IDC let Microsoft off the hook yesterday when it predicted delays to the next version of Windows will not be a key factor in a slowdown in PC shipments growth.
The research firm has raised its forecast for the PC market slightly, predicting annual worldwide volume growth of 10.5 per cent between now and 2008. Its previous forecast, last November, was for growth to slip below the 10 per cent mark.
This year, growth should be 10.5 per cent, rising to 10.7 per cent next year.
So, double figures, but still below the 15 per cent the market saw in the last two years, as buyers finally got round to updating creaking kit bought around the turn of the millennium. More of a concern, perhaps, is value growth will be under five percent.
This all adds up to a total of 254m units shipped next year, with a total value of $232m.
The researchers said the recent slip in ship dates for Microsoft’s Vista will have “a limited impact” on overall volumes. There will be no overall loss of sales, IDC predicts, though some consumer sales will shift from the fourth quarter of this year to the first quarter of 2007. Business, meanwhile, will no doubt be giving the new OS a wide berth until any wrinkles are ironed out. ®