Dell Says Big Refresh of Enterprise Client Computers Coming

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Computer sales may just spike a year from now, according to Michael Dell. The CEO of computer maker Dell tells financial analysts that customers are planning a "pretty big 2010 client refresh." New processors from Intel and Microsoft's release of the Windows 7 operating system will contribute to the refresh spike, Dell executives say.

Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) executives believe that the client refreshes that have been delayed for a year or more as companies have cut IT budgets may finally be on the way in nine months to a year, offering the potential to rejuvenate PC sales.

What’s coming then? Enterprise fleets of PCs will be 4 to 5 years old by then, and corporations won’t be able to put off the refreshes for much longer than that.

"We are seeing a big deferral of server purchases by corporations," Chairman and CEO Michael Dell tells financial analysts during the company’s earnings call. "But they are planning a pretty big 2010 client refresh." Dell says these companies passed on upgrading to Microsoft’s Vista operating system but are now getting ready for Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows 7 operating system, expected this year.

"There will be a pretty powerful cycle of upgrades in the client environment," says Dell.

Dell says that there is also a data center opportunity, but the bigger opportunity that is coming sooner is for clients in the enterprise.

"Users are getting restless with these 4-year-old and 5-year-old machines," says Dell, especially when they are experience all the great features on their newer machines at home.

New products from Microsoft and Intel will contribute to what could become a perfect storm of client upgrades.

"If you get the right combination of new product cycles—Intel’s got an interesting one coming, Microsoft’s got an interesting one coming—you could ignite a pretty interesting refresh cycle," Brian Gladden, senior vice president and CFO at Dell, tells financial analysts during the company’s earnings call.

Dell reported an earnings decline of 63 percent on revenues that declined 23 percent. A full report on Dell’s fiscal Q1 earnings is here.


Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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