STAMFORD, Conn. – The technology market is showing signs of recovery, according to a couple of well-known industry reports that came out this week. Gartner Inc. reported that worldwide PC shipments totaled 32.8 million units in the second quarter of 2003, an increase of 10% over the year-ago quarter. It was the first double-digit increase in that market since the third quarter of 2000, the research and advisory firm said. "The PC industry performed better than expected, which suggests that market conditions are improving," said Charles Smulders, vice president of Gartner's Computing Platforms Worldwide group. "However, sustained improvement will depend on economic conditions and their effect on the business upgrade cycle." Meanwhile, corporate technology budgets are expected to increase by an average of 3.4% over the next six to 12 months, according to a recent survey of IT purchasing decision makers conducted by Aberdeen Group, the Boston-based market analysis and positioning services firm. That's up from 2.7% in Aberdeen's March survey. "The survey shows that IT buyers are gradually opening their wallets," said Hugh Bishop, Aberdeen senior vice president. Aberdeen's report said the top five application categories (out of 34) with a "positive intent to purchase" are content/document management applications, customer service/support, employee self-service, help desk and field services applications; and e-mail/messaging.

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