New Generation of Laptops Spell Trouble for PCs

    26 May, 2013

    From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report.

    Competition in the world of personal computers is fierce. Computer makers are working on new ways to persuade people to buy PCs. The advertising campaigns could be seen earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Mike Fard is a marketing representative at Intel, his company manufactures Semi-conductor chips for computers.

    New Generation of Laptops Spell Trouble for PCs
    Worldwide sales of PCs dropped 14 percent in the first three month of 2013

    "This year it's all about touch, we have touch computers based on Windows 8 running the Intel processors, but even more exciting than just touch, is the ultra-book convertible. What that means is that you have a standard laptop that converts into a tablet and we have multiple designs that feature this capability."

    Yet, sales of personal computers are slow. Recently, research company IDC reported that worldwide sales of PCs dropped 14 percent in the first three month of 2013. The company said this was the worst drop since it started collecting information in 1994.

    In April, Intel said its earnings fell 2.5 percent to 12.6 billion dollars, compared to earnings last year. Intel's net income dropped 25 percent to 2 billion dollars.

    One possible reason for the slow sales is the rise of tablet computers, such as Apple's iPad and other mobile devices. Intel and its competitors have sought to work their way out of their sale's trouble by offering new products. These include ultra-book, a thin light weight notebook computer which came out in 2011. But the inventions have yet to increase sales.

    Industry experts are also concerned about reaction to Microsoft windows 8 operating system, it was released last October.

    Bob O'Donnell, an IDC vice president said the Windows 8 launch not only failed to increase PC sales, but seemed to have slowed the market. He blamed Microsoft for developing a program with what he calls "radical changes", he has criticized the company for removing the start button from the operating system.

    Without reacting to the criticisms, Windows Corporate vice president Julie Larson-Green announced this month that Microsoft will release a Windows 8 update. She expects the first public preview on the update to take place in June.

    Intel has said it wants to be more influential in the manufacture of chips for mobile devices. Its chips began appearing in smart phones for the first time about a year ago. But critics say Intel's latest technology called "Ivy Bridge" is far behind that of the competition. The company believes this will change with its new mobile chip design which is set for release later this year.

    And that's the Technology Report, I'm June Simms.