IDC: PC shipments down 13.9% for the first quarter, blames Windows 8

The research firm IDC posted a report in March, predicting that for the entire year of 2013, PC shipments worldwide would contract by 1.3 percent. Today, IDC issued their report on PC shipments for the first quarter of 2013 and the results were even worse than what the firm had expected.

IDC says that there were 76.3 million PC units shipped during the first three months of the year, which is 13.9 percent lower than the same period a year ago. IDC previously predicted first quarter 2013 PC shipments would go down but by just 7.7 percent.

What's the culprit? IDC points the finger squarely at Microsoft and the launch of Windows 8 as the main reason for the lower number of PC shipments. Part of the reason is that Windows 8 PCs with touchscreens and slim designs have been "hampered by traditional barriers of price and component supply." However, IDC says that the design of Windows 8 itself is also to blame.

Bob O'Donnell, IDC Program Vice President, Clients and Displays, states:

While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the UI, removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices. Microsoft will have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if it wants to help reinvigorate the PC market.

IDC also says that the current restructuring issues that are affecting two of the major PC makers, HP and Dell, have not helped the PC market. Lenovo seems to be an exception, with IDC claiming that it "continues to execute on a solid 'attack' strategy." Microsoft is scheduled to reveal its first quarter 2013 financial results on Thursday, April 18th. Hopefully we should get some more color about Windows 8 sales at that time.

Source: IDC
Snails image via Shutterstock

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Apple and Yahoo discussing partnerships

Next Story

Microsoft launches msnNOW sidebar beta for Firefox


View more comments

korupt_one said,
if you are doing business desktop work how is windows 8 any different from windows 7???? I smell horse **** in your comment.

You don't need to shell out for expensive solutions like acronis universal restore for a start

Please, what sucks so much about the desktop? What is different from Windows 7 really? A little ugly button is gone? (the clickable button is still in the same corner)That's it? What else please? Oh the in my opinion horrible resources wasting glass? Or the resources wasting rounded corners?
I use it exactly as I did on Windows 7.

NinjaGinger said,
For desktop work, Windows 8 sucks. I know some folk think its great, but the company I work for always use the newest operating system, but there giving Windows 8 a miss as it no good for business desktop work. That's 15,000 licenses not bought. I hope someone from Microsoft listens to there customers. maybe if they listen, it wont be hurting there profit margin.

My company was the same way too. Although they did also skip Vista. But they did go from Windows NT 4 to 2000 to XP and then to 7. IT said the same thing, Windows 8 is not good for desktops.

My client, the Port Authority of NY and NJ also is not go to Windows 8. They were holding off for Windows 8. We are still on Windows XP. They have evaluated Windows 8 and decided to also not install it. Instead, we are now being upgraded to Windows 7 in the coming weeks.

Yes..I didn't get a new computer because I upgraded my notebook and my desktop to windows 8 and they got a new lease on life since everything feels peppier. I'll replace them when they die. Certainly not replacing the notebook until stuff with Haswell comes out.

Microsoft is done for if they don't fix this ****. If I have to have a tablet OS on my desktop, I am going to go with Android, and I am not alone...

Microsoft, give me back my desktop OS, and I will be glad to buy Windows 9. It isn't JUST about the lack of freaking start button.

Still after so much time Microsoft failed to realize the total failure that Windows 8 is. They obviously went full retard with their tablet nonsense, and yet Windows 8 pundits/ms employees on this site will still praise their perfect flop OS which was essentially dead on arrival. The ms fanboy defense patrol went nuts, they apparently think that a PC needs a touch-oriented interface..

We're defending it because we know the desktop is going the way of the dinosaur. Not immediately mind you but its happening. Either MS moves forward with it or waits to die. What would you do? Win8 is not perfect but I understand where they're going with it and hope to see it improve over time. For those that don't like it, stick to Windows 7 and wait for the desktop die then switch over when your ready! You can try the Mac OS but I get the feeling that won't be sticking around long term either.

Windows 8 was not made in the mind of Desktops Computers but for touch-oriented devices.

The next OS for the Desktops could be the secret project Midori they working on as of 2003.
it contains a start button and also the startscreen and no longer based on the NT kernel.
Project Midori will be the real replacement for Windows 7 Power Desktop Users I do believe.

Windows 8 is a fail for desktop users if you like it or not.

Edited by Dutchman01, Apr 11 2013, 1:54am :

A lot of the article wants to point the blame at Windows 8. This is a contributing factor, but look at it that way, Windows ME and Vista both have/had some very serious negative feedback, did PC sales drop that much then because of word of mouth? However, many other factors play into this, mobile phones are on the rise, Dell/HP shakeup, poor PC designs, and the biggest thing of all, I think its partly due to less people needing to upgrade their current computer. PCs these days are not upgraded to new ones as often because the hardware specs are good enough now. This all can't be about Windows 8, Vista and ME were considered failers by many as well, look at the whole picture.

First off, comparing marketshare for Vista...which has been out since 2007 (see: 6 years ago) to a n operating system that *just* came out 5 months ago is beyond idiotic. I'm sorry.

As for the IDC report, those sales figures do *NOT* take into account tablet sales nor hybrid sales...both of which are big Windows 8 style products.

There are plenty of ways to get back what you lost with windows 8, several of the creations (such as the new start button) would of never come to light if it wasn't for the removal of certain features. Windows 8 is bringing innovation to the table, and with tiles its easier to match up per say.

There are several pros and several cons to Windows 8, and if you don't like it, you don't have to use it. You can't blame PC sales for one quarter on a new OS.

Windows 7 is still for sale, but according to the IDC all PC shipments are down, that would include all other OS'. That means nothing, its to be expected in the PC market. The market gets huge surges, because those who don't know much about technology don't know how fast the systems get outdated.

If you can go 5 years with a perfectly fine, semi-expensive product, then why would you go and buy a newer one a year later? Phones have contracts, which is why people buy new ones, and they have more advertising, due to more players in the market all trying to win.

Depending on what you use it for will also let you know how often you need to update it. Is it a gaming rig? You should update that with the advanced hardware more often, so you can keep up with other big and dedicated players. If your a writer, do you use it to make your books or articles? Then you don't need the newest things, the older versions work just fine.

Making assumptions without all factors are just that, assumptions. Until you have all the available information, you can't really pin a blame. It just happened to be that when Windows 8 came out a slow time happened to hit.

The pendulum swing of Windows operating systems (XP good, Vista bad, 7 good, 8 bad...) mixed with hardware requirements that have not increased since 2006 (Vista) would be a better explanation than iPads replacing a full PC. But that's just me.

The better explanation is that PCs get a lot more mileage these days. I'm sure that 8 puts some people off but the layman isn't on a site like this complaining about it. They walk into Best Buy and say " I need a computer " and walk out with one. They might request that 7 get put back on but the thing is, they bought a PC. That number is down and mostly due to the reason I mentioned. My own computer is 4+ years old. When I bought it I never DREAMED it'd last this long. Still kicking and still got plenty of power for me.

I got the Samsung chromebook, very light, very cheep, and has the glass interface that is better than aero, and it can do remote desktop to the home windows machine if needed, just beauty.

100% agree. It's because of this I am looking for something a little more expensive. $1,300 is too expensive for the Chromebook Pixel. Maybe a $600 with that much quality.

100% agree. It's because of this I am looking for something a little more expensive. $1,300 is too expensive for the Chromebook Pixel. Maybe a $600 with that much quality.

I can't help but wonder if the title had read "IDC: PC shipments up 13.9% for the first quarter, Windows 8 is the driving force" the same people making excuses would have been praising Microsoft and saying something like "People love Windows 8 even in a bad economy".

The OS is nearly irrelevant. Here are two other scenarios:

#1 - MS doesn't release Windows 8 and is still rolling with Windows 7. IDC would say "Windows 7 is years old, becoming stagnate and thus sales are suffering.

#2 - MS releases Windows 8 but WITH the start menu and whatever else people moaned about. Sales are also down and IDC would say "Windows 8 is lackluster and doesn't differentiate from Windows 7 enough to justify buying it."

See I can make crap up too. The bottom line is that ALL PC SALES ARE DOWN. PCs last longer and only minimum upgrades are required to get more out of them. Oh well, IDC has to get paid somehow.

Windows 8 it to blame 1000%, if the new Windows 8 came with improved desktop functionality that helps you achieve more, if the new Windows 8 came with small things here and there to make you happy, then you will eventually upgrade, or get new hardware.

Android is becoming better and better with every release, I can talk to my Nexus 4, that is damn cool, the UI improved a lot in Nexus 4, it got integrated to Plus in a good way, it got sooo many small improvements that make me just happy to want it and use it.

Windows 8 came as "my way, or the highway" and you know what, the highway has a lot of other better systems out there, yes the highway it is.

I got Samsung Chromebook, and I am just very happy, I am writing this from the Chromebook from outside on 3G (via phone) internet!

Edited by john.smith_2084, Apr 11 2013, 1:37pm :

Commenting is disabled on this article.