worse reputation than Windows 8. And these are by people who have no idea what Windows 10 is really doing.

    But then this is what is liable to do the most damage; Microsoft's reputation will suffer because of the public perception of the system, not necessarily the reality. The fact, for example, that Microsoft were making noises about crippling support for W7 in some upcoming chipsets. People generally couldn't give a dingo's kidney about the chipset but the idea of crippling anything will certainly frighten the crap out of them.

    W10 is certainly not getting the best reputation when it comes to ordinary users. The real problem is that it follows up the poor GUI design and flaws of W8 and still insists on pushing a number of features that users weren't keen on (I wonder if the "problem" would have been as bad if W10 was released after W7 rather than W8.x). That and the insistence on pushing services into the cloud which isn't necessarily what people want. I'll leave all the slurp business as you've heard it a million times already.

    What Microsoft (and a few others too) need to remember is that "PC" stands for Personal Computer. Not a television, not a web interface, not even gaming system, but an amalgamation of all of these things and a lot more. Users of PCs want to decide what they want to use them for, not have the use dictated to them by a faceless Merkan corporate, and if that mean holding on to older system a bit longer to avoid having this happen, then they will do it.

    That's before we even get to the situation where people are looking to get the best value, so will continue to use older hardware for as long as that hardware is capable of doing what the user wants it to do. However, in this age where a simple profit isn't good enough, you can see why a story like this crops up.

  15. earl grey
    Joke

    I want to see Clippy

    Swimming in vat next to the Terminator...

    That is all.

    1. energystar
      Trollface

      Re: I want to see Clippy

      </PornoAlert>

  16. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    False premise

    Windows 10 isn't helping matters either, because lots of people are availing themselves of free Windows 10 upgrades rather than buying a new PC

    This suggests that sales should pick up once Microsoft ends its magical upgrade offer. If so, why are sales projected to decline even more?

    Consumers have PCs that are good enough and do more and more stuff on their phones. Businesses are happy with Windows 7 and are busy moving towards "thin" clients and BYOD. Microsoft has also realised that it might make more money from Office 365 and Azure than from supporting the PC renewal cycle, though it has also done a deal with Intel over the support for newer chips.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. energystar
    Childcatcher

    And no. Microsoft not guilty.

    2 years now [or more] everybody knew MS was displacing most efforts to South frontier on Desktop. OEMs' Strategies could have been adjusted South also.

    They decided not. OEMs' Strategies there are, for sure. And loses few.

    1. John Sanders
      Mushroom

      Re: And no. Microsoft not guilty.

      OEMs have for years accepted that MS owned the PC space and bended over to whatever MS demanded, that if they weren't outright in bed with the "MS industry shenanigans" while feeling special about it.

      Now they reap what they sow.

      I'm waiting for the day when the whole world wakes up and realises that MS has only MS's interest in sight, partnering with them is a death sentence sooner or later because if they can use your corpse to further their objectives they'll murder you for it.

      You being a paying customer or a partner that brings lots of money makes no difference.

  18. John 104

    "It looks like Windows 10 migration mitigation has been the priority in enterprise infrastructure budgets this year,"

    There. Fixed that for you.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My prediction at the beginning of the year was another 10% drop

    Today I predict they will revise their estimates downward until they match mine. I'm not getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by companies like Intel, Microsoft, Dell etc. to tell them what they want to hear, so I don't have to keep predicting a PC sales turnaround is right around the corner like the analysts do.

    However, if someone wants to pay me hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to read my predictions, I'll predict whatever the heck they want to hear!

  20. rtb61

    An Untimely Conjunction

    The problem is M$ was fully aware of the PC market shrinkage that was going to occur with the majority of typical content consumers stop buying them and simply make use of smart phones, smart TVs and a tablet and the only additional PC just a cheap notebook for educational requirements only.

    So the Windows 10 impact is M$ reaction to that and screw everyone else because they knew forcing it at this time would hurt new sales because people are avoiding being forced to purchase Windows 10 because that is what it seems like when you buy a new PC being forced to buy what everyone else gets for free and you still get your privacy invaded.

    So very bad for sales when added to a reduced market, I certainly have put off an upgrade for exactly that reason, why bother hassling with Windows 10 in it's current state, so put if off for an indefinite amount of time.

    1. John Sanders
      Holmes

      Re: An Untimely Conjunction

      No,

      MS is trying to get as much people on board windows 10 as they can because they want to turn the PC into a closed platform.

      (Whispering voice) Windows application store, stoooore, stoooore.... secure boot, boooot, booot.... Telemetry....Teleeeeeeemetry... Teleeeeeemetry....

      1. Chika
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: An Untimely Conjunction

        (Whispering voice) Windows application store, stoooore, stoooore.... secure boot, boooot, booot.... Telemetry....Teleeeeeeemetry... Teleeeeeemetry....

        The greater good... the greater good... the greater good...

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

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