The latest report from Gartner Inc (NYSE:IT), a leading information technology research and advisory firm showed that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is losing its influence as the PC market continues to decline due to the proliferation of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphone.
Gartner Inc (NYSE:IT) projected that the PC market would decline by 7.6 percent as consumers migrate to tablets and ultra mobiles. The research firm estimated that PC shipments including desk-based and notebook computers will decline from 341.26 million units in 2012 to 315.22 million this year.
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According to Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, consumers’ shift from PC’s to tablets is becoming faster is due to the increase of lower-priced tablets and its growing capability.
“”While there will be some individuals who retain both a personal PC and a tablet, especially those who use either or both for work and play, most will be satisfied with the experience they get from a tablet as their main computing device,” said Carolina Milanesi. She added that consumers may no longer view their PC as a device that they need to replace on a regular basis as they shift their time towards their tablets and smartphones.
Michael Endler, associate editor of Informationweek wrote that the vulnerability of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is simple. According to him, the software giant’s business is based on the fact that 9 out of 10 computers worldwide is powered by Windows operating system. The company will lose its dominance as consumers shift using other devices to perform their tasks powered by another operating system such as Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android operating system.
According to Endler, Microsoft will no longer be a global superpower and will end up just another player in a competitive market place. He cited that the company has not demonstrated its ability to compete strongly on the mobility-oriented BYOD market.
Gartner’s study showed that the worldwide shipment of devices powered by the Android operating system will increase significantly from 497 million units to 860 million units in 2013. On the other hand, the shipment of devices powered by Windows operating system will grow slightly from 346 million units to 354 million units.
The research firm estimated that tablet shipments will increase by 69.8 percent to 197 million units this year compared with the total shipments of 116 million units last year.
Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal explained, “Lower prices, form factor variety, cloud update and consumers’ addiction to apps will be the key drivers in the tablet market. Growth in the tablet segment will not be limited to mature markets alone. Users in emerging markets who are looking for a companion to their mobile phone will increasingly choose a tablet as their first computing device and not a PC.”
According to Gartner, Android OS will continue to become the dominant operating system and the competition for the second spot will be between Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iOS/Mac OS and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows OS.
Microsoft’s current situation is no longer the same. Milanesi commented, “In the good old days, if you walked into a store to get a PC, guess what — you were going to get a Microsoft device 90% of the time. There wasn’t a conscious choice.”
According to her, today customers have many choices not only Windows powered devices but also Chromebooks, Android and iOS tablets, OS X PCs and more.