Is Windows 8 to be blamed for the slump?

Let’s not deny that things are not going well in the PC market. There has been 13.9% decline in PC sales as compared to the same quarter last year according to IDC, marking the biggest decline since they began publishing quarterly numbers. The first quarter of 2013 was surely rocky for PCs.  With IDC blaming Windows 8 for failing to provide a positive boost to the PC market, what may not be, though, is everyone’s insistence on pinning this on Windows 8.

Really? How can the launch of Windows 8 stop people from buying new PC’s?  Even though the buyers can choose from a multitude of options, they were quick to point the finger at Windows 8 just because they were afraid of the very different Windows 8. It’s surely a stretch to lay the blame for the decline of an industry on a single piece of software.

Why The Slump?

PC sales problem doesn’t begin or end with Windows 8.  Even if Microsoft may well tweak the operating system and make it easy for users– problem solved – PC sales would have probably still slump. The reason for that are the price challenges faced by OEM’s. Buyers balk at the high priced PC’s and pass on Windows 8 not because they dislike it but because they are not willing to pay the current rate for hardware that exploited it. Also, the rise of tablets and smartphones has certainly made them less necessary in our day-to-day lives.  PC’s have just become a functional alternative. That’s not to say that PCs are dead in the water or will ever disappear, but that PC sales have entered a period of slow decline as tablets grow more popular. Tablets handle user’s most frequent activities, albeit consumers still need PC’s. PCs have always been capable of doing more. The iOS version of Office is still a compromised experience on a tablet.

The other reason for the slump is that the PC manufacturers at the time of Windows 8 launch were too cautious with the initial rollouts of the touch enabled PC’s.  Therefore, many of the products that properly showcased Windows 8 and its touch capabilities weren’t that widely available because of the supply constraint. As a result, these supply problems were heightened by consumers’ perception of Windows 8 devices with Microsoft’s own promotional commercial of being touch enabled. People thought that they would get a touch machine while they received a standard Windows 8 laptop.

Give it Time!

In my opinion, Windows 8 is in its infancy stage and will take time to mature. It is too early to say whether it’s a success or a failure. It is new, different but at the same time the old and familiar is still there. Windows has a long heritage it can leverage and it needs to be prepared for hard work and maturing as needed.  Also, not ignoring the fact that the PC industry is in a decline  and the Windows 8 launch in the world would have done nothing to change that.

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