updated 08:10 am EST, Fri November 6, 2009
Vista PC users in no rush to replace
Windows 7 isn't having as large an impact on PC sales as initially thought, sources from manufacturers said on Friday. Although US retail sales were up 49 percent, those speaking to DigiTimes say they didn't see a major spike in late October and don't expect one for the rest of 2009. The turnout has been soft enough that some notebook producers are actually facing overstock as they ordered more portables than demand required.
Some of the claimed poor performance is blamed on Microsoft's own optimizations. As Windows 7 is less demanding than Vista and can often run smoothly even on Atom-based netbooks, few are in a rush to replace their PCs and will either move to Windows 7 on their own pace or else wait for a service pack to ensure it works reliably.
An additional factor is the limited usefulness of Windows 7's added touchscreen features. Regular notebooks see little benefit, while all-in-one desktops and tablet notebooks are already considered too niche to have a significant impact on PC sales. All-in-ones may only account for 5 percent of computers this year; they're estimated to increase to 9 percent in 2010, but it's unclear how many of these would be Windows PCs versus Apple's iMacs, which have normally led the category.
While the data isn't confirmed, Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer has said he doesn't expect a sustained boost as most will wait until their hardware is obsolete rather than move up the purchase to get the new OS.