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Microsoft PC market share drops 60% in 5 years

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The emergence of tablet devices has caused Microsoft’s share in the personal computing market drop 60 per cent.

Microsoft’s share of the PC market has dropped from 90 per cent to just under a 30 per cent in five years, with the Windows platform struggling to compete with tablets.

Sales of tablets, iPhone and iPad devices have caused PC shipments to stagnate over the past half-decade.

The overall personal computing market, which now includes tablets, has seen shipment figures grow from 92 million in 2008 to 269 million this year.

In 2008, Windows PCs accounted for around 90 per cent of all personal computing devices shipped, but Microsoft’s OS is now only on a third of devices used by consumers.

Microsoft failed to enter the tablet and smartphone arena at a point where it could successfully compete with iOS and Android alternatives.

As you can see in the graphs below, from Horace Dediu of Asymco, worldwide PC shipments have imploded since the launch of the original Apple iPad in 2010.

The graphs are created from a combination of Gartner’s PC and tablet shipment data, as the majority of analysts now count tablets as a separate entity to PC sales. Usually, Windows tablets are counted among the PC shipment figures though.

In July, Gartner analysts revealed that worldwide PC shipments dropped to 76 million units in the second quarter of 2013, marking fifth consecutive quarter decline and the longest duration of decline in Windows’ history.

“We are seeing the PC market reduction directly tied to the shrinking installed base of PCs, as inexpensive tablets displace the low-end machines used primarily for consumption in mature and developed markets,” said principal analyst at Gartner, Mikako Kitagawa. “While Windows 8 has been blamed by some as the reason for the PC market’s decline, we believe this is unfounded as it does not explain the sustained decline in PC shipments.”

Next, read our roundup of the best Windows 8 PCs, laptops, tablets and convertibles


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