The Windows 8.1 public preview is slated for release next month, but that is not stopping analysts from weighing in on how the platform will fare in the grander scheme of things.

It goes without saying that Windows 8.1 has often been described as Microsoft’s best bet (and even a final chance) to lend a hand to the faltering PC market. But unfortunately this is not something that is going to happen at least if you ask research firm IDC.

IDC just rolled out its new analysis only a few weeks before the public preview of the new OS.

And the research firm has changed its PC shipments forecast for 2013, saying that this particular segment of the computing industry is quite likely to continue its decline in the months to come.

Statistically, IDC believes that PC shipments worldwide will continue their drop, and eventually reach 321.9 million units — a decline of 7.8 percent compared to 2012 figures. A scenario like this will only make things more difficult for PC hardware vendors.

Microsoft and its partners expect Windows 8.1 to infuse new life into the collapsing PC industry, as Redmond aims to address many of the complaints it received for Windows 8.

Along with adding several new features, the software titan is also trying to make the upcoming operating system a bit more familiar for the users.

Both Windows 8.1 and a new generation of Surface tablets are expected to be unveiled at the BUILD developer conference next month, with retail versions of these products expected to hit general availability just in time for the holiday season.

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