Microsoft sees opportunities for growth in the devices market

Microsoft kicked off its Worldwide Partner Conference today, and the company took the time to give a status update on its progress in the devices market. Chief operating officer Kevin Turner revealed that Microsoft has just a 14 percent share of the global devices market. The “devices” category includes PCs, tablets, and smartphones.
While 14 percent may seem small in comparison to Microsoft’s 90 percent share of the overall global PC market, the company sees it as a prime area of growth in the future. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explained in his email to employees last week, devices like the recently introduced Surface Pro 3 represent a huge opportunity to grab market share and mind share with consumers:
Our first-party devices will light up digital work and life. Surface Pro 3 is a great example – it is the world's best productivity tablet. In addition, we will build first-party hardware to stimulate more demand for the entire Windows ecosystem. That means at times we'll develop new categories like we did with Surface. It also means we will responsibly make the market for Windows Phone, which is our goal with the Nokia devices and services acquisition.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Microsoft’s current standing in the smartphone market is a little more depressing. After first hitting the market in 2010 as Windows Phone 7, Microsoft currently stands at just 4 percent market share worldwide compared to a healthy 80 percent for Android OS. But here again, Microsoft is optimistic about its prospects and points to the fact that Windows Phone has experienced 91 percent growth year-over-year and is the second place smartphone operating system in 14 markets (Microsoft didn’t go into detail on which markets it is touting).

Microsoft piled on the stats, claiming that it has greater than 10 percent market share in eight markets, and ships a greater number of smartphones than Apple’s iPhone in 24 markets. And in an open call to app developers, Microsoft pointed out that it has witnessed a 440 percent increase in monthly paid app revenue since Windows Phone 8 originally launched in October 2012.

Windows Phone 8.1
The acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services division should go a long way towards strengthening Microsoft’s position in the smartphone market, but the aforementioned Surface Pro 3 won’t be enough to carve a healthy slice out of the tablet market with its relatively high price of entry. The on-again, off-again Surface Mini appears to be back on the table according to recent leaks and news reports, so it will be interesting got see where Microsoft eventually lands on that decision.

Sources: Microsoft, Neowin

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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