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Microsoft profit slides on slumping PC sales

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#46 68k

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 14:31

I bought a Windows 8.1 disc but ended up returning it because Windows 7 does everything I need, and I prefer it. I'll never forget the day trying Windows 95 for the first time (coming from a Macintosh background). I remember thinking 'wow, this works so much more smarter' (in relation to the 'new' Start menu at the time).

 

On another note, I was disappointed that Windows 7 Upgrade/Full Retail was no longer available for purchase (to upgrade a family member's PC still running XP).

 

I was going to buy a Windows Phone however after trying it out for a while at the store there just wasn't any 'wow' factor. I went to the store with high expectations having waited a year to see what Windows Phone would evolve into. I left after deciding to stick with Android.

 

My PC is about two years old and should last me another five years, at least.

 

Many people are in the same situation as me. Unfortunately, this isn't good for Microsoft, and I don't think there's much they can really do about it.

 

When I look back, there was some amazing turnarounds at Microsoft over the years. Microsoft learned lessons from Windows ME and Vista, and ended up producing pretty much perfect OSs (XP, 7). Windows 8 can be the basis of something great - I just hope they deliver with Windows 9.

 

Finally, Office Online and similar apps have given users a whole lot more flexibility with OSs.




#47 Dot Matrix

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 14:41

Pfft. Jim Cramer is a buffoon.



#48 Deactivated.

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 14:45

Pfft. Jim Cramer is a buffoon.

Isn't he basically saying the same thing as you? Just replace "Windows" with "Windows as we knew it":

 

 

This is a Window's purge call," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street." "You cannot hear Windows. They try to avoid it. It's almost as if he's rebranding the company right here, right now."

 

And they are in fact (thankfully) also getting rid of the brand "Windows" in a lot of their products



#49 PGHammer

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 15:13

I don't know about being 'doomed', but Microsoft certainly faces more competition, not so good economies around the world, and a saturated computer market.

The saturated computer market and a FLAT requirement base (what are the hardware requirements for Windows 8.1 compared to Vista, for example) means that it's certainly not existing software - even in terms of the OS - pushing a need to upgrade.  Not upgrading the operating system is the "chicken choice" - however, it's also the EASY choice as it costs nothing to stay put.  Mobile hardware obsolesces MUCH faster than desktop-formfactor PCs - in fact, it obsolesces faster than portable PCs.  Therefore, instead of upgrading their PCs, folks are buying smartphones or tablets or phablets - ALL of which obsolesce faster than a PC of any sort.

 

In fact, the fast obsolescence of mobile hardware is ALSO getting complained about here on Neowin - smartphones that are useless before the contract is over are beginning to REALLY hork folks off.  (That's why T-Mobile's UnCarrier strategy is working - why go with a two-year contract for a device that will be overtaken by events at the contract's halfway point?)  However, can Google - or Apple - afford to slow down the pace of mobile hardware upgrades?  (Apple HAS slowed down - dramatically - the pace of upgrades for the iPods - and where are they today?  Largely moribund, if not outright flat.  I think that is one reason why both companies are pushing - and pushing - change after rapid change for both Android and iOS, despite the demand from consumers that both companies slow down the rapid obsolescence of mobile hardware; they are afraid of winding up where Windows is - locked into a cage of largely-unchanging requirements.



#50 Melfster

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 15:20

Guess what the most popular version of android is?  Its not the lastest version.  Its  4.1 followed by gingerbread 2.1.  Kikat is only at 2% market share.  This is also major problem for google.. Because nobody is upgrading their OS.



#51 PGHammer

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 15:28

I totally agree with you the only reason for low adoption of OSX is Apple restriction to put OSX on their over priced hardware. But with Maverick, Apple is going free on OS front and which I think is laying up positive foundation for mass adoption. Economically a typical good configuration hardware last for at least 5 years for average user. The same good configuration hardware will cost around $600-$800 on average. If someone has to buy windows twice for during the course of five year at average price of $150 then the total cost will be around $1,000 which might be at par with Mac range computers and then you don't have to deal with all those activation, antivirus and lots of other bloatware crap inherent in windows. 

 

You are also right in saying in today's time no one in right mind will replace windows with Android on productive machine. But Android is not meant to be on productive machine as it is meant primarily for content consumption and this clear cut differentiation is a strong point for Android as people know what to expect from Android unlike MS trying to shoehorn Desktop on 8 inch tablet and claiming it to be a productive machine. Never seen such a confused corporation. But growth of Android will open the doors of Linux wide open in near future. Technological landscape changes very quickly. Who would have thought just 5 years back that Blackberry will be in such a hot water or in just two decades, Apple which was on verge of bankruptcy and was kind of bailed out by MS, will  not only competing with MS but also beating MS with a huge margin. 

 

MS has gone too complacent and they are too big to carry their own weight. I don't care what MS fanboys believe themselves but market is giving signals to MS to either innovate in right direction or be prepared to keep loosing ground. 

Mavericks is free ONLY if you are upgrading from at least Snow Leopard (technically, on Apple's own hardware only - despite even Apple's hardware base being unchanged, for the most part, SINCE Snow Leopard).  And what exactly IS the "right direction", Auditor?  According to you (and those that share your opinion)  the only right direction is to NOT innovate at all as far as the OS itself goes.  No touch support in applications (despite more and more hardware with touch-supporting capability - and not just portable/mobile hardware, either), retention of pointing-device-centricity (despite there actually being some users that are keyboard-centric) - basically, stay where Windows 7 was.

 

While the technological landscape IS changing rapidly, we, as users OF that technology, don't want to change what we do with it, for the most part.  Not only has there been resistance to changes in Windows from 8 forward, the hew and cry over far more rapid changes in terms of MOBILE hardware is getting blowback as well - how much screaming has there been when it turns out your smartphone, or tablet, or other mobile device, can't get an upgrade to the latest version of Android/iOS/Windows Phone due to changes in what hardware that OS supports?  Mobile hardware obsolesces FAR faster than even portable PCs, let alone desktop-formfactor PCs - and consumers are decidedly unhappy with that.

 

How long will it be before we try to cage Android and iOS the same way we are trying to cage Windows?



#52 sinetheo

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 16:10

I think the answer is yes.

 

Everyone here is right. lol

 

1. Windows 8 discourages people familiar with XP to upgrade and they think holy crap I have learn this?!

2. Computers can type things in word, load facebook, play cd's fine. There is no need to throw it out

3. Economy sucks due to this depression we are in. Windows 7 grew HUGE market share faster than any OS!! .. however, it is 100% true also that the pie slice it took is an overall smaller pie. So this this means enthusiasts and those still employed upgraded to leave XP FINALLY. While those with money problems did not, as well as die hards and grandma's  ... look up 1# and 2#. So yes everyone is correct. This is reflected in mac sales.

4. People use whatever comes on their computer. So if Linux was on half the marketshare would be 1/2 etc. However they tend to return them if turbo tax or their ancient version of corel cd creator wont work. But if a larger marketshare was there Joe Six pack would not care

5. Non professionals prefer tablets as their replacements. If they do not need to type spreadsheets for work they do not need a pc. PRofessionals who have money tend to buy both anyway.

 

There you have it folks. The pie is smaller even if upgrade paces are slowing down. The PC is turning back to its roots as enthusiasts are building more and more and buying less crappy dells. The people who did not use a pc until 1999 are the ones using XP still or switching to tablets. Ignore them as they only needed a computer for the internet and myspace aka now facebook. Waste of money if you do not do work or are a student.



#53 simplezz

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 16:47

That's just incorrect. Windows will continue to exist for years yet, and with a new CEO and a fresh attitude, so will Microsoft. They'll be a strong contender in the market for a long while.

While it will continue in the enterprise for the next decade at least due to the fact that they lag years behind the rest of the world, in the consumer market, Windows is all but finished. Every Microsoft platform is shrinking in marketshare, and not by a small amount either.

Don't kid yourselves, universal Windows applications are going to bolster Microsoft's mindshare.

FTFY. After all, the apps only run on Microsoft platforms, which as I said above, are shrinking in marketshare. Therefore, it's impossible for mindshare to increase. Developers who are already targeting Windows, will be able to share more code between the disparate versions, but it won't make it anymore attractive to new developers if the target audience is shrinking.

#54 Max Norris

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 16:52

While it will continue in the enterprise for the next decade at least due to the fact that they lag years behind the rest of the world, in the consumer market, Windows is all but finished. Every Microsoft platform is shrinking in marketshare, and not by a small amount either.

Got a source for this claim?  Everything I'm finding on Google says the exact opposite.  Phone/tablet sales are up sure, PCs have slowed down, to be expected.. cheap devices that have to be upgraded frequently drives fast sales.. doesn't mean people are throwing their computers into the garbage. 



#55 Melfster

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 16:54

Got a source for this claim?  Everything I'm finding on Google says the exact opposite.  Phone/tablet sales are up sure, PCs have slowed down, to be expected.. doesn't mean people are throwing their computers into the garbage. 

 

 

Actually tablet sales are not that great this quarter.  It looks like they really leveling off.    



#56 Dot Matrix

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 17:22

While it will continue in the enterprise for the next decade at least due to the fact that they lag years behind the rest of the world, in the consumer market, Windows is all but finished. Every Microsoft platform is shrinking in marketshare, and not by a small amount either.

FTFY. After all, the apps only run on Microsoft platforms, which as I said above, are shrinking in marketshare. Therefore, it's impossible for mindshare to increase. Developers who are already targeting Windows, will be able to share more code between the disparate versions, but it won't make it anymore attractive to new developers if the target audience is shrinking.


Windows is far "from finished." It still comes preloaded on popular desktop and laptop models.

Overall market share for Windows is quite stable.

#57 George P

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 18:24

All MS is doing when talking about cloud and mobile first is in it's earnings call is show the market that it's more than just a "Windows OS" company.  Azure is growing quick and doesn't seem to be slowing down at all for example.   De-emphasizing the importance of "Windows" doesn't mean it's not important it's just not the key source of their revenues like it was 10-15 years ago.  I think it's clear with how they're making select versions of it free now.  Cloud services and devices be it consumer or business ones are where the company is going, Windows, as a OS will still be a part, it's just one of many instead of the major one it once was.  



#58 simplezz

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 18:42

Got a source for this claim?  Everything I'm finding on Google says the exact opposite. Phone/tablet sales are up sure

Marketshare, not sales numbers, which inevitably go up in a growing market. Anyway:

Oh and back to Nokia, the Kantar market share numbers from February 2014 compared to November 2013 suggest that Windows Phone market share is down in most regions except Latin America - and quite dramatically in the largest smartphone market, China. Not good news for Nokia for Q1 but Nokia may be saved by the X-Series running Android.

http://communities-d...ogs.com/brands/

LARGEST OPERATING SYSTEMS OF COMPUTERS WHEN SMARTPHONES & TABLETS INCLUDED
Rank . . . . . Brand . . . . . . Units 2013 . . Market Share 2013 (was 2012)
1 (1) . . . . . Android . . . . . 845 M . . . . . . 57% (38%)
1 (2) . . . . . Windows . . . . 290 M . . . . . . 19% (24%)
3 (3) . . . . . iOS . . . . . . . . 270 M . . . . . . 18% (22%)
4 (4) . . . . . Blackberry . . . . 23 M . . . . . . . 2% (3%)
. . . . . . . . . Others . . . . . . . 64 M . . . . . . . 4% (12%)
TOTAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,492 M

http://communities-d...-so-far-th.html

Note the shrinking total marketshare of Windows on a YOY basis.

#59 Max Norris

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 18:44

Note the shrinking total marketshare of Windows on a YOY basis.

Ah, mixing apples and oranges then. No pun intended. Throw in some game consoles too, that'll make Windows look even worse. They can browse the web and "consume" too. If we're just talking about desktop PC's (since you can't install iOS on a PC for example), it's a whole different set of numbers. As I said before, of course people are buying phones and tablets faster.. they're dirt cheap and need frequent upgrading anyway. It doesn't mean that PC's are being phased out.

#60 simplezz

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 19:06

Ah, mixing apples and oranges then.

My original post was talking about marketshare.

Throw in some game consoles too, that'll make Windows look even worse.

I don't focus on sales numbers for a number of reasons.
1. Microsoft rarely provides any. Or if it does, it's usually some statistical trick like "fasting growing OS", or "licences sold".
2. Some markets are growing (phones, tablets) and some are shrinking (PC's). The best way to determine mindshare as DotMatrix likes to put it, is to look at the overall OS marketshare.

If we're just talking about desktop PC's, it's a whole different set of numbers.

The desktop is just small part of the personal computing market these days, and one that's shrinking in both numbers and relevance I might add. Things are evolving, and Windows is no longer centre stage any more. That's why I don't focus on the desktop any more.

As I said before, of course people are buying phones and tablets faster.. they're dirt cheap and need frequent upgrading anyway. It doesn't mean that PC's are being phased out.

It also means that PC's aren't driving consumer trends or OEM profits. Who buys a new desktop computer more than once a decade any more? Enthusiasts perhaps, but they are savvy enough to eschew Windows and go GNU/Linux. For the rest, old desktops, new tablets and phones are good enough.