PC market flat, as Surface becomes a top-5 computer brand in the US

Enlarge / Clockwise, Top Left: Laptop Surface 2, Surface Studio 2, Headphone, Surface Pro 6 .

In the third quarter of this year, Microsoft was the fifth largest PC manufacturer in the United States, according to consulting firm Gartner .

HP ranks first in the United States, with approximately 4.5 million machines sold, ahead of Dell with 3.8 million, Lenovo with 2.3 million and Apple with 2 million. The gap between the fourth and the fifth is big enough – Microsoft has only sold 0.6 million Surface devices in the last quarter – but Microsoft's PC division is heading in the right direction, with sales up 1.9% over the same quarter of last year. Acer pushed the company to sixth place.

The current quarter should be even better. The surfaces Surface Pro, Surface Laptop and Surface Studio have all been refreshed, which, combined with the ever more lively holiday season, should increase sales.

Worldwide, Gartner and IDC reported a stable PC market (0.1% increase according to Gartner, down 0.9% at IDC), after the modest growth of the previous quarter . The two companies agree that the first three places are held by Lenovo, HP and Dell, in that order, but are not agreed thereafter. IDC has Acer in fourth position, slightly ahead of Apple in fifth; Gartner has Apple fourth, far ahead Acer fifth and Asus sixth.

Both companies have different views on what is a "PC". IDC covers laptops (including Chromebooks) as well as desktops and workstations. But it excludes tablets, including those such as Surface Pro. Gartner includes desktop computers and workstations, laptops and "high-end" ultramobile devices (so the software includes Surface Pro but not the iPad). But unlike IDC, it excludes Chromebooks.

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