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Windows 8 blamed for sluggish PC sales

12 April 2013 - 10:46 by Mike Price

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Many suspected that the sales of traditional laptop and desktop computers would be impacted by the rise in smartphone and tablet ownership, but gloomy figures revealed this month, show the true extent of the damage.

The International Data Corporation (IDC), announced that retailers had ordered 13.9 per cent fewer PCs in the first three months of 2013 than they did over the same period last year.

IDC analysts had originally predicted that shipments would fall by just 7.7 per cent, so the reality was actually worse than they had foreseen.

Shipments of PCs have fallen consistently over the past year, with the blame being laid at the feet of both Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system and the growing number of people who are simply buying smartphones and tablets, to carry out functions that might traditionally have been accessed from a home computer.

Part of the problem is that the reasons for having a dedicated desktop or laptop are becoming smaller and smaller, with people choosing to hang onto existing computers for much longer, so that they can do basic word processing when required, while using smartphones and laptops for other purposes.

M-commerce services make it easy to carry out safe shopping online from a portable smart device, while being able to indulge in a little retail therapy while out and about or slumped on the sofa, makes this approach more desirable.

Gartner reported that the first three months of 2013 saw global PC shipments slip below 80 million for the first time since it started monitoring the market.

The real losers are of course the PC manufacturers, since if they cannot sell their hardware, then they do not really have a leg to stand on. Could the power of tablets and smartphones combined with safe shopping online kill off PCs?