Windows 10 blamed (partly) for stalled PC sales recovery

Channel has two years to wait until 'modest' turnaround, says IDC

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The recovery in PC sales has been postponed until 2017 – and Microsoft and Windows 10 are partly to blame.

Worldwide PC shipments will now fall by 8.7 per cent by the end of the year and growth won’t return for another two years, the IDC said.

The number cruncher had expected that the arrival of Windows 10 in July would herald the beginnings of a turnaround in the fortunes of PC sales. But Microsoft’s decision to push Windows 10 as a free upgrade for 12 months for existing Windows 7 and 8 machines has hurt shipments of new machines.

Microsoft estimated on Wednesday that Windows 10 had hit 75 million devices in its first month of availability.

The decision to take the upgrade path rather than sales of new PCs was a first for the software firm. Traditionally, Microsoft has released new versions of Windows to manufacturing in the summer, giving PC-makers time to install the operating system on new PCs and get them to channel in the run up to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Other factors contributing to the delayed turnaround, according to IDC, include the presence of a “stubbornly large inventory” of notebooks hanging over from earlier with channel suppliers who are now reluctant to take on new inventory.

Further, there’s been a dearth of new models to attract consumers, IDC said.

IDC is now scheduling a “modest” recovery in 2017, once free Windows 10 upgrades are finished – expected to run out in summer 2016 – and with the prospect of a new cycle of PCs. ®

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