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Windows 7: Microsoft predicts another cruel quarter for PCs

04 Aug 2013   #31
bobafetthotmail

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sygnus21 View Post
That's right tablets are the fastest growing tech out in the PC word.
This is a common mistake. Tablets (and smartphones) are a NEW device, a device that most people don't have already.

So the sales figures are huge, but will eventually level and drop to a far lower number once the market is saturated. Everyone is scrambling to develop ARM stuff now because now it's still possible to get in the market with a realistic investment, when it stabilizes there will be already major players and the technology/manufacturing base required will be so huge that will be harder or impossible to do so.

The same happened with computers some decades ago. It's practically impossible to compete now with Intel, AMD or even VIA with x86 processors/chipsets.

Quote:
More and more people are buying them as opposed to desktops.
This is true, tablets can do what the average household PC can do, so the cheap prebuilt PC sales are plummeting (also because of the so-called "white box" tablets at under 100$, another way of saying "cheap crap from China").

But desktops still have a place and will keep selling strong in Businness/corporate and PC gaming/Home working segments. These two aren't significantly impacted by tablets simply because:
A) in most cases portability is irrelevant as the worker has his own station/office/cubicle.
B) tablets and touchscreens in general spectacularly fail all applicable laws about work safety in an office (screen-eye distance, correct posture, correct support for arms). They are cool for cash registers and other simple stuff, but that's it.
C) they lack the power to run any decent PC/Console game nor can run seriously demanding software and will remain this way for at least 4-5 years (assuming that the fact both new consoles with a brawny 8-core x86 CPU does not impact the resources required to play games, I think it will and tablets will remain too weak indefinitely).

The stupid things Microsoft is doing with windows 8 on desktop computer isn't going to bolster PC sales on such desktop environments (especially business), so they are partly responsible for decrease of PC sales.

Also because of retraining costs. Any guy working in an IT department still has nightmares about other employees constantly calling for assistance and asking him how to do something when the enterprise transitioned to using a version of Office that dropped the standard interface and went with the new, modern and "cooler" one with the stripes and moved the buttons all over the place.

Quote:
If anything I would argue Microsoft is actually trying to save the desktop by proving an OS that's actually trying to converge all the available tech out there to work on both desktop and mobile devices. Suddenly I can use my desktop in ways mobile devices work, and be able to have that tech with me when I go mobile using my tablet or smartphone.
Except it's just the same UI and the programs you use on computers won't work on ARM devices. I frankly don't see the point of having a clearly touch-based interface when the screen is clearly NOT touchscreen.

Quote:
It's just that everyone is now looking to Microsoft to stop the slide; and not even they can do so. And so the next logical step is to create an OS that integrates with the mobile technology and desktop OS.
I agree. The point is that MS is doing it wrong.
Ubuntu's Unity interface for example is good for both tablets and non-touch-screen desktops (for phones it's a bit sucky and it's why they have developed a phone UI). It got its own hails of flak for various reasons and prompted the most hardcore desktop fans to fork and create Mint, but it works and allows easy multitasking/multiwindow use.

Metro or The Modern UI is awesome on a phone or a tablet (they ripped off Windows phone UI, so yeah, it was designed for such devices), but fails on a desktop.
All the tiles are pointless without a toucscreen and to do work you need to go into Desktop mode, create your own start menu (because the program-opening menus are again optimized for touchscreens and are a pain to use with a mouse) and then do stuff like the old way. WTF?? Is this supposed to be "integrating"?


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04 Aug 2013   #32
sygnus21

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

In some aspects we agree. But I think you're forgetting one point - technology is rapidly changing and improving in the computer world, thus computing devices will get smaller, stronger, and faster as we move forward. And the negatives you point out may diminish far faster than 4-5 years.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bobafetthotmail View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sygnus21 View Post
That's right tablets are the fastest growing tech out in the PC word.
This is a common mistake. Tablets (and smartphones) are a NEW device, a device that most people don't have already.

So the sales figures are huge, but will eventually level and drop to a far lower number once the market is saturated. Everyone is scrambling to develop ARM stuff now because now it's still possible to get in the market with a realistic investment, when it stabilizes there will be already major players and the technology/manufacturing base required will be so huge that will be harder or impossible to do so.

The same happened with computers some decades ago. It's practically impossible to compete now with Intel, AMD or even VIA with x86 processors/chipsets.
Let's not forget the PC market hit lows around mid-2000. Remember in the early late 90's to early 2000's all the computer shows and tech being showcased? Then we hit a low around 2005 where computer shows dried up and new stuff coming out slowed.

At around the same time smartphones started arriving, followed by Apple's tablets. Yes, there was still some PC stuff coming out, notably CPU’s, motherboards, and GPU’s, but it wasn't the boon of the late 90’s to mid-2000.

Anyway it was during this time that the traditional PC sales started sagging, and once tablets caught hold, the slide continued to this day.

So yes, once market saturation hits, things slow down; it's happened with the traditional PC, it'll happen with tablets. But as we've seen, a new tech will come along, and the cycle will repeat itself.

Next up, the home environment, where technologies will converge to integrate into a single hand-held PC to control the home. What will that OS be like?

My two cents.
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04 Aug 2013   #33
bobafetthotmail

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

Quote:
And the negatives you point out may diminish far faster than 4-5 years.
Yeah, predictions change depending on underlying assumptions. I tend to assume that x86 development is going to continue, by harnessing the true power of multi-threading (that so far was done only so-so outside the professional programs, a lot due to consoles being weird non-x86 devices). AMD is pushing this point pretty strongly, and by giving the new consoles its own 8-core x86 processors I think they will make it happen. But I can be wrong.

Quote:
PC market hit lows around mid-2000. Remember in the early late 90's to early 2000's all the computer shows and tech being showcased? Then we hit a low around 2005 where computer shows dried up and new stuff coming out slowed.
The mid-2000 one was affected by a widespread economic recession.
The other thing at 2005-2006 was because they started to hit the limits of performance-per-core in the CPU (thermal issues?). The CPU power began to increase far slower than it did in the past, and thus there was far less need to replace PCs just because they were old.
The proof is that a lot of 2006 PC technology is perfectly capable of running Windows 7 and do the light tasks needed by the average user, even some light gaming. Back in the day you had to change PC every few years or you were locked out from newest programs and OSs.

That's because they needed to retrain programmers to write stuff with decent multi-threading capability. Which is admittedly a pain.

Quote:
So yes, once market saturation hits, things slow down; it's happened with the traditional PC, it'll happen with tablets. But as we've seen, a new tech will come along, and the cycle will repeat itself.
Market saturation is a volatile thing. If processors started again their pre-2004 steady power rise, most of the PC hardware from pre-2010 will become obsolete in years, de-saturating the market again.

Of course tablets will easily outcompete any household PC anyway (as human factor comes into play, there is only so much that the average joe needs to do), so that market is going to be lost in any case, but unless x86 development stops and ARM chips take over, x86 desktops and laptops will still be around, far less than before, ok, but won't die.
And even if ARM will take over, their chips can be used in non-tablet devices as well if needed.
I've seen some sweet mini-PC-like tiny boxes running Android on a high-end tablet processor, following the Raspberry Pi's footsteps.
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04 Aug 2013   #34
Wrend

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64bit, Debian GNU/Linux 64bit (virtual machine on a RAM drive)
 
 

I have a tablet. I mostly use it to watch YouTube videos, and check on things on-line. I can remotely log onto my computer from it though, which is kind of cool.

To me, they're different devices even though they can do some of the same things. That being said, I can see how some people would get a tablet/cell phone instead of a PC.

Windows 8 sure doesn't help the PC user though, other than maybe PC users who want there computers to have the feel of a tablet. Seems pretty backwards to me. Fortunately using Windows 7 on my Nexus 7 is very straightforward and easy to do. The screen is big enough and has a high enough resolution for me to see everything and use Windows. I use the screen in a similar way as a touch pad, so I don't have to be hovering over what I've viewing, and follow the mouse instead of my fingers. It has a pop up keyboard that works more or less the same as other Android devices, but with additional options for multiple simultaneous key presses. I was thinking about getting a Bluetooth keyboard for it, but I don't want to have to carry that around. I also have it locked in the full screen landscape view when using Windows on it.

The remote desktop app. was free with the Nexus 7's $25 in Google Play credit that it came with. They have additional PC software that you can optionally use with it (for free), but I just use the built-in functionality of Windows 7.
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04 Aug 2013   #35
sygnus21

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

@ bobafetthotmail

Not sure I’m getting your point on volatility with regards to market saturation? Yes, the market is always volatile, for whatever reason, but when that happens, all thing are affected, not just one.

That said, for clarity… market saturation is when the market is flooded with a particular item, good or device. In this case we’re talking about desktops and tablets.

In the case of desktops, the market was pretty much flooded by 2005. The next big thing is tablets, and they’re pretty much getting on their way to flooding the market. What will keep them going for a while is their portability, and the fact that they’re getting more powerful, faster, and even more versatile with the emergence of better operating systems which allows them to interface with a host of peripherals, and even other operating systems – Android/Windows, Windows/Macs.

At any rate I think we both agree that the desktop PC is falling wayside to the tablet… regardless of the reason. And that Microsoft is simply trying to stay ahead of the market by bringing in an OS that takes advantage of the new ways people are computing… a convergence between desktops and handheld devices.

This is what Microsoft is trying to accomplish with 8 and beyond.

My two cents.
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04 Aug 2013   #36
MouseGolf

Windows 7 64 Bit
 
 

As I stated earlier anyone who can return W8 to the store or can sell it at eBay or on Craigs list can do so, then buy a Windows 7 desktop or laptop online at amazon.com, tigerdirect.com, hp.com newegg.com etc.

Well worth doing because a new W7 computer will have Windows Updates until April 2020.

I many of clients who had XP to walk into their retail stores and buy a new Windows 6 64Bit Home Edition before Septemer rolled around and W8 would replace W7 on the shelves.

...I got a lot "thank you" emails for making that suggestion.

Not so difficult to do now, is to go online and buy a W7 computer - while they last.
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04 Aug 2013   #37
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

I still believe that those of us who roll our own systems constitute a very large segment of "PC sales" but aren't tracked. The after market motherboard industry is a multi billion dollar one. As an example, I have 3 PCs, all home built.
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04 Aug 2013   #38
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Microsoft and Wall Street might not count us Roll Your Own people but the hardware manufactures sure do. I have never really seen a statistic for people like me and many others on this Forum and around the world who buy everything separate. How do you repair a $100.00 or $500.00 Poke Pad. As far as I know you don't. You just buy another one. That alone should help sales of Poke Pads.
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04 Aug 2013   #39
spencer1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I am not a roll your own, but I just don't need the portability of a gadget. My preference is for a full sized desktop PC that runs cool and doesn't cramp my "old" style.
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04 Aug 2013   #40
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
Microsoft and Wall Street might not count us Roll Your Own people but the hardware manufactures sure do. I have never really seen a statistic for people like me and many others on this Forum and around the world who buy everything separate. How do you repair a $100.00 or $500.00 Poke Pad. As far as I know you don't. You just buy another one. That alone should help sales of Poke Pads.
Poke pads have new and improved version every few weeks too that people "must" have.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by spencer1 View Post
I am not a roll your own, but I just don't need the portability of a gadget. My preference is for a full sized desktop PC that runs cool and doesn't cramp my "old" style.
Well put.

I do have a smart phone, which some consider to be a computer, but I don't. I can't seen to install Photo Shop on it and make sigs.
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