XP to Windows 7 handoff expected to boost PC sales

The bandwagon of folks hoping for a big Windows 7 PC replacement cycle is beginning to fill up. This time, Jeffries analyst Katherine Egbert is expecting users to jump from XP to Windows 7 as companies replace long-in-the-tooth desktops.

The bandwagon of folks hoping for a big Windows 7 PC replacement cycle is beginning to fill up. This time, Jeffries analyst Katherine Egbert is expecting users to jump from XP to Windows 7 as companies replace long-in-the-tooth desktops.

As noted previously, technology executives are expecting a strong hardware refresh cycle spurred by the end of support for Windows XP and the arrival of Windows 7.

Egbert's report reiterates that stance and adds a few interesting charts to the story. In a research note, she writes:

The upcoming introduction of Windows 7 could spur a rapid corporate PC upgrade cycle starting in late 2010/early 2011, catalyzed by the end of support for Windows XP and a recovery-based increase in IT spending.

The increase in IT spending is a guess, but the move from XP will have to happen some time. Security patches for Windows XP SP2 end in July 2010, says Egbert. That move will prod enterprises to upgrade. Meanwhile, these companies aren't going to upgrade to Vista, which will lose mainstream support in 2012.

Egbert's bet is that corporate PCs, averaging 6 years, are the oldest on record. Enterprises scoffed at Vista's increased hardware requirements, but will upgrade to Windows 7. Here's a look at the XP, Vista and Windows 7 penetration in the enterprise through 2013 via IDC.

Among other points:

  • Egbert expects Microsoft to make upgrading an XP machine to a Windows 7 one easier.
  • Drivers shouldn't be a problem for Windows 7 since they are based on Vista's.
  • Given Vista's flop Windows 7 upgrades are likely to hit 90 percent of PCs within 3 years.

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