Quarterly computer sales are down 14 percent. The culprit? Microsoft’s latest operating system.

In sad news for the computer industry, market research firm IDC has released its latest tally of PC sales for the first quarter of 2013 which demonstrate a 14 percent decline in the number of computers sold during the period. This marks the largest drop since IDC began tracking these figures in 1994.

While there are a number of reasons for the waning sales, IDC pins the majority of the blame on the much-maligned Windows 8 operating system. “At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market,” states IDC vice president of clients and displays Bob O’Donnell.

According to IDC, Lenovo was the only manufacturer to report year-on-year growth, while HP, Dell and Toshiba all reported declines.

Intriguingly, IDC’s report even includes Apple’s computers, and while its decline was less severe than other firms, it too saw a dip in sales of both desktops and laptop computers.

Obviously Apple isn’t affected by the introduction of Windows 8, so what gives? Beyond the failure of Microsoft’s latest OS, IDC believes that consumers are increasingly opting for tablets for their computing needs. This makes sense, as almost any modern tablet has enough horsepower and functionality to take care of the majority of most people’s computing needs. It’s only when you want to play videogames or render media that you really need a powerful computer to get the job done. Combine that with unrivaled portability, and it seems clear why this decline in computer sales is so drastic.

Source: IDC

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