updated 10:35 am EST, Tue November 3, 2009
Windows 7 creates short PC sales boost
The launch of Windows 7 has triggered at least a temporary spike in PC sales, Morgan Stanley analyst Katheryn Huberty says in an investment note issued yesterday. Pointing to NPD sales data, the researcher notes that computer sales jumped about 40 percent during the week of Microsoft's OS launch compared to the same time a year earlier. The number is partly offset by buyers holding off on purchases during the previous two weeks, when sales dropped 29 percent and then 2 percent versus 2008, but is well above earlier weeks, when sales were up by at most 19 percent.
The analyst adds that the sales jump isn't the product of a glut of Windows 7 PCs being shipped to the channel and shows that inventory levels at the very start of November are actually below average where they were high in the first half of September. A shift on such a level suggests many PC vendors cleared out stock of Vista-based systems and have had early success with Windows 7.
While the jump is a positive sign for Microsoft, Huberty declines to predict whether or not the sales spike is evidence of a major trend or simply a temporary burst as those who had waited for Windows 7 buy their new systems. Microsoft's own CEO believes the OS will have little impact in the long term and that most will simply get Windows 7 in the same time it normally takes them to replace a given PC.