Windows 10 is actually hurting the PC market

Microsoft really, really, really wants you to have Windows 10 in your life. Even if you say you don’t want it, Microsoft thinks you should give it a spin, because honestly, you’ll really like it in the end, and it’ll stop these infernal upgrade messages. Scout’s honour.

Windows 10 is actually hurting the PC market

Originally intended as a kick start to the PC market in the face of tablet and mobile growth, it’s somewhat ironic that Windows 10 has had quite the opposite effect according to a market analysis from IDC. Indeed, IDC has revised its PC sales forecast downwards another 2%, predicting that the market will actually shrink by 7.3% year-on-year.

The company reckons that many consumers are taking advantage of the free Windows 10 upgrade to give their computer a new breath of life, rather than purchasing a new system. On the business side, Windows 10 has similarly confused things, with “a large share of enterprises evaluating Windows 10”, meaning the commercial side is yet to stablise.

It’s not all Windows 10’s fault. Indeed, IDC highlights a number of inhibiting factors, including “weak currencies, depressed commodity prices, political uncertainty and delayed projects”.

READ NEXT: Microsoft defends aggressive Windows 10 update pop-up as market share grows

So how does this forecast change the overall picture? Well, the good news is that it’s not hugely different, but the bad news is that that’s only because it was pretty damned gloomy before. “The latest update reflects continuing pressure on PC shipments, but does not significantly change the factors driving the market,” explained Loren Loverde, vice president of worldwide tracker forecasting and PC research at IDC.

“In addition, we have now had four consecutive quarters of double-digit volume declines. This type of prolonged slump is unprecedented, and lowers the bar for some improvement going forward. Unfortunately, the PC market still faces some persistent challenges, and for now, improvement continues to mean slower declines.”

In raw numbers, this means that IDC is predicting 255.6m new PCs shipping in 2016, just over 100m of which will be desktops. We’re likely to see smaller declines in 2017 before things level out in 2018. Of course, the Windows 10 free upgrade offer does end next month, so it’s possible things will pick up dramatically…

Image: Ambassador Base used under Creative Commons

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