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xpThe worldwide market for desktop and notebook computers continued to decline in the first quarter — down 1.7 percent according to Gartner, or down 4.4 percent according to IDC. But that was a smaller decline than expected, and better than in recent quarters.

One of the main reasons was Microsoft’s end of support for Windows XP, as consumers and businesses purchased new machines to replace PCs running the aging operating system.

“The end of XP support by Microsoft on April 8 has played a role in the easing decline of PC shipments,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, in a news release. “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.”

The Gartner analyst noted that the global impact of the Windows XP migration should continue throughout the year.

Lenovo claimed the top spot among PC manufacturers worldwide for the quarter, followed by HP and Dell, respectively, according to shipment numbers from both research firms.

Also seeAttention, Windows XP holdouts: The end is here

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