Analyst Gartner says that firms cannot delay replacing their PCs for much longer, since the average age of the business PC is at an all-time high.
Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal said businesses that delay replacing their PCs risk alienating employees, increasing support costs and facing higher migration costs when they move to Windows 7.
Ageing PCs inevitably lead to higher breakdown rates, and Atwal said: "The bottom line is that the majority of businesses will start to refresh their PCs sooner rather than later."
Businesses have delayed PC replacement as a result of perceived problems with Microsoft's Windows Vista and the economic downturn in 2008, and although some have begun to replace their itinerary, the majority have not yet done so.
Atwal's comments were made in Gartner's latest prediction of worldwide PC shipments. The analyst expects growth of 19 per cent over 2010, but a slowdown in the second half of 2010.
"In light of the uncertain economic outlook for the US and Western Europe, we're predicting growth dropping to 15.3 per cent for the second half," said Atwal.
He explained that consumer PC purchases had buoyed the PC market in 2009 as businesses delayed their purchases.
Consumer demand is likely to remain strong, said Atwal, even if the economic recovery stalls, because "consumers view the PC as a relative necessity rather than a luxury."
"They will continue to spend on PCs, even at the expense of other consumer electronic devices," added Atwal.
Gartner recently revised its forecast for global enterprise IT spending in 2010, down from an earlier prediction of 4.1 per cent to 2.9 per cent.
The analyst also said that spending would surpass $2.4tn (£1.6tn) in 2010, up from 2009's $2.3tn figure.
The revision was the result of the appreciation of the US dollar plus the potential impact of higher sovereign debt service on government IT spending and broader business confidence," said Gartner.
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