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Replacement kit dominates world PC sales

Upgrades to account for more than half of new PC sales

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World PC sales will grow 13.6 per cent this year as enterprises and individuals replace old kit with shiny new models, market watcher IDC reported this week.

Replacements will account for more than half of new PC sales this year, if Gartner's figures prove accurate. It expects some 186.4m machines to ship this year - almost 100m of them will be replacements, a figure that will rise to 120m in 2005.

Of course, that still leaves over 86m PCs going into offices and homes that don't already have one, so the world market at least still has plenty to space to build new business before it ends up solely servicing old customers.

But back to those 100m PCs. That volume is higher than the number purchased the last time the world went on a PC buying spree, in 1998, in the run-up to 2000 and the Y2K bug.

The motivation this time comes courtesy of Microsoft, Gartner suggests. "Expiring OS support will play a significant role in driving PC replacements going forward," said George Shiffler, principal analyst for Gartner's client platforms research, in a statement.

"More than 30 percent of installed PCs are now at least three years old. Many, if not most of these PCs, are using older Windows [versions] that are no longer supported or are about to lose full technical support."

Expanding world economies are helping enterprises and individuals splash out on new machines too, the researcher said. ®

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