Forrester Assures Tech Industry ‘The Worst is Over’

Economy_technology_china_full_600The tech downturn is over and a recovery is on the way after a “dismal” 2009, as companies resume spending on computers and software, according to a new analysis.

Forrester Research Inc. was set to report Tuesday that it expects global spending on technology products and services to grow 8.1 percent in 2010, to more than $1.6 trillion. U.S. spending is expected to rise 6.6 percent, to $568 billion.

The projected increases follow sharp declines in 2009, when businesses and governments slashed their purchases of PCs, computer peripherals and communications equipment in response to the economic turmoil and credit crisis. Many large tech companies, such as Microsoft Corp., remained profitable and increased their stock prices in 2009, but often they relied on layoffs and other expense reductions to do it.

Even with the expected rebound, “the level of computer equipment purchases in 2010 will still be lower than in 2008 or even 2007,” said Forrester analyst Andrew Bartels.

With the recession over, pent-up demand for new computers and updated software programs stands to benefit the companies that make them. The October launch of Microsoft’s latest computer operating system, Windows 7, also gives companies a reason to start replacing PCs.

Still, Forrester cautioned that growth will start slowly and pick up later in the year.

The research firm also expects spending on communications equipment to pick up this year, partly because of demand in emerging markets that are building wireless and broadband networks.

Forrester is not alone in predicting a rebound for the year. Last fall Gartner Inc. forecast 3.3 percent growth in global technology spending. Another analyst firm, IDC, said in December that worldwide tech spending would grow 3.2 percent in 2010, returning the industry to 2008 levels of about $1.5 trillion.

More insight into the sector’s recovery should come Wednesday, with the release of figures on PC sales in the fourth quarter, and on Thursday, when Intel Corp. reports earnings for the period.

Features

Netflix’s latest price increase heralds the end of streaming’s golden age

Netflix’s recent price rise is just the latest in a string of signs that streaming’s golden age is nearly over. As more services enter the fray, content will be further partitioned, signaling the end of streaming’s good old days.
Deals

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for January 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Mobile

Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.
Computing

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.
Computing

Protect your expensive new laptop with the best Macbook cases

If you recently picked up a new MacBook, you’ll want something to protect its gorgeous exterior. Here, we've gathered the best MacBook cases and covers, whether you're looking for style or protection.
Product Review

LG Gram 14 proves 2-in-1 laptops don’t need to sacrifice battery for light weight

The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 aims to be very light for a laptop that converts to a tablet. And it is. But it doesn’t skimp on the battery, and so it lasts a very long time on a charge.
Computing

Watch out for these top-10 mistakes people make when buying a laptop

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.
Computing

Don't spend a fortune on a PC. These are the best laptops under $300

Buying a laptop needn't mean spending a fortune. If you're just looking to browse the internet, answer emails, and watch Netflix, you can pick up a great laptop at a great price. These are the best laptops under $300.
Computing

Dell XPS 13 vs. Asus Zenbook 13: In battle of champions, who will be the victor?

The ZenBook 13 UX333 continues Asus's tradition of offering great budget-oriented 13-inch laptop offerings. Does this affordable machine offer enough value to compete with the excellent Dell XPS 13?
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Computing

The Asus ZenBook 13 offers more value and performance than Apple's MacBook Air

The Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 is the latest in that company's excellent "budget" laptop line, and it looks and feels better than ever. How does it compare to Apple's latest MacBook Air?
Computing

AMD Radeon VII will support DLSS-like upscaling developed by Microsoft

AMD's Radeon VII has shown promise with early tests of an open DLSS-like technology developed by Microsoft called DirectML. It would provide similar upscale features, but none of the locks on hardware choice.
Computing

You could be gaming on AMD’s Navi graphics card before the end of the summer

If you're waiting for a new graphics card from AMD that doesn't cost $700, you may have to wait for Navi. But that card may not be far away, with new rumors suggesting we could see a July launch.