nandemoari writes "The damage isn't just limited to the United States. Shipments of PCs in Europe, the Mid-East, and Africa dipped to records posted around the turn of the century. It was even worse in Asia, which according to Gartner, posted its worst growth rate ever — just 1.8 per cent. Within the industry, desktops took the hardest hit, as was expected. Sales of non-portable computers were down about 16 per cent as consumers opted instead for the rising 'netbook' and similar hybrids. That fact alone is troubling for PC makers, given that $300-$500 netbooks offer a far lower profit margin than more expensive and more powerful laptops and desktops."