IDC has improved its forecast for global PC shipments this year, thanks to a spike in commercial demand in mature markets.
Worldwide PC shipments were expected to fall by six per cent annually in 2014, but that figure has been revised to just a 3.7 per cent slump instead, the analyst said.
PC shipments in mature regions are forecast to grow by 5.6 per cent annually this year – the highest growth figure since 2010 – thanks to commercial and consumer segments showing upswings.
Performance in emerging markets will drag the global figure down, IDC said, blaming economic and political challenges in some regions.
The end of support for Windows XP will continue to buoy the market.
"PC market drivers for the short term still mainly rest on business spending in mature markets," the analyst said. "However, other variables have also appeared.
"In addition to the stimulus from the end of support for Windows XP, competition from tablets has declined as tablet penetration rises and volume has shifted to smaller sizes that are less competitive with PCs. At the same time, PCs have made some progress addressing tablet competition with more slim, touch, and low-cost models available.
"Growth of Chromebooks, particularly in the education segment in mature markets, is also contributing to the PC outlook."
The arrival of Windows 9, which is rumoured to be unveiled at the end of next month, could be even more good news for the once-ailing PC market, according to IDC vice president Loren Loverde.
"The launch of Windows 9 Threshold in 2015 could potentially boost demand, although it will be hard to gauge the actual impact until the advantages to consumers and commercial users in functionality and integration with specific devices is more apparent," he said.
"For the moment, we continue to see PC demand coming primarily from replacements with overall shipments declining slightly through the end of the forecast."
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