The last couple of years haven't been kind to the PC market as a whole. However, IDC's latest numbers show a smaller-than-expected decline for PC shipments in the second quarter of this year. According to the research firm, global shipments went down 1.7% year-over-year, much less than the expected 7.1% decline.
IDC explains that the better-than-expected results occurred for two reasons. First, Chromebooks are apparently selling well in the low-end market. Second, Windows XP's move to end-of-life status is still pushing businesses and consumers alike to purchase new PCs with versions of Windows that Microsoft still supports.
Looking ahead, IDC doesn't expect this trend to be a long-term reversal of fortunes. Loren Loverde, the Vice President of IDC's Worldwide PC Trackers division, warns that this apparent rebound "is driven by [...] potentially short-term replacement activity." As soon as the last Windows XP PCs are replaced, then, we might see bigger negative numbers return in the future.
For the moment, though, companies with strong ties to the PC industry might have reason for optimism. Intel raised its second-quarter growth projections to reflect the trend in June. We'll soon see if those forecasts hold. Intel will release its financial numbers on Tuesday.