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Persuading You to Buy a PC

From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report. Computer makers are working on ways to persuade people to buy personal computers. Companies at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas talked about new developments, like touch computers, or laptops that turn into tablets. The chip manufacturer Intel made a surprise announcement at the show.

Mike Fard says his company is taking steps to reduce power requirements on some processors. He says Intel is constantly trying to provide more battery life. Yet sales of PCs are slow. Research company IDC reported that worldwide sales of PCs dropped 14 percent in the first three months of 2013.

The company said this was the worst drop since it started collecting information in 1994. One possible reason for the slow sales is the rise of tablet computers, such as Apple's iPad. Intel and its competitors have sought to improve sales by offering new products. These include the ultrabook, a thin, lightweight notebook computer, which came out in 2011. But they have not lifted sales. Industry experts are also concerned about reaction to Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system. It was released last October.

Bob O'Donnell, an IDC vice president, said the Windows 8 launch not only failed to increase PC sales, but seemed to have slowed the market. He has criticized the company for making "radical changes," such as removing the "start" button from the operating system. Windows' corporate vice president Julie Larson-Green announced this month that Microsoft will release a Windows 8 update. She expects the first public preview of the update to take place in June.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Laurel Bowman.