In a report issued earlier this week, market research firm IDC said it expects worldwide IT spending to grow by 3 percent in 2010, fueled in large part by emerging markets like China and India.
"Despite pent-up demand for upgrades and new applications following the deep spending cuts of the past year, economic uncertainty will combine with capital and credit constraints to inhibit spending in mature economies," IDC analyst Stephen Minton said.
IDC predicts global IT spending will hit $1.48 trillion by the end of the year, which is a good chunk less than what Gartner is expecting. According to Gartner, spending will grow by 4.6 percent, to $3.4 trillion.
Microsoft hit a home run with Windows 7, and not just with home consumers. In the corporate world, companies are buying more PCs, and according to market research firm ChangeWave, it's due to the new OS, which has only been on the market for two months.
ChangeWave polled more than 1,700 U.S. corporate IT buyers, of which 93 percent said that their company is satisfied with the new OS. This is in line with previous studies the research firm has conducted.
"Previous ChangeWave surveys found companies deferring their PC purchases in anticipation of Windows," said director of research Paul Carton and researcher Adam Golub. "The latest results show the opposite now occurring."
About one in five of those surveyed said that Windows 7 has caused their firm to upgrade their PCs faster than they normally would. And while just 3 percent said the new OS caused "significant acceleration" of upgrade plans, 16 percent said Windows 7 led to either "modest acceleration" or "slight acceleration."
Microsoft's latest OS, Windows 7, figures to play a big part in IT spending next year, says investment group Goldman Sachs. The reason, Goldman says, is because of pent-up demand for new hardware like servers and PCs stimulating an increase in Windows 7 upgrades, ComputerWorld reports.
Goldman came by its prediction through a survey comprised of 100 IT executives from Fortune 1000 companies. Some 94 percent of those surveyed said they intend to upgrade to Windows 7, with 32 percent saying they'll do so in 2010, and another 28 percent indicating they'll make the jump in 2011. The remaining 34 percent pegged 2012 and beyond as the expected upgrade time frame, but Goldman reckons most of them will migrate in 2012 rather than waiting much longer.
One other reason Goldman believes IT spending will rise is because 36 percent of respondents said they believe their spending with Microsoft will increase, compared to 15 percent and 24 percent in the last two surveys (June and August, respectively).
Security firm Symantec reported revenue of $1.48 billion for its second fiscal quarter, beating out most analysts' expectations, but down 3 percent from the same quarter one year ago. Earnings were also better than expected, which checked in at $294 million, or $0.36 per share.
Symantec attributed the growth to its consumer business and increased IT spending, which bodes well for the company, considering a recent survey by Intuit Payroll suggested that the majority of SMBs have been spending less on security, even as cybercrime continues to rise.
"We're definitely seeing the U.S. market stabilize," Symantec CEO Enrique Salem noted in an interview on Wednesday. "We've seen China and parts of Asia continue to do well, and we're seeing some weakness in western Europe."
While consumer revenue was up 6 percent year-over-year, Symantec may have a tough time pushing its storage products. According to data from research firms IDC and Gartner, server sales were down roughly 30 percent last quarter.
The PC market isn't the only sector to note its first decline since the dot-com bust. According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), consumer electronics in general is on pace to record its first annual drop in revenue since 2001, the same year the PC market also recorded its last decline prior to 2009.
Revenues are expected to be about $165 billion by the end of the year, down about 7.7 percent from 2008. However, it's not because consumers have reduced their spending. Instead, the CEA blames the lower revenue on lower product prices. In fact, CE spending as a percentage of all durable goods is as high as it has been in 50 years, TGDaily reports.
That might come as little consolation to CE manufacturers unable to cash in on consumer spending, but Blu-ray could turn that around. Despite falling prices of Blu-ray players, the CEA predicts unit shipments to reach nearly six million, a whopping 112 percent jump. That would push Blu-ray revenue over the $1 billion mark, a 48 percent increase over 2008.
International management consulting firm Oliver Wyman released a survey last week painting a pretty grim outlook for technology and media sales, but that didn't stop shoppers from flocking online on Black Friday. According to comScore, consumers spent $534 million online on Black Friday, November 28th, up 1 percent from last year. Total online sales were up 2 percent for the combination of Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, beating out expectations.
"Early reports suggest that Black Friday sales in retail stores were slightly better than anticipated in this depressed retail climate, and that performance apparently extended to the online channel, which saw sales on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday combined increase 2 percent versus year ago," said comScore chairman, Gian Fulgoni. "It's probable that on Black Friday consumers responded positively to the very aggressive promotions and discounts being offered in retail stores."
Despite the 2-day sales boost, e-commerce spending for the first 28 days of November was down overall at $10.41 billion, 4 percent less than what it was in the same time frame one year ago.