Tuesday Buzz: When Businesses Finally Quit Windows XP

A new Gartner report suggests that the PC industry is starting to bounce back—because businesses had to upgrade from Windows XP. Also: Inspire yourself with a commencement speech or 300.

The PC industry did not have an easy 2013, largely because business buyers had no desire to upgrade from their beige Windows XP boxes.

Now that trend is starting to shift the other way—very, very slowly.

That’s according to Gartner, which released its latest forecast on the direction of the industry on Monday. While sales remain on the decline, they’re expected to slow their free fall from 2013, when PC device shipments dropped by 9.5 percent, to a much more modest decline of 2.9 percent in 2014. Gartner Research Director Ranjit Atwal says that Microsoft’s decision to sunset Windows XP is part of the reason.

“Business upgrades from Windows XP and the general business replacement cycle will lessen the downward trend, especially in Western Europe,” Atwal said in a statement. “This year, we anticipate nearly 60 million professional PC replacements in mature markets.”

A big part of what’s driving the growth is the ultramobile market, a section of the PC market where systems are smaller than 14 inches in size and thinner than 23 millimeters. The market is expected to significantly increase in 2015 and drive a rise in PC shipments as traditional PCs and notebooks continue to slide.

More highlights from Gartner’s latest data forecast can be found here.

Let’s Commence

In case you missed the highs and lows of the recent commencement season, you may want to take a gander at a spiffy online database from NPR, which has a nice collection of more than 300 notable commencement speeches—from President John F. Kennedy’s June 1963 speech at American University to just-departed New York Times editor Jill Abramson’s barn burner at Wake Forest University this past May.

There are a lot of words to live by in the database, including this epic example from Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford University address: “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”

Speaking anytime soon? Pick up some pointers from these pros. (ht @andy_freed)

Other good reads

Sometimes a good gamble is what you need to move forward. Case in point: the roll of the dice FedEx founder Fred Smith made in Vegas one weekend when the fledgling company was running low on cash. As Priceonomics points out, the gamble worked.

Feel like your board retreats are a wash? Over at MultiBriefs, the Nonprofit Center’s Bob Harris, CAE, offers tips on how to boost the productivity factor of these once-a-year meetings.

How can someone like Man v. Food host Adam Richman survive a social media free fall? Bloomberg Businessweek‘s Felix Gillette has some insights that might offer lessons to other public figures, too.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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