When it comes to desktop and laptop computers, Microsoft has long been the leader with its Windows operating systems. While it still continues to dominate these devices, there is a growing shift when it comes to portable smart devices, like our smartphones and tablets. A decade ago, when Apple released its first iPhone and a year later (2008) Android followed suit, Microsoft did not perceive either of these as serious threats to its dominance.
As people started to adapt to mobile devices, they slowly started growing in numbers and usage with the increasing number of apps. Even five years ago, Microsoft still held the majority of the market share for all devices – desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, while Apple and Android had only acquired a fraction of the marketplace.
However, today, that landscape has seen dramatic changes and Microsoft has started to lose its market share. Today, Microsoft has seen a drop in its total operating system (OS) markets, with Android quickly closing the gap and Apple not too far behind. Market share between Microsoft’s Windows OS and Android’s is only about a two percent difference.
If you were to combine Apple’s market share along with Android’s, they represent approximately slightly more than fifty percent of the market, currently. Part of the reason for Microsoft’s inability to retain its domination in the OS market was due to failing to notice a major shift was occurring in the market and failing to adapt quickly enough to hold onto its lead.
What efforts Microsoft has made into the mobile device operating system marketplace has not made a significant dent compared to Android and Apple. It attempted to release its own smartphone OS, which did not fare well at all, and most people actually consider the “Windows Phone” dead at this point. On top of that, its efforts to provide a mobile operating system for tablets has not been well received.
Even though Microsoft might have shrugged off the idea of Android or Apple ever taking over as the dominate OS provider, they can no longer ignore the effects both of these companies are making in the mobile device market segments. For Microsoft, it matters because it shows the dramatic shift users are making from desktop and laptop computers to tablets and smartphones.
In effect, this shift not only changes the operating system landscape, but also has a substantial influence on the future of software and application development. Rather than focus on new software and apps for Windows, developers are going to start focusing more on Android and Apple operating systems.
Furthermore, within the next year or two, it is anticipated that Android will have overtaken the OS market, with Apple a close second, followed by Microsoft. With Microsoft no longer the dominant operating system provider, it will be interesting to see how this new change will play out in the coming years.
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