Microsoft representatives hold a new Surface tablet computer as it is unveiled by Microsoft in Los Angeles, California, June 18, 2012. Microsoft Corp introduced its own line of tablet computers on Monday at a much-hyped press event in Los Angeles, marking a major strategic shift for the software giant as it struggles to compete with Apple Inc and re-invent its aging Windows franchise. (Photo : REUTERS/David McNew)
Looks like Microsoft is becoming its own worst enemy.
Reports by Gartner and IDC indicate that PC sales in the second quarter of 2012 have been down as consumers await the arrival of Windows 8, Microsoft's latest operating system.
According to the figures, PC makers shipped about 87.1 million PCs in the second quarter of 2012, less than the 87.2 million units shipped a year ago. The top five PC makers in the world in that quarters were HP (13 million units), Lenovo (12.9 million), Dell (9.5 million), Acer (9.3 million), and ASUS (6.1 million). HP and Dell sales have declined from year to year while ASUS and Lenovo have increased their sales and revenue.
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The OS's delayed release has also prompted the highly promoted ultrabooks-super thin and light laptops-to fail as well. Microsoft spent a great deal promoting the ultrabooks and Microsoft's OS is sold mostly on PC. The decline in sales because of the wait for Windows 8 is only hurting the computer giant.
The report also indicated that Apple, the PC's greatest competitor faced a decline in Mac sales growth year over year and even lost market share.Apple is set to launch its next OS, the Mountain Lion by the end of the month, giving them a few months head-start on Microsoft and its expected October launch of the Windows 8.
According to IDC and Gartner, the sales should go back up with the release of Windows 8. In fact, IDC's Jay Chou states that even a Windows 8 launch date with more information on the OS's features would help build up the market and address consumer uncertainty regarding the new product.
Windows 8 is said to be the most dynamic modification of Windows' OS since Windows 95. The operating system will feature touch-centric interface that utilizes a series of tiles similar to those found in the Windows Phone. Those tiles will portray such information as calendar appointments, social networking updates, and emails-all in real time. The OS will also feature the traditional Windows desktop and current users of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 will be able to upgrade to the new interface for just $40. Users who upgrade will also get the pro version instead of the base version of Windows 8 and enable users to download the Windows Media Center for no cost. The upgrade offer will expire on January 31, 2013.