For Ingram Micro and LAN Systems, sales were up across the board.
Ingram's solutions director, John Walters, said a standout area was consumer via retail, which got a boost from the launch of Windows Vista and Office 2007. The distributor also chalked up higher storage and server sales in the enterprise market.
"We have had a very strong January - certainly stronger than anticipated," he said.
LAN Systems national sales manager, Leigh Howard, said its year-on-year growth for January was 34 per cent. This was several points higher than its annual growth rate.
"A lot of our vendors finish the year in December, so we take a lot of orders then. These flowed on into January, which also gave us a good start and momentum into the year," he said. "Our last quarter of the year (December to February) is typically a challenging one, so 34 per cent growth in January is spectacular." Sales were up in all categories, with switching and security vendors making the most gains, Howard said.
ED's Cochrane claimed the above average January sales were a promising indicator for the year ahead. His optimism was shared by LAN's Howard but Dicker's Price said it was difficult to judge how the year would pan out. "It's pretty unpredictable - there's plenty of new technology out there. It depends on whether the market jumps on-board or if everyone sits back to see what happens," he said. "For example, there are new processors out from Intel. Most people wait for the first bus jump before they buy, and the chip becomes the sweet spot. This hasn't impacted dual-core processors yet."
Price claimed sales would also steady over the next few months as corporates weighed up the advantages of upgrading to Vista. He expected the OS wouldn't take off until the launch of the first service pack mid-year.
"Realistically, resellers want XP Pro now but want Vista to be an upgrade option," he said. "Most vendors are offering customers the ability to move to the new operating system for about the price of postage and handling. What happens when that offer stops will be the true test of how many people jump to Vista."