Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 19th Apr 2013 09:31 UTC
Windows "Many PC OEMs are dissatisfied with what Microsoft has done with Windows 8 and the way the company has handled the negative response to the operating system. Privately, one OEM source told me that Microsoft is 'destroying' the PC industry, while another claimed that Windows 8 has 'handed over millions of customers to Apple'. Other OEMs are making their displeasure known publicly. Both Lenovo and Samsung have released Start button replacements for Windows 8." Windows Phone isn't the only thing not catching on. I'm really happy with my Surface RT - warts and all - but there's no denying the response to Windows 8 has been Vista-esque bad.
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Nail in the coffin for the PC?
by WereCatf on Fri 19th Apr 2013 09:53 UTC
Member since:

People seem to constantly claim that the death of the PC is near, that tablets and other mobile devices will be the future and that there is no more room for the PC. I have to disagree with that assessment. The old, regular PC in all of its various forms is still by far the most flexible general computing device, one that can take almost any computing-related role whatsoever and one that may not always be the best fit for the job, but one that can be altered to fit it. That same cannot be said of the more-rigid platforms.

Whether or not Windows 8.1 will be able to turn all the sour grapes to something edible again is, truthfully, irrelevant in the larger scheme of things: there'll always be other operating systems to assume its place should the impossible happen and the development of Windows was stopped. There will always be millions of enthusiasts willing to work with what they've got and these same enthusiasts will eventually step in if everyone and everything fails. Not to mention that even if Windows 8.1 also became a massive failure Microsoft still wouldn't be dead -- just look at their quarterly profits! -- and they would still retain their massive amounts of name-recognition and technical knowledge; it wouldn't be far-fetched for Microsoft to then go through a serious re-arrangement of their Windows - development departments, bringing new, daring tactics to the table and jumping back to spotlight with the best Windows developed to date.

TL:DR? Well, as always, doomsday prophecies will wither and falter and the world will crawl on, and the PC may transform, but it will never die.

Reply Score: 4

hhas Member since:

People seem to constantly claim that the death of the PC is near, that tablets and other mobile devices will be the future and that there is no more room for the PC.

The only people claiming that are fools, click-whores and obvious straw-men. Of course it's nonsense. The PC will not die for exactly the reason you describe: it is a general-purpose platform that can be turned to almost any task. What intelligent predictors are saying is that the size of the PC market is going to shrink by a large percentage until the only people who still own PCs are those that actually need them. Ordinary consumers used to buy PCs not because they were the best platform for performing their desired tasks, but because they were the only platform available.

Vendors like MS and Apple were all too happy to market PCs and PC OSes as 'consumer' products, even though they really weren't appropriate to consumer needs (e.g. the fortress wall security model, which is fine on professionally administered servers and locked-down business networks, but has not surprisingly proven utterly unsuited to the home market. It's very easy for geeks to blame "stupid lusers" for infecting their "stupid computers", but really it's the vendors' fault for selling mad-bad Zondas to ordinary folks-off-the-street who only need a Lacetti to putter down the the shops and back every day. It's no surprise they frequently leave holes in the wall: those high-end supercars require considerable skill and experience to drive safely. And most folks have far more pressing and productive stuff to do in their lives than devote the next two years to professional race-driver school just to pick up a carton of milk.

And now we do have proper consumer-oriented OSes on the rise, it's only a matter of time before regular consumers find that they no longer need to purchase a PC when a cheap, lightweight platform that's much better optimized to their particular tasks takes care of all their day-to-day tasks. Phones and tablets have already usurped PCs as the aspirational good for mass-market consumers, so those consumers will no longer buy PCs simply because they want them, only when they need them. Which is far less often and in much smaller numbers.

BTW, the PC vendors can kvetch all they like about the PC market's decline, but they are the ones who commoditized the product in the first place, reducing it from glamorous must-have gizmo to just another boring white good. So a good chunk of this sea change is actually their own doing.

Sooner or later, businesses are going to follow consumer trends: after all, why buy a clunky power-sucking $200 desktop hog for every one of your employees when a simple, robust $30 PC-on-a-stick can do everything that 90% of those employees' jobs require. It's just a matter of time until MS or some other vendor builds out the necessary infrastructure to make the whole kaboodle - network servers, user terminals, local software, remote desktops, administration tools, etc. - a slick turnkey product that medium-to-large business can drop into their networks with minimum fuss.

Reply Parent Score: 3

moondevil Member since:

t's just a matter of time until MS or some other vendor builds out the necessary infrastructure to make the whole kaboodle - network servers, user terminals, local software, remote desktops, administration tools, etc. - a slick turnkey product that medium-to-large business can drop into their networks with minimum fuss.

Memories of green phosphor terminals start coming back to my mind...

Reply Parent Score: 2

bassbeast Member since:

I think you are wrong and here is why...billions in Windows software that everybody uses. trust me running a little shop i see it every day, from the Windows games (which made over 20 billion last year and has helped Valve to double their profit every year for 7 years in a row) to that software your aunt uses to make the flyers for the church social it ALL runs on Windows.

But if you would have talked to me or any other shop owner or worker back in 2007? We were ALL saying that there was gonna be a major slowdown NOT because people didn't want computers or were throwing out that 27 inch screen for a 7 inch tablet, no what happened is that PCs became more powerful than what 90% of the masses needed. I mean I haven't even built anything less than a triple core in over 4 years because the chips are so cheap, but what software has kept up?

Other than a few tiny niches like CAD none, even gaming doesn't stress that $45 USD Athlon triple and again I should know as I have built several nice gaming HTPCs using the Athlon triple and it plays the mainstream games great. heck look at me, from 94-07 I built myself a PC every year and a half and built my boys something every 3 years, why? because thanks to the MHz war and how easy it is to take advantage of a faster clock speed on a single core the PCs would be struggling on the latest and greatest after a year and by two years they were seriously laggy. I mean check out my current specs and remember i built my system on the cheap so I have MAYBE $650 in the whole smash..X6 1035T hexacore, 8GB of DDR 2 800, 3TB of HDD space and an HD4850.. You could now build a similar system for around $450...who is gonna stress that monster out? Heck who is gonna stress that Athlon triple out doing their day to day tasks, even with heavy multitasking?

So I can tell you its not about the consumer switching to a tablet, in fact its just the opposite as nearly everyone I know, no matter how poor, has multiple PCs and see no reason to replace them...which is kinda the point. When you can fricking pick up dual cores sitting on the side of the road and RAM is so cheap why should you buy a new one before the old one dies? During the MHz war all the software was keeping up with the hardware so you really had no choice but to buy...tell me what software that normal folks use daily wouldn't run quite well on that AM2 Athlon X2 I'm using as a netbox at the shop? There simply isn't any "killer app" that will make someone go "Well I gotta toss my PC" anymore.

Oh and you can give up on ARM friend, they are gonna be in the same boat as X86 in less than 2 years, Samsung is testing a hexacore, Nvidia is shipping pentacores, ARM just doesn't scale well. Not to mention there is ALWAYS at least one program that is mission critical that requires Windows, this is what I can never seem to get FOSS advocates to understand. Sure if you are talking about a coffee shop or library then a Linux plug will do the trick, everybody else? not gonna have it if it can't run their software, just as MSFT about their WinRT sales.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Deviate_X Member since:

People seem to constantly claim that the death of the PC is near, that tablets and other mobile devices will be the future and that there is no more room for the PC. I have to disagree with that assessment...


The hardware requirements for windows has flat-lined/slightly-declined since Windows Vista. So hardware sales must slow in response, that's logical.

Add to that pretty much all useful work/ecommerce/web browsing is still done on PCs (Windows/Linux/Mac) despite the fact that these Smartphone/Tables outsell PCs by multiple integer multiple.

The perception that tablets and mobiles are taking over is just a bubble.

Edited 2013-04-19 12:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

tkeith Member since:

I think when most people say the PC is dead, they aren't saying it will completely go away. PCs sales are slowing, and that is impossible to deny. Of course PCs will still be needed for many industries and tasks, but for many others the PC will effectively be dead. I'm typing this on my first work laptop, 3D CAD needs too much power and software is too locked to Windows for that to go away.(Brand new PC with W7 BTW) However it looks incredibly stupid in 2013 to see a nurse carrying around a laptop with patient files on her palm like a waitress, fuddling on a trackpad, when that function would suite a tablet 100 times better.

And of course there will be the curmudgeons that cross their arms and let everyone know they don't need a tablet/smartphone/horseless carriage.

TL;DR Nobody said they're going to disappear, just dwindle in market share.

Reply Parent Score: 2

tylerdurden Member since:

Nobody is claiming the PC is "dead" it is just no longer the area where the majority of growth is happening. This should not be a surprise in a sector which is all about faster, smaller, cheaper...

Reply Parent Score: 2

v_bobok Member since:

death of the PC is near, that tablets and other mobile devices will be the future and that there is no more room for the PC.

For casual content consumers only - sure. For the good majority of content creators - no way in hell. Also don't forget hardcore gaming stations. I don't think next-gen (still un-upgradable) consoles can totally replace the sheer power of some crazy sli/crossfire systems with liquid cooling and all that jazz.

Reply Parent Score: 0

bassbeast Member since:

Werecat what everybody seems to be missing, especially the press, is that from 94-07 the PC was in a bubble caused by the MHz war. The reason PCs don't sell now the way they did then is NOT because everyone is tossing their PC for an iPad, its because they are up to their ears with insanely fast PCs that do more work per cycle than they can come up with.

Heck i have a couple of customers still using Pentium D 805s, for checking your email and basic websurfing even that 8 year old chip does more per cycle than they do. Even I am not immune to this, the netbox I use at the shop has just now had the Sempron single core replaced with a ULV Athlon because even with the Athlon I chose being 6 years old it does more than I need in the shop.

As for Windows 8? If the rumors are true I'm gonna have to accept I made a bad call as I said Win 8 would be a flop and it looks like Ballmer may actually pull off a win. How you might ask? Simple a sub $250 tablet with an Atom dual core and Windows 8, if they sell it with an optional keyboard/second battery like the Transformer it could be the next hot new gadget, a tablet that gets all day battery as a laptop and runs all your Windows programs? Heck I can't stand Windows 8 and I'll be first in line, that would be totally awesome for service calls or when I'm stuck at the doctor's office.

If the rumors are true the new Atom will be out of order (thus boosting performance) while having a similar GPU to Haswell while using less than 2w of power, and of course a sub $250 tablet that runs all your Windows programs would be an easy sell.

TLDR? Atom dual core tablet under $250 equals big win, PCs not going anywhere but not gonna sell like before, and no cheap tablet equals Win 8 being the new MS Bob.

Reply Parent Score: 3