Windows may still be winning the desktop operating system war, but according to a Goldman Sachs report, Clash of the Titans, that doesn’t matter because Microsoft has been badly losing the far more important computing device war to Apple iOS and Google Android.
Why? Because, “The compute landscape has undergone a dramatic transformation over the last decade with consumers responsible for the massive market realignment. While PCs were the primary Internet connected device in 2000 (139mn shipped that year), today they represent just 29% of all Internet connected devices (1.2bn devices to ship in 2012), while smartphones and tablets comprise 66% of the total. Further, although Microsoft was the leading OS provider for compute devices in 2000 at 97% share, today the consumer compute market (1.07bn devices) is led by Android at 42% share, followed by Apple at 24%, Microsoft at 20% and other vendors at 14%.“
Goldman Sachs’ analysis isn’t in a vacuum. Mary Meeker, once a superstar Wall Street analyst, and now a well-respected venture capitalist, recently presented a Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers report titled Internet Trends Year-End Update. The report found that tablets and smartphones were out-selling PCs in 2010’s 4th quarter and have since left them in the dust. By 2013’s 2nd quarter, Meeker predicts, the Apple- and Android-dominated smartphone and tablets installed base will be greater than the Windows PC installed base. Today, by Meeker’s numbers, Apple iOS and Google Android have 45% of the market to Windows’ 35% .