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IDC: PCs may see late 2012 bounce, but slow long-term

updated 07:20 pm EDT, Tue March 20, 2012

IDC hopeful Windows 8, ultrabooks will save PCs

IDC painted an optimistic picture of traditional PCs in a Tuesday long-term estimate of their shipments. Researchers expected PC shipments to grow just five percent year-on-year in 2012, but pinned most of this sluggishness on the first half, as the iPad and other tablets were a "powerful distraction," IDC VP Bob O'Donnell said. However, a mix of the Windows 8 launch and ultrabooks was assumed to be creating "excitement" that would see a bounce back.

"End user surveys tell us that few people consider media tablets as replacements for their PCs, so later this year when there is a new Microsoft operating system, available in sleek new PC form factors, we believe consumer interest in PCs will begin to rebound," O'Donnell said.

It was nonetheless conservative enough to see PC growth capped at under 10 percent total and gradually declining in a far-ranging prediction to 7.2 percent by 2016. Almost all of that would come from notebooks.

While it's expected that at least Windows 8 will spark a resurgence in PC sales, since some users wait for a new OS as a reason to upgrade, the sustained effect and the impact of ultrabooks are still in doubt. Windows 8's change to use Metro as its default view, even on non-touch devices, could spark worriesWindows ultrabooks so far in the market haven't sold in large numbers, and attempts to significantly undercut Apple's MacBook Air on price have involved selling at break-even.

As with most such estimates, long-term predictions are likely to vary widely and can overlook major wildcards. IDC's smartphone predictions have also leaned in Microsoft's favor and have imagined Windows Phone overtaking the iPhone, which is predicated on assumptions that adding Nokia would be a net positive and that Apple and Google couldn't do enough to stay ahead.






by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    HA!

    Windows 8 will be a cluster. It will be a bigger t*** in the marketplace than Vista and ME combined.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    I wouldn't be arrogant about it just yet

    but Microsoft's track record does not exactly inspire confidence.

    What's more, developing an operating system is HARD. You can alpha-test and beta-test all you like, but there are bound to be all sorts of issue that you won't find out until it's released into the wild... even if the OS is something that people actually want.

    Apple has been polishing and improving OS X for over a decade. Win 8 is such a paradigm shift... I have a difficult time believing MS will get it right the first time. It could be 12 to 18 months before it's even a suitable OS, look at XP which was shite until SP2.

    12 to 18 months more lead time for Apple to widen its lead over its competitors = too little, too late once again for MS.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: Ha!

    It will be a bigger t*** in the marketplace than Vista and ME combined.

    Like Lion has been a bigger t*** in the market than anything since the 10.3 days.

    And you do realize that "PC Shipments" includes macs in the list, right. Its not just about windows.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: I wouldn't be arrogant about it just yet

    What's more, developing an operating system is HARD. You can alpha-test and beta-test all you like, but there are bound to be all sorts of issue that you won't find out until it's released into the wild... even if the OS is something that people actually want.

    Wow, this is what people here say about Apple when problems arise in the initial offering. Usually when Windows is released, the talk isn't about how hard it is, but how Windows is such c*** and sucks because you can use it on an infinite number of hardware combinations!

    Apple has been polishing and improving OS X for over a decade. Win 8 is such a paradigm shift...

    That should be "had been polishing". With Lion, Apple decided "We don't need to keep polishing! We know what works! iOSify the thing! People don't need scroll bars! People hate the concept of Save As! They want apps to just magically start up and quit on them when the OS feels like it! Lets make Address Book and iCal look like c*** and impossible to use! Let's remove old technology that people still use because, well, we're moving forward!"

    And Mountain Lion is paradigm shifting it even more, and so far, it hasn't been looking changing directions where Lion started.

    I have a difficult time believing MS will get it right the first time. It could be 12 to 18 months before it's even a suitable OS, look at XP which was shite until SP2.

    Sorry, I don't recall XP being shite until SP2. Guess I must have been living under a rock.

    12 to 18 months more lead time for Apple to widen its lead over its competitors = too little, too late once again for MS.

    As people said about Apple though, it isn't about who gets their first. If Apple keeps treating its loyal customer base as the fringe market, they might just pack up and look elsewhere, and then Apple's just another popular company that could find itself on a downward swing with just one change in the latest consumer fad.

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