Although the global economy is showing signs of bottoming out, IDC has not necessarily seen huge signs of improved spending on commercial PCs yet. Even in China, where economic signals are arguably better than the rest of the world, most PC purchases are driven by resilient consumers, whereas enterprises continue in a slump. IDC expects a gradual recovery starting in 2010, and even then, it could take some time for IT managers to get their budgets back.
But there will be a couple of other factors at play in the PC industry during this period, including the launch of Windows 7 at the end of 2009. While IDC again expects consumers to latch on quickly to Windows 7 (in many cases because of a lack of choice), businesses may still take some time before making a move. Anecdotally speaking, a large number of Asia/Pacific IT managers questioned by IDC in August 2009 suggested that they were only planning to move to Windows 7 when they could be assured that their legacy applications could run effectively.
Still, these entities were running Windows XP, and many of them were carrying along aging fleets of such XP-based machines that inevitably will need to be upgraded. IDC believes that this, along with the idea of an economic recovery in 2010 plus the marketing funds surrounding Windows 7, could evolve into an optimistic scenario of "the Perfect Storm," where three independently moving factors converge into a single, more powerful force that drives corporate PC upgrades in 2010 and onwards. The stability and increased usability of Windows 7 (not to mention XP Mode for the really stubborn legacy applications) can further help as more IT managers find Windows 7 environments able to support their businesses dependably. IDC has not factored any significant inflection point into its PC forecast to reflect this scenario yet, but should this "Perfect Storm" really develop, then hopefully the market can rebound more quickly than IDC expects.