The upgrade market for average PC owners is dead. We killed it. [...]
In 1998, when everyone was happily using long filenames and browsing the internet and playing their first MP3s and editing their first scanned photos to email to their relatives, a five-year-old computer couldn't easily do any of these things.
But what common tasks in 2009 can't be accomplished by a 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 PC with Windows XP SP2 and a cable internet connection—the average technology of 2004? Not much that regular people actually do.
That reminded me of something Geoff Duncan wrote at least five years ago, which I can no longer find anywhere online:
Your average PC user doesn't update anything. They just throw the computer away when it stops working and buy a new one, then don't change the software on it either for fear of breaking something.
Things haven't changed much, but we'll see if enough people need new computers in the next little while to give Windows 7 a boost. Microsoft's new operating system comes out this week.