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IDC blames smartphones and tablets for sharp PC decline

Research firm IDC has posted the numbers for worldwide PC shipments in Q1 of 2013, and they show the steepest decline ever in a single quarter since the company has been monitoring the industry. Global PC shipments during Q1 of 2013 totaled 76.3 million units. That number represents a decline of 13.9% compared to the same quarter in 2011.

The posted decline in Q1 of 2013 was nearly twice the expected decline of 7.7% according to IDC. IDC also notes that the poor showing in Q1 marks the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year shipment declines for the industry. Computer shipments in the U.S. declined by 12.7% year-over-year and declined 18.3% compared to Q4 2012.
 
IDC says that despite mild improvement in economic environment around the world and some new PC models with Windows 8 shipments were down significantly across all regions compared to the same quarter of 2012.

Declining mini notebook shipments took a big chunk out of the low-end market with tablets and smartphones also contributing to divert significant spending from the computer industry. IDC also reports that weak reception for Windows 8 has hurt the industry and computer makers continue to struggle to differentiate themselves from others on the market.

"At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market," said Bob O'Donnell, IDC Program Vice President, Clients and Displays. "While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the UI, removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices. Microsoft will have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if it wants to help reinvigorate the PC market."

HP is still the top computer vendor but its worldwide shipments fell more than 23% year-over-year. Lenovo remained in second place and came close to closing the gap between it and HP. Lenovo posted double-digit, year-over-year growth in the U.S.

Source: IDC



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An exemplary error
By Tony Swash on 4/12/2013 7:06:58 AM , Rating: 1
The nature of Microsoft's blunder in it's strategic response to the rise of mobile devices is perfectly exposed by it's recent priorities. Faced with exploding sales for powerful mobile computing devices it should have prioritised producing a well designed version of Office for iOS and Android with a top quality touch interface and combined that with an update for Windows using the familiar UI (instead of the pointlessly challenging Windows 8 interface) with clever integration features so users of the iOS and Android version of Office could work seamlessly with their Windows PCs.

If Microsoft had done that in a timely way, say a year ago, they could by now have been on the way to being a major software player in the mobile device arena instead of an irrelevance. It's the obsession with focussing on defending Windows that is crippling the company's strategic decision making.

Microsoft needs to wake up to the fact that they will never be a major OS player on mobile devices. That game is lost forever. But there is still much to play for, however the clock is ticking and unless they move fast quite soon all of Microsoft's software empire will be essentially irrelevant in the vast new mobile device markets.

The world's largest software company missed the emergence of world's largest new software market and ended up with no presence in it. Shockingly incompetent.




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