Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system is widely expected to boost worldwide personal computer sales after its official release next week, but researchers say the upturn has already begun.
Computer chip maker Intel this week reported better than expected financial results for the last quarter off the back of increased PC sales.
Research firm IDC puts the worldwide increase at 2.5% for the past three months, in contrast with steady declines in the previous nine months.
The growth is being driven by sales of relatively inexpensive netbooks, which almost doubled in sales from the second quarter of this year, according to the Financial Times.
IDC says netbook sales have been further accelerated by suppliers like Hewlett-Packard and Acer teaming up with telcos to distribute subsidised machines to customers signing up to data plans.
IDC expects netbooks to keep growing rapidly for the rest of 2009, but then slow in 2010 as the market picks up and more buyers are likely to opt for the full notebook experience.
But IDC predicts Windows 7 will drive revenues for many IT companies, not just PC makers and chipmakers.
The release of the new Microsoft operating system will have a positive effect for hardware, software, IT services and distribution firms, said an IDC report released in July.
In turn, this will help economies to climb out of the current economic crisis, with more than 177 million copies of Windows 7 expected to be shipped by the end of 2010.
Worldwide, 350,000 companies selling products and services related to Windows 7 are expected to generate more than $320bn in revenue in the first year.