The international desktop market has suffered its biggest drop on the record with first-quarter shipments dropping to as low as 14% in nearly the same time as the last year. The personal computer market had pinned its hopes on the launch of Microsoft’s Windows 8 to bolster its sales but Microsoft’s new operating system is a major factor in this precipitous historical decline if you were to believe the experts. These are the current statistics from IDC which is responsible for tracking and keeping a record of the PC shipments since 1994.
In the first quarter of 2013, the shipments totaled 76.3 million, down 13.9% from the first quarter in 2012. Gartner, however, pegged the decline of the shipments at 11%. While considering the individual competitors, every OEM except Lenovo has experienced a slight decline in the respective shipments. HP’s desktop department has suffered a huge drop of 24% since last year.
As it turns out, the drop in desktop shipments has also caused a big drop in the semiconductor market production and manufacturing. All PC-oriented chipmakers including INTEL, AMD have taken major hits on their shipments. On the contrary, all the mobile chip suppliers including Samsung, Qualcomm and Broadcom have boosted off huge growths in their domains. Nvidia has managed to grow by 6% this year. A massive enterprise and a dominant HPC space acquirer, INTEL has declined by 2.7%. It hopes to reverse this decline this year when it releases the new mobile Atom chips for sale.
The market experts are of the opinion that Windows 8 also played a major role in this grave decrease. Given the poor sales of Microsoft’s products including the Windows 8 tablets such as Surface, it will be certainly fair to say that Windows 8 is a large factor in the decline of the personal computer market.
If one goes by IDC, many business setups and entrepreneurial businesses still prefer Windows 7 than Windows 8. Moreover, in the consumer space, an absence of a start button is disconcerting and the continual need to switch between desktop and metro modes is waving off potential buyers. Also, a lot of the features in Windows 8 are tacky and useless for the layman, so, it fails to appeal as a family’s choice.
But one cannot blame Microsoft and their operating systems only. There are other contributing factors as well. The economy on a worldwide level and especially in the developing countries is still weak. There is no denying the fact that desktop computers are being squeezed out due to Smartphones and the Tablets which are faster, take up lesser space and less clumsy. People are opting for new Smartphones and tablets, not laptops. Smartphones are the personal computers of the future. Microsoft may still have a shot to bolster pc sales by its Windows 8.1, Blue, which is claimed to make the desktops and laptops more appealing, but unless it is ready to accommodate the conventional start menus, it seems rather unlikely.