Despite being a fairly abominable year, it seems that PC manufacturers managed to see a little growth in 2009, with the Christmas season proving just enough of a boost to give the market some small growth over the year.
While the humble netbook was long credited with keeping PC sales up while times were hard it seems that the industry also saw healthy growth from the release of Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 7. While the overall growth shows last year was up just 2.3% on 2008, Cnet is reporting that the period just after the launch of Windows 7 saw PC shipments up 15.2%.
If nothing else, this means that Windows 7 has managed to pull in more custom, which is always good news, but it’s also worth pointing out that there had been an unusually high number of potential PC owners putting off picking up a new machine until Windows 7 hit, despite the numerous cheap and free upgrade packages floating around in an attempt to encourage PC sales in the run up to Microsoft’s big release.
Of course, not all of this is down to Microsoft’s just having released Windows 7; there’s a significant amount of importance to be put on the fact that Windows 7 seems to have met, and in many cases exceeded, expectations. After the release of Windows Vista, there had been those worried that Windows 7 would perform similarly at launch, leading to a reserved attitude, one that seems to have been unjustified, given the level of popularity Windows 7 has gained.
For now, netbook sales will likely slow again, with many waiting for Intel’s new line of “Pine Trail” processors to bolster its Atom line up. We’ll be curious to see whether or not netbooks capable of pushing a little more performance will help push the market positively again.