back to article IDC gets even more pessimistic about PC sales

The PC and tablet markets are in such a bad slump that analyst firm IDC has lowered its 2023 shipment forecast by 26 million. IDC now predicts 403.1 million units will be shipped this year instead of the 429.5 million it forecast at the end of 2022. Tablets are expected to make up 142.3 million of these shipments and …

  1. Piro Silver badge

    Windows 11 will drive sales

    Of Macs, maybe.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 11 will drive sales

      I needed a new powerful laptop to replace my ten year old Macbook Pro. I work happily with Windows 10 machines and have a Windows 10 gaming machine which dual boots with Linux Mint so I have no real preference for one OS over another. I use whatever there is. I was open to buying a Windows machine - the cost was similar to a new Macbook Pro, but Windows 11 really put me off. The constant nagging and forcing to use Edge and Bing, the inclusion of Teams, the general appearance, unnecessary clicks to get things done, and the overall infantisation was a deal breaker for me so I ended up with a new Macbook Pro.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Apple will get left behind

    It seems to me that there is nothing new in that statement. When was the last time that IDC gave a thumbs up to Apple (or this site for that matter)?

    Apple has set the bar pretty high with their M series devices. Low power consumption means that the mobile warrior can go all day and not have to find a place to plug in. No fan noise also helps.

    IMHO, if IDC is still hoping that WInTel will be ruling the roost in 2025 then they might have a bit of a shock.

    Yes, Mac's are more expensive than PC's but there are a good number of studies out there that show that their TCO over a 3-5 year period is lower.

    Perhaps this is IDC's last throw of the dice before sliding into obscurity?

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: re: Apple will get left behind

      Yes, Mac's are more expensive than PC's

      Is it though? Sure you may have to pay more money upfront, but then you need to take into account how much time it will save you in the long run, how many more tasks you'll be able to complete with ease, how it will improve your mental health (you can't believe how frustrating the fan noise can be and how it affects your work) and many more benefits.

      Also the lower end Macs are not that more expensive, some models actually are cheaper and more performant than their PC counterparts.

      1. gerryg

        Tedious, I know but...

        ...if Apple on a new PC why not Linux on your current hardware?

        There's a learning curve for both and I don't think anyone that has actually used any of the Linux DEs would claim they are awkward.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re: Apple will get left behind

        " many more tasks you'll be able to complete with ease..."

        Is Tasks-Per-Second (T.P.S.) a thing? If T.P.S. was a factor, everyone would be running Linux+KDE, Linux+Xfce, Linux + ?... I think it's the opposite honestly, which is how fast it can run only a handful of tasks and for how long, with priority on speed of any 1 of the few tasks.

        " it will improve your mental health..."


        1. ludicrous_buffoon

          Did you get the memo?

          We don't know because no one has reported the data. Hopefully some bright upstart will gather these TPS reports and actually use the right colour for the cover sheet this time.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re: Apple will get left behind

        but there's also this 'repairability' factor working against macs. That said...pc laptops are crap at repairability too. And getting crappier, no matter what the 'green' bullshitters try to spin.

  3. elsergiovolador Silver badge


    The PC market has stagnated thanks to lack of innovation.

    Everyone I know (including myself) bought M1 / M2 Macs rather than upgrading their PCs. This hardware is next level and nothing from AMD or Intel can come close.

    They think that when they shutdown Windows 10 that will somehow force people to buy a "new" PC? I think they'll rather buy a Mac.

    1. gerryg

      Re: Innovation

      I'm curious to know what "next level" actually means in practice.

      I have an ASUS laptop which must be getting on for 10 years old, it is fanless with an Intel something or other running at 900Mhz, 8GB RAM, It does have seriously good I/O and was probably one of the first to use an SSD. It's in a nice slim line aluminium case, so slim, the Ethernet port is via a USB plug-in. Its screen is something like 5200xforgotten.

      When I got it I hoofed out the 128GB SSD complete with Windows something and put in a 256GB SSD then shoved openSUSE on it. The high resolution screen was a PITA but over time KDE has got there.

      No, I don't do video processing nor finite element analysis with it, but for general use it is still snappy. Battery life remains at around 7 hours (though I use it on mains when possible)

      It looks the DBs and when the screen eventually dies unless I can find a cheap pin compatible lower resolution screen (IMHO no-one needs 5200xforgotten on a 13" laptop) the laptop will die as replacement high resolution screens remain bonkers expensive.

      1. hedgie

        Re: Innovation

        I quite like OpenSUSE and have been using it exclusively on laptops since 2008. At least for my needs, it's a lot less demanding in terms of OS overhead than *buntu and neither KDE nor Enlightenment support seem like an afterthought at best; they're very well-supported. I find that my needs do require replacement every 8 years but the old ones get given to someone else who just uses it for getting online and running LO, and the only reason I'm on my third laptop ever rather than still on the second is because it was free.

        Sad to say, I'm already starting to sock money away to replace the desktop Mac, and not just because I put greater demands on my desktop machines, but between Apple's and other software vendors' planned obsolescence, I've maybe got another three years before at very minimum, there'll be enough things that I can't run or can't replace with an alternative that buying another computer will be less of a headache. And that's pretty appalling since the hardware tends to last about as long as the laptops I've bought, but the only alternative that's viable for me is Windows which is even worse.

  4. Czrly

    I, for one...

    I, for one, will be forced to upgrade my PC hardware when Windows 10 ceases to serve my needs because, sadly, it is officially incompatible with Windows 11. I could hack my way around the official requirements – that's easily done – but I don't wish to exert effort defying Microsoft's wishes and so I suppose that I will have to play a role in this up-swing in PC hardware sales, despite my anti-consumerist stance.

    Thankfully, once I've replaced my old hardware with stuff that operates properly under Linux – goodbye, nVidia; goodbye, Creative SoundBlaster on-board audio – this coming upgrade-refresh might just be the one to end the cycle.

    Never again, Windows.

    Now: does anyone have a great hardware review site with a STRONG Linux focus? I.e. one that can be trusted to absolutely lambast any kit that has even minor niggles under Linux – and basically black-list makers who's drivers are rubbish?

    1. cookieMonster Silver badge

      Re: I, for one...

      Not for Linux, but the FreeBSD site has a comprehensive hardware compatibility database.

      I’m a systemd refugee myself and am currently evaluating OpenBSD, FreeBSD and Slackware


      1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

        Re: I, for one...

        Don't bother with Slackware, use Salix instead. It has dependency management built in. You can add it to Slackware but it's annoying.

        The continued use of LILO in Salix makes some things difficult (such as running Xen) due to the lack of an initrd, but it can be worked around.

        OpenBSD is fantastic for servers. For productivity you will find things somewhat more limited.

        FreeBSD is OK, but does things its own way. It does have binary drivers from NVidia etc which helps, and NVidia DRM support is coming making Wayland possible with their more recent cards.

        The FreeBSD documentation is better than the more obscure Linux distributions, but not as good as either OpenBSD or a more comprehensively documented Linux distribution. The hardware compatibility database is not up to date - GPU compatibility is ahead of what is documented, and you need to compare the current FreeBSD DRM level to the corresponding level in Linux to find out what should be supported. ZFS works extremely well - I wouldn't even bother using UFS now.

        1. cookieMonster Silver badge

          Re: I, for one...

          Thx for the info, much appreciated

    2. gerryg

      Re: I, for one...

    3. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: I, for one...

      Dont throw out your win10 hardware.

      It will run linux mint ... hell if my old box of a i7 , 8 gig of RAM and an ancient nvidia GFX can run mint well (certainly better than win10 can), then anything more recent will fly.

      And never had a driver problem on it... not even with the 20 odd year old HP all in 1 prunter... printer d/l HP driver for linux... print test sheet... and its done.

      Only things now that need bleedin edge hardware is games.... even then.... only a few

      1. Czrly

        Re: I, for one...

        It *will* run Linux Mint. I know. I've tried. Also Ubuntu, Arch and Gentoo.

        The experience is sub-optimal, however. Sound won't work at all – after days and days of hacking in which I managed to get some white noise (and software toggles to control that white noise, I suppose), I ended up passing sound down HDMi and out the headphone jack from my monitor to my real speakers and that was as good as I could get and certainly unsatisfactory.

        The GPU will work for compute tasks and can be bludgeoned into appearing to achieve something akin to desktop compositing but never both compute and presentation at the same time and the performance is abysmal – resizing a window or scrolling a browser page is insufferably poor. Watching a full-screen, in-browser video is a joke. Full-screen 3D stuff appears fine and renders at very high frame rates but the horizontal tearing apparently can't be solved – any kind of v-sync functionality just doesn't work – presumably, this is because whatever is controling the GPU isn't playing nicely with the window manager and compositing engine.

        I've tried the nVidia official, closed-source drivers and open-source ones and nothing makes it better. I've tried it under Gnome, XFCE, KDE, etc. I've even tried Wayland but, yeah, Wayland + nVidia are/were a match made in hell.

        The sound device *appears* as some kind of HD-Audio-esque thing but just defys typical behaviour for such hardware and only produces noise signals out of any audio jacks, whatever the configuration.

        There's also the on-board WiFi – I gave up on that, completely, but don't need it, either, so that isn't too much of an issue. (Not right now, anyway. I did need it, recently. It would be nice to know the hardware does work if I should happen to need it, again.)

        My "Windows 10" hardware is just a pile of incompatible rubbish – that's what. I gave up fighting with it, long ago, because I honestly can't be bothered to keep trying. After the days become weeks, once or a couple of times, round, one just gives up.

        Part of the problem is that everything is on-board and what's not on-board is the GPU and that's just too expensive to simply replace. To avoid having this issue, again, I'll be making sure that my next box has a motherboard that is 110% Linux-friendly (i.e. ALL the on-board stuff works flawlessly, without any need to fight with it) and the GPU is proven good under Linux before the return-window on the part runs out.

        Of course I won't just land-fill the old hardware. It will probably work fine as a headless server which never needs to emit sound, connect to WiFi or use the GPU in anything other than compute modes.

    4. Scotthva5

      Re: I, for one...

      >> goodbye, nVidia

      You might want to explore Intel's Arc 750/770 as the drivers are maturing week by week. The just released 6.2 kernel has Arc support baked in so no need for twiddling or running Ubuntu to make it work properly and the price/performance ratio beats anything nVidia or AMD is offering. Everything I've read is very promising and Arc might do very well indeed on Linux.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I, for one...

      Easy, just get anything that's one generation behind current (allows linux drivers to catch up typically 6 months) and NO Nvidia, absolutely NO Nvidia


      CPU : AMD or Intel (I have FX-8320, i5-8250U, i3-2310m, Pentium 4200 and Turion II Neo N40L

      GPU: AMD or Intel (I only have one system with card - AMD R9 270, others are all Integrated graphics)

      Network: Intel/RTL8111/8168/8411

      WiFi: Integrated Intel/AMD

      Sound: Mixture of Integrated/USB (USB Microphone Kit)

      All working on Fedora 36 (Xorg not using Wayland), not a single issue even bluetooth headsets work.

  5. iced.lemonade

    remote desktop

    if apple can do a remote desktop thing to other macs (for example, an m1 air remoting a mac studio in office) that is as performant as windows remote desktop (rdp) then many people will switch to macs, i think. the speed, the latency and the power consumption of m-series is great, but lack of a performant remote desktop solution is... a deal breaker (for me at least), and vnc or even anydesk is no match for rdp.

    perhaps apple will speed up thing by putting some remoting-related code into kernel to truly speed things up?

    i think the pc's still have the edge of supporting large and upgradable memory, flexible graphics options and upgradable storage, but for users that don't need these 3 m-series may already satisfy all their needs (like home users who aren't gamers, office workers, etc.).

    and i hate it when windows updates breaks my printing functions almost every time... for most of the time removing/re-installing drivers (and sometimes several steps of additional configuration) will correct the problem, but why does me need to wipe the floor after ms throws some sh*t on it? i paid for the product and support their telemetries, after all...

  6. Gerlad Dreisewerd

    November 2025

    Is when I go Microsoft free. Things is the third time in a decade that good old Microslob has refused to upgrade my desktop ostensibly due to some sort of claimed hardware deficiency. Enough.

    I'm switching my Win 10 laptop to Linux Mint and figuring out how to run my Epson printer using Linux. By November 2025, I can wipe my desktop and install Linux.

    As for Microslob, I believe the correct acronym is FOAD.

    1. Random Commenter

      Re: November 2025

      Quite likely this will be my route too. I've been using MS since Dos and thought Win7 their best effort. Win 10 annoys me in many ways, but I'm not even slightly tempted by Win11.

      I love gaming however, so concerned that I'd lose out and kill half my library. I know Steam supports Linux, but not all my games are on Steam. Perhaps dual boot to start...

  7. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

    Already migrating to FreeBSD

    Microsoft can go whistle if they think I'm updating to an OS that requires a third party logon. I control my own PC, I'm not having access potentially cut off via a faulty cloud service.

    My (really good for 2013 with modern NVMe and recent graphics card) system is fully capable of doing everything I want, aside from high end VR - may be buying another system for that. In day to day use my fanless Wyse 5070 running FreeBSD does everything I need.

    I looked at what I actually used Windows for and it's now only used for scanning/printing from my Canon (can be done in Unix), games, and VR. Those are some of the harder items to move away from but even WMR support is starting to arrive under Linux.

    FreeBSD is somewhat behind Linux both with WINE and PCI passthrough using bhyve, but it's starting to get there. If I was using Linux I suspect life would be much easier, but I prefer the BSD way of doing things. Hopefully in the next year or so things will move from bleeding edge to stable.

  8. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Windows "upgrade" is now flupgrade

    Windows 10 made me take my office desktop back to Windows 7, Windows 11 made Windows 10 look better although all Microsoft upgrades since the appearance of Windows 8 have made Vista start to look better too (no, that thought is not a joke any more). I have to support our users so I have to have systems running everything (icon).

  9. Uncle Ron

    I, for two...

    When support for 10 goes away, so will I. Either Linux Mint or Zorin OS. There is nothing, truly nothing, in 11 that I need, and a LOT I don't need/want. I installed Zorin OS on my sandbox and it took, really, a few hours to get it to 90% of what I need. Of course, that pesky 10% will take some time, Now that purveyors of malware are selling 'kits' to get around 11's HW security, it's all over. To me, the only thing 11 offers is Microsoft's desire to instrument your PC to send everything about your life back to the mother ship. To out-Google Google. Not gonna happen.

  10. 3arn0wl Bronze badge

    No it souldn't!

    "Retirement of Windows 10 should eventually drive recovery in 2024 and 2025"

    I really hope not!

    I hope companies and individuals are not going to be conned into replacing perfectly serviceable hardware at the whim of a profiteering software company.

    It's way past time for due consideration to be given to more than adequate open source alternatives.

  11. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Hard times means good prices

    I just assembled a new Ubuntu+Cinnamon desktop based on the AMD 7950x and I like it.

    A pair of fast M.2 storage cards, a GPU, and 128GB DDR5 RAM makes code compilation, graphics editing, and video transcoding fly. Steam has WINE built-in so it also runs most Windows games that don't have DRM/cheat hacks. Windows 10 can be fired up in a VM for turning off stupid gamer LEDs or updating IoT firmware, but otherwise isn't touched.

  12. BGatez

    new hardware for Microsoft?

    If anyone imagines I'm going to landfill my perfectly good hardware fort the privilege of running Windows 11 you are in for a shock.

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