Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Another Annual Decline for PC Sales

keep-calm-and-manage-decline-t-shirt-4-featureMarket research firm IDC just released its forecast for the personal computer market for 2013, and it’s about what you’d expect.

After a decline in shipments by 3.7 percent in 2012, the PC market is expected to contract further in 2013, by at least 1.3 percent, the firm projects.

While it’s not as though anyone expected Microsoft’s Windows 8 to inject any real excitement into the consumer market, there were those who thought it might at least help to arrest the overall decline, especially among consumers. It wasn’t to be. Holiday season PC sales were disappointing, and the economic malaise, especially in Europe, weighed on corporate IT budgets. Shipments in the fourth quarter were down by 8.3 percent, which amounts to the worst holiday quarter on record, IDC says.

Meanwhile, emerging markets that once held the greatest potential for growth are flattening out, and some actually declined last year. They’ll start growing again this year, but only by a little through 2017. It was worse in the U.S., where shipments declined by 7.6 percent.

One thing that might give the corporate market some badly needed pep: The end of support by Microsoft of Windows XP, which kicks in this year.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work