Windows 7 migration powers PC uptick

PC sales in the enterprise have increased as businesses roll out Windows 10 before Microsoft ends support for Windows 7

The PC market has experienced its first year-on-year growth in six years, according to Gartner’s figures for the second quarter of 2018.

Worldwide PC shipments totalled 62.1 million units in the quarter – a 1.4% increase from the second quarter of 2017, said Gartner.

This growth has been driven mainly in the corporate market, where businesses are updating older hardware as part of a migration from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

“PC shipment growth in the second quarter of 2018 was driven by demand in the business market, which was offset by declining shipments in the consumer segment,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

“In the consumer space, the fundamental market structure, due to changes in PC user behaviour, still remains and continues to impact market growth. Consumers are using their smartphones for even more daily tasks, such as checking social media, calendaring, banking and shopping, which is reducing the need for a consumer PC.”

Gartner said all regions experienced some growth from a year ago. But while the results are positive for the PC industry, Gartner analysts said this sign of market stability is not yet enough to declare a PC industry recovery.

HP Inc and Lenovo shared top spot as the PC makers that shipped the most units during the quarter, with each taking a 21.9% market share. Dell took third place with a 16.8% market share, Apple was fourth with 7.1% and Acer was fifth with 6.4%.

According to Gartner, all the top five PC suppliers saw an increase in worldwide PC shipments in the quarter, but growth is unlikely to continue once demand arising from Windows 10 upgrades subsides.

Read more about PC upgrades

  • IT pros can use PCs and laptops until they stop working, or they can set up a lifecycle management plan that retires them after a certain period of time.
  • Businesses are finally shifting from Windows 7 to Windows 10, which is driving a major desktop PC refresh.

“In the business segment, PC momentum will weaken in two years when the replacement peak for Windows 10 passes,” said Kitagawa. “PC vendors should look for ways to maintain growth in the business market as the Windows 10 upgrade cycle tails off.”

Gartner reported that PC shipments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa totalled 17.4 million units in the second quarter, a 1.3% increase year on year. In western Europe, demand was strong for business PCs in Germany and the UK.

In the US, Garner noted there was strong demand for Chromebooks. Kitagawa added: “Desk-based PC growth was attributed to continued high usage of desk-based PCs in the US public sector. Mobile PCs grew in the US, but strong Chromebook demand in the education market adversely affected PC growth. Overall, Chromebooks grew by 8% in the US.”

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