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A billion PCs in use by end 2008

Programmes such as the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative will aid sales in developing countries

Over a billion computers will be in use by the end of next year. That's according to a new report by Forrester Research . Despite the first billion PCs taking the best part of 30 years to proliferate, the research suggests that the second billion PCs will take only five years. This is due to the rapid take-up in developing countries.

This will seem like music to the ears of Microsoft as well as global PC manufacturers such as Dell , HP and Chinese corporation Lenovo . The report says 775 million new machines will be put into service in territories such as India and China by 2015. The take-up in developing countries will be aided by programmes such as the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative and Intel's Classmate PC programme .

Forrester suggests that the growth represents something of a boom in PC manufacturing. But it warns that new markets such as Russia are somewhat unpredictable and will need adequate planning to increase production appropriately.