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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 12/27/2012 5:13:08 PM , Rating: 2
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

"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?

Corrupt capitalism != socialism.

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

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.

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

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.

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs
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