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It’s old news that PC sales aren’t what they used to be, even business-driven shipments. That all changed in Q2 when PC shipments far surpassed industry expectations and achieved the first year-over-year growth since early 2012. While IDC anticipated year-over-year growth of just 0.3%, the actual number came in at 2.7%. Gartner recorded a similar jump year over year. In all, more than 62 million PCs were shipped last quarter.
This increased demand is being driven by corporate adoption of Windows 10. Windows 7 remains the most used operating system with more than 40% of the market, but support for that version officially ends in January 2020. With that deadline less than 18 months away, more companies are beginning to make the switch – which means finding endpoint solutions that can support the new OS.
This presents a few interesting challenges:
Organizations haven’t been investing as much in PCs – which include desktops, notebooks and workstations – in the past six years because they’re no longer the best technology. As smartphones became more powerful and pervasive, employees began working in a much more mobile fashion. At the same time, the rise of cloud solutions and software as a service (SaaS) largely did away with compatibility issues and allowed users to access many applications from their chosen device. We’re no longer chained to our desktops in an office – the traditional home of a corporate PC.
How and where we work has changed in the past decade, and traditional PCs simply aren’t the best answer anymore. Companies that invested in new endpoints to accommodate the Windows 10 upgrade will find themselves facing the same challenges in a few short years – and then again as those PCs become outdated. Rather than investing in more traditional endpoints, organizations should earmark that budget for advanced solutions that can keep up with the times and offer more compatibility and flexibility going forward.
The world has moved to the cloud and it’s time desktops do the same. Desktop virtualization has made great strides in recent years, enabling companies to detach the desktop from the PC without sacrificing performance.
In addition to offering benefits like increased security and control, virtual desktops do away with device compatibility issues as operating systems change. Because the desktop and its operating system, computing resources, etc. are virtualized, the desktop can be run on just about any endpoint device regardless of the device’s specific capabilities. This means that organizations can upgrade to the new operating system without swapping out any user endpoints.
Organization’s that have already adopted virtual desktops likely didn’t participate in the Q2 PC shipment spike. Not only can Windows 10 be run on existing endpoints, organizations also have the option of allowing employee BYOD (bring your own device) without security or compatibility concerns, deploying thin clients or converting outdated and underpowered PCs into usable thin clients. These options increase the lifespan of existing endpoints and PCs, making organizations less dependent on operating system cycles and more flexible with their hardware refresh timelines.
PC shipments have spiked because we’re on the verge of a major operating system update and buying new PCs is how organizations have always dealt with that transition. But when Windows 10 is phased out, it wouldn’t be surprising if the cycle is finally broken. There are better ways of delivering desktops to users, now’s the time to take the plunge.
Nov 08, 2018
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