Windows 7 Success to Blame for Recent PC Sales Slump

Dennis Faas's picture

With the Apple iPad being touted as the "all-in-one" tablet computer, many would be inclined to think that its sudden global demand would account for a recent slump in PC sales. Industry analysts, however, believe that the decline is more closely linked to the success of Windows 7.

In the aftermath of the 2010 holiday sales season, only 12 per cent of consumers admitted to purchasing an iPad in place of a standard PC (a slight dip from the 14 per cent who had initially picked up the tablet within the first six months of its availability).

While the figures indicate that the release of the iPad did impact the final decision of some would-be PC owners, Stephen Baker, an analyst with NPD market research, claims that there is a much simpler explanation for the dismal PC sales figures as a whole: Microsoft continues to feel the effects of their successful 2009 launch of Windows 7. (Source:

Windows 7 Success Hard to Follow Up

Microsoft has gone out of its way to ensure that their loyal customer base was making the switch to the flashier, Windows 7 operating system by investing large sums of money into advertising, relinquishing support for established software and even launching a "death clock" to mark the official end to their aging, XP operating system.

As Baker reasoned, "Most consumers haven't seen the need to buy a desktop or notebook PC because they purchased one in the past 12 to 18 months."

The fact that so many people went out and invested in a Windows 7-supported computer helped PC sales reach an all-time high, making any sales drive to follow result in sub-par figures.

Baker echoed these sentiments saying, "We're comparing PC sales against a record high. Yes, consumer notebook sales are down, but it's linked to that, not the iPad. The comparisons are to the best sales period in history." (Source:

Breadth of iPad Impact Yet to be Felt

Still, many analysts believe that even if the iPad is not entirely responsible for the recent PC sales slump, its continued popularity and rise to household name status will give its presence in the market that much more of an impact, with significant results expected to be seen within the next year to year and a half.

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