Death of the PC era, or just a load of garbage?


Many have been (and continue to do so) predicting the end of personal computing as we know it today. But it's a bit like global warming - a controversial topic. Windows 8 has been available on the market for a number of months and while sales haven't been as strong as one hoped, it's not the sole reason the PC being in a potential situation. A new article on the Forrester blog really goes into some detail about why such thoughts should stop.

Sure, we're seeing a decline in PC shipment numbers, but Lenovo has reported an increase in sales. OEM partners can't simply blame the software vendor for a drop in numbers, since they also add to the overall experience. Then you have to take into account the advance of the smartphone and other form factors. The birth of the iPad created another category for consumers to invest in. Sure, many don't like Windows 8, but it's not the only reason.

The blog article refers to recent reports published by the firm, including "two thirds of US consumers go online from 2 or more devices," which covers computers in multiple cases. A second is "53 percent of global information workers use 3 or more devices for work" with computers playing a prominent role. Also, computers simply won't die out, but wear out. Machines need to be either upgraded or replaced.

Many consumers can do both at home. Opening up the computer case, or ordering components off the Internet is no longer a daunting task for many. While OEMs still make their buck from laptops and other form factors, the PC market will undoubtedly shift from pre-made builds to custom construction - and much like many other products, consumers have individual needs and requirements.

The replacement cycle of computers is noted to be longer, with a possible 6 years (instead of 4) for home owners to look and replace an old machine. It's well worth reading up the full blog article for a quick insight into why the PC market isn't likely to go anywhere. As for OEMs, it's down to the companies to innovate and offer machines at competitive prices.

What are your thoughts on the PC market?

Source: Forrester; thanks, Stephen, for the tip!


Reader comments

Death of the PC era, or just a load of garbage?



No its not exactly garbage. Just evaluate your day to day dependence on your PC. I use my cell phone and tablet for most of the things I needed a laptop for i.e. emails, documents, cloud storage, media player, movie station, internet radio, casual gaming, maps and so on. So yes PC is bound to die sooner or later but Microsoft knows it so they introduced Windows 8 which will make the transition easy for us cuz there are still many things that only PC does or at least does better.

My laptop died 3 weeks ago and I have been going out of my mind without. Personally speaking, the PC is as ever alive today as what it was 10 years ago.

Mobile computing is good for surfing the web and facebook and email, that's about it. It will not run games for the hardcore PC gamers, it will not replace workstations effectively. You cannot sit on your tablet/phone and write a huge business report. The PC will not die, it will evolve but never die.

People are different. I have a tablet that work gave me to use. I can use it at home but I never do. Just prefer a laptop.

The solid keyboard, touch mouse pad, big screen and full on Windows.

Then I can even play the classic PC games that aren't full of "Buy More Coins" alerts.

PC is a smaller market now but I don't see it dying out any time soon.

I think "later than sooner" - there is no current device that can replace my workplace PC. I need a desktop or laptop to work (.NET web & software developer). A surface pro tablet is fine, but that's really just a laptop in a tablet form. RT doesn't have even half of the stuff I need. IPad is completely useless. It reminds me of the Sys Admin walking in and declaring that we can all now switch to Linux workstations (from 90% Windows PC's and 10% Macs) and use open-source software alternatives. When we all stopped laughing he got back to rolling out new windows PC's. In a similar fashion, I don't see anything replacing the PC for a minimum of 10 years. Maybe even longer considering the vast number of people still using XP

The only tablet that has a right to possibly make that statement true is the Razr Edge Pro. Without a powerful CPU and GPU, laptops will still be the go to device as many have purchased graphic intensive games, and they only get more intensive as the new consoles come out.

The reason PC's will live has nothing to do with games.  Consoles effectively replaced PC's as the dominant gaming platform years ago.  Assuming the statement that the PC is dead has any truth, corporate America will be the last holdout and likely won't  change within 10 years.  ...and that is Microsoft's bread and butter.  PC sales to consumers is icing.  Microsoft's core economic engine is serving business and business will continue to use PC's into the foreseeable future.

I do all those things when I'm away from home or  work. When I'm at work, I need my pc. When I'm at home, I prefer to do all those things on a pc or laptop. I have an ipad and I hardly use it. I will grab it if I need to look up something fast. Otherwise, the pc is way more comfortable to use and I get to look at a large screen instead of constantly zooming on a tablet.

If that's all you need computing power for, than yes...
But I think many people do more on their PCs than check emails and a little internet stuff.
I can't create CAD models on a mobile device. I can't layout PCBs on a mobile device. I can't use Adobe Illustrator and Aftereffects on a mobile device. I can't write (too well) and build code on a mobile device...
Heck I can't even properly manage my 100GB Music library on a mobile device.
So in the end Mobile devices suck at creating content. And that's what skilled people do most of the time.

Actually, I'd bet a huge majority of Windows users don't do anything complex on their PCs. The average user really doesn't get up to much.

Maybe not - but you can't get a 24" screen on your tablet (or three of them in my case). There's more to the experience than the computing complexity of the task. 

Maybe so, but those average users wouldn't even have software to play with if it wasn't for all the engineers and developers that will not give up on a full size keyboard, screen, and input device.  I virtually guarantee any serious code generating will never be done on a touchscreen interface.  Those predicting the death of the PC are a bunch of ignorant boobs, stock market writers, or both.  Those people are engaging in wishful thinking.  I predict that long term, the arts and education community will continue to prefer Apple/Mac devices because they best suit their needs, the engineering and business community that actually writes and develops productive software will continue to use PC's & WIndows or Linux based systems, and the people who use their devices for entertainment will continue to migrate to little phones & pads that they can play the next Angry Birds or Farmville on.
The sort of device you use reflects how serious your computing needs are, end of story.

PC is going no where it is off to a slower start it will dominate as it once did as prices come down and the 1024 x 780 resolution is introduced for tablets. Students need capable word processors, powerpoint etc I see either RT or intel picking up soon as their next generation offerings hit the market.

yeah it is garbage,  a smart phone is not an efficiant use of time as opposed to using a pc.  If you like using nerf internet than by all means enjoy phone net.    Casual games on a phone stink.   So no it hasent replaced gaming.  Movies on a phone?  please.    PC will gain more power users and lose the people that know nothing about them to cellies.

I have Surface RT and a desktop with a 27" 2560x1440 display using kb/mouse.  Not ever do I wish I had a touch screen.  I work perfectly on the RT with touch and the desktop as kb/mouse.
w8 is love or hate, but I'm happy with it.  It will evolve well.

to be fair, most of the people who hate it, don't like the aesthetic on Desktop on non touch machines. Completely missing the fact, the OS is not really targetted at them - but for new touch devices.
Just recently Laptops overtook desktop as the largest "tradititional" PC segment.
Processor speeds we now have supercomputers in our pockets, and tablets also.
Desktop Metro haters are peons, as you just hit "Desktop" and go into traditional desktop mode. The overly emotinal use of "hate" is small minded angry techie nerd stuff. The sort of hating you see daily on Slashdot comments and Steve J Vaughan Nicolas stories on Computer World. Childish.
Moores law, smartphones and tablets and full PC sauration in the West was bound to lead to a decline in PC sales. PC OEMs need to make Apple class (design) tablets and phones and stop moaning they can't sell cheapo plastic junk anymore, they need to step up. HP have, I have an nice Envy X2 and its fantastic. Intel have as Clovertrail is excellent, and Baytrail will finally slap ARM.
Good times for gadget consumers.

Absolutely correct. We have a saying at the IT Company I own: "Change is change". It serves as a reminder that change is almost always met with initial resistance. That's what the client pays us for; to guide them through the change and to listen and answer their resistance with firm but consistent care. In almost every case, if we've done our job and done the research and training correctly to go with the "change"... After a couple of days or so, the end-user often reports that they like "the change" and tells us how it has made their job easier. Windows 8 falls directly into this category. If we drop users into it without showing them how to use it, they freak out and resist. Once we show them how it saves them "clicks" and saves them time, explain how it's the first OS that runs apps and programs, show them what that means to them, etc-- we have fans of this supposedly "hated" OS. Windows 8, quite simply, is innovation... And change is just change.

It works fine with a keyboard and mouse. It just have to get used to it. The previous os's work pretty much the same. This one is different and there is a little learning curve.

I'd like to argue its awesome with a mouse because you can move the mouse faster and you don't need as much precision. What it sucks on is laptops with track pads, so slow to move the mouse on those :'(

That wasn't really that accurate of a pattern because people often left out versions such as ME or 2000. Whether some versions were good, bad, or somewhere in between is also rather subjective.

I think that people haven't found a good price point for a win8 computer I'm the type of person that doesn't want to buy winRt for 500 I want the full touch windows 8 experience for around 4to 500 with a digitizer and keyboard.

I got a ASUS X202e the other week in the MS store for $458 (incl tax) ok it has no digitizer but pretty decent hardware (core i3 dual core with hyperthreading, 4GB Ram, 500GB HDD) awesome little machine with touch screen for win8

I agree. Mobile computing will never take the place of workstation PC's in a workplace, nor will they be a substitute for PC gaming. Only thing that mobile comptuting will do is capitilize with the day to day users, that just check email and surf facebook. Power users will never be able to replace a PC with anything else. 

"PC" = Personal Computer; any device that computes obviously is a computer. Cannot get anymore 'Personal' than made for 'One User'. W8 PCs and WP8 are not really just 'Personal' because they are made for more than 'One User', this makes the iPad much more a PC than any W8 version. Post PC is just marketing crap that could be just said the other way around like; "PC era got stronger after the iPad"...

As usual, the truth is in the middle. traditional PCs and laptops aren't dead yet, but are dying fast. They will never go away completely, but they wont be the main revenue generators they once were.

I'd tend to agree with most of what was said in the article except I think the problem with Windows is bigger than a Microsoft centric website is willing to admit. Smart Phone and tablets are killing the traditional pc experience but I think we all knew that would happen if we're being honest with oursevles.
Todays world is all bout accesibility and those two platforms are infinitely more accessible to the user. Compounded by the idea of having to learn what is essentially and entirely new way to compute at home and theirin lies the problem Microsoft and the PC market is facing. 

More accessible does not equate to more useful. For people who are just consumers of media, it does not matter. For productive workers, PC/laptop/notebook are much more useful. It all depends on your use pattern. Granted tablets reduces the available market for the PC/laptop/notebook. For me, I found the iPad to be a useless piece of hardware.

Even for "consumers", it matters. Hulu, YouTube, Vimeo, and Amazon all discriminate against tablet users in some way. Hulu blocks tablet users from the free service. YouTube routinely says "The content owner has not made this video available on mobile. Add to playlist to watch it later on a PC." Vimeo charges uploaders an additional recurring fee to make mobile versions of videos. And Amazon streaming video won't work on any tablet other than a Kindle Fire.

I would believe that everything we need is going to be the smartphone. According to that law I don't remember at this moment, capacity doubles every year. In the end you are going to have one smartphone to do it all. When you need a larger screen just plug your smartphone into a (still not existing) phone-dock and voila, there is your PC again.
Tablets will flop, in the end. I don't think tablets are going to last long.

That ... is the approach of high spec'd ubuntu mobile OS for smartphone. A smartphone, that if connected to dock that provide ports for keyboard, mouse, and display, it would became a desktop PC. Very clever approach I say.

I wonder will Windows Phone 8 support x86/64, so we might get that experience too.

All those people that are buying tablets now already have and use computers. Tablets have arrived at a time where desktop and laptop PCs are fast enough for most users, so they aren't upgrading at the pace they were before. Instead they are upgrading when the old system breaks. With the money they were spending on upgrades they are buying tablets, which are not fast enough yet that consumers won't see the benefit from an upgrade.

So traditional computer sales may be on the decrease, but it doesn't mean people aren't using them, and they are certainly not dead.

Lenovo were quick to market and made some good stuff. Others have produced crap and got nowhere.
As long as we don't end up with ipads, I don't care less. Dumbing down the planet, 1 app at a time.

I agree. Lenovo have really been the only 3rd party company that have made stand out windows 8 computers. For me the surface RT and Pro are the cream of the Windows 8 tablet market and the others need to step up there game as Lenovo could become the number on in home and business market for Windows pc's.

I don't think its the end of the pc market its just changing for home users but still Windows 8 RT and Pro are the only OS on the market that can work for home and business. Android and IOS you still need a pc to link them with. Windows 8 is a stand alone OS.

Not ipads just oversized phones ish like surfaces will be norm easy to blend in like a composition book plus does more than a tablet and just a lil less than most do with laptops and way cheaper

And to add to what I said, its easy to jump the gun on trending topics and spell out the end of the world but thats not realistic. Sales are way down which COULD mean an overall decline over time. Or it could mean a dip in sales for a year or two until something changes or improves and they go back up. We're so quick to spell disaster now a days that almost everybody overreacts to things online. Its pretty damn annoying. 
Things take time. It'll probably be 10 years for this to pan out (at least) You think anybody online has the patience to wait 10 years for something? Exactly. 

I think you hit something with the custom builds. I know over the past 2 maybe 3 years I don't know anyone friend or family that didn't build there own. Mostly due to price, they get bare minimum for what isn't important to them. Then go all out on the things they need, and end up saving or spending about the same amount for a pre built that wouldn't be near as good as the built.

"Always" is a strong word. Good luck finding a local PC builder to build you a laptop. Or what laptop doesn't have "garbage parts"?

I bought a computer two years ago and I barely even touch it. I think for the average consumer a computer is just a novelty. A tablet can fill the needs of most, I said "most" people. Tablets are getting more powerful, there portable, cheaper, easier to use. I would not purchase stock in computers anytime soon. The stock advice is free. Your welcome. . .

Tablets are computers and very personal. Smartphones are computers and even more personal. The definition of a computer has changed, the os'es have multiplied. PC's are not dying anytime soon unless we blow the planet up. Pundits just like the page hits.

I agree. Most people don't require a full Windows PC. They are complicated, expensive and less secure. My mom has an iPad and hasn't turned on her PC in 2 years.

My biggest complaint about 8 is that it threw the traditional desktop user under the bus. Bring back the start button and let 8 be great in desktop mode too. Its great as a tablet OS. It just needs to embrace both of its modes.

None of that fixes the traditional desktop PC issues, however. The fact is that the iPad and like devices is the PC that everyone has always wanted, but the traditional desktop OS is still needed, but by far fewer people.

Honestly, I can't afford well built PCs and laptops costing 1000$ or more. Just look at the absurd prices! I want an Acer w700 but its like more 700$ bucks! I need that money to pay gas to go to work!

I paid over $1k for my laptop and $2k for PC including all peripherals. That's just what good powerful machines cost; and as a gamer, they're only going to last me 5-7 years.

Not a cheap market, but the more affordable computers simply cannot do what I want them to do. And tablets? People get excited about quad core phones / tablets but what they fail to realize is a mobile processor is SIGNIFICANTLY less powerful than a desktop processor of equivalent clock rating. A quad core phone could be rivaled in actual real world tests by an old desktop single core.

This. Same idea for me. Whenever someone tells me that this is the end of the PC era I laugh from my triple monitor gaming workstation that I built 4 years ago that is still more powerful than a modern 2k computer. I'm not going to do software development from a shitty tablet.

And for those people saying windows 8 is terrible or bad with keyboard and mouse simply have not used the OS at home. I navigate the OS the same way I did with windows 7. The problem is that people didn't use the shortcuts available to them in windows 7, so the windows 8 shortcuts confound them.

I also find it funny when people call it garbage and claim it doesn't do what windows 7 does. Windows 8 does all those things better. I challenge them to go to mac OSX or Ubuntu and then come and complain to me bout usability.

Agreed. The processing power of desktop PC can never be rivaled by mobile device where power consumption always an issue. Even though not all people need them. I guess it's depend on what people need.

As for Windows 8, I couldn't agree more. I just don't get it at those people who complaining at Windows 8 and compare it to Windows 7, when both are actually similar.

When we people start talking about the "death" of the PC, it rubs me the wrong way. Yes PC sales are declining, and yes the iPad is contributing to that as well, many jobs and needs are still on a computer, and have evolved that. I don't necessarily think the PC market will die, more like simply not be the daily driver for much of the population, which I don't think is death for the PC era.

I wish I could upvote this. iPads (and other tablets with large touch interfaces and no complex peripheral support) simply aren't designed to do what PCs are for. They're great for web browsing, simple games, media, and a quick document edit, but they simply aren't designed to do more complex tasks (media creation and editing, larger documents, etc). Sure, some of those things CAN be done, but it's nowhere near as efficient on an iPad type device.

You are 130% right, I've seen numerous people ay my university pull out their iPad, play fruit ninja, and then pull out their laptop to type a document in office. That's why I bought the Samsung Series 7 slate, powerful i5 Intel processor, and I can work and play all on one device. Makes the iPad look like a toy alright. My take on Windows 8? I love it. Its has a very fast intuitive interface and it runs great on my tablet.

Everything you see on tv or on the web is created by a traditional PC or mac. Our phone and tablets are just for seeing content not creating it.

Engineers are wrong constantly though. I'm just saying I'm not ruling it out down the road is all. 

They can't *all* be wrong :)

If tablets
a) have large screens or can connected to external displays
b) are competitively powerful for intense tasks like compiling or rendering (let me know when they make tablets with multiple CPUs and multiple gpus)
c) can connect an external keyboard and mouse
d) Have large LARGE hard drives

Then tablets will essentially be overpriced gimmicky units that no one would buy because you'd get more power and bang for your buck with a PC.

No, tablets won't replace computers used to create content.

As tablets get more powerful, there PC counterparts will also get more powerful. Portable computing will help in the end, but in many industries, the desktop will be the backbone of their operations. People will always rely on the most powerful and quickest option.

I used to use my PC for everything.  From photo editing to email to games and surfing the net.  But now things are a bit different.  I do so much on my phone and tablet (surface), I would think that my PC feels that it's being neglected.  But with that said, I still use my PC daily for my buisness.  I'm a photographer so I need/want my two 24 inch monitors when photo editing and you cant very well run Photoshop and Lightroom on a smart phone or tablet.  As a matter of fact I'm currently rebuilding my desktop PC.  So for me, my PC isnt dead.  It still gets a healthy workout.  But for checking email and surfing the web.   Well those tasks are now usually done during commercials as I'm sitting on the couch with the Surface or Lumia

This. We must be twins. I'm a pro photog too and this is my life exactly as well. My PC refresh cycle is now every 3-4 years for my desktop and laptop. In between I get by with ram, hd, and graphic card, upgrades. Everything else is done on my Lumia 920 and surface rt.

Cannot go wrong with Data but for me personally I love the desktop environment... I hate working with apps rather have the PC desktop to manuver stuff around but I understand as our lives get more complexed we'll need something that mimics our phones more then our desktops and that why I think Microsoft has sort of the right idea but should be marketed better and have cross platform purchasing!

Depends what we define as a "PC".  The survey and various articles after it seem to define a PC as a computer too big to carry (i.e. stationary and plugged to the wall).  Clearly that is slowly going to go away.  Having said that, I can't imagine their will not be a need for a full sized and optimally productive workstation area for doing serious and long term computing.   Laptops, tablets, and certainly handhelds are a compromise in that area.  So at least in business environments, I don't see the desktop computer going away. 
The bigger question is; what will all these desktops be running, AND will Microsoft get their share of tablets and handhelds running their software.  That jury is still out on that one and depends on how well they meet the needs of the tablet and handheld world with their reinvented Windows OS.  if their Win8 platform is accepted on the desktop, then users will understandably want it on their next tablet and phone. 
Microsoft is in a good position to fight Google if they do it right.  Apple is in serious trouble

I work in software development and almost everyone at our company have now changed to laptops and docking stations, even us developers. I think the desktop PC is dead and the PC isn't...

I always compare the analogy of computers, tablets, and smartphones to "desks". I can get work done on a desk that is 1 ft. * 2 ft, but, my production will be limited by my space. If I have a desk that is 5 ft. * 3 ft, I could and can get more work done, and at a faster pace. PC's are in decline, but I don't believe they'll be "phased out" anytime soon. I still prefer a desktop or bigger laptop for all my school needs, work needs and even things like Skype. (Bigger screen means more close to normal sized faces!)

I don't ever imagine people making web pages, movies, and many other types of content on a tablet. Hell even writing a term paper is ridiculous to do on anything other than a PC. So NO the PC will never be dead.

Casual internet use is the phone. But work is were the PC is going back to. I am looking foe one now for my office. I do not have one at home though, laptops tablets and WP. No need.

They are all PCs. CPU, RAM, Disk, NIC, OS = PC. Form factors change, Apple created a lead for them selves and will or will not keep that led. Yawn.

This has nothing to do with Windows 8. Simply put, its the super high cost of these new computers that the companies are bringing out. Where are the $300 and $400 hundred dollar tablets/computers. The Surface RT and Pro should have been a major hit, but there high prices kept people away. Thats all!

Price is high compared to what for what you get it way worth the price, office is $150 10" screen, USB, kickstand, cover/keyboard $100 plus its built rock solid

Thats the problem, people always try to compare the prices. The price point period is too high. No way should the Surface RT be $500 start. $349.00 with the touch keyboard would have been a homerun. The Pro model with Type Keyboard $549.00 would have been a homerun. Not those outrageous prices they are now. Be real, you no the prices are simply too much!

Use my 920 most of all, but...
Just upgraded my desktop couple of months ago to w8 (from XP...) and are going to replace 3 laptops still running XP with new ones with W8.
Need the power of my laptop to edit video ++
Can't do that on a tablet, especially not on a toy like iPad or a Android tab...

It has for me too, I could never use W7 again and not be frustrated with the stupid start menu button being their, or lack of gestures.

As a writer, I do most of my 'idea storming' on my phones and they are eventually realized in my PC and portable. So, at least people like me will always need old fashioned computers

With ish like surface and surface pro or many ultrabooks I say death to "crappy" pcs only the strong survive yet people associate pcs with the crappy ass $400 comps and compare them to a Mac

There is no controversy about climate change.

As for PC era - it too will take some time but is inevitable in the end. :) It will be a mix for a long time.

I don't think their will be a death of the PC for a LONNNNGG time, PC are very powerful and if something else like tablets become just as good than someone will innovate with a PC again and they will continue improving

If small companies can run off ipads just wait till they get a hold of surface pros I'm trying to get them everywhere I do networking in schools and I show them my surface they change there minds from ipads u get way more bang for your buck wether rt or pro

Garbage. Lenovo is the proof in the pudding. While other manufactures complained about windows 8, Lenovo capitalized on the new Windows with unique hardware. Hence, the show of growth. If Windows 8 just became Vista 3 (Windows 7 in my eyes was just Vista with a fancy taskbar), you would have seen the same results. What Microsoft did was open an opportunity for growth, and again, Lenovo was the only oem to really capitalize on the situation. They could still do better such as marketing and lowering their prices to get even further ahead.

The PC isn't going anywhere, corporations still use them and replace them every 3 to 4 years. Now about the Windows 8 being the reason for the decline, let me ask you this.... How many of you have seen Windows 8 implimented at your work place or have seen Windows 8 in a coporate inviorment?
You know how may I've see? "Zero". I am an I.T. contractor and all the computers that companies buy are re-imaged with Windows 7 not XP and not Windows 8.
Plus power users and gamers will always choose a PC over a tablet or laptop because you just simply can do more with a PC.

It's too early to predict the death of the home computer, but in my personal experience I will soon no longer have a personal PC.  It's really based off usage.  When I built my current PC, there were still several higher end PC games I was playing.  However, I have been noticing a transition to the console in my gaming.  This leaves the remaining functions of my desktop being acting as a media server, Word/Excel, E-mail, and browsing the web.  Realistically if I can find a good managable way to get a media server device I like in a NAS, I could use just the Surface RT for my remaining tasks and save on the cost of powering the 1000watt PSU in my desktop, not to mention a less expensive replacement system.  Microsoft's decision to use their version of uPnP in the 360 is the thing keeping me on a PC for now as I stream through Media Center.  When I tried Windows 8, I was having issues with Media Streaming, so much to the point that after 3 weeks Microsoft Customer Support ended up buying back my Win 8 license and I reverted to Win 7.  I assume Win 8 SP1 will address the now known issues I was experiencing.  However I would gladly use a service like Twonky on my NAS to act as my media server if I were able to get more control in how the files would show up in the system video player on the xbox.  All that being said, it is Microsoft's proprietary version of uPnP on the Xbox 360 that has me frozen while I try to find a solution I like not Windows 8.

Have you tried "Media Browser". Its basically a UI app for Media Center. I use it to play movies through my extenders, including a couple of 360's. Beautiful interface and Win8 Media Center works well streaming from my WHS11.

I don't understand why people are having heartburn over win8. So the start menu is now a start screen. Big deal. I have it on the home machine and most of the time its showing the desktop -- no different than win7. It has the bonus of additional apps that can be easily added when you want. And it supports touch interface for when I get to that point.

The Start menu thing is only a tangible example of how the entire thing feels incomplete. Finding other tangible things isn't that easy.
For example, clicking the Network icon in the notification area and having a blue slab of color appear from the right side, through which you can't even get to the Network and Sharing center is not a good design. Doesn't *feel* like these two areas belog together. Or how the Share charm doesn't do anything to desktop apps (which are, of course, designed for systems without a Charms bar -- namely, Windows 7).

I said it before. Microsoft should have kept these two "personalities" separate. The Metro theme and design is AWESOME for handheld devices. The desktop is very good at being on desktop and laptop PCs as the pinnacle of work and productivity.

They could have shipped both of these personalities; but they shouldn't have forced users into a mingle of the two. People would have praised the enhancements to Task Manager, Explorer (ribbon) and possible speed and UI improvements of their *classic* Start menu. And switching to the Metro UI on a touchscreen device would have been enjoyable when the user decided to do so.

Either "arrogance" or lack of a unified leadership and management is Microsoft's problem right now. They are very dismissive of the users' complaints. We were seeing this happen with Windows Phone (seriously, is it really that hard to separate the ringtone and music volumes?!) and then the same happened with Windows 8.

^"Average pinhead read some pretentious blogger's first impressions of the Win8 Dev Preview and is now unable to form his own opinions".

The "pinhead"'s personal Surface RT begs to differ
Someone should award that "pretentious blogger" if his descriptions are so fluid and arguments, robust..

The problem with the start screen is that it covers up what the user was doing. The start menu covered up a little but left enough on-screen context to not interrupt the user's train of thought. Do a web search for "doorway amnesia" and consider how it applies to the start screen.

In the past People had to upgrade to keep up with software. Thats no longer the case. Other than games software doesn't push the hardware of the past 5 years. People also don't feel the need to upgrade. They were slow to move from XP because it was a good system and with Win7 being even better it will take even longer. I love Win8 but it doesn't give most people a reason to upgrade other than on a tablet. I think its much like WinMe or Vista. They were supposed to be evolutionary but stumbled out of the gate.

The problem is that with the introduction of tablets and smartphones, people have stopped upgrading their old pc hardware even if they're dependent on it.. Only recently i wanted to get a new laptop to replace my ageing core 2 duo one..but instead got a tablet..

Garbage. We will always need pc's and a PC can still do more than a phone. I don't wanna be in an era of everything being cloud based and save nothing on a pc

The need to purchase new hardware is what is dying! Microsoft is so far ahead of this that many companies will die long before Microsoft. Ask yourself these questions, why did Microsoft really get into the hardware business? Why is Microsoft pushing Office365 and Windows Azure? Why change your tagline to Devices and Services? Microsoft sees the writing on the wall. PCs have peaked and now services is what will drive the future. My kids don't care about what OS the computer uses, they simple want to consume a service or its content on whatever device they have. With sales peaking and in such a low margin business, PC vendors are going to start to cut corners. Some will not survive and Microsoft knows this. Enter the Surface! If Windows sales are going to level off, Microsoft must find a way to control the message, drive the upgrade process and pull in more of the profit. Surface answers these questions. In the future we won't be buying our own computers, we will be walking up to devices and consuming our content. PCs are going to play a big part in powering all of that cloud info but you and I won't know or care. 

The price was $40 and $70 to either upgrade or buy it outright for months. Why complain about the higher price now when there was plenty of time to get it cheaply before?

Your comment is rubbish. I was talking about those who are buying new PC or OS now.
Its been ~3 months the offer has expired.

Then perhaps you should have been clearer about that. You complained about the price of the operating system not the machine running them. However, if you are complaining about the computer setups, then i agree completely. And it doesn't help that I've seen companies lowering the specs on their computers because Win 8 is more resource efficient while keeping the same silly price points.

I don't know why people hate window 8.. IMO it is a good os with instant boot up, beautiful interface, and many more..what's not to like?

It's not designed to function well in a desktop environment. The Metro look is great when you're using a tablet or a phone, anything with touch screen. But when it comes to using W8 with a normal PC/keyboard&mouse, the OS is simply awful. The lack of a start button makes everything harder, the changes between the Metro look and the normal desktop too. It's simply NOT a good design to use on a PC let alone to be adopted by business corporations.
It's NOT practical. That's why so many people (me included) don't like it.

(I am, however, cool with it on tablets. There is works wonderfully.)

'The lack of a start button makes everything harder'. That comment alone made me laugh, as if there is a sudden 24 extra steps to get to the start menu.

Firstly, if you have issues with certain programs or files opening the Metro apps then install a 'Desktop' alternative and change the file type associations. I myself changed IE to only load up the desktop version when I click on any tile.

Windows 8 isn't 'harder', you're just looking for issues. That depends on whether or not you actually tried.

I use window 8 in my non-touch screen laptop..beside playing window 8 games I don't find any difference (btw playing those games with mouse is terrible as it is designed for touch ) but also who play window 8 games if we can play real game ;).. the start screen may be problem for some but I am used to it..just press window+f and search your app or software!!

I'm with you. I bought a new laptop with Win 8 a few months ago to play. There's a learning curve but it really just takes a few hours to get used to and then it's second nature. People keep complaining about the start screen but I can literally go days without seeing it if I so choose. If I need to open a program I can use the charms bar from the desktop just fine. At it's core it's still the same Windows we all know and love.

This whole "The PC is dead" issue is garbage and annoys me ever since Mr. Jobs hit out at competitors. Computers have been around since the 1940's and form factors have changed drasitically since then. When the term PC (Personal Computer) was coined computers for the most part were large, bulky and exspensive. PC's on the other hand brought computing to the common man as the size came down and prices became attainable. Multiple OS'es were available and Microsoft came out on top thus why PC's that ran their software became synomous with the term PC.
Soon computers started to become more mobile and the laptop was born. So now we have desktops, laptops, workstations and servers. Form factors changed of which two were PC's. Then we fast forward to end of the 20th century and the advent of the tablet, large, bulky and exspensive. We also get smartphones and PDA's around this time as well. Many companies were a part of this but no one really got that right until Apple in 2007 when the technology finally gained the critical mass to become widely accepted.
So once again many new form factors were created but there are all still personal computers from your deskto your lap to your hand. They run Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Linux, Android, BeOS and others that I haven't heard of. So the PC isn't going anywhere but it is evolving. The desktop form factor is in trouble because most computer users were casual users and a smartphone or tablet fit their needs very well. Its also in trouble because the technology isn't changing as fast as it used to and a desktop from a few years ago can do much of the same things, albeit slower, as modern machines.
So people aren't upgrading as often, are buying differnt form factors and its hurting OEM's who are too stupid to give consumers what they are asking for. Will the desktop form factor ever die, thats a big no. As many have pointed out there is still much work that is best suited for the powerful desktop compared to a smartphone, tablet or laptop. The industry will adapt or continue to suffer. Microsoft has the Windows 8 vein to work off and will succed over the long term. Apple will surive just fine as well. Intel is finally embracing the mobile revolution but is hurting while they move their tech to it.
Bloggers, pundits, journalists and idiots with a keyboard all like to kick Microsoft and Intel because it gets them page views but truth is what most of them are saying is garbage.
Sorry for the rant but I feel better now.

It's called Android 6 "64-bit OS" using 64-bit ARMv8 technology like NVIDIA TEGRA 5!

Chrome v25 is a web browser!

no googles desktop os is called chrome. googles mobile/tablet os is called android.
dont try correct people with a wrong answer lol

The PC is not dead and recent reports have been misleading. There has been this 14% worldwide decline number being put out there while stating Macs have only experienced 8% (most articles have failed to point out that this number is the US only) when the reality is Macs have declined 20% worldwide. The simple reality is the lifecycle of a desktop/laptop is longer that it has ever been and the need to continuously replace just isn't there.
PCs aren't dead because anyone who has a tablet knows that being productive on one is harder than being productive on a laptop. Businesses aren't about to dump the desktop for fleets of tablets, it just isn't going to happen. Now the OS is different story, MS needs to address the ability for businesses to use the desktop mode with a start menu - the changes in W8 are good, but too drastic for end users to grasp quickly and seamlessly

To relate my own experience, now that i'm using a tablet quite heavily, I think I want to get rid of my laptop - and go back to a desktop PC at home - having a PC that can handle being always on and always connected can be handy - and laptops just arent suited to that.

The Hot Sellers in 2014: 
The Win 8 Blue ecosystem.
XBox Media Center 720 w/Office,
27" Touch screen Monitor.
Menu I: Casual User
Lumia 5" Pure View,
Surface 7" Pro Atom Tablet
Menu II: Power User
Huawei Ascend Win Mate 6.1" Phone;
Surface II Pro 10" with i7.
Power Users in Video and Audio production or Finance and Science will use their existing Windows 7 workstations as will  Business. They will start to tip toe into the Windows Devices above. 

Windows Blue:
- Windows 8.1
- Windows 9
- Windows Phone 8.1
- Windows Phone 9

What ever they call it should be awesome!
But don't think there going back to Windows 7 UI ever! Don't get your hopes up.

Hardcore gamers out there will keep the PC alive. Once I quit WOW, rarely am I on my PC. I use my phone 95% of the time. I'll use PC if I want to listen to my tunes in my corsair xp2500 speakers, and if I need to use an office application. Other than that, my phone takes care of the rest.

You did NOT just compare it to global warming.

We must give it to American Republicans for having a strong BSing power in the Western hemisphere.

"In the scientific literature, there is a strong consensus that global surface temperatures have increased in recent decades and that the trend is caused mainly by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases. No scientific body of national or international standing disagrees with this view,[167][168] though a few organisations hold non-committal positions.[citation needed]"


You need to look up the difference between a scientific theory and a law. This is a common misconception that people use to dismiss evolution. Even though much of the theory is accepted as fact in the scientific community (there is still considerable debate as to the genetic mechanisms by which it happens), the nature of the term means evolution will always be called a theory, regardless of how certain we are of it. Relativity is still called a theory even though much of the theory is accepted as fact.

Anyway about it, sales are slower becuase of Windows 8. Why ? People do not like change. The reports say Windows Vista sold better so far that Windows 8 and the press was really bad on Vista's release. Microsoft's bread and butter is not the home PC it's the corporate world. This is where the effect is most seen in lower sales. I work as a systems admin, and I have talked to 100's of IT people over the last year about Windows 8 and it's generaly the same, We upgraded to Windows 7 from XP, No need to upgrade to Win8 nor want to change the hardware to make Win8 run the best.
Microsoft's problem here is they forced Metro on everyone, it;s nice but, not everyone is accepting it and the sales are showing that. They should of released Windows 8 with a optional start menu like Win7, that you can change by a simple reboot. People who were on the fence, would of grabbed it, people with a tablet type of computer, could of just "enabled" it. There is a lot of performance based adavatages to going to WIndows 8 but, that is not enough for some people, a good % of PC buyers.
PCs are not going anywhere, sales are slow because Windows 7 machines did so well. This discussion comes up every few years, that PC sales are slow. PC gaming will always have it's market and the corporate world does too. Laptops do well for people in the need but, advanced users know a desktop PC will allow for upgrading and that is a value for a lot of people
Till someone figures out the best way to replace the keyboard and mouse, PCs are not going anywhere for a long time and a touchscreen is not a good replacement in all cases(ever try to work on a very large Excel spreadsheet or manually editing a database with a touchscreen ? Point confirmed)

I bought a laptop just 2 days ago, I can't satisfy my needs with a tablet, sure its nice for web browsing on a couch or something like that but try gaming on it and compare it with a pc. Im saying that some games and tasks need a mouse and a real keyboard. And it doesnt really hurt to have that extra size on your screen. Tablets and smartphones are good, theyr portable and cool and good for theyr respected purposes but replacing a laptop isnt one of them.

Some households have multiple tablets or smartphones. These devices are reducing the time spent on traditional desktop and laptop PCs. When the PC was the primary connectivity device, it made sense to have multiple PCs in a house so that everyone could be "online" at the same time. Because many of those activities have been replaced by tablets and smartphones, the only real use for a traditional PC anymore is photo editing, video editing, work, homework, and other similar activities. "Going online" for fun on a PC just isn't as common because we're always connected. The decline of the PC is to be expected, but a decline does not mean a departure from the market nor obsolescence. 
Also, regarding the repairing-PCs comment: while it's true that many more people are capable of repairing computers themselves, there are a great many who cannot, and PCs are sometimes cheaper to replace than buying parts or paying someone to repair them. (I am a PC service technician and network enginer, so I deal with this every day at work). If it's a secondary PC, they don't replace it because they're not using it as much as they used to.

"Personal Computing", not to be confused with the "PC market", is here to stay. It is the form factor we use that is changing. Windows 8, rather than dragging down the PC market, will usher in a new era of personal computing. We will have to explain to our grandchildren what a desktop and a start screen was.

Its garbage. Most people are buying tablet PCs which don't count towards the total, business are buying servers to run desktop environments, and the Mac well that's a PC too.

6 years ago, my friend wanted to use the internet. He wanted to check his email and surf the web etc.
He was not interested in doing much else, but what option did he have other than buy a PC or laptop?
Now, 6 years have passed and the PC is in need of replacement. His needs haven't changed, but the PC is no longer his only choice.
My point being, not everyone needs a fully functional PC, but that used to be the only solution for most people. It no longer is.
PC sales will inevitably be affected by the fact that not everybody needs one to use the Internet any more. However, there will still always be those that do.
The bottom line is that the PC will not die, but the days of every Internet user having to have one, are gone.

I agree. I had a desktop and a laptop. But since I bought my Surface, I haven't used them at all. The desktop I use once in a while, but only as a storage device, to transfer my stuff from L920, Surface or the SkyDrive. The laptop, E1705, is old and has no practical use left.

The PC is not going away for many of the reasons posted here.  There are some of us that require a PC for work that cannot be done on anything else.  I am at least now able to get by with just a laptop (Lenovo T430) which when docked is connected to two 27” monitors, keyboard, mouse, 4TB of storage on a NAS Server, a scanner, multiple printers and so on.  But I do see a definite trend toward tablets.  I am running Windows 8 on the Lenovo (mostly the desktop) and like it very much.  I run XP Pro in a VM for older legacy software packages (some DOS even).  I cannot see myself able to cope without a PC near term unless there are some tremendous advances.  But I also have a Surface Pro, a Lumia 920 and an iPhone 4S (for Concur, Quicken, Star Alliance, Lufthansa – thank you, United – and a couple of other still missing WP apps).  A MacBook Pro (given to me to see if it would “fit” in our environment - it does - will be retuned).  Our sales people do not need laptops – its overkill.  They’re generally away from the office and most of their need is email and the occasional Excel spreadsheet or Word document – maybe a PowerPoint presentation.  They’d all be happily toting Surface RT’s if Outlook had been included as part of Office on the initial release.  Yes, I do see PC sales slipping but not because of Windows 8 – it’s a lame excuse thrown out by OEM’s that had not seen the handwriting on the wall.  PC sales would have slipped regardless - perhaps even more had there not been a move to Windows 8.

Sorry but that makes no sense at all. Android tablets ARE PCs, just with a different OS. If anything by elimiainting Android based tablets, the PC market will hurt even more.
I'm no a Android fan, no question but, people like them and the people spending the money have a right to their choice.

This is so dumb. A tablet cannot hav the functionality of a PC. There will come a time but the time isn't now. Most offices are still PC dependent.

Its true that Windows 8 is confusing and annoying many userd without a touch screen. its UI isnt intuitive or easy on non touch. So I have no doubt this plays a small role in its decreased sales. Microsoft should work on this and make sure the modern UI is also a great experence on non touch.
But I do believe the main reason for the decline has to do with the switch the mobility and touch. Most people can do most things on a cheaper tablet. Sales of devices such as the surface arent counted in the PC sales so even if Microsoft succeeds in becoming s big player in the new computer market the PC industry will still shrik making MS look bad.
I lso dont think PCs will disapear compleetly. there are many tasks tablet users cant do on a tablet but these things arent done on a daily basis. So PCs will have less wear and tear and last longer. So I think Microsoft should continue to focus on having tablet-PCs to compete with android tablets. But some want to keep PC and tabet seperate so Microsoft should also offer full tablets and full PCs.

It's not entierely untrue.  I mean I enjoy my tablet, but I still feel that my laptop is my goto device for surfing or power using.  It's just faster at getting things done.  

This is obviously just my perspective, but for what I do and what I need, the PC will never die.  I have both a high end desktop that I custom built, a Surfact RT, and a Lumia 920.  They all serve a specific purpose and do so very well.  I use my phone throughout the day for quick stuff, txt'ing friends, etc.  You know, quick and convenient stuff.  I also use my Surface RT while I'm on the train into work for browsing and catching up on the news of the day, either in the browser or via RSS feeds (NextGen Reader, etc...).  These two devices take care of about 40-50% of my use.  The other 50% is used on my custom built PC, a high-end and extremely powerful PC.  Same can be said for my computer at work (although its no where near as powerful).  I'm a software developer and there is no way I could do what I do on a tablet.  You simply don't have the screen real estate.  Keep in mind, I didn't say screen quality, I said screen real estate.  Having two or even three monitors while coding makes all the difference in the world and a tablet will never be able to do that.  And I didn't even go into gaming.  There is no substitute for a PC.

I'm a IT consultant and have worked at tons of very large corporations and I'll be dead honest, Not one has or is even interested in upgrading to Windows 8. Even those sites that are still on Windows XP.

WinXP huzzah! There's no reason to upgrade. I regret upgrading to Windows 7. My computer isn't any faster and so many things are broken, incompatible, etc. It uses more resources to boot. I've used Windows 8 on a laptop. It is ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE. Switching from the metro UI to the desktop constantly, the poor sidescrolling, the completely gutted desktop, the hidden or nonexistent settings and features, the stupid charms and other popups when you move your cursor around that get in the way of everything and cause accidents.

Anyone remember Vista? Cough.

Oh BTW Windows Phone is still a joke. It was a joke 3 years ago. It's still a joke now.

Dud after dud. If Microsoft is synonymous with the PC era, it really is becoming the post-PC era.

I still spend 2 hours of my day on my PC just like 10 years ago when I started working. 6-8 hours per day on weekend.

Back then only 1-2 of my colleagues have the same habit. It is still the same number today. The difference: almost the others now own an iPad or Galaxy Tab. These same people were also netbook owners once. They have very limited needs out of their PC and tablets do the job for them.

So based on my experience, I'd say the PC will never die. Its population % is simply being sizzled down by tablets.

PC will never end. Every big corp company uses PC still. What's been dead is Macs. No big corp uses Macs because they suck! And total useless just like there OS and iphone

One of d main reasons for the slowing of PC sales, is price. Here in the PHL, you can actually buy a 100 USD 10.1 Android tablet, compared to a 1,200 USD Windows 8 touch-enabled computer.. A lot of people don't actually need a PC that much.., a family can just buy one PC desktop then buy each of the family members a cheap tablet and still be cheaper than a Windows 8 touch PC. A Surface RT being sold online is priced at almost 700 USD here, so it doesn't make much of a sense to purchase something priced totally ridiculous.

I have a tablet PC I use at work, it's touch, so I use it for reading or taking notes in OneNote during talks. But when I set it on my desk, I actually use the mouse and keyboard. Windows 8 works great with mouse and keyboard too!

reissy - What if your Windowd 8 Phone had a 3" x 5.5"  screen and showed 6x8=48 small tiles (or various med. & large) which is still easy to pocket and hold and included at least what we have now (eg L920) plus the following:
Quad core processor (already on cell phones)
1080p resolution   (hinted as next on new Windows 8 Phone OS)
File system - for Office, File transfer to/from USB RAM Disks etc. (should be easy for Microsoft or Nokia - hinted as on the way)
DNLA video out (available on earlier Nokia phones, which makes common digital tv's into good monitors)
Bluetooth keyboard & mouse (exists already)
Now one could carry their 'mainframe' computer in pocket and have monitor, keyboard & mouse at home and/or office. 
You could do Office, video editing and everything you do on your desktop PC with this configuration.
What hardware beyond this would you need to handle apps you can't do on a tablet. Sales are dropping and the PC is dying for a reason. The desktop computer will dissapear into the cell phone, possibley before the end of this year. Watch closely.
Then you will always have your computer with you.

Trying to use DLNA as video output brings in huge latency. Imagine moving your Bluetooth mouse and waiting half a second for the phone to encode the cursor movement into a compressed video stream. There's a reason that many phones and tablets have an actual (mini or micro) HDMI connector.

The other problem is that while basic tools to develop Windows desktop applications and Android applications are available without charge, Microsoft charges a recurring fee of $99 per developer per year for tools to develop Windows Phone 8 applications. Stop paying your developer license, and you lose the privilege even to run an application that you wrote on a device that you own. It's like Apple's iOS developer program, except you get even fewer provisioning certificates for testers.

Well, I suppose it depends on what type of business you're in. Web designers, graphic designers even many copy writers depend a lot on their PCs. I'm sure that tech support and those pesky telemarketers aren't using tablets or phones to access your information.
The fact is that mobile devices, while great, have a limited power source and limited use.
One needs to be hardwired to an outlet to have continuous energy supply to do the things they really need to do. I can't say to a client on deadline that I have to wait for my device to get power. I'd be looking for a new client.
I think desktops and laptops are a necessity and mobile devices are a luxury in the modern working world. I don't think they're going away any time soon and they can work hand in hand with their smaller siblings. Play nice.

Don't forget about AMD lacking for 3 years with no Enovation from them! Intel with now 3 generation's of CPU SOC same clock speed "3.5GHz" & CPU cores "Quad-Core" with 0 compaction from AMD!

- i7-2700k 32nm Sandy bridge
- i7-3770k 22nm Ivy bridge
- i7-4770k 22nm Haswell
- i7-5800k 14nm Broadwell "future"

And Intel gets to set crazy prices for these processor's! $319.+

And lack of compaction from AMD with GPU's letting NVIDIA take #1 spot and setting the crazy price of $899. for a single GPU card!


AMD is moving from x86-64 to ARMv8 technology soon! Don't think it will become a good thing?

The only thing they got going for them is 3 game systems contact's!

With the Nintendo Wii U failing that levees Sony & Microsoft to make profit from?

I think people are failing to see the choises you have since windows ads only contain microsoft services like bing internet explorer and xbox music (ZUNE), they might not see that chrome google and everything else still exists. Aside from that the desktop apps replace the exiperience of webbrowsing i started using news weather sports and email apps to save time of browsing the content on the internet. Some people also don't realize that winodws 8 has better performance than windows 7 in boot up launching applications and cpu/ram usage. 

I don't see an end to the PC... My company runs on windows 8 and windows phone 8. My developers develop on powerful windows 8 laptops with docking stations. My sales people use HP envy x2 on the road, running on windows 8. I have windows 8 running at my desktop and my laptop. My people love windows 8. Yes, it took a while for some to get used to it, but now they love it. They use the metro screen to get the bottom line info on news and other updates and when it gets down to getting serious work done, they use the desktop. I could not imagine running my business on tablets... I don't use desktops that much anymore, because mobility is key, but the end of PC? Not for me...

Honestly, the only thing that could jeopardize the PC would be, to me, two things:
1 - the gaming industry starts transforming consoles into normal computers (PS4, the new Xbox etc). They've already come close with the inclusion of internet exploring (PS3 does that. I assume Xbox does it too).
2 - Business corporations start to go mad and replace PC's with Macbooks.

Unless either of those happens, I don't see PC going away that soon. Well, of course, if Microsoft continues to develop OS's like Windows 8, that won't help PC survive at all, but I don't think it's enough to bring everything down. Gamers won't want to play FPS games on tablets or smartphones. Nor any other games that request more than a couple of touches on a screen. And many gamers simply grew tired on console remotes (or never liked them that much).
As for business, they are 90% based on Office tools. To change everything to an Apple environment would be way to expensive and would bring no benefits to them. The only corporations I can see doing that are the music and design ones, but even those will still have their accounting etc on Office tools.

Since Apple has no more Enovation "Death of the master mind Steve Jobs" Apple is going on a downward spiral! May take 5-6 years... A good thing for Microsoft has they push Surface & Windows Phone to new heights!

True. Though one can't be too sure. They may pull out some Apple fanboy who happens to actually be a really good creative and in that case Microsoft will still have a headache.
Also, it's not that good of a sign that Microsoft wasn't able to profit more from the downfall of Blackberry...

I believe by 2020 It will be a Microsoft/Intel world with Smartphone's & Tablets all connected to Cloud Computing! Google will be second place with Apple in 3rd place! This is my opinion.

By 2020 Internet/cloud streaming computing will take over! So yes the PC will die as we know it today but evolution of the PC will be some sort of cloud computing box.

The PC is not going anywhere.. The IDC article did not account for all in one touch PC's and hybrid laptops or surface like computers when they did their numbers to discredit Microsoft Windows 8. So right off the bat, their story was BS. Thats why Lenovo came out and said sales where up.. Also, sales in the US aren't the whole whole story in the computer industry, you have to account for world wide sales, which IDC didn't. Plus what about the Windows 8 upgrades.. I have upgraded all my computers from Windows 7 to windows 8. I'm talking 3 Desktops and 2 laptops. Plus I'm a gamer, yes I love consoles, but they are limited. I can do my own upgrading. Yea sure I can buy an Alienware X51, but I have a computer that I have invested money on and spent little money doing it. Now with the introduction of steam box and the new Alienware X51 computers being advertized. I think the computer is do for a comeback. IPad, surface and smart phones are PC's too. Just another form factor. But the home computer is not going to be totally replaced.

In my opinion traditional PCs are going to lose their importance. They are not going to die because there are some tasks that can't be performed on other devices, like smartphones or tablets, but for users who don't need to work or play serious games at home, traditional PCs aren't needed anymore.
In the past, those who needed a device just for email and facebook would have to buy a full PC because there was nothing else where you could do those simple tasks. Now there are other options. Many people are going to buy tablets and do their work on their workplace PCs from now on. This will have a huge impact on traditional PC sales.
Take my case. I need a computer only for downloading TV series via torrent and for Office 2013 which I use for University work, everything else I now do on my tablet. This made me reduce the use of my PC drastically! Before I had a tablet I had my PC turned on 24/7, now I just turn it 3 or 4 times a week and for like 2 hours top. Using my PC for such short periods will hopefully make it last longer. Instead of buying a new PC every 2 years, now I'll probably buy a new one every 4 or 5 years! Imagine millions of people who are in my situation doing the same and you can imagine the brutal impact that will have on PC sales.

I think way too many people want to be the first to "report" Microsoft's death. They want to be able to say "I saw it coming", so as soon as something they do isn't an immediate hit they beat it with negativity, and act as if this isn't a 30+ year old, multi billion dollar company that knows what it's doing.
This short article summed it up pretty well.

That's hardly the only reason why people would claim Microsoft's demise. It's suppose to be a friendly warning. The canary flying out of a coal mine. They have been making nothing but duds, from WP7 and WP8, to buying skype for billions of dollars, to now Windows 8. Stupid business decisions and stupid oversimplification of their core operating system is leading them down the road to death. They have failed to innovate and adapt, failed to listen to customers, failed to compete, and failed to learn from past mistakes. It's a post-PC era because Microsoft is heading off the cliff, even with all these blatant warnings. They aren't listening. 30+ year company? What a joke. I've seen 100+ year old companies that perish with one bad product or one bad decision. Microsoft is forming a string of them.

one word. GAMING! I used to be all about console gaming but I recently built my first gaming PC and holy shit crysis 3 PC vs crysis 3 Xbox graphics wise not even close now if only there was a way to link the two so I could get achievements on games that are for both Xbox and PC (I know some windows games have achievements but I'm talking mainstream games)

Show me a tablet or phone that can really replace what I call high productivity tasks.  Most apps for the phone or the tablet are single task based application or just reflect what the driving website can do.  Heck most apps that are extensions of the web site always skip critical features of their sites.
So I would say that the PC for real productivity is not dead.  It's in a "transitional" role.  I have been playing with both Surface Pro and Surface RT.  What I have found that is that  Pro has become my primary PC.  Yes I have my multimonitor setup, edit family videos, play a few games, but mostly have a browser and some type of productivty app running and working at the same time.  I use it at work and at home.
I think the real question should be for the casual user is PC declining.  I would say yes.  For the power user the roll of the PC is in place but what we were doing in that space is slowly coming to the portable platforms.  I find myself taking the RT with me where I don't need to rely on productivty.  Such as the couch.  The Pro goes everywhere else.

Let's not compare this with "climate change," though. As noted in the article OEM are largely at fault for the decline in PC sales. They are far from ready for the shift in paradigm we are in the midst if now.

So, I have a 3 year old computer, but since my games run still fine on them, I only replaced the graphics card en bought a Windows 8 upgrade. No need to spend a lot of cash to upgrade or replace my computer. I bought however an ultrabook with touch and I had already an iPad and a smartphone, which are all personal computers in a way.