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The new WindowsAdrian Kingsley-Hughes: The PC is on life support. Sales have flatlined as a result of consumers and enterprise choosing spending their money on new devices such as tablets and smartphones, sending PC OEMs into a tailspin. This shift from the PC to a post-PC world has resulted in an erosion in the dominance of Windows, and in its place mobile platforms have gained both popularity and market share.
When it comes to mobile platforms, Google's Android platform is the runaway leader. Not only is the operating system installed on almost three quarters of all mobile devices sold, these devices are now outselling PCs.
While Microsoft's dominance on the desktop essentially prevented Linux from making any headway in that market, a shift in demand to mobile devices has in a matter of a few years done the impossible -- crushed the PC.
Android is the new Windows.
Very un-Windows-likeChris Dawson: Microsoft has enjoyed near-monopoly status both in the enterprise and with consumers since the introduction of Windows 3.1 over 20 years ago. The product remains entrenched and has gone through a number of mediocre revisions with lengthy development cycles until Microsoft finally delivered a highly polished and relatively secure OS with Windows 7.
Android, on the other hand, has grown into the dominant mobile operating system after just five short years, relying on the efforts of the open source community and massive backing by Google. Its dominance is hardly a sure thing and certainly doesn't represent a monopoly as Apple's iOS provides serious competition and drives enormous innovation in the mobile space. In fact, the only characteristic it shares with Windows is its ability to run on commodity hardware produced by many OEMs. Rapid release cycles, community development, and open licensing models make Android very un-Windows-like.