How Has Windows 8 Affected the PC Market?

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The PC market has been in a small decline for the past few quarters. Many attributed this decline to two logical, reasonable possibilities: first, the impending release of Windows 8. Since Windows 8 contained support for hardware such as touchscreens that simply weren’t available on current, Windows 7-based desktops and laptops, many believed that the release of Windows 8 and Windows RT would create a “pop” in the market that would more than make up for the declining hardware sales.

The second reason many blamed for lackluster sales was the rise of tablets. Since tablets aren’t traditionally counted as PCs but are increasingly being used in place of a full computer, it makes sense that they would be taking marketshare. The iPad line still leads the tablet wave by a large margin, but products from both Amazon and Google are also promising and have sold well.

Horace Dediu, one of the most acclaimed “analyst” in the technology industry, has early data that points that the Windows 8 launch hasn’t had the desired effect.

Early data shows that the PC market has not experienced a “pop” from Windows 8. Market watchers have been anticipating this pop since every previous version of Windows has led to a surge in shipments. PC vendors have also been hoping for this to lift their volumes. Volumes have been stagnant for a while…

Dediu, posting on his Asymco blog, points to the fact that the computing industry as a whole is growing, but only when tablets are taken in to account. When the landscape is reduced to just traditional PCs (laptops and desktops), a much bleaker picture is painted. PC sales are, in every study, either stagnant or decreasing at varying rates.

It isn’t surprising to see this phenomenon. As new products are continually released and features introduced on the tablet side, traditional desktops and laptops are being left behind. For example, Microsoft’s Surface RT and Pro introduce an innovative and simple keyboard integration that almost alleviates the pain of typing on a piece of glass. While the execution isn’t perfect, it seems obvious that consumers are willing to move on from traditional forms of computing.


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  1. I agree with the part on tablets affecting the PC’s market share… Here in Malaysia, a good example is Prudential Assurance, whereby their senior agents who used to carry laptops and netbooks for presentations have now reverted to iPads and Samsung Tabs…

    In fact, almost everywhere I go, there are people carrying iPads in their arms, whether for leisure or work… The laptops are pretty much only seen in Starbucks nowadays!

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