So here’s the story. Despite some calls to do otherwise, Microsoft is staying put on its decision to retire Windows XP early next year. April 8, 2014 is the big day.

And this has left a lot of businesses in the hunt to upgrade their PC hardware.

While Redmond itself is set to gain a fair amount as enterprises and small businesses move away from the ancient XP, this transition is also expected to be of immense help to hardware vendors. Hardware partners like HP, Dell and friends.

In case of Dell, sources believe that this movement of upgrading to a newer version of Windows will be of massive help. So much so that it may just be enough for the company to take over Acer’s spot and become the third largest notebook vendor worldwide by 2014.

The reason for this is that Dell enjoys a much bigger presence in the business market than any other notebook maker. And the company will put this to great use as it already has a few new laptop models in the pipeline, with many of them being announced regularly.

Dell, just yesterday, unveiled a refresh of its popular Inspiron line.

In terms of statistics, Acer managed to ship 9.814 million units of laptops, while Dell had to settle for the fourth spot after scoring unit shipments of 9.287 million.

But while consumer notebook market has been going through a tough patch — what with end users shifting their attentions towards increasingly powerful tablet devices — the business sector is, at least right now, providing a big enough opportunity to keep laptop makers occupied.

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