The surprising state of the PC market in two charts

desktopReports of the PC’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Written off after a slow 2013, PCs fought back last year with sales growing 1 percent in the fourth quarter year over year. The 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) offered further optimism, showcasing advances that could breathe new life into PCs, including new hybrid laptop/tablets, curved screens, and ultra-thin laptops with big boosts in battery life. Clearly, PCs aren’t down for the count just yet.

In fact, according to a new SHI poll, they’re far from it. We commissioned an online survey, conducted by Harris Poll in December, of U.S. IT professionals to peek into their 2015 plans for new hardware and devices. We asked what percentage of PCs they plan to replace this year and whether desktops, laptops, tablets, or Chromebooks would be the replacement. Their answers show that PCs might have a longer lease on life than many think.

Here’s what we learned: Continue Reading…

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Ultrabooks breathe new life into PC notebook market

PCs used to be big hulking towers that barely fit under your desk and sounded like a Saturn 5 rocket when you booted them up. Today, thanks to the relentless march of innovation-and some well-timed funding-the PC comes in a variety of flavors: netbooks, notebooks, pocket PCs, and Ultrabooks.

The Ultrabook™ form factor is changing the rules, and proving once and for all that the PC isn’t dead. Intel started testing the idea and specifications behind the Ultrabook in 2011, after Apple’s manila-envelope-inspired MacBook Air was met with roaring success in 2008. The Air wasn’t a full-breed Ultrabook, per se, but it did shape consumers’ expectations of what an ultra-compact, powerful notebook could look like.

After the Air came products like the iPad and other tablet devices, and the cry went out that the PC was dead and the tablet market was here to takeover. But even though consumers loved tablets, the devices just weren’t ready for most corporate environments.

Business leaders found that tablets were sorely lacking in terms of processing power and added an additional dimension to their infrastructure security. The security component alone was more than enough reason for IT professionals to be just a tad too wary to take their entire workforce over to a pure tablet environment.

That’s where Ultrabooks are finding their stride-combining a high-performance system with a small form factor design, capable of giving end users the power of a high-end, traditional notebook with the mobile, lightweight, and consumer-level features they admire most in their personal computing devices. Continue Reading…

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