AMD: Microsoft "getting back to their roots" with Windows 10

Windows 8 has been harsh on PC makers, with the bottom falling out of the market. But with Windows 10 on the horizon, PC OEMs and component makers are hoping that a fresh start may jumpstart flagging sales.

Windows 8 has been harsh on PC makers, with the bottom falling out of the market. But with Windows 10 on the horizon, PC OEMs and component makers are hoping that a fresh start may jumpstart flagging sales.

And no one is hoping for a recovery more than chipmaker AMD. Speaking to Ars Technica, AMD's senior director of client products Kevin Lensing said that "what [Microsoft] was after [with Windows 10] was getting back to their roots, of owning the PC experience again and making it enjoyable for the end user."

He went on to say that with Windows 8 Microsoft had "made it less about the PC," and that the company had "tried to migrate more to an app-centric environment."

And in the process of trying to herd users into the Window Store, Lensing says, Microsoft "walked away" from "63 million mainstream PC buyers who value the PC because they want to do productivity" and not "spend all their time in the Windows Store."

But while AMD is feeling confident, others aren't sharing that feeling, with analysts at IDC predicting PC shipments to fall 6.2 percent over the year.

And by offering Windows 10 for free to existing Windows 7 and 8, Microsoft isn't giving people a real incentive to upgrade. In fact, people might not start upgrading their PCs until that offer expires in 2016.

Lansing was also very critical of Intel's race to the bottom to compete with the likes of Android, claiming that what was going on was "just straight up cannibalisation of perfectly good $400 to $500 notebook business," and that rather than gaining ground, Intel is "just eating their own children."

"I don't think they're taking share from Android when they move the notebook price point down."

In terms of silicon, AMD is ready for Windows 10, and even has a new top-end 3.9GHz APU - the A10-7870K - ready for high-end systems. AMD's main rival, Intel, has also been busy updating its processors, and recently updated some of its fifth-generation Core chips, adding Iris Pro graphics.

Whether PC owners upgrade their hardware or make it last for a few more years so they can spend their money on smartphones and Apple Watches remains to be seen.

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