There are two huge players in the game for small cheap computers who are taking their lumps. While trying to grow their empires, they are cutting off their roots, endangering the whole operation:
- “Microsoft’s expansion in the hardware industry is expected to further deteriorate its relationship with PC brand vendors, pushing the vendors to seek cooperation from other software designers such as Google.” see Microsoft purchase of Nokia handset business may boost Chrome devices
wonstole share by exclusive dealing and bundling. They will lose share by kicking the folks who brought them to the dance, OEMs and retailers. OEMs see M$’s entry into hardware as unfair competition since M$ does not charge itself licensing fees and takes huge profits. Retailers are tired of M$’s stuff gathering dust on retail shelves while consumers slurp up ChromeBooks and smart thingies.
Apple’s unit sales are falling as consumers have a shot at N devices rather than just Apple’s devices. Since Apple’s plan is to produce a few models on the high end rather than a wide range, they will become a niche-player. Apple won market share by being first to market and using heavy promotion. Apple will lose share by clinging to the original business plan as the world moves on.
Unit sales by segment in 2013:
iPhone iPad Q2 31.2million 14.6million Q1 37.4million 19.5million Drop 6.2million 4.9million
Of course Apple is not suffering but M$ has a lot more to lose. M$’s whole empire depends on OEMs bundling that other OS with equipment. OEMs have a clear known-successful option now, FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software), developed collectively by the world to run everything from controllers to super-computers. The world doesn’t need M$ nor its software any longer, if it ever did, and all the lock-ins that M$ once had forcing everyone in the supply/support chain to dance to M$’s tune are worn out. Consumers and businesses are doing more with web applications so the client OS is no longer a lock-in. The web is already run by FLOSS. The only question remaining is how low will M$’s share go.