Windows XP is no longer going to get any more public patches, but it looks like the end of its support by Microsoft has helped PC shipments in the first quarter of 2014. New reports from research firms IDC and Gartner show that while shipments still went down, they were at a much slower rate than previous quarters.
IDC says that shipments went down 4.4 percent in the quarter, which it said beat its previous expectations of a 5.3 percent decline; Gartner claims that shipment went down by just 1.7 percent for the first quarter.
Both report said that businesses bought more new PCs than expected during the quarter to upgrade their hardware and software away from Windows XP. Japan was cited by both IDC and Gartner as a country that really went all out to get new PCs in the last three months; Gartner said that shipment to Japan went up by 35 percent compared to a year ago.
The impact on tablets in the marketplace has also gone down, according to both reports, which helped to slow down the decline in notebook sales for the quarter. However, the PC industry as a whole is still not doing as well as it did during the 2000s, with IDC saying that "the passing boost from XP replacements, constrained consumer demand, and no clear driver of a market rebound are expected to keep growth below zero going forward."