More PC woes: AMD tanks, Windows 8 misfires in Europe

More bad news for the PC and Windows 8. AMD stock gets clocked, and PCs sink in Europe.

The Dell XPS 18, due April 16th, is the latest Windows 8 touchscreen all-in-one that also has a battery.
The Dell XPS 18. Rich Brown/CNET

Maybe the PC isn't dead, but it's definitely showing signs of old age.

Shares of Advanced Micro Devices were off more than 12 percent Thursday on a downgrade from Goldman Sachs. And the PC market in Europe saw a sharp decline in the first quarter, according to Gartner.

Goldman downgraded AMD's stock from "neutral" to "sell," saying that AMD's upside in gaming devices, like Sony's upcoming PlaySation 4 , "only partially offsets the continued...challenges in the company's core PC business." AMD is the second-largest maker of processors for PCs.

Dell was hit hard on Thursday, too, reporting a 79 percent drop in profit due to slumping PC sales. The PC maker posted its earnings five days earlier than planned, due to The Wall Street Journal reporting leaked numbers.

Maybe more damning is the collapse of the PC market in Europe in the first quarter.

"The first quarter of 2013 brought the worst quarterly decline in Western Europe since Gartner started tracking PC shipments in this region," said Meike Escherich, principal research analyst at Gartner.

This echoes an April report from IDC that marked the worst-ever quarter since the research firm began tracking quarterly PC shipments in 1994.

Like IDC, Gartner cited Windows 8 as one of the culprits.

"Wide availability of Windows 8-based PCs could not boost consumer PC purchases during the quarter," Gartner said.

And the research firm reiterated a common complaint about the operating system's interface: "Although the new Metro-style user interface suits new form factors, users wonder about its suitability for traditional PCs."

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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