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Microsoft sees surge in business PC sales

Global PC shipments shrink 8% in face of tablets and smart phones

Microsoft sees surge in business PC sales
Microsoft says PC sales have surged 9% in Q1 2011 as companies refresh their PCs. However, global PC shipments are down 8% for the quarter.

Sales of desktop computers to businesses were up considerably for Q1 2011, according to Microsoft, despite the overall PC market taking a knock from tablets and smart phones.

Business PC sales to enterprises and SMBs increased by 9% worldwide, according to figures for three months ending 31st March.

"On the business desktop, customers continue to embrace our offerings," said Microsoft, on a conference call on Thursday.

According to Information Week, industry experts say the gain was due to companies upgrading computers long overdue to be changed, after businesses held back from investing in IT infrastructure during the recession.

"There is a very aging [PC] population in the business installed base right now, that's what's driving the growth" said Sandeep Aggarwal, an analyst at Caris & Company and former strategic planner at Microsoft, in an interview with Information Week.

Aggarwal says that US business PC market grew about 6% to 7% in the quarter, while emerging markets grew at about 11% to 12%.

Enterprises are also beginning to adopt Windows 7 company-wide, which in many cases has meant new hardware was needed.

"Enterprise deployments [of Windows 7 PCs] have more than doubled in the past six months," said Aggarwal. "Most vendors aren't even shipping Windows XP anymore." The increase in business for Microsoft has not been reflected in worldwide PC shipments, with an 8% drop in sales for the quarter as smart hones and tablet devices gain an even stronger foothold in the consumer market. Netbook sales were down 40%.

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