Windows 10 No Immediate Savior for PC Industry
A key part of the equation is the commercial PC space, according to Bob O'Donnell, principal analyst at TECHnalysis Research. "The challenge we're facing is that commercial PCs make up 50 percent of the total market," O'Donnell told eWEEK. "Commercial is not going to immediately jump onto Windows 10. It's going to take a while." He pointed to his own research into the U.S. health care industry, where he found that 15 percent of businesses plan to deploy Windows 10 in the next year, while 25 percent will wait 12 to 24 months. Another 17 percent won't move to Windows 10 for at least two years, and 34 percent have no plan in place. The health care industry—due in part to the heavy regulatory environment—tends to be more conservative in their IT purchases than some other segments, such as financial services, O'Donnell said. Still, it's a reflection on how long-term the commercial adoption of the operating system will be.Gartner's Atwal said that his forecast calls for shipment of all devices—not only PCs, but also ultramobile systems, tablets and smartphones—falling 1.3 percent this year. "This was partly due to a continued slowdown in PC purchases in Western Europe, Russia and Japan, in particular, largely due to price increases resulting from local currency devaluation against the dollar," he said. Despite this, Windows 10 should prove an ultimate benefit, given the spate of improvements to the operating system and the relative lukewarm reception to Windows 8.1 since its release, according to O'Donnell. "There are a lot of cool capabilities in Windows 10," he said, noting such features as Windows Hello face-recognition technology, and the return of the Start button. "Longer term, it is an important step forward. There are a lot of things there that work and make sense."
He also agreed that the PC industry's challenges are fed more by economics than competition from smartphones and tablets. For example, the recent problems in the Chinese economy could slow PC purchases in that country. While there are a lot of PCs in China, the rate of PC ownership is much lower than in the United States, O'Donnell noted.