Windows 7 no elixir for struggling PC sales

A senior Microsoft executive has poured cold water on hopes that the release of Windows 7 will boost struggling PC sales.

Windows 7 no elixir for struggling PC sales

“I am incredibly optimistic about Windows 7 as a product. As you read the blogosphere, you read the competitive reviews … we’ve got a great product,” Bill Veghte, Microsoft’s senior vice president in charge of the company’s PC Windows business told the UBS Global Technology & Services conference.

“But history would tell us that generally as you ship a new Windows release into the market, the bump that you get in terms of PC units is very modest.”

Veghte went on to claim that the benefits of Windows 7 would be seen in the long term, encouraging greater sales of PCs, laptops and netbooks. Pressed as to whether Windows 7 would encourage businesses to upgrade from their current OSes, Veghte continued to be cagey.

“In the conversations that I have with CIOs and IT folks, certainly there is very good enthusiasm about Windows 7 and the opportunity that affords,” he said. “My personal opinion, though, is it will get drowned by the macroeconomic environment. As the macroeconomic environment comes back, people will have to buy PCs.”

The Microsoft man finished by suggesting that the economic downturn had been good for the company, despite the recent round of layoffs and trimming of expenses: “[The cost cutting] has been line by line,” Veghte said. “As a culture we’ve got to go through and really make the hard trade-offs. I think it’s a wonderful thing for the company, for the culture.”

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