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Dell: Windows 7 sales will get us by until Windows 8 catches on

Windows 8 won't affect businesses PC purchases until sometime next year, at least that's what Dell officials say.

While the company thinks Microsoft's new operating system will ultimately be good for sales to businesses, it will take time, company executive said during its quarterly earnings call this week.

That's because they expect consumers to jump on Windows 8 devices first before more circumspect IT buyers commit to the platform.

NEWS: Windows 8 tablet growth hinges on pricing: report

MORE ON DELL: Dell names new enterprise chief as profit drops 18%

"Look, I think we are bullish about the products that we have coming aligned with the Windows 8 launch. I think as you know, our mix of business tends to be more on the commercial side, so there might be a little bit more delay in terms of that having an impact for us as it sort of works its way through the consumer side of the business," says Brian Gladden, Dell's CFO, according to a transcript of the call posted by SeekingAlpha.

"But we would expect, as you head into next year, seeing a bit of a benefit clearly as that works its way through the system and we see those products in the marketplace."

Meanwhile, Dell can bolster its sales to businesses by selling Windows 7. Gladden says he's seen data that just half of the transitions to Windows 7 from even older Windows operating systems are complete, "and that'll continue and will continue as we sort of play out over the next several quarters here before anybody really thinks about Windows 8 on the commercial side."

When Windows 8 does hit enterprises it could be by virtue of tablets, the device on which Windows 8 shows itself off to best advantage, he says. That and security improvements in Windows 8 are "something that we hear a lot our customers talking about and really waiting for. So we would expect that -- that could be a catalyst," he says.

Dell's End User Computing business took a hit and sales will be challenging in that area through the rest of the year, but that should "stabilize as we come out of that and get Windows 8 sort of in the marketplace," Gladden says.

Dell faced a challenging quarter selling to consumers, with notebook revenue down 26%, according to numbers discussed during the earnings call.

Tim Greene covers Microsoft for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @Tim_Greene.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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