Global PC sales tumbled 14% in the first quarter
of 2013, the biggest slide since US research firm IDC began tracking the
industry in 1994. The poor consumer response to Microsoft's Windows 8 operating
system, contributed to the plunge.
IDC said 76.3m units were shipped as tablets such as Apple's iPad and
smartphones cannibalise PC sales.
The firm said Microsoft's latest version of Windows had failed to revitalise the
industry. This is bad news for the software giant.
Gartner, a rival American research firm,
estimated global shipments sank 11.2%, which it called the worst drop since the
first quarter of 2001. Gartner said the rise of tablets and smartphones are
sapping demand for personal computers.
Microsoft's operating system is used on most of
the of the world's PCs and it launched Windows 8 last autumn which was a
completely overhauled version with touch-screen capabilities.
However, IDC said Windows 8 hasn't only failed to boost PC demand but has
actually contributed to the slowdown - - confusing consumers with features that
don't improve in a tablet mode and compromise the traditional PC experience.
"The reaction to Windows 8 is real," said Jay Chou, an IDC analyst, about the
"The PC market is evolving and highly dynamic," a
Microsoft spokeswoman said, according to The Wall Street Journal. "Along with
our partners we continue to bring even more innovation to market across tablets
Chou said not only has Windows 8 failed to attract consumers, but businesses are
keeping their distance as well.
Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest maker of
PCs, had a 24% fall in shipments in the first quarter compared with the same
period a year ago.
China's Lenovo Group, number two in the market,
is benefiting from sales to first-time buyers in China and other developing
countries. Its sales held steady, IDC said.
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