If we were talking about anything else, then such news would probably raise more than a few eyebrows. But then again, we are talking about Windows 8.1, the upcoming operating system from Microsoft.
The software titan is all set to debut its new OS, and expects to see several new devices powered by the platform to hit store shelves by the time Windows 8.1 hits general availability. In other words, once again, a new version of Windows is expected to boost the sales of PC hardware, just like Windows 8.
But the thing is that according to some analysts, the upcoming operating system is also fueling the decline of the PC industry, at least right now.
Gartner has done some digging into this, and found that PC shipments in Western Europe came in at around 10.9 million units in the second quarter of 2013 — translating into the sharpest of drops of 19.8 percent when compared with the same period last year.
And it is becoming clear that many hardware vendors are actually waiting for Windows 8.1 to hit the market before releasing new products.
Meike Escherich, principal research analyst at Gartner noted:
“The market exit of the netbook PC, and vendors reducing their inventory to get the new Intel chips and Windows 8.1 have fuelled the decline in Western Europe.”
The analyst capped it off by stating the obvious:
“We can expect some attractive new PCs in the stores for the fourth quarter of 2013, running Windows 8.1 with thinner form factors and longer battery life enabled by Intel’s Haswell processors.”
Nevertheless, it seems that good times are just around the corner, or at the very least better times than what the PC industry is currently going through.
Windows 8.1 is on track to hit RTM status sometime this month, while Microsoft is widely expected to announce general availability of its new operating system a few weeks after that.