Windows Vista fails to stimulate PC market

28 Jun 2007

The release of the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system has, so far, failed to stimulate the PC market in a way many would have hoped, a research director at Gartner has claimed.

“Our market data suggests Vista has had very limited impact on PC demand or replacement activity,” said George Shiffler, research director for Gartner’s Client Platforms Markets Group.

“We don’t see Vista having a significant effect on these going forward unless Microsoft becomes much more aggressive in its marketing efforts,” said Shiffler.

The latest forecast from Gartner says PC shipments are projected to total 257.1 million units in 2007, an 11.1pc increase from 2006 shipments of 231.5 million units.

Gartner said yesterday that without a “killer application” to drive new PC sales, manufacturers are leveraging emerging markets rather than mature markets to boost global PC sales this year.

To drive home this point, the analyst firm said that approximately 55pc of PC shipments to emerging markets reflect new PC penetration.

Analysts expect emerging markets to contribute 128 million new PC shipments during the next two years, amounting to 25pc of all PC units expected to be shipped globally in 2007 and 2008.

“Vendors continue to face a thorny mix of select growth opportunities and serious challenges in mature markets,” Shiffler explained.

“Continuing strong demand for mobile PCs, especially among consumers, offers vendors tremendous growth opportunities. But generally weak desk-based PC replacement activity and narrowing penetration opportunities, especially among larger businesses, pose some serious challenges.”

Worldwide mobile PC shipments are forecast to total 103.2 million units in 2007, a 27.1pc increase from 2006. Meanwhile, desk-based PC shipments are on pace to total 153.9 million units in 2007, up 2.4pc from last year.

“Consumer mobile PCs remain the PC market’s principal growth driver, thanks to falling average selling prices (ASPs), increasing performance and the continuing spread of wireless access,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst for Gartner Dataquest’s Client Computing Markets Group.

“Globally, mobile PC ASPs have fallen below US$1,100 (€1,478.50) but buyers in many parts of the world have an impressive range of choices below US$1,000 (€1344.10),” Kitagawa added.

By John Kennedy