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July 28, 2015

Windows 10 upgrade doesn’t secure PC future

Experts are split on whether PC sales will rise or fall.

By James Nunns

Microsoft’s eagerly anticipated release of Windows 10 launches tonight, but some doubts remain as to whether it can reverse a continued decline in PC sales.

While Gartner predicts that PC sales will return to a "slow and steady growth" in the next year, IDC predicts that sales will decline slightly next year and then have "limited growth" in coming years .

So to put it simply, no one really knows.

With the PC market facing competition from wearables, gadgets, smartphones and the rest of technology which is vying for your pocket money, the PC manufacturers must be concerned whether the business can even survive in the long term.

Microsoft’s decision to upgrades millions of computer owners for free to its latest Windows version could be the spark that makes a difference.

The decision by the company will shift its traditional alignment of financial interest between itself and its allies, as PC makers and Intel generate revenue on each PC sold. This is being un-done by the free upgrade, with it being expected that the shift from making money once for a new version of Windows, to long term revenue by selling apps, videogames and other add-ons.

The company has had to find a way to make money whether or not users buy a new computer, the shift in strategy, much like its cloud play is designed to look after the long term interests of the company and to safeguard it against fluctuating PC sales.

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The free upgrade is unlikely to impact sales of other devices, with sales of smartphones continuing to rise and the free upgrade isn’t a new concept to companies such as Apple and Google.

Whether or not the free upgrade encourages consumers or businesses to upgrade their hardware is unknown, but Kirk Skaugen, Intel SVP, is obviously hopeful that people will require an upgrade as well.

"To really take advantage of Windows 10, they need new hardware," said Skaugen.

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