'2013 is going to be ugly' for Microsoft as it shifts to Windows 8, Forrester predicts
It's already lost its once-dominant spot in operating systems, firm argues; now it's all about holding on to what it has
Computerworld - As Microsoft launches Windows 8, and with it, an attempt to stabilize a precipitous decline in its share of operating systems for "personal devices," 2013 is going to be a tough, very tough year, research firm Forrester said today.
"This is a pivotal movement for Microsoft," said Frank Gillett, an analyst at Forrester and the lead on the report "Microsoft: The Next Five Years," that was released Monday. "But 2013 is going to be ugly."
Gillett based that on a rapid drop in Microsoft's share of operating systems since the debut of Apple's iPhone in 2007.
When traditional PCs, tablets and smartphones are combined -- Forrester dubs the three as a category called "personal devices" -- Microsoft's 2008 share of all operating systems, a whopping 95%, has fallen to 30% in 2012. The exploding growth of smartphones, where Microsoft has little traction, and tablets, where it has essentially none on the eve of Windows 8 and its offshoot Windows RT, have not only negated Microsoft's gains in Windows users of traditional PCs, but put it in the hole.
For the next five years, through 2016, Forrester's said, Microsoft will retain that 30% share. But it's lost the dominance of this "personal device" category -- that ship has sailed -- and has virtually no chance of getting it back.
What Microsoft can do -- what Windows 8 and its successors must do, said Gillett -- is hold on to what it has.
The two companies that Microsoft faces -- and with which it now shares the personal device OS market -- are, of course, Apple and Google. Both California firms have large shares in smartphones, with Google's Android leading Apple by a wide margin in 2012 and going forward, and Apple's iOS the dominant tablet operating system.
Microsoft's Achilles' heel is smartphones, where it has a very minor share currently, and by Forrester's estimate, will have no more than a 14% in 2016. "Smartphones are their weakest link," said Gillett.
In tablets, Forrester is predicting a 27% share for Microsoft in four years, while it will hold onto nearly 90% of traditional personal computer operating systems.
"The growth in tablets and smartphones will help offset incremental PC losses [for Microsoft] through 2016 [but] it can't grow much more without a much stronger showing in smartphones than we expect," the report stated.
- Microsoft launches toolset for capturing 'ambient intelligence'
- Microsoft kicks off sales of lower-priced Office subscription in bid for iPad dollars
- At Build, mobility gets a boost with universal Windows apps
- Microsoft gets strategic with its Enterprise Mobility Suite
- Microsoft sketches out final Windows XP security updates for next week
- Microsoft teases touch-first Office for Windows
- Cortana's voice is synthesized in part from an AI character in Halo
- Hell freezes over: Microsoft makes Windows free for some devices
- Windows Phone 8.1 confirmed, with Cortana digital assistant
- Ex-Microsoft employee pleads guilty to trade secret theft
- Assessing ROI for Mobile Acceleration Clients This EMA® paper examines the business case for deploying mobile WAN optimization client software and builds a ROI model based on the experiences...
- The Apple-ization of the Enterprise: Understanding IT's New World Read this paper for how to tackle Apple-ization (and the related consumerization of IT and Bring Your Own Device/BYOD).
- A Practical Introduction to Enterprise Mobility Management Read the white paper to better understand the basic concepts within mobility management and to learn how you can apply EMM technology to...
- Enterprise Mobility: A Checklist for Secure Containerization The advantages and disadvantages of the multiple approaches to containerization. Learn More>>
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Mobile Security: Containerizing Enterprise Data In this on-demand webinar, Fixmo's Lee Cocking, VP of corporate strategy, explains why Apple-ization trends like mobility and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) are driving the... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!