IT industry now in 'post-Windows' era

IT industry now in 'post-Windows' era

Summary: Slew of Android and iOS tablets and smartphones, coupled with the little impact Microsoft made in these markets prior to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, means a post-Windows era is now a reality.

TOPICS: Windows, Tablets, PCs

SINGAPORE--While the tech industry may not have yet entered the post-PC era, it has probably stepped into a post-Windows global reality with more non-Windows-based intelligent computing devices in the market today.

This was the observation by Steve Brazier, president and CEO of market research firm Canalys, who pointed out tablets and smartphones formed part of the intelligent devices landscape together with traditional computing devices such as desktops, notebooks and ultrabooks.

In his keynote address at the Canalys Channels Forum held here Wednesday, Brazier said Windows accounts for 72 percent of the traditional PC market, which comprises desktops, notebooks and netbooks. Other operating systems make up the remaining 28 percent.

The situation, though, is reversed in the intelligent devices market where other OSes such as Google Android and Apple iOS dominate with 68 percent, while Windows took 32 percent, he said, citing internal research from August 2012.

Brazier acknowledged the scenario did not take into account the possible impact Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 might have on the proportion of the OS market, but noted the enterprise uptake of Windows 8 will be limited at least for the next 12 months.

Tim Coulling, analyst for the client PC market at Canalys, elaborated on Brazier's assessment, saying Microsoft had not made much of a dent on the smartphone market since the launch of its Windows Phone operating system in late-2010.

The PC market, excluding tablets, also has been on a negative growth spiral. Even Asia-Pacific, the only region globally to clock overall growth, saw its third-quarter shipment dip 4.2 percent to 34.2 million, from 35.7 million units in the same quarter last year, added Tang Pin Chen, research analyst at Canalys.

It is only with the addition of tablet devices to the mix did the overall global market register a 2.2 percent growth, Tang noted. There were 41.2 million units shipped in third-quarter 2012, 900,000 more than the same time last year.

Coulling said Microsoft's efforts to create both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 using the same core technologies, should help the software vendor create a "virtuous cycle" between both platforms.

This would prove a sound enterprise proposition should it be executed well, and might help reverse the diminishing Windows market eventually, Coulling told ZDNet Asia in a separate interview.

However, should current market conditions prevail--such as tablets outpacing desktops and notebooks, and consumers preferring smartphones as their first computing device of choice over PCs--the post-Windows assessment is correct and here to stay, he stated.

Cloud computing "awful lot of hype"
Brazier also commented on the cloud market, saying there is "an awful lot of hype" at the moment with vendors doing their utmost to convince enterprise customers to move from on-premise deployments to cloud-based systems.

He noted the cloud computing segment contributed 5 percent of the overall IT market in 2011 and will grow to 8 percent in 2013, but this still leaves 92 percent of the IT market spend in other areas.

Poster boys for the cloud industry such as and Amazon Web Services have not been profitable either, Brazier said., for example, reported second quarter loss of US$9.83 million, or US$0.07 per share, on revenue of US$731.6 million.

Predictably, other cloud service providers disagreed with Brazier's assessment.

Jaime Valles, president of Asia-Pacific, Japan and Greater China at Cisco Systems, said in his presentation at the conference the networking giant believes the cloud market will grow to comprise 20 percent to 30 percent of the overall IT expenditure between 2018 and 2020.

David Dzienciol, regional vice president and sales general manager at Parallels Asia-Pacific, also questioned how Brazier and Canalys derived the cloud spend by companies. "If a company buys a server but uses it to support its cloud services, does that fall under a box sale or a cloud one?"

Additionally, strong performances by traditional hosting operators and cloud service providers, driven by small and midsize businesses, appear to contradict the Canalys executive's opinion, Dzienciol told ZDNet Asia in a separate interview.

Topics: Windows, Tablets, PCs

Kevin Kwang

About Kevin Kwang

A Singapore-based freelance IT writer, Kevin made the move from custom publishing focusing on travel and lifestyle to the ever-changing, jargon-filled world of IT and biz tech reporting, and considered this somewhat a leap of faith. Since then, he has covered a myriad of beats including security, mobile communications, and cloud computing.

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  • sweet guess MS is the underdog

    Maybe people in the EU will get off their backs
    • Wow

      Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online(Click on menu Home)
  • Joke

    The IT industry runs on Mainframes/Windows/Unix/Linux/Oracle technologies...just because some consumers bought some ipad/android devices that run non-windows platform doesn't mean its 'post-windows' era.
    • Why not?

      You still create code that run on Mianframe/Linux/Windows/Oracle/whatever

      But when you stop targetting Windows API and start targeting HTML5 and corelated APIs it should be called post-Windows....

      Not that I fully agree. Monopoly of Windows in tech buzz is gone? Yeah. Monopoly of Windows in IT gone? Never had one. Monopoly of Win in enterprise/desktop gone? NO.
    • Agreed, this is rediculous.

      This whole "Post Era" nonsense has really got to come to an end.

      The only way anyone can ever justify saying it a "Post PC" or "Post Windows" era is to concoct their own definition of what post PC or post Windows means in their OWN mind. It hardly can measure up to any post PC or post Windows reality.

      Does anyone use real English meaning anymore or is that up for personal interpretation as well?

      From dictionary .com
      post-a prefix, meaning “behind,” “after,” “later,” “subsequent to,” “posterior to,”

      In case anyone hasn’t noticed, words do have real meaning. In this case the usage of post as a prefix clearly means and has always referred to something that came afterward. If all your going to say is that “here are some things that came along after Windows was invented” then the term post Windows or post PC is rendered virtually meaningless. Millions of things have come along after Windows was invented. Anyone saying “post Windows” has got to be implying more.

      Further than that, Windows in new versions have continued to come out, Windows 8 being quite a startlingly new version at that came along after tablets, so Windows itself, in so far as simply coming along afterwards and nothing more, has put tablets into a “post tablet era” in so far as in relation to Windows 8 goes.

      The implication of a claim like “post PC” or “post Windows” to have any kind of meaning to it has to be implying more, and its always been quite clear what the writers around here want that implication to be. The writers who insist on using such nonsense phrases are clearly implying we are now in an “era” where PC’s, or in this case “Windows” is not particularly relevant anymore and other new things are.

      Im not going to give every example on just how wrong that implication is, but needless to say that Windows itself still is playing much the very same roll it has ever played in our society. The fact that people now have tablets and smartphones and now use them in addition to computers is not evidence of any kind that people are now giving up their Windows desktop PC at work for example to work up their spread sheets on their iPad or Blackberry. Sure, some tablets are used on the job now in some instances, but just the same, its not like a waitress for example ever carried around a Windows laptop from table to table taking orders. This is NEW computing that has hardly put a dent in what the average person still uses Windows for.

      Im not going to get into arguments with teckie types around here who will challenge me by claiming they recently designed a new 70 story high-rise with an iPad they used to need a Windows PC for. Those kind, if they are being anything close to truthful, are like a speck of brown sand in the middle of a white desert where the white sand represents those still using Windows to carry out the same old tasks they always did. Average Joes hardly ever make the required effort necessary to replace any of their common place computing they did in the past with either cell phones or tablets.

      I travel in circles where computers are in use all over the place, computers everywhere I go. The only place I have seen tablets pop up is where someone is using it in place of an instance where they would have formerly used pen and paper. Hence; NEW COMPUTING. Smartphones? Again, there are places where smartphones now replace what would have been on paper, or for some on PDA’s, like schedules and such. I see no fire sale on used PC’s and laptops. I see no piles of discarded laptops or PC’s that are being tossed aside. ITS NOT HAPPENING.

      Just because people now have MORE ways to compute, in particular, mobile ways to compute, it has very little bearing on the same old usage of standard white box computing that we have all had to do in the past, continue to do today and will have to continue to do perhaps in one form or another for the forseeable future.

      There is no Post Windows era until and unless Windows falls off the face of the earth, no more than we are in a post Mac or post Linux era of computing. I still see the same old people using the same old OS’s.
    • Agreed

      Consumer-device focused IT is in a non-Microsoft phase, but Microsoft hasn't really had a foothold in consumer electronics (other than the XBox) since the PalmPilot and Blackberry ruled the market. They had a flicker of success with the Compaq iPaq (hmmm... flip that 'q' over and what do you have?), but quickly lost it.

      If you define the "IT industry" as consumer baubles... then yes, we're post-Microsoft, post-Windows. If you define the "IT industry" as the information technology used by industry, Microsoft still sits on top of the heap and is still growing.
      Marc Jellinek
  • Is this a joke?

    Windows 8 seems to be selling out at every store I have been to... how is this a Post Windows world?
    • Because now

      People start to say "Windows is gone".

      Look at what happened to WinP7. No serious analyst predicted failure. If you where serious you at least predicted mild grow.

      No spell is broken. You can say "Windows is gone". You may still be at error, but those words are not unthinkable.
      • Look

        Saying something doesn't make it true! Reality is, people are actually liking Windows 8! I know quite a few people who upgraded and they love it.
      • Not unthinkable; just wrong. Thats all.

        And that is the real problem. There have always been those out there who for various reasons get at least...a bit of a kick, out of the notion of Windows being gone.

        And of course they are free to dream on that all they wish. Its just that they shouldn’t be predicting it when its still on 90% of the computers being used. Just because people have millions of iPads at home sitting on their coffee tables like a paper weight, or because millions wander aimlessly through the streets texting like little mad people to their teenaged friends who cant seem to stand a minute of life not knowing what their BFF is doing right now, dosnt mean squat about the FACT that people still use Windows ever single bit as much as the day before tablets came out.

        Perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, I know some have made great strides and sacrifice to make their iPad their "go to" machine. Well good for them. The bad news for the "post Windows" dreamers, it wasnt even close to being in the ball park of being somewhat close to being close to eliminating Windows. In other words, no impact in practical terms.

        The biggest thing MS has to worry about is not the new devices coming out, its the computers and laptops themselves that are coming out with Windows on them! It used to be if you didnt upgrade every 2-3 years you felt like your Windows laptop or computer was being left in the hardware upgrade cycle of dust.

        Not so now a days. There are plenty out there with 4 year old computers that still do quite well at the day to day home computing and office computing jobs they always had, and as we know, most new Windows OS's come into existence by being installed into new PC hardware. If people now go 5-6 years on PC hardware compared to 2-3 years in the tell me what kind of impact that has on long term sales volumes of PC's.

        And its only going to get worse as PC hardware gets better and even more reliable. What if 8 to 10 year old hardware will still produce all the emails, pictures, websurfing and plenty of games for the average family? Its going to be a tough time for PC’s manufacturers and Microsoft selling new units.

        Mind you, tablets and smartphones still have relatively crappy hardware stats compared to the massive stats PC’s have for example, so their upgrade cycles will continue with actual significant improvements for years to come so those things should continue to sell in high numbers for some time as people will very likely see benefit to laying out fresh money on fresh hardware if the gains are plentiful.
    • eh

      It's not remotely a post-Windows, much less Post-PC world, but it's become trendy to say so.

      Of course, every new release of Windows is said to be terrible in some way, though most are really not. Vista, sure, was terrible legitimately. 8? It's a freakin' masterpiece. I've already upgraded my MacBook Pro, desktop, fiancee's desktop and my Media PC, which incidentally is replacing my WHS 2011 box, too, all to Windows 8 RTM.

      8 is a fantastic product, and Microsoft deserves all the success they'll get out of it.
  • Dumb article

    By 2Q 2013 Microsoft will be in a more dominant position than they already are.
    • Not a dumb article, but maybe a bit overdone

      Microsoft is going on a serious diet and will no longer be the 800-lb gorilla it has been. In the future, the pie will be shared more equitably amongst Microsoft, Apple, Google and Amazon. Both Barnes & Noble and Canonical, Ltd. will survive and prosper amongst the giants.

      There will be real choice as well as more and more people that live in a post-Windows world.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
  • IT industry now in 'post-Windows' era

    Say what? The IT industry runs on Microsoft Windows and that hasn't changed in decades. You must be only looking at web servers. On the mobile side of things Microsoft just released Windows 8 which has made a huge impact on how we look at portable devices. I still see Microsoft Windows everywhere. Article is wrong.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Depends entirely on where you are...

      Looking around a MS shop, and yes - everywhere you look.

      Look around a large data processing center, and... Linux everywhere you look.
  • We Are in A Post-Windows Era

    The preceeding message written and read on a PC running Microsoft Windows in an IT department of a hosted Internet services company.
  • Your logic is flawed

    Just because there are more devices connecting to the internet that are not Windows does not mean we are in a post-Windows era. It just means we live in a time where devices require an internet connection and most of those devices are not intended to replace Windows which would be the only way your logic would be sound. I am sure the schools, businesses, and consumers that rely on their Windows PCs day in and day out would disagree with you. Just because some may have a cell phone or tablet that connects to the internet that they use on the go for basic access and computing does not mean they put their actual computer out to pasture.
  • Schools are a weak argument for Windows 8

    Few schools have any money for new equipment, and sure not to invest in a new OS for what they own. And those districts that do have money seem to be migrating to iPads to access cheaper eBooks vs. textbooks in the long run. Apple is so deep in the education market that it's essentially locked Microsoft out.

    Perhaps industry is slow to the cloud - given the pause in IBM earnings, I can believe that. But the Internet is driving education, and the rich source of cheap apps, free and near-free iBooks, ability of teachers and college profs to create iBooks - well, there is no place for Microsoft in that environment.

    Today, in universities, you find the Mac/iPhone generation. They're putting a whole new generation of dynamic young execs into the C-suites. They're behind the BYOD movement, and they're telling IT what they want. And if IT pushes back, most know a Mac-savvy IT nerd from their college days they can call and hire to replace the Windows-fixated IT guy.

    Apple did their homework. Microsoft didn't.
    • You don't work in school do you?

      I will agree with you on the few schools have money for new equipment thing but Apple is very consumer oriented as well as their IT guys are. You claim that this is the fault of Windows and Microsoft but it is the complete opposite. Apple likes to close the doors so only their branded gadgets and computers work together and they do not play nice with others but Apple is not deep in education at least in my 12 years of experience in education IT. While everyone wants to bring their iPad and iPhone in and expect it to work like a Windows PC that is just not the case.

      The BYOD movement is flawed and it goes back to your first line about not having money. While it sounds great on paper to have people bring their own device the security part is a nightmare. How do you protect the organization's data from an insecure personal device brought in and protect that user that has no regard for security on their device. In my years working in schools where they try to accommodate BYOD I constantly run across devices that have no passwords, have no security software or antivirus, and have openly shared folders. I have literally seen students grab test answers right off the laptop of a teacher that they brought in because of the lack of security. To help solve this dilemma the organization must invest in some sort of Network Access Control system that can cost tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the size of the organization's network and user base.

      So while you are quick to make fun of the Windows IT guy that you claim does nothing but fix stuff you neglect to point out that most of what they are fixing is stuff caused by the individual user screwing things up because of their lack of knowledge and complete disregard for the security of themselves and the organization they work for or go to school at.
      • Or the inherent insecurity of the systems used...

        I know of several that use windows for security - but they can't keep it secure. What was secure yesterday, isn't secure today.

        Just too many bugs.