Commercial PC sales continued to hold up towards the end of last year and gave a fillip for resellers although there is still some negativity around the consumer end of the market.
The latest numbers from research house Context revealed that in Q4, which is always traditionally a busy period in the PC hardware world, the market for Western Europe was hit by "soft consumer performance", which dragged it down by 2% year-on-year.
The long anticipated Windows 10 effect is starting to become a significant driver of sales with distributors handling more Win 10 pre-installed machines in Q4.
Commercial sales were up by 6% year-on-year with all categories delivering growth: notebooks up 9%, desktops 2% and workstations by 1%. Detachables, which includes the iPad Pro and Surface Pro also continue to remain in demand.
The dark clouds over the consumer space, which have been hanging around for most of 2016 were still there at the end despite the 'holiday season'. Volume sales of PCs aimed at home users dropped by 7%. All categories were down but the hardest git was desktops with a 16% fall.
"In line with expectations, Windows 10 began to play a stronger role in the commercial segment in Q4 2016", said Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at Context. "38% of Windows Business PCs sold through Western European distributors during the quarter featured Windows 10 Pro compared to 22% in Q3."
Context has followed the progress of Windows 10 Pro with it climbing from being on 27% of pre-installed business PCs in October to 48% by the close of the year.
The performance of the enterprise market has given hope to those vendors that continue to fight for market share in the PC market and has been used as evidence by the likes of Lenovo and Toshiba that opportunities continue to exist.
Toshiba has been in the headlines again this week because of its latest product launch and has been pushing hard since last summer to try and gain market share.
Y/Y PC volume growth by top country
United Kingdom -7.2%
Italy - 7.0%
Poland (not part of the WE figure) -18.2%
Figures from Context