Vista Delay a Minor Factor in PC Sales

The delayed launch of Windows Vista will have a limited effect on PC shipments in 2006, and may actually help to boost sales slightly in 2007, research firm IDC said Monday. Overall, PC shipments should grow at a ten percent or higher rate through 2008, the firm said.

IDC's comments came as part of its Quarterly PC Tracker forecast of the industry. The firm is now more optimistic about sales through 2008, saying growth should remain above 10.5 percent. Previously, IDC had expected growth to fall below 10 percent beginning in 2007.

Vista's delay would not have a broad effect due to the fact that most consumers had already replaced their PCs, along with increasing sales of laptop computers. The group also said business adoption would likely be much slower than on the consumer side.


"Some consumers will certainly delay PC purchases until Vista is available, but we expect the delay to shift only moderate volume from the fourth quarter of 2006 into 2007 and will not cause a loss of sales," Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker director Loren Loverde said.

Loverde said the question was not whether consumers would buy new PCs, but when they would make those purchases. IDC also expects to see companies provide attractive incentives to upgrade -- even though the operating system is not ready for release.

Notebook computers are increasingly becoming the American consumer's PC of choice. Desktop PC growth has slowed considerably, the firm says, and this is due to falling prices in notebooks, as well as better performance and battery life and widescreen displays.

"This surge is contributing to the pace of overall notebook adoption and will likely bring closer the day that notebooks out ship desktops in the U.S," IDC's personal computing senior analyst Richard Shim said.

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