Tablets will make up half of the overall PC market next year
Desktops aren't going anywhere, but neither are tablets, the latter of which are forecast to out-ship all other PC form factors combined to account for nearly half of the client PC market, according to Canalys. Tablet PC shipments grew 40 percent in the third quarter of 2013, which helped the overall PC market grow 18 percent even though traditional desktop and notebook shipments declined. Amid all this growth is a window of opportunity to monetize the frenzy, just like Intel did when netbooks were all the craze.
Apple is still the top tablet vendor, and with the recent launch of the iPad Air and new iPad mini with Retina-class display, it will probably stay in the lead. Meanwhile, Canalys believes Microsoft will carve out a 5 percent share of the market next year, which would be more than double its 2 percent stake in 2012. In order to really compete, however, there's a sense that Microsoft needs to consolidate its operating systems.
"To improve its position it must drive app development and better utilize other relevant parts of its business to round out its mobile device ecosystem," said Canalys Research Analyst Pin Chen Tang. "A critical first step is to address the coexistence of Windows Phone and Windows RT. Having three different operating systems to address the smart device landscape is confusing to both developers and consumers alike."
Funny Canalys should mention OS consolidation. As coincidence would have it, Microsoft's Executive Vice President of Devices and Studios, Julie Larson-Green, recently went on record saying Microsoft has too many OSes.
"We have the Windows Phone OS. We have Windows RT and we have full Windows. We're not going to have three," Larson-Green said.