Report: PC sales to grow slowly ahead of Windows 8

The PC industry will continue to grow in 2012 but at a much slower pace than in previous years. That's the conclusion of the research firm Gartner, who predicted today that worldwide PC shipments will total 386 million units this year, an increase of 4.4 percent compared to 2011.

However, the firm predicts that shipments will grow in a faster pace for 2013, reaching over 400 million units worldwide in that year.

Windows 8 will be one of the biggest factors in the growth of the PC market in the future. The rise of the thin-and-light notebooks known as ultrabooks could also boost PC sales. Gartner states, "The real question is whether Windows 8 and ultrabooks will create the compelling offering that gets the earlier adopter of devices excited about PCs again."

There are other factors that will affect the PC market, according to Gartner. That includes smartphones which are being used more and more for common PC tasks such as email, Internet access and social networking services. The move to cloud-based solutions for software will also be a factor in the future of the PC industry.

Gartner says:

Consumers will now look at a task that they have to perform, and they will determine which device will allow them to perform such a task in the most effective, fun and convenient way. The device has to meet the user needs not the other way round.

One thing that will help boost PC sales are their introduction in emerging markets and countries. Gartner says, "Emerging markets have very low PC penetration and even with the availability of other devices we still expect a steady uptake of PCs.”

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This might sound ignorant, but if Microsoft doesn't listen to it's consumers interests in a better OS, then I'm sure 3rd party software Developers will lend an ear and reach out. Yes, I also heard that it'll be defeating the purpose of being the next Windows OS successor if you have to have 3rd party developers pick up the slack for Microsoft; but I can say I love Windows 7, how ever all in all, there are some things I had to get from innovators and install in Windows 7 to upkeep my interest in my personal computing.

To each their own...

Is this BS? Or are people really looking forward to Windows 8!?

I see some good features but on a whole it's a massive dislike compared to Windows 7

This isn't BS, it is just the start of Microsoft really sitting on ideas and interests that we want. It'll happen....them making changes for our benefit.

offroadaaron said,
Is this BS? Or are people really looking forward to Windows 8!?

I see some good features but on a whole it's a massive dislike compared to Windows 7

How does one define a PC? If "PC" refers to laptops and desktops, yes PC sales will be quite slow (more than likely because businesses and production oriented users will continue to embrace Windows-7). If one want to include smartphones and tablets as a "PC," then sales could increase.

TsarNikky said,
How does one define a PC? If "PC" refers to laptops and desktops, yes PC sales will be quite slow (more than likely because businesses and production oriented users will continue to embrace Windows-7). If one want to include smartphones and tablets as a "PC," then sales could increase.

With Windows 8, tablets are going to become PC's as well.

Hey, if Apple could create a so-called new category of product with the iPad (we don't see people calling the iPad a 'tablet', people just call it 'iPad'), then Microsoft can do the same: Tablets are PCs, and yes, with that, Windows 8's sales are probably going to increase. Alot.

I expect Microsoft to just mash up everything and market Windows Laptops, Windows Desktops, and Windows Tablets as 'different types of PC's'. Tablets with Windows 8 are going to just be called 'PCs', essentially drawing a clear distinction between the 'PC' and Android Tablets.

FalseAgent

With Windows 8, tablets are going to become PC's as well.[...]Tablets are PCs, and yes, with that, Windows 8's sales are probably going to increase. Alot.

You're forgetting that the last time Microsoft marketed tablets as just another PC, it didn't go over so well.

CJEric said,

You're forgetting that the last time Microsoft marketed tablets as just another PC, it didn't go over so well.


Tablets of the past, such as Windows XP tablets, were slow, had poor battery life, heavy, and were impractical. Touchscreen technology at that time wasn't up to the challenge as well. It wasn't poor marketing that caused them to fail. It's pretty clear, I don't think you needed me to explain that to you.

Intel can't subsidise ultrabooks forever. They'll have to stand on their own two feet at some point. The future doesn't look good for laptops though - they are too expensive, virtually impossible to upgrade/replace parts, and they're slow (compared to desktops). I see a tablet/desktop PC world without laptops.

simplezz said,
Intel can't subsidise ultrabooks forever. They'll have to stand on their own two feet at some point. The future doesn't look good for laptops though - they are too expensive, virtually impossible to upgrade/replace parts, and they're slow (compared to desktops). I see a tablet/desktop PC world without laptops.

they aren't slow at all my friend - i'm pretty sure these ultrabooks still outbench tablets by a wide margin. Besides, they're slow(er) for a good reason: longer battery life and less heat.

Are you kidding. You haven't even brought any diplomatic sense in what you're saying right now. Laptops are only going to remain essential as long as it can keep up with battery life, portability and usability. Not only will they have that, but I predict or observe that Laptops will have a touch screen on them as presented in the Levono Ideapad Yoga. Just that alone should show you where Laptops will remain in the market. Desktops will always remain and Tablets will evolve, but if you want to down the Laptop class, then you have another thing coming to you. I myself have a Asus G73SW; and by all means it isn't small, But I also have the means to buy a Levono u300 or an Asus Zenbook UX21 or 31 if I want to take up Ultra Portability.


simplezz said,
Intel can't subsidise ultrabooks forever. They'll have to stand on their own two feet at some point. The future doesn't look good for laptops though - they are too expensive, virtually impossible to upgrade/replace parts, and they're slow (compared to desktops). I see a tablet/desktop PC world without laptops.

The people who are shocked by Windows 8 and refuse to embrace the change will be looked at with disdain and laughed at by people like me. However, the ones most likely to adopt it quickly will also be the ones grabbing up the Windows 8 tablets. I already thumb my nose at anyone who has thus far refused to move to Win7.

You all have valid points and this is why it is important Microsoft addresses the tablet market adequately.

Windows 8 must be able to offer a Metro only experience for tablets/slates. It must also offer key applications for this segment - that includes Metro specific Office and the current crop of applicable Live apps (like Movie Maker).

Failure to do so will position them as an incomplete, old style and obsolete contender for the post-PC market.

The iPad is having an impact on PC sales too.

Many people have decided that no, they don't need a PC for the web and email, they just need an iPad. It will be interesting to see the price of the Windows 8 tablets because if they dont come in at a price near the iPad then they mostly wont get any consideration.

Why learn Windows Metro when you can learn iPad? Either way you are learning something new and we all know what brand has all the cachet at the moment and it is not Windows.

derekaw said,
The iPad is having an impact on PC sales too.

Many people have decided that no, they don't need a PC for the web and email, they just need an iPad. It will be interesting to see the price of the Windows 8 tablets because if they dont come in at a price near the iPad then they mostly wont get any consideration.

Why learn Windows Metro when you can learn iPad? Either way you are learning something new and we all know what brand has all the cachet at the moment and it is not Windows.

I think you may have missed why metro has a chance of gaining ground. Windows Phone, Metro, Xbox Live, all tied together. One of the reasons I am getting an Apple TV is because I have an iPhone and getting the new iPad. The companies are created entire entertainment experiences, not just simple gadgets.

I see the future heading towards when you buy into a company like Apple, Microsoft, or Google, you are not just picking a system for a few gadgets. You are deciding how your entire house interacts. If fridges started coming with software on them that could interact with mobile devices, and Andriod, iOS, and Windows were choices, I would push my mother to go with Andriod because it is what she is use to. I myself would go with iOS because it is what I prefer to use on a day to day basis.

Why learn iPad when you have a Windows Phone already. All the more reason to get Windows 8.

derekaw said,
The iPad is having an impact on PC sales too.

Many people have decided that no, they don't need a PC for the web and email, they just need an iPad.

Many people have decided that they need a PC, to a wide margin. Windows 7 has sold 550 million copies. The iPad has been successful, no doubt about it, but it has sold a fraction of the number of PCs sold. How many people only have an iPad, but not a PC. Of all the people I know who bought an iPad (this is just personal experience, I have no stats to really back it up), and I know many people who have iPads, all of them have bought a PC since the original iPad was released.


It will be interesting to see the price of the Windows 8 tablets because if they dont come in at a price near the iPad then they mostly wont get any consideration.

And what reason do you have to believe that they will not be at or below the price of the iPad? Many manufactures, competing for sales of their Win8 tablets, with a wide range of options, not just cell chip or none and a few flash memory size options. There will be very low priced models to high priced models, options based on memory (not flash, but memory), screen sizes (remember all those iPad 7" rumors?), form factors (ones with a docking keyboard for more options), screen resolutions (based upon the Win8 dev tools, there is support for higher resolution displays than the iPad 3), flash memory sizes, ports other than a one-size-fits-all, and many other options.


Why learn Windows Metro when you can learn iPad? Either way you are learning something new and we all know what brand has all the cachet at the moment and it is not Windows.

Why learn iPad when they can learn Windows Metro? And we all know what brand has the cachet based upon provable information - sales with at least 550 million in the current generation. We live in a "Post Mac World", why not go with the platform that users have chosen, and gives users choice?

Microsoft have a major problem in my view, that someone using a Windows XP computer at home that they've had for years will decide it's time to upgrade, they'll walk in to PC world and be met by a Windows 8 PC and see the Metro start screen, the vast majority of users will be like "what the hell is this?", "how do I use this?" and "I can't be bothered learning how to use this". Microsoft need a solution to this problem, the best would be disabling the start screen by default on all PCs that lack a touchscreen.

thealexweb said,
Microsoft have a major problem in my view, that someone using a Windows XP computer at home that they've had for years will decide it's time to upgrade, they'll walk in to PC world and be met by a Windows 8 PC and see the Metro start screen, the vast majority of users will be like "what the hell is this?", "how do I use this?" and "I can't be bothered learning how to use this". Microsoft need a solution to this problem, the best would be disabling the start screen by default on all PCs that lack a touchscreen.

*puts on Apple mindset* see that's where Apple succeeds, throw away your computer every two years and that will never be a problem *end apple mind*

thealexweb said,
Microsoft have a major problem in my view, that someone using a Windows XP computer at home that they've had for years will decide it's time to upgrade, they'll walk in to PC world and be met by a Windows 8 PC and see the Metro start screen, the vast majority of users will be like "what the hell is this?", "how do I use this?" and "I can't be bothered learning how to use this". Microsoft need a solution to this problem, the best would be disabling the start screen by default on all PCs that lack a touchscreen.

Or, perhaps people will look at the changes, be able to play with the PC and see how easy it is to use, see the different apps that are available that are not available now on their PC, and like what they see. Just because you think people are too stupid to figure out something you are not able to understand, does not mean they will not be able to use it, understand it, and enjoy it.

thealexweb said,
Microsoft have a major problem in my view, that someone using a Windows XP computer at home that they've had for years will decide it's time to upgrade, they'll walk in to PC world and be met by a Windows 8 PC and see the Metro start screen, the vast majority of users will be like "what the hell is this?", "how do I use this?" and "I can't be bothered learning how to use this". Microsoft need a solution to this problem, the best would be disabling the start screen by default on all PCs that lack a touchscreen.

Have you really gotten to know anyone who still have a functioning XP system? Either they are someone who knows nothing about computers and just use it for basic things like your grandma or they are some generally whiny person who thinks there is some great functionality inherit in XP that vista and 7 don't have. Grandma's will buy something with 8 and it will probably have a touch screen and anyone else is a lost cause basically. Your belief that XP users will hate 8 is strange to me.

neufuse said,

...

That is the exact mindset that the entire tech industry is going towards though isn't it? They have spent all this time getting people off of XP to get to Vista and ever faster to 7. If they can't come up with a real reason to get people to upgrade, they will force one via something like touch screen on a desktop.

Androids entire market is dependent on getting people to upgrade phones every year just like Apples. While we tech enthusiasts don't mind this, the common consumer doesn't like it. I upgrade my iPhone every year and my Android phones every 6 months. I buy my mother a new phone every 3 to 4 years. Any more than that, and she can't handle the change without weeks of trying to figure it out. Every year or few months would annoy the hell out of her. Apple, Google, and Microsoft all do this now.

I think as time goes on, we will start seeing Microsoft start to lower the price of Windows. $100+ every year or two for the new OS plus the hardware isn't going to succeed for very long. Now that they have fully adopted the agile methodology for their development, they will be pushing out new software to fast for regular consumers to want to keep up with expensive prices.

Honestly, the Metro interface is so simple I don't see how non-techies will have any problem with it. If they want to use the internet all they have to do is click the huge Internet Explorer tile. Same thing with Mail, or any other commonly used programs.

I'm also willing to bet there will be some kind of "Getting Started" tutorial in the RTM. If laymen can figure out how to work iOs/Android/WP7 they will have no problem with Windows 8.

thealexweb said,
Microsoft have a major problem in my view, that someone using a Windows XP computer at home that they've had for years will decide it's time to upgrade, they'll walk in to PC world and be met by a Windows 8 PC and see the Metro start screen, the vast majority of users will be like "what the hell is this?", "how do I use this?" and "I can't be bothered learning how to use this". Microsoft need a solution to this problem, the best would be disabling the start screen by default on all PCs that lack a touchscreen.

I have two fully functional XP machines--one at home and one at the office, complete with Office 2010 and other serious productivity applications for business and medical related tasks. These applications are all keyboard-centric and have to remain so for the intense data entry these applications require. I am in the process of migrating to Windows-7; which will, at least carry me until 2020. By then, the next "real" OS for keyboards will be available.

TsarNikky said,

I have two fully functional XP machines--one at home and one at the office, complete with Office 2010 and other serious productivity applications for business and medical related tasks. These applications are all keyboard-centric and have to remain so for the intense data entry these applications require. I am in the process of migrating to Windows-7; which will, at least carry me until 2020. By then, the next "real" OS for keyboards will be available.


Maybe that next real OS will read your mind but you will be still complaining/stuck in the old times about privacy, using the keyboard and such.

thealexweb said,
Microsoft have a major problem in my view, that someone using a Windows XP computer at home that they've had for years will decide it's time to upgrade, they'll walk in to PC world and be met by a Windows 8 PC and see the Metro start screen, the vast majority of users will be like "what the hell is this?", "how do I use this?" and "I can't be bothered learning how to use this". Microsoft need a solution to this problem, the best would be disabling the start screen by default on all PCs that lack a touchscreen.

that is definitely NOT the BEST solution. The best is what we already have now: the start screen being the default, but with the desktop still there, only just a live tile away.

TsarNikky said,

I have two fully functional XP machines--one at home and one at the office, complete with Office 2010 and other serious productivity applications for business and medical related tasks. These applications are all keyboard-centric and have to remain so for the intense data entry these applications require. I am in the process of migrating to Windows-7; which will, at least carry me until 2020. By then, the next "real" OS for keyboards will be available.

you tried to sound intelligent but came out like an idiot. Your keyboard will work on those programs - my god whats wrong with you people. Why should we listen to a person who is still on XP?

They will pick up again when MS starts the deal of "buy a Windows 7 PC now, and get a free upgrade to Windows 8 when it releases". That's what I did when I wanted a new PC just before Windows 7.

"The real question is whether Windows 8 and ultrabooks will create the compelling offering that gets the earlier adopter of devices excited about PCs again."

well that explains it. They are not sure either.....

But how can PC sales grow when according to people here no one will buy Windows 8 and will be sticking to Windows 7 for the Start menu and easy shutdown? Gartner, what are you smoking? /s