Here’s an interesting correlation: the fact that official support for Windows 7 ends in 2020 was the reason why CES 2019 was absolutely packed with new notebooks and PCs.
This is unusual because the Consumer Electronics Show isn’t normally the trade show where new notebooks and PCs are unveiled by the world’s PC makers: that’s Computex.
It’s more expected for CES to be the place where new home and consumer-focused technologies appear; and while that was the case this year, the sheer volume of gaming and traditional notebooks and desktops there was remarkable.
TechRadar’s Joe Osborn was at the show, where he got the chance to talk to Microsoft’s Mark Linton, GM of OEM Portfolio and Product Management, about the veritable explosion of PCs there. Microsoft is perfectly positioned to comment, as the company is intimately involved with every manufacturer of Windows 10 PCs.
Linton’s conclusion was that advances in PC technology and Windows 10’s rising popularity mean now is a great time to upgrade.
He told Osborn, “There are a few factors here: innovation in silicon, innovation in graphics [and] Windows 10 momentum in terms of the install base.”
And he’s right: processors have become faster and use less power than ever, graphics processing power in both mobile and desktop formats has increased, storage is faster and cheaper than ever, display technology is high-resolution and colours are lifelike, not to mention that RAM is approaching ludicrous speeds – we’re up to 4000mhz for the fastest DDR4 DIMMs right now.
Bye-bye Windows 7
However, the more salient point, and the more likely driver of demand for new desktop and notebook computers, is the fact that Windows 7 is a year away from official support ending.
Literally – Microsoft will stop rolling out security updates to Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. The company already stopped adding new features in 2015, and this is just the logical next step.
Time to Upgrade?
That being the case, people who have stuck with Windows 7 for various reasons are apparently deciding that it’s time to look into upgrading to Windows 10, and more modern hardware.
Linton elaborated, saying “Each silicon generation, things get thinner and better battery life. Again, I often compare it to that Windows 7 machine [that] is six or seven years old, [and] compared to what you’re getting now, it blows your mind. Windows 7 support is a big one that we see customers thinking about, you know, ‘I want to upgrade to Windows 10, so I can get updates.’ And, just overall, excitement is back in the PC.”
CES 2019 is proving a showground for manufacturers to show off how they are meeting this demand, apparently.
A PC for everyone
Microsoft has done incredible work, not only on its Windows 10 operating system (which we here at Tarsus.Today absolutely love), but also with PC manufacturers to ensure Windows 10 computers can meet every type of demand.
“There’s a PC for everyone. They start at sub $200 (+-R2800) and go all the way up to the very high end,” Linton concluded. “We’ve done a lot of work with our partners on the engineering side to get things like 32GB storage, to get updates working great, to get the driver model really smooth. So, no matter what you spend, you’re going to have a great, reliable Windows 10 experience.”
Here are just a few examples of the incredible Windows machines that turned up at the show:
Dell Alienware Area-51m
Acer Swift 7
Samsung Notebook 9 Pro
Lenovo Yoga S940
With these and other PCs taking up significant floor space at CES 2019, it’s clear that the PC market is definitely not dead, and if anything, in the midst of a resurgence.
We have no confirmation that the models mentioned above will definitely be heading to South Africa, but there’s always hope.
We’ll keep you posted if they come to Tarsus Distribution. Even if they don’t, it’s still pretty cool that PCs are far from dead.