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Why Aren’t People Buying New PCs? Because They Don’t Need To? Windows 8? – Both!

The Houston Chronicle’s Dwight Silverman notes that everyone knew the market for personal computers was bad, but few realized it as bad as was revealed on Wednesday by market research firms IDC and Gartner which released reports on PC sales for the first quarter of 2013 – both painting a bleak picture of PC sales falling by 11.2 percent to 13.9.

Silverman agrees with IDC’s suggestion that Windows 8 is deterring some PC purchases, but has another theory. To wit: people aren’t buying new PCs because they don’t have to. The computers they bought five years ago are more than capable of handling basic tasks today.

Certainly true in my case. Your editor is still using a late 2008 aluminum Core 2 Duo MacBook that still has plenty of speed to satisfy my needs.

Windows 8 To Blame For PC Sales Meltdown?

However, The Register’s Jack Clark notes that the global PC market is dwindling, and Windows 8 could be to blame, according to beancounters at IDC, which released its rundown of global PC shipments on Tuesday showing year-over-year double digit decline for traditional PC makers like Dell and HP, and OS-supplier Microsoft.

“It seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market,” Bob O’Donnell, IDC’s program vice president for clients and displays, said in a release. “While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the UI, removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices. Microsoft will have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if it wants to help reinvigorate the PC market.”

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