Microsoft's Windows XP cut-off may have boosted PC shipments

Worldwide PC shipments dropped during the first quarter, and how badly things slipped depends on which market research firm you follow more. The IDC reported a sharper drop, albeit not as badly as expected, with an estimated decline of 4.4 percent annually versus a prediction of 5.3 percent lower. Gartner, on the other hand, responded with an observed drop of only 1.7 percent year-over-year with 76.6 million units shipped.

The rush to replace Windows XP PCs has handed the European, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) PC market its first growth quarter in two years. Shipments in EMEA increased by 0.3% over the same period last year, according to the latest figures from Gartner, even though the global market remains in decline. The big winners were the traditional corporate PC suppliers. HP saw its year-on-year shipments jump by 15.3% in the first quarter, Dell was up 11%, and Lenovo was up by a staggering 35.6%. The more consumer-focused Acer saw its shipments slide by 2.7%, and is now in danger of ceding third place in the EMEA PC market back to Dell.

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