PC sales continue to fall -

Global personal computer shipments fell in the first three months of 2014.

This represents the eighth straight quarter of decline, and it could have been worse had the industry not received a boost from companies replacing aging XP computers.

Beancounters at IDC said that PC shipments in the March quarter were down 4.4 percent compared with the same quarter in 2013,

IDC had previously expected a 5.3 percent dip for the quarter so things were a little better than it expected.

It said that shipments in the first quarter got a bump as companies replaced their older PCs ahead of the end of the Windows XP operating system, which Microsoft stopped supporting this week.

IDC remains convinced that the fall in PC sales is created by people continuing to buy  tablets and smartphones.

"The transition to more mobile devices and usage modes is unlikely to stop, although the short-term impact on PC shipments may slow as tablet penetration rises," IDC said.

"There is potential for PC shipments to stabilise, but not much opportunity for growth."

IDC said 73.4 million PC were shipped in this quarter. All this will be bad news for Intel which is due to post its first-quarter results later today. Analysts on average expect the chipmaker's revenue to have grown about two percent.