It’s not a good time to be a PC maker… especially if you cater to the corporate crowd. Both Gartner and IDC estimate that the computer market shrank between 5.2 to 6.7 percent in the first quarter of 2015, in part because many companies stopped upgrading from Windows XP. Simply put, many of the businesses that wanted to modernize already have — they’re not propping up the market like they were for a good chunk of 2014. IDC goes so far as to claim that this was the lowest volume of PC shipments since the start of 2009, which is no mean feat given that the world was still reeling from an economic collapse at the time.
Still, there are a few silver linings on this dark cloud. Lenovo is still on the rise, and ASUS is enjoying a resurgence that’s helped in part by its larger Windows tablets (at least, according to Gartner). However, the situation is still gloomy for Acer, Dell and most other system builders. The analyst groups are hopeful that the launch of Windows 10 will spur a recovery, but that doesn’t happen until the summer — the next few months could be particularly bumpy.