Despite the upcoming launch of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, worldwide shipments of personal computers are now projected to decline in 2012 — the first year-over-year drop since the dot-com bust — according to new data just released by the IHS research firm.

IHS says it expects shipments of traditional notebook and desktop computers to decline by 1.2 percent in 2012, to 348.7 million units.

“There was great hope through the first half that 2012 would prove to be a rebound year for the PC market,” says IHS analyst Craig Stice, in a news release accompanying the data. “Now three quarters through the year, the usual boost from the back-to-school season appears to be a bust, and both AMD and Intel’s third-quarter outlooks appear to be flat to down. Optimism has vanished and turned to doubt, and the industry is now training its sights on 2013 to deliver the hoped-for rebound.”

Apple’s iPad and other tablets have been cutting into sales of traditional Windows-based machines, contributing to the overall decline in PC shipments. Microsoft and computer makers are banking on Windows 8 to help turn the tide, with its tablet-friendly interface.

Comments

  • Guest

    Microsoft Surface and the Microsoft App Store are perfectly timed to increase Microsoft’s Windows-related revenue at a time of more tempered growth in the PC industry. If each new PC owner buys only one app from the Microsappstore, that’s an additional $2 billion in revenue! That more than makes up for a 1.2% yoy drop in PC sales, a trend which frankly shouldn’t upset anyone.

    • guest

      That more than makes up for a 1.2% yoy drop in PC sales, a trend which frankly shouldn’t upset anyone
      Huh? It should frankly be extremely upsetting if your business is still primarily dependent on PC sales despite spending tens of billions and a decade unsuccessfully trying to diversify. It should also be concerning if that trend is indeed a trend, not a recession-induced event, and if a significant part of that represents a secular shift away from PCs and into smartphones and tablets where competitors dominate and MS has been unable to generate more than a few percentage points of market share.

    • Guest

      Microsoft Surface and the Microsoft App Store are badly timed to further decrease Microsoft’s Windows-related revenue at a time of imploding
      growth in the PC industry. If each new PC owner were to buy only one app from the Microsappstore, that could be an additional theoretical $2 billion in revenue! Meanwhile in the real world, users are buying their apps from the Google, Amazon & Apple stores and have yet to discover any Microsoft product worth looking at. That theoretical $2 billion would more than make up for a 1.2% yoy drop in PC sales, that is if you are living in lala land because that is not going to happen. The drop in PC sales will seriously impact Microsoft’s bottom-line and should upset Steve Ballmer given the impact it already has on his bonus.

  • Steve Ballmer

    Sorry, it was the post-PC era after all. My bad.

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