John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

PC Sales Crashing Like an Unpatched Windows Machine

wile-e-coyotefallingBillionaire Warren Buffett says the economy will be in a shambles throughout “2009–and, for that matter, probably well beyond.”

The same can apparently be said for the PC market. Research outfit Gartner on Monday warned that PC sales will suffer the “sharpest unit decline in history” this year. Gartner (IT) expects the PC industry to ship just 257 million units this year. That’s an 11.9 percent decline from 2008, one that easily eclipses the previous worst decline in 2001, when shipments fell 3.2 percent.

“The PC industry is facing extraordinary conditions as the global economy continues to weaken, users stretch PC lifetimes and PC suppliers grow increasingly cautious,” said Gartner research director George Shiffler. “Slower GDP growth will generally weaken demand and slow new penetration, lengthening PC lifetimes will reduce replacements, and supplier caution will keep inventories at historic lows.”

I’ll say. Gartner believes desktop shipments will decline a staggering 31.9 percent from 2008. Even an expected 80 percent spike in netbook sales, the lone bright spot in the market, won’t do much to temper that. Bad news for PC manufacturers like Dell (DELL) and HP (HPQ), and for suppliers like Microsoft (MSFT), Intel (INTC) and AMD (AMD) as well.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik