- “In North America (US/Canada),Â 60% of online consumers will own a tablet by 2017, making it aÂ majorityÂ device.Â In Europe, 42% of online consumers will own one.Â While penetration rates wonâ€™t reach even 25% in aggregate in the developing world by that date, tablets will reach majority status in leading Asian markets like Singapore and South Korea.”
- “Total worldwide sales will reach 381 million units.Â A majority of these will be purchased by consumers, but enterprise purchases will make up 18% — having risen every year as a percentage of sales since the inception of the market.”
- “The global installed base of tablets will reach 905 million.Â Tablets will be used by over one in eight people on earth, including 29% of online consumers globally.”
There it is. The world can and does accept tablets as legitimate PCs capable of doing almost everything and being portable besides. That’s a natural result of Moore’s Law making tiny portable devices a possibility, and folks being absolutely uninterested in M$’s goal of one hard drive and one licence fee on every PC on the planet. For decades, M$ had coerced most OEMs and retailers to sell nothing but legacy PCs. That’s over according to Forrester, IDC, Gartner and anyone else who looks at the numbers. If the old locked-in OEMs would not ship enough small cheap computers new ones could emerge and get into the business quickly thanks to ARM and */Linux operating systems. ARM isn’t charging an arm and a leg for each CPU using their ideas like Intel and Google and Linux aren’t charging an arm and a leg for each operating system using their ideas like M$. So small cheap computers can be really small and really cheap. Everyone can afford them and within the decade far more people will own a small cheap computer than a large expensive one and they will do most of their information processing using one.
M$ deliberately seduced ISVs into producing software only for M$’s OS on legacy PCs. Already small cheap computers have more ISVs and applications than you can count. M$ used to punish OEMs who strayed. Governments and courts put a stop to that, thank Goodness. Lies M$ told about Linux being a cancer and illegal were proven to be lies by widespread usage of GNU/Linux and court actions like SCOG v World. The last straw for Wintel was the proliferation of smartphones with Android/Linux OS. No one in the supply chain from OEM to consumer now believes that Wintel is the only game in town. No one now believes one must pay above market-price for good IT. So good IT is everywhere and it does not depend on Wintel to a huge extent. Forrester is just confirming all this by the numbers and how exponential growth works. Once it starts, it can’t be stopped until something maxes out. That won’t happen for a few years yet during which more small cheap computers are being shipped than those expensive legacy PCs. Business is about the only loyal segment for Wintel and they are buying tablets and smartphones already for the mobility. Web applications are undermining the necessity of Wintel PCs even for business.
So, it’s a good year for Free and optimal IT. Free/Libre Open Source software is overrunning the planet down to the last outpost of non-Free software. Intel and M$ are having to work for a living because the world no longer depends on them exclusively and alternatives cost less and are faster coming to market because the licensing is simpler and cheaper. Even better, */Linux is being shipped on a significant share of legacy PCs, a Hell of a lot of servers and ARM is even getting into servery. I expect there will be more good news for consumers and businesses for the next few years in a free market for IT. How refreshing compared to the previous decades. The monopoly that took a decade and a half to evolve into the cancer that it became lasted just a decade more and was cured in just a few short years, perhaps just five years, from ~2007 when Android began and ASUS began to ship eeePC with GNU/Linux to ~2013 when multiple quarters of declining unit sales of Wintel showed the dam holding back the world of Freedom had burst.
The last vestige of Wintel for me seems to be that Walmart still gives some shelf-space to Wintel legacy PCs even though the product is not selling. I expect 2013 will be the end of that retail shelf-monopoly where I live. It’s already happened in Brazil, China, India, Malaysia and partially in many other regions. In those regions a significant number of legacy PCs ship with GNU/Linux and a few with Android/Linux. From 95% share of legacy PCs going Wintel we now have only about 20% of all PCs shipping with Wintel. Surely goodness and mercy shall reign in IT forever. Surely we will not make the mistake to allow monopoly over such important and universal technology ever again.