Gartner is projecting annual PC shipments to return to growth in 2018, ending a historic skid that started in 2012, the year Microsoft released Windows 8.

Gartner is projecting shipments of laptops, hybrids, and desktops to be around 272 million in 2018, growing from 266 million in 2017.

There were a few bright spots in the PC market over the last few years, including the fourth quarter of 2014, when Gartner said shipments grew by 1 percent.

The PC shipments will return to growth because of a robust upgrade cycle, said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.

PC shipments will continue to grow into 2019, when Gartner predicts shipments will hit 278 million units.

Sleeker devices with better functionality are also attracting buyers, replacing old-school PCs, Atwal said.

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