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PC Market: Don't Call It A Revival

Ultramobile hybrids and Windows XP upgrades have slowed the bleeding but the PC slump hasn't ended.

Ultra thin and light laptops such as Apple's MacBook Air are included in Gartner's desktop PC sales numbers, which are looking a tad brighter.
Ultra thin and light laptops such as Apple's MacBook Air are included in Gartner's desktop PC sales numbers, which are looking a tad brighter.

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Michael Endler
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
7/9/2014 | 8:16:49 PM
Re: Gartner's Predictions Have Been Way Off

It's true, they initially underestimated the PC slump by a large margin, and had to downward-revise their forecasts for several consecutive quarters. There are also smaller quibbles in the individual shipments numbers they ultimately settle on.

Ultimately, I don't think traditional PC sales will ever bounce back to anything like their former heights, but there will continue to be a need for conventional form factors, even if they get spruced up. Most computers used to look alike, but now, computers are more like cars-- they serve different purposes and are built differently, and you pick the one(s) you need. Some people need a scooter, and some people just need a smartphone or small tablet, other people need huge trucks, just like some people still need full-powered workstations.

Also, great avatar.
User Rank: Ninja
7/9/2014 | 7:17:11 PM
Re: Gartner's Predictions Have Been Way Off
I agree.  There have been many prediction of the death of the PC, but this hasn't happen. I do agree that people these days prefer to get tablets becuase current tablets have the same computing power as PCs.  Also, they are portable.
User Rank: Strategist
7/8/2014 | 7:07:42 PM
VuJa-De' (Haven't heard this one before) [sarcasm]
The death of the PC has been overstated more than once. Again let's walk down memory lane when the Laptop was being hailed as the "desktop replacement." Same story, just a different form-factor of a device.

Experience has shown that the fixed desktop is just to darn useful to kill off. But as devices come in to answer needs, an apples to apples comparision is what is really needed. Look at the use-cases. Tablets, Phablets, Phones and Laptops are all MOBILE devices... Last time I checked, desktops only go as far as the power cable will let them go. Because of this, a PC can have more raw horsepower and better displays because they are not subject to that annoying battery issue or size limitations. But a mobile device is the road warrior's best friend. Most people are not doing engineering CAD development for jets in the field, nor are they running heavy chaos math turbulence equations on market evolutions on a smartphone. The tools are finally specializing in ways the customers can choose the device based on need.

Now some will always go with the fad of the day mentality, but if history bears out, most will find they will need a suite of device tools each for a specific need. The desktop workstation role may be evolving, but it still has years of life in it.

Personally I believe the major slump in the desktop market is due to misteps by Microsoft and system vendors. Windows 8 is truly an "even numbered MS OS." Those of you who are older will get the reference. If the vendors and MS realize that the role of a workstation has evolved into a hybrid server-desktop that servers as data repository and the general purpose muscle being tasked to do things it was never designed to do, then they can accomodate the real demand in a marketable function. Till then, watch people start repurposing old machines with plenty of life in them as experimental Linux boxes (just to see if it's worth it to change over economically.) Should that be the case, the decline in new machine sales would be matched by an increase in raw RAM memory & hard drive sales. In short, "Why buy a new Windows 8.x when the Win 7 and Linux boxes are still doing the jobs reliably?"

Just some points to consider.
IW Pick
User Rank: Strategist
7/8/2014 | 1:29:08 PM
Gartner's Predictions Have Been Way Off
Over the past 3 years, I've been reading all the articles on the decline in the traditional PC market. It occurs to me that in the past 3 years, Gartner's forecasts have been wildly off the mark. So much so, that I find it humorous that news organizations still take them seriously. The raw numbers tell a much better story and we'll have to wait until 2015 to find out if the PC is off of life-support and now only on critical-care. 
User Rank: Apprentice
7/8/2014 | 12:49:21 PM
Another article telling us that PCs are on the way out? Is this still news?
Another article telling us that PCs are on the way out? Sorry, I have been seeing these articles for a number of years now. This just feels like someone is wishing this was all going faster or something... not sure what the fasination is on this topic. Maybe it just hasn't happened anywhere as fast as predicted by some people. I don't which it is... all I know is that this is becoming a tired subject in 2014. Reality: almost everyone I know has both a PC and a tablet (and smartphone). The PC has not been totally replaced by the cloud or talets or smartphones for every user - and won't for quite a while - especially in the enterprise. Why? Because the software that these company have to use to run their business requires it. No other reason. On a related note: the corporate IT team in most companies are not purposely holding back implementations of "the cloud", VDI, or mobile use. They are just the people that are held accountable for when any of those solutions don't work well and/or company data is exposed or lost. An example, when the company I worked for had a issue with a cloud provider, the first thing they did was turn to IT for help... who couldn't do anything to assist because nothing related to the solution was managed by IT (that's basically the point, right?) So it became a legal issue, etc... the business impact was real and painful for our customers. Cloud is getting more usable, but still presents big risks to companies. Bottomline - knowlege workers seem to need them all right now: PC, tablet, and smartphone. It is true now and into the next few years at least.

User Rank: Apprentice
7/8/2014 | 7:08:30 AM
Re: Window - Android Hybrid
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User Rank: Ninja
7/7/2014 | 11:21:37 PM
Re: Window - Android Hybrid
The desktop is beyond hope to be revived. But I do think that in the future we will see interesting mobile PC models. The advent of wearables will likely fuel this as well. But no matter what, I still think people will want to work on PCs.

I get the whole tablet and phone craziness, but I just don't find those devices particularly productive. Some people would rather have something to work on whenever, wherever. But for me the PC is still the way to go. 
User Rank: Ninja
7/7/2014 | 11:10:53 PM
Not Again!
Very reluctantly and unhappily, I dumped XP for 7 late last year. If 7 can do anything FOR ME that XP can't do, I've yet to see it. For the last few years, I've always had two XP machines; one for use, and one as a backup. Now, I have a Linux machine that serves as a backup, and it serves perfectly well. If I'm forced, once again, to dump a perfectly functional piece of hardware, this time for Windows 9, I'll start exploring the wonderful world of Google and that of Android. I bet I'll have LOTS of company.
User Rank: Strategist
7/7/2014 | 6:20:13 PM
The processing of personal computing has moved into the cloud
While some might lament the decline in PC sales, there's no question that the growth in all kinds of personal computing devices make personal computing (lower case) one of the hottest markets in the world. The pride consumers used to take in the processing power of their PCs has been replaced by the mobility and connectedness of their personal computing device. These devices will inevitably get smaller and more mobile. At the same time they will be connected to more powerful servers in the cloud, which has replaced the processing power of the PC.  with its distant, anonymous servers.
User Rank: Strategist
7/7/2014 | 5:14:09 PM
Window - Android Hybrid
i P r o T a b l e t-- is one source worth reviewing for tablets and offers ten new models to launch in July -- including the new Ramos i 10 Pro ($399) Windows 8.1 - Android hybrid, that's the first Dual Boot tablet on the market and makes it easy to use both Windows software and Android Apps on one device -- and offers an Intel Bay Trail 64 bit CPU plus a 10" 1920x1200 HD display, Bluetooth, and GPS.

Also new is the Ramos i12 ($299), an ultra-size 12-inch tablet that's also powered by Intel.

One other model worth noting is the new iFive Mini4 ($219) -- which is the first 8-inch Android tablet to offer a retina-quality, 2048x1536 display; plus features long battery life, Bluetooth, GPS, and a high performance processor that outperforms both the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini.
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