Many in the PC industry hoped that last year's fourth quarter double-digit increase in worldwide shipments would be the turning point of an ugly downturn that dates back several years. New data from a pair of market research firms suggests the "turnaround" was little more than a mirage fueled by holiday sales.

In its latest report, Gartner found that global PC shipments during the first quarter of 2015 were down 5.2 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Specifically, manufacturers shipped 71.7 million PCs this quarter versus the 75.7 million moved during the first quarter of 2014.

According to IDC, the gap is even wider with a decline of 6.7 percent year over year, from 73.3 million units shipped to just 68.5 million.

Gartner notes that HP and Lenovo were the only two vendors among the top five worldwide that experienced an increase in PC shipments during the previous quarter. Lenovo shipped 5.7 percent more PCs in Q1 2015 while HP moved 2.5 percent more.

Last year wasn't all that bad for the PC as many people looked to replace old machines running Windows XP with something newer. If you recall, Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in April 2014.

Microsoft could once again have an impact on the global PC market when it launches Windows 10. By all accounts, Microsoft's new operating system will build on the shortcomings of Windows 8 - an OS that many felt catered more to mobile users than its traditional desktop user base.