Lenovo has vaulted over Dell in the third quarter to become the second largest PC maker for the first time, according to data from research firms Gartner and IDC. Dell fell to an 11.6 percent share of the market from 12.2 percent last year, while Lenovo jumped ahead with a 13.5 percent share this year, up from 11.1. The data also shows expectation-defying sales growth of 5.3 percent for HP, which held on to the top spot at 17.3 percent even as Dell and Lenovo took aim at the soon-to-be-sold-or-maybe-not Personal Systems Group. Overall, the PC market grew 3.2 percent over Q3 2010 with 91.8m worldwide shipments — growth that both IDC and Gartner say points to a market weakened by the popularity of tablets and smartphones.

Lenovo is understandably giddy, and even released a statement to the press to welcome the accolades and let everyone know that it's fully committed to the PC market — a coded jab at HP's recent turmoil. Unfortunately for both runners-up, HP's strategy of ambivalence towards its Personal Systems Group seems to be paying off for now.