Alex Wilhelm wrote a piece today on the relationship of Windows 10 and its possible dampening effect on the PC market. The case can be made that Windows 10 won’t do much for PC sales this year as Windows 8 users, according to HP CFO Cathie Lesjak, need to be flushed through before 10 takes off. Another component of this debate is that of the consumer market vs. the enterprise.
The debate over the effects of operating systems seems, generally, to be a catalyst for the consumer market. While the PC market may be weak, the personal computer is not going anywhere within the enterprise. Equipped with the knowledge that mobile computing will overtake the personal computer, the past 2 years have seen a decline in PC sales. However, while the promise of enterprise mobility is held up in tech circles, the practice is often limited as the enterprise is one in which different tools and technologies are needed for different purposes.
The initial decline in PC sales and the uptick in mobile devices were based on device diversification according to the Gartner Group. According to the Gartner Group, PC sales dropped just 0.2% in 2014 from 2013 while in the fourth quarter of 2014, PC sales increased by 1%.
There is also a generational component to the PC vs. mobility debate. People born from the late 1970s onwards have grown up and expected PCs to be part of society, they gained skills on these machines from an early age and leveraged these skills to further advance the use of computing. However, those children born from the late 1990s onwards have grown up in a mobile world with all its applications so the eventual shift will happen over the next decade.
A final thought on the PC and its use within the enterprise. With the rise of big data visualization tools and the need for a common platform to use such applications, PCs are still the device of choice to carry. On the other hand, mobile devices have not yet matured to truly be a mainstay and value creator within the enterprise. Similar to how the enterprise created an internal IT team to handle PCs, mobile management and security is largely outsourced to companies. As mobile device users mature, the management of such devices will become part of the general IT landscape. For the moment, PCs aren’t going anywhere within the enterprise.