PC has always been synonymous with Microsoft. Now with the insurgence of mobile phones and tablets, Windows OS franchisees are finding it difficult to push up their sales. Microsoft has so far tried to adapt its desktop operating systems onto the tablets and mobile phones, but with little success.
Windows has been a successful brand for the past 25 years and generated about $19 billion in revenue in the last fiscal year. But revenues are on a record decline. Sales of smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone and Google?s Android surged this year. Apple?s iPad has eaten most of the tablet PC sales this year. However, Microsoft partly blames weak sales to increased piracy rates in its developing markets.
Silicon Valley investors say it is too late to revive Windows to its past glory. However, they are confident of a strong future in its exchange messaging business with Skype.
Mobile devices distributed application programs using ?App store? model, which gives easy access to programs that are either free or cost less than $5. PC-based programs are in the range of $40 to $100. The App store applications find 50% new users daily compared with the Windows 7 version users.
Evernote chief executive, Phil Libin, says Microsoft lacks an app store. With the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft plans an app store along with the product.
Goldman Sachs, in its April report, stated that tablet computers such as the iPad would continue to surge ahead of traditional PCs.
Apple is the second largest PC vendor after HP. Adding iPad to its PC range accounted for 13.6% in PC shipment sales. This confirms that supremacy of Windows can go away any time. Apple has already posted a sales figure of 28.7 million iPads since its launch in 2010. The corporate demand for iPad is also rising. At least 86% of the Fortune 500 companies are deploying or testing the iPad instead of Windows laptops.
Microsoft, in its desperation, has initiated strategies that competes with Google?s Android. For instance, if anyone purchases an HTC phone with Windows Phone 7 installed, Microsoft earns $5 which is kept as protection money. Similarly in a deal with Samsung, Microsoft will earn $15 per handset. With this strategy, Microsoft is expanding its operating system base in mobile devices.
Microsoft UK managing director, Ashley Highfield, believes they have entered the next phase of the PC’s evolution, but forecasting anything will be premature. “The iPad can fit in with the ecosystem in your home, but not going to eschew your PC,? he insisted while pointing out that Microsoft’s strategy does not revolve around a single device, but around consumer needs. The aim is to have a range of device that answers the need of sophisticated people.
iPad popular in UAE
Analysts believe that tablets and smart phones are being used primarily as companion devices, and as such would not have a great impact on the PC market. However, the situation is fast changing and more and more people are switching to tablets and smartphones. The technology evolution within the tablets and smart phones has also improved, and users are finding they need more laptops and less PCs.
More than 4 months since the launch of Apple?s iPad touchscreen tablet computer, a spot check shows that the gadget has proved to be a big hit with local UAE consumers.
Sources: Wall Street Journal, Techbeast.com, ameinfo.com