back to article PC shipments fall at fastest rate ever as businesses slam wallets shut

PC shipments are plunging by record levels as enterprises spend less on devices and sweat assets for longer in the face of a worldwide economic slowdown. Gartner says 68 million computers were sent into the channel in Q3, down 19.5 percent year-on-year in the steepest decline since the market watcher began crunching unit …

  1. JT_3K

    How is this unforeseen? As we head in to a seemingly global recession, coming out of a period of stratospheric demand for laptops due to COVID (and subsequent delayed demand from those that couldn't obtain laptops due to escalated demand with limited supply due to chip shortages rolling through 2021) manufacturers are *surprised* that the zero-actual-benefit Windows 11 release hasn't driven a never-ending-gravy-train of permanent growth in the market?

    Is it really only me?

    1. badflorist Silver badge

      Do you really think they're surprised? Nobody is surprised.

      I'd say 99.9% of people prefer a laptop or smaller computer regardless of O.S. I use KDE and dislike a desktop footprint.

      1. localzuk Silver badge

        @badflorist... did you know, laptops are, in fact, PCs?

        1. badflorist Silver badge

          Did I or do I? The world is bigger than your laptop.

          1. localzuk Silver badge

            The article is about a slowdown in the PC market. Not the laptop market. PC includes laptops and desktops... So, my point was pretty clear - your point was somewhat, err, pointless.

      2. GraXXoR

        That was what you came away with?

        As the whippersnappers seem to say these days: "weird flex."

      3. mhoneywell

        My desktop is A5 sized and my monitor is roughly 30 inch. What's not to like?

        I have a laptop too.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Exactly!

      This is just reversion to the pre pandemic mean - when PC sales had been slowly falling for about a decade already. They need to compare 2022 numbers to 2019 to get an accurate picture of where things stand, comparing them to 2021 is pointless.

      IIRC PC sales were about 280 million a year pre-pandemic so a quarter with 68 million units sounds right where they should expect to be.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      from the article: "Windows 11 would underpin a massive refresh cycle"

      then you mention:

      "As we head in to a seemingly global recession" etc.

      "Is it really only me?"

      Not just you. These kinds of economic factors are intuitively obvious to those who understand these things.

      Prior to layoffs and cutbacks, businesses stop buying new computers and related hardware, and try to make do with what they have. And if Windows 11 (like Vista did) has extra hardware requirements, no "up"grade to windows 11 either.

      reference THIS reg article too: https://www.theregister.com/2022/10/10/windows_11_adoption/?td=rt-3a

      I suppose Micros~1 was VERY short-sighted when they released 11 with the extra hardware requirements when they SHOULD have been able to predict BOTH the inflation AND the recession back in November of 2020.(it was released october last year). So in effect the Micros~1 marketeers did a LOUSY business forecast (So much for ESG-style thinking). And because of the lackluster nature of the "new shiny", the need to buy new hardware is greatly diminished.

      So right now companies want to stay alive without laying off. As things get worse, this may change. I do not know how bad things can get in EU and UK right now after Putin's pipeline was destroyed, but here in the USA the high fuel prices and even higher living expenses mean employees want BIG raises. and companies have to cut costs wherever, they can, and those pay raises are likely to be lukewarm to none at all.

      So yeah, no extra $ for equipment upgrades at the moment.

      For me this means wait for a bargain before I replace my server with something I build from scratch (like the others) because it is ~15 years old. Sometimes low demand brings low prices so those who have a budget can take advantage of it, NOT get the bleeding edge machine, and have something that would have cost me 5 times as much if I bought it 2 years ago.

      [assuming I survive the recession]

      [unrelated I do not like this new interface for comments. the edit font is STILL way too small and now the buttons look 2D FLATSO like Win-10-nic. AT LEAST ADD A SHADOW EFFECT - if you want a CSS example I can give you one]

  2. TonyJ Silver badge

    No!

    "...IDC had banked on suits still buying computers to offset the noticeable dip in retail sales, it forecast Windows 11 would underpin a massive refresh cycle later this year and next..."

    Why?

    Neither myself nor anyone else I've spoken to thought that.

    Major purchase of laptops during 2020 and into 2021, despite the supply chain issues. Most companies by now have done a refresh to Windows 10 which is good until 2025 (beyond with extended support).

    Why the hell would businesses refresh new hardware bought less than two years ago for an OS they won't be forced to upgrade to for another 3 years?

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: No!

      Windows 11 has produced a massive refresh cycle for us ... we're replacing all the batteries in the original Windows 7 and 10 laptops and have ordered new keyboards - everything is working great now that the batteries and keyboards have been refreshed!

      1. scasey

        Re: No!

        An unhelpful comment, but I've had a really long day. This article reminded me just how much I miss Windows 7. Imo the best OS Microsoft has produced.

        I haven't seen anything in any Windows release since 7 that has been an improvement.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gee, you mean shoving an OS "upgrade" that doesn't actually do anything anyone needs, but which declares most of your hardware "obsolete" down the public throats isn't a guaranteed way to print money any more? Who'd have thunk it - after only 35 years the industry has woken up to the scam that is Microsoft and the hardware vendors...

    1. Kurgan

      MS will cripple Win10

      So if we don't upgrade all of our PCs to win11, MS will surely cripple win10 sooner than later, so we will *have* to upgrade anyway.

      1. 3arn0wl Bronze badge

        Re: MS will cripple Win10

        Trying to strong-arm consumers could easily backfire, as people might be inclined to consider other options.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MS will cripple Win10

        They've announced the endoflife date as 2025, so it isn't too far off, but I expect a major rebellion from the population and a shift to Apple or someone else if Microsoft doesn't back down. I know a lot of ticked off people who are upset that the computer they've used for years for basic surfing and email and NO applications or gaming is going to have to be replaced for no good reason!

      3. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: MS will cripple Win10

        People stuck with XP when it went EOL. They stuck with 7 when it did so as well. They stuck with both when there were attacks being used against them. They'll stick with 10 too. Businesses don't update when Microsoft says it's the next best thing and everyone needs it right away.

        I also expect that nobody will bother removing Windows 10 machines until 2025 rolls along. Some places will make plans for the Windows 11 peculiarities as they start to get more devices running it (just as they obtain new ones really). By 2025, many of the older machines will have been replaced due to age or damage, so they'll have some of each. Only then will anyone start considering applying the 11 update to all those machines running 10 that support it.

        1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

          Re: MS will cripple Win10

          We have a few PC's running Window 10 and 11 but it's easy to see that Windows 7 PC's run faster and allow users to keep working without having to quit for an hour or two while the PC updates, and then fix any issues that appear when new features are added that nobody uses.

      4. Kobus Botes
        Mushroom

        Re: MS will cripple Win10

        @Kurgan

        I'm not sure about Win10 being crippled (but I expected it myself), but what MS seems to have done is to force, sorry, convince hardware manufacturers to change something that causes Win10 not to install (on laptops, at least).

        We were forced to replace my wife's laptop a couple of weeks ago, and the only fairly decent laptops only came with Windows 11.

        I asked the salesman whether he could downgrade it to Windows 10, but he said no can do. (I know him fairly well and they do do that sort of thing).

        He was quite annoyed, as they also used to move Windows10 instalations to new laptops on request.

        According to him you can install Windows 10 ona new laptop (which was what I intended to do if he could not do it), but on first reboot it stops and tell you that there is no hard drive installed. The only way to fix the problem is to do a low-level format and install Windows 11. He suspects the SATA drivers are looking for somerhing specific that is not there anymore.

  4. Pete B Silver badge

    Translation please

    "...budgets were being re-nosed.." WTF does this mean?

    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: Translation please

      ".."...budgets were being re-nosed.." WTF does this mean?..."

      IT departments look at the new offerings, sniff and walk away?

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Translation please

      The budgets were redirected up the noses of the sales execs?

    3. GraXXoR

      Re: Translation please

      "re-nose" is what you have to do every couple of years to all the Microsoft Marketing execs with a penchant for Marching Powder.

  5. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Sweating the assets

    I've had shockingly good luck sweating the assets in Ubuntu. My desktop has an Ivy Bridge GPU (like 10 year old chip.) Mesa drivers for all intel gpus were rewritten to use the modern innards in Mesa (Gallium) less than 2 years ago. It has run every (non dx12) game i've thrown at it, a shock compared to the linux intel drivers even 5 years ago.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The bright side is maybe anti-inflationary prices.

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