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A turnaround in the PC industry isn't expected to happen anytime soon

In years, the launch of a new Windows operating system meant that computer makers could count on a nice uptick in sales as people bought new computers. With the launch of Windows 8, the same boost in PC sales seen in years past hasn't occurred.

The New York Times reports that customers continue to turn away from new Microsoft gadgets such as the Surface RT tablet, which has seen disappointing sales numbers so far. One consumer that the NYT talked to, named Claude Ballard, said that he was intrigued by the "eye-catching design Windows 8" but not enough to purchase a new computer.

Overall computer sales during the holiday season have been disappointing. Many consumers continue to purchase tablets which run iOS or Android.  Weak PC sales during the holiday season shows that Microsoft and other companies that depend on the computer industry won't see a major turnaround in sales anytime soon.

Acer president for the Americas division Emmanuelle Fromont has said that sales of Acer computers running Windows 8 have been lower-than-expected. He cites the operating system's unfamiliar design as one point that appears to be making consumers cautious.

“There was not a huge spark in the market,” Mr. Fromont said. “It’s a slow start, there’s no question.”

“I think everybody would have hoped for a better start,” said Stephen Baker, an analyst at research firm NPD. “The thing is, this market is not the same market that Windows 7 or Vista or even XP launched into.”

NPD estimates that within the U.S., 13% fewer Windows devices were sold from late October when Windows 8 launched through the first week in December compared to the same period of last year with Windows 7 machines.

Source: NYT



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RE: How about a fat price reduction
By EricMartello on 12/24/2012 2:37:13 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
If Windows 8 was supposed to make Gates or Balmer a couple of billions richer each, then they can just slash the price of their tablets and OS in half and recharge the market.


Or they can charge the highest price which the market will bear inline with basic rules of economics.

quote:
Isn't it time they gave back something in return for all they took?


WTF are you talking about? They made a product - people can choose to buy or not buy it. What did they "take" and what do they need to "give back"? This sounds like more left wing anti-capitalism garbage that hinges on the "I deserve as much as everyone else has even if I'm a worthless, unproductive loser" sentiment.

Let me spell it out for you. You DO NOT deserve anything. You ARE NOT entitled to anything. EARN YOUR KEEP and don't b1tch if you're not good enough to find success on your own. Nobody owes you anything.

quote:
I wouldn't buy an iPad for a hundred dollars, but I will certainly buy a Surface for $200.00. Yet the greed at the top prevents things from moving forward!!


The price is what it is - buy it or don't.

Being competitive does not equate to greed; greed is the pursuit of wealth to the exclusion of all other considerations. This is not true with MS who has to pay for their employees, marketing & advertising, R&D and numerous other expenses that come along with being a big company.

The flawed expectation to make everything cheap enough so underachievers can afford things they shouldn't even be concerned with is one of the reasons America's economy is in the sh1tter.


RE: How about a fat price reduction
By IranTech on 12/24/12, Rating: -1
RE: How about a fat price reduction
By EricMartello on 12/24/2012 5:06:47 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
By the first law of capitalism, I am the owner of my money as long as I have not given it to Microsoft or Apple (i.e. bought their products), and it will remain so until they produce a product at the right price which makes it worth buying.


Capitalism refers to a system of governance where the private ownership of land and industry is permitted and encouraged. It has nothing to do with the exchange of money.

quote:
The age of shrinking returns has started for the few that have fixed the market for so long.


You mean the companies that are both innovative and competitive enough to categorically define technology get to decide at which price sell their products? Working as intended. They set their prices and market demand along with economic realities determine whether the price adjusts.

quote:
The socialist solution is to erect a wall at $500.00 and enforce it with through legislation, legal action and numbing propaganda.


Wrong again. Socialism refers to a type of governance where the state owns land and industry. Socialism fails because the state generates revenue from taxes, taxes which are forced upon the citizens by law, so it has little to no incentive to run manage industry efficiently or make productive use of resources.

quote:
By the way your line on what Gates and Balmer took next to their struggle to pay their employees is hilarious.


Who said anything about struggling? The market decides what the employees are paid based on their level of expertise in a given field. The more qualified people in a given field the lower the pay for said field in general.


RE: How about a fat price reduction
By IranTech on 12/25/12, Rating: -1
RE: How about a fat price reduction
By EricMartello on 12/25/2012 2:16:12 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
distorted proclamations being made about socialism in the American media


The media generally supports obama's actions and is consistently sympathetic to the left wing. You sound like someone who watches MSNBC all day.

quote:
for example Obama is a socialist president or taxing the middle class more than the rich is capitalism and taxing the middle and lower classes less than the ultra rich is socialism.


Redistribution of wealth is in fact a tenet of communism, and socialism is typically the management model adopted by communist governments. There are exceptions, like Hong Kong, which is a communist government with a capitalist management scheme.

Income is already taxed progressively in america, which means the more you make the more you pay. A percentage of your income is paid in taxes and there is no legitimate reason for this percentage to INCREASE as your income increases, especially when the government is so inept when it comes to managing the money it's taking in.

quote:
Also, contrary to your assertion, private ownership is not banned in socialist systems. Your version of capitalism and socialism, and what is socialism is so twisted and out of place that the discussion is always better left for another time.


Who said private ownership was banned? I didn't. You're too busy being a left-wing zealot to actually understand the differences between capitalist and socialist systems.

The socialist paradigm does not allow for private ownership of industry or resources (i.e. coal, minerals, water, land) because the state claims these for itself. It allows a small, select group of people to benefit from these resources while the majority of the population lives in poverty.

Socialism in action:

- Try to start your own business in broadcast radio or television. Good luck getting a license from the FCC to do so "legally". The fed owns the airwaves.

- Try to start your own brand of gasoline like Exxon or Chevron...if the EPA lets you. The fed lays claim to natural resources.

- Try starting your own bank...if the SEC and Federal Reserve decide to allow you. The fed manipulates our currency and banking system, ensuring that certain entities never have to face any consequences for their actions...too big to fail.

The USA started down the road toward socialism sometime during the industrial revolution. Since then it has been a slow and steady erosion of capitalistic roots that inspired individual prosperity.

quote:
However, I will give you two clues. The best version of capitalism is and has always been what I offered. Socialism is about social justice.


What you presented is not capitalism because it ignores the free market. You're trying to set prices based on your idea of what they should be rather than what the market says they are.

Social justice is a liberal codeword for "someone has more than me, I demand that the government take from them and give to me". That is not justice; that is fishing for handouts. There is no such thing as "social justice" because what you perceive as injustice is your own lack of effort or ability.

quote:
Socialism on the other hand tries to keep a grip on basic ideas that it starts off with. How much successful it will be is always up for debate, but it will never come to such deficit that capitalism will inevitably come to, and in fact has by now, either.


Before you come here and start talking pick up a fcking history book and read about the Soviet Union under Stalin, China under Mao and most of Europe in the middle ages. The levels of poverty experienced by people living under these left wing regimes makes ghana look like some west coast country club resort.

The very idea that every individual has an OPPORTUNITY to succeed and has inalienable rights is American. No other country has the types of liberties that Americans do. The problem is the influx of parasitic losers who decided that "opportunity = entitlement". You see, everyone in America has a chance to be great but nobody is entitled to be great.

America is the best country in the world by far and capitalism is what allowed it to grow into that. Our constitution provides limitations and rights to ensure that people do not get chewed up by the system...your suggestion that giving full control to the government is somehow better shows the endlessness of your ignorance. History has proven time and time again that the more powerful a government becomes the worse things get for its citizens.


RE: How about a fat price reduction
By Kepler on 12/26/2012 7:33:42 AM , Rating: 4
EricMartello, you should run for President.

You did forget to point out that any "failing" that capitalism has succumbed to is a direct result of liberalism/socialism/communism being mixed in with it.


RE: How about a fat price reduction
By snakeInTheGrass on 12/26/2012 12:54:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Redistribution of wealth is in fact a tenet of communism, and socialism is typically the management model adopted by communist governments. There are exceptions, like Hong Kong, which is a communist government with a capitalist management scheme.


Redistribution of wealth happens with any system, and realistically it happens in the same direction (towards the very wealthy) regardless. Look at the stats in 'communist' China, the old USSR, or the glorious U.S. and A. The elite with influence inevitably will draw more money towards themselves. Not advocating Communism or anything, just saying look at the actual big picture. If you think that bankers, media owners, etc. don't get a better deal because they can influence policies in their favor, think again.

quote:
Income is already taxed progressively in america, which means the more you make the more you pay. A percentage of your income is paid in taxes and there is no legitimate reason for this percentage to INCREASE as your income increases, especially when the government is so inept when it comes to managing the money it's taking in.


As someone earning enough to be at the peak of taxes, let me assure you that it's NOT taxed progressively. In defining investment income differently from 'normal' (i.e. working a job) income, the tax rates are HEAVILY skewed against the highest earning workers. If you're rich enough to make your money on investments (or use foreign tax havens), the capital gains rates make sure you pay a much lower percentage of your income than someone who earns less but has a job. Hell, you currently pay less on long term capital gains than just the business+personal side of FICA. Oh, and no Social Security getting yanked out either - and THEN getting the money taxed. It's progressive right up until you are rich enough to get the laws to favor you.

The masses have the sheer voting numbers to prevent having to pay taxes since politicians will pander to them (Romney's 47 percent), and the ultra-wealthy have the influence not to pay the taxes either (Romney himself as a lovely example - almost 14 percent of 20 million? Wow, I'm really impressed!).

I wholeheartedly agree that there's nothing fair about progressive tax rates, but today you have a ridiculous curve where you'll pay the most if you work the most. Please don't claim that it's progressive as earnings increase - unless you're retired and living on high amounts of investment income - or unemployed -, you're getting screwed too.

quote:
Socialism in action:

- Try to start your own business in broadcast radio or television. Good luck getting a license from the FCC to do so "legally". The fed owns the airwaves.

- Try to start your own brand of gasoline like Exxon or Chevron...if the EPA lets you. The fed lays claim to natural resources.

- Try starting your own bank...if the SEC and Federal Reserve decide to allow you. The fed manipulates our currency and banking system, ensuring that certain entities never have to face any consequences for their actions...too big to fail.

The USA started down the road toward socialism sometime during the industrial revolution. Since then it has been a slow and steady erosion of capitalistic roots that inspired individual prosperity.


Kind of cases in point. The fact that the airwaves (or gas rights) are 'commonly owned' but essentially sold only to huge corporations is full-on capitalism, not socialism. Under socialism, we'd only have state-run radio/tv (NPR? PBS?) and some state-run gas/oil company. You can be sure that the system is currently skewed towards the media (and energy) giants who can exclude all others through government policies.

"Too big to fail" is protection of private companies using public funds. That's NOT socialism, that's capitalism with influence peddling between the wealthy in the private sector and the revolving door + legal bribery to the political side.

Corrupt capitalism != socialism.

quote:
The very idea that every individual has an OPPORTUNITY to succeed and has inalienable rights is American. No other country has the types of liberties that Americans do. The problem is the influx of parasitic losers who decided that "opportunity = entitlement". You see, everyone in America has a chance to be great but nobody is entitled to be great.

America is the best country in the world by far and capitalism is what allowed it to grow into that. Our constitution provides limitations and rights to ensure that people do not get chewed up by the system...your suggestion that giving full control to the government is somehow better shows the endlessness of your ignorance. History has proven time and time again that the more powerful a government becomes the worse things get for its citizens.


Really? And Sweden is worse for citizens rights because...? Australia? Do their governments monitor ALL electronic communications or something?

I love nationalism and all, but don't let it blind you to the flaws of any nation. Our history is rife with fully constitutional exploitation and trampling of rights, both inside our country and of others. Of course we have plenty of current examples here as well, but historically it's incredible what our foreign policy was up to (look at the actual list of US foreign conflict as well as domestic - French-American, Spanish-American, Civil War) as well as what nice, unregulated capitalism can achieve.

I'd think that outright ownership of people (or needing an amendment to give women the right to vote?) would give anyone touting the Constitution as the perfect symbol of fairness at least a moments pause -or was it only bad when nice guys like Stalin and Hitler had slave labor camps. "Whites only" water fountains? Radiation experiments on prisoners? "Number one"? (I know you didn't give those examples, and I don't think you support that, I'm just claiming 'best' status may not be without perils - we have a really nasty history in this country too. Giving full control to any government is crazy, but the actions of our own government as driven by goals of international power and money are not really a shining example of excellence, more of a great example of hypocrisy.

Happily the constitution has been updated, so that's the good news even if it still has very 18th-century shortcomings. And I'd much rather deal with our own problems than live in fun places like Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, etc. etc. etc., but there are certainly quite a few nations that would rank at least equally in terms of rights ('socialist' Europe does a much better job of protecting the rights of people not to be used as test subjects for companies producing foods with GM and untested chemical additives, for example) and higher in terms of standards of living & education. Nothing is perfect.


RE: How about a fat price reduction
By EricMartello on 12/27/2012 5:13:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Redistribution of wealth happens with any system, and realistically it happens in the same direction (towards the very wealthy) regardless. Look at the stats in 'communist' China, the old USSR, or the glorious U.S. and A. The elite with influence inevitably will draw more money towards themselves. Not advocating Communism or anything, just saying look at the actual big picture. If you think that bankers, media owners, etc. don't get a better deal because they can influence policies in their favor, think again.


The socialist elites do not care about being taxed because that money comes right back to them in the form of grants, loans and other handouts they receive as political favors. It's usually referred to as cronyism and it's strongly connected with lobbyists and the ability for wealthy entities to bankroll campaigns indirectly via super pacs. This is not redistribution; it's hoarding.

Redistribution is something that affects people and businesses who are not in the "inner circle", where the money they work to earn is taxed at increasingly higher percentages, only to have most of it be redistributed to people who don't work at all. There is a difference between offering citizens a safety net to get through hard times and a permanent paycheck that discourages individual effort.

quote:
As someone earning enough to be at the peak of taxes, let me assure you that it's NOT taxed progressively. In defining investment income differently from 'normal' (i.e. working a job) income, the tax rates are HEAVILY skewed against the highest earning workers.


Capital gains are taxed at a percentage rate that is on a sliding scale based on the amount of income you receive from investments as well as the type of investments you've made. They are not taxed at the same rates as wages/salary because they are a different type of income.

- People who invest their money are typically capitalizing new and existing businesses, giving those businesses the ability to expand and hire more people.

- There is a substantial risk to investing as a portfolio can lose some or all of its value, leaving the investor with nothing.

- Workers, people earning a wage or salary, get paid for their time. The level of risk is minimal, as they are assured payment so long as their employer is solvent.

- There are no guarantees that the money you invest will produce a return.

- Many people earning income from investments are people who have saved money during their working careers.

quote:
Hell, you currently pay less on long term capital gains than just the business+personal side of FICA. Oh, and no Social Security getting yanked out either - and THEN getting the money taxed. It's progressive right up until you are rich enough to get the laws to favor you.


It's progressive in the sense that your tax liability increases as your income level does. What you seem to be complaining about is the differences in the actual rates...look, it's quite simple. The more financial risk you are willing to incur, the higher the potential payoff if your investment succeeds.

Risk-taking as it pertains to investments needs to be rewarded because that's what leads to innovation. People who play opt to play it safe (i.e. get a job and live a life they believe is sensible) are effectively insulated from these big losses at the expense of also being insulated from big gains.

The lower and middle classes are also the primary consumers of federal handout & entitlement programs - if we're so concerned with people paying their fair share then it's only fair that the people who use the services should be the ones to pay a little extra for it.

quote:
The masses have the sheer voting numbers to prevent having to pay taxes since politicians will pander to them (Romney's 47 percent), and the ultra-wealthy have the influence not to pay the taxes either (Romney himself as a lovely example - almost 14 percent of 20 million? Wow, I'm really impressed!).


It has nothing to do with influence and all to do with our tax code. Again, you're pushing the liberal "fairness" agenda that is rooted purely in emotion and devoid of fact. His investments are now fueling the growth of other companies which is why they are able to earn a return.

By the way, 14% of 20M is $2,800,000 - if workers earning an average of $40K per year were taxed at 50%, you would need 140 of them to equal one Romney. In reality, workers' effective tax rates are generally below 25% when you include deductions and the money they receive from their tax refund.

quote:
Kind of cases in point. The fact that the airwaves (or gas rights) are 'commonly owned' but essentially sold only to huge corporations is full-on capitalism, not socialism. Under socialism, we'd only have state-run radio/tv (NPR? PBS?) and some state-run gas/oil company. You can be sure that the system is currently skewed towards the media (and energy) giants who can exclude all others through government policies.


So you did not notice that most mainstream forms of media are owned and operated by a very small group of people? Many of them are pushing a left wing agenda that essentially validates the actions of our government (if it's a left winger in power) or demonizes the person in charge (if they are not liberal). For all intents and purposes, mainstream media IS state-run.

If you need a license to do something it is a privilege granted to you, not a right. Media companies 'lease' licenses from the FCC to broadcast on certain frequencies, but these auctions are not something that a typical person could participate in since the bids are multi-million dollar amounts.

The FCC broadcasts white noise on frequencies that are not leased to some media company to prevent "pirate broadcasters" from popping up. The point is that, unlike the internet which is still open, you cannot just set up an antenna and broadcast despite us having the first amendment. The state owns the airwaves and decides who is allowed to broadcast...the FCC also limits the type of content that can be broadcast. Makes people who complain about China look hypocritical.

quote:
"Too big to fail" is protection of private companies using public funds. That's NOT socialism, that's capitalism with influence peddling between the wealthy in the private sector and the revolving door + legal bribery to the political side.


Too big to fail shields companies from the consequences of poor management. Again, who is setting the interest rate in America? The financial markets? No, the fed is manipulating our currency with what it calls "QE" or quantitative easing. The federal reserve bank is a privately owned institution which lends money to the US government and prints more when it doesn't have enough to lend. Do you think that the state should have such control over the value of a nations currency that is so far disconnected from commerce and industry?

quote:
Corrupt capitalism != socialism.


I'll take capitalism with some corrupt elements over socialism any day...because socialism is intrinsically corrupt.

quote:
Really? And Sweden is worse for citizens rights because...? Australia? Do their governments monitor ALL electronic communications or something?


Why do liberals feel the need to cite Sweden or other countries as if they are models for how America should be without actually understanding the realities in these countries, both political and economic? Sweden is more like a cautionary tale about a fall from greatness rather than a model of how other countries should be.

quote:
I love nationalism and all, but don't let it blind you to the flaws of any nation.


Stating that America is the best country does not preclude it from having flaws, as we are comparing America to other countries around the globe and not to perfection.


RE: How about a fat price reduction
By IranTech on 12/29/2012 10:16:31 AM , Rating: 2
@EricMartello

You mix so many things up. The kind of socialism that you keep talking about can only be found in fiction. Others refer to your version of socialism as communism. Then again, since America has defeated communism and it must be kind of self-defeating to use the word communism. The Western media just uses the word socialism and so do you.

Think 1984. Orwell does not call that fictional society a communist or socialist society. Orwell's is an intellectual critique of capitalism, not socialism. And here you are plowing the field like the most determined Ox towards that society.

Keep it up or don't. I am not paying more than 200 for a surface or 50 for an iPad. Which you may consider as a compliment to Microsoft and Apple's ingenuity,
considering how much a dollar is really worth. Which shows what a nice person I am, really.


RE: How about a fat price reduction
By maxxcool on 12/26/2012 2:42:40 PM , Rating: 1
It is not your money. the money us not backed by silver or gold and can be devalued instantly by anyone with the power to do so.

as for laws of capitalism. until people can't buy them at the price offered they will forever remain at that price or higher.


RE: How about a fat price reduction
By macca007 on 12/25/2012 3:21:03 AM , Rating: 3
I wouldn't say under achievers, Here in Australia the average price of a surface tablet is nearly $600 that's for the basic model. The 64gb is close to $800 who the hell is going to pay that for a tablet you can buy a pc for that, Even the latest Nexus 10 is $100 cheaper. Most companies want to cater for average joe, That's where the bread and butter is, Not too cheap or not too expensive, Unfortunately This surface is the most expensive on the market, May as well buy an ultrabook.
Who is MS being competitive with? The laptop/ultrabook market or pc market. lol


RE: How about a fat price reduction
By Da W on 12/26/2012 10:16:06 AM , Rating: 1
True, but Microsoft still acts as a Monopoly, but it ain't anymore. It's a 3-way competitive market and Microsoft, although it's making some good shit, it's not enough.

To be fair it's a form factor thing. Long gone are the days of the desktop and i can barely see the use for a non-touchscreen laptop when you have a tablet. Windows 8 tablets at you local best buy have been scarce. OEMs are not delivering, MS failled by pushing their Surface RT before X86 pro.


"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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