Distributors, Analysts Agree Windows 8.1 Won't Perform Miracles in the PC Space

Paul Lilly

Don't expect Windows 8.1 to stop PC sales from slumping

In some respects, Microsoft is about to take a mulligan with Windows 8.1. The free update will address many of the complaints users have with Windows 8, including the lack of a Start button (but not a Start menu), the inability to boot directly to the desktop, and more. It will also introduce in a much improved browsing experience (Internet Explorer 11), two new tile size options, and a bunch of other tweaks we recently outlined . Windows 8.1 will not, however, save traditional PCs from whatever fate awaits.

Desktop and notebook PC sales are slumping as consumers turn to their smartphones and tablet devices to post on Facebook and check email, tasks that were previously performed on full fledged computers. And though it was with good intentions that Microsoft re-imagined Windows, the latest version hasn't done much to boost PC sales, and analysts don't think Windows 8.1 will help.

"An OS launch no longer creates a wave of new purchases. Windows 8.1 may staunch the wound, correct past mistakes, but it will not wipe out the impact of the economy or the fact that people want tablets and smartphones," Jeremy Davies, CEO at Context, told The Register .

The site goes on to quote several other industry players and analysts, According to The Register , several distributors fessed up to getting carried away with Windows 8 and that the situation is worse than the figures suggest.

"It is a consumer-focused product and so far consumers haven't like it," a wholesaler said. "Businesses ar buying Windows 8 machines but downgrading it to Windows 7."

What do you think -- will Windows 8.1 be enough to renew interest in traditional PCs, or are OEMs right to be skeptical?

Follow Paul on Google+ , Twitter , and Facebook

Around the web