Market of desktop computers and notebooks is falling and companies like Microsoft and Intel are betting on new strategies to try to resume the good sales
Seattle-the death of the personal computer can be overkill. However, the industry around the PCs seems to be in limbo.
As the mainframe, which was considered over decades but remained as a useful business, the PC almost certainly deceive death. Of course, mobile devices like the iPad will continue affecting the sales of PCs, these devices, however, will never meet masters of spreadsheets, film editors and other professionals who rely on several screens and the precision of a keyboard and a mouse.
Still, there is a strong current among technology executives that the relevance of the PC will decrease progressively.
“In my humble opinion, the PC as we know it is in continuous decline and being relegated to a utility device for companies,” said Hector Ruiz, former ceo of Advanced Micro Devices, a company which manufactures chips for PCs and other devices.
The climate around the PC industry is increasingly bleak. The market is actually in a recession, and no resumption in sight. During the second quarter of the year, global sales of PCs fell approximately of 11%, for the fifth consecutive quarter of falling-the worst crisis since the invention of the PC, for over 30 years.
Intel, a supplier of chips for most PCs, and Microsoft, which places the Windows operating system in the large majority of those machines, released disappointing financial results. A major revamp of Microsoft software, Windows 8, not increased sales and can have them worsened.
The powerful Dell before, deeply weakened by the crisis, is wrapped up in a fight with shareholders about a plan to become private, seeking relief from the pressure of investors. In your attempt to make private, Michael s. Dell, the founder, and the investment firm Silver Lake argued that would transform the company into a corporate services provider in software.
See computers and notebooks with Windows 8
Although the sale of PCs to companies continue stable, demand among consumers has fallen a lot, mainly because people started to buy iPads, Kindle Fires and other tablets.
Still, a clash of reality: more than 300 million of PCs should be sold this year worldwide. That represents a lot of machines to a market that’s sick.
Sales of tablets are growing explosively. This year, it is expected a sale of more than 200 million of the devices, surpassing for the first time laptop sales, the largest category of PCs, according to research firm Gartner.
Trucks and cars
Steve Jobs, Chairman of Apple who died in 2011, predicted several years ago that PCs would become something like pickup trucks – work vehicles used by many, but outnumbered by the tablets, the cars of the technology market. (The analogy was eventually contradicted by statistics: the most popular vehicle in the United States for several years was a pickup truck, the Ford F-150.)
One theory is that the tablets would be taking PC buyers to defer purchases of new computers, maybe in a year or two, but these people eventually will be ready for a new machine. “Exchange cycles are being postponed,” said Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Bernstein Research.
A more pessimistic vision says that much of the consumer demand for PCs will never come back. According to Daniel Huttenlocher, the new campus of Cornell University technology, consumers started buying PCs in large quantities in the 1990, mainly because there was no better device to access the internet.
However the PC, he argued, was always more suited to the Office, for the production of documents, presentations, and other works. In your opinion, the tablets are better for content consumption, is watch the Netflix or surf the web.
“There are many more consumers than producers, even in a world full of user-generated content,” explained Huttenlocher.
In the first quarter, sales of computers were 53% to the consumer market, while 47% stayed on the business market, the research firm IDC.
Many consumers still prefer the PC for tasks such as editing home movies and writing monographs. However, the tablets are already invading the land of PCs in many professional niches, flight manuals for commercial pilots to cash registers at restaurants.
The biggest operators of the PC industry–especially Microsoft and Intel, the duopoly of software and chips with more to lose with the fall of industry – have a seemingly simple answer: reset the PC to make it more like a tablet. Microsoft has created the Windows 8 to work well on devices with touch screen. If users get tired of gestures with their fingers, they can switch to a classic Windows interface that can operate with mouse and keyboard.
Intel, meanwhile, has perfected his chips so they are more economical in battery consumption, an important requirement for mobile devices.
The changes have led to a frenzy of hybrid devices, effectively blurring the boundaries between PCs and tablets. Today there are laptops that turn into tablets by rotating or highlighting their screens. Others come with touch screens to switch between different modes of operation.
Microsoft and Intel are betting that the launch devices in the fall will the northern hemisphere finally will bring buyers of PCs back to stores. Microsoft intends to release a new version of your operating system, the Windows 8.1, resolving issues singled out by customers in the initial release.
“What we will see in the coming months will be more projects each manufacturer of PCs,” bet Adam King, Director of product marketing at Intel.
Using the analogy of automotive Jobs with other purpose, Frank Shaw, a Microsoft spokesman, said that the car industry followed if subdividing into many categories, including luxury models and electric vehicles. “We can say that the same is happening in computing”, argued Shaw.
Anand Chandrasekher, Director of marketing for Qualcomm, which supplies chips for some mobile devices with Windows, think that Microsoft will be able to adapt to changes in your industry. “I admire Microsoft for the changes that they have made,” said Chandrasekher. “We are optimistic that they will have a strong presence in the market”.
Google wins space
Few doubt that a new class of hybrid devices will be able to stop the growth of tablets from Apple and from companies with devices based on Google’s Android operating system. Marc Benioff, ceo of Salesforce.com and frequent antagonist of Microsoft, said that customers already have rejected new types of devices, such as the tablet Surface.
“The reason they’re not accelerating growth is very simple,” said Benioff. “There is a better technology”.
Whatever happens to the PC industry, the iron hand that companies like Microsoft and Intel exploited on the hardware manufacturers seems to be over. Hewlett-Packard today manufactures a laptop using the software Chrome OS, Google, and a tablet based on Android. Lenovo, the world’s largest manufacturer of PCs, is a major seller of Android smartphones and tablets, especially in China.
In an era of computer’s oldest, all these would be seen as intolerable acts of disloyalty.
“We are a company of devices,” said Gerry Smith, Vice President of Lenovo and head of your Division in the Americas. “We’re agnostic on hardware and software agnostic, Android or Windows”.
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