Two of the big names in personal computers Hewlett-Packard and Dell report disappointing sales as new products compete with laptops and desktops.
Not so long ago if you went on line it was through a laptop or desktop personal computer usually. Now people are going on line using smartphones, tablets, and other platforms.HP(Hewlett-Packard) in the most recent quarter had its worst result since the company was created 73 year ago. Dell also suffered a bad quarter as personal computer sales declined.No doubt the slowdown in the global economy accounts for some of the decline. Many people may be waiting for Windows 8 to be launched before they buy a new machine. But sales of personal computers have been declining for the past five years.More and more people are using their smartphones and tablets for on line work. However as Wired points out the situation may not be so much of a slump in performance but a wholesale change in the market with desktops and laptops never regaining their dominance. Sales may never recover since people will be replacing their laptops and desktops by other devices.Windows 8 may be a great operating system but it will probably only marginally improve sales results. Emerging markets too may help sales but this might very well be offset by even greater declines in sales in mature markets. A research firm IDC forecasts a meager growth rate of less than one per cent in the global PC market for 2012.In my own case I fear that I will not be helping much to rescue PC manufacturers. My main computer is a 2005 Seanix that uses Windows XP and my backup is another refurbished Seanix of around the same vintage. The company went bankrupt about five years ago. My wife does have a Compaq laptop a few years old running Windows 7 but since we just replaced the hard drive we do not intend to replace the machine. The only bright spot is that a laptop that my step-daughter was using broke down and is not worth fixing. But then she may just use her smart phone or Blackberry tablet.I will not be buying a smart phone either. My Motorola dumb cell phone has not been activated for several years and should be donated to a technology museum anyway according to my wife. I have always wanted to travel to Finland to compete in the cell phone throwing competition.