Tablets such as the iPad continued to cut into traditional PC sales during the holiday season, and the launch of Windows 8 did little to lift the worldwide personal computer market, according to two separate research reports on fourth quarter PC shipments.

In a preliminary report this morning, Gartner said PC shipments totaled 90.3 million in the quarter, down 4.9 percent from the same quarter a year ago. IDC’s numbers show a steeper decline,with PC shipments down 6.4 percent to 89.8 million.

Both firms say lackluster Windows 8 machines from the major manufacturers deserve part of the blame. Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa also offers this explanation of the dynamic taking place between PCs and tablets in the home.

“Tablets have dramatically changed the device landscape for PCs, not so much by ‘cannibalizing’ PC sales, but by causing PC users to shift consumption to tablets rather than replacing older PCs. Whereas as once we imagined a world in which individual users would have both a PC and a tablet as personal devices, we increasingly suspect that most individuals will shift consumption activity to a personal tablet, and perform creative and administrative tasks on a shared PC.”

Microsoft’s big goal with Windows 8 was to capture more of those tablet sales by making the new operating system work across a variety of devices. The PC numbers don’t include “media tablets” such as the iPad, according to the firms.

Here are the Gartner and IDC charts for worldwide shipments by vendor.

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Comments

  • jz100

    6%? Big deal. Some of those in the chart, theirs increased,

  • elmer

    Yikes. Since Windows 8 was supposed to generate a big pop for Microsoft, a 5% decline is a huge swing. Does anyone know if the new version of Office is projected to make up the revenue?

    • Silly troll

      Yikes. I dunno, Better head for the exits.

      • Guest

        I’ll never understand why MS shills can only resort to calling names if someone presents an opposing view. Where are YOUR arguments? Isn’t rather that trolling? W8 was supposed to reverse the PC decline, it seems that it doesn’t. Deal with it, preferrably like a grown-up.

        • GG002

          If you want an argument, you should take a look at the dismal offerings of the OEMs instead of blaming W8. W8 has sold very well, as a matter of fact, but the HW isn’t lucrative enough yet. It’s getting there, but not as soon as Microsoft would have hoped.

          • Guest

            Why doesn’t the Surface sell well then? OEM’s fault, too?

          • acturbo

            may i suggest because virtually everyone actually loves their iPad and Android devices. And those new customers that MS hopes to win over, that are looking to buy a tablet device, actually have friends and relatives. And ALL their friends and relatives love their iPad and Android. And they hear about it ALL THE TIME. Oh, and these same folks looking to buy a new fun device, are generally sick and tired of all the problems they’ve experienced running Windows (possibly on crappy OEM boxes listed above) … i could go on … but … situation seems ripe for MS to fall on its face, along with all the OEMs tied to it’s Windows 8/RT offering.

          • Guest

            I don’t think this is true. The majority of Win 8 sales are zombie sales, automatically triggered by multiyear purchasing contracts that were signed before Win 8 was even available or known about. This has been a long time in the making – are the hardware partners all so weak that there’s no coming back? Didn’t Microsoft know that without fantastic products from partners they’d be dead in the water? Everyone’s got a lot to lose and the Microsoft folks are really smart. If it’s this bad after they worked so hard on making it a success, then things are really bad.

          • guest

            Um, no. The majority would be OEM sales. Upgrade rights via support contracts would be a lesser number. If you’re going to troll MS, at least learn something about their business first.

          • Guest

            Wow, like being a jerk? Work there much? Happy to be corrected – especially if you can talk about sell to manufacturers v. actually activated, and if you can break out the % of upgrades already purchased from new machines. But wait, you’re just kind of a troll who would rather be petty and nasty than informative. Never mind.

          • Steve

            Did Microsoft start selling upgrades using support contracts? First I’ve heard of it. They just reported 60m licenses and finally said that the number excludes enterprise sales, so it probably reflects sales to OEMs which is a decent proxy for consumer demand, assuming the OEMs sold what they expected to. Which they might not have, based on the numbers above. Hope that helps.

  • GG002

    I think it’s largely due to late arrivals of HW that takes advantage of Windows 8. Seriously, I would have bought e.g. a Yoga if it had discrete graphics built in. I don’t want a dismal Intel HD4000. Instead I bought a Surface and kept my 3 year old W8 upgraded laptop.

  • ninjacut

    The question is what is the drop trend, and has any previous Windows release caused market boost in the first place.
    It seems to be too convenient to blame everything on Windows these days. Other than Lenovo, the industry failed to deliver compelling hardware in 2012 and another obvious reason is the market has changed significantly. People who only use PC for media consumption have alternative in tablets and the low cost incentive to jump. So forget Windows 8, any desktop OS would have faced the same issue.

    • Guest

      I agree with your observation. The point however was that Windows 8 was supposed to reverse that trend of declining PC sales. And so far it failed in doing so.

      • Lorri

        I think Windows 8 is going to FLOP like Windows Millennium, and Vista

  • guest

    Hardly any touch based W8 tablets available this past quarter and most of the PC’s I saw being sold at retail were heavily discounted, lower end, non touch laptops. But still unclear that MS is going to be anything other than a minor player in that segment going forward, much like smartphones. As Henry Blodget said a few weeks ago, those still waiting for a MS resurgence are increasingly delusional.

  • Allen

    If you want to look purely at statistics, poor performance by Dell and Acer is dragging the industry down, but no, let’s blame the OS.

    • Guest

      Sure, but why is that?

      • Allen

        I’m sure Dell and Acer would love to know why their competitors are seeing growth instead of decline. Given that Dell’s reputation is in the toilet for their included bloat ware and their decline in customer service, seems to me that consumers are simply picking other options. Let’s not forget, Windows is still ~93% of the OS market.

        • Guest

          Maybe of the desktop OS market (if that). It is practically non-existent in mobile, hardly there on embedded, lost the race on web-servers to Linux, and is basically irrelevant for the top 500 supercomputers. The desktop PC is the last stronghold really, but it’s declining in volume now and others have begun to take more and more market share there as well. If Dell’s reputation is in the toilet, Microsoft’s sure isn’t any better. And Windows 8 may jeopardize even the dominance on the desktop, so far it hasn’t reversed the slow decline of the PC.

    • Shanne Liszewski

      Acer uses shitty hardware, computers have short life spans and dell is over priced for the hardware you get, HP is planning on getting rid of the hardware division, the only decent brand listed is asus, but the other category is mainly made up of toshiba, samsung and sony, my 3 go to laptop brands, the other issue is the cost of ultrabooks, to much money when you can get a simular reqular laptop for almost half the cost

      • Guest

        I had a Sony Viao all-in-one multimedia PC with Windows XP which I bought 4 years ago. It looked very “sexy”, almost comparable to an iMac. But after two years, even with technical support from my retailer, it needed a new motherboard. Then two years later, the entire machine just “died” on me! Even the technical support experts could not do anything. I will NOT buy a Sony PC again. I have bought a new PC but it uses Windows 7 as I do not like Windows 8. I do not wish to spend several weeks just to get to learn how to use a new Windows operating system – I’d rather use my time for doing something more meaningful.

  • guest

    So much for this being the “PC Plus” era rather than the “Post PC” one.

  • frankstatton

    I thought that MS was going to set new, high bars for device quality and things with Windows 8, and that was part of the whole Surface thing. It does sound like many manufacturers failed to get how important touch was (even though the release seemed very touch-focused). If it’s the manufacturers’ fault, does this show just how weak many of the Microsoft hardware partners are?

    I have no doubt that MS will keep shipping better and better versions of the OS, but I’d be worried that if the partners get much weaker, it’s going to be tough for MS to get the market and mind share they want and have come to expect.

    • Guest

      The problem is the mind share. Many have written MS off long time ago. They tolerate Win7 on their PC but don’t want it anywhere else. MS needs to come out with a killer device, not a me-too device, if they want to gain some of the mind share back. Luke warm reviews of their new products just won’t cut it.

  • Guest

    “Whereas as once we imagined a world in which individual users would have both a PC and a tablet as personal devices, we increasingly suspect that most individuals will shift consumption activity to a personal tablet, and perform creative and administrative tasks on a shared PC.”

    That is exactly what is happening. Most people are perfectly content with media consumption only, so all they need is a cheap tablet. And the relatively few developers on the other hand complain that Windows 8 is simply not optimized for desktop PCs with several large monitors. Tough sell. As they always say, know your customer.

  • Guest

    Overall I’m not worried about these numbers. Full-function tablets running Windows 8, like the critically-acclaimed Surface Pro, will soar in sales this year. Android and iOS offer but a tiny fraction of the functionality that full-functioning men need in a computing device. As a result, Windows will continue to win the computing race by a large margin, irregardless of whether you call these devices “tablets” or “PCs.”

    • Guest

      And what if it doesn’t happen? What will your excuse be then? I’m predicting that you will tell us to hold out for Windows 9. And the denial can live on.

      • Guest

        It’ll happen. Don’t worry. Be happy!

        • Guest

          Be happy? I heard rumours that Microsoft have paid soldiers to write good stuff about Windows 8. If that is true, and if you are one of them, whether Win8 fails or succeeds, you’d still get paid as long as you write favorable things about the OS! As for me, I have just bought a new PC but I chose NOT to have Win8, I chose a Win7 OS. If Microsoft does not improve in Win9, my next PC will be an iMAC, I may just be one customer but there may be thousands of customers or even millions who may change operating systems just to avoid using unintuitive and not-very-userfriendly Windows 8.

          • Guest

            I’ve switched everything to Linux during the Vista debacle and never looked back. Win8 seems to have a worse effect than even Vista. I often wonder how many like me buy a new laptop and wipe the hard drive immediately, but still officially count as Windows users. I can see some additional migration to both, Mac OSX and Linux. Most new tech startups in Silicon Valley already left the MSFT ecosystem. But I think established businesses will stick with Windows (7).

          • Guest

            How much would you like to pay me to write nice things about Windows 8?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jasondouglasfarris Jason Farris

    A quick trip to Best Buy tells the tale. No Win8 devices on the sales floor that are touch enabled, a bunch of folks trying to touch the screens and not getting why it doesnt work. Transition period; getting the old tech out of the pipeline.

    Soon there won’t be any devices sold without a touch component, and when that confusion lifts demand will resume.

    • Guest

      Unless people find that the extra cost for touch isn’t a necessary expense. I’m not saying that this is the case, but it could be. If most customers think they can get away with an Android tablet for $200 or a non-touch laptop for $400, they may not care to get touch enabled ultrabooks and Surface Pros for $1000. And the developers could stick to regular desktop PCs. That is why pundits think we’re transitioning alright, but into a post PC era.

  • 8Mc9vGJX

    Don’t people get it. Here it is in a a nut shell.

    “Windows 8 is a smart phone OS that has no place on a desktop. Why would I want to reach across a keyboard and a mouse to make complicated gestures on a screen when I could accomplish the same thing a lot faster with a mouse and keyboard. Why not have a touch keyboard where I have the option of reaching over a keyboard in front of me and trying on the screen instead? DUH because it’s easier to use a real keyboard that gives me touch feedback when I depress a key.

    The same applies to the mouse, why do I want to have to reach across and keyboard with an upright screen that is from 1 to 3 feet in front of me. When I could just use a mouse DUH! Then there is the fact that one window apps are STUPID on a desktop, why can’t I have two apps open on the screen where I can see both instead of one window. The whole ONE window idea came about because Smartphones have small screens where it would be stupid to have more than one app open at a time.

    Put it this way, why would I want to carry around a mouse and a keyboard to use my smart phone with them when I could just use the touch screen and not have to haul around a mouse and keyboard. Sounds stupid doesn’t it. Well it is!

    In the same way that reaching over a two perfectly good input devices to touch a upright screen that is a foot or more away from my hands. Wouldn’t your arm get tired after a few hours, having to reach over and touch a screen? DUH DUH and double DUH. Why can’t any of the reviewers and articles get this through there thick skulls. WINDOWS 8 SUCKS for a desktop.

    • Guest

      Why dont you get it? You are not FORCED to use touch. It complements your mouse and keybaord. You may ask why introduce touch then? Because there are some devices out there (hybrids) that make best use of both touch and non-touch features.

      • Guest

        You aren’t exactly forced, but touch is implemented at the expense of an efficient mouse/keyboard user experience. Is THAT so hard to get? On a desktop PC Windows 7 is just so much better than Windows 8.

        • acturbo

          Who needs a “touch” UI running on a desktop computer that doesn’t have a touch interface? A desktop implies mouse and keyboard as the primary inputs. Mobile implies fingers are the primary inputs. Very different interaction and usage scenarios.

      • acturbo

        no, YOU don’t get it. This metro tile interface IS forced on you. And it’s not designed efficiently for desktops. Period. Full stop. End of story. And this BS about “hey haters, just switch to Desktop mode” … well, yes, you can do that, but guess what, you’re constantly having to flop between 2 completely different user experiences (tiles and desktop icons) on a regular basis to do it. And the experience is nothing short of horrific. Oh wait, please tell me “get with times, leave the past behind”. Ok, i’d love to … i’ll try running a new RT tile app. Let’s see here…. now i have a SINGLE FULL SCREEN APP on my 22″ monitor. 90% of my monitor wasted on showing nothingness. WTF. I develop and do graphics and surf … and Metro prevents me from having 3 windows (or dare i say 7 or 10 windows) open at the same time with RT. So no, i don’t mean to be abrupt, but YOU don’t get it. Windows … it has an “s” for a reason. This crap should be called Window or Tile … without the “s”.

  • Guest

    One of the major appeals of the PC for the past 20 years was that you could custom build your own box. If you weren’t capable of building one from scratch, most likely you were at least able to upgrade it, a new video card, more memory, a second network card etc. The three new formats depicted above sure look appealing, but they kiss the era of customization goodbye. Not a big deal for laptops and tablets really, but to sacrifice the very PC on the altar of integrated design may have at least something to do with dwindling sales. Who wants to buy a “personal” computer that merely allows you to change the background color on Metro? I’m OK with upgrading-by-replacement for a $200 tablet, but a $1500 PC? Do they really expect us to buy a brand new PC including monitor every 1 or 2 years?

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