Local analysts defy post-2000 PC sales forecasts

Despite reports from analyst Forrester Research that the PC market is likely to slow and then stall after a year 2000 spending spree (see page 26), Australian analysts remain confident that PC sales will continue to rise despite the temporary setback resulting from millennium bug projects.

The Forrester report said a spending surge will boost PC sales next year as customers replace old equipment that could fail due to the year 2000 problem. After that it is expected the market will slow and then stall, halting 17 years of industry growth and leading to lower PC prices.

However, Bruce McCabe, research director at Gartner Group Australia, said that while year 2000 is "certainly going to inhibit PC spending, it is not going to kill the market. We will see, in the lead up to the year 2000, increased spending on PCs," McCabe said.

"Then Gartner Group forecasts a dip in spending in every aspect of IT - except year 2000."

According to McCabe, overcoming year 2000 problems is a short-term inhibitor for the PC market and technology providers in general, but it will not hold back the industry.

According to Graham Penn, IDC Australia's general manager of research, year 2000 issues will have little impact on the local PC market. "The high growth rate will abate but we still expect continued growth beyond 2000," he said.