For four of the top five PC makers, price cuts, the new Microsoft (MSFT) Windows 7 operating system and growing demand in China all contributed to a blowout quarter, said analysts. The magnitude of strength in PC sales last quarter was the real surprise, UBS analysts wrote in a research note Thursday.
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) expanded its lead as the top shop by adding more than a percentage point of the market to its share. And Acer surged to the No. 2 slot mostly because of the popularity of its laptops.
The standout player, bearing the distinction of the sole decliner among the top five brands, was Dell. The PC giant fell to No. 3 globally last year amid heavy competition and a punishing two-year transition of its business strategy.
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