Microsoft’s Windows 8 release may not be the savior of the PC business that some had hoped — at least not in the short term — according to a couple of Microsoft’s PC partners.
In particular, Acer says its PC shipments will rise 5% in the fourth quarter, a comedown from the 5%-10% jump it had previously forecast. “The experience on [Windows 8] is going to be good, but what we don’t know is how soon users can actually experience the products,” Acer President Jim Wong said during a news conference on Thursday.
Samsung was similarly downbeat about a fourth-quarter boost from Windows 8. The company noted in its third-quarter earnings release that “demand for PC DRAM will be weak due to oversupply, and sales of digital appliances will slow down due to unfavorable market conditions in developed economies” in the fourth quarter.
Overall, IDC predicts a 5% boost in U.S. PC sales over the next year vs. a 1% gain in 2011. That’s a nice jump, but a comedown from Microsoft’s Windows 95 release in 1995, which prompted a 30% gain in PC sales in that fourth quarter.
The PC market was a lot smaller back then, which describes some of the difference in the Windows Effect. Another reason for the difference is there aren’t as many pressing reasons to upgrade — older versions of Windows such as Windows 7 work well enough.
Nevertheless, some believe Win 8 will give the market a much-needed jolt, including Dell CEO Michael Dell who told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that “You haven’t had a compelling reason to replace your old PC. Well, I think you just got one.” Dell is scheduled to report its third-quarter results on Nov. 14. The company hasn’t yet offered its 4Q guidance.
Analysts, meanwhile, are taking a wait-and-see attitude towards Windows 8. Microsoft’s stock is up 8% so far this year, but there was no run-up in the stock price prior to the launch, indicating low expectations. For his part, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (pictured) predicts that there will be 400 million PCs, phones and tablets running Windows 8 (or Windows RT) by this time next year.
Photo by Mashable.