Depending on who you choose to believe, Microsoft will launch the next full version of its flagship operating system, dubbed Windows 9, either late this year or early next.

But no matter when this version arrives, the PC market, it seems is very unlikely to recover.

This is according to a new forecast that IDC just released. And the research firm believes that the PC market will continue its decline in the near and upcoming future — despite all the efforts that the various hardware and software companies are making in this regard.

According to Loren Loverde, vice president, Worldwide PC Trackers at the firm:

“Emerging markets used to be a core driver of the PC market, as rising penetration among large populations boosted overall growth. At the moment, however, we’re seeing emerging regions more affected by a weak economic environment as well as significant shifts in technology buying priorities.

We do expect these regions to recover in the medium term and perform better than mature regions, but growth is expected to stabilize near zero percent, rather than driving increasing volumes as we saw in the past.”

IDC expects the desktop market to drop from 136.7 million units last year to 129.1 million units in 2014. Figures are even scarier for 2018, whereby this branch of computing technology is forecasted to move just 119.2 million units.

As has traditionally been the case, a new version of Windows stirs up interest in the market as consumers usually plan their PC purchases and upgrades around new releases of the operating system.

But Windows 8 has shown that an operating system can have near zero effect in uplifting the market, even if it comes with a ton of new features. Ultimately, things will come down to what kind of features Microsoft bundles in Windows 9.

Windows 9, however, is expected to bring back the Start Menu as Redmond wants to cover all bases this time around — touch as well as keyboard and mouse.

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  1. 120 units? Well, Microsoft will still be making plenty of money then. And the industry does not need to be “saved.” Out of control growth of the PC market could not continue forever. It was going to have to level out or drop down. No one is saying the smart phone market needs to be saved, since everyone is predicting growth will slow down there over the next few years

  2. Maybe so for the desktop market but Windows will make up the roughly 20 million unit/yr difference on Windows based mobile devices. Similarly I expect license revenue to drop but leveled out with increased service revenue.

  3. even I don’t believe that…

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