The End of the (PC) as We know it…And I feel fine

Recently Dell Inc. have been working to move the company private. The Texas based computer maker recently made the argument in an SEC filling that it no longer felt it could compete in the market for a number of reasons. One reason, that has been latched onto by the tech press was that, is the increase in the use of non-Windows operating systems.

So in other words Dell needs to go private because people are no longer buying Windows.

(At least that will be the byline for many)

For a while now the PC industry has been facing a slowdown; people are no longer buying laptops and desktops in the number they use to. Many are keeping PCs well past upgrade time in part because of cost and use case; as long as the browser works they are fine. In lieu of PC (and Mac) purchases many are moving to tablets.

In the last few years PC makers have moved the market by pushing low cost Netbooks, which increased the bottom line but also reduced margins. Some OEMs have begun selling Chromebooks, laptops running Google Chrome OS and seen moderate success; most likely because these devices are essentially replacement Netbooks (aggressively priced low). However tablets seem to have replaced laptops in terms of device sales.

While many PC makers had hoped Windows 8 would reverse the trend, it has not. Redmond’s latest OS is aimed at the new tablet market and is an ill fit for fixing the desktop decline. The fact is computing trends are moving the PC market away from being a major mainstream player and some OEMs are having difficulty adjusting.

For a company like Dell the consumer computer market has too many uncertainties on which they feel they can compete. Tackling the high end or low end is a serious conundrum. The low end means making little back on devices and the high end is occupied by the likes of Apple. The increased pressures on the PC industry has forced major changes; from HP buying Palm to Microsoft entering hardware. The good news is this increase competition means good news for consumers but much heartburn for companies.

To read a great analysis of Dell read Ed Bott’s Dell’s directors forecast a grim future for the PC industry


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