Windows 10 Upgrades Fuel Strong Growth in PC Market

Today’s topics include business demand driving the strongest PC market since 2012, and Google making “Site Isolation” a default Chrome browser setting.

According to IDC and Gartner analysts, the long-struggling worldwide PC market hasn’t been this strong in over six years, with IDC saying shipments of traditional PCs—which include desktops, notebooks and workstations—have jumped 2.7 percent to 62.3 million units in the second quarter of 2018. This far exceeded their forecast of 0.3 percent growth.

This growth is due in large part to businesses upgrading to Windows 10. According to Mikako Kitagawaa, principal analyst at Gartner, "PC shipment growth in the second quarter of 2018 was driven by demand in the business market, which was offset by declining shipments in the consumer segment.”

However, she said that while businesses continue to carry the PC market, momentum will weaken in two years as the drive to adopt Windows 10 systems peaks.

Google has implemented a new “Site Isolation” feature in the latest Chrome browser version that will help organizations better protect against attacks enabled by the Spectre processor flaws disclosed earlier this year.

The feature has been available on an experimental basis to enterprises since Chrome 63, but is now enabled by default for almost all desktop users with the new Chrome 67 release.

According to Google engineer Charlie Reis, while all major browsers have already implemented fixes addressing the Spectre threat, Site Isolation is the best approach because it ensures that content from different websites run in completely separate processes on users' desktop. So even if there was malware running on an open browser tab, it would not be able to impact data from other websites that might be open in other open tabs on the user desktop.

Site Isolation has been enabled for 99 percent of users on Windows, Mac, Linux and the Chrome OS.