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Many investors feel Microsoft is fading, despite strong earnings. Apple, which recently passed Microsoft in profit for the first time since 1990 also recently passed Microsoft in terms of market cap. IBM -- another old rival -- is expected to soon do the same.   (Source: AP)

Investors fear that tablet and mobile devices will eventually minimalize PC sales, leading to Microsoft to go from a market leader to a bit player.  (Source: Level Ten Design)
You just can't please some people

Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) market cap -- a measure of the total current value of shares -- rests at $219.9B USD.  While that may sound great, competitor Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) cap is nearly 46 percent higher at $320.5B USD.

In all practicality, both companies are firing on all cylinders.  But Microsoft is earning far less respect for its work.

Fueled by record sales of its Windows 7 operating system and Office software suite, Reuters I/B/E/S expects Microsoft to post a profit of $4.7B USD.  That's approximately 27 percent less than Apple's record earnings of $5.99B USD.  But as you can see, the gap in share value is much larger, percentage wise, than the gap in profit.

There's much debate currently over the investment community's low valuation of Microsoft.  Basically, it largely boils down to that investors perceive companies like Google and Apple to be growing, while they feel Microsoft is fading in the market.

Sales don't currently agree.

Microsoft is expected to earn a record $16.2B USD in its third fiscal quarter (the first calendar quarter of 2011).  And sales for its Entertainment and Devices Division (Windows Phone 7, Xbox 360, etc.) are also rapidly growing.

But at the end of the day investors appear convinced that Microsoft is in for a rough landing.  They eye the fact that the company has been passed by Apple in profit for the first time since 1990.  And they also are well aware that International Business Machines (IBM) -- another foe Microsoft passed in the 1990s -- may soon pass it in value as well.  It currently sits at a market cap of $206.3B USD.

Following the post recession recovery the entire tech market is booming, but the investors' strongest evidence in their case against Microsoft may be PC sales.  Over the first three months of 2011, PC sales fell 1 percent.  It is believed that is largely due to the sharp rise in tablet and smart phone sales.  People are still buying PCs -- but they're doing so less frequently as they increasingly rely on mobile devices.  And that's troubling news for Microsoft, who has struggled thus far in the mobile sector.

Michael Yoshikami, Chief Executive of fund manager YCMNET Advisors is among those very concerned with this development.  In an interview with Reuters, he states:

What people are going to be focused on is what's happening with their core PC business.  Is that slowing down? That's really going to dictate what Microsoft's future earnings power is going to look like.  In the long term, their core cash flow business is going to be impacted, particularly if we start to see an ASP (application service provider) model where companies are essentially renting software.

His comments allude to a second major crisis facing Microsoft -- advertising supported and rented software.  Both forms of software tend to produce lower revenues.  And most of Microsoft's profit is still driven by software sales -- particularly the sales of business licenses.  As business software giants like Inc. (CRM) and Google Inc. (GOOG) offer rented software, Microsoft finds its earnings under assault on a second front.

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By Jjoshua2 on 4/27/2011 3:42:25 PM , Rating: 0
Tables and mobiles still needs OSs and other software. Having tight integration with between desktop and mobile is key. If Microsoft can do this they will do well I think.

By MeesterNid on 4/27/2011 3:54:04 PM , Rating: 2
Dude...what? Have you been living under a rock for the last 3 years? Tables and mobiles DO HAVE OS and other software, just not Microsoft's. Android and iOS have been cleaning Microsoft's clock with no sign of the latter catching up. Those worries are well-founded. However your assertion that:

Having tight integration with between desktop and mobile is key.

is just speculation as the concept of a "desktop" may be going away in and of itself.

By PrezWeezy on 4/27/2011 4:15:53 PM , Rating: 5
Ever tried writing a letter on a tablet? How about a lengthy email? An essay? A book? How about writing an app for your tablet, on your tablet?

There are two usage models in the world. Content creation, and content consumption. While Apple and Google are targeting the content consumption market, Microsoft is hedging it's bets on the content creation category. You can argue whether they are right or not in doing so, but the fact is your mobile device which does content consumption has to have content to consume. So the idea that more and more consumption will reduce creation is folly at best. The fact is that more consumption should create a higher demand for creation.

In that light, the idea of a "desktop" is not going away. It is changing, morphing, and evolving, but not going away. You might see less of them in the home, which is where that consumption is really happening, but the creation community (business, selling their e-goods to consumers) will be spawning new and more areas where Microsoft can start to take hold.

I realize that, yes, you CAN type an email on an iPad. You CAN type a letter, or an essay, or a book. The truth is though that if you replaced your desktop with a tablet you would have a very hard time doing that without your keyboard. Not to say that you can't hook one up, but then you are back to the debate of creation vs consumption. I know for me, using an iPad as a creation device would be a complete pain. And if you have to have it hooked up to your keyboard, mouse, and big monitor (who wants a 10" screen?) then it starts to become cumbersome as a mobile device.

By B3an on 4/27/2011 5:08:49 PM , Rating: 5
It's not just typing though. Many people even at home need powerful hardware. For things like 3D rendering, CAD, video editing, graphic design, even web design, and so on, theres absolutely no way a tablet would ever cut it.
PC's will always remain more powerful because of the extra space. Even my 980X @ 4.2GHz with RAID SSD's and 24GB RAM is nowhere near as fast as i'd like for my 3D modelling/rendering.

Theres also the input... you cant get the same accuracy using your fingers and they just get in the way of the screen, it's extremely clumsy.
Then theres the actualy screen size on a tablet, averaging 9" with a pathetic res. How can people do work on that?? I have two 30" 2560x1600 monitors and still want more room. I can list about a million other reasons why PC's will always be needed but i'd be here all day.

The only people who think tablets would completely replace PC's are the ones that dont actually do any work on them. As usual these unimaginative idiots think everyone has the same needs as them - sitting on a couch all day browsing facebook.

By themaster08 on 4/28/2011 2:40:08 AM , Rating: 3
I agree wholeheartedly. Sure, tablets will cut into PC sales, due to the amount of people using their computers to primarily consume media. However, there is still very much a market for both a PC and a tablet. That will not be going away any time soon, and by that time Microsoft will have a tablet OS, while still making bucket loads of money from Windows and Office sales.

What I wonder is because people feel the market is shifting towards tablets, how will malware creators react to this? Will their premise to be to shift away from Windows and onto tablets? Is the PSN debacle a sign of things to come?

Tablets in their current form have been out for a little over a year. However because Microsoft haven't released a product yet, investors are cautious. This is absolutely absurd.

Windows Phone 7 was released just a few short months ago, however it has the fastest growing application store of any ecosystem and has massive potential. Major updates are coming faster than any other ecosystem, and with the joint venture with Nokia, the future is looking extremely promising for the platform.

Microsoft don't need to release a tablet OS right now. Google have done that, and they have ended up with a half-baked OS, with a lack of applications and with bugs that should have been ironed out before release. The only thing Microsoft need to do is to get it right, the first time.

By mcnabney on 4/28/2011 10:08:18 AM , Rating: 2
I really don't see the need for desktop PCs outside of content creation after 2012 or so.

By then, tablets will be running at 2.5ghz and have 4 or more cores. They can be slapped onto a keyboard (see: Asus Transformer), plugged into a Dock and run a larger monitor or HDTV (Xoom), and will likely be running 1080p or better. 95% of PC owners use the boxes for office, email, web, pictures, video, and casual games. Tablets can do all of those things just as well. By the time the next console generation comes out there will be no need for a PC outside of content creation, and even some of that could be done on a tablet.

By PrezWeezy on 4/28/2011 6:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
And those things you talked about require a different UI to do. You need a UI with big buttons and easily accessible fields on your tablet. On your PC you want as much screen realestate as possible. So loosing all of that to a UI which is developed for touch is going to be a problem. The exact same problem affected the original XP and Win 7 tablets. Creation and consumption are completely different usage types. Trying to make one do the other will end up with both systems lacking.

By Calin on 4/29/2011 8:29:34 AM , Rating: 2
I'd like to mention that in the 1980s the Sinclair Spectrum had 256 by 176 pixels of resolution, and in the 1990s the typical resolution was 640 by 480 and 800 by 600 (on 14" and 15" displays).
Is the iPad adequate for every need? Certainly no, it might not even be adequate for most needs - but it certainly is good enough for many peoples.
As for "PCs will always be needed" - the desktop computers are losing to laptops in market penetration (and you wouldn't get more than half the performance of your workstation from any kind of laptop anyway).
In the end, just as laptops become good enough and fast enough that people accept their smaller screens and not-so-good keyboards, so tablets will replace some of the laptop market when they get fast enough.
I really don't like the ergonomics of a notebook, and I really like to have a full blown computer - but for many things, and for some people I know a tablet would be good enough

By quiksilvr on 4/28/2011 9:24:03 AM , Rating: 2
What is the idea of a "desktop" is in fact a tablet or a smartphone? With technology like quad-core ARM processors, DLNA for 1080p streaming and bluetooth for peripherals, you very well can replace the CPU tower with a sleek and sexy tablet/smartphone. Imagine just walking up to your desk with your tablet and it automatically starts up and all you have to do is place your tablet/smartphone next to you and sit down to get the serious work done. Imagine having the same setup at work?

THIS is what investors are worried about. They want Microsoft to push Windows in the tablet and smartphone ecosystem. And Microsoft KIND of accomplished this with their demonstration of Windows 7 (8 beta?) running on an ARM processor, but it simply isn't enough in this constantly evolving, changing, morphing technology environment.

I totally understand that there are people that want a desktop for more CPU and GPU intensive needs, but there is no doubt that tablets and smartphones are getting more powerful each day and may start to provide those needs sooner than you think.

By Shadowmaster625 on 4/28/2011 10:09:11 AM , Rating: 2
yeah right... maybe a tablet from 10 years into the future.

By Da W on 4/28/2011 1:37:13 PM , Rating: 1
If you have a powerful quad core ARM processor pumping 2 watts, imagine what kind of power a 125 watt X86 processor will be able to do!

You will always, ALWAYS, have more power in a bigger form factor. So no the phone won't replace a desktop, when i want a desktop i want a desktop and a phone will stay a phone.

Fuck i can't even load a 400KB excel file on my WP7 phone.

Anyway what the market don't see is that even if PC sales are decling, Microsoft is slowing moving away from core PC sales, with their phone, Xbox, tablet efforts. Who can predict that in 2016 everybody will have iPads only and microsoft will be in bankrupcy? may be it's gonna be the reverse, iPad sales will hit a seeling pretty soon and Micorsoft will ofer laptop/tablet hybrids with Windows 8 and rent office 365 software to cut and google. Who knows. All i know is that the market is princing Apple as if they will keep a 50% growth rate for years and Microsoft as if they're about to die.

By omnicronx on 4/27/2011 4:19:21 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize many of the very tablets and mobiles you mention must be connected to and setup with a PC of some kind?

Most even require a PC to perform updates..

So you argument is not exactly sound. These devices complement our PC's, they have yet to replace them. Not saying it won't happen, but as it currently stands we are still very much so tied to our desktops/laptops.

By blueeyesm on 4/27/2011 4:25:35 PM , Rating: 2
The two things they have that he mobiles don't are storage space and much lower costs in bandwidth consumption.

Add a 32GB stick and a plan that offers high bandwidth comsumption for a low price and the mobile devs will allow/design the devices to get updates on their own.

By Solandri on 4/27/2011 5:29:16 PM , Rating: 5
The two things they have that he mobiles don't are storage space and much lower costs in bandwidth consumption.

Don't underestimate technological progress. The 16 GB microSD card in my phone has 80x more capacity than the 5.25" HDD in my first PC. The 512 MB of RAM on my phone (which is 2.5x bigger than my first HDD) is a quarter million times more than the RAM on the first computer I used. The lack of storage space on mobiles is only going to be a problem for a few years.

I really think the Asus Transformer and Motorola Atrix are the way things are going. I'm thinking back to the late 1990s, when the first smartphones were coming out. Tech geeks with PDAs were laughing at them, saying why would you ever want one of those underpowered and limited devices when a real PDA could do so much more. You have to keep in mind that computing technology is improving at a much faster rate than people's computing requirements are increasing.

The inevitable march of technological progress drove smartphones to take over the PDA market. (Everyone needs a phone, not everyone needs a PDA. So we eventually wound up with a phone which is a PDA, not a PDA which is a phone.) Smartphones and tablets have pretty much cannibalized the netbook market. I think laptops are next to go (the Transformer and Atrix are the first foray into that domain).

Eventually, I see the phone being the general-purpose CPU/storage everyone carries with them, eventually supplanting tablets. Input devices and displays will be separate "dumb" devices which only function after you sync them up with your phone as needed via something like bluetooth. Instead of a 10" tablet, you'll have a 10" display which rolls up into a canister the size of a long pen for portability, and syncs up with your phone to display books or a web browser.

Your "laptop" will just be a super-slim display and keyboard you can slip into your bag. All the processing will be done on the phone, it'll just be displayed on the "laptop" screen while getting input from the "laptop" keyboard. Likewise, your "desktop computer" will just be a large display, keyboard, and mouse (or whatever we're using in the future) that automatically syncs with the phone of whomever is sitting in front of it.

Standalone computers (CPU/storage) will still be around, but mostly for people doing heavy number-crunching or using high power consumption applications will need them. You'll probably have one in the house though to run things around the house and provide sync/backup for the family phones.

By Reclaimer77 on 4/28/2011 9:46:09 AM , Rating: 2
Don't underestimate technological progress. The 16 GB microSD card in my phone has 80x more capacity than the 5.25" HDD in my first PC. The 512 MB of RAM on my phone (which is 2.5x bigger than my first HDD) is a quarter million times more than the RAM on the first computer I used. The lack of storage space on mobiles is only going to be a problem for a few years.

So? Desktops are also advancing, at a scary pace. It's not like phones and tablets are going to gain on them. Intel and AMD and Nvidia aren't just sitting on their hands you know.

What's with all the armchair predictions? I can't believe you people think desktop PC's are going away just because phones and tablets finally have decent hardware. Whooptie doo, so what?

Standalone computers (CPU/storage) will still be around, but mostly for people doing heavy number-crunching or using high power consumption applications will need them.

Yeeeah or umm, anyone who wants to type anything. Or get anything done. Or play games etc etc. It's laughable that you think mobile devices will usurp the pc and relegate it to some limited role.

Get a clue, mobile devices have one niche, mobility! When it comes to sitting at home or at the office, they cannot compete with PC desktops for everything else.

By michael2k on 4/28/2011 10:07:30 AM , Rating: 2
You act like tablets can't use bluetooth, USB, HDMI, DVI, or any of the other technologies available to PCs.

Hint; the current iPad has USB input/output, HDMI output, bluetooth keyboard support, etc. This will continue to improve into the future as competitors push the bleeding edge. So all of your complaints? Gone. You can in fact type anything, get things done, play games, etc.

For all intents and purposes, a tablet is in fact an ARM powered PC. The difference is their portability and extended battery life.

By mcnabney on 4/28/2011 10:19:26 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, I bet Microsoft is having second thoughts about raping PC gaming as they pushed the X-box and X-Box 360 platforms. When Windows isn't needed for high performance gaming the more basic functions are fairly easy to reproduce outside of the PC. My VERY large employer is already toying with replacing the laptops that field employees use with tablets. They have both right now, but when the departments start reporting that the laptops aren't even being used anymore, expect tablets only. That will spread across the rest of the company as the tablets gain productivity-centered input/output devices.

By Reclaimer77 on 4/28/2011 10:57:39 AM , Rating: 2
You act like tablets can't use bluetooth, USB, HDMI, DVI, or any of the other technologies available to PCs.

I know that, so? It's still not relevant!

Hint; the current iPad has USB input/output, HDMI output, bluetooth keyboard support, etc. This will continue to improve into the future as competitors push the bleeding edge. So all of your complaints? Gone. You can in fact type anything, get things done, play games, etc.

OH well that settles it, desktops are as good as doorstops now. /sarcasm

Guess what? Laptops had those input/outputs forever ago. It didn't kill off the PC did it? Why are tablets and phones going to be any different.

As others already pointed out, tablets and phones are ancillary devices TO the pc, not it's conquerors.

By michael2k on 4/29/2011 2:27:51 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, smartypants, laptops are in fact killing off the desktops. Have you seen recent sales figures?

US 2010: 26.4m laptops, 20.6m desktops
WW 2010: 15m iPads

Sure, in many developing nations the low cost desktop will still be a better fit than either a laptop or tablet, but the exact same HW that powers the iPad is available in a $99 AppleTV. I expect in 2012 the advent of Windows 8 on ARM will allow someone like Dell to create a $149 ARM powered desktop unit.

The only reason tablets and phones are ancillary devices is because the OS update to make them primary hasn't occurred. That $99 AppleTV I mentioned? Already gets OTA updates without a PC. Those supreme Android phones out there? Also get OTA updates. Within 5 years all these devices will be quite capable of being standalone devices.

By robinthakur on 5/6/2011 5:47:04 AM , Rating: 2
The direction things are going in has been telegraphed by the key players in the industry for quite a while now...namely cloud based storage with devices containing less local storage, and restrictions on what you can install (a la Apple's installing software through a desktop Appstore). The concept of owning what you purchase will be eroded to a point where you are literally just paying to use a service for video streaming, gaming, office apps, social apps etc. This works against the consumer but is the only way that content creators can garner a respectable revenue stream from their content apart from Ad ontent and tracking you.

Conversely, the concept of a full open platform allowing bit-torrent, rampant game and content piracy amongst other things is ONLY in the interests of the consumer, not business and as all previous attempts to restrict this activity has failed, the only way which has met any success is to have a fairly closed system like Apple's. Games have gone to consoles and iOS as they are far more easily restricted where piracy is concerned.

What is interesting, is how this is impacting the traditionally dominant Wintel partnership. Windows is generally not used on any of this new breed of mobile device (or at least I rarely see it) nor it is it likely to be despite the desperate death rattle of Microsoft on this front with an ARM version of Windows.

Desktops are unlikely to disappear completely. They will still exist anywhere that you need or want real processing power, but since the people that want this continues to shrink, as it's only really still researchers, some business users and gamers the industry will eventually reallign itself. I actually think that Apple shows you the way most pc companies will go in the future in that it does not sell that many Mac Pro's or iMacs anymore and sells far more Macbooks, iPhones and iPads.

By Mitch101 on 4/27/2011 4:25:02 PM , Rating: 1
Microsoft doesn't make cars we can say that Microsoft is being killed by Toyota. In order for Android and iOS to clean Microsoft clock then Microsoft would have had to have a market dominance in the Mobile OS area.

Apple has 3 real cash cows and those are being cut off by Google. Is Apple safe from Android?

1. Microsoft never had market dominance in the mobile sector to lose market share! These are new OS markets and an opportunity to sell copies of a mobile OS. Android and iOS are winning but Microsoft is coming. If anyone is losing here it is RIM.

2. Windows 7 has sold more copies than there are people in the United States. Nothing is challenging Microsoft on the desktop and laptop market. Before someone says Apple they might claim 10% but its nowhere near that. Apple is maybe 4% marketshare I judge this on the websites I manage and how little the safari browser is used.

3. Corporate again there is nothing cutting into Microsoft dominance here. Your Windows and/or Linux servers and your more than likely Windows on the desktop.

By michael2k on 4/27/2011 6:32:02 PM , Rating: 1
If cars were going to replace PCs, then yes we would say Microsoft is being killed by Toyota.

In order for Android and iOS to clean Microsoft's clock, then Microsoft would need to be displaced by iOS and Android. That remains to be seen.

Microsoft has three real cash cows and those are being cut off by Google and Apple. Is Microsoft safe from Android and iOS?

1. Microsoft's dominance in PCs means any tablet or smartphone bought that delays or retards a PC purchase is a lost opportunity to sell an OS license. Android and iOS are winning, and Microsoft has yet to reestablish any kind of foothold. RIM still has a significant market share compared to Microsoft.

2. Microsoft has only sold 350 million W7 licenses in the last 18 months. RIM sold 45m smartphones in 2010. Apple sold 46.6m, and in total 296m smartphones were sold. Of that lot? Microsoft was only 12m. If you include the 172m units shipped in 2009, more smartphones were sold than W7 licenses.

3. Corporate? Blackberry and iOS are making corporate inroads with iPads, Blackberries, and iPhones. You seem to think PCs are unassailable. Tell that to IBM who banked on mainframes 30 years ago. Most businesses need less, not more, flexibility. A locked down iPad with bluetooth keyboard and strictly controlled access to network resources and apps will function just as well as a locked down PC with keyboard. Heck, if you could get apps on an AppleTV, a locked down AppleTV with DVI output for $99 would work too.

By someguy123 on 4/27/2011 9:48:49 PM , Rating: 2
I don't really understand how you can perceived your post as positive spin. You're pointing out that w7 alone has more license sales than all smartphone sales combined, and that microsoft managed to push through 25%~ of what their competitors did (though I believe the numbers you're posting are from all devices RIM and iOS and not just limited to smartphones) in the smartphone category(45 vs 12). You also don't give any evidence of lost windows sales due to smartphone adoption. On the contrary, it would seem like the current smartphone/tablet industry has done nothing to windows as windows 7 maintains substantial sales and has managed to surpass windows XP.

The argument that corporate is interested in replacing desktops (currently) with blackberry/ios components is absurd. I've had my corporate blackberry for years and I've yet to be summoned to a meeting discussing desktop shift to blackberry, mainly because it does absolutely nothing but communicate. This is the same with ipads, especially since it's a closed device and we would need to jailbreak them to be able to run anything of use other than browsing the internet and taking facebook photos.

By michael2k on 4/28/2011 1:35:27 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, if you read my post, W7 alone has less license sales than all smartphone sales combined, and that MS alone has pushed less than 5% of smartphones in a year.

There's no evidence of lost Windows sales due to smartphone adoption, I even said that, but I do believe in a year or two that is a very real threat. The proof is in the announcement that Microsoft will support ARM in Windows 8.

Don't forget that W7 netted 350m in 18 months, while my numbers were for 1 and 2 years respectively. 1 year is lower than 350m, 2 years is much higher, and for the 18 month period it would be reasonable to say that sales were comparable.

You're being shortsighted if you don't think Windows 8 on ARM wouldn't be an extremely cost effective business oriented thin client. The risk is that someone else (RIM, Google, Apple, or HP) gets there first. My bet is HP.

By mcnabney on 4/28/2011 10:26:55 AM , Rating: 2
I think businesses like the idea of cutting out the heavier hardware cost for PC terminals (moving to an AppleTV-type box for stationary, iPad-like for mobile employees), cutting out the Microsoft licensing costs, and having a more efficient platform to build on. Remember, Android is just Linux. Development and security isn't going to be a stretch. Managing and maintaining these devices will also be a lot cheaper and easier.

By maven81 on 4/28/2011 10:47:11 AM , Rating: 3
Where are you getting the idea that it's going to be cheaper? Laptops are cheaper then tablets. Most of the desktops businesses buy also tend to be low end rather then high end workstations. Also if they use windows they likely have a site license, and receive support from microsoft. Who's going to support the tablet OS? Google?! The tablet manufacturer? How about onsite service? How about qualifying hardware and software to run on your tablet or porting your legacy software to the tablet? Not to mention that you can forget about upgrades or part swaps. Your tablet breaks you pretty much have to send the thing back to the manufacturer for repair.
You're describing a total nightmare for an IT department.

By Reclaimer77 on 4/28/2011 11:57:48 AM , Rating: 2
I completely agree. I seriously don't know where people get these ideas.

Tablets run "apps". Where are you going to get serious productivity software and support? I mean, that's a joke!

By michael2k on 4/29/2011 2:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 8 ARM solves all those problems.

The problem is if the HW costs $99, Microsoft is unlikely to be able to net $50 licenses.

By Calin on 4/29/2011 8:44:08 AM , Rating: 2
Windows 7 is new, so people that bought them now won't buy them next year. Compare that to the people that buy a new mobile phone.
I don't know what the future holds for Microsoft in mobile devices, but based on the current position, Microsoft isn't seen as able to take a major part of that market.
Considering that Microsoft had WindowsCE and Windows Mobile phones in the market before Apple and Google took it by storm, and that Microsoft was almost the only player in tablets (well, Microsoft's tablets were mostly convertible laptops with touch screens), analysts are seeing its current position as "Microsoft lost".

By wordsworm on 4/27/2011 9:26:18 PM , Rating: 1
You are missing the bigger picture here. People who love their iPhone or gPhone will get used to the OS that they're using on those mobile devices. Same goes for the iPad and the gPad. But, since the pad devices are larger, it is more significant. People will get used to how gOS and iOS work, and that will turn into a preference for the big screen. Linux has already wiped the floor with Microsoft, server side. Microsoft is in a weaker position than it has been since Apple sacked Jobs and before the second coming of Jobs.

I realize that W3Schools' users are not a reflection of the entire net. But it gives a taste.

W3Schools pegged the competition at 4% with MS at 93.2% in 2003. Their latest numbers are 13.1% vs 86%.

Browser wise, Microsoft had 85.8% in early 2003 with competition at 10.7%. Today, Explorer 25.8% vs 73.7%.

In other words, Microsoft's dominance is ebbing away at an increasing rate. I wouldn't want to invest in their company.

By Gungel on 4/28/2011 8:17:37 AM , Rating: 2
The IE dominance was cracked by a law suit that MS lost and it had to remove IE as an integrated part of Windows. However, this restriction is expiring next month and as Windows 8 shows, IE will again be a integral part of its new OS and is required to access the cloud and take full advantage of all the online features Windows 8 offers.

By mellomonk on 4/28/2011 2:42:04 PM , Rating: 2
IE is still an integrated part of windows. Ever run Windows update? The only place where it was ever removed was in the EU, where current versions have the 'browser choice' as part of installation.

IE dominance was primarily cracked by the rise of Firefox. The various forms of IE are still the dominate browser followed by Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.

A good deal of cloud access will not be through browsers in the conventional sense. Netflix streaming devices, Dropbox-like applications, and possible store'n-stream music services from Amazon, Apple and Google will all come on line. Mobile internet access in general is growing in leaps and bounds. Cisco expects mobile traffic to be 75 times larger in 2012 then 2002. In some parts of the world mobile is the way most people access the internet. The question remains how much of that access will be through MS browsers and OSs.

By vision33r on 4/27/2011 10:41:19 PM , Rating: 2
Apple has 3 real cash cows and those are being cut off by Google. Is Apple safe from Android?

Lol, Apple is the most profitable smartphone maker. While Google is showing it's viral strength. Google makes very little money from it. They give it away for free.

When you pit Samsung or HTC vs Apple, none of them can stand up on their own against Apple in sales and profit margins.

Go ahead and add up all the FREE Android phones against the iPhone, they are just free phones and only make Verizon richer.

Apple is laughing at Android, because they have a real vertical market. Something only Google can dream of.

By Jjoshua2 on 4/28/2011 2:36:27 PM , Rating: 2
I never said they don't have OSs, I said the need them, meaning use them. Microsoft is predicted to surpass Apple in the phone market fairly soon, and if tablets catch on, I suspect they will surpass them in that field eventually as well. Desktops won't go away until you can play in VR on a cellphone with a headset or something, which is nowhere near. I personally won't ever get a tablet unless its free. Its too big to be convenient and too small to be usefull, give me a laptop and a smartphone any day.

By Calin on 4/29/2011 8:48:53 AM , Rating: 2
That assumes everyone that bought a Nokia phone with Symbian will buy a Nokia phone with Windows Phone 7. That's not necessarily true, as some of the Nokia smartphones were inexpensive due to old versions of Symbian being very light in resources usage.

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