XP support will end 8 April and so far the switch-off appears to have had a positive effect on desktop PC sales through the channel, according to market researcher Context.
Alex Mesguich, vice president of enterprise research at Context, noted that sales by volume expanded by 13.6 per cent year on year in January – despite a continued overall decline of three per cent year on year in the PC market.
The figures represent actual sales to users, as opposed to vendor shipments to the market.
"The growth was even clearer in the business segment, where desktop unit sales grew 17.3 per cent, driving a consolidated growth in business-targeted PCs of 6.6 per cent," he indicated.
XP replacement projects were assisting this growth, as were scheduled refreshes that countered the relatively weak demand seen in some European countries a year ago. In terms of business OS, Windows 7 and 8 remain the most popular, comprising 55.8 per cent of sales by unit in January.
He said this represents good news for PC hardware vendors and the IT sales channel. However, there is some potential bad news for Microsoft and its customers.
"The end of XP support across the huge installed base of XP across businesses will present a major security challenge," Mesguich (pictured) said. "Overall, the end of XP support could have a triple-whammy effect."
He said that businesses are annoyed by being forced to transition, and security vendors as well will have to process and patch even more vulnerabilities than usual as the transition is made.
Notebook PC unit sales fell 4.3 per cent while consumer PC unit sales overall slumped 10.9 per cent year on year.
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