Calcutta, April 19: Microsoft’s decision to discontinue support to the Windows XP operating system earlier this month has helped to arrest the steady fall in sales of personal computers globally.
Though global shipments of PCs fell 1.7 per cent in the first quarter of calendar year 2014 over the corresponding period last year, the severity of the decline has eased, according to research firm Gartner.
With Microsoft deciding to stop giving security updates or technical support to the Windows XP operating system, consumers will have to upgrade to new computers.
“The end of XP support on April 8 has eased the decline of PC shipments. All regions indicated a positive effect. Professional desktops, in particular, showed strength in the quarter,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.
The end of the XP system had a huge impact in Japan, which registered a 35 per cent increase in PC shipments year-on-year.
While the growth has also been fuelled by sales tax change, Gartner expects the impact of XP migration worldwide to continue through 2014.
“While the PC market remains weak, it is showing signs of improvement compared with last year. The professional PC market improved in Europe, West Asia and Africa. The US saw gradual recovery of PC spending as the impact of tablets faded,” Kitagawa said.
The PC market, however, continues to be tough for some vendors. This high-volume, low-profit segment has forced vendors such as Sony out of the market. In contrast, the top five vendors, except Acer, registered year-on-year growth in shipments. Lenovo reported the strongest growth, with shipments rising 10.9 per cent. It sales grew in all regions except the Asia- Pacific.