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"I LOVE THIS REPORT!!" -- Steve Ballmer  (Source: The Inquisitr)

RIM's PlayBook was beat out by Microsoft's offerings last quarter. This seems surprising, given that Microsoft doesn't even have a dedicated tablet offering system, instead relying on a clunky modified version of Windows 7.  (Source: Venture Beat)

Android's tablets increased in market share more than 10-fold in a year. The growth is closely paralleling Android's growth in the smart phone market, which would indicate that Android will be the clear cut market leader by next year.  (Source: Engadget)
RIM, meanwhile meets the numbers with disappointment

When it comes to tablets, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has seen little love.  Its fans have expressed an array of frustrations (Why doesn't Microsoft make Windows Phone 7 tablets today? Why no ARM support yet? Why did it kill the popular Courier project?).  Its critics write it off as a tired old hat that lacks the innovation necessary to succeed.  And market analysts have been perhaps the cruelest of all, battering Microsoft's stock and admonishing it in reports.

But the latest numbers from research firm Strategy Analytics show [press release] something surprising -- Microsoft finally appears to be improving its tablet position.

According to the researchers Microsoft picked up 4.6 percent of the global tablet market in calendar Q2 2011 -- up from a mere 1 percent or so of the market, a year ago.  In fact, Microsoft managed to beat struggling Canadian gadget maker Research In Motion Ltd. (TSE:RIM), whose much-anticipated Playbook tablet debuted in April to less than stellar reviews.  RIM gathered 3.3 percent of the market.

The fact that Microsoft beat RIM is particularly exciting for the company, as it did so without a dedicated tablet OS or support for ARM processors -- widely viewed as the best solution for the tablet space.  When Windows 8, an OS with a tablet-centric design, comes a-calling in 2012, packing ARM CPUs, one would imagine Microsoft could do very well.

On the other hand, RIM is left to contemplate its next move.  Clearly its new QNX operating system, while perhaps better than the previous Blackberry OS, isn't thrilling customers.

Apple, Inc. (AAPL), maker of the incredibly popular iPad experienced somewhat mixed news, as well.  While it is still seeing terrific growth in tablet unit sales, its market share shrunk year-to-year, dropping from 94.3 percent in Q2 2010 to 61.3 percent in the most recent quarter.

Tablet sales rose 331 percent, so Apple still did quite well.  But tablets sporting Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android OS are eroding Apple's lead, with sales of Android designs jumping from 2.9 percent to 30 percent in a single year.  

The situation seems eerily reminiscent to Android's growth in the smart phone sector, where Android jumped from being a virtual bit player, to being a strong second, to being the clear-cut market leader, in a 2-year span.

Of course, it's possibly Android could see its market share momentum slow or even reverse, if Apple can succeed in convincing U.S. courts to ban its competitors' products from the market.  Apple is currently suing [1][2][3][4][5] the top three Android device makers, seeking injunctions to prevent them from selling product in the U.S., on the premise that Android OS "steal[s]" patented ideas from Apple.

If Apple's bid to kill Android with lawsuits falls short, though, it may find itself in second place within a year.  And with Microsoft looking poised to finally get serious about tablets in 2012, the Cupertino gadget maker is surely a bit concerned.

The market share numbers in the report were generated using collected sales figures, arguably the most accurate form of market share reporting.  The report is available for a cool $7,000.

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RE: Rut Ro Shaggy
By cjohnson2136 on 7/21/2011 4:44:56 PM , Rating: 5
I'm holding out for Win 8. I want to a demo in store with that before I decide on a tablet. Plus I have to save money for it and by that time I will be making more since I will be done college.

RE: Rut Ro Shaggy
By Mitch101 on 7/21/2011 5:29:31 PM , Rating: 2
From the demos Ive seen its pretty slick especially with Microsoft Lync. Could be interesting to see with AMD/INTEL rushing to get x86 CPU's power down to compete with ARM. The Mobile sector is crazy kind of unstable 800mhz yesterday, 1gig popped up then dual core soon 1.3ghz then there is quad talk these high DPI screens throw in nVidia then Kal-El then the price drops and this one transforms into a laptop with a keyboard and this one changes into a 18 wheel truck that can fly. All that's in like the last 8 months and next couple months.

I think Id like to wait will Microsofts Win 8 tablet is out and I think the benefit is the hardware will be 4 times more than todays tablets. Who knows every month a new tablet comes out and I say ooh.

RE: Rut Ro Shaggy
By StevoLincolnite on 7/22/2011 12:20:23 AM , Rating: 3
I think Id like to wait will Microsofts Win 8 tablet is out and I think the benefit is the hardware will be 4 times more than todays tablets. Who knows every month a new tablet comes out and I say ooh.

Or you could try and hunt down an Atom+Ion or AMD Brazos Tablet now, that's if Brazos is available in tablet form yet.

Then you could give Windows 7 a whirl now, have Windows 8 later... And if you get sick of both? Just format and go with a Linux distro or a Netbook based OS like Jolicloud.

Personally though, I find Windows 7 to be a rather enjoyable experience on a Tablet.

RE: Rut Ro Shaggy
By Alexvrb on 7/24/2011 5:22:07 PM , Rating: 2
The Z-01 (Desna) is actually off to a pretty good start. But I personally would wait for Brazos-T (Hondo) - but we won't see tablets based off them until early 2012.

RE: Rut Ro Shaggy
By borismkv on 7/21/2011 5:43:09 PM , Rating: 5
by that time I will be making more since I will be done college.

Hate to crush your dreams, but...*crush crush crush crush crush*

RE: Rut Ro Shaggy
By Boze on 7/21/2011 6:00:29 PM , Rating: 4
since I will be done college.

I will be done college.

will be done college.

be done college.

done college.


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