VAR Roundtable: The PC Isn't Dead Just Yet


Despite endless calls for the "death of the PC," solution providers said they aren't ready to hold a funeral for the technology just yet.

That was the consensus at a VAR roundtable held at D&H Distributing's New England Technology Show in Quincy, Mass and moderated by CRN.

"They're all being used today. We are not seeing any cutback at all," said Richard Trahant, owner of Peabody, Mass.-based Land Computer Systems.

[Related: VAR Roundtable: Services Versus Hardware, What's Your Percentage?]

In fact, Trahant said he is actually seeing more devices being sold, as his clients are looking to have a tablet, smartphone and PC to get their job done.

"It's actually working out great," he said.

Jay Shah, principal of Compu-Tech in Weathersfield, Conn., agreed and said he has seen growth as his clients look to pick up more devices, instead of dumping their PCs.

"It's not just one device over another device. People are just buying more of it. A person could conceivably have a tablet, laptop and a PC," Shah said.

The VARs aren't the only ones saying that they are seeing PC sales on the rise. Intel in June raised its revenue estimates by $1 billion in response to greater demand for PC processors. At last year's round table, held at the same event, VARs echoed a similar sentiment after observing increased PC demand. 

Driving a lot of that growth in 2014 was the expiration of support for XP in April, the solution providers said. They agreed they saw a big boost in business, some up to 40 percent, directly due to the XP support expiration.

"I think with the end of XP, we're off the roof. Next year that answer might be a little different," Dave Hodgdon, owner of Portsmouth, N.H.-based Portsmouth Computer Group, said. Trahant agreed, saying that "migrations are a huge area right now."

With an estimated 40 million PCs still waiting to be upgraded, Shah said he expects the PC boom to continue.

"There's a lot of potential for PCs out there, which can be grabbed by Microsoft and small businesses like us around providing the services and upgrading that to the operating system which the business users are going to be able to use," Shah said.

The solution providers said they continue to see the boosts from the XP support expiration, but expect PC sales will remain strong for them even after the surge subsides.

PUBLISHED AUG. 22, 2014