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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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How long can Ballmer last?
By Tony Swash on 12/24/2012 9:07:14 AM , Rating: -1
Six years after the iPhone was announced and three years after the iPad was announced and still Microsoft has no smart phone or tablet market presence at all. Some time this year the iOS and Android installed base will pass that of the Windows installed base.

And Steve Ballmer is still in post.

RE: How long can Ballmer last?
By momorere on 12/24/2012 1:01:26 PM , Rating: 2
Still no presence huh ? Others seem to disagree

What is your take on the latest iOS screwup ? Curious to see your excuse

RE: How long can Ballmer last?
By Camikazi on 12/25/2012 10:45:59 AM , Rating: 1
Don't know why people still haven't learned to not underestimate Microsoft and Intel. Those 2 companies are giants and have been known for coming in as the underdog in a sector and end up owning it. Just cause MS is behind now doesn't mean a thing, they can turn it around and end up winning.

RE: How long can Ballmer last?
By retrospooty on 12/25/2012 10:53:53 AM , Rating: 2
yep, MS Office and Windows itself are 2 examples of product that we're at 1 time inferior to the competition, then several versions and years later they eventually totally dominate the market. Both companies have time money and expertise to get it done. That doesn't mean they will 100% for sure but they certainly can, so don't count them out.

RE: How long can Ballmer last?
By Pirks on 12/25/2012 3:55:58 PM , Rating: 2
MS has lost this round with Surface RT because they decided to put ARM crap inside instead of Clover Trail (see Anand's latest post on Clover Trail power consumption to understand what terrible mistake the choice of ARM was) and they ignored all the gaming studio and money power they have, so they did not bother to introduce at least one exclusive killer title like Halo or something, to give consumers at least one reason to buy it over Nexus 7. You say Intel and MS are big hence they will come back, however when I see these decisions to put one of the worst CPUs on the market instead of one of the best ones (Clover Trail) and to ignore all the developer brains and money they have and to NOT support their own hardware with at least one killer app like Halo - I realize that size and money don't matter that much. HP had huge size and gobs of money, did it save their tablet? No. Same with MS - their upper management has lost connection with reality, they can't even avoid most basic mistakes like choosing best hardware and software for their own tablet. I think you understand this too retro, so your belief that MS will come back is naïve. They need smart management who avoids really stupid mistakes like the ones above. This kind of management is not there so... no coming back for them, I think.

This is coming from a Surface RT owner BTW. I wish Ballmer all the luck and as few stupid mistakes as possible, I still keep some faint hope that maybe future Surface iterations will get the hardware and software they deserve instead of current crap but you know, I'm pretty pessimistic on that. I hate to agree with Tony but looks like he's right this time. This is Zune all over again.

Let's see what they put in Surface 2, if they put next gen Atom in it instead of sad ARM crap AND they tap one of their talented studios to produce a slick hot 3D blockbuster EXCLUSIVELY for Surface - then I may agree with you on MS coming back.

But so far MS is just a sad bunch of losers who can't learn from their own mistakes. Jeez I hate Tony now.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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