For all of the Windows-using world, the soon to arrive Windows 7 is akin to a savior, replacing the ancient XP and wildly unpopular Vista. For every PC vendor and manufacturer, Windows 7 was supposed to bring in a wave of new sales, as did Windows 95 when it became the de-facto operating system over a decade ago. Not so, says Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in a recent press conference in Munich, Windows 7’s effect on PC sales will be “not huge.”

This comes to no surprise to the Windows cynic, but paints a depressing coming winter sales cycle for electronics manufacturers and salesman. Microsoft sold some future sales early by giving people who had recently bought PCs a free version of Windows 7 when it comes out on October 22. Of course, this was intended to keep sales of PCs alive throughout the summer and build up to the Windows 7 launch, but it also reduces the number of paid upgrades, and new systems that will be purchased this fall when Windows 7 does arrive.

With the global economy in its current state, no retailer or manufacturer was truly hoping for a blockbuster holiday season, but it does seem that again Microsoft will not be able to move the needle on consumers’ wallets and lend a hand. Will people migrate to Windows 7? Yes, it is assuredly a better operating system than both Vista and XP. But adoption will take time on the scale of years, not weeks. For this year, there will be no Windows bump.