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Why Chipmakers Will Love Windows 7

[qi:gigaom_icon_chip] As Microsoft (s msft) prepares its upcoming Oct. 22 launch of Windows 7, it looks like the chip industry has several reasons to love the new operating system. Everything from its smaller footprint to better performance while running it from a solid-state hard drive could change the dynamics of the memory business, while the integrated touch will help boost the sales of semiconductors and components for touchscreens. Let’s hit the highlights:

Solid State Becomes a Solid Proposition: Windows 7 both reads faster and uses space more efficiently on solid-state drives (Flash-based alternatives to the spinning disk hard drives) than Windows Vista. This is a good thing for Flash memory makers like Samsung, Spansion and Micron and kind of a bummer for the makers of spinning disk drives like Western Digital and Seagate. However, SSDs still cost far more per GB of memory, which means they’re a bit of luxury item on consumer PCs and are typically used sparingly in the enterprise. But that is changing, and Windows 7 will make the case for transitioning to SSDs even stronger.

Touch Becomes a Primary User Interface: For decades, interacting with a PC was done by way of a keyboard or mouse, but with Windows 7 touch officially become a third means of telling the computer what you want it to do. Clearly the OS can only do so much, but thanks to the drivers, the Microsoft backing and an open platform that define touch controls, touch as a UI stands to gain in adoption for both consumer and business applications. Chipmakers like Synaptics or firms providing haptic feedback MEMS may see a boom in their business if touch becomes widely adopted beyond smartphones.

A Shiny New OS Means Shiny New PCs: The key reason that chipmakers will love Windows 7 is because it may finally get both corporate IT departments and consumers to stop hoarding their XP machines and purchase new ones, knowing they are safe from Vista.

4 Responses to “Why Chipmakers Will Love Windows 7”

    • A couple of remarks:

      >>The opposite is actually true

      Well, the opposite *has been* true. New versions of windows (in the last n years) meant new chips for intel and new PCs for the masses…money exchanged hands, people got new toys, no one really cried (for the old PCs/OS/chips) and God stayed in heaven….although there’s probably no one who has NOT wondered “is this new PC/OS/chip better than my previous PC/OS/chip ?”

      >>> Why chipmakers will love Windows 7?
      Shouldn’t one be asking “why will consumers love windows 7?”
      Chipmakers will love anything that helps them boost their sales. And hate anything that hinders their sales. So, Jeffrey is right (as is Stacey) in pointing out that *some* chip makers will not exactly be popping champagne at Windows 7.

      Will windows 7 be a real game changer in the PC world? Will it really make touch mainstream? Will it really make SSDs mainstream? Will consumers take to it like fish to water? Will it make vista – no , make that XP – obsolete by end 2010?

    • The post refers to chips specifically in the context of:

      – SSDs: available in smaller capacities compared to HDDs and hence benefits from efficient use of space (which Windows 7 is expected to deliver)

      – Processors and ICs for PCs – As people migrate to new Windows 7-based PC systems, it will drive sales for ICs. (Some recent reviews of Windows 7 declared that upgrading from XP to Windows 7 is a nightmare. Most PCs today are XP-based and hence it can be expected that a majority will choose new systems along with Windows 7 — provided Windows 7 lives up to its promise and instills the needed confidence in the PC user).