Gartner – Legacy PCs Sinking

The world is echoing the result of Gartner’s latest analysis of personal computing markets. Despite the fact that they predict shipments of tablets will exceed legacy PCs by the end of 2014, many are still thinking problems in the supply-chain of legacy PCs is purely a marketing problem. It’s not. The world is rejecting Wintel as burdensome and expensive IT.
“Worldwide traditional PC (desk-based and notebook) shipments are forecast to total 305 million units in 2013, a 10.6 percent decline from 2012 , while the PC market including ultramobiles is forecast to decline 7.3 percent in 2013 (see Table 1). Tablet shipments are expected to grow 67.9 percent, with shipments reaching 202 million units, while the mobile phone market will grow 4.3 percent, with volume of more than 1.8 billion units. The sharp decline in PC sales recorded in the first quarter was the result in a change in preferences in consumers’ wants and needs, but also an adjustment in the channel to make room for new products hitting the market in the second half of 2013.”

see Gartner Says Worldwide PC, Tablet and Mobile Phone Shipments to Grow 5.9 Percent in 2013 as Anytime-Anywhere-Computing Drives Buyer Behavior.

It’s not just about marketing. Mobility is of the highest value for consumers and M$’s attempts at an OS for mobile devices is a poor joke. Consumers don’t like it. Tablets are more mobile than notebooks which are more mobile than desktops. That isn’t going to change no matter what the salesdroids say. Consumers were not offered choice by M$. They were offered choice by the world of IT that could quickly produce and ship a better product than M$ and its “partners”. That happened not because of marketing choices but because M$ chose to keep the vast majority of the profits for itself instead of investing in the legacy PC ecosystem. There’s no way for M$ to reverse the tide now. Too many consumers know about Android/Linux and iOS.

Out of the dust of the Wintel empire, GNU/Linux will climb to take over what’s left of the legacy PC space and GNU/Linux will take a good share of the mobile space as well because of the lower efficiency of an interpreted system, Android/Linux. Business is switching to thin clients and server-centric computing which favours */Linux too, so Wintel is drifting on a melting iceberg in a warm sea. All their salesmen can do is allocate deck-chairs for the survivors.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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6 Responses to Gartner – Legacy PCs Sinking

  1. oiaohm says:

    Ted there is a problem. Microsoft yes demand that there must be a way to turn it off. Enough so they cannot be done for Anti-trust. Problem is they need to demand that there be a unified way to turn it off.

    Like a jumper on the underside of motherboard so you had to disassemble the complete computer to turn UEFI off would pass what Microsoft requests of makers. Or other equally insane solutions.

    Linux foundation made a tool that allowed replacement of platform key on lots of motherboards so uses could take full control of a system. Microsoft has forbid signing this. The tamed down version that can turn secure boot of in a unified way has also been turned down.

    Linux foundation bootloader still works on secure boot on systems to approve non secure boot loaders to load.

    Ted so yes there are questions here exactly why will Microsoft not sign a unified tool to turn secure boot off or at least demard OEM makers do a unified interface todo it.

    One of the really nasty ones is some machines ship out with Windows 8 installed with no way to enter firmware until after Windows 8 is loaded and agreed to the EULA without disassembling the machine.

    Ted do you not agree that having to remove the harddrive to enter firmware without agreeing to the MS EULA is kinda insane.

    Windows 8 EULA section really should have a opt out button to reboot the computer to return to firmware. Heck there need to be a button/switch to enter firmware in case of OS death. Android tablets you can hook up to pc without disasmebling and force firmware write. PC really should be able todo this stand alone.

    There is also a issue of what is UEFI malware going todo to you.

  2. Ted says:

    “Desktop motherboards with UEFI are also a big part of the problem.”

    Why would that be? Secure Boot? Just turn it off! It is a requirement from *Microsoft* that UEFI boards that support WIndows 8 and Secure Boot MUST have the option to disable it. So much for forcing lock-in.

    “They are locked to Microsoft 8”

    No they’re not. Turn off Secure Boot, and you can install what you want on them. If your OS doesn’t support a UEFI board, even in “Legacy Boot” modes, then take that matter up with your OS vendor.

    “and economical Linux servers at the high end”

    Like the 16-core, killer GPU monsters you say you can get cheaper than a middling i7 gaming rig?

  3. ram says:

    Desktop motherboards with UEFI are also a big part of the problem. They are locked to Microsoft 8, and the world doesn’t want Microsoft 8. Combine that effect with Linux tablets at the low end and economical Linux servers at the high end, and “desktop” sales are bound to take a big hit.

  4. bw says:

    Mobility is of the highest value for consumers and M$’s attempts at an OS for mobile devices is a poor joke

    Well, I doubt that they think it is a joke, but they are trying still. They do take in some money at this, although it may not be profitable at all.

    But so what? Microsoft is not making a lot of money selling phone and table OS, but Google is not making much money selling PC OS. Nor is anyone else. As long as all the companies involved are making money still, they will stay in business.

    Too many consumers know about Android/Linux and iOS.

    Do they? I think they know about iPhone and iPad and are attracted to low price alternatives that use Android, but I don’t think they consider that as an OS choice but rather as a phone or tablet manufacturer choice. Apple is the winner’s choice regardless of price. The others are ways to save money.

  5. Maou Sadao says:

    Save us, Lord Jesus!

  6. dougman says:

    Who didn’t see this coming?

    M$ tried to stay relevant, by flipping the laptop upside down (RT) and tossing a tablet interface on the desktop (Windows 8), all the while shouting meteor cries “Look at us! We can still build awesome software!”

    Meanwhile in the real world…

    OEMs cancel production, call it a useless and immature.

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