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(ZDNet)   Microsoft has no fast fixes for cratering PC market, Windows ME   (zdnet.com) divider line 128
    More: Interesting, Windows, Microsoft, CEO Steve Ballmer, barclays, Boston Consulting Group, IDC, change managements  
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2141 clicks; posted to Business » on 11 Apr 2013 at 9:52 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-11 08:48:34 AM  
Turns out, a bunch of us still like the experience of a desktop PC for our laptops, and would have happily paid for it had Redmond decided not to push people towards a tablet interface instead.

I'm rollin on Win 7 and Linux / Ubuntu, no plans to change. Also have 2 tablets, an iPad and a Lazer, both are fine for "social media" type stuff but suck pretty hard as a full computer tool.

For years Microsoft told itself it had missed the boat shipping a touch-screen tablet in the early 2000's that they had ready in late beta but apparently internal politics and inertia ("It wouldnt run Office") prevented from shipping, meanwhile that scoundrel Jobs launched the iPhone. Ever since, certain factions in Redmond have had a serious jones to get even and prove to the world that "We're advanced too, damnit!"

So they finally got their way, and Win 8 shipped with forced non-start menu as the Metro interface. And the market is screaming gtfo you idiots.

Ironically, I've seen Win 8 on phones, and it is pretty slick actually. I could easily see owning it when my contract with evil Apple is up. Easier to configure, more options for surface management.

But it isn't a desktop interface. And stop pretending everyone is just going to leap and frolic towards embracing that. I'm astounded MS missed the call with its corporate users so much this time. IT has enough headaches without teaching everyone a new OS interface and all the stupid user questions that this would come with.

Ironically, this could help force desktops into tool-user niches and encourage casual users to dump PC in favor of tablets and phones. Accelerate the trend. Which is where Win 8 shines all along. Well played, Microsoft, well played.
 
2013-04-11 08:52:27 AM  
What's said is that it didn't have to be this bad. Windows 7 was solid, and Windows 8 could have been even better while also supporting the Metro-style apps compatible with its tablets as a secondary interface.  Enterprises might be upgrading to Windows 8 then.  Windows 8 would have gotten reviews as an improvement over Windows 7 worth upgrading to for the optional Metro experience.  The tablets would still sell as well or poorly as they're doing now, but Microsoft wouldn't have poisoned their Desktop OS by enforcing a tablet UI as the primary interface.
 
2013-04-11 09:58:36 AM  

syrynxx: What's said is that it didn't have to be this bad. Windows 7 was solid, and Windows 8 could have been even better while also supporting the Metro-style apps compatible with its tablets as a secondary interface.  Enterprises might be upgrading to Windows 8 then.  Windows 8 would have gotten reviews as an improvement over Windows 7 worth upgrading to for the optional Metro experience.  The tablets would still sell as well or poorly as they're doing now, but Microsoft wouldn't have poisoned their Desktop OS by enforcing a tablet UI as the primary interface.


If they didn't screw the pooch every 2 years, they wouldn't be Microsoft.

i.imgur.com
 
2013-04-11 10:00:17 AM  
toastytech.com

Hey guys, what's going on in here?
 
2013-04-11 10:06:50 AM  
I really don't get the hate.  8 is a good OS, faster than 7 with some optimizations.  The "Metro" interface on a desktop is not optimal for people doing tasks for work, or just what they are used to.  Click one button and you are back in 7 land.  Install 1 add on and you got your start button back.

I now use a mac at work and there are a good dozen apps I need to instal prior to being able to do anything with any efficiency like I could in Windows.  Why the outrage over having to install an single app to adjust your experience is beyond me.
 
2013-04-11 10:08:55 AM  
PCs last longer than ever as the hardware is no longer becoming obsolete as quickly. Combined with the rise of smartphones and tablets which do 80% of what the average consumer uses their computer for (web, email), and you get a decline in the industry. Not exactly sky is falling moment, unless you are stupid enough to say something like "At this rate, no one will buy a PC in 3 years!!!!1111!!"
 
2013-04-11 10:08:58 AM  

doglover: syrynxx: What's said is that it didn't have to be this bad. Windows 7 was solid, and Windows 8 could have been even better while also supporting the Metro-style apps compatible with its tablets as a secondary interface.  Enterprises might be upgrading to Windows 8 then.  Windows 8 would have gotten reviews as an improvement over Windows 7 worth upgrading to for the optional Metro experience.  The tablets would still sell as well or poorly as they're doing now, but Microsoft wouldn't have poisoned their Desktop OS by enforcing a tablet UI as the primary interface.

If they didn't screw the pooch every 2 years, they wouldn't be Microsoft.

[i.imgur.com image 640x502]


I would argue windows 95 was an amazing OS and 3.1 was a total piece of sh*t. Windows 2000 needs to be in there somewhere too, even though it wasn't technically a home release it was by far the best OS MS had made until XP Pro came along.

I think this is kind of intentional. Corporate purchasing tends to be on a 3-5 year cycle, so Windows puts a forward thinking but avant garde OS in between, then reverts to what everyone wanted in the first place.

I tried the Surface tablet, thought it was poorly designed, on the hardware end in particular.
 
2013-04-11 10:12:28 AM  

syrynxx: What's said is that it didn't have to be this bad. Windows 7 was solid, and Windows 8 could have been even better while also supporting the Metro-style apps compatible with its tablets as a secondary interface.  Enterprises might be upgrading to Windows 8 then.  Windows 8 would have gotten reviews as an improvement over Windows 7 worth upgrading to for the optional Metro experience.  The tablets would still sell as well or poorly as they're doing now, but Microsoft wouldn't have poisoned their Desktop OS by enforcing a tablet UI as the primary interface.


This. I think they went all in with Metro because they didn't want to risk the Metro app store turning into the widget situation where there was fark all offered, but looking at the current state of the WIndows Store, a lot of apps still aren't there and the apps that are there aren't all that great, especially of you aren't using a tablet. There really should have been a better way to handle it so you don't alienate the mouse and keyboard brigade in the rush to embrace touch.

Also, Windows RT was a deeply flawed product. It should have been derived from Windows Phone instead of slapping a what amounts to a second OS environment for Metro apps ON TOP of a full Windows environment. It just makes it a hot mess of an OS because you have two UIs, and it really makes things laggy even with a quad-core Tegra 2 under the hood. IE10 for Metro is especially problematic in Win RT. I have a Surface that I bought for work to develop training materials on the OS, and any Fark thread over 200 comments or so will cause the browser to crash to the desktop pretty regularly, while the non-Metro browser that is NOT optimized for touch has no issues.
 
2013-04-11 10:14:17 AM  
A lot of people don't need the latest and greatest OS, especially as we migrate from the PC/laptop to tablets and phones. In my house, we use our home computer primarily for shopping, paying bills online, email and a few other things, mostly because it is easier on a regular computer then on a tablet or phone. And that's pretty much it. If we didn't have school aged children who need a real PC for various reports and projects I would be tempted to not replace our PC when it goes (all our pictures and important documents are on an external hard drive I can plug into my work laptop). Even when we do replace it, we will get the cheapest machine with whatever OS is out at that time.
 
2013-04-11 10:15:01 AM  

bdub77: I tried the Surface tablet, thought it was poorly designed, on the hardware end in particular.


The part I love most about the Surface RT is that it has a MicroSD card slot to upgrade the woefully limited internal memory, but none of the Metro apps can see the card and use it for media or storage unless you do some hacking in the file system to trick it into thinking it is a non-removable drive. Brilliant.
 
2013-04-11 10:15:47 AM  

Lost Thought 00: PCs last longer than ever as the hardware is no longer becoming obsolete as quickly. Combined with the rise of smartphones and tablets which do 80% of what the average consumer uses their computer for (web, email), and you get a decline in the industry. Not exactly sky is falling moment, unless you are stupid enough to say something like "At this rate, no one will buy a PC in 3 years!!!!1111!!"


Also this, I recently got the go ahead to purchase a windows machine for some things I need for work so I dont have to mess around with fusion/parallels, what have you.  I was amazed at how little desktop specs have advanced since checking into them a few years back.  I was fully expecting embedded RAID arrays, 16G Ram standard, 2-4 proc quad cores, but what I got were reduced prices on 8G ram, still largely 7200rpm 1Tb drives, or 500G SSD, and 3.4Gz max quad core proc machines.  These are not too far off what you could have built 3 or 4 years ago.
 
2013-04-11 10:20:06 AM  
I wish they would have pushed for touch screens a little harder. When Vista came out they had little stickers that said "Vista Premium Ready". It would have been nice to have seen the same for Windows 8. It's frustrating to go into a store and see all the computers have a touchscreen OS, but none have a touchscreen.

/Also, it would have been nice to be able to turn off Metro.
 
2013-04-11 10:23:41 AM  

Cuyose: Lost Thought 00: PCs last longer than ever as the hardware is no longer becoming obsolete as quickly. Combined with the rise of smartphones and tablets which do 80% of what the average consumer uses their computer for (web, email), and you get a decline in the industry. Not exactly sky is falling moment, unless you are stupid enough to say something like "At this rate, no one will buy a PC in 3 years!!!!1111!!"

Also this, I recently got the go ahead to purchase a windows machine for some things I need for work so I dont have to mess around with fusion/parallels, what have you.  I was amazed at how little desktop specs have advanced since checking into them a few years back.  I was fully expecting embedded RAID arrays, 16G Ram standard, 2-4 proc quad cores, but what I got were reduced prices on 8G ram, still largely 7200rpm 1Tb drives, or 500G SSD, and 3.4Gz max quad core proc machines.  These are not too far off what you could have built 3 or 4 years ago.


Yeah, that is a large part of the problem.  There are simply few killer apps that need a ton of horsepower on the desktop to run.  A good bit of processing is now offloaded into (as much as I hate to say it) the 'cloud'.  Centralization of queries and other processing is part of what makes mobile devices more functional.

If there is ever an increase on what a typical desktop needs to process, that is when there will be an increase on general PC sales.
 
2013-04-11 10:30:17 AM  

doglover: If they didn't screw the pooch every 2 years, they wouldn't be Microsoft.


That's a consumer point of view, as old as the "wait for the first service pack" adage that isn't applicable for businesses that are all I care about.

Win 3.1 - good, but I was using OS/2 2.1 and it was far superior
Windows for Workgroups 3.11 - dramatically improved networking support
Windows NT 3.1 - bad, utterly useless as a client OS; the world still ran on Win3.1 and NetWare
Windows NT 3.5/3.51 - useful if your hardware supported it
Windows NT 4 - Finally a decent UI; good enough if your apps ran on it, and an adequate server to replace/avoid NetWare 3
Windows 2000 - A solid business desktop/server OS and Active Directory, but not quite consumery enough
Windows XP - An NT-based OS that finally killed that 16/32-bit hybrid Win9x line for consumers
Windows Vista - abandoned after XP SP2 and rewritten from scratch; broke half of XP-supported hardware; flaky
Windows 7 - Pretty much Vista, except it doesn't suck

From that perspective, Windows XP was a huge success because it was the first time that Microsoft converged the consumer OS and business OS lines into a single OS that both home users and enterprise customers could use.  And that, perhaps above all else, is what I hate about Windows 8.  Microsoft has taken Windows 7, a solid OS that both home users and enterprise customers can use, and turned it into a consumer-focused OS again.  There is virtually nothing in Windows 8 beyond "Windows to Go" (USB image boot) and Client Hyper-V that enterprises want or need, and both of those have nothing to do with the Metro UI.
 
hej
2013-04-11 10:34:30 AM  
The only thing stopping me from buying a Windows based laptop right now is the knowledge that new Intel CPU's and Windows 8.1 are right around the corner.
 
2013-04-11 11:07:25 AM  

Cuyose: Click one button and you are back in 7 land


This is simply not true.

Cuyose: Install 1 add on and you got your start button back.


Installing third party applications to restore core system functionality is unacceptable.

Cuyose: I now use a mac at work and there are a good dozen apps I need to instal prior to being able to do anything with any efficiency like I could in Windows.


That's because Apple has never tried particularly hard to target office users while that has been Microsoft's focus for well over a decade now. Your comparison is invalid. You couldn't do your job with an Etch-A-Sketch either unless you modified it heavily because that's not what it was designed to do.

Cuyose: Why the outrage over having to install an single app to adjust your experience is beyond me.


You simply are objectively wrong and the sales numbers suggest you're in slim company subjectively.

Windows 8 is a badly designed operating system that makes the machine less usable and offers few enhancements. That's why it's selling like dog turds packaged in sardine tins.
 
2013-04-11 11:14:17 AM  
Microsoft should just buy StarDock and integrate ModernMix and Start8 into Windows 8 SP1.

Problem solved.


....of course, Windows 8 is only part of the problem. Outside of upgrading to an SSD, there is not really much in the way of significant performance enhancements to be had with PCs in the last 4 or 5 years. Most of the desktops can be easily maxxed out with a memory and storage upgrade... then what? Even a midrange GPU 3 generations old can display pretty nice game graphics on a 1080p monitor (Radeon 4870, for example).

The market that is moving right now is mobile... smart phones and tablets, which will eventually reach a saturation point.

I don't expect much in the desktop world to move until Microsoft cleans up the UI for the desktop, which will get corporate IT departments moving once again, and for people to finally decide they've spent enough money on portable computing devices. It will also require significant performance improvements, and that could take a few years.

/Is there a production CPU over 4Ghz out of the box yet? We've had essentially the same clock speeds for over 7 years now.
 
2013-04-11 11:14:20 AM  

skozlaw: Cuyose: Click one button and you are back in 7 land

This is simply not true.


I keep reading this.  What's really happening here?
 
2013-04-11 11:22:09 AM  

LesserEvil: /Is there a production CPU over 4Ghz out of the box yet? We've had essentially the same clock speeds for over 7 years now.


Not for commercial use yet. To achieve that, CPUs will probably need more complex integrated cooling units. So watch out for when your CPU springs a leak, literally
 
2013-04-11 11:23:30 AM  

syrynxx: doglover: If they didn't screw the pooch every 2 years, they wouldn't be Microsoft.

That's a consumer point of view, as old as the "wait for the first service pack" adage that isn't applicable for businesses that are all I care about.

Win 3.1 - good, but I was using OS/2 2.1 and it was far superior
Windows for Workgroups 3.11 - dramatically improved networking support
Windows NT 3.1 - bad, utterly useless as a client OS; the world still ran on Win3.1 and NetWare
Windows NT 3.5/3.51 - useful if your hardware supported it
Windows NT 4 - Finally a decent UI; good enough if your apps ran on it, and an adequate server to replace/avoid NetWare 3
Windows 2000 - A solid business desktop/server OS and Active Directory, but not quite consumery enough
Windows XP - An NT-based OS that finally killed that 16/32-bit hybrid Win9x line for consumers
Windows Vista - abandoned after XP SP2 and rewritten from scratch; broke half of XP-supported hardware; flaky
Windows 7 - Pretty much Vista, except it doesn't suck

From that perspective, Windows XP was a huge success because it was the first time that Microsoft converged the consumer OS and business OS lines into a single OS that both home users and enterprise customers could use.  And that, perhaps above all else, is what I hate about Windows 8.  Microsoft has taken Windows 7, a solid OS that both home users and enterprise customers can use, and turned it into a consumer-focused OS again.  There is virtually nothing in Windows 8 beyond "Windows to Go" (USB image boot) and Client Hyper-V that enterprises want or need, and both of those have nothing to do with the Metro UI.


Improved Bitlocker and URA (Direct Access refresh)
 
2013-04-11 11:23:43 AM  
I like how this is treated as the death of the PC, as opposed to merely continued maturation of the system.

First off there are fewer and fewer reasons to swap your hardware out on a regular basis.  A Core 2, i5, or i7 does just fine.  Heck I have an first gen Core laptop that runs everything just fine with only a RAM upgrade.

Secondly there is no reason to upgrade from Windows 7 for most people, it's a great OS and stable.

Finally, people are much more comfortable with computers than they were in the 1990s.  With most computers costing under 700 dollars, as opposed to the 2k+ they used to cost, more people are willing to watch a Youtube video on RAM replacement and then try it themselves.

If you're going to claim the death of the PC, you need to tie it to software sales going to hell, not a failure to ship new hardware or OS upgrades.  Even software sales are actually a bit sketchy in that more and more is being done in the browser as opposed to sold to people on a CD-ROM.

/I remember in the 1990s when my upgrade cycle came around I was thrilled to get a new computer, now I'm more like "I don't want to go through the hassle of migrating to new hardware, how you drop off some RAM for me and I'll just keep this one?"
 
2013-04-11 11:24:53 AM  

tricycleracer: skozlaw: Cuyose: Click one button and you are back in 7 land

This is simply not true.

I keep reading this.  What's really happening here?


I believe Cuyose is talking about clicking on the desktop button in Metro, but that's only part of the story. It's also bad UI design for a desktop... there is still no start button, so the functionality of Windows 7 is hardly there. I use my start button all the time, and the search box in the start button. I also use pinned items on my task bar, and I've even restored my QuickLaunch bar, giving me basically 3 levels to access my programs through - most used, somewhat used, and hardly used programs, organized at my discretion, convenient, and not staring me in the face ALL THE TIME with pre-school color schemes that remind me of the old Atari 2600 games.

IT departments have sworn off Windows 8. That'sa all that really needs to be said. You will always find defenders of pretty much anything.... especially here on Fark. Some are trolls, some are Microsoft shills, some are griefers... others actually enjoy using Windows 8, good for them.... I think I'd like Windows 8 - on a tablet - but a touch-screen UI is simply not good for a desktop. IT departments are the ones Microsoft has failed to convince, or for that matter, consult. It's not rocket science... though Microsoft has spent 30 years int he science of UIs, they've thrown that completely out of the window to "merge" their mobile and desktop operating systems into one bizarre amalgamation; this wasn't done as part of any serious UI research - it was done to market Windows 8 as a mobile platform and sell lots and lots of tablets and cell phones at the expense of desktop users.
 
2013-04-11 11:26:44 AM  

bdub77: I would argue windows 95 was an amazing OS and 3.1 was a total piece of sh*t. Windows 2000 needs to be in there somewhere too, even though it wasn't technically a home release it was by far the best OS MS had made until XP Pro came along.



This!

Windows 95 was awesome for its time.  Windows 98 was mediocre until the Second Edition came out.  I am still running Windows 2000 on one of my machines.
 
2013-04-11 11:29:46 AM  

LesserEvil: . I think I'd like Windows 8 - on a tablet - but a touch-screen UI is simply not good for a desktop.


Win8 would work so much better if it was just a UI you could toggle on and off.  Great for doing tablet type stuff, but when flip it off and revert to a clone of the Win7 UI for power user things.  It's the one feature MS could have offered over Android or iOS, the friendly tablet UI and the full fledged OS all in one package.  I'd love a Win8 tablet that would automatically flip to the Win7 UI the moment a bluetooth keyboard and mouse connected.  Or a laptop that flipped over to Metro UI when I shifted the screen into the slate position.  Forcing Win8 down the throats of people who work in a keyboard and mouse environment is just dumb.
 
2013-04-11 11:30:57 AM  

hej: The only thing stopping me from buying a Windows based laptop right now is the knowledge that new Intel CPU's and Windows 8.1 are right around the corner.


Exactly. With Haswell on the horizon, right now isn't a particularly great time to buy the current generation of Ivy Bridge. People who can hold out might. Either way, they can take advantage of the clearance prices on the Ivy Bridge computers, or get in on the Haswell launch. And not too long after, you're into back-to-school shopping.
 
2013-04-11 11:32:55 AM  
95s was incomplete. 95b/c were better, 98 regressed, 98 SE rocked, ME was fail.
 
2013-04-11 11:33:31 AM  

GardenWeasel: 95s was incomplete. 95b/c were better, 98 regressed, 98 SE rocked, ME was fail.


Gah, 95a was incomplete...
 
2013-04-11 11:33:34 AM  

Lost Thought 00: LesserEvil: /Is there a production CPU over 4Ghz out of the box yet? We've had essentially the same clock speeds for over 7 years now.

Not for commercial use yet. To achieve that, CPUs will probably need more complex integrated cooling units. So watch out for when your CPU springs a leak, literally


Basically my point... we won't see any significant gains until there is a major breakthrough. The latest intel CPUs have some performance improvements, but it is like 10% in benchmarks, 2~3% in real life.

There was a time when you could upgrade your computer every year and double or triple your performance. That hasn't been true for 7 or 8 years now.

That doesn't mean I'd be happy with a 7 year old PC, but for web surfing, e-mail and typing word documents, a 7 year old PC works great. A 3 or 4 year old PC that had a decent video card when new would STILL be a good gaming machine.


Game consoles will have the same issue.... they'll see the games on the new consoles and shrug. They'll look at the sticker price and decide they can spend the money on other things. They'll look at a $99 (subscription subsidized) Xbox 360 sitting next to that shiny $600 Xbox 720 and decide they can wait until the 720 is $99 as well - then they'll go back to playing Angry Birds on their tablet.
 
2013-04-11 11:50:24 AM  
Start8 saves Windows 8.

/Big thank you to the Farker who suggested it to me in the last W8 thread.
 
2013-04-11 11:53:05 AM  

Cuyose: I really don't get the hate.  8 is a good OS, faster than 7 with some optimizations.  The "Metro" interface on a desktop is not optimal for people doing tasks for work, or just what they are used to.  Click one button and you are back in 7 land.  Install 1 add on and you got your start button back.


Great, so desktop users can get away from Metro, but server admins are stuck with it or going CLI.  Windows Server 2012 also forces that Metro interface, and the systems being administered can't always have a third party client installed.

Metro sucks with most software KVM or remote management options so you are stuck using Power Shell for 90% of tasks.  Wonderful, so we in 2013 I'm using CLI on Windows and GUI on Red Hat / Fedora.

The sad part is that there are so many improvements on Server 2012 that I could see a lot of businesses switching over if it wasn't for the horrible cluster fark that is the Metro GUI.  Then again, this might be a boon for me since I have extensive PowerShell experience (yay Sharepoint), so I might be able to finagle a new job with higher pay out of teaching people how to use Windows without a GUI.
 
2013-04-11 12:02:35 PM  

bark_atda_moon: bdub77: I would argue windows 95 was an amazing OS and 3.1 was a total piece of sh*t. Windows 2000 needs to be in there somewhere too, even though it wasn't technically a home release it was by far the best OS MS had made until XP Pro came along.

This!

Windows 95 was awesome for its time.  Windows 98 was mediocre until the Second Edition came out.  I am still running Windows 2000 on one of my machines.


Agreed. Win 98 blew until 98SE came out. I'm amazed at how many farkers forget how much of a shiatshow XP was until SP1, and even a bit until the big improvements of SP2. There's a reason why the bluescreen became a cultural icon. Compared to ten years ago, how many blue screens do you get these days on Win 7? In terms of hardware compatibility, we've come light years ahead. Heck, in Win 8, I've found that 99% of the drivers are simply automatically installed without any prompts. Try that with XP.
 
2013-04-11 12:03:58 PM  

doglover: syrynxx: What's said is that it didn't have to be this bad. Windows 7 was solid, and Windows 8 could have been even better while also supporting the Metro-style apps compatible with its tablets as a secondary interface.  Enterprises might be upgrading to Windows 8 then.  Windows 8 would have gotten reviews as an improvement over Windows 7 worth upgrading to for the optional Metro experience.  The tablets would still sell as well or poorly as they're doing now, but Microsoft wouldn't have poisoned their Desktop OS by enforcing a tablet UI as the primary interface.

If they didn't screw the pooch every 2 years, they wouldn't be Microsoft.

[i.imgur.com image 640x502]


"Windows Blue" will be out long before anyone seriously considers and enterprise upgrade to Win 8.

/Argument ... invalid ... and all that
 
2013-04-11 12:15:48 PM  

MrSteve007: Agreed. Win 98 blew until 98SE came out. I'm amazed at how many farkers forget how much of a shiatshow XP was until SP1, and even a bit until the big improvements of SP2. There's a reason why the bluescreen became a cultural icon. Compared to ten years ago, how many blue screens do you get these days on Win 7? In terms of hardware compatibility, we've come light years ahead. Heck, in Win 8, I've found that 99% of the drivers are simply automatically installed without any prompts. Try that with XP.


Nothing I enjoyed more than showing up at a hotel or airport to see the overhead TVs that were supposed to show status showing the blue screen of death.

/good times good times
//XP is still my go too OS even though it takes several days to install and patch it
 
2013-04-11 12:17:59 PM  

LesserEvil: That doesn't mean I'd be happy with a 7 year old PC, but for web surfing, e-mail and typing word documents, a 7 year old PC works great. A 3 or 4 year old PC that had a decent video card when new would STILL be a good gaming machine.


Only if you are playing 3 or 4 year old games.  All my friends who state that PCs are the ultimate gaming machines are the same people who spend $2k a year upgrading the damn things.
 
2013-04-11 12:19:02 PM  

gingerjet: Nothing I enjoyed more than showing up at a hotel or airport to see the overhead TVs that were supposed to show status showing the blue screen of death.


My favorite place to see bluescreens are Las Vegas marquee signs:

zenarchery.com
 
2013-04-11 12:20:57 PM  

Generation_D: Turns out, a bunch of us still like the experience of a desktop PC for our laptops, and would have happily paid for it had Redmond decided not to push people towards a tablet interface instead.


Imagine that - who would have thought it might be bad business to give the customer what you want to sell rather than what they want to buy.
 
2013-04-11 12:33:56 PM  

skozlaw: You simply are objectively wrong and the sales numbers suggest you're in slim company subjectively.Windows 8 is a badly designed operating system that makes the machine less usable and offers few enhancements. That's why it's selling like dog turds packaged in sardine tins.


While I agree the metro part (and charms and all that) of windows 8 is crap, the reason PCs are selling badly recently is unlikely much to do with that given that Mac desktop sales have been dropping pretty much in line with regular PCs, which suggests a broad trend that people avoiding a specific version of an OS.
 
2013-04-11 12:35:45 PM  
Windows 8 is the new Windows ME, subby. Update your jokes :)
 
2013-04-11 12:41:07 PM  

LesserEvil: /Is there a production CPU over 4Ghz out of the box yet? We've had essentially the same clock speeds for over 7 years now.


I think the IBM Power series can do 4GHz, but it's a completely different CPU architecture from Intel/AMD, and only certain Linux distributions supported directly by IBM can run on it (i.e. can't run Windows, no cross-compatibility with other platforms).  It's also so expensive that only large corporations and the wealthiest kings of Europe can afford it.
 
2013-04-11 12:47:26 PM  
Maybe they should add an always on requirement for internet connectivity?
 
2013-04-11 01:05:10 PM  
"Yes, Apple also saw unit declines in the first quarter, but gets a bit of a pass. Why? If the iPad cannibalizes the Mac at least it's in the same Apple family. "

Can someone please tell me where I can get a job where they pay me to write strings of words this idiotic?
 
2013-04-11 01:19:44 PM  
Maybe this is why they're bungling the next Xbox - they're trying to push hardcore gamers back into the glorious PC gamer master race.

/or just conceding next round to Sony
 
2013-04-11 01:20:20 PM  

gingerjet: LesserEvil: That doesn't mean I'd be happy with a 7 year old PC, but for web surfing, e-mail and typing word documents, a 7 year old PC works great. A 3 or 4 year old PC that had a decent video card when new would STILL be a good gaming machine.

Only if you are playing 3 or 4 year old games.  All my friends who state that PCs are the ultimate gaming machines are the same people who spend $2k a year upgrading the damn things.


Current games would play fine on a setup I described. A Radeon 4870 will handle pretty much anything thrown at it, including today's games - Bioshock Infinite, Black Ops II, Borderlands 2... even Far Cry 3.

People who spend $2k every year to upgrade have lost their plot and aren't buying based on what looks good, but rather obsessing over how much anti-aliasing they can turn on, and how many monitors they can have in their setup. Those people haven't stopped buying new hardware, and aren't really the people I'm talking about.

Outside of those people, or Farkers and their Porn collections, PCs have reached a level of maturity in terms of storage capacity, speed and memory. As I stated before, GPUs handle 1080p monitors handily now. The big guns (high end GPUs) are only needed if you have some sort of eye-finity budget busting multi-monitor setup, like six 2560x1440 30" monitors. Even using a Creative Labs audio card isn't a must any more, with motherboards incorporating HD audio that doesn't demand a lot of CPU cycles. If you've built a decent gaming rig in the last 3 or 4 years, there is no reason why it can't handle the current crop of games.
 
2013-04-11 01:23:53 PM  

JustGetItRight: Generation_D: Turns out, a bunch of us still like the experience of a desktop PC for our laptops, and would have happily paid for it had Redmond decided not to push people towards a tablet interface instead.

Imagine that - who would have thought it might be bad business to give the customer what you want to sell rather than what they want to buy.


That really is the key.

Windows used to be the do-anything platform. Gaming rig, workstation, video production, coding, HTPC, Home Server....

Now Microsoft thinks that the computer is just a powerful media consumption device. Focusing solely on that, and stripping away features that made it useful as playing a jack of all trades, have made people sit on existing kit or even look for something better.
 
2013-04-11 01:35:00 PM  

germ78: Maybe this is why they're bungling the next Xbox - they're trying to push hardcore gamers back into the glorious PC gamer master race.

/or just conceding next round to Sony


The Age of Consoles is coming to an end.

Microsoft and Sony once had a road map in place, looking to turn Consoles into entertainment hubs, but Smart TVs have subverted the job of media streaming, along with cheap blu-ray players. Now executives are looking to exert more control over those consoles and the software run on them, eyeing the lucrative walled garden app markets (PSN and XBL), blissfully ignoring the fact that people want casual gaming to be portable (tablets, phones, etc...).

Now most PCs also come with HDMI connections, and most HDTVs have DVI and VGA ports. It is trivial to hook a PC up to your big screen TV. Why invest in a console when you can game on a full-fledged PC that offers a lot more freedom and a lot more variety? Even better, PCs are always backwards compatible, but the next crop of consoles will require you to buy your old games ALL OVER AGAIN to download onto your system's hard drive.

Game consoles made sense in the 80s, 90s and even up until a few years ago. Hooking an actual PC up to your TV in any useful way wasn't practical until HDTVs came along (outside of the old non-IBM type 80s computers, of course).

PCs (when I use this term, I am referring to Windows machines, of course) weren't even a consistent gaming platform until Windows 95 and the Games SDK/DirectX came along... and that really hit its stride with Windows XP. XP was also the first real attempt to make your PC more "TV-Friendly" with the Media Center edition, but of course, in the era of old school composite "STandard Definition" TVs, there still wasn't much point.

Realistically, when the PS3 and Xbox 360 were released, the capability to hook your PC up to your living room TV had returned with a vengeance... and in the 7 years since, it has started becoming mainstream. Witness the SteamBox - it's a console, that's a PC - or is it a PC that's also a console? One thing it isn't... it isn't a console the way Sony or Microsoft envision one.
 
2013-04-11 01:37:35 PM  

Lost Thought 00: PCs last longer than ever as the hardware is no longer becoming obsolete as quickly.


This is the real problem.

I bought a whole new PC about 4 years ago for £400. Since then, I've spent £90 on an SSD drive, £50 on a new gfx card and that's about it. The SSD and Windows 8 have made it feel like a seriously powerful machine. I might upgrade the CPU as some games have higher demands than X2 in it, but even Bioshock Infinite is only just over what my PC has in terms of requirements. Really, I'll wait until I can get an i7 mobo/chip combo for £250.
 
2013-04-11 01:45:40 PM  
LesserEvil:

/Is there a production CPU over 4Ghz out of the box yet? We've had essentially the same clock speeds for over 7 years now.

Clock speed (in CPUs, at least) is old-school e-peen stuff.  Parallelism is where it's at these days, mucho-core technologies and more importantly software that takes proper advantage of it.  Puts the pressure on the software boys, and takes the heat (literally) off the hardware.  There has been some upward migration in memory clock speeds, but that's about it.
 
2013-04-11 01:49:30 PM  

bdub77: I tried the Surface tablet, thought it was poorly designed, on the hardware end in particular.


The RT or Pro? I've used the Pro, and it's pretty good. But, there are better slates to run Windows 8 on. Friend of mine is a Microsoft Sales Weasel and he has a collection of them. The one I was most impressed with was an ASUS. Farking PC in a 17-inch tablet. Windows 8 really shone on it.
 
2013-04-11 01:55:19 PM  

JustGetItRight: Imagine that - who would have thought it might be bad business to give the customer what you want to sell rather than what they want to buy.


Seems to work pretty well for Redmont's R&D arm in Cupertino.
 
2013-04-11 01:56:16 PM  

jso2897: "Yes, Apple also saw unit declines in the first quarter, but gets a bit of a pass. Why? If the iPad cannibalizes the Mac at least it's in the same Apple family. "

Can someone please tell me where I can get a job where they pay me to write strings of words this idiotic?


Pretty much anywhere. You can do even better if you're willing to trash Apple at every opportunity with no facts to back up your opinion. Any actual knowledge of the computer industry is completely optional.
 
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