PC sales bounce back as XP drives hardware refresh

Desktop and laptop upgrades, driven by the migration away from Windows XP, has bolstered PC sales in Europe

Desktop and laptop upgrades, driven by the migration away from Windows XP, have bolstered PC sales in Europe.

The European PC market has returned to strong growth after very weak growth (0.3%) during the first quarter of 2014 and eight consecutive quarters of decline prior to that, according to Gartner’s latest PC market share data.

Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, said: "In EMEA during the second quarter we saw a continued shift to ultramobiles at the expense of traditional notebooks."

In addition, PC sales in Europe continued to be driven by an increase in professional spending. This is in part due to organisations upgrading from Windows XP as official support from Microsoft ended.

With XP no longer supported, businesses have been forced to upgrade their Windows operating system. As Computer Weekly has previously reported, XP migration projects are major undertakings, requiring a huge amount of application compatibility checking.

Older XP machines are unsuitable for running modern operating systems, such as Windows 7 or 8, and new applications, resulting in the uplift in sales of new enterprise PCs.

More articles on XP support

  • Microsoft ends XP support – what should users do next?
  • Windows XP support will end this year – are you prepared?
  • Computer Weekly Buyer’s Guide to Windows XP support

HP retained the number one position with 20.5% market share and had a strong quarter, shipping 4.61 million units.

Lenovo held on to the second spot with 17.% market share, marking eight consecutive quarters of double-digit growth. Lenovo PC shipments grew 52% in the second quarter of 2014 thanks to growing presence in the consumer PC market, Gartner noted.

Both Asus and Acer grew in the hybrid PC market, which may point to greater acceptance among users for Windows 8.1 hybrid PC tablets, over the iPad and high end Android tablets.

In August, Microsoft is set to launch the latest version of its Surface Pro hybrid device. The Surface Pro 3 is being targeted at mobile professionals and can be specified with an Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processor, up to 512 Mbytes of SSD storage and 8 GBytes of memory. The Core i5, model, equipped with 128 Gbytes SSD and 4 Gbytes of RAM is priced at £899.

While PC sales are improving, sales of tablets are set to slow in 2014, as uptake moves into the late adopters phase in mature markets, according to Gartner.

Read more on Laptops and notebooks

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