Skip to comments.Microsoft Could Be Completely Irrelevant In Four Years, Gartner Warns Analyst
Posted on 04/04/2013 7:28:41 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Microsoft faces a slide into irrelevance in the next four years unless it can make progress in the smartphone and tablet markets, because the PC market will continue shrinking, warns the research group Gartner.
It says a huge and disruptive shift is underway, in which more and more people will use a tablet as their main computing device, researchers say.
That will also see shipments of Android devices dwarf those of Windows PCs and phones by 2017. Microsoft-powered device shipments will almost be at parity with those of Apple iPhones and iPads - the latter a situation not seen since the 1980s.
In a new forecast published on Thursday morning, Gartner says that by 2015 shipments of tablets will outstrip those of conventional PCs such as desktops and notebooks, as Android and Apple's iOS become increasingly dominant in the overall operating system picture. Android in particular will be installed on more than a billion devices shipped in 2014, says Carolina Milanesi, the analyst who led the research.
Meanwhile a new category of "ultramobile" devices - such as the Surface Pro and the lighter ultrabook laptops - will become increasingly important as people shift towards more mobile forms of computing.
For Microsoft, this poses an important inflexion point in its history, warns Milanesi. "Winning in the tablet and phone space is critical for them to remain relevant in this shift," she told the Guardian. "We're talking about hardware displacement here - but this shift also has wider implications for operating systems and apps. What happens, for instance, when [Microsoft] Office isn't the best way to be productive in your work?"
For Microsoft, income from Windows and Office licences are key to its revenues: per-PC Windows licences generate about 50% of its profits, and Office licences almost all the rest.
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...
I still think they can replace PCs with MS tablets in the Enterprise, but it will be a few years to transition.
We are already starting a trial at my company to replace some departments PCs with Surface tablets. We shall see.
1) While Microsoft dominates the PC market, it is a distant third in the smartphone and tablet markets. Latest figures suggest that Windows Phone, its smartphone OS, shipped on about 3% of devices in fourth quarter of 2012, compared to 20% for Apple’s iPhone and over 70% for Android - of which 50% connected to Google’s servers and 20% were “white box” Android phones in China which do not use Google services.
2) A key problem for Microsoft is that it is the people who don’t yet own PCs - in emerging markets such as Africa and China - who are most likely to have a smartphone and tablet as their first “computer”. They’re starting with a smartphone, not a PC, so when they’re looking for something larger, they look at something that’s a replacement smartphone experience - which is a tablet or ultramobile device. And Android or [Apple’s] iOS are the two that they’re looking at.
3) Microsoft could then face the vicious circle where developers considering which platform to develop apps for look at those with the largest user base - and that that will not be Windows. By 2017, the number of devices being shipped with iOS, both iPhones and iPads, will be close to that with Windows and Windows Phone combined.
RE: We are already starting a trial at my company to replace some departments PCs with Surface tablets.
Why not iPads or Android based Tablets?
Step 1: Write a word processing app that works.
December 2008 - Apple has just Killed Microsoft. (irrelevant in a year).
December 2005 - Microsoft to be Irrelevant Soon.
2004 - $2 Billion Payout to Sun makes Microsoft Irrelevant.
Hmmm - I think I like their odds.
Can’t happen soon enough, always been a fan of the open software movement and Linux. Too many bug fixes in MS and huge hogs of resources.
I like MS Visual Studio.
I’ve been using the MS IDE for more than twenty years, and I’ve gotten used to it. For me, anything else (including NetBeans) is a PITA.
So, what happens to Visual Studio in the age of Tablets and Smart phones?
There is some truth to this, but it is a little exaggerated. Dealing with IT on a daily basis, I have seen the shift to tablets/smartphones, but people use them primarily for email and web browsing.
Almost every company has an internal program that requires some antiquated Windows application. More and more, I’ve had to set up VMs or other solutions to run these things, but they still use them on a daily basis. Heck, I still see *DOS* programs from time to time.
So, while Windows is fading from the personal/home market, it will hang around for a while in business environments. It might be used through remote connections from an iPad, though.
PCs aren’t going to completely go away, just as mainframes will not completely go away.
They’re doing it to themselves.
Microsoft is becoming completely irrelevant from an OS standpoint, because they’re trying to compete with everyone on everything. If they focus solely on desktop and server operating systems, they might have a chance. Instead, they release another “beta” OS in Win8, a crap “touch screen” server OS in 2012, and a tablet that offers nothing new compared to the iPad or Google products.
My skills will go the way of the dodo, because I’ve staked my career on Windows product knowledge. I might do some consulting to get companies off of the old MS stuff, but I’ll probably go into technical writing, my academic background.
They have tons of cash....they can buy brains with it...as long as they can do that, they will be around.
Anyone remember the Microsoft monopoly?
Google will go the same way, eventually.
But there’s one monopoly that never goes away. The government.
Doesn’t Google have most of this?
How about Apache OpenOffice? http://www.openoffice.org/why/
Plus, it is free. Now to one has to pay attention when downloading and installing it to get rid of the commercials but I have done it on a number of computers. The only thing it does not have is an e-mail model like Outlook.
.NET will be the new COBOL, maybe not the most hip technology, but millions of business systems will still be running on it for years to come.
I will add this, though...the move away from Windows desktops will save an incredible amount of money. So much of IT expenses go to just cleaning up desktop machines from spyware/junkware/etc.
Remember why Microsoft was successful in the Enterprise...”Nobody ever got fired for using Microsoft.”
Did those departments dance around the table like they do in the surface commercial?
Heh heh, thankfully no.
Still waiting to see the mythical open source Exchange killer........
IMHO, the whole high tech industry is in danger.
Product life span is now so short that product development costs are not recovered in sales.
If you can’t make a profit in building a widget, why have a company.
MS’s problem is they still don’t listen to customers and all the executives spend more time involved in social experiments than running their company.
I know there are good wp programs. It’s just that MSFT doesn’t have one.
Because they need real computers.
It’s not competition killing Microsoft, it’s Microsoft killing itself. Windows 8 is hated by most users. They changed closing a program from a single click to a click and a swipe. The goal is to make things quicker and easier, not more time consuming.
Microsoft was succesful in the enterprise because they worked at it. While IBM and MS were working to get PC's talking to IBM mainframes, Apple had nothing but contempt for the very idea. That was beneath them and they said so.
The only way that iPads and Tablets and mobile devices will replace personal computers is if they can find a way to shrink the human finger and reconfigure the human eye.
I forsee when tablets will have the ability to produce a holographic keyboard, that would be the size of a traditional keyboard.
the only reason I use Windows is Games ,getting games to run on Linux can be a real pain ,if they could make them easy to install and run like windows ,we would dump windows
Wonder how they can get the Surface to play with the XBox.
In the old days, it was not necessary to say "cursive" when referencing "writing". Just another dumb PC addition....
Their elephant is Excel, the most widely used app in the enterprise world. More than just spreadsheets, it’s also imbeded marcos to call internal databases inside the firewall and external databases via the net.
It will take a long time for enterprises to wean themselves off Excel. Change is risk. There has to be a good reason for the the risk.
Now extending to tablets is a different question. Microsoft should concentrate on Office on Tablet functionality. Its their ace, play it wisely.
I’m a systems guy, so I’m accustomed to Active Directory, Exchange, and server OS. Knowing how reluctant companies can be to upgrade, I have no doubt that there will be plenty of work for me for a couple decades. I AM seeing a shift in server hardware toward consolidated platforms (i.e. Cisco blade systems), but the OS world will be hard to change for a while yet.
RE: More than just spreadsheets, its also imbeded marcos to call internal databases inside the firewall and external databases via the net.
Why can’t Apple or Google create spreadsheet peoducts that compete with Excel?
Sure they can, but then you're going to have to port all of those old Excel macros over....don't see that as a real good cost/benefit trade-off.
IMO, the only thing that's at all interesting about MS Office is Access*, and with every new version they break the previous one. (i.e. importation-wise; I've not heard of a non-trivial DB/UI importing correctly.)
I'd much rather use WordPerfect than MS Word; I have a deep-seated resentment/aversion to PowerPoint (Army experience); and Outlook was craptacular [much of this is due to Outlook and Outlook Express being different enough that they really ought to have different names] last time I touched it; Excel... well, if you're not using it for finances you probably ought to be shot [too many admin/manager-types use it instead of DBs; I know I've had to deal with data-manipulation in spreadsheets that *REALLY* should have been in a DB].
* -- I'll give MS kudos for making DBs easily accessible, even if management-types seem to forgo it in favor of Excel.
>>> We are already starting a trial at my company to replace some departments PCs with Surface tablets. We shall see.
>> Did those departments dance around the table like they do in the surface commercial?
>Heh heh, thankfully no.
Dang! You missed a great opportunity:
“Yes. That’s why it’s so important that you don’t neglect things like Dance-class while you’re in College.”
Microsoft bet big on the power of corporate inertia - and it has paid off so far with billions in Office upgrades and renewals.
Windows probably has no real future as a closed O/S, but it's all about how hard developers are going to laugh when they finally get a look at the internals. :)
For 500 years in the printing industry letters used for printing were called "typefaces," then along came PCs and everyone started calling them "fonts."
About the only deficiency it has is not being unicode; I find this understandable though, being a programmer, because transitioning to unicode is a big deal [lot of work] which would require a rewrite of things like basic search, and Corel has put WP into a corner and limited ongoing development/monies (Corel is really more focused on CorelDRAW).
I have no desire to work on a spreadsheet on a phone or a tablet.
I don't see it happening.
Let me rephrase that.
I don't see it happening until handheld devices can project a high-def image directly onto the user's retina, or into the user's visual cortex.
At that point, the PC - as we presently know it - will become obsolete.
One of the things that they do so wrong is in their slipshod work allowing things to [basically] be beta-tested as a finished product, making them usable w/ SP1. I would love it if they were to [internally] adopt a language designed to catch errors earlier (like Ada).
I have nothing to worry about because I work on the server side of IT, always have. Nobody is going to replace the UNIX and Windows servers where I work anytime soon. As for the client side - browswers, tablest i-phones - I do not care.