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United States Windows Hardware

PC Shipments Return To Growth In the US (theverge.com) 75

PC shipments are seeing a welcome growth in the United States. The industry, which has seen a continual decline in the sales in the past few consecutive quarters, is now seemingly gaining some momentum in the United States, according to independent findings by marketing research firms IDC and Gartner. According to IDC, the PC shipments have increased by 4.9%, whereas Gartner says it has observed a 1.4% growth. From a report on The Verge: The estimates differ because Gartner does not count Chromebooks as part of its figures, while IDC cites Google's laptops as a key reason for US growth. [...] Worldwide, PC shipments are still on a decline. Gartner estimates a 5.2 percent drop, and IDC calculates around a 4.5 percent decrease in shipments. Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade comes to an end on July 29th, and IDC believes it may prompt some PC users into buying new machines. Gartner also forecasts a Windows 10 hardware refresh for businesses, that it expects to see "more toward the end of 2016 to the beginning of 2017."
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PC Shipments Return To Growth In the US

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  • by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2016 @09:44AM (#52496541) Journal

    Nothing a batch of cheap capacitors can't fix..

  • Obviously (Score:3, Interesting)

    by franzrogar ( 3986783 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2016 @09:46AM (#52496559)

    When people started to realize that mobiles, iCraps, Nezus 9, PDAs and other monstruosities ain't built for real work (but publicity and companies catalogs), real computers are being sold again.

  • I finally replaced the nine-year-old system I built for Windows Vista. Went from a quad-core processor, AMD 690 motherboard and 4GB DDR2 800MHz RAM, to AMD eight-core processor, AMD 760 motherboard and 8GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM. Windows 10 had no problem adjusting to the new hardware. I'll probably keep this system for another nine years before I upgrade again.
  • Really, it's just that: we're at a computing plateau. At least for most users. Twenty years ago, if you held onto your machine for 5 years, the machine was usually unusable with up to date software. These days? 5 years? No problem. I'm still using a i7-2630QM, which was introduced in 01/2011 [cpu-world.com]. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it and does anything I ask of it.

    Same for my desktop, an AMD A8-3860, which was introduced in 07/2011 [cpu-world.com]. Does what I need, quickly enough.

    Are these machines high end machi

    • Smaller market, too. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2016 @10:10AM (#52496713) Homepage

      Just as importantly, the market has shifted. There is still a stable market for computing and it will continue to exist, but it no longer includes the home/casual user segment. Those people have gone over to tablets and phones (most all of the non-tech folks that I know now have an older laptop sitting dusty on their top closet shelf, unused for years, and don't plan to replace it; only about half have even bothered to get a bluetooth keyboard for their tablet, while the rest are perfectly satisfied with the onscreen keyboard).

      Business, tech-oriented people, the self-employed, creatives, and so on will continue to buy full-fledged computing hardware and to upgrade it over time, but this is a much smaller market than once existed for computing, where the market included basically every home and individual in developed societies. So some correction in sales was (and probably remains) inevitable over time.

      • Good point. My mother in law never uses her computer any more. Totally shifted everything to her phone. I can't imagine to reply to even an email on my phone except for very short replies, but it works for her. So, one less computer sale. Her current computer stands in the corner gathering dust.
      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Business, tech-oriented people, the self-employed, creatives, and so on will continue to buy full-fledged computing hardware and to upgrade it over time

        Unless the sticker shock of having to upgrade from a tablet to "full-fledged computing hardware" is discouraging people from becoming "tech-oriented", "self-employed", or "creatives" in the first place. Consider the example of a high school student given programming homework. Is such a student expected to sell his tablet and buy a laptop, as exomondo recommended [slashdot.org]?

        • > student given programming homework
          Do it on the computers your school has available for that shit.
          If they don't provide any, don't do the homework.
          Even universities provide computers for everyone to do their lab work on.
          In high school it would be ridiculous to just expect every family to buy a computer just for homework.
          • A lot of classes now want or prefer typed assignments... so my son has an inexpensive laptop to use. That being said it is 4 or so years old and works fine for what he needs it for.
          • Do it on the computers your school has available for that shit.

            Which complicates logistics of the student's ride home if the student has to be picked up from school at a different time of day each day depending on whether he has homework that day.

            Even universities provide computers for everyone to do their lab work on.

            Universities also allow the student to go to the computer lab as needed between class periods, unlike high schools that enforce truancy law and require the student to be seated in a "study hall" room. In addition, universities tend to pass a much larger cost of required materials onto a student than public high schools. For ex

      • It would seem that the PC market contained passive users (people who browse, view, send) as well as active users (people who create content including programming). Over the last few years smart phones and tablets have been taking all of the passive users away, so the market has shrunk in size. I think that process is now pretty much complete, so we're now seeing the gradual increase in active users in line with a gradually increasing population.
        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          It would seem that the PC market contained passive users (people who browse, view, send) as well as active users (people who create content including programming). Over the last few years smart phones and tablets have been taking all of the passive users away

          And suddenly, cost becomes a barrier for a user seeking to transition from passive to active.

      • by yuhong ( 1378501 )

        I think a lot of what they are doing with Win10 including "Windows as a service" is to reduce dependence on PC sales for Windows revenue. WinSE is expensive for example. I recommend that you read this: https://hal2020.com/2013/03/07... [hal2020.com]

    • by hodet ( 620484 )

      I'm on year 7 with my Dell Vostro 1520 currently running xubuntu 14.04. Does most of what I need, even plays Minecraft 1.10.2 relatively well. I never thought this laptop would last so long, I remember thinking it felt a little flimsy when I got it. But it has stood the test of time and will probably continue for a few more years.

  • by halivar ( 535827 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <reglefb>> on Tuesday July 12, 2016 @09:57AM (#52496625)

    Consoles used to be the budget alternative to PC gaming. Nowadays, the cost/performance ratio is not in console's favor. And consoles are only getting more expensive, while current and last gen PC prices remain pretty steady.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      That and more people have discovered that they're willing to settle for relatively simple point-and-click games not dependent on reflexes. These run well on tablets, phones, or otherwise outdated PCs.

      • These run well on tablets, phones, or otherwise outdated PCs.

        Are you implying that the latest AAA shooter targeted at consoles does not run well on an outdated PC?

  • by zerofoo ( 262795 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2016 @09:58AM (#52496637)

    Does Gartner only consider a computer running windows a PC?

    Our company is increasingly getting work done in the cloud. A web browser is all most of our employees really need. The nature of office work is changing - and is increasingly less-reliant on windows to get that work done.

    • I don't see where Gartner was only considering machines running Windows as "PCs". The computer world has a whole lot more to it than just Windows-based machines and Chromebooks.

      • "The estimates differ because Gartner does not count Chromebooks as part of its figures"

        • My point is that because Chromebooks weren't counted doesn't mean that the PCs that were counted consisted entirely of Windows machines.

    • Our company is increasingly getting work done in the cloud.

      That's great provided you're willing to pay your employees' cellular data bills so that they can VNC or RDP into your application server while away from a desk. Otherwise, your users will have to stick to Chrome apps specifically designed for offline use. If you have programmers, for example, Google's in-browser NaCl IDE [chrome.com] is no perfect substitute for Linux- or Windows-based IDEs. Google warns: "to develop a substantial application for Native Client / Portable Native Client, we recommend you use the Native Cl

      • Our remote users already have some sort of remote connectivity - hence the term "remote" user.

        If your organization is bigger than one location, it doesn't really matter where your applications and data are hosted. Someone isn't going to be in the same building as your server farm and will need to access those applications and data remotely.

        • Someone isn't going to be in the same building as your server farm and will need to access those applications and data remotely.

          But that doesn't mean said access has to be continuous throughout all hours that an employee is on the clock. Prior to webmail's prevalence, IMAP email clients were popular. These would download email from a server while online, allow the user to read messages and compose replies while offline, and send the replies the next time the user goes online. The same was true of Usenet clients. And the same is true of distributed version control: you can git merge while online, edit and test offline, git commit off

      • That's great provided you're willing to pay your employees' cellular data bills so that they can VNC or RDP into your application server while away from a desk.

        Have you heard of WiFi? Not to mention that any large company will typically even in a full PC architecture have files stored away on a remote server somewhere with clients endlessly accessing through via VPN.

        Seriously this is a non-issue.

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          Have you heard of WiFi?

          Have you heard of cities whose public transit doesn't provide Wi-Fi?

          Not to mention that any large company will typically even in a full PC architecture have files stored away on a remote server somewhere with clients endlessly accessing through via VPN.

          Check out file while online, work on file while offline, check in file while online.

          • We're playing by your rules here. You said "large company". Show me a "large company" who's employees do any kind of significant portion of their work on public transport systems and you will have a point.

            Now back in reality any "large company" will have employees who spend lots of time working on documents mostly deskbound with the remainder in positions where they are already racking up cell bills.

    • Does it count computer parts? Perhaps people who build their own are such an insignificant %, but I really wonder what they use to count it. Perhaps Windows activations?

      • Does it count computer parts? Perhaps people who build their own are such an insignificant %, but I really wonder what they use to count it.

        If I were trying to count desktop PCs built from parts, I'd use motherboard sales as a proxy. As for laptops built from parts, I see no evidence that barebooks are anything but "an insignificant %".

        Perhaps Windows activations?

        Counting motherboards would at least be consistent with product activation in recent versions of Windows, which uses the motherboard's identity to determine whether someone attempted to transfer an Windows license to a different computer.

  • On the one hand, Chromebooks are computers that require manufacturing, so perhaps they should. On the other hand, Chromebooks are not really "PCs" as the term is usually used and occupy an entirely different market segment.

  • I don't know how much it matters in other markets but seems to be a lot of interest in 4k gaming lately.
    • I don't know how much it matters in other markets but seems to be a lot of interest in 4k gaming lately.

      4K and VR. I haven't replaced my entire desktop in 8 years (but I have upgraded the video card twice). The video card trick only works about twice though. After that the older CPU (and especially the older CPU's memory technology) really starts to drag it down. A GTX 1080 paired with an 8 year old CPU is substantially crippled. This is the year people who bought high end machines in the late '00s finally have to budge off the plateau they have been comfortably occupying all this time. 4K and VR are bo

  • by Pollux ( 102520 ) <speter@tedat a . n e t . eg> on Tuesday July 12, 2016 @10:57AM (#52497093) Journal

    I'm just now in the process of replacing PCs in our school. We're buying Dell Micro PC's that you can mount immediately behind your monitor [dell.com]. When we throw in a SSD and fast-booting the BIOS, boot time for Windows 7 is less than 10 seconds.

    Now that PCs are smaller and faster, and electronic storage is becoming standard, it doesn't surprise me that they're becoming more appealing again.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm just now in the process of replacing PCs in our school. We're buying Dell Micro PC's that you can mount immediately behind your monitor [dell.com]. When we throw in a SSD and fast-booting the BIOS, boot time for Windows 7 is less than 10 seconds.

      About 3 seconds slower than Puppy Linux [which would be a fantastic choice for a school's computer].

      Now that PCs are smaller (...).

      Now, my monitors are not going to get smaller anytime soon. 32" and growing.

    • electronic storage is becoming standard, it doesn't surprise me that they're becoming more appealing again.

      Electronic storage will never be as reliable as cave paintings. Keep your fancy new tech to yourself.

    • by jon3k ( 691256 )
      We do the same thing with these little lenovo machines [lenovo.com]. They charge through the nose for SSD still so we manually install them at a fraction of the cost. With most applications these days being SaaS, there's very little local storage required (although SSDs are getting very inexpensive).
  • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

    " Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade comes to an end on July 29th, and IDC believes it may prompt some PC users into buying new machines"

    They'll likely buy more machines when M$ removes this malware from them.

The computer is to the information industry roughly what the central power station is to the electrical industry. -- Peter Drucker

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