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  • PC sales rose significantly in the second quarter. Chromebooks, too.

    Home Forums AskWoody blog PC sales rose significantly in the second quarter. Chromebooks, too.

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      • #2279083 Reply
        Da Boss

        From IDC (which includes Chromebooks in its “PC” numbers): The second quarter of 2020 (2Q20) ended well for the Traditional PC market, comprised of de
        [See the full post at: PC sales rose significantly in the second quarter. Chromebooks, too.]

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      • #2279087 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Gartner was slightly off in their “Others” total to round up to 100%. Doing the math with the “major” companies that you quoted, “Others” was actually 15.3%.

        Windows 8.1, 64-bit, back in Group A... & leaning toward Windows 10 V2004. As long as it's a Lot Less Buggy!
        Wild Bill Rides Again...

      • #2279088 Reply
        Noel Carboni

        I’d say there is one strong reason for the uptick… A lot of folks have found themselves asked to work from home, and the transition into this condition was abrupt.

        In modern times, to get real work done while working from home, you need a desktop machine, no matter what marketeers say about mobile devices being essential and laptops being powerful. People are no longer mobile! Who’s flying, for example? Desktop systems are more powerful and more reliable than laptops. Got any stats that show how desktops fare vs. mobile?

        Good webcams got scarce too.

        I myself bought another PC workstation, though mine wasn’t strictly new (eBay parts). In doing so I put money into the PC industry that would have otherwise gone to, I don’t know, travel? Gasoline?

        I can also tell you authoritatively, because I own my own software business, that online sales of software rose sharply in April and have only now begun to slow slightly.

        Sure would be nice to see this “new normal” we’re all living in cause a resurgence in development of serious computers instead of more mobile toys.


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        • #2279090 Reply
          Noel Carboni

          To expand on why an abrupt transition to Working From Home (WFH) would translate to sales…

          Imagine a big, well-outfitted regional office of a successful high tech company. Computer systems are littered about the place just everywhere and employees are cranking along using them in their office routine. One differentiator that makes that company more competitive is that they outfit their folks with plenty of gear to facilitate their work.

          Suddenly one day each engineer, who has 5 machines he or she works with daily is told, “don’t come in to the office, it’s locked down temporarily for deep cleaning”. Unexpectedly this condition evolved and has persisted for months, making it difficult or impossible to go get that in-office hardware.

          Those who already were savvy at WFH either already had some computers at home, and/or maybe (prior to Covid-19) when they didn’t come into the office they worked using remote access from their laptops.

          It was understood that WFH meant “not quite as productive”, and that was accepted.

          Now, with everyone having transitioned to WFH long-term, productivity is expected to rise to (and possibly even surpass) prior in-office levels because – imagine this – people not spending a couple of hours commuting translates into more time to work.

          Tech companies, not surprisingly, opened up their budgets to provide employees the opportunity to significantly enhance their WFH environments, because guess who wins by treating its employees well? A table in a corner is now a real desk in a real home office with a real computer and multiple monitors.


          • This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by Noel Carboni.
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        • #2279130 Reply

          Desktop systems are more powerful and more reliable than laptops. Got any stats that show how desktops fare vs. mobile?

          From the Gartner report:

          Double-digit mobile PC growth was offset by a 44% decline in deskbased PCs.

          “Strong mobile PC demand in the U.S. was driven by shelter in place rules enforced as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak,”

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          • #2279238 Reply

            That’s about what I’d expect.  While there’s still some that need a workstation at home to do the heavy lifting, I suspect most businesses have transitioned to a remote desktop (or terminal services, or VDI) configuration to allow access to pre-existing business machines.

            Businesses probably aren’t buying new systems right now because they don’t know which way is up.  Will their clients still be in business tomorrow?  Will they?  Are they going to be hiring more personnel or firing?  Desktop shipments will most likely go back up once the economy starts to stabilize again.

            • #2279254 Reply

              Businesses probably aren’t buying new systems right now because they don’t know which way is up.

              It looks like businesses have been buying a lot of laptops:

              Laptops sales have increased as businesses and consumers sought out productivity tools in lockdown.

              The PC market bounce back was driven by notebook shipments, which grew 24% year on year compared to a 26% decline in desktop shipments,

              “Notebooks have singlehandedly pulled the PC market out of depression,”
              “They have been crucial in ensuring that the service, government and education sectors can continue to function in the face of unprecedented disruption and uncertainty. Vendors and the channel made the necessary changes to ramp up production and delivery of notebooks to the highest level in years.”

              Notebooks have ‘singlehandedly’ pulled the PC market out of depression

      • #2279114 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        We have virtually doubled our PC fleet, every staff member has been given a WFH PC for the period they had to work from home, and those PCs have stayed there for the time being, in case there is a second wave. So basically each staff member now has two PCs allocated. So yes, lots of PC sales to allow for that.

        No matter where you go, there you are.

      • #2279244 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        I don’t count Chromebooks as a PC, because they’re a terminal, not a computer!

        (That being said, and although I swore I’d never have a Chromebook, I am kind of interested in the Lenovo Duet, to use as an Android tablet — never say never?)

        Win 7 Pro, 64-Bit, Group B ESU,Ivy Bridge i3-3110M, 2.4GHz, 4GB, XP Mode VM, WordPerfect
      • #2279257 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        This article, from April, is about the chain-supply disruption related to the COVID-19 slowdown in production and distribution mainly affecting the sales of laptops. The article was written too early for the subsequent uptick due to the demand created from the great increase in people telecommuting on a more or less permanent base for an undefined length of time to have been  already noticeable. And either the “supply chain” got fixed by then, or there was a lot of excess stock in inventory waiting to be sold from before the “disruption.”

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

      • #2279309 Reply

        Woody wrote:

        From Gartner (which doesn’t count Chromebooks in the “PC” category, for some bizarre historical reason):

        As a Linux user who most definitely does use a PC, or several of them, it’s evident that much of the world means “Windows on x86” when they say “PC.”

        None of my PCs changed into something else, hardware wise, when I installed Linux, but as far as all of the software that is simply “for PC,” they apparently ceased to be PCs and started to be, well… I don’t know what they would call them, if they are even aware enough to call them anything!

        Of course, the term “PC” as it pertains to our chosen computer platform is a little “off” already, since the actual term PC stands for personal computer, which is any computer meant to be used by one person at a time, as opposed to multiuser mainframes and minicomputers, which dominated the computing landscape decades ago.

        Some people have objected to the term “PC” denoting a specific hardware platform rather than being applied to all actual single-user computers as it had been before, but that’s a convention that has grown from the original popular name of the computer that started what has come to be called the PC platform… the IBM PC.

        There were other PCs around, in the original sense of the term PC, but this one was not one of those. This one was the one that was made by IBM, which was the 800 pound gorilla of the business machine world back then, so it was instantly the most favored PC of them all for business. This one was the IBM PC. It was the “IBM” part of that which got the emphasis, early on, with the PC part still being used in its generic, “single user at a time” mode.

        People are very accustomed to the “Manufacturer-Product” nomenclature, like Chevrolet Camaro, where the first word is the company name and the second is the product name, and people had come to think of “PC” like it was the model name, no longer a term for a class of computers, but a model name in its own right.  When the compatibles hit the scene, they were initially referred to as “IBM PC compatible,” which was quickly shortened to “IBM compatible” or “PC compatible.”

        Soon, IBM began to lose ground in the market it had created. The compatible manufacturers were more nimble (Compaq had a 386 on the market long before IBM did, for one example), and their products came at a lower price. The perception of compatibles as cheap, inferior knock-offs gave way to a perception of them as being a better value. They were being seen less as being compatible with some other machine, and more as worthy competitors in their own right. The “compatible” term faded, and certainly they were not IBMs, but they were perceived as PCs, in the sense of referring to a specific computer model, that were just from another manufacturer and not IBM.  Thus, the term “PC,” which had come to be seen as a model name for a specific IBM product, was genericized to mean any other computer that did the same things that the IBM PC did, like run IBM PC software.

        The term has been with us ever since.  In the early days, PCs ran MS-DOS or PC-DOS, and when IBM’s next-gen operating system, OS/2, failed to catch on, Windows became the successor to MS-DOS. More than thirty years later, “PC” is still used as it was then… a computer with an x86-based CPU running a Microsoft operating system.

        Since Chromebooks don’t run a Microsoft OS, they’re not PCs, by that definition, and some of them are not even x86.


        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.19.4).

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        • #2279399 Reply
          AskWoody Plus

          I recall what an IT person told me about 35-40 years ago, “Nobody gets fired for specking IBM ”
          Of course not true today…


          Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
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