Gartner has warned that Windows 7 will provide only a 'very modest' boost to computer sales when it is released later this year.
Retailers and resellers are hoping that the new operating system will give the market a jump-start, but analysts at the research company have cast doubts over the likelihood of that.
"Although the buzz surrounding Windows 7 has generally been quite positive, we don't expect the market to significantly deviate from its normal seasonal trends in reaction to its release," commented research director at Gartner, George Shiffler.
He added that unless Microsoft supports the release of Windows 7 with a major awareness and advertising drive, consumer sales will not increase. If it doesn't, then: "consumers will simply adopt the new operating system as they would normally buy new PCs and/or replace old ones."
Shiffler also warned that business' traditional caution when approaching new operating systems was likely to remain the case, despite suggestions that they would rush to Windows 7 to get away from Vista. "We still expect professional users to put off adopting the new OS for at least a year until they have fully tested their applications against it."
His comments came as Gartner's latest figures showed worldwide PC shipments would finish down six per cent compared to 2008.
However, the research firm was more positive about the fourth quarter and 2010. It said that after two further difficult quarters, vendors should see growth return at the end of 2009, with 2010's marketplace forecast to increase by 10.3 per cent.