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Computer Hardware Sales Still Holding Strong

 10:53 am on Aug 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Computer Hardware Sales [businessweek.com]Still Holding Strong
When the U.S. economy slumps, computer and other hardware sales usually follow suit. That's not happening this year. "It's surprising that PC sales have held up," says Tom Smith, who follows computer hardware stocks for Standard & Poor's Equity Research. "There's something strong about people and their connection to their laptops."

The latest evidence came from the Aug. 19 earnings report from Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), which said unit shipments of PCs rose 20% from a year ago. This indicates the strong trends in the industry are continuing, Smith says, as consumers and businesses keep buying new laptops with more power, memory, and battery life to manage even more tasks, including storing photos, movies, and music. Faster growth in developing countries is helping offset weakness in U.S. sales for most hardware makers, he adds.

"PC sales just didn't falter in the first half of 2008," Smith says. "They should have failed already if they were going to."

Are your ecommerce computer hardware sales holding up?



 2:54 pm on Aug 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Interesting observation. It may be that for most purchasers they are now an essential item - something for which they will find money even if it is tight. I wonder how the system profile has changed - whether there are more lower-end sales as a ratio to higher-end systems? Could a slump at the high end be hidden by constant overall system sale numbers?


 4:18 am on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is particularly interesting for me right now. I have a high-end system that very much needs to retired (not close to top-flight anymore), and I would be replacing it with another high-end system - lots of power for graphics programs, lots of gaming power, top drawer on every option - a big dollar buy.

I have been putting this off because now just does not seem like a good time for a high-end computer purchase. (For the average user - who cares.) XP has been very good to me - but it is going to be killed off as fast as they can get away with it. Vista has thrashed and trashed by nearly everyone whose opinion I respect. I am not inclined to put big money in either OS - but I can't wait until 2010 - and who knows whether they will have learned anything from Vista. Microsoft is very slow to learn anything it seems.

So - I'm in a tough spot - ready to invest big money (needing to do so), but not looking to throw it away on an obsolete or third-rate OS. What to do?


 10:12 am on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't wait around for Microsoft, and I wouldn't call XP an obsolete or 3rd rate operating system. Microsoft isn't fooling me into beta testing Vista, I'll wait 3 more years if I have to for all the brave souls that think they are upgrading to battle out the issues.

I'm not a heavy graphics user, and I don't game, mostly just a web and light program user so I can work with older PC technology and I hardly notice the difference. I bought a new computer that came with Vista last year, so I promptly formated it then upgraded it to XP :)

Lord Majestic

 2:44 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

XP will have to be supported until at least 2012. I am not migrating to Vista either.


 3:31 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Most manufacturers are offering already installed XP downgrades with Vista disks for installation at a later time. For some business buyers it's free; for others and most consumers it's pegged at around 100 bucks.


 4:25 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

From a hardware purchase point of view, this year has been our biggest - the low cost of harware compared to the cost of the people that work on it means updating hardware should be seen as essential.

Re XP/Vista...

If windows is a requirement, have you tried Windows Server 2008? I've heard good things from lots of people - I haven't tried it yet though as XP Pro does all I need on a desktop with local or remote Linux servers handling the rest.

Lord Majestic

 4:38 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Windows Server OS is way too expensive - I use Windows XP Pro 64-bit which has cheap cost of a "client" OS, but it is actually based on Windows Server 2003 code - works perfectly and very cheap.


 10:01 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

They're talking about unit sales. I wonder what the trend is for total revenue from those sales, given the seeming ever-decreasing price of hardware.


 10:08 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

My guess is that a lot of people were buying laptops before they stopped delivering them with XP installed.

Given a choice between eating for a week and not having Vista installed... Well, I need to lose some weight anyway. :)


 1:04 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I recently bought a high end HP Laptop with Vista installed, and I love Vista, everytime I go back to a an XP machine, running programs, searching for files seems so slow and limited compared to Vista.

I was a very late adopter to XP because of all the bad reviews of the time, ended up buying a new machine with XP and loving it as well.

I was very apprehensive about buying a machine with Vista on it, but I can honestly say it's not as bad as everyone makes it out to be.

Im also sure all of you have heard of the 'Mojave Experiment'.


 1:40 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Let's not forget about the UMPC market, it is boiling hot right now. Although microsized laptops have been with us before, it looks like that this fad is here is stay. The reaon is that the new machines are really cheap and very suitable for students to use in school.


 3:47 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Im also sure all of you have heard of the 'Mojave Experiment'.

Yep. Sounds like staged PR to me.

I've also bought a laptop with Vista on it and will not give it a glowing report. It has a few things that I will admit to liking, but they are far outweighed by the things I dislike or outright hate.

Most software I have won't install or won't run properly. Why should I have to pay a bunch of money to "upgrade" software with a whole lot of bells and whistleds that I don't want ot need and will doubtfully ever use?

One thing that I will say for Vista is that it has pushed me more towards the exciting world of open source software.


 4:55 pm on Sep 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

The report about HP is a bit misleading because they've been aggressively selling low quality desktop PCs and taking market share away from Dell. It just means HP is getting a bigger share of the stale pie (the pie is not growing much).

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