When asked about the PC industry's supposed decline, I've always been quick to suggest that the Windows XP holdouts are causing some of the PC sales woes, and that the industry will pick up in 2014 as hardware is refreshed. People tend to dismiss that and folks in the tech industry would rather blame the PC decay on Windows 8's slow adoption or that tablets or smartphones are overtaking PCs as primary computing devices. Even hardware manufacturers have publicly put blame on Microsoft instead of pounding the drawing board to come up with innovative ideas. Lenovo, the only hardware bright spot in the industry right now, keeps pumping out innovative designs and continues to put the other hardware vendors to shame.

So, it may come as a shock to some that IDC is reporting that Windows XP could actually be a short-lived savior for the PC industry in 2014. Though Q3 saw a continued drop in PC sales worldwide, the slump wasn't as large as the year before. It's estimated that roughly one third of corporate PCs still run Windows XP and as the end of support for the decade old OS hits in April 2014, hardware will need to be refreshed.

It makes sense.

Companies currently running Windows XP are doing so due to the overall costs associated with replacing the old OS along with Band-Aid laden hardware. The majority of PCs still running Windows XP have outdated hardware and when it comes time to put the business back into a supportable state, new PCs with a pre-loaded OS will be the best solution.

A lot has changed since the release of Windows XP. Can you imagine it? When business users go from Windows XP and old hardware to a more modern OS with faster and newer specs, it'll be like exiting a wormhole into the future. And, no matter if they choose Windows 7 (most likely) or Windows 8.1 it will still be quite a culture shock. Like a caveman captured in ice and thawed after thousands of years to be found still alive, a whole new world awaits.

Windows XP's end of support happens on April 8, 2014. Feel free to use our Windows XP resources to help your company meet the deadline.

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