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Boring PCs Slow PC Industry, Says Gartner

By - Source: Gartner | B 83 comments

Gartner has, once more, revised the shipment forecast for PCs this year.

The market research firm now believes that the PC market will only grow by 9.3% to 385 million units instead of the previously forecasted 10.5%.

By now we are used to this kind of news, as it is generally believed that it is the tablet - mainly the iPad - that is killing PC market growth. However, Gartner is taking a slightly different spin this time and says that there is just no consumer interest in mini notebooks anymore. Gartner says that the tablets have some impact, but the analysts do not believe that not many consumers will replace their notebook with a tablet. The much bigger problem is that there are no compelling reasons for replacing PCs that are generally seen as good enough.

The problem may be the commoditization of the PC and its hardware and the declining importance of the processor. Translation: The PC is just too boring today and new PCs have virtually no value over older computers. Gartner believes that there is still economic uncertainty, which additionally slows sales and that there is a need for business sales to drive growth. As business upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, Gartner believes that the business market has substantial opportunity for growth.

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  • 16 Hide
    NightLight , June 11, 2011 1:03 AM
    well... i think software is to blame too. nobody is pushing the envelope anymore... once you have a core2duo or equivalent, you can run pretty much anything. everyone has 2 to 4 gigs of ram. again, this is enough for any program too run smoothly.
  • 15 Hide
    malphas , June 11, 2011 1:27 AM
    aznguy0028Apparently Gartner never heard about a few little games coming out this year...something called Diablo 3 and Battlefield 3 which will drive crazy numbers of pc upgrades.

    Only a tiny, tiny minority of people so much as open their case of their PC. Almost all PCs are prebuilt, not custom rigs, and the majority of them are laptops. The vasty majority of PC users do not use them for gaming.
  • 13 Hide
    RazberyBandit , June 11, 2011 1:22 AM
    A "boring PC" is all the average home user needs. Email, web browsing, streaming video, office programs, social shovelware games - all are handled rather well by low-end hardware. Until the time comes where everyone suddenly wants or needs to do something which actually requires cutting-edge tech, the plethora of "boring PCs" on the market will remain.
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  • 3 Hide
    aznguy0028 , June 11, 2011 1:01 AM
    Apparently Gartner never heard about a few little games coming out this year...something called Diablo 3 and Battlefield 3 which will drive crazy numbers of pc upgrades.
  • 16 Hide
    NightLight , June 11, 2011 1:03 AM
    well... i think software is to blame too. nobody is pushing the envelope anymore... once you have a core2duo or equivalent, you can run pretty much anything. everyone has 2 to 4 gigs of ram. again, this is enough for any program too run smoothly.
  • 2 Hide
    Stardude82 , June 11, 2011 1:06 AM
    What's more there has been no big revolution in Netbooks since the Atom came out. My Netbook (with 1GB of RAM) runs 7 as well or better than it ever ran XP.
  • 13 Hide
    RazberyBandit , June 11, 2011 1:22 AM
    A "boring PC" is all the average home user needs. Email, web browsing, streaming video, office programs, social shovelware games - all are handled rather well by low-end hardware. Until the time comes where everyone suddenly wants or needs to do something which actually requires cutting-edge tech, the plethora of "boring PCs" on the market will remain.
  • 15 Hide
    malphas , June 11, 2011 1:27 AM
    aznguy0028Apparently Gartner never heard about a few little games coming out this year...something called Diablo 3 and Battlefield 3 which will drive crazy numbers of pc upgrades.

    Only a tiny, tiny minority of people so much as open their case of their PC. Almost all PCs are prebuilt, not custom rigs, and the majority of them are laptops. The vasty majority of PC users do not use them for gaming.
  • 1 Hide
    gnookergi , June 11, 2011 1:28 AM
    aznguy0028Apparently Gartner never heard about a few little games coming out this year...something called Diablo 3 and Battlefield 3 which will drive crazy numbers of pc upgrades.


    That won't make much of a difference. Both of those games can easily run on any mid range graphics card (which most people who game on their PC already have). Only the niche hardcore PC gamers actually spend the 300+ on the high end ones.
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , June 11, 2011 1:36 AM
    NightLight said basically what I would like to say only in a different way. Moores law is dead, non-existant. The processor, video card, hardware in general from a computer isn't doubled in speed in 2 years or 1 year and 6 months even. Few people really need to upgrade, and those who do only need a part switched out (typically the video card). I don't know what this article is trying to imply concerning the idea of a boring pc. Whoever this Gartner is, he sounds like a fool or a liar. If he is trying to imply that computer sales themselves are related to the way a computer case looks I'd laugh in his face.

    I am pretty sure most people decide to buy a computer or a new computer because they want something concerning the idea of the computer, not as a mantle to put over their fireplace. I am sure asthetics sways some peoples various purchasing decisions as in this one instead of that one. But I highly doubt anyone is going around saying, I can't find a computer in the color I like so I will buy something else instead.
  • 8 Hide
    malphas , June 11, 2011 1:41 AM
    n58902345I don't know what this article is trying to imply concerning the idea of a boring pc.

    That's why you shouldn't embarassed yourself with your reply. Also, Gartner is not an individual person, and Moore's Law doesn't imply anything about computer speed doubling ever two years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gartner

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore%27s_law
  • 5 Hide
    dalethepcman , June 11, 2011 2:00 AM
    n58902345NightLight said basically what I would like to say only in a different way. Moores law is dead, non-existant. The processor, video card, hardware in general from a computer isn't doubled in speed in 2 years or 1 year and 6 months even.


    You sir are sadly mistaken. Hard drives, Video cards, CPU's have all increased in speed by leaps and bounds. and will continue to double or more every two years.

    Its not that hardware hasn't gotten WAY better (core2duo vs 2nd gen I7, 500mb/sec SSD vs 80mb/sec HDD) Its that WoW, Farmville, and console port'd games have made the PC's requirements stagnant, so there has been no reason to upgrade unless your old system broke.

    I am not bragging, I don't own a super powerful machine. I have an i7-920 with 2 gtx 260 video cards and 12GB of ram. For me to push my GPU's and CPU's to their maximum, I have to run 3 xp vm's with Wow in each VM plus once on the host, each on its own screen.
  • 8 Hide
    chick0n , June 11, 2011 2:26 AM
    so ... what kind "exciting" PC do you need ? Something like Apple that's either all white or silver and sell for 1000 more ?
  • 3 Hide
    kingnoobe , June 11, 2011 2:47 AM
    n5 that's pretty much what the guy said. Boring as in no point of upgrading.

    "The much bigger problem is that there are no compelling reasons for replacing PCs that are generally seen as good enough."

    And dale you are right, except it doesn't matter about games. Gamers are only a slim margin of pc users.

    Until people have a valid reason to buy new computers their not gonna (again for the average person as there are some of us that will upgrade often). If I didn't game i would still be on my old athlon 64 with 2gb of ram. Because it easily runs the internet, email, movies/shows.. Well pretty much anything I need it to do except run games (and it'll even do that to an extent).
  • -1 Hide
    captaincharisma , June 11, 2011 2:55 AM
    boring? PC's are better then they were 6 years ago where they were slow as hell and they all came in the color beige. i remember in 2005 when i bought a pre built computer they snickered at me because i wanted everything in black
  • 4 Hide
    JamesSneed , June 11, 2011 3:04 AM
    I like boring PC's. You know the ones that run almost anything without crashing? So boring.
  • -2 Hide
    j3ff86 , June 11, 2011 3:11 AM
    What's with the Digital Versus image?
  • -3 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , June 11, 2011 3:25 AM
    aznguy0028Apparently Gartner never heard about a few little games coming out this year...something called Diablo 3 and Battlefield 3 which will drive crazy numbers of pc upgrades.

    You forgot Crysis 2 and Modern Warfare 3. I had to upgrade my computer to play Crysis 2.
  • 1 Hide
    sykozis , June 11, 2011 3:33 AM
    captaincharismaboring? PC's are better then they were 6 years ago where they were slow as hell and they all came in the color beige. i remember in 2005 when i bought a pre built computer they snickered at me because i wanted everything in black

    It's been more than a decade since "they all came in the color beige"... In fact, by 2005, the majority of prebuilts on the market were in black, black/grey or black/silver cases unless you were buying a Compaq or Emachine who were both using off-white cases.
  • -3 Hide
    aznguy0028 , June 11, 2011 3:40 AM
    malphasOnly a tiny, tiny minority of people so much as open their case of their PC. Almost all PCs are prebuilt, not custom rigs, and the majority of them are laptops. The vasty majority of PC users do not use them for gaming.

    Agreed. That is why i said "upgrades" and not total outright new pc's. Things such as more ram, change of video cards, new hard drives, blue ray drives, etc are bought all the time to add into a pc.
  • 1 Hide
    cloakster , June 11, 2011 4:13 AM
    JOSHSKORNYou forgot Crysis 2 and Modern Warfare 3. I had to upgrade my computer to play Crysis 2.


    This right here is the problem, MW3 being considered a game that will stress your PC. hahaha, yea right :p 

    Battlefield 3 will hopefully bring a lot more people back to PC gaming :) 
  • 3 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , June 11, 2011 4:16 AM
    It's funny how an average user has NO IDEA about what he actually needs from his computer and how (and for how much money) it can achieve that. Therefore, for the last 3 years the media tells us what we want. First, it was cloud computing, that SUDDENLY became "the future of computing", and it just so happened that no one has ever asked for such a thing. Now it's this - totally, PCs are boring, let's all get a whole bunch of fancy-looking useless underpowered devices each doing a different thing... wait, I thought a single PC can do all those things? Why must I... ah, I almost forgot - tablets are killing the PC market, because you can already custom-build them, install any OS, tweak them, upgrade them, they can run Crysis... wait, what do you mean they're meant for "casual gaming and entertainment"? Why are they killing the PC market, then?

    Because it's not the tablets, it's the stupid users who don't need anything more from their computer than a tablet can do. Though, in that case a tablet is still a poor choice - similarly priced netbook will be much better.

    To "kill" PC market you need to shut down Intel, nVidia, AMD and a bunch of other companies and shift all the PC gaming to consoles. Sounds realistic to you? No? My point.
  • 0 Hide
    southernshark , June 11, 2011 4:17 AM
    The PC needs to change. It is boring. It needs new functionality.
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