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Although Microsoft's new Vista operating system hasn't provided as big a boost as previously thought, worldwide computer shipments should pass 257 million units by the end of this year, according to the figures compiled by Garter analyst George Shiffler. That's an 11.1-percent increase over the 2006 shipment total of 231.5 million units.
It's also a slight bump up from the 10.5 percent unit growth Gartner had projected back in March, notes CNET. The adjusted forecast can be attributed to better sales of notebooks, in addition to the flood of new personal computers to places like China, according to Shiffler.
More than half of the 128 million computers expected to ship to emerging markets over the next two years will be for first-time use rather than as replacement computers, a trend expected to continue in the next decade, according to an eight-year forecast compiled by Forrester Research. It's taken 27 years to reach one billion personal computers in use, and Forrester say it will take only five to reach the next billion. The market researcher firm says that many of those next billion will be used by first-time personal computer users in emerging nations like Brazil, Russia, India and China. At least 775 million new computers will be in use in those countries by 2015, according to Forrester.