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BLOG: Windows 8 given tall order of saving the PC

Shane O'Neill | Sept. 18, 2012
PC sales have stagnated and older PCs aren't being replaced as consumers gobble up tablets and smartphones for work and play. Can Windows 8 possibly turn this sea change around?

But still, the news on PC sales over the past few years has been grim (PCs here defined as any x86-based PC or tablet). Since 2007, according to research firm Gartner, PC shipments have stagnated and the percentage of PCs being replaced has dropped by 50 percent. In the past three years, shipments of tablets and smartphones, most running Android and iOS, have skyrocketed. In an insightful article, mobile technology analyst Sameer Singh runs some numbers to show a causal relationship between mobile devices shipped and PCs not shipped.

Singh's conclusion is that "consumers have held off replacing their PCs because they purchased mobile devices instead. Since PC penetration has been incredibly high, this trend, if it continues, would lead to sharply dropping PC sales."

So who's going to save the PC's soul? Windows 8? An OS with an intimidating new user interface that ultimately works better on touch tablets than mouse-and-keyboard PCs? I wouldn't count on it.

In fact, as Singh points out, Windows 8 may do more harm than good by dragging down the PC market even more due to UI shock and expensive hardware.

What do you think? Can Windows 8 save the PC from the dreaded has-been dustbin?


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