News came out the end of last week, that for the second straight quarter PC Sales have declined and this is the biggest decline in the last two years. One of the factors was an unusually big push in PC sales last year because of Microsoft phasing out Windows XP. The Windows 10 release is just around the corner and that may end up further hurting the PC market. Consumers won’t need to rush out and and buy a new PC simply to get Windows 10. Microsoft offering a free upgrade during the first 12-months of Windows 10 release to those who have registered copy of Windows 7 or 8.1. This is the first time Microsoft has ever offered a free Windows upgrade. Recall, Windows 7 users had a limited time opportunity to get a discounted upgrade (only $15) to Windows 8.
Apple on the other hand is doing very well and saw a sizeable increase in their sales from the same time last year. I suppose this could be caused by consumers who did not like Windows 8 and see Windows 10 as not much better. Lenovo had the best sales this past quarter of any PC manufacturer, which is surprising considering the negative PR from the Superfish fiasco from earlier this year. However, their sales compared to the same time last year were much lower as well.
Wait, does all this sound familiar? It should as this seems eerily similar to the news recently Smartphone Sales Declining. Same thing here, consumers made a big push the year prior and are now keep their devices longer. Same goes for the Windows 10 upgrade, consumers seem there is no big reason to rush out and buy a new PC. This is especially true for people with Windows 7 PCs who are eligible for the free Windows 10 upgrade.
I also have to wonder if smartphone and tablets are a part of this decline as well. Apple’s iPads/iPhones are becoming more popular in the corporate environment and even in retail thanks to Square. I am not sure if the Microsoft Surface is categorized as a PC or not. For those users who simply want get on the Internet, check emails and do light tasks such as with Office, why should they purchase a bulky PC when they can have something instead that is not only portable, but lightweight (compared to the average laptop).
I would not be surprised to hear next quarter that PC sales have not improved. Windows 10 is not going to help the sinking PC market, at least not yet. Things could change in August next year when the free Windows 10 upgrade offer ends. However, I don’t think that is going to happen as Microsoft is going to continue to support Windows 7 until January 2020 and Windows 8 until January 2023. Oh there is one thing about that ‘free upgrade to Windows 10’ that Microsoft is not being very clear about, which could have a very negative impact in future PC sales. More about that later today…