April 20, 2013
The PC Is Dead And Windows 8 Helped Kill It
If you ask me, the PCs sort of had it coming.
For years people used their desktop machines to crunch numbers, to run word processing apps and to support their video games.
As time went on, technology began to improve to the point where PCs were more than capable of doing all of these tasks and more. The Internet became a thing, which required computers to get a little faster. The Internet brought email, music and photo sharing and social networking, and PCs caught up once more to be able to handle this.
This is all users asked of their PCs for years.
All they wanted was to share photographs, listen to music, check email and surf the web. These computers had it easy.
Then mobile devices started catching up and taking on all of these tasks, with the iPad acting as the final nail in the proverbial coffin.
Sure, there are plenty of tasks which can only be performed on a PC. One of these tasks is building and compiling a smartphone app.
It’s a brilliant bit of unfiltered irony.
The iPad (and other comparable tablets) can perform these basic tasks easily and, in some cases, even better than a PC.
PCs had it coming. They weren’t doing anything more than we wanted and then something sexier came along and knocked them down from their pedestal, leaving them alone with the only demographic who still swears by them: sun-starved gamers.
No one wants to be left alone with gamers.
Last week the International Data Corporation (or IDC to you learned folks) released a report that found that PC sales are falling faster with each passing quarter. Oh, sales numbers have been falling for years, but this past quarter saw PC sales reach the lowest point since 2006, when IDC first began keeping track of these kinds of things.
If the iPad was the final nail in the PC coffin, then Windows 8 has been the undertaker, shoveling heap after cold heap of dirt on top of PC’s grave.
All these PC makers depend on Microsoft to make something great to drive customers to their hardware. It’s just one of the downsides to having multiple hands in the same pie.
Many PC makers were excited about the upcoming Windows 8 early last year, hoping that a new and revitalized operating system could breathe a bit of life back into the PC market. Then Microsoft released whatever Windows 8 is (it’s still a mystery to me) and confused many PC users. Businesses and corporations were hitting the brakes on bulk purchases of new computers, not willing to teach every employee how to use a machine without a start button.
“Microsoft will have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if it wants to help reinvigorate the PC market,” said IDC Program Vice President Bob O’Donnell in a statement.
This effect isn’t only seen in Windows machines, of course. Even Apple saw their PC sales slip in recent years, thanks mostly to iPad sales.
The difference here, of course, is that Apple is still getting their money no matter which way you go, so…you know. Go Apple.
IDC hasn’t completely written off the PC yet, however, making the previous metaphor not only labored, but largely incorrect.
“We are truly in an era of good-enough computing. People are holding on to their machines longer,” said O’Donnell in an interview with CNET.
“Eventually [customers] do upgrade their PC, but they’re going to wait.”
And therein lies the problem…customers are fine with “good enough” and the set up they have (likely running Windows XP or Windows 7) is fine for what they want to do, which more than likely consists of little more than backing up their smartphones and tablets.
Image Credit: dencg / Shutterstock