Microsoft Obsolete, Not so long ago Microsoft (MSFT) was the undisputed king of technology, controlling about 90% of the market for operating systems. But as demand moved from desktops to laptops and then to tablets and smartphones, Microsoft lost its market reign to Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL).
A report released today by Gartner, the technology research and advisory firm, forecasts that by 2017 shipments of devices using Google’s Android operating system will dwarf shipments of Windows PCs and phones. Shipments of Apple iPhones and iPads will be almost at parity with devices powered by Microsoft.
“Microsoft could be completely irrelevant in three or four years if they can’t make headway in the smartphone or tablet market, where they’ve been struggling,” says The Daily Ticker’s Henry Blodget.
The numbers are staggering. Gartner forecasts that by 2017 the number of tablets, mobile phones and ultramobile devices will total 2.7 billion units-almost 10 times the number of desktop and notebook PCs.
The stock market already reflects this shift in the device market. “The market is basically saying [Microsoft] is not a growth story. It’s treated almost like a wasting asset, if you look at the current books and current cash flow,” says Michael Santoli, senior columnist at Yahoo! Finance.