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Windows 10 Upgrade Outlook Appears Strong Despite Weak PC Demand

With just three weeks until Windows 10 is scheduled to arrive, early indications continue to suggest that there will be significant demand among business PC users, though it's less clear whether the new OS will boost Microsoft's share of the tablet market.

More than half of 675 Redmond magazine readers responding to an online survey conducted last week said that they plan to upgrade their existing PCs to Windows 10 within one year. According to the survey, 55 percent will upgrade in the first 12 months and 21 percent will do so within the first three months of Windows 10's release. Thirty five percent say they intend to upgrade within the first six months.

The question was asked in conjunction with the annual Redmond Third-Party Reader's Choice Awards, which will be published in September. With the release of Windows 10 on July 29, 35 percent of those responding said they plan to refresh their PCs at a faster pace than before. On the other hand, 65 percent have no plans to expedite PC refreshes.

Microsoft's plan to offer consumers Windows 10 as a free upgrade could have an impact on demand for new systems given that the new OS could extend the life of older systems.  However, only those with Windows 7 (or later) Home and Pro editions are eligible for free Windows 10 upgrades. Volume licensees and those with Enterprise editions must have Software Assurance to get the Windows 10 upgrade, which has to be downloaded from the Microsoft Volume Licensing Servicing Center.

Microsoft has indicated that it sees a strong pipeline for new PCs and devices despite its push to get customers to upgrade their existing systems. Yet, a number of indicators don't bode well for new system sales for the rest of this year. Among some recent signs that demand for PCs will remain weak were Gartner's report this week that the $606 billion PC and computing  device market will decline 5.7 percent this year and AMD's warning that its revenues for the quarter that ended June 27 would be down 8%, which is much sharper than the 3% that was earlier forecast.

AMD attributed the decline on weaker PC sales, sending its shares down more than 15% Tuesday. Weak PC demand is also likely to impact Intel, according to a Goldman Sachs research note last month. Micron, the largest provider of RAM for PCs, last month blamed a falloff in PC demand for posting lower revenues for its third quarter earnings report.

Does your organization plan to upgrade to Windows 10? If so, will it be via a new system or an upgrade of your existing device? Either way, what is the impetus for you to upgrade to Windows 10 (or not, if that's the case)? Feel free to comment below or drop me a line at [email protected].


Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 07/08/2015 at 1:40 PM


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