By 2014, less than 20% of devices connected to the Internet will powered by Windows

Are PCs losing ground to handheld devices?

Is the PC on the way out? VMware's CEO Paul Maritz believes so.

"PCs are not the only animal in the zoo anymore" said Maritz during a speech at the annual VMworld conference yesterday in Las Vegas. And he sees the other animals as thinning down the PC herd dramatically as 'increasingly, users are holding other devices in their hands.'

He goes on:

What we're seeing in the cloud era is not just hundreds of millions but billions of new users and devices now coming into play. Three years ago over 95 percent of the devices connected to the Internet were personal computers. Three years from now that number will probably be less than 20 percent. More than 80 percent of the devices connected to the Internet will not be Windows-based personal computers.

Maritz, at one time an executive for Microsoft's desktop and server software platform division, sees HTML 5 as a catalyst for the PC's demise:

HTML5 promises to be very, very important, because it could be a genuinely capable cross-device way of writing applications.

Personally, I think that the reports of the PC's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Mobile devices are increasing in popularity, and web traffic from them as a result is increasing, but I don't see this having much of an effect on the overall PC ecosystem for some time to come.

Is the PC (and by extension, Microsoft) in trouble, or will the overall growth in the market for devices mean that PCs will still outnumber mobile devices?

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