While some of the missing machines can be traced to conservative approaches -- IDC believes enterprises are focusing on swapping out individual systems, not doing widespread upgrade projects, to eradicate XP -- O'Donnell is convinced that many of the older PCs are instead being replaced by worker-purchased computers or tablets.
IDC has baked its take on BYOD's impact into the PC shipment forecast it issued Tuesday, when it dramatically lowered estimates for 2013. While IDC's earlier prediction had pegged the year's PC shipments as down just 1.3 percent, the new forecast has shipments contracting by 7.8 percent compared to 2012, followed by a smaller slump of 1.2 percent in 2014.
If IDC's forecast prognostication is on target, the 2012-2013 stretch would be the first time PC shipments will have declined for two consecutive calendar years since the research firm started tracking in 1994. According to IDC, PC shipments fell 4 percent in 2012 compared to the year prior.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.
Read more about bring your own device (BYOD) in Computerworld's Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Topic Center.