Windows 8 is killing the PC: Sales crash 13.9% in just one quarter

The release of Windows 8 has led to a dramatic 13.9% year-on-year slump in first quarter PC sales, according to new IDC figures.

According to the report, worldwide PC shipments totalled 76.3 million for the quarter, with the contraction marking the largest percentage single quarter decline in the sector since the mid-1990s, and exceeded analysts’ forecasts of a 7.7% drop in sales.

“Although the reduction in shipments was not a surprise, the magnitude of the contraction is both surprising and worrisome,” says IDC personal computing research director David Daoud.

The declines were not limited to just one or two vendors, with shipments declining for HP (down 23.7%), Dell (10.9%), Acer (31.3%), and Asus (19.2%), with only Lenovo escaping with flat sales.

“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,” said IDC clients and displays program vice president Bob O’Donnell.

“While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the UI, removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices.”

In terms of marketshare, the top five vendors are HP (15.7% marketshare), Lenovo (15.3%), Dell (11.8%), Acer (8.1%) and Asus (5.7%), with the broad “other” category making up 43.4% of the market.

The figures come as the battle for control of embattled PC vendor Dell intensifies, with Michael Dell stating he hopes to improve the company’s performance in the BRIC economies

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