The desktop monopoly of M$ is looking very old today. Emerging markets are consuming an ever larger piece of the PC pie (Asia/Pacific exluding Japan shipped about 1/3 of PCs with per annum growth of 11%) and they are not loyal servants of M$. Consumerization of IT means stuff consumers drag in to work will have to be accommodated. No more “M$ shops”.
The numbers are spectacular. Last year folks were expecting the world to ship 45 million tablets and revised estimates to 60 million. It turns out Apple, on its own, shipped that many. The global shipments of tablets were close to 100 million. And then there are the smartphones which shipped in greater numbers than desktop/notebook PCs.
All this means M$’s share of personal computing is plunging like a stone and more importantly, the share of people who look to M$ for the source of software is declining rapidly. Only a tiny percentage of smart phones and tablets use M$’s stuff. Soon the desktops and notebooks will not be using M$’s stuff. The change in 2012 could be dramatic as more businesses use thin clients and/or web applications and have less dependence on M$’s software. In the last quarter M$’s client division decreased its revenue 6% on the basis of December’s shopping mostly. There’s no sign of a decrease in consumer spending on non-M$ software. Shortages of hard drives will impact desktop and notebook PCs seriously in 2012 on top of everything else.
Still, there are many who are seriously locked in but they may have taken their last step on the Wintel treadmill.