To the likely consternation of those convinced that anyone caught with a normal computer is dreadfully behind the post-PC wave, PC sales are up. In the first quarter of 2012, total global PC shipments inched up 1.9%, surprising Gartner, which had anticipated a decline of 1.2%.

A total of 89 million machines were shipped in the three-month time frame, up from 2011′s 87.3 million. Now, the rise in and of itself isn’t that large a deal; it’s less than 2% after all. However, the fact that PC shipments are expanding is critical.

As the general economic picture of the world improves, and has improved (for many) since 2011, it appears to be trickling down the line to OEMs. This means that every company that is a part of the larger PC ecosystem, and profits from their sale (this includes many software companies of course), can anticipate, perhaps, continued growth, as the global economy hobbles up the hill.

But it doesn’t appear that the global appetite for new machines is large. Corporate profits are high, and PC sales growth remains sluggish.

My guess is that a portion of IT budgets are heading into nontraditional hardware, such as tablets. However, the death of the PC seems to be far off, as it grows from lows brought on by economic depression. So hug that iPad, but Dell is still in this thing.

That said, Windows 8 is going to flip the script from the non-Apple perspective. Who the heck knows what is going to happen at that point? No one.