Demand for boxed copies of Windows 7 is expected to outstrip supply as the operating system (OS) continues to fly off the shelves.
Windows 7 is the biggest launch for Microsoft since the decidedly underwhelming Vista in 2007, which saw many firms and consumers sticking to its predecessor XP.
However, according to figures from analyst Forrester Research, two-thirds of UK companies will eventually upgrade to Windows 7 which could signal a lucrative time ahead for channel players and give the industry a much-needed shot in the arm.
According to Forrester, which surveyed 655 IT decision-makers in Europe and the US, seven per cent of respondents claimed they would roll out the OS in the next year. Over time the analyst predicts Vista marketshare will shrink from 15 per cent to 10 per cent, and XP will drop from 81 per cent to 34 per cent.
Neil Murphy, managing director of Microsoft Large Account Reseller Bytes Technology Group, hailed the launch.
“It has been unbelievable,” he said. “We have had stacks of orders and feel extremely positive. I think it is going to be a good quarter. We are also seeing a lot of interest in other products coming off the back of Windows 7.”
Murphy said the interest was wide-ranging from corporates to SMEs.
“A lot of firms are bypassing Vista and going straight to Windows 7,” he said. “The positive press has helped.”
Alex Tatham, sales and marketing director at
said: “It has been even better than expected in downloaded product,
full-packaged product and OEM product and has been well received. However,
there are not enough in stock.”
Alice Smitheman, marketing director at Computer 2000, agreed.
“The launch has been fabulous on both the software side and the PC side sales of both have been accelerating really well. But we are now looking at a shortfall of boxed product, mainly because of the huge consumer interest out there. Demand is definitely going to outstrip supply.”
However, Barry Dodhia, marketing manager at VAR Hemini, said there had been some confusion in the market surrounding the launch.
“There has not been much information from the distributors [about] the upgrades and what the specific part numbers are. We have customers that are still prepared to go to the upgrade package, but we are still confused as to which is the correct upgrade version.”
But he agreed that the software was leagues ahead of Vista. “The real proof will be when we start connecting a lot of other applications, but [so far] we have had a good customer response and there has been strong messaging from Microsoft,” he said.
Shaune Parsons, managing director of ComputerWorld Wales, has just finished his first Windows 7 installation in a local school.
“It went smooth as a nut, the support guys had everything they needed.
“Windows 7 seems to answer a few problems and seems better than anything Vista had to offer.”
However, he also said that the days of people waiting for Microsoft’s software to come out had “long gone”.
“If people need a PC, they need a PC,” he said.
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