The Microsoft PR team in charge of Internet Explorer has a difficult job on its hands. Finding the upside of declining market share isn’t exactly the easiest job in the world you know. As a result of the overall trend working against IE, the message this year has been mostly focused around browser share in Windows 7. When you limit the dataset to this one narrow focus, Microsoft appears to be making at least some progress at bouncing back, though mostly at the expense of Mozilla.
Over the years, Firefox has made the second position on browser market share charts all its own by refusing to budge either way. A few years ago, it was ridiculously difficult to even imagine a market scenario with Mozilla's browser at any place lower than number two. But the release of Chrome three years ago started threatening the improbability of such a scenario. Now, there is strong indication that the unthinkable might have already happened.
Google’s Android platform continued to capture more of the smartphone market in August, reaching a 43% share. Interestingly, this increase did not come at the expense of the iPhone; Apple’s platform held steady at 28% of the market. It was the RIM and Microsoft devices that took the hit.
HP’s decision to scrap the first, and perhaps only product resulting from its $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm was by far one of the most unexpected news stories we’ve seen in years. But just when we thought things couldn’t get any stranger, HP announced it was shopping for a buyer for their PC division as well, a move that would take the company in a radically different direction going forward. As the number one OEM PC manufacturer in the world this came as a bit of a shock to everyone, that is unless your number two. For Michael Dell the HP announcement represents a huge opportunity to grab market share, and the charismatic CEO wasted little time going after HP over twitter.
Even though Windows 7 rocks the socks off the decade-old XP and the lackluster ball of consumer disappointment known as Vista, Microsoft has had a hard time convincing PC users to make the switch to their new (well, two years old) operating system. When 2011 first rolled around, less than one in ten North American PCs rocked Redmond's latest offering. Expect that number to look a whole lot different by New Year's; one leading analytical firm says Windows 7 will be the most common OS in the world by the time 2012 rears its ugly head.
Every month we examine the state of the browser market in terms of market share, and it's usually more of the same. Internet Explorer, while still dominating with over a 50 percent share, slides downward month after month. Firefox, still the biggest threat to IE if looking at the numbers and not the trend, also continues to lose market share, but at a much slower pace. And Chrome, which popularized the concept of a minimalistic browser interface, just keeps gaining ground. While all this has been going on, Apple's Safari browser has been closing in on the big three.
AMD is getting ready to 'Bulldozer' the market with a new processor architecture, but in the meantime, the chip maker's Fusion parts are picking up the market share slack. The Sunnyvale firm gained nearly two points of x86 market share in the second quarter, and now holds a 19.4 percent share overall, according to new data from market research firm Mercury Research, eWeek reports.
The comScore numbers for April will likely have Microsoft employees cheering, but softly so as not to disturb the Ballmer. The data shows that Microsoft's Bing search engine continues to slowly gain market share as Google and the competition remain flat.
The numbers are in and once again, they favor Intel in a big way. According to industry analyst firm Mercury Research, Intel continues to dominate the competition in the x86 space and controls an 81 percent share of the market. Rival AMD, meanwhile, held on to an 18.2 percent share, and like Intel, showed little change from the same time period in 2010.
Market research firm iSuppli declared a "microprocessor stalemate" between Intel and AMD, neither of which was able to wrestle any significant share from the other in the third quarter.
Intel's global microprocessor share dropped ever-so-slightly from 80.4 percent in the second quarter to 80.1 percent in the third, while AMD went from 11.5 percent to 11.3 percent. In other words, both chip makers barely budged.
"In reality, the share changes in the third quarter from the two incumbents were extremely small and not at all significant," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms at iSuppli. "What is significant, however, is that neither company has been able to take any sizable share away from the other. One reason is that each company offers well-matched competitive product portfolios. Another reason is that end markets are not undergoing significant changes in market share of product lineup that would impact microprocessor market share."
AMD fans may want to delcare a tiny victory for the third quarter after having dropped its share 0.1 percent less than Intel, while Intel's fan base will point to the fact that AMD's share is down 0.8 percent from 2009, while Intel's is down just 0.1 percent.
Nothing to get excited about either way, though 2011 could be quite a different story.
"There remains a very competitive situation between the two dominant suppliers," Wilkins added. "In particular, we look forward to seeing the effect that AMD's forthcoming Fusion products might have on the share situation for these two mega-players."