Next week, Microsoft will begin to roll out its new Windows 10 operating system. From the 29th July, Windows 10 will be available as a free upgrade to people using Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 on qualified devices, and pre-installed on new ones.
The latest Windows operating system comes with a host of new features, including improved security, the return of the start menu, the “continuum” (a multi-platform approach that lets the OS adapt to whatever device is being used) and universal apps that can be used across all devices.
Clearly, the expectation is that Windows 10 will bring a number of improvements, and it is hoped that the new OS will eventually help (re)fuel PC demand in Europe where PC sales have recently suffered from inventory issues and the effects of currency fluctuations. While Windows 10 is not expected to have an immediate impact on PC growth in the region, it is widely thought it will help boost sales over the course of 2016.
CONTEXT is in a unique position to measure such expectations against reality. By tracking distributor sales of new PCs pre-installed with Windows 10 from the moment of launch, we will be able to follow the adoption rate of the new OS on a weekly basis. What is more, we will also be able to compare this with Windows 10’s predecessors – and, as we all know, there were significant variations in penetration of those, particularly in the business sector.
Vista, for example, was launched at the end of January 2007 and accounted for only 39% of Windows business PC sales across Western European distribution six months after its launch. It was followed by the more successful Windows 7, launched in late October 2009, which made up an impressive 86% of business PC sales a similar time after its release. Microsoft’s next OS, Windows 8, made it to a 50% share of business sales half a year after it was launched in October 2012*.
It will be interesting to see how quickly Windows 10 penetrates new PC sales in distribution and if it follows the pattern of previous launches. Watch this space for more updates!
*All data is based on share by units of business OS installed on Dektops, NoteBooks and PC workstations in Western European distribution and includes dual OS versions.