Why Win8 will succeed. Or fail.

Started Apr 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
Simon Garrett
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Re: Worst. PC. Sales. Ever.
In reply to Sean Nelson, Apr 11, 2013

Sean Nelson wrote:

CAcreeks wrote:

Eweek reports the worst quarterly PC sales (globally) since 1994. That was when PCs came with DOS and Windows 3.1! IDC blames Windows 8.

While I doubt Windows 8 is stimulating PC sales particularly, I'm not sure it's fair to lay the blame for poor sales at its feet.  Desktop technology has been very stable ever since the Core i5/7 series came out so there's not a lot of reason for most people to upgrade.   At the same time the mobile marketplace is taking off, which is doubtless sucking at least some people's upgrade budgets.

IDC don't blame W8 entirely for the fall in PC sales, but they say it's a factor, and far from arresting the decline in PC/laptop sales, W8 may be putting people off laptop replacements, and making people think more about tablets.  And at the moment, "tablet" means Android or Apple, not Windows, so Microsoft may be pushing people towards their opponents. Microsoft will eventually have their "Gemini" (Metro) versions of Office etc, but they won't appear for another year, by when it will probably be all over.

I don't think the interesting thing with Windows is how poor PC sales are - that's pretty much expected IMHO.   The interesting thing is what's happening with Windows mobile devices - which, as far as I can see, is very little.   Mobile is where the action is, and it seems like Windows 8 is mostly missing out on it.   I don't find that surprising, but Metro is Microsoft's ticket to the mobile marketplace.  If they can't do succeed there, then all this Metro angst is for naught.

Quite.  Very high risk.  There's nothing so hard to predict as the future, but I reckon the most likely outcome is that Microsoft will fail.

One particular failure (IMHO) is likely to be their view that there should be one platform from phones through tablets to laptops and PCs.  No.  These are different beasts for different purposes.  As Steven J Vaughn-Nichols stated on the debate I cited in the OP:

"Tablets are for information consumers and PCs are for information producers."

Of course there's some overlap, and many people are both at different times, but they are quite different contexts, requiring different apps and with UI optimised to the context.

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