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By Paul Carton

ChangeWave’s November corporate IT spending survey points to an uptick in IT spending for 1st Quarter 2010 – midst the strongest growth rate in 2 years.

Regarding PCs, the release of the Windows 7 operating system is the key factor driving growth. Nearly three-in-four (73%) of the 1,753 corporate IT buyers say their company will be buying Laptops and 69% Desktops in the 1st Quarter – the highest levels for both since February 2008.

While previous ChangeWave surveys found companies deferring their PC purchases in anticipation of Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 7, the latest results show the opposite now occurring. Nearly one-in-five (19%) say Windows 7 is causing their company’s normal upgrade cycle to accelerate.

Moreover, almost one-in-ten respondents (9%) say their company has already purchased computers with Windows 7 installed.

We note that Windows 7 beta testers from ChangeWave surveys earlier this year found high user satisfaction – and since its release the new OS has largely lived up to these findings. Among respondent companies already using Windows 7, overall satisfaction is quite strong – with 37% saying their company is Very Satisfied and 56% Somewhat Satisfied with the new operating system.

But what does the uptick in corporate PCs mean for the major PC manufacturers?

Dell Corporate PC Share

For the third consecutive survey, Dell’s (NASDAQ:DELL) corporate PC share is inching higher. A total of one-in-three (33%) now say their company plans on buying Dell desktops and 32% laptops in the 1st Quarter – each up 1-pt to the highest levels of the past two years.

Corporate sales account for 80% of Dell’s PC business, and after a long 3 year slide these latest survey findings are a welcome bullish sign. They support the recent assertion by Steve Felice, president of the firm’s small and medium business, that Dell’s core corporate PC market is returning.

Hewlett-Packard

In a further sign of strength, the survey findings for H-P (NYSE:HPQ) are the most upbeat in years, with 18% of respondents saying their company will be buying H-P desktops and 18% laptops in the 1st Quarter – up 2-pts and 3-pts respectively.

We note that about 70% of H-P’s sales come from outside the U.S. – while our ChangeWave surveys focus primarily on the U.S. market.

Apple Corporate Mac Sales Set for New Highs

To date, Windows 7 does not appear to be hurting Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) corporate Mac sales. Rather, planned Mac buying has hit a new high in the latest survey, with one-in-ten respondents (10%) saying their company will be buying Mac laptops and 7% desktops in the 1st Quarter.

Andy Golub co-wrote this article.

Disclosure: No Positions

Source: How Microsoft's Windows 7 Is Impacting Corporate Computer Market