What Can We Learn From the Windows 10 Upgrade?

According to data released by the Digital Analytics Program, which mines data from traffic to U.S. government agency websites, 20.2 percent of devices used Windows 10 of all devices using Windows Operating Systems. Windows 7 was most popular at 63 percent, followed by Windows 8 and 8.1 at 12 percent, Windows XP at 3 percent, and Other at 2 percent.

Microsoft has offered Windows 10 as a free upgrade to consumers running the “Home” versions of Windows 7 and 8.1 since its release in July 2015 and intends to continue this promotion to the one-year anniversary. Some have suggested that Microsoft will likely extend the free upgrade, possibly permanently, as it would be difficult to end after a full year. When Microsoft released Windows 10, HP saw an increase in PC sales as consumers decided to upgrade old equipment and take advantage of the free upgrade.

Turning to the printing and imaging industry, Photizo has seen that printer and MFP hardware refresh cycles have increased. Reasons given have to do with profitability and the link to R&D spend. Other reasons have to do with differentiation between hardware products and consolidation in the industry.

In the past, refresh cycles were primarily based on increased speeds, functionality, paper handling, and finishers. With the emphasis on ‘consumerization of the MFP’ which brings with it — new user interface functionality, color touch screens, cloud integration, and the ability to make printers and MFPs behave more like smart mobile devices — you’d think that these enhancements would entice Millennials and other users to acquire new hardcopy devices. This in turn would tend to cause OEMs to reduce refresh cycles rather than extending them. Or, has the industry become so dependent on software and firmware upgrades that hardware has taken a back seat?

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