IDC (International Data Corporation) published a fresh press release in which they note that PC shipments took a nosedive of 13.9% in the first quarter of the year, marking this the most significant drop since the research firm began tracking data in 1994. Total shipments rounded up at 76.3 million units. Final quarter of the 2012 reached a drop of 6.4% so this is a major step down ? and apparently Windows 8 is to blame.

"At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market. (?) While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the UI, removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices. Microsoft will have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if it wants to help reinvigorate the PC market," said Bob O’Donnell, IDC Program Vice President.

The only manufacturer that hasn?t recorded a global drop in shipments is the Lenovo, while all of the rest, including HP (-23.7%), Dell (10.9), Acer (-31.3%) and ASUS (-19.2%) went down. Actually, if we are to note down the US shipments, Lenovo is the only manufacturer that recorded a 13% growth in shipments while the rest went down ? including Apple (-7.5%). Globally, this Chinese company is that much closer to dethrone HP as the leading PC manufacturer ? while Apple computers are likely being cannibalized by their own successful line of tablets and smartphones.

Top 5 Vendors, US PC Shipments, Q1 2013

Theo Valich, Editor-in-Chief at Bright Side of News* commented the report of the research firm ?The writing is on the wall. If you don’t come with the products that people want to use, you will not sell anything. Unless we’re talking about high-end, I see computers of today offering less and less appeal and worse experience than you can get on a mobile phone.? Content consumption seems to be moving from the PC world into portable devices such as tablets and smartphones, and this comes as surprise to no one, really. While IDC did note that such devices had a role with this PC decline, Windows 8 stance remains unchanged ? ?The reaction to Windows 8 is real,? Jay Chou, an IDC analyst told The Wall Street Journal. Netbooks have gone to dust (worldwide shipments down further 31 percent), and Ultrabooks are not picking up enough pace according to some analysts. Traditional PCs are here to stay, as many consumers don?t think they should still upgrade ? as the computers are still ?fast enough?, with companies following that particular trend. Lenovo is still managing to go against such trends ? being committed to the PC segment and Windows 8 with a bit of an extra ? in their statement they noted there is even more room (for them) in the regular PC market, but are working their way in the smartphone/tablet market as well.

Regardless of the cause(s) of these results, there is no doubt that 2013 is an important transition year for the whole PC industry, and manufacturers will have to figure out what makes the consumers? hearts tick in order to adapt. Singling out the operating system as the main reason of the fall in what is truly a very dynamic market with countless other factors involved (economy, tablet and smartphone pace and general lack of need to upgrade the PCs to name some) may be ultimately be very wrong.