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Anticipation of Windows 10 Release Stalls PC Sales

It's not unusual for PC sales to fall off in advance of a new operating system release and last quarter was no exception.

PC shipments plummeted 11.8 percent in the three-month period that ended June 30 over the same period last year, according to IDC's quarterly PC Tracker report released Thursday night. The decline was 1 percent more than IDC had earlier projected but was overall in line with the fact that the comparative period last year was buoyed by Windows XP's end of life and the fact that sales channels were reducing inventories to make way for this month's release of Windows 10.

Similar to Gartner, IDC doesn't anticipate an immediate bump after Microsoft's July 29 release of Windows 10. Gartner earlier this week said it's predicting a 5.7 percent decrease in PC spending this year.  IDC points to another noteworthy, but certainly not surprising, point: the free Windows 10 upgrade for those with Windows 7 Home and Pro editions will certainly stall new PC purchases.

Another reason IT professionals will want to wait, at least initially, is for new PCs based on Intel's new processor line, code named Skylake, as well as a new line of Broadwell CPUs. "All of the hardware vendors are readying new designs based on Skylake and to take advantage of the new Windows design with thinner, lighter and better battery life," said Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst with Moor Strategy.

Moorhead, who follows the PC industry closely, believes Windows 10 will be a popular operating system. Despite the obvious criticism of its predecessor, Moorhead believes the return of application developers will be key to its success.  "I believe there will be many more apps in this ecosystem, if nothing else because of the ease for which you can get them into Windows 10," Moorhead said.

However, Moorhead believes some predictions that Windows 10 will get a strong lift in in the first year are overstated. That includes our survey, published Wednesday, that found that 55 percent will upgrade in the first year, with 21 percent doing so in the first three months. A more reasonable expectation, Moorhead said, is 20 to 30 percent will roll out Windows 10 within a year. "I don't believe any research out there is worth anything because upgrades will be dependent on the promotions Microsoft does," Moorhead said. "We haven't seen them yet but they're coming."

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 07/10/2015 at 12:05 PM


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