Posts Tagged ‘Personal computer’

The PC is supposedly dying and the Windows 8 debacle is making things worse. But you wouldn’t have guessed that from the latest results at Microsoft. Google is up against it because per click revenue is much lower on mobile technology than on PCs. You wouldn’t have guessed it from the company’s latest results. IBM is back. It is a star of tech again, and growing like it used to in the good old days. Well, you wouldn’t have guessed it from the company’s latest results.

Google profits came in at $3.35 billion in the latest quarter, up 16 per cent from a year ago.

It was good stuff, but there was a whiff of something not quite so good, that creased investor’s foreheads. Per click revenue for Google fell 4 per cent. The explanation of the fall is not rocket science. The move to mobile is hurting, after all.

But CEO Larry Page didn’t want to talk about that when the company’s results were released. Instead he focused on the crazy. He said: “Companies tend to get comfortable doing what they’ve always done with a few minor tweaks…It’s only natural to work on what you know.” He said that Google, in contrast, does the things “no one else is crazy enough to try.” So what are these crazy ideas?

Well there are goggles, and fibre internet, and driverless cars, and bodiless human brains (maybe not the last one).

Microsoft isn’t quite so crazy. It does something rather sensible called selling software for money. Profits were up 17 per cent coming in at $6 billion.

The underlying challenge at Microsoft has not gone away, however. Its profit growth came from cost cutting and changes in its strategy with corporate clients. It is hard to see growth continuing from these areas for very long.

The snag is that innovators’ dilemma shows that really sensible strategies have a tendency to look dumb when we go through a phase of disruptive technology. The crazies can look quite smart.

Talking of smart, IBM – the company that suffered such a pasting from Microsoft all those years ago – embraced Linux, learnt the joys of open source software and engaging in tech communities, but didn’t have such a good quarter. Operating income was up 3.4 per cent to $3.4 billion but sales fell 5 per cent.

CEO Ginni Rometty blamed the disappointing performance on the company failing to close what she called “a number of software and mainframe transactions that have moved into the second quarter.”

©2013 Investment and Business News.

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The PC is dying or so say some. Its haters might start singing “Ding dong the witch is dead.” Is that why the record is doing so well in the charts at the moment, do you think?

Those who see Microsoft as the embodiment of evil empires, might be smiling. Yesterday saw data from IDC indicating that PC sales fell 14 per cent in Q4 last year, which was the biggest fall ever recorded. Data from Gartner was almost as bad.

On that news, shares in Microsoft fell 4.4 per cent yesterday. HP did even worse, however, with shares down 6.5 per cent. Dell lost 1.2 per cent and Intel 2 per cent.

Despite that, the Dow and S&P 500 closed at a new all-time high. Apologies for cracking a joke from the 1980s, but as chips inside PCs suffered, chips inside burgers did well.

Burger King saw its share price rise 4 per cent, as investors – rather rudely – celebrated news that CEO Bernardo Hees is stepping down.

Shares in Apple fell 0.3 per cent, although frankly it is hard to understand why its shares should fall at all; after all, the IDC data also showed that tablet sales are soaring.

In the UK the FTSE closed at 6416, up on the day before but just shy of 100 points less than the year high set in early March.

In Japan, investors continue to celebrate Abenomics – and all the bullishness and dovishness from the country’s central bank – with the Nikkei 250 closing at a new high for this decade, and at 13549, 30 per cent up so far this year.

©2013 Investment and Business News.

Investment and Business News is a succinct, sometimes amusing often thought provoking and always informative email newsletter. Our readers say they look forward to receiving it, and so will you. Sign-up here

It was the biggest fall since 1994 or 2001 or – to put it another way – it was the biggest fall since records began.

According to IDC, PC sales dropped 14 per cent in Q4 last year, the biggest fall it has ever recorded since it began collecting data in 1994. According to Gartner, PC sales dropped 11 per cent, which is the biggest fall it has reported since it began collecting data in 2001.

Considering the growth that common sense says dominated the PC industry in the 1980s and early 1990s, it may not be unreasonable to assume it was the biggest fall since the days when IBM first tied up with Microsoft.

Bob O’Donnell, vice President at IDC, focused on the disappointing uptake of Windows 8. He commented: “It seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only didn’t provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market.” Part of the problem is that Windows 8 is designed to work with touch screen PCs, but such products are expensive – a lot more expensive than their tablet rivals. The BBC quoted Colin Gillis, financial analyst at BGC, who said: “This is horrific news for PCs.”

Hold on a second what the… ahhhhhhh.

One hour later…..Sorry about that, computer just crashed, and it took an hour to get running again, what with it trying to download the latest version of this piece of software and that piece. Where were we? That’s right, awful. Sorry it is not just the sales that are awful, it’s PCs. Microsoft launched a new version of Word with features most of us will never need. What we really want is a PC that is fast, won’t suddenly lock or crash on us, or suddenly take an age to process the simplest of tasks.

How can it be that PCs are so frustrating, when thanks to Moore’s Law they are so much more powerful?

Isn’t that the real problem with PCs?

Tablets and smart phones, in contrast, are so neat, easy, and reliable.

That’s the real change the PC industry must grapple with.

©2013 Investment and Business News.

Investment and Business News is a succinct, sometimes amusing often thought provoking and always informative email newsletter. Our readers say they look forward to receiving it, and so will you. Sign-up here