Last year, PC manufacturers suffered a tough holiday quarter. The tablet market had matured enough that it was taking a bite out of PC sales, and particularly sales of notebooks. Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system was supposed to help with upgrade sales, but the software's new design did not widely appeal to consumers who have spent years learning the classic Windows interface.
Now the 2013 holiday season is finally ramping up and Windows 8.1 is expected to push notebook sales this fall. A new DigiTimes report states that notebook manufacturers have seen strong shipments of new Windows 8.1-based notebooks throughout September. The report's unnamed "sources from the upstream supply chain" stated that this trend is likely to continue with "robust" shipments expected for October.
Also helping tablets, DigiTimes' sources are beginning to see signs of signs of slowdown in tablet market growth. The report states that shipment growth for the tablet market is only expected to be 50% year-over-year - lower than the 70% predicted earlier this year. Next year's growth may be even slower, with 25% to 30% tablet shipment growth expected in 2014.
While it remains to be seen whether Windows 8.1 is really the operating system that consumers want, businesses may soon find themselves using it whether they want to or not. Microsoft's support for Windows XP will be ending early in 2014, meaning businesses will have to make the switch to more modern Windows or other operating systems soon. PC manufacturers are anticipating this, with some even partnering with Microsoft to offer upgrade assistance.
(Image courtesy HP)