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Microsoft Longhorn May Discourage PC Buying! - 8/18/2004 5:11:26 PM   

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Credit Suisse First Boston said PC unit growth will slow to "high single digits" beginning in the calendar third quarter. CSFB said its outlook reflects "tough" comparisons and "the denouement of the current replacement cycle." The research firm said, "We are now assuming 7.7% PC unit growth in fiscal 2005 and 6.8% in fiscal 2006. We believe there is some risk that PC sales will slow down materially in calendar 2006 in front of Longhorn that we are now modeling as a 2007 event. We fear that heavy hardware requirements for Longhorn will discourage buying." Longhorn is the code name for the next version of the Windows operating system from Microsoft. CSFB said one potential drag on Microsoft's revenue is "the likely decline of the pure Windows licensing business given the gap between XP and Longhorn." The firm said Microsoft's overall revenue growth is significantly more sensitive to average selling price changes as opposed to market share changes. "As such, the company's strategy to offer lower-priced versions in emerging markets could be risky," CSFB said. The firm maintains a "neutral" rating on Microsoft, noting that although slower PC unit growth "is apt to dampen sentiment for Microsoft shares, the good news is that the company is increasingly less sensitive to it."

Source : Forbes
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