Microsoft is now a top five PC maker in the US thanks to Surface

Microsoft has broken into the top five PC makers in the US for the first time. Market research firm Gartner revealed today that Microsoft now holds 4.1 percent of the US PC market, edging out Acer for the fifth spot. It’s the first time Microsoft has entered the top five in the US, thanks to the company’s Surface devices.

While Microsoft has secured this top spot in the US, the company still has some work to do before that position is replicated worldwide. Both Acer and Asus are jostling for the fifth spot worldwide, with Lenovo leading across the world. Gartner and IDC both agree that Lenovo is the top PC maker, but the two research firms provide differing estimates for shipments overall. Gartner says PC shipments increased by 0.1 percent in Q3 2018, while IDC says they declined by 0.9 percent.

 Dan Seifert / The Verge
Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop 2

As always, these estimates differ due to key differences between how Gartner and IDC count PCs. IDC’s data includes Chromebooks and excludes Windows tablets and devices with a detachable keyboard like the Surface Pro. Gartner counts Windows-based tablets as PCs and excludes Chromebooks or any non-Windows-based tablets.

The PC market still appears to be leveling out after six years of decline, and following signs earlier this year that it could grow again in 2018. There has been an increasing consolidation towards top PC makers like Lenovo, HP, and Dell recently, with Apple, Acer, and Asus all losing share of the market to others.

It’s clear now that Microsoft is taking a small slice of that market share in the US, just as the company seeks to widen the appeal of Surface with a new Surface Pro 6, Surface Laptop 2, Surface Studio 2, and Surface Headphones. The market share figures come just weeks before Microsoft is due to report its Q1 2019 financial earnings. Surface revenue jumped 25 percent to $1.1 billion in the most recent quarter, making Surface a billion dollar business for Microsoft.