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While some people might be calling 2012 the "Year of the Ultrabook," solution providers are likely to look back on 2012 as the year that Windows-based laptops started selling again. Mobile computing is enjoying a reboot thanks in large part to Intel and its Ultrabook specification.
Perhaps having grown weary of the yearly hype around brighter screens, faster clocks, and more cores, bytes and ports, the PC buying public sent sales into a slump, and laptops and netbooks were particularly hard hit. At least, that's how the folks at research firm Gartner saw it.
According to a September 2011 report, PC sales for the year were on course to grow by just 3.8 percent, anemic compared with the 9.3 percent growth rate from projected 2010 figures. Gartner expects the pattern to continue into this year and has adjusted its growth projections for 2012 to 10.9 percent from 12.8 percent.
While the researcher cited the downgraded forecasts for the U.S and Western Europe, Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal also pointed to a perhaps more dire indicator. "More worrisome for the long term is that Generation Y has an altogether different view of client devices than older generations and are not buying PCs as their first, or necessarily main, device," he said in a statement.
Atwal further stated that as today's solutions fail to entice new buyers, "PC shops and IT departments repair rather than replace these systems" to extend the lifetimes of their current equipment. A flagging economy no doubt also plays a role there too.
NEXT: Writing Is On The Wall For Ultrabooks