Piper Jaffray analyst Gus Richard has been throwing his runes onto a calf skin blanket while invoking Odin, and has seen Mighty Chipzilla having a tough time of it this year.
He predicts that the second half of 2012 will be weak ahead of the launch of Windows 8, the most significant upgrade to the operating system since Windows 3.0.
In a research note, he said that Intel usually does very well from Microsoft OS upgrades as companies and consumers buy new Intel-based PCs along with the new OS.
However, the promise of the new OS can will cause consumers to postpone purchases until PCs with Windows 8 arrive.
To make matters worse, the 2012 Windows 8 rollout may be problematic. Windows 8 beta has already slipped and the runes say that it will be a challenging product transition.
After all, we’re told this is the biggest rewrite since Microsoft moved from DOS to a graphical user interface.
The runes say that Windows 8 will create a significant demand pause for multiple quarters, significantly impacting PC growth in CY12.
Richard said that Vole has been very careful not to say anything about a release date for Windows 8, which will offer a fully developed touch interface, a first for a Microsoft PC operating system. But most people expect to see it in the middle of the year.
However, Richard predicts that the launch could easily slip to Christmas or even next year. Moreover, application software vendors are indicating that they are having to make more significant changes to their code than expected.