The last 6 months has seen significant changes in the technological environment. Apple started it all off with the introduction of the iPad Mini and iPhone 5, Microsoft followed suit with their new operating system “Windows 8″ which coincided with the launch of the Windows Phone 8, leaving Google, who introduced their latest Chromebook just last month, the third generation of their Chromebooks since their inception in 2011.
A couple questions must be asked… What market share do their operating systems have in the desktop and mobile/tablet markets? and Who is going to come out on top in the long term?
It seems essential to give a bit of background to each new product/system. Firstly, Windows 8 is designed for tablets and PC’s, which gives it more options as people are slowly transferring over from using PC’s to tablets, therefore it seems that Microsoft are moving in the right direction. Sales for the system after the first 90 days are equal to that of its predecessor, Windows 7, and at a time where the market is much more crowded in comparison to a time where Windows 7 and the iOS operating systems were leading the way, it could show that they are doing well. Next, Apple introduced the iPad Mini and iPhone 5. As I have said before in previous posts, it just shows that they are trying to crowd the market, whilst relying on the dedicated Apple fans to purchase their newest releases. Finally, Google have countered the others by introducing the latest Chromebook, which has enabled the Chrome operating system to be used on touchscreens. The whole purpose, or intention, is for Google to make deeper inroads into Microsoft’s core business, Windows.
In terms of current market share (as of February 2013), Windows are completely leading the way with desktop operating system market share of 93%, with iOS holding 5% and the others representing the last 2%. One thing that needs to be pointed out; 39% of that market share is represented by Windows XP, which is becoming very outdated as people are deciding to shift over to using tablets instead of updating their operating system on their PC’s. In terms of the mobile/tablet operating system market share, iOS are leading the way at 55%, with Android at 25%, whereas Windows Phone currently holds just over a 1% share. This is a fascinating find. Clearly, the new Windows 8 operating system for mobiles/tablets have only been in circulation for 4 months, but it just shows that Microsoft have arrived too late to the party. They are moving in the right direction, they are just a couple of years too late.
In the long term, I can see Google leading the way. Apple are currently leading the way, as the tablet/mobile market is becoming the biggest, but the loss of Steve Jobs is a huge one. Microsoft, as I said, have arrived too late to the party. They may hold the overwhelming majority of market share in the desktop market, but it is slowly shrinking. They have tried to counter this with Windows 8, but Google and Apple got there first, which is everything. iOS and Android are leading the way in the mobile and tablet markets, with many people loyal to one of them. Yes, people do like a change, but not enough to give Microsoft much of chance. I can see Google leading the way due to the lack of initiative shown by Microsoft and the current way Apple are headed, a stalemate. They need an inspirational leader to drive the company on what has made them what they are today, innovative.
Google are a brand everyone is familiar with, and with many people liking the Android software and through the slowly declining Apple, Google would seem to be in the best position.