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Windows 7 could help PC, chip sectors rebound

Agam Shah | Oct. 22, 2009
Along with economic gains, the new operating system may drive buyers back to the market

The surge in PC shipments will have a positive effect on semiconductor companies, with chip volumes rising as the market fills up with new Windows 7 PCs, said Avi Cohen, managing partner at Avian Securities. Chip makers such as Intel and AMD have ramped up their operations and added capacity in fabrication plants over the past two months.

The impact of Windows 7 on semiconductor companies is indirect, said Tony Massimini, chief of technology at Semico Research. Higher PC sales could improve the state of the semiconductor industry, in which a lot of fabs have been running on low capacity because of economic slowdown, he said. It could also improve sales of ancillary PC products such as printers and networking equipment, Massimini said.

Nevertheless, some analysts cautioned that the economic recovery is just starting, and enterprises don't have the budget to upgrade PCs overnight.

"The corporations will adopt Windows 7 gradually," perhaps over two to five years, said Yun Kim, a senior research analyst with financial firm Broadpoint Amtech. "That's kind of what we saw with XP."

(Marc Ferranti in New York contributed to this story.)


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