Gartner and IDC blame poor Windows 8 uptake, bad economy and competing devices
While Microsoft’s recent claim that Windows 8 is following a similar sales trajectory as its predecessor may or may not be fully accurate, the latest PC shipment numbers from market research firms Gartner and IDC have made one thing very clear: that Windows 8 sales between October 26 and December 31 weren’t enough to help the PC industry avoid a rare fourth-quarter sales slump.
Dell's Latitude 10 tablet starts at $499 and runs a full version of Windows 8.
For $499, Microsoft will sell you its Surface RT tablet, which delivers a gimped version of Windows 8 designed for ARM-based hardware. It's fine for running apps and surfing the web, but it doesn't support full fledged Windows applications, not unless you step up to a Surface Pro slate. The two problems there are availability and price; you can't yet buy a Surface Pro, and when it comes out, it will cost $899 or more. This is where Dell's new Latitude 10 tablet has a decided advantage.
Windows PC shipments declined 6.4 percent in Q4 2012.
Even though the fourth quarter of 2012 kicked off a new era in computing with the launch of Windows 8, it wasn't enough to prop up the PC market and save it from sluggish demand. In fact, the most recent holiday shopping season was the first in five years to see a year-on-year decline in PC demand, according to the latest data from International Data Corporation (IDC).
Windows 8 on a non-touchscreen device makes for a far-from-ideal experience, but if that is what you are stuck with then you are likely to be interested in the special touch pen accessories being showcased at the ongoing CES 2013 event by E Fun and Targus. Since we have already covered the prosaically named Targus Touch Pen, we are going to focus on the E Fun APEN in this article.
A Touch Pen accessory from Targus allows for touch input on non-touch panels.
Microsoft can squawk all it wants about Windows 8 being equally well suited for non-touch desktops as it is for touch-capable notebooks and tablets, but we know better. The user interface is clearly intended for users to poke and swipe, and that's great if you own a Windows 8 tablet or a fancy new touch-capable laptop PC, but it's not so groovy for existing systems. Should you scrap your system and buy a new laptop? Well, that's certainly an option, though it's not a very cost effective one. Targus demonstrated for us another solution using its Touch Pen device, which transforms ordinary laptops into touch-sensitive devices.
The Targus Touch Pen transforms your laptop into a touchscreen device.
Windows 8 begs to be touched, and though that's problematic on non-touch notebooks, you don't necessarily need a new laptop to take full advantage of Microsoft's newest operating system as it was re-imagined. Yes, you can get by just fine with a keyboard and mouse, but an intriguing compromise is a new Touch Pen device from Targus. Designed for Windows 8, the Touch Pen turns virtually any laptop into a touchscreen PC.
Lenovo shares with us its varied Windows 8 product lineup.
What a year it's been for Lenovo, the world's largest or second largest PC maker, depending on which market research firm is tallying up the numbers. Either way, Lenovo's been able to not only weather the global storm of a downed economy and slumping PC sales, but thrive it in, earning the CEO a $3 million performance bonus (which he carved up and handed out to employees). The introduction of Windows 8 allows Lenovo to start thinking outside of the box of traditional PC design, and several of those products were on display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Let's take a look.
Why choose between Windows 8 and Android when you can have both?
Windows 8 represents a radical redesign of Windows as we've come to know it, and the touch-friendly user interface (UI) encourages PC makers to think outside the box in terms of hardware design. Well, they've been doing that, some proving better at it than others. Interestingly, Asus (pronounced "ey soos") is gambling that consumers will appreciate an all-in-one hybrid that dual boots Windows 8 and Android, and what better place to roll the dice on a new design than in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show? Let's have a look.
When Vizio entered the PC market last year, we didn’t quite know what to expect. The company has left quite the competitive mark on the TV industry, driving prices to levels few expected. The company’s lineup of Ultrabooks were fairly standard from an industrial design standpoint, but as our very own Paul Lilly pointed out, its the 1080p displays that really set them apart.