Is the PC almost dead?

Microsoft and Intel are doing their best to save the PC industry. The Computex trade show in Taiwan will feature new form factors utilizing the latest releases from Intel and a the version of Microsoft’s Windows, Windows 8.1. Wintel lives on. We have seen the onslaught of Windows 8 devices that has opened the door for evolution of the existing laptop and tablet devices. There are now many new hybrid laptops, touchscreen laptops and convertible tablet devices. The netbook was short lived and now tablets are positioned to pass PC sales a few short years.

Intel’s Haswell platform is planned to be available in June or July. The next generation CPUs are aimed primarily at laptop and hybrid tablet manufacturers, offering increased battery life and performance. Desktop users can also expect a considerable boost in power. PC makers hope for a boost once Windows 8.1 aka Windows Blue is paired with the Haswell based technology. Intel claims the new chips will offer “double the graphics performance” for laptops, and triple the performance for desktop PCs. Reportedly, the Haswell chips will reduce power consumption to 7 watts; a significant leap from the 10 watt Ivy Bridge Core processors.

According to IDC, “the U.S. market came in slightly weaker than an already negative forecast, contracting 12.4% compared to a forecast of –9.5%. This reflected weaker consumer demand, including a weak back-to-school season, and an industry-wide inventory clean up.“

A Windows 8.1 refresh could be holding the supply chain back while people wait for their START button to be put back. Windows 8.1 or Win Blue is a very aggressively roll out for Microsoft. The new Win Blue is expected to resolve some of the drawbacks with Win8, bringing back the “Start” button and provide better adoption by users used to previous versions of Windows.

The demise of the PC based technology is not as close as everyone would like to theorize. At least not until tablets and hybrids evolve enough for them to handle the needs of the business users. We still love our big screens, keyboard and mice.