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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

February 2, 2009 at 3:28 PM

Two reasons to wait for that new PC: Windows 7 netbooks and new iMacs

If you’re thinking about buying a new computer and don’t urgently need a replacement, you may want to wait a few months.

Two speculative analyst reports out today suggest the options could get a lot better by early summer.

One is a report from Portland-based Pacific Crest Securities saying Windows 7 – which it dubs “Lucky #7” -could be available as soon as June. Pacific Crest said Microsoft could start booking Windows 7 sales in its current fiscal year, ending June 30. That sounds pretty early, but perhaps Microsoft will give early access to a few big enterprise customers?

The report also discusses the potential of Windows 7 for netbooks. It will “advance the richness of the netbook experience, which will likely drive further cannibalization of traditional PC sales and apply more pricing pressure to the low end of the notebook market.”

If Microsoft could convert most netbooks to Windows 7, it would get an additional $700 million a year in sales. The company could also offer a budget version for $35 – up from the $25 Microsoft collects from netbook makers for Windows XP, the report said.

Bottom line, Pacific Crest expects Lucky 7 to add 16 cents per share to Microsoft’s earnings in the company’s 2010 fiscal year. It expects the stock to outperform and hit $28 within 12 months.

Also out today is a report from Kaufman Bros. predicting that Apple will refresh its iMac lineup in the next quarter or two, probably with a mix of new dual-core and quad-core processors. It follows on his report last week about new iMacs coming and a Friday report by AppleInsider about iMac supply dwindling, apparently in advance of an upgrade to new Intel quad-core chips.

Kaufman’s report says Apple’s mulling over the mix of processors but could offer dual-core on the low end and quad-core on the high end, according to AppleInsider’s followup on his followup).

Uncertainty and waiting for the next cool machines aren’t what the chip industry needs.

The Semiconductor Industry Association today said chip sales fell 2.8 percent last year, the first year-over-year decline since 2001.

Comments | Topics: Apple, Gadgets & products, Microsoft

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