In comments on a R.Pi thread, I’d mentioned that I was no longer feeling any need to keep using my Intel based PCs. (Even with Linux on them).
It seems that the Pi 3 has put me over the edge into “Pi Preference” land… and I’m no longer willing to accept the “compromise” of “almost” quiet… and 4 x 64 bit x 1.2 GHz cores beat one old 32 bit core even at IIRC about 2.4 GHz… something like that. Let’s check:chiefio@EVOdebian:~$ cat /proc/cpuinfo processor : 0 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 15 model : 2 model name : Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.40GHz
Yes, I know, I could go out and buy a SuperD-Duper New Giant Game Station Intel Wiz-Box!! and have a whole lot faster… but why? What I have does everything I need… Once you have: Browser, Email, Graphics Edit, Word / Calc / Office Stuff, Video and Music… I’m running out of things I need and don’t have.
I suspect this portends “problems ahead” for Intel and Microsoft…
That reminded me of an article I’d thought of posting about, but that had sat, unused, on a tab for several months.
The PC market has had its worst year ever
Wed, 13 Jan ’16 | 5:34 AM ET
PC shipments suffered their biggest yearly decline ever in 2015 due to headwinds ranging from the China stock turmoil to fierce competition, according to a new report.
Global PC shipments totaled 276.2 million in 2015, a 10.4 percent plunge from the 308.3 million recorded the year before, research firm the International Data Corporation (IDC), said on Tuesday.
It is the first time shipments have dipped below 300 million since 2008.
“The PC market remains competitive and the economic environment weakened further with the recent drop in the Chinese stock market,” said Loren Loverde, vice-president of IDC’s Worldwide PC Tracker program, said in a press release.
“However, PC replacements should pick up again in 2016, particularly later in the year. Commercial adoption of Windows 10 is expected to accelerate, and consumer buying should also stabilize by the second half of the year. Most PC users have delayed an upgrade, but can only maintain this for so long before facing security and performance issues.”
A 10.4% drop in one year. They randomly cast about for “why” ranging over the whole planet, then lay their hopes on a Windows 10 upgrade cycle forcing people to buy new hardware. Really?
Maybe, just maybe, folks ARE upgrading… just to something not on the MicroSnot treadmill…
Apple posts growth
While the overall PC market declined, Apple saw shipments increase 6.2 percent, making it the only company to post a rise. It is the fourth-biggest PC vendor by market share, shipping 20.7 million devices in 2015, IDC said.
Lenovo maintained its number one position in the PC market and held over 20 percent market share. HP was the second-largest vendor with a 19.4 percent share of shipments, while Dell was third. Acer came in fifth, behind Apple.
“Even as mainstream desktop and notebooks see their lifetimes stretched ever longer, Apple’s emergence as a top 5 global PC vendor in 2015 shows that there can be strong demand for innovative, even premium-priced systems that put user experience first,” IDC said in a press release.
My immediate family bought 2 or 3 laptops in the last year. ALL of them Macs. Plus iPhones.
I bought 3 machines too, all of them Raspberry Pi boxes.
I’m not seeing any reason at all to buy anything outside that set.
I think this matters.
Postulates a different set of causes:
PC shipments see their steepest drop ever
Windows 10 didn’t save the PC industry this holiday.
Jon Fingas , @jonfingas
01.12.16 in Personal Computing
Why the plummeting numbers? The analyst groups peg it on a combination of PC buyers’ behavior and Microsoft’s strategy. As we’ve seen in the past, PC upgrade cycles are getting longer — that old PC is more likely to be good enough for another year, especially in a world where smartphones and tablets still reduce the need for a beefy computer. And IDC notes that the free Windows 10 upgrades may have hurt PC vendors. When you don’t have to pay to get a new version of Windows, why not use the PC you already have?
Whatever the cause, PC makers don’t have a lot to look forward to in 2016. They were banking on a slew of new Windows 10 PCs turning things around this fall, and that clearly wasn’t enough. While there’s a chance that a flood of clever new hardware (plus many aging systems finally needing upgrades) will help out this year, companies may have to accept that they’re in for another rough ride.
I think it is worse than that. More people are simply not going the Microsoft Way but taking the highway…
Apple Macs provide a stellar experience, for more money. More folks willing to “go there” and pay up.
From smart phones to connected tablets, users with light needs (email, browsing, maps) are just using their mobile Android devices. I use my tablet with Android when on the road, and it is fine for that. No laptop needed.
More things that used to take a PC, are moving to non-PC hardware. Raspberry Pi is but one of a gaggle of vendors of small boards and ‘systems in a can’ that are running various versions of Linux. In this category I’d include the Chromebox and ChromeBook machines from Google. I was quite happy with my ChromeBox as a traveling companion desktop box that could drive the TV in wherever I was staying. Cheap, reliable, easy to use (modulo a certain Google Spying and Straight Jacket attitude from Chrome… but MS isn’t much better…) For my main desktop I’m now running on a Raspberry Pi Model 3 and find it Just Fine In Every Way.
Now not everyone will love *Nix based systems like I do, but more do every year. It has reached the point of very effective and usable desktop (in a dozen styles and flavors as you like it) with full and free Office and Graphics Edit software (and just about any other software you could reasonably need for the typical home user).
So where’s my motivation to go buy a $500 to $1000 New Whiz Bang PC? Just to “upgrade” to the latest mutation of Windowz? Why bother. They change it often enough to be a pain anyway, so why not just move over to something that doesn’t do that to you? Take one change one time and be done. Besides, you can also leave behind 99%+ of the virus problems…
In many cases whole countries have moved away from the Windows World. China, for example, uses a home grown Kylin operating system based on Unix (with lots better security…) and at one time Germany had announced their government was cutting over (don’t know the status on that) including the Police. Mexico’s schools were doing the cut-over some years back (again, I don’t know the current state of things). The point being “It can be done” for just about any size organization.
I suspect that all this is taking a heavy toll. At last.
I know I’m not going to buy any more MS Windows systems. I briefly went shopping for a laptop (prior to the PiM3) and found myself being ‘pitched’ Windows 10. “But I want one that runs Linux. Is this one Linux Compatible?”- blank stares… and no sales…
At this point, all the docs I have that need windows are very old. Windows 7 or XP era. I’ve not needed to open one in years, so they are just an aging archive. In most cases, Open Office / Libre Office opens them anyway. So I have an open issue of “conversion”, or maybe just validation that they are openable. But that doesn’t take Windows 10 to do… or a new PC.
I suspect we’ve reached the point where what bigger hardware and newer MS Mutated Windows gives you is more pain than benefit.
A long long time ago I drew a Bell Curve on a graph. Vertical lines dividing it at regular intervals. On the far right, Supercomputers. On the far left, PCs. In between, minis, mainframes, etc. Then pointed out that each of these was able to solve problems in that scale of problem. (Smallest problem on the left, largest on the right.) Over time, as hardware improves, the lines march to the right.
Every Moore’s Law cycle, the lines make ever more problems solvable by machines at the small end, and ever less requiring machines at the biggest scale. I then predicted that Supercomputers would have shrinking market share (not hard as at that time it was already starting) and then Mainframes and then Minis… That was about 1988 or so at Apple. Since then, Cray was absorbed into another company, IBM moved to “service based” business models. Compaq, Dec, Tandem, and a few others absorbed into HP, that is now having “issues” making money with PCs.
The lines continue to march…
But now on the small end, we have ARM chips in tablets, phones and Pi like boards. Apple stayed important by moving with that to major player with the iPhone and tablets, and a laptop that is as small as a tablet (but a LOT more usable).
As the small advances to the center, market share grows. As the large pass it, they have ever shrinking market share. It is inevitable. Just as Dec and Sun and the other “mini” scale machines boomed as they hit the top of the curve, they evaporated as they passed it and the PC became “enough”. At Apple, our Cray was replaced with Silicon Graphics desk machines (who later bought out Cray…) Now I can get more than that power in a $35 Pi. That whole scale of problem now takes a $35 machine, not a $35 Million one…
IMHO, that was why Microsoft tried to get into phones (but did it so badly as to be irrelevant today). It is also why a newer bigger desktop is less and less relevant.
It is my belief that the failure of sales is NOT due to some temporary thing, but due to so many smaller chips, boards, and boxes having advanced to the middle of the Bell Curve of problem size…