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PC shipment decline in 2015 sets bleak record

Gregg Keizer | Dec. 8, 2015
Down more than 10 percent year over year, says IDC; contraction will last at least through '16.

"Once commercial adoption of Windows 10 accelerates, and in combination with upgrades to steadily-aging consumer PCs, we expect demand for new PCs to improve for several years as replacements will also be boosted by the end of support for Window 7, just as the end of support for Windows XP boosted shipments in 2014," IDC maintained.

Microsoft has set Windows 7's retirement date as Jan. 14, 2020.

Other analysts have opined that enterprises, having learned their lesson from the scramble to dump Windows XP in 2013-2014, will be more likely to replace Windows 7 with Windows 10 before the due date arrives. At the same time, Microsoft has been aggressively promoting Windows 10 as ready for corporate adoption, even though the operating system has been out for less than five months.

"Windows 10 could reach enterprises faster than previous releases, driving some commercial PC refreshes in the mid-term," said Linn Huang, also of IDC.

IDC now forecasts that shipments will stabilize by the end of 2016, and grow through 2019. Even that prognostication, however, means that the bottom of the trough won't come until next year, and the growth from that will be so minor that 2019's shipments will remain below 2015's.

PC shipments 
IDC yesterday forecast that personal computer shipments will be down 10.3% for the year, making the current contraction four-and-counting, with little chance of it turning around in 2016. Click on image to enlarge. Data: IDC


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