A Windows 8 surge later this year? What are analysts smoking?

IDC predicts PC shipments will go up in second half of 2013 as Windows 8 gains acceptance. Where do these guys get their crystal balls?

Claims proffered by professional prognosticators IDC are cropping up all over the tech and mainstream press. If you believe what IDC says (this week), worldwide PC shipments will continue to slump in the first half of 2013, but will rebound in the second half.

IDC's press release quotes research analyst Rajani Singh as saying, "IDC expects the second half of 2013 to regain some marginal momentum partly as a rubber band effect from 2012, and largely thanks to the outcome of industry restructuring, better channel involvement, and potentially greater acceptance of Windows 8. We also anticipate a new refresh cycle momentum in the commercial segment driven by the end of Window XP life support."

If you believe that drivel, you need professional help.

In the second half of 2013, all of the people who really wanted new Windows 8 PCs will already have them, and they will be craning their necks trying to figure out Windows Blue. A few companies may be foolish enough switch en masse to Win8 machines in the second half, but I'd be hard-pressed to name just one at this point. Yes, some companies will need to replace their XP machines, but they've been replacing dead XP PCs for years, and I see no reason to predict a big boost in second half of 2013 PC sales in anticipation of XP's long-anticipated (but never realized) demise.

And a rubber band effect? Have you seen one? When's the last time you walked into a computer store and had to fight through crowds of people, anxious to get their hands on a Windows 8 computer because they couldn't find one in December? Sure, the Surface Pro wasn't available in late 2012, and there may well be some pent-up demand for it -- but a rubber band effect?

Then there's industry restructuring. Dell's on the skids; although the slide may be temporary, Dell's sales certainly aren't going to reek of roses and bubbly by the second half of this year. Hewlett-Packard has so many irons in the fire it's hard to tell what the company is trying to do.

The most likely candidates for any increase in PC sales are the Asian manufacturers: specifically Lenovo, Asus, Samsung, and Acer. Even IDC expects that sales in North America and Europe will fall substantially in 2013. The rebound is projected to occur in Asia -- which is rapidly switching to tablets, like the rest of the world.

The only restructuring I see in the non-Apple PC industry is with big-name U.S. manufacturers shifting as quickly as they can out of the PC manufacturing business, and Asian manufacturers putting more and more resources into building and selling non-PC devices.

As for "greater acceptance of Windows 8" in the second half of 2013 ... I just wonder where these guys get their crystal balls.

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