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  • PC shipments tanked last quarter and they’re not coming back

    Posted on April 12th, 2016 at 06:23 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Winter is coming, analysts don’t get it.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

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    Home Forums PC shipments tanked last quarter and they’re not coming back

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    This topic contains 30 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by

     wdburt1 2 years, 1 month ago.

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    • #44805 Reply

      Da Boss

      Winter is coming, analysts don’t get it. InfoWorld Woody on Windows
      [See the full post at: PC shipments tanked last quarter and they’re not coming back]

    • #44806 Reply


      Could this perhaps have something to do with the fact that the option of buying a new PC with the right to roll back to Win 7 or 8.1 has been withdrawn?

    • #44807 Reply

      Da Boss

      Actually, the rules haven’t changed. If you bought a copy of Windows Pro, you can roll back to an earlier version of Windows – at least in theory. I think the core reason is that people are finally starting to understand that they don’t HAVE to buy a PC — that there are many good alternatives. Businesses haven’t uniformly caught on yet, but they will.

    • #44808 Reply


      Didn’t Microsoft prohibit manufacturers from offering the downgrade option a few months ago? Was this perhaps limited to Windows versions other than Pro? (In which case it would still affect PC sales.)

      Sorry if I’m confused about this.

    • #44809 Reply

      Da Boss

      In January, Microsoft said that it would not support Windows 7 and 8.1 updates on some Skylake processors after July 2017.

      That doesn’t change downgrade rights in general. See

      Downgrade rights (only applicable to Pro versions, as has always been the case) are valid until January 2020 for Windows 7 and January 2023 for Windows 8.1.

    • #44810 Reply



    • #44811 Reply


      We buy products that meet our needs.

      New technology, such as the smartphone has replaced the PC for those consumers who do not need the additional capabilities of the PC.

      Business is now conducted on both the smartphone and the PC – they complement each other.

      When it comes to certain applications, the PC is a requirement. However, this requirement is shrinking. Applications may very well move to the cloud in the near future, putting the PC in even greater jeopardy. Corporations and Government do not want to have to allocate large amounts of their IT budget to retraining staff on new technology and nor do they want it allocated to the rewriting and migration of legacy applications.

      The consumer looking for less maintenance and upgrade aggravation are re-purposing older PCs – some turning to Linux, rather than buying new. This is more so when the newest PCs only benefit the Enterprise.

    • #44812 Reply


      I wonder to what extent, if any, more people are building their own computers these days? They would obviously not be counted in any shipment figures.

      I’d be interested in a comparison of PC user numbers over a certain time period as opposed simply to sales. I suspect the other change that’s happening is that people are more inclined to upgrade their computers piecemeal rather than by a straight replacement of the whole computer. Certainly as a gamer the days have passed when I needed to change the whole machine every 2 or 3 years, now I just upgrade the graphics card as and when I need to.

      User numbers may well be falling as well as sales due to the move away from standard desktop and laptop PCs to other devices, not helped by Microsoft’s attempts to force PC users to operate their desktop or laptop as if it were a hand-held device. However, I don’t think that sales figures alone give us the full picture.

    • #44813 Reply


      The cloud will only be popular until such time as it becomes too expensive to use, or there’s a major security failure and data breach.

    • #44814 Reply


      I believe that the market penetration of smartphones and tablets coupled with the mobile computing trend is the primary driver of declining PC sales. The general public doesn’t want to be tied to a desktop PC, and the smaller size and convenience of smartphones and tablets has eroded the niche for laptops.

    • #44815 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      Great ! Now this means PCs will get even cheaper, for weirdos such as myself (plus 10 people worldwide) who insist on working on a real computer with a real screen and real innards.

      Smartphones ? I don’t have a smartphone.

    • #44816 Reply


      Yet gaming PCs are thriving apparently, especially with VR requiring a serious bit of horsepower –

      Which i’m pleased about personally, the death of PC gaming has been greatly exaggerated.

    • #44817 Reply



      I too am one of those 10 “weirdos” who insist on working on a real computer with a real screen and real innards. I too don’t own or care to own a Smartphone. Don’t even own a dumb phone. Landline is fire for me at the present.

      I built (assembled) my desktop in 2012 and it is going strong. No need to upgrade. PC’s should be like refrigerators and washers built to last a long time and not like a smart phone you exchange every two years. I also note that looking at the wider picture, beyond the world of technology along, the world is in economic crisis. Our leaders (all sides) are lying to us about the state of the economy, the markets are rigged by the corrupt Federal Banks and corrupt Federal government too, and 90 million plus Americans are on food stamps, so the economy too is playing a roll also, IMHO, as to why many people are NOT buying the luxuries as they used to like a desktop PC. Many are giving up their home internet service, their landlines, cable TV too, and going with a cell phone to consolidate and cut expenses. Wall Street and the DC area may be doing just fine, but Main Street is hurting which DC, Cupertino, and Redmond appear to be clueless about or willfully blind to. When the economy is down expect sales across the board to go down and when the economy is up, the sales will go up… and the economy is woefully in bad shape for Main Street regardless the lies and propaganda out of DC and lamestream media. OK rant over. 🙂

    • #44818 Reply


      I have the smartest phone in the world, a good old fashioned flip phone that does just exactly what I expect a PHONE to do, it sends and receives PHONE CALLS, and that’s all it does!

    • #44819 Reply

      Edmund Blackadder

      Sadly, the way things are heading Mr & Mrs Global Main Street will have to start dusting off their Spinning Jennys and Ravelling Nancys.
      I do hope Messrs Nadella & Myerson haven’t got plans to roll out forced updates for these as well 🙂 🙂

    • #44820 Reply

      Thom R

      I think you exaggerate, or listen to too much right wing radio. The media just is,it hasn’t changed. Some areas doing better than others

    • #44821 Reply

      Da Boss

      Please tone down the rhetoric, everybody. We aren’t going to solve America’s political problems. I’m just here to help people use Windows…

    • #44822 Reply


      Perhaps we should ponder whether now’s the time to build a hugely powerful system – while the hardware is still available and not yet priced into the stratosphere.

      If computers are on the way out, the machinery with which to CREATE – rather than consume – content will become ever more difficult and expensive to obtain. No longer will the price be pushed downward by the mass scale of production.

      And face it, no one can actually create things on a little tablet. Not even a Surface Pro 500.

      What OS will be the one of choice for the few remaining COMPUTERS? I don’t think Windows. Microsoft seems to be turning away from content producers and business professionals. Windows as a service? Seriously? Why? So I can run Angry Birds to wile away the hours until the next layoff?

      I’m running Windows 8.1 on MY powerful workstation, simply because I can’t yet imagine putting Windows 10 on it (other than in a virtual machine). I’m waiting for a better OS.

      I wonder whether we might see the return of minicomputers and mainframes to support content production and serious computing. Maybe VMS can be resurrected – again – and we can it right this time.


    • #44823 Reply

      poohsticks (it’s a game from winnie-the-pooh) (formerly username “D.”)

      Dear Woody,
      I’m not sure what is happening, I am trying to post a reply to Clairvaux’s comment, but I am not getting the normal message saying it’s in a queue for moderation, nor do I get any other message — it just disappears into the ether. I’m not sure if you’ve shut down commenting altogether tonight, or if my very long username is causing a problem with the system.
      This will be the third time I’ve posted my reply (it is below), and I do apologize if all 3 eventually show up in your moderation queue – please delete the duplicates!


      I’m a weirdo too. 🙂

      I haven’t the foggiest idea what the real innards do, but I do want my real computer to have them!

      I have a smartphone out of necessity, but I have cleared it out and hobbled it so much that it doesn’t do much besides make calls and send texts (and take photos… that do not pass through into any “cloud”), and that’s fine by me.

      Funny thing is, I think Woody’s blog attracts a number of people from our weird market segment, for several different reasons, even though he’s mainly in a different camp himself. And that’s great. 🙂

    • #44824 Reply

      Da Boss

      Not sure why you’re having problems.

      I NEVER shut down the message queue. Sometimes I’m slow to get things reviewed and posted – but in the past two days I’m up to almost 100 posts a day. My fingers need to move faster.

      (P.S. I had another copy of the body of this message sitting and waiting for approval.)

    • #44825 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      Maybe one of the reason PC sales are tanking is because people are getting tired of Microsoft and the problems with all the releases of Windows.
      It seems we haven’t had a good version of Windows since Windows 7 and Microsoft is doing everything it can to get people to switch away from that to more problematic versions of Windows like Windows 8 , 8.1 and 10.
      That and convenience is maybe why everyone seems to be using Tablets and smart phones.

    • #44826 Reply

      Joe Friday

      “I’m just here to help people use Windows…”

      And I’m here because of the great help offered by you and some of the great posters.

      Ask Woody is (thankfully) focused on that purpose and you do a great job. “Just the facts, maam/sir”…..please.


    • #44827 Reply

      Da Boss

      Here, here.

    • #44828 Reply


      I prefer a traditional desktop computer over a laptop or a tablet.

      * If I have work to do, it’s a lot easier with a full-size keyboard, a mouse, and a full-size screen (or two or three).

      * A desktop is a lot easier to maintain than a laptop (e.g. keeping the dust out, swapping parts, etc).

      * A desktop is cheaper than an equivalent laptop.

      * There are no battery issues with a desktop computer (e.g. battery memory).

      The one advantage to a laptop or other mobile device is that it has a built-in UPS (a battery).

      Mobile devices by nature have compromises built in so as to make them mobile. I’d prefer to work without the compromises if possible. There is absolutely no need to compromise on anything if the computer sits in my office, on my desk, and I never need to take it with me.

    • #44829 Reply


      Amen Seff, I see the cloud doing what Walmart does.

      When Walmart moves into a small town they sell things at or below costs subsidized by the 1000’s of other Walmart stores. Small town Main Street can’t compete and the Mom and Pop shops go out of business. Once Walmart kills the competition they raise their prices to whatever they want.

      Once businesses move to the cloud, close their in-house IT departments and let there staff go, the cloud provider starts to raise it’s rates… The business can’t go back because all of it’s resources are gone and they wind up paying more in the end.

      Regarding Security… It makes more sense for hackers to attack one big cloud provider and snare millions of businesses and users then to snare millions businesses and users one at a time.

      And let’s not forget the political aspects of “Third Party Doctrine”

      and the funny thing is, it seems everybody has fallen into a trance regarding “THE CLOUD” Hey it’s just a marketing makeover. I’ve been doing it for 25 years under the previous name “Remote Computing” I can access my desktop, my emails, my media from anywhere in the world… The Cloud, Ouuuu sounds so mysterious… haahahaha

    • #44830 Reply


      Why not Woody… So much of what is going on with computers is politically based. Take the FBI wanting to crack the Iphone or the constant drum beating of backdoors into encryption or Microsoft insatiable thirst for profit’s pushing users to Windows 10 and thus their loss of privacy. I would think that has more relevancy then…. ah… I’m sorry… what is it you feel is more relevant?

    • #44831 Reply


      Haha That’s funny you signed in as “Anonymous” and then signed your name… Noel.

      But you’re right on target, with decreasing sales of regular PC’s logic dictates the prices will rise. Now could be a very good time to buy. Regarding All that power personally if you look at processor speed it’s only incremental maybe a 6 or 7 % increase each generation. That’s because Intel lacks any serious competition and don’t have to come out with blockbuster speed increases like the olden days when AMD was closer (or better) That said I prefer a freestanding box as opposed to tablets and phones for another reason… CONTROL… Mobile OS’s lock you in. Apple dictates what you can and can’t run. Android is a joke… Listen when I want to move my info to another device I don’t want to have to back it up to and restore from Google… I don’t trust them as far as I can throw them. I can’t load apps from the Playstore because I read the EULA and I don’t agree with it and every developer uses the Playstore so there’s very little side-loading which unfortunately leaves me owning a flip phone with a very expensive and useless screen.

    • #44832 Reply



      That Noel might be Noel Carboni, an experienced, responsible, knowledgable commenter here who works in the IT field.

      I expect that he wasn’t trying to post as “anonymous”, and that it probably happened without his knowing —

      On this site, when you write a comment but forget to enter your name and/or email address before you hit the “submit comment” button, sometimes the site will accept your comment and show your name as “anonymous”.

      (The posting of comments here can be a little wonky, due to peculiarities with the underlying platform I think, and about 2 months ago we had a discussion on about some commenters’ odd experiences with it.)

    • #44833 Reply



      You have made 3 comments this evening on a discussion under a blog post that was published by Woody 2 months ago in April,

      and with the way that Woody’s site is set up, probably most readers here are not going to see your three comments because the only place on this site that indicates when new comments have been made is the “Recent Comments” list (on the right side of the screen) which shows only the last 10 comments that Woody has approved to be posted, and his site is so lively that most new comments don’t even hang around on that for a few hours before they are knocked off by newer comments that have come down the pike.

      On Woody’s site, the current conversations that people pay attention to and respond to are almost always the ones that are taking place under his blog posts of just the most recent few days. The older conversations/discussions here quickly get buried and left behind, not that Woody wants them to be, but it’s due to the limitations of the site’s blogging platform.

      Woody has said that people who want more of a “forum” experience can go to “Eileen’s Lounge” which he links to in the upper right corner.

    • #44834 Reply


      Of course he is Pooh… It’s not necessary to state the obvious 😉

    • #44835 Reply


      and yet you’ve responded to two of them… Hmmm…

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

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