The availability of Windows Vista will have no significant impact on PC shipment numbers this year, said analyst Gartner.
The analyst said worldwide PC shipments are forecast to total 255.7 million units in 2007, a 10.5% increase from 2006, while PC revenue is projected to reach $213.7bn (£112.4bn), a 4.6% increase on 2006.
“We expect the market environment to be much the same over the near term as it has been recently,” said George Shiffler, a Gartner analyst.
He said, “Emerging markets and mobile PCs will continue to afford PC vendors their best opportunities for growth. However, falling average selling prices, slowing replacement activity and further declines in mature market desk-based PC shipments, will keep PC vendors under pressure to rationalise their operations or exit the market.”
Gartner said PC shipments will enjoy, at best, a limited boost from the release of Microsoft’s new Vista operating system.
“Vista’s effect on PC shipments ultimately depends on the number of consumers and SMEs that find its new features compelling enough to buy a new PC,” said Mikako Kitagawa, another Gartner analyst.
“While Vista includes a number of interesting features, these features just don’t have enough ‘must have’ appeal with the average home and SME user to spark a significant rush of new PC sales,” said Kitagawa.
Gartner analysts said they expect a minor increase in sales to the small number of consumers and SMEs that put off replacing their older systems in anticipation of Vista ’s release.
However, the vast majority of consumers and SMEs are expected to adopt the new OS as they gradually replace existing machines during the next several years, said Gartner.
Vista is forecast to have virtually no impact on PC shipments to larger businesses in 2007. And Vista adoption among large firms is expected lag behind consumers and SMBs, Gartner said.
Gartner analysts expect large businesses to delay widespread adoption of Vista until at least the middle of next year, about the time they are expected to begin a new replacement cycle.
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