Gartner is estimating a decline of nearly 12% drop in sales in 2009 over last year, due to the economy and other factors. This is reported to be the biggest dip in sales in history. This means windows 7 will be released in a recession just like its older brother Windows XP.
Excuse my sarcasm, but leave it to the Gartner Group to once again make a pointless “forecast”.
Who would have ever guessed that in one of the worst recessions in American history, new computer sales would decline? (Ok, the “news” part is supposed to be the fact that Gartner did all this research, and is giving you an actual figure of “nearly 12%”. But I dunno. I would probably pull a similar number out of thin air if someone asked me to estimate the same thing.)
Actually, the “Wyrick Group” prediction goes like this: Sales of inexpensive “netbooks” continue to make up a good-sized chunk of new computer sales throughout 2009, causing a relative increase in the use of the free Linux operating system, and leaving out Windows 7 since it can’t (yet) run on that type of hardware. Windows 7 adoption will, nonetheless, happen at a steady pace, as the majority of Vista users (and a good percentage of existing “holdouts” still using Windows XP) migrate to it to get better performance and usability out of their existing machines.
I’ll also go out on a limb here, and predict that on the consumer side of things, Windows will slip a bit in overall adoption/usage numbers, simply because their stricter licensing / activation requirements will continue to make it inconvenient and frustrating to run pirated copies of the OS. (Back in the XP days, big customers were often issued “volume licenses” that let them install as many copies of XP as they wanted using one CD key code. With Vista, forward, this is gone – replaced by volume keys that are good for a specific number of activations. So if a university or business’s volume key gets passed around and used by other people, they quickly find out when all their activations are used up.) The “activation cracks” for Vista I’ve seen so far are convoluted messes, using things like Linux boot-loaders and emulation to try to “fake” the OS into thinking it’s running on a different PC than it really is. Microsoft keeps breaking these hacks with update patches. No reason to think Windows 7 will be any different.
Therefore, as XP gets to be not 1, but 2 versions old – I think the people who are staying on XP because they have a good, working “illegal copy” will get restless to switch, but won’t want to pay the price for Windows 7. So they may look into Linux or even a new Mac running OS X, if they have to spend money anyway.