IT consulting firm Gartner projected today that overall device shipments (not sales) would increase this year by nearly 7 percent vs. 2013. Sale of traditional PCs still represent a drag on the industry, although tablet substitution for PCs is supposed to slow.
Recognizing the importance of addressing all platforms now Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced today (as expected) that Microsoft Office would be available for the iPad as a set of native apps:
We’re bringing Office, the gold standard in getting things done, to the iPad. A billion people rely on Office every day, and we’ve worked diligently to create a version of Word, Excel and PowerPoint that delivers the best productivity experience available on the iPad. It’s built from the ground up for touch, is unmistakably Office in its design, and is optimized for iPad. Office for iPad offers unmatched rendering of content and delivers unparalleled authoring, analysis and presentation experiences that Office customers expect on all of their devices . . .
Remarkably Gartner predicts that traditional PCs will represent only 10 percent of device shipments in 2015. The rest will be smartphones, tablets and convertible tablet-PC hybrids (or similar).
Source: Gartner (March 2014)
Gartner also sees the following device-shipments share breakdown next year on a global basis by operating system or platform:
- Android: 52 percent
- Windows: 14.4 percent
- Apple (Mac + iOS): 12.3 percent
- Other: 21 percent
Recognizing that holding back Office isn’t selling more Surface tablets, it makes sense that Microsoft CEO Nadella is opening Office up to all computing devices and platforms. That’s a move of necessity rather than vision. However better late than never.
It’s also amazing to witness how Microsoft’s once dominant software position has been totally eroded by the rise of mobile devices. Consider again that traditional PCs (notebooks, desktops) will constitute only 10 percent of device shipments next year — next year.