According to industry analysts Gartner, Microsoft's new operating system, Vista, has had "little impact" on PC sales.

Growth in the industry has instead come from emerging markets.

"The release of Microsoft Windows Vista operating system at the end of January has, so far, failed to stimulate the market in the way many hoped", George Shiffler, research director for Gartner said.

"Vista has had very limited impact on PC demand or replacement activity. We don’t see Vista having a significant effect on these going forward unless Microsoft becomes much more aggressive in its marketing efforts".

Gartner project that PC shipments will total 257.1 million units in 2007, an 11.1% increase from 2006's shipments of 231.5 million units.

The growth in emerging markets from new PCs mirrors the growth also being experienced in the mobile phone market, with recent estimates suggesting 65% of all handsets made this year will be sold in counties like China, Africa and India.

77 million desk-based PCs and 51 million mobile PCs will be shipped to emerging markets - this will make up about 25% of all PC units expected to be shipped globally in 2007 and 2008.

Gartner states that PC manufacturers are facing challenges in established markets.

Demand for laptops is still strong, especially with prices falling, but PC replacement activity is described as "weak" with no killer app to help sales.