Post-PC devices eroding Microsoft's OS dominance in the IT environment

14 percent claim to be using six or more devices while at work.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

More than half of 'info workers' surveyed by analyst firm Forrester use three or more devices at work and this is eroding Microsoft's OS dominance in the IT environment.

When we were only using desktops and notebooks, Microsoft exerted control in the IT workspace, but as we've moved from a PC era into a post-PC era, a number of competitors have been allowed to gain a foothold. Of the IT and information workers surveyed (almost 10,000 information workers and 2,300 IT decision makers), 52 percent said that they used three or more devices at work. Another surprising data point from the report is that 14 percent claim to be using six or more devices while at work - these people are either very busy, or easily distracted.

The desktop and laptop continued to dominate (accounting for 37 and 26 percent of devices used respectively), with smartphones next on the list (18 percent), followed closely by tablets (7 percent). This influx of mobile devices has hit Microsoft's dominance hard. Microsoft Windows and Phone operating systems globally only account for 63 percent of the devices used in the IT environment, with Apple's iOS and OS X taking the #2 spot with a 12 percent share. Android is also doing well, accounting for 7 percent of devices. While in the short-term, post-PC isn't a direct threat to the PC, it is having the effect of exposing workers to an increasing number of non-Microsoft platforms, which in the long term this could have a negative effect on PC sales.

Note: Data represents a total of 22,968 work devices.

'Microsoft’s share of OS on shipping PCs is still much more than 90% and declining only incrementally in the face of growing Apple Mac share,' wrote Forrester's Frank Gillett. 'Microsoft’s share of PCs in companies is even higher. But seen through the eyes of the workers, not IT, Microsoft is down to about two-thirds of the devices they use to get work done.'

There can be no doubt that Microsoft needs to get an operating system onto tablets in order to start capitalizing from the shift to post-PC devices. Also, it shows just how important it is for Microsoft to get the Office suite onto the iPad before competition from the likes of Google starts to erode Microsoft's dominance in that market too. This is why it is inevitable that Office will come, in one form or another, to the iPad.


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