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PC market set for fourth straight year of decline

IDC: 6.2% fall expected in 2015, but Windows 10 may stem tide by 2016

Market research, IT Business, International Data Corporation

This year will see the fourth consecutive annual fall for global PC shipments, according to International Data Corporation (IDC), which predicts a 6.2% decline in 2015, but believes the market may stabilise in 2016.

According to the research company's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, competition from mobile devices continues to eat into demand for PCs. The trend remains, despite a brief respite following Microsoft's discontinuation of support for the legacy Windows XP platform in 2014.

Even Microsoft's make-or-break Windows 10 OS, due later this year, is not expected to stem the tide of migration to mobile devices. IDC believes Win10 will be "a significant contributor" to the PC market, as it will finally provide a viable upgrade path for enterprise users of Windows 7 and consumers can look forward to a free upgrade. But while consumers will likely jump quickly because of the free upgrade, the lightweight architecture of the new system will negate the need for a replacement machine for both corporates and individuals.

"Microsoft and PC vendors still need to convince users of the advantages of the new OS and new PCs, which will take some time," said Loren Loverde, vice president, Worldwide PC Trackers. "In addition to educating clients, they'll face tough competition from other devices, and weak spending in many regions. As a result, we see PC shipments stabilising in 2016, followed by limited growth for the next few years."