Gartner: Windows XP Migration Lessens Worldwide Q1 PC Shipment Drop, Helps Boost U.S. Numbers

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"The end of XP support by Microsoft on April 8 has played a role in the easing decline of PC shipments," Kitagawa said. "All regions indicated a positive effect since the end of XP support stimulated the PC refresh of XP systems. Professional desktops, in particular, showed strength in the quarter. ... We expect the impact of XP migration worldwide to continue throughout 2014."

Kitagawa also said in her statement that the U.S. is unusual in terms of its huge appetite for PCs.

"The U.S. PC market has been highly saturated with devices: 99 percent of households own at least one or more desktops or laptops, and more than half of them own both," she said. "While tablet penetration is expected to reach 50 percent in 2014, some consumer spending could return to PCs."

Tony Balistrieri, president of the western region of MCPc, a Cleveland-based solution provider and partner of Lenovo, Dell and HP on the PC side, said he was surprised to see worldwide PC shipments fall only 1.7 percent.

"I thought it would have fallen 10 percent or more thanks to the growth of sales of smartphones and tablets," Balistrieri said.

While MCPc is more focused on building data center infrastructures than on selling PCs, the company still sells a lot of laptops and desktops, Balistrieri said.

"But it's not a sustainable business over the long term," he said. "There's so much growth in sales of tablet PCs and smartphones. Now if I want, I can run Microsoft Office on my iPad. That's all I was missing personally. Now if I want, I can dump my MacBook Air."


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