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Canadian businesses to increase spending on PCs, laptops and servers, new research shows

The increase in hardware sales are tied to the release of Windows 8

At the recently concluded Microsoft worldwide partner conference in Toronto noted executives Steve Ballmer and Tami Reller predicted that with the launch of Windows 8 solution providers should expect to get a big boost in hardware sales.

“Windows 8 is the biggest announcement from our company in the past 17 years”, Microsoft CEO Ballmer at the show.

Reller, Microsoft’s corporate VP and CFO of the Windows division, added that Windows is the glue, the very foundation upon which most of Microsoft was built.

New survey results released by CDW Canada backs up those predictions. The Etobicoke, Ont.-based solution provider surveyed its customers to find that purchasing new PCs, laptops and/or servers is a top priority for Canadian businesses. The survey, which was conducted at the company’s annual Business Technology Expo (BTEX) customer event, asked respondents to identify the areas in which they would be making IT purchases over the next six to 12 months. PC/laptops and servers ranked as some of the highest categories identified, with 79 per cent and 66 per cent citing these respectively. Hardware deployment and configuration was also cited by 64 per cent of respondents as an IT service they plan to use this year.

Daniel Reio, director of marketing for CDW Canada, said the survey results showed that innovation in technology is having an impact on IT purchases and that businesses and IT decision-makers want to take advantage of new, energy-efficient products by refreshing their technology.

“And with the upcoming launch of Windows 8, we anticipate the relative interest in refreshing PCs/laptops will be accelerated. Our trained account managers and specialists are available to help guide businesses as they refresh their technology with the latest hardware and software, finding the right technology to fit existing infrastructure,” Reio said.

Warren Shiau, director of technology research at Leger Marketing, said hardware and software technologies continue to improve and evolve and it’s becoming harder to ignore the benefits of replacing older, aging IT infrastructure with newer, more modern equipment.

“The benefits of keeping IT up-to-date in terms of increased systems performance, reducing IT operating costs and administration costs, and employee productivity, are undeniable,” Shiau said.

Market analyst Beth Vanni of PartnerPath, said with 200 million PCs running Windows XP or earlier versions, combined with competitive pressure from Google, Microsoft has a huge sense of urgency to get what they’re dubbing their “business ready by design” operating system out the door.

“It fundamentally changes the interface to be more dynamic and applications centric, allowing them to play competitive catch-up on ease-of-use more directly with Apple and Google,” she said.

General market availability for Windows 8 is slated for Oct.