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What if five years is the new normal in terms of PC refresh cycles?
It’s not such an outrageous idea, according to solution providers and
analysts contacted by Channel Insider.

Pushed by the performance requirements of new software and the
increasing performance of hardware driven by Moore’s Law, PCs in many
corporations have typically been replaced every three years or so.

But with the recession in 2008, many businesses pushed out their PC
refresh cycles for another year, and the uncertainty around 2009 is
showing that new purchases may again be pushed off for yet another

So the question becomes, how far can these cycles be pushed out, and
will five years become the new normal for PC refresh cycles?

"No question small businesses are pushing their refresh dates out and
have implemented a freeze on spending," says Robert Buchanan at
solution provider Archer Integration in Mechanicsville, Va. "They are
more concerned with reducing costs and attempting to hold onto their
essential staff versus refreshing PCs. Only when a machine has failed
beyond the cost of repair are firms considering replacing, and they
typically are replacing them with a PC from a stockpile no longer used
by former employees."

Buchanan says that while three years has been the typical refresh cycle
and still remains the standard for many companies, others are buying
equipment with five-year warranties with the intent of extending the
cycle to five years.

"Until there is an event to trigger refreshing sooner, and Microsoft
Vista has not been the catalyst for small business, I believe we will
continue to see a longer cycle," Buchanan adds.