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Netbooks still defying recession, saving PC market's ass

Those weakling little netbooks are continuing to prop up their larger PC siblings, particularly here in Western Europe, according to research firm IDC

Looks like those weakling little netbooks are continuing to prop up their bigger PC siblings, particularly here in Western Europe.

In the first quarter of 2009, worldwide PC sales slumped 7.1 per cent on the same period in 2008, according to research firm IDC. But laptop sales -- which overtook sales of desktops for the first time late last year -- have remained flat, thanks to so many people buying budget-priced models.

It's also interesting that worldwide sales of PCs beat expectations of a chunky 8.2 per cent decline in the first quarter. Loren Loverde of IDC expected the growth of PC sales to return -- wait for it -- "around the end of the year".

While using a netbook is often about as pleasant as having nose hair plucked, we'll cut their crappy plastic chassis some slack. But only on condition that they continue to play fisticuffs with Captain Credit Crunch.