Gartner not as fast to blame Windows 8 for PC shipment drops

Wednesday, the research firm IDC claims that their numbers showed worldwide PC shipments went down by 13.9 percent in the first quarter of 2013, well below expectations. IDC was pretty quick to blame the launch of Windows 8 as one of the main reason for the PC shipment shortfall, claiming that the new user interface and the lack of a Start menu on the desktop, among other things, "have made PCs a less attractive alternative" compared to tablets.

The same day, another well know research firm, Gartner, issued its own PC shipment report for the first quarter of this year. Like IDC, they reported a large overall drop in PC shipments worldwide, to 79.2 million units. Gartner's number are slightly better than IDC, claiming that shipments were down 11.2 percent from the same period a year ago.

While Gartner agreed with IDC that consumers are now buying more tablets and smartphones in place of PC desktops and notebooks, Gartner was not as quick to blame Windows 8 for the PC industry's current issues. Isabelle Durand, principal research analyst at Gartner, stated:

Touchscreen-based Ultramobiles offer PC manufacturers an opportunity to recover market share from media tablets, but Windows 8 PCs with touchscreens accounted for only a small percentage of consumer PC shipments in the first quarter of 2013. The majority of consumers remain unwilling to pay the price premium for touchscreen capabilities on PCs at this stage. But, even so, touchscreens and Windows 8 will represent key opportunities for PC manufacturers in the second half of 2013.

So basically, Gartner believes it's not Windows 8 itself that's the problem but rather the price of touchscreen-based PCs that are too high, along with the fact that a limited number of those PCs have been shipped so far. PC makers who come out with cheaper touchscreen PCs with Windows 8 will do better in the second half of 2013, based on Gartner's forecast.

Like IDC, Gartner also doesn't count Windows 8-based tablet devices, such as Microsoft Surface Pro, as part of their PC shipment numbers, something which perhaps both companies should perhaps think about adding in future reports.

Source: Gartner

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour released for Windows Phone 8

Next Story

New Windows 8 and WP8 apps offer Microsoft Office Webinar videos

47 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

What's fascinating about all this crap is how willfully ignorant people are of historical data.

There's a very interesting fact being exposed by these reports, and it's being misused: that this is the first decline since 2001. What's so interesting about this fact is that it means PC sales saw growth, year over year, for the ENTIRE LIFE of Windows XP--the longest stretch in Windows history that Microsoft went without releasing a new consumer OS.

If people were still buying new PCs in 2006 with XP on them, I think it's safe to say that the OS was not the driving force behind sales, but rather a combination of two things:

1. In 2001, only 56% of American households had PCs (census data). That's a lot of room left for first-time sales.

2. Applications were driving hardware advancement and laptops were going through explosive growth. PCs were INTERESTING and people wanted them, and they wanted them to be able to do these interesting things.

By 2010, PCs were in over 77% of American households, leaving less room for new growth and a greater need to market upgrades, replacements, and multi-computer households. Why have just a family computer? Buy one for your kids!

While we were changing HOW PCs needed to be sold, we were simultaneously revolutionizing mobile computing with smartphones and tablets--a purely device-based market, looked at as distinct and separate from PCs. Location awareness, motion sensitivity, multi-touch, and persistent connectivity laid the groundwork for a whole new paradigm welcoming innovative application. In other words, it's where the INTERESTING went.

Though purists obsess over the desktop PC paradigm and what defines it in terms of limitations (this feature CANNOT be on PCs, that technology MUST NOT be on PCs), a PC that refuses to evolve is a PC hurtling toward becoming old news.

pc's havnt sold much because nothign new has happened with them its not liek the good ole days where iwanted to update every 6months. now a pc lasts 4years without being slowed down

Hmm Lets look at this from a different perspective.... how about the fact that microsoft built an operating system that works better on old hardware than previous os's...

Of the colleague, friends and clients i would say 80% have upgraded there os and not there pc/laptop. The main reason for other 20% is for new form factors stylus or touch screen.

So it was poor for IDC to change Microsofts

Windows 8 == FAIL
Windows Phone 7/8 == FAIL
Office 2013 == FAIL
Office 365 == FAIL
Server 2012 == FAIL

Microsoft has *nothing* that is doing well right now except their older software IF you can find it.

Microsoft == FAIL

runningnak3d said,
Windows 8 == FAIL
Windows Phone 7/8 == FAIL
Office 2013 == FAIL
Office 365 == FAIL
Server 2012 == FAIL

Microsoft has *nothing* that is doing well right now except their older software IF you can find it.

Microsoft == FAIL

This is a new kind of special. #facepalm

Dot Matrix said,

This is a new kind of special. #facepalm

Just keep on living in denial. Big WinME fan too? Vista? (IMHO Vista was great, but it was still a failure). I am not a MS hater ... I have loved and used every OS they have released except WinME, and now Winblows 8. It is a ****ty ****ty OS designed by a bunch of morons that just don't "get it".

LOL did you not read what you just wrote? Did you not go to school or something? You obviously don't know your facts or you don't know how business works.

First of all Windows is not a fail, it's the price of new touch-enabled laptops/tablets at this point, which will get cheaper as time goes on and also for the techies, the reputation it's gained from those who don't like to adapt to change. Many people still want new Windows 8 machines, and I've even heard myself it's the price (which is the same reason Apple wasn't doing so well before either). When cheap Windows 7 netbooks came on the scene, everyone was jumping on that because it was super cheap, but that fad died out quick, but because so many people bought these, they don't want to dish out money for another computer UNLESS THEY HAVE TO. Which they will when they are ready and there are more affordable options available.

Second, Windows Phone has been growing at a much faster pace compared to it's competitors. It will eventually catch on if they keep doing what they're doing. Also, just because it's not doing amazing in the US doesn't mean it's not doing well in other countries (which it very well is).

Third, Office 365 is not a fail. There have been no stats on that yet from the consumer side but from the business and enterprise side it's been doing amazing. Along with Microsoft's Dynamics CRM business.

Lastly, Server 2012, what's so fail about that? That's also been doing well compared to usual adaption rates. Keep in mind, people slowly adapt new servers due to the learning curve behind it first.

Just because you think all those products are a "fail", particularly on the consumer side I'm assuming, doesn't mean Microsoft is a fail, because they are still winning greatly in the commercial/business/public sector side which still keeps them on top.

j2006 said,
LOL did you not read what you just wrote? Did you not go to school or something? You obviously don't know your facts or you don't know how business works.

First of all Windows is not a fail, it's the price of new touch-enabled laptops/tablets at this point, which will get cheaper as time goes on and also for the techies, the reputat....

sheesh, STOP SAYING THAT WINDOWS 8 WORKS FINE FOR TOUCH DEVICE.

Just stop that!.

Windows 8 is a two face OS, from one side is the real windows and to other side is Modern UI. Real windows is not suitable for touch devices and, while Modern UI is for touch devices but, is inferior to Android and IOS in almost every single aspect.

I see lots of Metro tards defending windows 8 when they had done nothing research as compared to professional analyst. Keep dreaming. Windows 8 is a huge flop and metro will cause demise of MS.

These analyst are wrong, again. Claming PC don't sell cause Windows 8 is possible but where they're wrong is it's not because Windows 8 isn't good. Windows 8 role in PC bad selling is cause it's pretty good : it can works perfectly on a 4 years old computer... So new one isn't needed. Microsoft making a good job for users, not specially for industry, should be blamed ? World go sad.

"The majority of consumers remain unwilling to pay the price premium for touchscreen capabilities on PCs at this stage." -Gartner

There it is.

So basically, Gartner believes it's not Windows 8 itself that's the problem but rather the price of touchscreen-based PCs that are too high, along with the fact that a limited number of those PCs have been shipped so far. PC makers who come out with cheaper touchscreen PCs with Windows 8 will do better in the second half of 2013, based on Gartner's forecast.

Also I think it's that a bunch of OEMs have seen how Apple can charge high prices and make good sales, but without realizing that Apple tends to use premium materials that, to some people, justify their price. On the Windows side you get OEMs like Acer that make a plastic piece of crap that costs $1000 that nobody wants to buy. And then Acer blames Microsoft.

Look at Lenovo, they're generally known for quality and they're having great sales.

Also please don't make this into a hurr durr Apple products are overpriced.

Article
So basically, Gartner believes it's not Windows 8 itself that's the problem but rather the price of touchscreen-based PCs that are too high

+1.

I just take a look at one example: the HP Envy x2 launched at $849 and while it's good hardware, it's an absolute joke at that price. Compared to its current price of $599 (and even as cheap as $525), it's far more palatable. Still, all PC OEMs were clearly trying to pull a fast one on the public, hoping that with Windows 8, people would pay whatever they asked for touch. That's obviously not true.

The reason all of these machines have touch is because of the Windows 8 push, even though no one wants or needs a touchscreen on the desktop. It's just not ergonomic and offers no advantages, especially not for an added price.

Touch on tablets--absolutely. On laptops--well, for convertibles sure, otherwise, it'll be a price trade-off that many will not feel the need to take with a laptop.

So, there's an overall economic slowdown affecting all, but in addition to that is the lack of demand for touch (at a premium price) and the general distrust/dislike of Windows 8 by desktop consumers and business users.

Let me fix that first paragraph for you:

The reason all of these machines have touch is because of the Windows 8 push, and because excalpius does not want or need a touchscreen on the desktop, he can make broad generalizations and believe that nobody wants or needs a touchscreen on the desktop.

And correction to the second paragraph:

So, there's an overall economic slowdown affecting all, but in addition to that is excalpius does not want touch (at a premium price) and because of his personal distrust/dislike of Windows 8, he is arrogant enough to believe that all consumers and business users thinks exactly like him and everyone else distrusts/dislikes Windows 8.

SoylentG said,
Let me fix that first paragraph for you
"The majority of consumers remain unwilling to pay the price premium for touchscreen capabilities on PCs at this stage."

That's not excalpius, that's Gartner.

You are guilty of the same thing that all the (other) anti-8 pundits are doing - projecting your personal dislikes onto the market at large. The bigger issue is VERY much price premiums for touch-screen PCs - of any sort; said premium drops, or goes away altogether, as screen sizes decrease. There IS a market - albeit a niche one for now - for larger-format touch-screen Windows 8 PCs; otherwise nobody would make them at all. The vast majority of Windows 8 ads - of all formats - emphasized the touch support, which is, without any doubt at all, improved over Windows 7. However, they are both more expensive AND not exactly in large numbers. Here's ONE thing I'd like any of the anti-8 pundits to do, if they can - name ONE touch-only ModernUI app - included with Windows 8 or available in the Windows 8 App Store. Supporting touch is not at the expense of mouse support in Windows 8 - any more than it is in Android - if anything, it is LESS at that expense than Android (which was far more touch-biased) ever was, and especially with Froyo and earlier - have you tried to maneuver around Froyo or Eclair with a mouse? Why else did Google officially frown on Froyo and earlier in tablets? I've used touch where a keyboard is not available - and before it became an option in ANY version of Windows; however, I don't prefer it to keyboards and mice. (Haven't I made that quite plain?) I absolutely LOATHE virtual keyboards - however, I loathe them all - regardless of OS or implementation. It's not touch INSTEAD of the keyboard and mouse - it's an option with the same application support, pretty much (though there remain more applications that supports keyboards and mice than touch; however, there are exactly zero where the reverse is true - even on Android or iOS.) A distrust of 8 in business, and to an extent among some consumers? I get THAT much - habits are darn hard to break, and the Start menu has had a nearly two DECADE run. However, that CAN be overcome - the "Fisher Price" UI of XP was, and the Start menu's excision has far less of an impact (as in no impact whatever) on applications.

Deranged said,
I gotta ask...why the hell would anyone buy a prebuilt machine these days? So they can get their dose of incredibly crappy software included?

Not everyone knows how to build their own machines, And can you custom build a laptop? As far as I know, you cannot.

PGHammer said,
Here's ONE thing I'd like any of the anti-8 pundits to do, if they can - name ONE touch-only ModernUI app - included with Windows 8 or available in the Windows 8 App Store. Supporting touch is not at the expense of mouse support in Windows 8
Modern Apps support mouse in the same way the Desktop supports touch - it works, but it's not optimised for that usage. It's impossible to optimize for two conflicting sets of requirements together, and Modern UI has chosen touch over mouse and keyboard as the one it optimizes for. That's the whole point for creating it in the first place, i.e. Windows used to lack a touch-optimized UI, now it does.

Dr_Asik said,
"The majority of consumers remain unwilling to pay the price premium for touchscreen capabilities on PCs at this stage."

That's not excalpius, that's Gartner.

Except that is not what excalpius wrote. He said no one wants a desktop with touch screen. I do. Therefore, his use of no one is factually incorrect. He said no one, Gartner said a majority of people do not want to pay the price for a touch screen desktop. Gartner's statement says a majority will not pay the current price. A majority is a percentage above 50%, that could mean that 49.9999% wants one at the current price. It could also mean that if prices were to drop, then they would be happy to take a touch screen at non-touch screen prices.

The problem is that excalpius made broad generalizations because of his biases, stating that not one single person wants a touch screen desktop. This can easily be proven incorrect, and Gartner's statement is not as dire for desktop touch screen sales as you would like us to believe.

techbeck said,
Not everyone knows how to build their own machines.

I tend to believe this is becoming irrelevant. Most of those who don't know someone who does.

Deranged said,

I tend to believe this is becoming irrelevant. Most of those who don't know someone who does.

Still cannot build a custom laptop/tablet tho and those are becoming more popular. Also, I build my mom a computer. All the parts are warrantied individually and limited warranties. If I buy a PC from say Dell, I have an option to warranty the whole thing for an extended time. So I may not always be able/around to fix my parents system, but they can call in the warranty and have someone over in the next day. May parents live in a small town of 2k people. They actually have a guy next door to them that works for Dell that repaired her laptop. I was living in AZ at the time and 2k miles away. So there ares till benefits for buying systems rather than custom building them.

techbeck said,
Still cannot build a custom laptop/tablet tho and those are becoming more popular. Also, I build my mom a computer. All the parts are warrantied individually and limited warranties. If I buy a PC from say Dell, I have an option to warranty the whole thing for an extended time. So I may not always be able/around to fix my parents system, but they can call in the warranty and have someone over in the next day. May parents live in a small town of 2k people. They actually have a guy next door to them that works for Dell that repaired her laptop. I was living in AZ at the time and 2k miles away. So there ares till benefits for buying systems rather than custom building them.

I didn't say it was irrelevant, just becoming irrelevant (though perhaps becoming less relevant would've been worded better.)

Along with the new machines necessity. Most non gamers I know would be fine on systems from 2007. They might like win8 or new kit but have no reason to upgrade.

SoylentG said,
The problem is that excalpius made broad generalizations because of his biases, stating that not one single person wants a touch screen desktop. This can easily be proven incorrect, and Gartner's statement is not as dire for desktop touch screen sales as you would like us to believe.

^ Speaking of biases...

MVD said,

^ Speaking of biases...

So if I state that somebody is incorrect because they state that no one, meaning not one single person of the entire population of humanity, wants a touch screen monitor, my want of a touchscreen desktop and Gartner's own statement proves that he is incorrect, and that is a bias?

The anti-8 people are out in full force.

Calm down . You're going on and on like a twelve year old that didn't get his way. Obviously he didn't mean "not one single person" - that would be your interpretation.

SoylentG said,
Except that is not what excalpius wrote. He said no one wants a desktop with touch screen. I do. Therefore, his use of no one is factually incorrect.

(...) Gartner's statement says a majority will not pay the current price. A majority is a percentage above 50%, that could mean that 49.9999% wants one at the current price.

If that's how you want to read things, then be my guest, but don't go after that accusing people of having biases. Obviously when Gartner say a "majority" they do not mean 50,0001% nor did excalpius literally mean that the count of individuals who want a touch screen on desktop is 0.

MVD said,
Calm down . You're going on and on like a twelve year old that didn't get his way. Obviously he didn't mean "not one single person" - that would be your interpretation.

excalpius makes a statement, a statement that was supposed to show how much people supposedly don't like Win8 and to pat himself on the back. I give proof that he was incorrect, and I am attacked for it. Not random opinion and gross generalizations like excalpius, but hard facts, and I am the one that is biased.

Neowin is really becoming a huge s-h-i-t hole.

Optimized for mice? Please; Android (what ships on most tablets and slates - for price reasons) isn't optimized for mice, either, yet most folks have zero issues USING mice on Android tablets - and Android actually is not only touch-optimized, but used to be touch-ONLY - as in ZERO support for mice. Is iOS optimized for mice? Folks don't have trouble using mice on iPads - despite the LACK of mouse-optimization. Like Android, iOS is touch-centric (and used to be touch-only, as in no support whatever for mice). It sounds like a fishing expedition - what you are REALLY angry at is that Windows 8 has touch support AT ALL. Not just that it has greater touch support than Windows 7, but that the touch support in 8 is more obvious than that of 7. You would likely have rather that 8 have LESS touch support than that of 7 - if not no touch support at all. Just because you have no use for touch support on the desktop (that is a user-specific decision) doesn't mean that there is NO use case for it. InTouch alone disagrees - their touch-screen displays are larger screenwise than that of even most high-end gaming desktops. They are niche devices, admitted; however, the darn things sell! I have no use for touch on my desktop; in fact, I loathe virtual keyboards. However, I recognize that as being a personal issue - my loathing for such keyboards isn't even OS-specific - said loathing applies to every implementation of them - be it Windows, Android, iOS, etc. However, my use cases don't mirror those of everyone else - I've said, more than once, that I'm an outlier - and offered evidence to back it up. Just because you choose to work in a gilded cage, do NOT try and extrapolate that everyone else wants to do the same.

And so it has begun.

The most interesting part of this thread is the following.

1. Andriod (Tablet/Phone OS)
2. IOS (Tablet/Phone OS)
3. Windows 8 (Tablet/PC ((Base Phone)) OS)

The convergence of the Items OS has begun. The discussion of Windows 8 in the same breath of the other Tablet OS has happened.

(BTW unless you jailbreak an IPAD, no mouse support period. )

PGHammer said,
Optimized for mice?
The Windows Desktop was designed and optimized for use with a mouse and a keyboard; it also clumsily supported touch. Because it was not optimized for touch, Microsoft designed a UI optimized for touch called Modern UI, which is not optimized for use with a keyboard and mouse. This is not a rant, this is just a fact. I'm not saying this is good or bad, that I hate or love it, or that I'm angry or happy about it. I don't why you are getting so defensive and argumentative about this. It's factual and obvious.

What you are REALLY angry at is that Windows 8 has touch support AT ALL.
I don't think you're able to read into my emotions, nor that my emotions matter in this discussion. Actually, I'm really not angry that Windows 8 has great touch support, and I think that's something Microsoft really needed. The problem with Windows 8 is not that it has great touch support (how could that be a bad thing?), it's that it mixes two different UIs supporting two different sets of application with completly different design, input scenarios and usage goals and this creates confusion and frustration especially for those used to the Desktop.

This could all be very easily avoided with simply touches (no pun intended) if, for instance, Windows 8 would not set Modern Apps as the default to perform ordinary tasks on the Desktop (opening images, devices, etc), if it would provide a Start Menu, if it could boot to Desktop, etc. None of this would detract from its ability to support touch in any way; touch users could stay in Modern UI land (i.e. the experience designed for them), and mouse and keyboard users could stay in Desktop land (i.e. the experience designed for them). It's the badly done hybridisation that's the problem, not the touch support in itself.

Deranged said
I tend to believe this is becoming irrelevant. Most of those who don't know someone who does.
Maybe for people you know, but I know lots of people who don't know someone who can do that.

dtourond said,
Maybe for people you know, but I know lots of people who don't know someone who can do that.

You can't? Seriously, it's just plugging things into slots. There's like one thing that could be difficult for a newbie.

The average computer user doesn't understand the concept of a web browser and refers to the monitor as "the computer", and to the computer as "the box underneath my desk". You cannot possibly expect this person to assemble a computer from individual pieces. She doesn't even know that these pieces exist in the first place, let alone what they do, let alone how to plug them together.

Dr_Asik said,
You cannot possibly expect this person to assemble a computer from individual pieces.

No, because I don't expect anyone to teach them otherwise. I'm just saying, outside of the CPU it's about as hard as plugging the box into the wall.

Deranged said,

No, because I don't expect anyone to teach them otherwise. I'm just saying, outside of the CPU it's about as hard as plugging the box into the wall.

The day most computers are home-built is the day computers have been reduced to a niche hobbyist market and other paradigms have overtaken it.

Joshie said,

The day most computers are home-built is the day computers have been reduced to a niche hobbyist market and other paradigms have overtaken it.

So you're saying pretty much how it's heading now?

Deranged said
You can't? Seriously, it's just plugging things into slots. There's like one thing that could be difficult for a newbie.
I can do that. That's not what I meant... There are lots of people that I've met through my friends who don't have anybody that they know personally who can do that stuff.

I paid 1300US$ for my current ultrabook with touchscreen capabilities, not a lot of people are willing to pay that amount of money for a computer or tech device, so I blame the prices

daniel_rh said,
I paid 1300US$ for my current ultrabook with touchscreen capabilities, not a lot of people are willing to pay that amount of money for a computer or tech device, so I blame the prices
you are right. not many will pay and they shouldnt. if PC makers who had 3 years to prepare hardware could have had touch screens produced in huge number, prices on them woukd have dropped. paying $300 more just for a touch capable screen is stupid.