“While the results of the second quarter were in line with forecast, a number of issues led IDC to further downgrade its PC outlook. Aside from stubbornly depressed consumer interest, 2013 also marks the first year where emerging regions are expected to contract at a steeper rate than mature regions. Leading this trend is Chinaâ€™s revised forecast, which calls for a double-digit decline in shipments this year compared to 2012, as channel sources report high levels of stagnant inventory and continued enthusiasm for tablets and smartphones. The repercussions of a slowing China, anxiety over the possible tapering of the U.S. quantitative easing program, and weak intrinsic PC demand are among a litany of factors that have rippled across portions of other formerly strong-growth areas, leading emerging markets as a whole to see declines through at least 2014.”
Tablets and smartphones have essentially broken up the personal computing landscape into three valleys and consumers are free to wander whichever way they want. Hundreds of millions have now experienced another OS than Windowstm and another CPU than Intel. Consumers like what they see, buy a lot and don’t need to spend anything on Wintel. In this vibrant competition, GNU/Linux as well as Android/Linux should be able to thrive. There’s no going back to the bad old days when every PC from major OEMs bore Windows. The world no longer owes M$ a living and Intel is courting FLOSS and */Linux everywhere. It’s taking the retailers a couple of years to get the drift but it’s happening. I like it.