PC sales in decline

The upgraded Windows 8 is due for release in October.

The sales of PCs have fallen again in the UK and Europe but the release of Windows 8.1 could turn this around yet.

Gartner found that PC shipments declined by 19.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2013 when compared to the same three months in 2012. In the UK, this decline was measured at 13 per cent.

Research director at Gartner, Ranjit Atwal noted that this is the 11th consecutive quarterly decrease in the UK.

He suggested that the decline was because many were awaiting other products due later in the year. Within businesses, the market for PCs declined by two per cent as they continued to move to Windows 7.

However, the release of Windows 8.1 could turn this around if it can offer enough to businesses and consumers. Mr Atwal said: "The product transition involving both hardware and the upgrade of Windows 8.1 needs to reverse the steep declines we have seen in the PC market."

Microsoft enthusiasts may have already experienced Windows 8.1 as the technology giant made the technology available to preview in June.

Computer-making companies will be able to use Windows 8.1 later this month but it will not be released to the general public until October.

Among the features Microsoft will incorporate into the upgraded version of Windows 8 will be the start button, which was not initially included in the operating system, and Internet Explorer 11.

Microsoft promise that the new internet browser will be faster and better for use on touch screens.

Speed is certainly of interest to businesses who are migrating to the cloud. When using solutions for business analytics, companies need to be able to access a lot of information in a short space of time. Using the cloud allows more data to be sent faster and a speedier browser helps to make the most of this.

A touch-friendly browser is also useful for businesses who have joined the Bring Your Own Device trend. With many more employees finding that their smartphone or tablet is preferable to a laptop, touch screens are become more prominent in technology.