Windows XP migration helps slow global PC shipment decline

New research from IDC Corp. shows the decline in worldwide PC shipments continued in the first quarter of 2014, although last-minute Windows XP migrations helped stem the bleeding somewhat.

In Q1, IDC is reporting worldwide PC shipments of 73.4 million units, a decline of 4.4 per cent over the same period one year ago, but better than IDC’s forecasted decline of 5.3 per cent. The analyst firm said shipments were strongest in mature commercial markets, driven in part by delayed commercial refresh projects getting a push from the impending end of support for Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system.

While slowing demand for tablets may have abated the decline in demand for notebooks slightly, IDC said results were weak across emerging regions offsetting minor growth in more mature markets.

“Worldwide PC shipments have now declined for eight consecutive quarters as a result of shifting technology usage and competition as well as economic pressures related to the Great Recession, sovereign debt crises, and their related impact on international trade,” said Loren Loverde, vice-president, worldwide PC trackers with IDC, in a statement. “The economic front seems to be gradually stabilizing and/or improving. On the technology front, the transition to more mobile devices and usage modes is unlikely to stop, although the short term impact on PC shipments may slow as tablet penetration rises – as we’ve begun to see in some mature regions. The net result remains consistent with our past forecasts – in particular, that there is potential for PC shipments to stabilize, but not much opportunity for growth.”

On the vendor leaderboard, Lenovo held onto top spot with 17.7 per cent of the global market, just ahead of Hewlett-Packard at 17.1 per cent. Dell, Acer and Asus round out the top five.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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