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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.