Retrevo Predicts Windows 7 Windfall for Microsoft and PC Vendors
Apple’s Snow Leopard enjoyed a very successful launch despite some grumbling from Mac owners and now it’s Microsoft’s turn. So far the reviews of Windows 7 have been very favorable with reports of increased performance and very few glitches but what are PC owners actually going to do when Windows 7 ships on October 22nd?
Demand is High
A recent study from Retrevo, a consumer electronics shopping site, that asked an online gadget-savvy sample of potential upgraders, revealed encouraging news for Microsoft and personal computer vendors too. A very large percentage, over 60%, of the respondents indicated they were considering an upgrade to Windows 7. Almost 12% said they would upgrade right away, while another 48% said they were going to wait and see what reviewers and other users had to say before they make the final decision. (n = 448 Retrevo Users, Confidence Interval: 6% at 95% level)
Will you upgrade your current computer to Windows 7?
The number of personal computers in the United States, Western Europe and Japan was estimated at 580M in 2008, according to a 2008 Gartner report, with Windows enjoying around 90% share (from Web metrics company, Net Applications). According to past IDC reports, about 36% of personal computers are consumer’s PCs that would fall into the group of personal computers relevant to this study. Add them all up and you get 188M consumer, personal computers running Windows. A 12% upgrade out of the gate could represent a small windfall for Microsoft.
Especially Good News for Computer Vendors and Resellers
Retrevo’s study also looked at how many consumers might use Windows 7 as an excuse to buy a new computer. After all, why struggle with an upgrade to the OS and scramble to find the right drivers when you can let Dell or HP provide a complete working system, drivers and all? An impressive 39% of respondents who said they have been intending to buy a computer this year, said they have been waiting for Windows 7. An even larger percentage said Windows 7 was a ‘good motivation’. It makes sense that Windows 7 could be just the excuse consumers were looking for to replace that old computer. (n= 448 Retrevo Users, Confidence Interval: 8% at 95% level)
If you are planning to buy a computer this year, have you been waiting until Windows 7 comes out?
In other words there are a lot of consumers who have wanted to buy a new computer but have been holding off for Windows 7. Best Buy should have a few extra sales people on the floor and Dell a few extra operators available to handle the rush on October 22nd.
Mac Loyalist Willing To Give Windows 7 a Try
On a lark, the study asked respondents whose primary computer was a Mac, if Windows 7 might be enough to get them to switch. The resounding response was a big “no way,” with over 97% saying “no!” However, in an interesting twist, when we asked if Microsoft (hypothetically) provided a free copy to Mac OS users would they install and try Windows 7, we were amazed to see 67% say they would. Installing an OS is a non-trivial, time consuming process, and yet there is lot of interest among Mac users. Maybe Microsoft’s Marketing department should be thinking hard about such an offer! (n= 771 Users on Independent Panel, Confidence Interval: 10.5% at 95% level)
If you use an Apple Laptop as your primary computer, will you consider installing Windows 7 on your Mac if it were offered for free?
About the Report
The Retrevo Pulse gives you data about what consumers are buying, and what they are going to buy. We survey users on Retrevo, and also observe and analyze user behaviors of more than 4M users to discover interesting activities and trends. Some of our analysis is made available for free through the CE Demand Index and the CE Price Index. Our Indexes include historical price trends and demand forecasts based on actual observed behavior.

The data for this report came from a study of 448 online users on Retrevo, distributed across gender, age, income and location in the United States. The responses have a confidence interval of 6% at a 95% confidence level.

For more information contact:
Jennifer Jacobson
Director of Public Relations


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