A few months ago, optimism at Microsoft headquarters was running high. The world’s largest software company was just about to release its next big operating system. But unlike every other Windows OS since 1995, this one would not feature a Start button or a conventional menu. It wouldn’t even feature a clock on the desktop!
What was Microsoft thinking? Well, it was thinking that it was making a bold leap into the future by blending the best of the touchscreen world with the famous usability of Microsoft operating systems. Sales were expected to be through the roof, especially since tablet PCs and Ultrabooks were coming with Windows 8 pre-installed.
But times have changed since October of 2012. Today, Microsoft is facing the reality that Windows 8 shipment numbers are declining. And to make matters worse for Microsoft, the PC industry as a whole continues to sink. Gartner is reporting that the industry fell by 4.9% in the fourth quarter of 2012 when compared to the fourth quarter of 2011.
So unfortunately for Microsoft, it does not look like Windows 8 is going to be the savior of the PC industry. In fact, it might be one of the last nails in its coffin. How’s that for a rapid turn of events?
Good news for Lenovo and Asus
Microsoft might be losing the PC war, but some companies are managing to succeed. Lenovo and Asus, both of which are widely regarded as ‘the good’ PC manufacturers (HP and Acer don’t have such a sparkling reputation) managed to grow their businesses by a significant amount.
Lenovo shipments increased by 8.2% and Asus shipments grew by 6.4%. These gains, however, were overshadowed by the fact that PC industry giants like Dell saw shipments drop by a whopping 21%.
Losing the tablet war
Apparently, the main reason why PC shipments are sinking is because consumers no longer feel they need a desktop or laptop computer in their house. The reason? Tablets. Tablet computers are perfect for today’s average consumer, who forgoes playing ‘hardcore’ PC games for more casual touchscreen games like Angry Birds.
Tablets can be used in front of the TV and have colorful displays that make it easy to share whatever funny picture you’re looking at on Reddit. And with the rise of tablets, today’s consumers are letting their PCs slowly die out without upgrading them.
How does the death of PCs make you feel? Is Microsoft going to recover from Windows 8? Could Windows 8 possibly turn things around? Let us know in the comments section below!