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Windows 8 doesn’t drive PC sales: worst quarter ever

Windows 8 was meant to be the operating system to rescue PC sales, but so far it hasn’t happened. The situation now is so bad that IDC released the most concerning data to date. PC’s have celebrated the arrival of Windows 8 by delivering the worst quarter, ever.

Compared to Q1 2012, PC shipments dropped by 13.9 percent. The year drop is the biggest since IDC started tracking PC shipments in 1994.

HP worldwide shipments dropped by more than 23 percent. Dell’s dropped by 10 percent. Lenovo didn’t see a decline from Q1 2012, they broke even.

There are a number of factors to blame the decline in sales. Windows 8 hasn’t been an operating system that has captured the attention of the hard core enthusiast user, Kitguru’s own polls show a staggering 80 percent of people don’t want to move from Windows 7. The global economy still isn’t the healthiest so less money is being spent on high end computers.

Bob O’Donell, IDC’s VP of Clients and Displays, spoke out about Windows 8. He said “At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market. […] Microsoft will have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if it wants to help reinvigorate the PC market.

To make matters worse, tablets and smartphone sales are very healthy which would indicate that more and more people feel they don’t need a high end computer for daily use, relying more on mobile devices for general browsing, email and even shopping online.
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We don’t believe PC’s are dead, that is a dramatic statement that many websites make when this kind of news hits the headlines. We know a huge portion of the Kitguru audience build their own computers and that won’t change. The news are concerning however because it shows that the mainstream audience aren’t upgrading their desktop system as often as they have in the past and are perhaps now moving to the sofa, to enjoy the online experience with a tablet.

We spoke with a retail insider yesterday to ask him about the sales situation after Windows 8 was released.

He said ‘When Windows 7 was released, many of our core mainstreet customers wanted to upgrade their PC, just to get the new operating system. It was immensely popular.

We recently held a demo day to showcase Windows 8 and many people were confused about how the interface worked. My strong belief is that people find Windows 8 confusing and the dramatic tablet based changes haven’t been for the better. There is no doubt people are moving to tablet computers in the last 12 months. I think Windows 8 has been partially responsible for the declining sales of desktop computers.’

Kitguru says: Not the best situation for the PC desktop market.

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