My PC is good enough

Yesterday I wrote at Incognitosis (in Spanish) about the latest data that Canalys published about the PC segment. The numbers are crude but real: sales are down for all hardware makers, and even Apple is feeling the pressure.

Analysts from that firm suggested -not really a new argument- that the smartphone is guilty for that reality, but there is at least one more reason:

Your PC (or laptop) is good enough.

I made two polls that would be useful to confirm that idea, but the results were not so definitive as I would have thought. The first question, “How many years have you been using the same PC or laptop?” was pretty conclusive: 7 out of 10 users have a machine that is at least 3 years old.


The second question was more interesting: “Are you thinking of buying a new PC or laptop?“. The answers were pretty different from what I would have assumed:


As you may see there (although the poll is in Spanish) there are many people here who is thinking in buying a new desktop PC (around 40%) or a new laptop/convertible (46%) in the next three years. I think my audience is really tech related -the same happens here- so the poll isn’t that definitive in either case, but I would have thought of much more reduced percentages there.

After analysing the results, there’s an obvious fact: we updated our old PCs because we had to. If we didn’t, we were just missing the future. We wouldn’t have been able to enjoy those exciting features Windows and its apps and games were giving us. We always want more, but in that case we also needed more in order to  avoid falling behind.

That’s not the case anymore. The market is mature and most people feels no need to upgrade or buy a new PC. Their machines are good enough, and Microsoft has made a big mistake with Windows 10, an OS that runs even better than Windows 8 or Windows 7 in old hardware. What happened with minimum requirements? Suddenly the equation didn’t work for us. And that’s a tragedy for Microsoft, Intel, AMD and all the rest of companies that once were successful thanks to that feeling of being compelled to buy a new PC.

Too bad.

No more Windows 7 PCs in a year: why Windows users don’t upgrade to Windows 10?


Within a year, OEMs will only be able to ship PCs with Windows 10.

Windows 10 market share isn’t for sure what Microsoft expected at this point. With a 7.94 percent (6.63% on Sept’15), it’s a little disappointing that Windows XP systems are still far from W10 with a 11.68 percent.

The free update from Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 seems not enough for those users with legitimate copies of those versions. What’s wrong? There are several reasons that could lead to that decision:

  1. No perception of advantages: people don’t see the benefit of the upgrade, even though Windows 10 is in many aspects the most ambitious OS from Microsoft. People probably don’t care about the ‘One Windows’ paradigm, but they will (without noticing) soon enough.
  2. Fear to break something: inexperienced users probably don’t understand what is the update process even though Microsoft gives some good help on this. Maybe they insist too much on the update, though.
  3. Resistance to change: that’s probably the main reason for users. The ‘If ain’t broke, don’t fix it‘ argument has been the cornerstone for Windows XP users for years. That operating system continues to be good enough for hundreds of millions of users around the world even though there are no security updates anymore.

There’s no easy way to fix this, but stopping the availability of PCs and laptops based on Windows 7 (and 8/8.1) will probably help. Mandatory updates aren’t an option, and I guess only a radical redesign of the operating system -people do judge a book by its cover- would have helped that transition.


Update: The radical redesign I’m talking about would be in line with what for example happened with iOS 7 (fastest adoption rate in iOS history) or with Android 5.0 Lollipop and the new Material Design. There were many other features on both upgrades, but the new interface was clearly one of the things that attracted users the most.  

Source: OEMs to stop selling PCs with Windows 7 by October 31, 2016