Microsoft: Windows 7 Won't Save PC Recession

Despite Apple trying to rain on Microsoft’s parade during WWDC09 (opens in new tab), pointing out that Windows 7 is still built off of Vista roots, many are looking to the upcoming Windows release to be the one that gets it right, giving the sagging PC industry a much-needed shot in the arm. But Microsoft is cautious when it comes to suggestions that Windows 7 will be able to single-handedly turn around the recession in PC buying.

“History would tell us that generally as you ship a Windows release into the market... the bump is very modest," Microsoft senior vice president Bill Veghte said in a CNet story. "You will see a little bit, but it is modest."

While consumers are eagerly awaiting Windows 7--which is timed well with the holiday buying season--businesses aren’t so ready to spend IT dollars in upgrades. Microsoft doesn’t seem that worried, however, staying confident that the dollars will roll back in once the economy improves.

"It will get drowned by the macroeconomic environment," he said in the speech, which was Webcast on Microsoft's investor Web site. "As the macro environment comes back, people will have to buy new PCs. People aren't using PCs any less."

Dell hopes that Windows 7 will have a significant boosting effect on PC buying, as the computer-making giant saw its quarterly earnings fall by 63 percent. Michael Dell said that the company is preparing itself for a “powerful replacement cycle,” which could be referring to Windows 7 and new CPUs based off of Nehalem.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • jacobdrj
    It won't, but it will go a long way in restoring trust in the industry.
  • CR0W M@GN3T
    Well with America in recession I doubt anybody is going to strain their budget by upgrading to Windows 7. I am currently using the release candidate and like the improvements on Vista but there isn't anything amazing that would justify an upgrade for me. Of course if Microsoft offers a low price for upgrading to Vista I might consider it. As for Dell and the other suffering tech companies, I don't think people adopting Windows 7 right away is a problem. They should just hope that people are willing to upgrade at all.
  • grieve
    jacobdrjIt won't, but it will go a long way in restoring trust in the industry.What trust was/is lost? If you are refering to Vista... I love it.

    cr0w m@gn3tWell with America in recession I doubt anybody is going to strain their budget by upgrading to Windows 7.I live in Canada; some industries here also feel the heat of your recession... USA is only one Country that sales will be considerably lower due to "recession". Windows sells worldwide!

    I know i will be buying Win7 March 2010 when my RC begins to expire.
  • jerther
    @crow magnet

    If I recall, there has been an article about upgrade prices recently. Best buy talked about free, and I've seen 49$ somewhere. I think it's worth it.
  • rockabye
    I'll consider upgrading when games require it. Until then I can't be bothered.
  • NocturnalOne
    The point was that some people expect *PC* sales to rebound after W7 is released. This has little to do with people upgrading their existing systems from Vista to W7. Dell couldn't care less about that. They are hoping that boat loads of 'old' boxes with P4s and XP will finally be replaced with Nehalem i5 and i7 W7 boxes.

    MS is smart to downplay expectations.

    I just got a nice i7 kit with Vista 64b. Once W7 has proven stable (ie. the fanboy gloss has worn off) and SP1 has been out a while I might update. If Vista turns out to be miserable maybe I'll upgrade earlier. At $80 (i7-920 + Vista gets a $20 discount at newegg) for Vista it's dirt cheap so why worry about an upgrade even half a year from now?
  • cadder
    Lots of people have bashed Vista, then Apple picked up on it and blew it all out of proportion. Right or wrong, the popular feeling is that Vista is flawed. Microsoft needs to take this seriously and make darned sure that 7 doesn't give the enemy any opportunity to criticize it. I've read on forums where there are lots of problems with 7, problems installing, etc. I don't know how serious this really is but I have yet to be able to download the "free" 7 RC1 from Microsoft's site. They need to fix this and then follow through with it into the release of the software.
  • maximiza
    Vista forever!!!
  • kccboy2004
    maximizaVista forever!!!
    Wow, @cadder. You really don't know what you are talking about. What problems with 7, what download problems ? Name one !!!
  • Gedoe_
    if dell is prepairing for a powerfull replacement cycle, while empirical evidence is against them.. they suck