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back to article New stats: Blighty's PC market ended 2012 on its KNEES

Retailers and distributors replenished PC stocks cautiously during Q4 last year in a nod to concerns over weak consumer demand for Windows 8 and the perennial threat posed by slablets, according to recent sales and shipment stats. IDC prelim stats show shipments of notebooks and desktops into the channel declined nearly 5 per …

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Holmes

PCs and laptops are white goods now. Unless you're a geek or a gamer you buy a basic one and replace it when it breaks. No one really cares about OSs, SSDs etc etc. When it stop playing funny cat videos that's when they'll care. Malware sells more new PCs than Windows 8; people will often buy a new pc to replace a buggy slow one rather than have it repaired.

Laptops particularly have become a bit more of a niche product now that tablets have taken off. Most people still like a desktop to write letters and print from but tablet will make a dent even there.

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Could not agree more. I put off buying a new ThinkPad for about 6 months until I could afford to buy the one I wanted. My girlfriend (who I was borrowing a laptop from at the time) couldn't understand why I wanted a particular one when Comet were selling an Acer for half the price of the ThinkPad I wanted. PC's and Laptops are a commodity now unfortunately.

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Meh

The real reason

Manufacturers were heavily into promoting Ultra Books and the like, which most consumers saw as an over priced product that provided less for more.

The consumers, Fanbois excluded, have become more cost conscious and tech savvy and are not as easily conned.

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Indeed.

My customers just ask "what do I need that's a bit better than what I have?"

When what they have is an old Compag from 2005 with a single core Celeron, 512MB and a 4200rpm 40GB HDD, its hard to justify them spending more than £400.

I tell them to get a cheap one, run it into the ground over the next 3-4 years and then get another for a third less than what you paid for that one.

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Anonymous Coward

Most people will stick with Windows 7

until the end of PC's (which will surely happen before Windows 7 reaches the end of it's support cycle in 2020)

I don't know anyone talking about Windows 8, Surface or Windows Phone. They are all dead technology from the yesteryear of computing.

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Re: end of PC's

I can see why you're posting as AC.

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Re: Most people will stick with Windows 7

Most people don't care about a PC, or its OS. As already said, outside of serious gamers and El Reg readers a PC is more or less "white goods" now. For most other the iPad is still today's "shiny" and various Android fondleslabs a good and economical alternative.

Really, what is Windows 8 going to bring to most users that is a compelling reason to upgrade? If anything, the Windows trademark is associated with work & malware to the general public and not a selling point.

Business use is different, where Windows is often needed for specialist or legacy software, but even there going to 8 is not as appealing as XP -> 7 is, even then money is tight. So weak sales are hardly a surprise!

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Windows

@AC

First of all; the end cycle of Win7 officially sits at 2018.

Also; I don't see the end for PC's coming anytime soon. There are tasks which are more easily done on a PC just like there are plenty of tasks which can be easily handled on a phone or tablet. Just like some other poster mentioned how laptops are commodity; the same basically applies to PC's.

For most people a PC is a tool you turn on and can then use to perform tasks. Nothing more, nothing else.

For most of those people in my surroundings the most compelling reason not to look into Windows 8 is either because their current computer works just the way they want or because they followed my advice to look into an upgrade now before you can no longer get Windows 7.

The fun part; the most compelling argument for that upgrade (according to some feedback I got) was that I could make Windows 7 relatively well behave like XP, but that this would hardly be possible with Windows 8 (yes, I know there are plenty of tools which can mimic the start menu behaviour, but even so..).

In short; most people I met feel lost in Windows 8 because the whole thing hardly contains anything familiar to them. As such; Windows 7 is in favour.

But I'm pretty sure that whenever Windows 9 comes out and Microsoft has come back to their senses a little bit there will be plenty of people willing to upgrade to that.

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Meh

There's very little reason to buy a new PC...

...unless the one you have is broken. I'm a s/w developer and I'm more than happy with my 5 year old Dell laptop which is very heavily used and serves my needs perfectly. My wife and son are also pretty happy with their Dell laptops too, both of which are even older than mine. All the machines do what we all want, so why spend money on a new one? We may have to replace the wife's machine which is suffering from very floppy hinges but it won't happen until the day it breaks. I expect there are many people out there with perfectly adequate older machines just like us. Windows 8 is certainly no incentive to buy a new machine given that it is crippled with TIFKAM.

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Stop

win8 launch encouraging win7 purchases

"But in a bizarre turn, IDC figures showed a 7 per cent spike in the commercial PC segment"

Hardly bizarre, businesses are upgrading to win7 PCs to avoid win8.

My local supplier is offering win8 PCs cheaper than the same machine with win7

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Re: win8 launch encouraging win7 purchases

Agreed. If I woas running a large corporation's IT department I would shudder at the thought of having to retrain my entire workforce to use Win8. No discount would cover those costs

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Only stats for vendor built PC's

I know it may not be much, but I would like to see stats on the amount of components being shipped / sold as well as just whole vendor build PC's (HP, DELL) sold. I would like to see how much of the PC market is people building them, themselves or purchasing components to upgrade existing PC's. Excluding these details is rather short sighted and does not give the full measure of the 'PC Market'....

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FAIL

same same

in 2011 I didn't spend a thousand quid on an ultrabook with no bundled optical drive & 768 vertical pixels. In 2012 that was what they wanted me to buy, & I didn't buy it then either.

Yet tablets doubled in processing power, pixel resolution, & dropped in price.

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Funny coincidence. I didn't buy an ultrabook with crap screen resolution in 2012 either, and I doubt I will in 2013. I am looking for at least 1200 lines, and that seems rate to the point of being all but extinct in the laptop world.

Unless of course I get a macbook retina and even higher price (and no Ethernet port either!). Or a medium priced fondleslab. Oh dear, looks like I will have to spend my money on fast women and loose cars instead.

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WTF?

Re: same same

I'd have settled for a new laptop with 4:3 at just about any resolutions. Feckin widecreen everything is a PITA for doing any work on. My 7yr old HP is far better for typing and working on than the brand new Dell the wife uses even with the hinges held on with gaffer tape.

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Anonymous Coward

I wonder how mac sales are doing?

Any evidence that increased mac sales have dented windows carrying PC sales? If so that should be even more worrying for Microsoft.

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Meh

Re: I wonder how mac sales are doing?

I read somewhere yesterday that Mac sales are down big time too and have been for the past 2-3 years.

Folks just want the shiny phones and tablets.

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Re: I wonder how mac sales are doing?

Here we go -

http://www.itproportal.com/2013/01/25/mac-sales-dip-amidst-imac-constraints-ipad-cannibalization/

I like how a 20% drop was considered just a 'slight dip'.

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Pint

@ Shell User

Spot on - if I may add a little something!

Its so common place that the initial release of MS systems are normally 'broken' that no one wants to have to risk of finding the problems - especially when MS still refer you back to your vendor and denying liability.

Windows 7 is kinda of a stable - only if you upgrade all software. Its no longer about purchasing a computer with an OS as on top of this you have to upgrade all software - or at least thats the support from MS's first comment when compatibility issues arise.

Cost of new equipment with MS OS - £400

Cost upgrading vendors software - £600

My typence worth

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I've just bought a brand new £1k laptop, the most I've ever spent on a laptop. It's got 16GB RAM (perfect for Virtualisation), Core i7, 1.5TB, Dedicated Nvidia 670M, Matte Screen with 1080p and a bluray optical drive. It has 5 USB ports, 3 at USB3. Its also a beast at 17". If I were to buy a similar spec Alienware from Dell I'd be paying £1.5k and more. Which brand laptop did I buy? Medion, made famous by Aldi. It came with Windows 7 (Home Premium).

The only problem is lugging the thing around, it's not exactly small and the charger literally defines the word brick.

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