Is it end of an era?

Windows 8 failed to boost PC salesIs it end of an era?

 "We see today as a grand opening, and a very strong one. With Windows 8, seeing, touching, clicking, and swiping is really believing. Welcome to the world of Windows 8."

These were the words by Microsoft during the launch of much awaited release of Windows 8 that took place on August 1, 2012. This was the first radical change made by Microsoft in its operating system specially in regard to user interface. There were immense expectations from the newly launched operating system which was meant to boost PC sales.

Eight months later IDC (International Data Corporation) in his released report says, "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. 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."

According to its reports, there is a fall of 14% in the global PC sales for the first three months of the year. The research firm IDC is tracking the industry from 1994, and this is the steepest fall it registered ever since it started analyzing data. Earlier company predicted a decline of 7.7% but the actual sales figures plunged severely.

Does this indicate the fall of PC era? After reigning for more than a decade why it is losing out rapidly in this rapid moving competition. Does blaming failure of Windows 8 is the only reason.

IDC also said that poor sales demand was not helped by restructuring of companies like HP and Dell, but there are number of reasons associated with it. After registering high sales figures for more than a decade, now there are many markets, which can be termed as a PC-saturated market. The problem is that a PC will not be replaced by another PC, user will move out in search of other devices out of which the first choice most likely to be a smart phone or tablet.

As per reports Microsoft is blaming manufacturers for their lackluster PC design, Microsoft believes that Toshiba America and other hardware companies will come up with more commercially viable computers in the future, and that Windows 8 will continue gaining traction in 2013. Microsoft is right to a certain degree; there is a severe lack of innovation in products utilizing windows as an operating system. For example, windows remain stuck with mouse and keyboard unless other touch devices like I-Pad galvanized user's imagination of having a fancy looking portable device that is capable of handling everything they required. Similarly, Android outshined every other operating system in powerful smart phones due to its flexibility in customization. Microsoft failed to recognize the trend of market early, and they came up with their touch-wiz optimized operating system very late. Windows 8 is designed to work well with touch-sensitive screens, but the displays added to the cost of a PC. Together, the changes and higher prices have made PCs a less attractive option.

Rise of smart phone era hunted PC most, especially when PCs are not getting better from inside. A new PC does not really have the "wow" factor that we used to get up until about 2005 when clock speeds of cores were just kept on going up, and up, and up. Currently the same trend can be seen in smart phones where every day the clock speed of cores are getting better and better. Every month companies are ready with better feature and interface competent phones. You have innumerous options to choose specially made for specific uses for different kinds of users, but for PC you have almost similar sort of things to choose.

Principal analyst at Gartner, Mikako Kitagawa, explains the PC is not the preferred computing device anymore. "Consumers are migrating content consumption from PCs to other connected devices, such as tablets and smart phones."

Considering all the problems another 2 to 3% fall is expected in coming years, unless something radical is done by not only Microsoft but also by various PC makers. Microsoft had never faced such a tough competition by other operating systems. Until now, it failed to access and capitalize the new market trend of trendy and smart gizmos. The future is not looking bright yet the PC empire is big enough to survive the fall if some serious steps are taken in near future.

(For more such article Click Here)

No comments:

Post a Comment