How about some refreshing news to kick off the day? Refreshing Microsoft news. If you ask the PC industry, the company finally seems to be on the right track.

The collapsing hardware market still is not totally in the black yet, but things have much improved since the release of Windows 8. The retirement of Windows XP played its part, as did the myriad of new high affordable, touch enabled devices.

And the results are showing.

This report claims that the global PC shipments are on track to reach 299 million units this year, which would make for the slightest of decreases at just 0.1% compared to last year.

Along with the Windows XP end of support, another important initiatives is cited for this success, if you want to call it that. And that is offering Windows 8.1 with Bing free of charge to OEMs so that they get to bring more affordable devices to the market.

In the words of Charles Chou, senior industry analyst with MIC:

“Commercial models have become the major engine of growth for the PC market in the wake of Microsoft’s decision to end its support for Windows XP and reduce royalties for new software.

Among other things, major brands’ support to launch Microsoft-powered notebooks priced at US$249 has also help stimulated the demand for low-cost notebooks. The global PC market has performed better than expected in 2014 by far.”

As of this writing, Windows 8.1 with Bing is available for free to all hardware manufacturers that are building devices with price tags $250 and below.

And although we’ve seen a lot of new models debut at this price point, the fun is only beginning.

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  • Mike Greenway

    So it’s not the Post PC era, It was the foretold Post PC error!

  • James Bell

    I knew this would happen! A company as powerful as Microsoft wouldn’t just let their market evaporate. Sorry ’bout it Steve.

  • Ray C

    Microsoft needs to go on a marketing push like it never has before for Windows 8.1 from now until Valentines or whenever they start marketing Windows 9