Developing world for developers – Windows 7 upgrade

Developing world for developers – Windows 7 upgrade – By Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts

Software developers can create the most incredible applications, but will people want them? With Microsoft’s newest upgrade to the Windows operating system, the first question PC vendors and software developers alike ask is how soon users will upgrade. Or, will they wait until they buy their next PC?

Behavior and intention are two strong indicators to start with. As part of Technology User Profile, MetaFacts asked over 30,889 PC users around the world about their plans to upgrade their operating system. We also asked them whether they acquired their previous operating system with their computer or separately.

Three of the five BRIC-M countries: Brazil, Russia, and India’s Upper Urbanites ranked highest in what they say they want to do and what they’ve done in the past. Nearly half of the Russian online adults we surveyed acquired their last operating system separately from their PC, as did over a third of Brazilian online adults and nearly a third of India’s Upper Urbanites. This has as much to do with the weakness of major PC brands in these countries as it has to do with the economics of buying and using PCs.

Piracy is potentially an issue as well, since in two of these three regions, one-fifth or more agreed that it’s acceptable to use unlicensed software at home or in the workplace.

Three additional countries worthy of note as potentially strongest markets for the Windows 7 upgrade: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Germany, and China’s Urbanites. Each of these countries is ranked in the top five in either their OS purchase plans or past upgrading experience.

Some of Microsoft’s strongest markets – the UK, US, France, Netherlands, and Japan – are at the bottom of the list when ranked by intention and behavior. It may be that these seasoned PC veterans – 25% or more of whom who have used a PC for 13 or more years – have been through enough versions of Windows to have them wait and see.

To answer these and many other questions, MetaFacts conducted its 27th wave of Technology User Profile, surveying over 45,000 online and offline adults in 16 countries for its Global Insights Edition. The multi-modal multi-phase study was conducted using a careful combination of offline and online methods.

I expect the first wave of Windows upgraders to come from Germany, Australia, Spain, and Italy, taking these and other factors into account. These will be followed by the UK, the US, and France. After that, the newest crop of notebooks from HP and Dell are the most likely direction users will go to enjoy this newest Windows version.

About this TUPdate

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Moms and Dads, Web Creators, Broadband, and many other technology industry topics. These TUPdates are short analytical articles in a series of specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption around the world. Interested technology professionals can sign up at for complimentary TUPdates – periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts, Inc. is a national market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are widely recognized as a primary market sizing and segmentation resource for leading companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, software applications, peripherals, consumer electronics, mobile computing, and related services and products. For more information about the syndicated research service, publications and datasets, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.

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