After a brief respite throughout last year, the global PC market returned to its pre-2014 slump in the first half of 2015. According to Gartner's latest estimates
, worldwide PC shipments amounted to 68.4 million in the past three months - down 9.5 percent from last year's June quarter.
The struggling PC industry had received a boost when Microsoft ended official Windows XP support in April 2014, prompting a replacement cycle that has now apparently faded. Despite the sobering results, analysts remain cautiously optimistic about the industry's mid-term outlook. They argue that the recent decline is no sign of structural weakness but partly a consequence of last year's unusually positive results and partly an effect of inventory control ahead of the Windows 10 launch scheduled for later this year.