Impending Windows 7 demise stimulating PC sales
The impending end-of-life date of Windows 7 is proving to be a boon to the stagnating desktop PC market, and stimulating OS sales at Microsoft itself.
Research firm IDC recently estimated that the market for desktop PCs in the commercial space in the EMEA region grew 17.2% during the second quarter as businesses commenced the upgrade cycle triggered by the end of support for Windows 7.
In Western Europe, the business desktop PC market experienced its first double-digit growth rate in five years, and the first solid growth since the end of support for Windows XP.
By contrast, the consumer segment of the traditional PC market in EMEA shrank a further 11.3%, with IDC blaming a lack of innovation and longer product life cycles.
Microsoft meanwhile recently revealed that sales of Windows 10 Pro to OEMs grew 18% during the June quarter, as businesses flocked to upgrade in advance of the end of Windows 7 support.
But in an earnings call, the company revealed it expects the Windows 7 to Windows 10 migration cycle to continue for up to a year after Windows 7 support ends in January.
Microsoft will offer paid extended support for customers missing the upgrade window, charging users $25 per PC using Windows 7 Enterprise and $50 per PC using Windows 7 Professional during the first year. These fees will double over each of the next two years.
In an indication of the challenges involved in the migration process, a UK shadow cabinet minister recently expressed concern over the fact that around three in four computers within the nation's National Health Service are still running Windows 7.
Labour MP Jo Platt said the number of NHS computers running the soon-to-be-obsolete OS leaves the NHS at greater risk of falling victim to a repeat of the WannaCry attacks that cost the NHS an estimated £92 million in 2017.
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