I think Microsoft are scared about the 'Death of PC'


Ep. VI: Return of the turret
May 7, 2009
Microsoft would postpone the oh-so-inevitable death of the PC if they'd just release some AAA games for it every now and then...

V8 Ninja

New member
May 15, 2010
Until either Apple stops stating that their hardware works because of magical elves or we hit a graphics plateau, the tower PC will not die. Plain and simple.


New member
Mar 7, 2012
PC is alive and kicking
MS is afraid of PC because you cannot control PC as easily as for example Xbox
(and they are used to say what you can and cannot to do)
PC crowd will always find a workaround to do what we want
And MS is trying to limit this freedom in Win8

We will apply unofficial patches, cracks and other software to get functions we want
So Microsoft can either give in or fuck off


New member
Jun 30, 2009
As a software developer, I know EVERYONE in my office uses a tower PC. Most have two monitors attached, and about 4-5 usb ports used simultaneously. There are just some things tablets/etc cannot do from the development side.

The problem with laptops has always, and probably will always, be price. A laptop will almost 100% of the time cost more than an tower with similar specs.

I don't see Win 8 as a sign that MS is losing faith in the PC market. I see it as a sign they recognize the profitability of the handheld market.


New member
Nov 12, 2009
PC dying? That's a funny joke... Windows 8 won't kill the PC. Windows Vista didn't. Microsoft is just trying to make an OS that can be used on anything even though Linux has been doing that for years. Smartphones and Tablets will never kill the PC. There will always be some reason for going and sitting down at your computer, and let's be honest, FPS games on tablets fucking suck.


New member
Oct 31, 2008
It's an interesting theory but pretty much all the debate in this thread, it's a bit ...unnecessary. What I mean is MS could be doing all this thinking, but also it's pretty easy to demonstrate that Windows 8 is exactly what they'd make if they weren't doing any thinking either and given the structure of MS at the moment, that seems to more more believable and should suffice as a reason unless proved otherwise.

This includes negative thinking too. They're aren't trying to screw people over, it's not about fear of control (otherwise they wouldn't bundle in an entirely normal uncontrolled desktop).

What it is the corporate buzzwards are Cloud, Connectivity, Apps, Mobile, Touch, Cross-Platform.

That's pretty much it. We know that the business world is obssessed with this stuff at the moment, the big profile successes have all involved some of that and all that has happened is the MS Execs have said, okay these are the big things, we need to have them in our platform. So they've basically created a PC iPhone.

It's not piercing insight into the state of PCs or a sign of faith or lack of faith. They're just trying to innovate by copying someone else.

As to whether it's good, I'm not really decided yet. I'll wait till a couple of years after it's released before deciding. But generally I personally have been finding the idea of an actual desktop PC unnatractive, but I haven't felt the need for touch interface (although I don't get the hand of tablets, so I'm well out of step with a lot of other people here). I've always wanted my OS to act more like my webbrowser tbh. It annoys me that I can't organise programs as easily as I can organise tabs and I want ctrl+ shft+t functionality and the ability to restore a crud load of open programs that I shut down on my last section. So Apple and Google have gone more in the direction I wanted.


<Insert Avatar Here>
Jul 3, 2008
Desktop solutions aren't going anywhere, MS is just having an image crisis. For decades they've been the solid foundation that the majority of the tech world has built on, they want to be the whole house.


New member
Aug 22, 2009
I don't think so. PCs are still important parts of our lives. One could argue that's the internet as a whole, not PCs, but plenty of sites don't work well on mobile, especially when it comes to videos.

There's also simple stuff like typing that mobiles don't do as well as a pc with a full size keyboard.


New member
Mar 11, 2011
Ultratwinkie said:
LordFish said:
Actually consoles are dying.

Developers hate Microsoft and Sony, because frankly they keep squeezing developers for all their worth.

Who are they going to develop for?

A PC game with steam, 40 million accounts total.

A console game that costs over 20 million and has very low possibility of success.

Unless you have a minimum of 20 million dollars laying around and a well known IP, they won't care about you.

Consoles are over 7 years old. They are laughingstocks now. Any PC now can out perform a console. Especially now that the market opened up through casual and social gaming.

What makes more sense? A high budget game with low profits or a low budget game with high profits? Its clear casual is the new AAA.

Not to mention that Activision makes the majority of its money from PC gaming. That's right, the big dog of gaming makes more money from PC gaming.
That is simply the worst possible argument to justify the claim of "consoles are dying": Steam has 54 million accounts, but how many of those are active? It doesn't cost anything to make a steam account; I know many people among my IRL friends signed up when they heard about F2P TF2 and then after week never used it again.
It does, however, cost something to buy an Xbox 360 (or a PS3 or Wii, but I'm using the 360 for my example), and therefore by definition people are invested in their products; the 360 alone has sold 70 million units, and the chances of one of those users being active and still buying games is significantly higher than on Steam, and in addition to this, Xbox live memberships are on the up.*

Now, the crux of your argument appears to be "any PC now can out perform a console". The real issue with this is: why does that matter? The social gaming part of PC gaming can be played in the browser by literally anyone, whilst in the AAA sector, it doesn't matter significantly if PCs have higher specs because AAA developers, mostly, aim their products primarily at being able to run on consoles. You call consoles "laughing stocks", but exactly who are they laughing stocks to? A minority of hardcore PC gamers who would never have played console anyway.

Frankly, most people simply dont give a CRAP. Most people as in the majority of the AAA gaming market. As in, the people that the devs and publishers, as a whole, get most of their money from. Your average teenage schmoe who likes videogames but isn't defined by them doesn't care about building a rig or graphics cards or even mods; they want to sit down in front of their TVs and play generic FPSes and sports games on slitscreen with their buddies.
Not only this, but making the point that consoles are 7 years old is ridiculous seeing as how near the Wii-U is to release, and how probably by 2014 Sony and MS will have released another set of consoles.

You also seem to imply that developing for consoles costs more than developing for PCs? You got any sources for that? Because from I'm standing, it would appear that having to optimise a game for so many different drivers and specs and pieces of hardware for PC would make console development comparatively simple.

Not to mention that Activision makes the majority of its money from PC gaming. That's right, the big dog of gaming makes more money from PC gaming.
Activision-Blizzard MIGHT make more on PC than Consoles when combined, thanks almost solely to the still titanic World of Warcraft, however, alone there is absolutely no question that Activison makes more, VASTLY more, in fact, on Consoles than PC.


J Tyran

New member
Dec 15, 2011
Tablets and phones are getting more and more powerful and are starting to rival low end or older PCs and notebooks and netbooks but the usability (Best term I could come up with) just isn't there yet. The phone I have has a quad core CPU, a 3D graphics processor and 2GB of RAM, in addition its a MP3 player and HD media player and packs a camera and all of the standard features phones and tablets have now. Yet if I was a programmer, or an accountant or computer artist it would be awkward to do my job on a regular basis. The same can be said for tablets, by the time you are attaching keyboards or anything else you might as well go buy a decent ultra portable.

For the general user tablets and phones might replace laptops, I can say personally my netbook I used for a portable browser etc has been shoved into the drawer and hasn't seen the light of day since I got my first decent smartphone (and since I got my first uber phone my tablet now gathers dust too). Checking email and other updates or fiddling with documents are so much more convenient with something in your pocket.

For actual work or gaming though sitting comfortably at a desk with a desktop or large screen notebook is far better and I am guessing more productive too, I cannot see that changing any time in the near future.

Ultratwinkie said:
Consoles are over 7 years old. They are laughingstocks now. Any PC now can out perform a console. Especially now that the market opened up through casual and social gaming.
The thing is a console costs less than a semi decent graphics card, so while the PC outperforms it the console wins on price. The same can probably be said for the next generation, there are serious concerns from the console manufacturers about the current economic climate and they do not want to release a £400 or $600 console again. If consoles can hit the £300 or so price point that's only the cost of a high end GPU, and I am betting the console graphics will be looking pretty good next gen and not a whole let less than most gaming PCs (look at the Steam survey most machines are not fire breathing monsters, in fact the graphics they could render probably dont look a whole lot better than consoles produce now).


New member
Nov 3, 2011
Rawne1980 said:
Did you know, the desktop PC has been "dying" since the 80's.

There is always some new thing that is going to "kill the PC".

Funnily enough, 30 years later, it's still here.

PC is not dying. PC's will be around for a pretty long time.

no, no, no this time it really is dying, it's different than every other prediction for at least a decade now. Surely you knew this?


New member
Aug 22, 2011
Lots of valid points are being made here. I would like to add my view on windows 8 and its relation to (the dying?) PC. I've followed the developments quite closely, because this is the stuff that interests me, and at first I genuinely didn't understand what Microsoft was doing with windows 8. I thought Steve Balmer simply lacked any sense of strategy (in fact, it's well know he's not a "tech" person; he's a salesman. When new technology is shown to him he simply has no idea whether it's any good. There are some nice anecdotes with regards to this).

Now, to start with the rise of tablets and smartphones. They caused Microsoft to change tack with windows 8, so they're ultimately the cause of their new strategy. Apple is making extraordinary amounts of money with their ipad and iphone and google has had lots of succes in the smartphone market as well. Microsoft, in the meantime, had been making tablets and smartphones before (at least, they stimulated their partners to make products based on Windows XP and Windows Mobile, respectively) but they never caught on (simply because windows wasn't suited for touch and windows mobile was utter crap). Apple moved in with their iphone, which immediately caused quite a stir. They stimulated developers to develop apps in many ways, for instance by making it simple to publish them in their app store. This had another advantage: Apple took a share of the cut on all apps sold on their iphones. Developers made apps because Apple is a large company and would likely sell many phones, because the iphone was a nice gadget with a pretty decent OS. There is a mutually reinforcing effect: 1. more apps make the iphone more useful (any OS is only as useful as its functionality plus third party software), 2. which means more consumers buy it, 3. which means more people start developing for it because the market for apps expands. 4. GO TO 1.
Apple was making loads of money because the demand for iPhones (partly due to the large amount of apps) made them able to keep prices high and make a lot money on every iPhone sold, while they also made money on the large amount of apps sold in the market.
Google was already developing mobile software and released shortly after, stimulating app development and competing on price. Android began catching up with Apple; the number of apps available and (thus) the number of users came closer and closer. It is now the biggest mobile OS.

Microsoft, in the meantime, had completely missed the boat. Steve Balmer considered just about every development in software of "strategic importance", which meant MS was doing lots of things at the same time and lacked the money and focus to make any of them succeed (think Bing, Bing maps, social networks, MSN, Windows Mobile, skydrive). It funded these largely loss-making projects with the huge income generated by Windows and Office.

So what was Microsoft to do? They wanted to enter the growing mobile market, but how? They had a sucky mobile OS for which there was virtually no software. The problem is that in that case there is basically a self-fulfilling prophecy: few people use the OS -> no software will be developed for it -> few people use the OS &c. Even if MS made a good platform it would likely fail due to lack of apps and userbase. They did make a good mobile OS, Windows Phone, and indeed it absolutely failed to gain any kind of traction in the market (despite positive reviews).

In the meantime, mobile devices were not just making Apple and (to lesser extent) Google a lot of money, they were also threatening the position of the PC/Windows and Microsoft as a whole, especially when tablets were introduced. Tablets and smartphones can do some of the stuff computers can do, like simple browsing and e-mailing and casual games. Especially netbooks and, to lesser extent, laptops were threatened by this development. Some people only need to do the simple stuff.
But this isn't just about expanding markets (mobile) or contracting markets (PC). The popularity of Apple's devices also threatened the hegemony of Windows in the desktop/laptop market: by making people get used to a different interface and company, they may also be more likely to switch to the desktops and laptops of that company. While iOS and OSX are still different environments, Apple is integrating the two. By making iOS apps available on OSX and vice versa, Apple could also become far more attractive and thus bigger in the PC market.

MS now had two problems to tackle: while they had finally produced a good mobile OS (without a sizeable market share, however), tablets had become popular. MS had nothing to compete in the tablet market and was failing in the smartphone market.

MS clearly required an alternative solution. Just making a good mobile OS for tablets and smartphones wasn't going to cut it due to a lack of software due to a lack of market share due to a lack of software.

What I personally though MS should do was port windows software to tablets. They could either release tablets based on the x86 architecture or tablets based on ARM or both. Apps could work on x86 without porting, but it would be required to adapt their interface. Make a simple version of Windows, suitable for touch, which requires few system resources to run smoothly (cutting features from the full Windows isn't going to cut it, a new version is needed. You don't want to have to run anti-virus software, for example). Take a huge bag of money and reward developers for porting their software. By making them port software anyway, developers might also port their software to ARM (especially in exchange for financial benefits). Introduce the touch interface into the regular Windows as well for people to use on all-in-one PCs or laptops with touchscreens or to use as a media centre. This enables them to get used to the interface.
Then you have tablets and smartphones that work with touch and have the software Windows can run. That would at once have propelled MS to become perhaps the biggest, or at least one of the biggest, players on the mobile market.

When MS first showed win 8 I was absolutely confused. They did not port software, instead integrating the regular and the mobile OS in Windows 8. Why force desktop users to use an interface based on touch controls? I know some people like the new interface, which is great, but the fact of the matter is that it's not suitable to power users period. Why integrate two OSs that are used for completely different purposes (casual consumption of media versus work, creation, "complicated" consumption (like games) and some casual consumption)? Why make the desktop environment an app that lacks convenience? Why use two completely different interfaces in one OS?

I couldn't get my head around it. MS has massive pockets, if any company could get x86 software to work on ARM (and vice versa) MS would be it. Their main asset (seriously) is the massive amount of third party software available on Windows. Why not use this asset? Even weirder, why WASTE this asset by relegating it to a not very well functioning desktop app, which requires switching back and forward between Metro and the desktop app? Why make existing third party software (developed for a mouse and keyboard) a lot less effective by requiring users to use an OS based on touch?

For weeks, even months, I could not find a better answer than "Steve Balmer simply doesn't know what he is doing." However, while it is true Balmer doesn't understand his own damn market, he has a clear plan. It's just going to be the demise of Windows and Microsoft. MS might be able to keep going for a few years, but I predict it will have lost its dominance in the next 10 or so years.

Although Balmer now has a strategy, it is still trying to do too much. The thing is, MS doesn't WANT the desktop app to be used. They can't NOT offer support for old software, because that would mean nobody has an incentive to stay with Windows. MS keeps supporting the software but makes it annoying to use. At the same time it's stimulating third parties to port their software to the Metro interface. This means MS doesn't immediately loses its market share (people still need Windows for their software) while it makes it attractive to start using the Metro environment in favour of the desktop app.
Because by forcing desktop users to use Metro apps, there is a large market for Metro apps, which are also suitable for tablets, and MS can take a 30% cut on all apps (including the lucrative market for third-party desktop apps!).
Balmer is doing this not just to become successful on the mobile market, it also want to take the same cut on software as Apple is doing (or at least, shareholders want that).

The big mistake Balmer, as non-techie, is making, is that he confuses the rise of mobile devices with the rise of touch input.
The PC may be dying in the sense that full towers may well disappear. Sure, desktops can provide higher performance because there is more space for parts (to keep hardware cool), but even relatively slow processors (like Intel Celerons or Pentiums) are already capable of handling almost any daily task except "hardcore" gaming. Tablets (or even smartphones) may be able to handle these tasks in the future. To buy a desktop for some hardcore gaming or some complicated calculations is attractive only to a small crowd (and the cloud or mainframes might be able to do these calculations when using tablets).
HOWEVER, the PC as a combination of mouse and keyboard and a massive standalone screen is not going to disappear. Sure, tablets may handle the computations in the future, but the mouse and keyboard and immobile screen are simply far more efficient to use for work.
The problem with Win8 is that when this is going to happen it still got nothing, because it is completely focused on touch. Tablets and smartphones yet serve different purposes and thus require an OS with different capabilities (tablet OS has no use for 90% of desktop OS features) so they should use a designated OS based on these purposes (casual media consumption). Once tablets become more powerful, the desktop OS can be integrated with the tablet OS to replace computers by connecting the tablet to the screen and mouse + keyboard.

For that to be attractive, however, it is necessary that the OS offers both very good touch support and good mouse+keyboard support. Win8 only offers the former.
Win8 also doesn't have any third party software for its ARM tablet OS and much of the third party software on the x86 OS does not yet support Metro. Power users do not benefit of Win8 at all.
I think Win 8 will be a worse flop than Windows Vista. Companies aren't going to switch, and I doubt many consumers will (especially not the ones that are crucial to MS, that is: power users. Casual users may as well buy an Apple or Android tablet because they don't need the third party software in the first place). That will put MS in a hilariously shitty position. No sizeable market share because the strategy of forcing desktop users (= huge market share) to use metro (= apps for its tablets) doesn't work. Low sales of win 8 to desktop users. Missing the boat of integrating desktop and tablet OSs by already doing so (isn't it ironic?).

MS should have focused on making their software work on tablets, making their tablets popular and attractive to develop (ARM) apps for, which would make its Windows Phones attractive as well. At the same time it should be working on integrating the tablet OS with the desktop OS to enable tablets to offer the same functionality as desktops now (also by letting the cloud or mainframes do complicated calculations). Instead, they are reducing the desktop to the level of functionality of a tablet by focussing on touch.

Edit: wow, MASSIVE wall of text.
Also, I'm no MS hater, I like Windows 7. I do not use Linux or OSX.


What this
Jun 14, 2012
hatseflats said:
Monster Snip
You, I like your viewpoint on this whole Windows 8 business going to kill the desktop. It won't yet, but the thing is, people aren't as tech-savvy as we predicted back in the nineties. I still see people scared shitless whenever I open a command prompt to renew my wireless connection.

In order to appeal to that crowd, of course MS is going to dumb it down. Sure it won't appeal to the power users (and shame on MS on forgetting the enterprise sector), but that's where the money is.

To summarize, I agree with you completely and MS better make Win8 bearable on desktop for this to work.


New member
May 18, 2010
Tablets, or whatever the alternative to a PC is, will have to supplant gaming rigs as well as work computers. Rendering, CAD, more intensive programming - these require a PC.

MS can and will do whatever shady stuff it needs to try to stay relevant, but I don't think the death of the PC is coming anytime soon.

Adept Mechanicus

New member
Oct 14, 2012
I am honestly worried about Windows 8. I like Microsoft because it's more customizable, it doesn't treat you like a child, you can fucking right-click (seriously Apple? Everyone else figured this out 30 years ago.) and it feels like it's your own, personal machine that you bought rather than an apartment where Apple is the landlord.

By making their OS the same as every other tablet, they sacrifice what has kept Microsoft in business for so long, only so they could compete with iPads. Here's the problem with that: nobody can compete with the iPad. The iOS looks better than anything Windows has ever made, and since a big part of tablet computing is ease and user-friendliness, Apple sweeps the competition every time. Rather than pandering to the same audience as everyone else, they should have focused on convincing their base (PC gamers, customization nuts and their dads) to stay with them.


Fuhuhzucking hellcocks I'm good
Mar 17, 2010
No. They want to kill the PC, they're not afraid of it dying.

They want to make the PC more like a phone, tablet or XBox; systems over which they have much more (almost complete, legal) control.


New member
Dec 10, 2011
TK421 said:
First of all, you don't have to be a prick.
It's the internet. If the OP made an intelligent argument, they would have received an intelligent reply.

Windows 8 is, very obviously, a mobile platform designed for touch devices. That MS is trying to blow smoke by saying it's more is just old marketing excess. Since MS has never (and will never - if they know what's good for them) force anyone to upgrade to their latest OS, everybody who has Win7 on their desktop and likes it can... well, keep it. Businesses will certainly do so.

If you have a tablet, though, it might be an improvement. Windows 7 can be made to work on a tablet, but it's not as smooth as it could be. Win 8 might be an improvement for my tablet, then, and as tablets start saturate the market (which they will - they're getting cheaper, and they do 90% of what average people need a PC to do, save typing) Microsoft finally has the market covered.

Best yet, it's the only OS that power users on tablets might be interested in. It's a small market, but one that's unaddressed until Win 8.

So while desktop sales have slowed to the point that HP and Dell are dying, tablet and other mobile PCs have picked up. Microsoft is moving with the times, and I don't blame them for that. I will happily make fun of people who say it's a poor desktop OS when it's clearly designed to be a touch oriented OS, and I will happily make fun of people poking fun at Microsoft for daring to change their interface after 17 years. Mostly because emerging PC markets - the mobile devices - don't have a mouse and keyboard attached at the hip.

Secondly, this is bullshit. Metro blows for those of us who are power users.
Then don't upgrade until Win 9. Unless you buy a tablet with Windows RT, Microsoft isn't forcing you to upgrade.

Lastly, developers are horrified of Windows 8 and the app store. Valve is against it. Gabe called it a "catastrophe." Mojang is against it. Notch Said: "I'd rather have minecraft not run on win 8 at all than to play along."
Well, Newell doesn't like it because he doesn't think 'touch' is a long-term interface and doesn't really specify what would drive OEMs away. He's thinking a decade or more ahead, which is great for Valve, but would kill Microsoft - who thinks maybe 3-4 years ahead.

I don't really care about Mojang's opinion. The guy is nice, but he's made one game and fuck all else. He's backed failures, and he's been wrong.

It's not that we refuse to adapt. It's that we have standards of things that we're willing to adapt to.
If there's something you can only do in Win7, that's great. For the majority, Win8 still does everything needed.


New member
Mar 15, 2008
I hate to be 'that guy', especially since I know that advocating for something like that is the stupidest thing one could do, but


Yeah, no tablets MIGHT replace clip boards. That's it.
That's actually the most accurate and truthful prediction concerning this coming "shitstorm".