CONTEXT: XP end of life boosts European desktop PC sales

PRLog (Press Release) – Mar. 27, 2014 – LONDON, U.K. — London – The big Windows XP switch-off on the 8th April this year is having a positive effect on European desktop PC sales, with growth in channel unit sales during January 2014 topping 13% year-on-year despite the continued decline overall in the PC business, according to CONTEXT, the European IT market research company.

The market analyst’s latest figures of sales through the IT channel for the first month of 2014 – which measures actual sales to users as opposed to shipments into the market from vendors – show desktop PCs maintaining their momentum from the pre-Christmas period to record a growth of 13.6% in January.

The growth was even clearer in the business segment, where desktop unit sales grew 17.3%, driving a consolidated growth in business-targeted PCs of 6.6%.

However, XP replacement projects are not the only factor driving this growth. Relatively weak demand in some European countries a year ago and regular refreshes are also helping to paint an improving picture for desktop sales.

The growth is reflected in business-focused Windows OS versions. Windows 7/8 remains by far the most popular with a unit share in January of 55.8%, although it dipped from the previous month due to sales of Win7/8.1. Windows 8 holds a 12.6% share.

But as in any change, there is good news and bad news. Good news for the PC hardware vendors that will make more desktops, and the IT sales channel that will sell them. Bad news potentially for Microsoft and its customers, particularly in the area of security. “The end of XP support across the huge installed base of XP across businesses will present a major security challenge for these companies”, said Alex Mesguich, VP of enterprise research at CONTEXT.

‘’Overall, the end of XP support could have a triple-whammy effect. For Microsoft, the unknown consequences could be opening a can of worms for them. Businesses are annoyed at the forced transition, and security vendors will be having to process and patch an increased flow of vulnerability issues.”

The CONTEXT data reveals that despite strong desktop sales in January, the growth was still not enough to prevent a continued decline in overall PC sales in that month, falling -3% year-on-year, down from +4.2% the month previously. Notebook PC unit sales fell -4.3% while consumer PC unit sales overall slumped by -10.9% year-on-year.

January 2014 year-on-year growth of overall Desktops in distribution

UK          30.0%
Germany          20.0%
France          17.4%
Italy          -2.0%
Spain          6.3%

January 2014 year-on-year growth of business-targeted Desktops in distribution

UK          38.5%
Germany          29.0%
France          11.3%
Italy          -1.4%
Spain          -2.0%

Headquartered in London with over 140 staff in 12 countries, CONTEXT specialises in tracking technology sales and pricing across the globe. CONTEXT captures real time data from a wide range of channel sources including access to Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC) members and the CONTEXT European Retail Panel (R2B), tracking over US$3bn sales across Europe on a weekly basis. CONTEXT reports provide the most accurate channel market information available today across a range of business and consumer technology products, enabling customers to assess their business operations in the light of actual sell out figures, and make business critical decisions based on hard data. Follow us on Twitter: or visit our website:

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