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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!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

215 Comments
  • 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.
  • Everything evolves, only time will tell.
  • 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.
  • Consoles are good for major-label games, but historically their developer qualifications have shut out indie developers.
  • 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. 
  • I thought several models of tablet had HDMI output, allowing a tablet to use a monitor as big as needed.
  • 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.
  • couldn't agree with you more olamay.
    Microsoft still on that pattern(one good and another bad OS)
  • I think windows 8 is good its just sour on a keyboard and mouse.
  • Actually I like win8 better with a keyboard and mouse then touch screen.
  • 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.
    TOUCH TOUCH TOUCH
    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. 
  • This guy gets it.
  • 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.
  • i totally agree with you 110%
  • 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.
  • Custom built PC always better than brand name pre-built PC with garbage parts!
  • "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.
  • Lol xD
  • That could very well happen!
  • 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.
  • The iPad is a PC.
  • "The iPad is a toy" There, fixed that for you.
  • 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.
  • Yes its a toy but it's also a PC but not a very good one.
  • Explains why 2-year-olds play with it...
  • HAHHAHHAHHA LOL THE IPAD IS A PC!!!  wow,  dumbest comment ive heard all day.  thanks
  • 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.
  • For now. Whos to day that won't change in time though? 
  • Every engineer ever.
  • 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...
  • For me Windows 8 has ruined the PC desktop experience.
  • Then use windows 7
  • 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.
  • How us this? Use the desktop mode and you shouldn't have any problems.
  • I think desktops are becoming things only professionals need. Laptops and tablets are more of a consumer thing.
  • 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
  • bollocks, sure on consumer side u use pc less and less but on buisness side, almost every buisness can't survive without PC
  • 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
  • Well to be fair, a Mac has the same specs as those crappy $400 laptops, just with three times the price.
  • Lets not over exaggerate but I do agree they are over priced
  • 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
  • A very good idea! Keep Apple out of schools!
  • 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.
  • THIS
  • 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. 
  • +1
  • I think windows 8 price is little high. MS needs to decrease it.
  • Yes you're right
  • 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?
  • I love it too