Life without Microsoft?

May 23, 2010 § 10 Comments

Don’t expect to see that any time soon…

I am convinced than Microsoft is here to stay.  Microsoft has not only a great infrastructure and market dominance in place, but also has bunch of bright people working hard to maintain this power (maybe with the exception of its CEO, Steve Balmer,  see below to see my point).

But rather than discussing subjectively, lets take a small look to the metrics. Below I am summarizing the actual (2010, Q1) market share for the main products from Microsoft: Windows (by far their biggest product),  Internet Explorer and Windows Mobile software. I am adding my own prediction 2-year ahead, where I think the market share would look like in 2012.

Desktop OS Market Share 2010 – Q1 My prediction 2012 Dif.
Windows XP 63% 40% -23%
Windows Vista 16% 10% -6%
Windows 7 12% 30% 18%
Mac 5% 10% 5%
Linux 1% 1% 0%
Google 0% 5% 5%
Other 3% 4% 1%

Desktop OS: Clearly declining, but will continue to be the biggest players on the game here despite the growth of Apple and Google (with its Chrome OS appearing later this year). My biggest question here is, how long does the desktop computer will continue to be part of our lives as we know it. If we are moving (replacing) to mobile devices such as smartphone, iPads (tables, etc) or Google cloud computing computers, OS market will shrink considerably and the Microsoft dominance with it.

Browsers Market Share 2010 – Q1 My prediction 2012 Dif.
IE (Microsoft) 61% 40% -14%
Firefox (Mozilla) 25% 30% 5%
Chrome (Google) 6% 15% 4%
Safari (Apple) 5% 8% 2%
Opera 2% 5% 2%
Other 2% 3% 0%

Browsers: Still quite high due the Desktop OS market dominance but loosing speed rapidly against Firefox and Google Chrome. I predict one of these two to take them over soon after 2012. The browser is important because it is by far the most used application of a computer. For no other reason, Google is building its OS around the browser.

Mobile OS Market Share 2010 – Q1 My prediction 2012 Dif.
Symbian (Nokia) 44% 20% -24%
Blackberry OS (RIM) 19% 20% 1%
iPhone OS (Apple) 15% 20% 5%
Android (Google) 10% 30% 20%
Windows Mobile (Microsoft) 7% 5% -2%
Linux 4% 4% 0%
Other 1% 1% 0%

Mobile OS: Clearly out of the picture here, even with the announcement of the completely new concept of Windows Phone 7 Series. I am quite sure, this “great” concept has just arrived to late… and will definitively join the Zune to the “Looser” corner. The Mobile market is the fastest growing segment and here Microsoft has lost its dominance… UPDATE [24.05.2010]: actually Microsoft is looking desperate here!

In my view, everything was ok for Microsoft until:

–  iPhone appeared. (Steve Ballmer laugh about it, and now is probably whining about it!). With the iPhone, we all suddenly discovered what was possible to do with mobile devices. The iPad is a perfectly example how mobile OS are evolving and how we will use mobile devices in the future. Google with Android, which just overtook the iPhone in the USA (due their open to any manufacturer business model), will be in my opinion the big player here in the near future.

– HP has bought Palm! Are the new HP tablets, that will compete against the iPad, use Microsoft Mobile OS or Web OS as Palm did on their smartphones???

UPDATE [25.05.2010]: – The iPad appeared! See here some insights from a long-term Windows developer about why Windows is now threatened!

Microsoft has in my humble opinion fewer chances to make big things right in order to define the use of computers for the years to come. I am sure they will figure it out somehow. They do have very interesting things in the pipeline (i.e. Surface, Project Natal (X-Box), Kin One and Two)…but until then, they will continue experience a significant market share drop for their OS (Both desktop and Mobile) and Browser markets in the years to come.

Blog to you soon…

– This blog was written by a very happy Apple user from his MacBook Pro using Safari. =)

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