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PC sales are still in decline, EA wants (even more of) your money, VLC gets ported to Apple TV, Amazon Prime users get discounts on games, and how Pixar borrows scenes from other movies.

Even Windows 10 Can’t Stop the PC Rot

It’s a story that makes me feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, but PC sales continue to decline. In fact, things are getting worse, with market research firm IDC reporting that PC sales have fallen 10.6 percent over the past quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Gartner is reporting a slightly-better-but-still-depressing drop of 8.3 percent.

This all equates to 71.9 million PCs sold in the fourth quarter of 2015, meaning total shipments for the year were below 300 million for the first time since 2008. In terms of individual companies, Lenovo shipped the most computers, followed by HP and Dell. However, all three experienced a drop in sales, unlike Apple and ASUS, which both experienced small increases.

Despite these disappointing figures, IDC remains upbeat about PC sales as we head into 2016. Loren Loverde, Vice President of the company’s Worldwide PC Tracker, stated:

“PC replacements should pick up again in 2016, particularly later in the year. Commercial adoption of Windows 10 is expected to accelerate, and consumer buying should also stabilize by the second half of the year.”

“Most PC users have delayed an upgrade, but can only maintain this for so long before facing security and performance issues. We continue to believe that a majority of these users will purchase another PC, motivated by new products and attractive pricing.”

Windows 10 10 Compelling Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10 10 Compelling Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10 Windows 10 is coming on July 29. Is it worth upgrading for free? If you are looking forward to Cortana, state of the art gaming, or better support for hybrid devices - yes, definitely! And... Read More is clearly an important factor in all of this. Microsoft offering Windows 10 as a free upgrade Windows 10 Upgrade - Free Doesn't Mean It Won't Cost Anything Windows 10 Upgrade - Free Doesn't Mean It Won't Cost Anything There's a catch to the free Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft understands its audience all too well; they are more likely to pay for the freedom of control, rather than for extra features. Read More meant people could delay purchasing new hardware and still feel like they’re up to date. However, that free upgrade offer will end this year, and sales should pick up as a result. Fingers crossed.

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EA’s Origin Access Offers Endless Gaming

EA has launched Origin Access, a subscription service offering “Endless PC Gaming” for $4.99 a month. While “Endless PC Gaming” is a nice slogan, in reality it means downloads of full games from the EA Vault, pre-release trials of upcoming games, and a 10 percent discount on all Origin purchases.

The main draw is obviously access to the EA Vault, which currently contains 15 EA games, including Battlefield Hardline, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and the reboot of SimCity. EA promises to add more games in the future, but the company reserves the right to also remove existing offerings as and when it wants.

Origin Access is the PC gaming version of EA Access, which offers the same benefits on the Xbox One Xbox One Elite Bundle Review & Giveaway Xbox One Elite Bundle Review & Giveaway With a 1TB hybrid SSD and bundled Elite controller, is this the Xbox you're looking for? Probably not, but the controller is fantastic anyway. Read More . A subscription costs $4.99-per-month in the U.S. and Canada, £3.99-per-month in the UK, and €3.99 in Germany. EA hopes to brings Origin Access to more countries in the future.

VLC Comes to Apple TV for the First Time

VLC has landed on the Apple TV Apple TV 2015 Review & Giveaway Apple TV 2015 Review & Giveaway With competition from Google's Chromecast and Amazon’s FireTV reaching fever pitch, can Cupertino still hold its own in the battle for the space under your TV? Read More , with the popular media player available to download to your Apple TV right now. This version brings all of the usual VLC goodness plus, according to the press release, “a kind of ‘casting’, where you can send directly your video files for any browser or app to the Apple TV”.

VLC for Apple TV is essentially a port of the version available for iPhone and iPad. However, it adds some extra features, and new additions for future updates are already being beta tested. MacStories has given its first impressions on VLC for Apple TV that is well worth reading before you download it for yourself.

Amazon Prime Adds Discounted Games

Amazon has added another benefit to Amazon Prime, and this one should keep gamers of all ages happy. The company had added a 20 percent discount on all video games bought within two weeks of launch. This is in addition to the raft of Amazon Prime benefits already available 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now Scratch the surface. Amazon Prime has so many more benefits that people have forgotten about or simply don't realize exist. Read More .

Any Amazon Prime member buying a physical copy of a video game up to two weeks after launch will have the discount applied at checkout. The offer also applies to pre-orders and collector’s editions, but not to console bundles.

With new games costing around $60 at launch, this could save gamers $12 every time they buy a new title, making Amazon Prime an ever better deal Is Amazon Prime A Good Deal? Is Amazon Prime A Good Deal? Amazon’s Prime membership has been around for several years now and has, over the years, gained some notable upgrades. Once no more than a free shipping offer, Prime is now a streaming media service on... Read More than it already was.

How Pixar Steals from Other Movies

And finally, Pixar is responsible for some of the greatest movies ever made. WALL-E, Up, and Toy Story 3 are all masterpieces that make you forget you’re an adult watching animated films 10 Strange, Dark & Creepy Animated Films & Cartoons [Stuff to Watch] 10 Strange, Dark & Creepy Animated Films & Cartoons [Stuff to Watch] The following films are not your average animated adventures, but tales of greed, morality and obscure production that take the audience out of their comfort zone. Feel free to laugh awkwardly, raise your eyebrows or... Read More . But Pixar’s greatest skill may be paying tribute to classic movie scenes.

This video shows just how often Pixar borrows from older films, using the same action sequences or camera pans as other movies. Some are a stretch, but most are undeniable. And with Pixar being masters of their craft, the filmmakers being mimicked should regard this as a privilege. [H/T Reddit]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Why do you think PC sales are slowing down? Would you ever pay for Origin Access? Will you be using VLC on your Apple TV? Does 20% off new games make you want Amazon Prime? What classic movie scene(s) have you spotted in Pixar movies?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Image Credits: Amanda Tetrault via Flickr

  1. Eddie G.
    January 17, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    AS far as the sale of PC's goes? They'll survive. they've been surviving throughout all the OTHER predictions that they'll de off. Only to.....well survive once again. The fate of PC computers rests solely in the hands of the buyers, when consumers no longer WANT or NEED PC's computer's then they will die off. But since there are so many developers, sysadmins, musicians, scientists, doctors, and other statistic crunching individuals on the planet who require a solid and reliable PC for their work...then I don't see the PC going away any time soon.

    On the topic of Linux.....yes...I use it....with no wanderings back into Windows-land. I don't own or use a Mac either. I don't have the kind of money Apple requires for me to check my email online....at home...in the comfort of my home office. As for me, I don't have to worry about upgrading my hardware every time Microsoft comes out with a new version of the same old software. I also don't have to fret about getting hit with the latest threat against IE....or Adobe Acrobat Reader,......people listen. The days of being locked in to a company's software or hardware are pretty much over. If you like using Windows, then great, use it and shut the heck up about it. If you like using Apple, wonderful, use it and shut the hell up.....if you like using Linux, awesome, use it and shut the hell up. The "War Of The OS'es" ended a while ago. There's now Windows Apple....Linux.....Android....CyanogenMod...and others. use what you like and leave others alone with the choices they make. For those who keep crying form the rooftops that the end of the PC era is upon us, why not wait until that's ACTUALLY TRUE before making that call?. Wouldn't waiting until you hear about Dell, HP, Lenovo, Asus, Acer and other major companies shutting their doors forever be a better time to make this announcement? Instead of claiming something that's claimed at the beginning of every year, and the end of every quarter.....I am actually in the market for two MORE PC's, as I have bare metal server work that needs doing. So enough with the "Sky Is Falling" routine. Find other interesting facets of the IT world and report on it.....please?

  2. Diana
    January 15, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    I like gaming on a PC, so I will always have a desktop. But yeah... ordinarily I build my own, so I can customize the features I want. So for me, I don't care what HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc do. Those don't suit my purposes anyway.

    That said, I have had Amazon Prime for a few years now, and the gaming discount is only going to make me appreciate it more! It already doesn't take many orders for the Prime to pay for itself, and add the discount on the games and it is certainly well worth the price you pay. I'm lovin' it!!!

  3. Michael Myers
    January 15, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Hi Dave,

    Entertaining article sir. I find it funny that because most of the people who use this site are fellow nerds, they're going to slam the major manufacturers. Your average user isn't going to build a PC, or trust the local box shop to build them one and hope they don't go out of business. I've built many PC's in my time, but the cost and relative ease of running a restore (which many manufacturers now offer an option to leave out added software) on a commercial system is simple. If I want to take the time, I can restore Windows to a factory default with the key without even using the image. The money I save on buying a custom built PC nowadays is easily spent on a better video card and more memory or an SSD.

    It seems that your commenters aren't paying attention to the data, but rather just being the typical snobs they want to be. Just insert the word 'Linux' for pre-built or crapware, and you have the same convo we had in the 90's with, "You use WINDOWS? I would never use winblows, I have a Linux box". I do find it funny that the mention of Apple's increase in sales went uncommented so far. What, no Apple bashing?

    I will say that I was disappointed in the Pixar video. They do pay homage to many classic movies, but most of the "similar" shooting doesn't seem intentional at all. Seems like a lot of coincidences.

    • fcd76218
      January 15, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      I was wondering whether anybody will take a gratuitous cheap shot at Linux and you, sir, have obliged.

      "I do find it funny that the mention of Apple’s increase in sales went uncommented so far. "
      So did Asus's, which you did not comment on, either.
      A "small increase" does not a trend make. If Fruitco sold one hundred more PCs year over year, that would be a "small increase" for them. If Fruitco sees a small increase for another year or two then we talk of a trend.

      "What, no Apple bashing?"
      Why bother? Just like with viruses, Windows/Microsoft attract the most bashing because they are the biggest.

  4. fcd76218
    January 13, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    "Even Windows 10 Can’t Stop the PC Rot"
    And it won't. No matter what the pundits at IDC opine, PC sales will continue to go down. More and more people are realizing that, for social networking, messaging friends and accessing the 'Net, a smartphone and/or a tablet are sufficient. No need for an immobile box or even a laptop. Only those users who really need what a PC provides will continue buying them.

    At this point, an O/S would have to be really, really revolutionary to bring any users back to the desktop. In spite of all its supposed glitz and dazzle, Win 10 isn't that O/S. Win 10 is just an incremental advance over the previous versions. Besides, users are interested in applications, not an O/S. Right now all the popular applications are in the cloud to be used on any device.

    "How Pixar Steals from Other Movies"
    Clickbait title. Unless somebody has sued Pixar for plagiarism or copyright infringement, this is a non-issue. You can take ANY movie and find elements "stolen" from other movies. After over a 100 years of churning out movies, the industry has used up the vast majority of unique ideas, shots and takes. Besides, the movie industry likes to stick with a winner. If it works once, use it until it becomes hackneyed and cliche.

    • Kalin Yancy
      January 15, 2016 at 2:48 am

      "Only those users who really need what a PC provides will continue buying them."
      And they would do well to avoid buying pre-built PCs.

    • fcd76218
      January 15, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      Why?
      Most of those users are savvy enough to know how to get rid of crapware and how reconfigure the PCs to their requirements.

    • Dave Parrack
      January 15, 2016 at 3:28 pm

      I happen to agree on the PC front. The world is moving on from them.

      I don't agree that the Pixar section has a clickbait title because clickbait is pretty pointless buried so deep within an article. It's up to you whether you consider these shots stolen, borrowed, or paying tribute.

    • Michael Myers
      January 15, 2016 at 7:10 pm

      I took no cheap shot at Linux. I made no criticism of the OS, only that the conversations are similar. There are many excellent pre-built systems, so why blanket criticize them?

      100 extra systems would not be reported as a small increase. Total sales will have a much greater variance, and I didn't mention ASUS because they're also a pre-built vendor which was already covered.

      In fact my only conversation was about snobbish nerdy rants. Thank you for proving my point.

    • fcd76218
      January 15, 2016 at 10:49 pm

      "I took no cheap shot at Linux."
      There was no mention of Linux until your post. If most of your second paragraph is not a cheap shot at Linux, then it is doing a pretty good imitation of one.

      "100 extra systems would not be reported as a small increase. "
      You ought to loosen your collar a bit. You are taking things too seriously. That was a funny in reference to Apple's small market share.

      "In fact my only conversation was about snobbish nerdy rants."
      So you think that Win 10, or ANY O/S for that matter, can bring the masses back to the desktop? The unwashed masses do not give a hoot about the O/S under the hood. All they care about is the apps; whether they an play CandyCrush and/or Angry Birds on their device. Desktop PCs and laptops are becoming niche devices.

  5. Illutian Kade
    January 13, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    PC Sales? As in the crapware you get from Dell, Lenovo, HP, Gateway (lol, they still a thing)?

    Or are we talking about DIY systems? You know the systems people should be building instead of wasting money on cheap crap puked out by the above mentioned companies for a 'premium price'.

    ((Reads article))

    Yep...the article is talking about the crapware computers.

    • Dave Parrack
      January 15, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      That's because most people have neither the skills or the interest in building their own computers.

    • Illutian Kade
      January 15, 2016 at 11:56 pm

      Sad state of 'Today', when people can't RTFM...or even WTFM if you have a secondary system.

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