Speeding up PC buys could mean billions

Consumers replace their PCs about every five years. But if computer makers could shorten that time frame by just one month, the PC industry could reap another $1.4 billion in revenue.

That was the message Monday from Microsoft Senior Vice President Will Poole. In wrapping up a WinHEC talk on the PC business opportunity, Poole tried to translate what shorter cycle times could mean in dollars.

Businesses typically replace their PCs every five years as well, he said. That means the average company upgrades 20 percent of its computers a year. By increasing that to 22 percent, the industry would get another $1.7 billion in revenue.

Of course, if Longhorn makes it on computers by the end of next year, it will have been about five years since Microsoft last updated its core OS. If it could cut that time by just...

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