Dell computers has knocked Compaq off the top spot as world's largest PC maker, according to research by analyst firm Gartner.

The report highlighted the severity of the current lessening of interest in PCs across the world, with most companies doing far worse than in the same period, the first quarter, last year.

'All in all, the global economy faces considerable downside risks in the months ahead, and just the fear of those risks could dampen PC buying going forward,' says the report.

Gartner had predicted a 10 percent growth in PC shipment worldwide for the quarter, in actuality an increase of just 3.5 percent was reached.

In spite of this downturn Dell achieved 12.8 percent of the worldwide market share while Compaq managed just 12.1 percent, allowing Dell to take the top spot from Compaq for the first time in over 6 years.

"Our aim is to offer customers the exact products they're demanding at the lowest possible prices," said Brian McBride, Vice President, Dell UK and Ireland. "Our costs our [among] the lowest in the industry and we're passing on these benefits faster than any other company."

Compaq said it had been a tough year for everyone and "hoped the market would pick up by the end of the year", according to spokeswoman.