Windows XP Death Did Fuel Some PC Spending

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Windows XP is now officially dead. Earlier this week Microsoft officially ended support for the OS, which had become one of the most popular in history.

PC manufacturers had hoped that the death of XP would fuel sales of new computers as consumers and businesses looked to upgrade their machines to run Windows 7 or Windows 8. Now the numbers are in and it's clear that Windows XP has contributed to PC sales, if only a bit.

Market research firm IDC today released its first-quarter 2014 PC shipment estimates. The firm estimates that 73.4 million PCs were shipped this year through march. This represents a 4.4% decline in PC sales from the first quarter of 2013.

Despite the continuing decline of the PC market, IDC points out that this 4.4% decline is less than the expected decline of 5.3%. The firm attributes this better-than-expected result to the death of XP. Shipment numbers in mature markets, and in Japan in particular, were bettered by Windows XP infrastructure upgrades. Even so, the boost from Windows XP upgrades will likely be short-term and is not enough to reverse the declining growth of the traditional PC industry.

"PC shipment growth in the United States remained slightly faster than most other regions in the first quarter, said Rajani Singh, senior research analyst for Personal Computing at IDC. "However, the passing boost from XP replacements, constrained consumer demand, and no clear driver of a market rebound are expected to keep growth below zero going forward. A rebound in consumer or a continuation of accelerated commercial upgrades could boost growth slightly, but low demand for upgrades in general combined with competition from tablets and 2-in-1 systems limit the growth potential."

Despite the continued decline of the overall PC market, top brands did see their first quarter shipments rise in 2014. Lenovo once again saw the largest growth in the industry with a 10.5% year-over-year shipment increase to nearly 13 million shipped PCs during the first quarter. HP is now following with 12.6 million units shipped during the first quarter, a 4.7% increase over 2013 shipments.

Image via Lenovo

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