Smartphones sold about as many units as the world shipped other personal computers in 2010Q4. One-third of those smartphones were shipped with Android/Linux. In 2011 this pattern will repeat and more Android/Linux systems will ship on ARMed smartphones than Wintel ships on PCs. M$ lost 50% of its share of this market. The monopoly will be dead in a year or two at this rate.
One could argue that smartphones are not PCs but they are just as tablets are. They are just smaller. Many of them are cheaper. They will be smaller, cheaper PCs sooner or later. The ARMed technology is so successful it will spill into thin client, tablet, netbook, notebook and desktop PCs. Wherever smaller, quieter, cheaper, lighter, cooler appeal to people, these gadgets will appear. There’s just no need for a box full of air and drives any longer. The notebook took a bite out of the desktop and ARMed notebooks will take a bite out of Wintel notebooks, too.The non-ARMed applications may have preserved Wintel in some niches but 90% of us are not using those applications so 90% of us do not need to be locked into Wintel.
This is the reason M$ is talking about porting to ARM. ARM is the new reality in personal computing and Android/Linux and GNU/Linux are a big part of the market. I believe with two years of this heated market before M$ enters, the monopoly on personal computing will be quite dead and ARM and Linux will be everywhere in IT. The only way the dinosaur can exhibit the agility needed to compete in this market is to switch to “cloud computing” so that they can have their OS do less, not more, essentially become a thin client OS. That will leave everyone on a more or less level playing field except for the amount of hype that can be bought.
2011 and 2012 are going to be great years in IT. M$ has to feed XP just enough to keep it as a placeholder, try to install “7” on as many new PCs as it can and the world will crank out many hundreds of millions of smaller cheaper PCs without that other OS. Lose CE is M$’s placeholder on ARM but that’s not competitive in apps. Oh, the irony… 😉
UPDATE On the tablet front, Android/Linux has Apple hearing footsteps. When Android 3.0 arrives, Apple will have real competition. see Preston Gralla Check the link to Bloomberg while you are at it:”Android devices captured 22 percent of global tablet shipments in the three months to Dec. 31, up from 2.3 percent in the preceding quarter, the Boston-based researcher said in a statement today. The iPad accounted for 75 percent of shipments in the period, down from about 95 percent”