PC vendors are not sure what to expect from Windows 10

Trying to predict the PC market is like to trying to forecast the weather a month in advance — it’s a crapshoot, basically. So, we’re taking it with several grains of salt that PC vendors are reportedly doubtful that the Windows 10 launch next year will stimulate demand for replacement systems. One reason they feel that way is because of the lingering rumor that Microsoft may make Windows 10 a free update.

We haven’t heard much on that front lately, but with Microsoft making such a big dealabout the changes in Windows 10 and even skipping a number due to the massive overhaul, we’d be mildly surprised (not downright shocked) if Redmond doled it out as a free update to Windows 8.1.

Players within the Taiwan-based supply chain point out to Digitimes that brand vendors usually launch new notebook models to pair with a new OS release, though they don’t know if that will be the case if Microsoft does indeed make Windows 10 a free update.

Market research firm Gartner is a bit more optimistic, or at least it was earlier in the year. Back in July, Gartner predicted that PC shipments could reach 317 million units in 2015, up from 308 million units expected to ship this year. The reason? A “revival” of the PC market due to business PC upgrades, especially as more companies replace their XP systems.