Gartner: Microsoft Will Be Irrelevant In Next Four Years If They Don’t Succeed In Tablet Market

Microsoft Gartner
Research group Gartner today published their forecast about Operating Systems and it was reported by Guardian. They reported that Microsoft may become irrelevant in the next 4 years unless they can make progress in the smartphone and tablet markets. Since shipments of Android devices will dwarf Windows PCs and phones by 2017, they think Microsoft is doomed. Also Apple powered devices will match Microsoft platform devices in terms of no.of units.

For Microsoft, this poses an important inflexion point in its history, warns Milanesi. “Winning in the tablet and phone space is critical for them to remain relevant in this shift,” she told the Guardian. “We’re talking about hardware displacement here – but this shift also has wider implications for operating systems and apps. What happens, for instance, when [Microsoft] Office isn’t the best way to be productive in your work?”

You make your own conclusions about this report. The same Gartner team predicted that Windows Phone will over take iOS market share in 2015! !

Microsoft Gartner 1

via: The Guardian

  • Bloob

    Just… no. People will still need PCs to actually create anything. It’s not like companies move that fast either.

    • arrow2010

      2% of PCs are for content creation, the rest are consumption devices, pads, watches, AR glasses.

  • Wtechrover

    Catchy title. Prone to attract lots of attention.
    The title Client Operating Systems.
    Microsoft is much more then only Client Operating Systems…
    And still the graph shows a lot of desktops and laptops and there will be.

  • Mark Milliron

    How about Apple will be irrelevant in 4 years if they don’t get serious about the cloud.

    • V_Diddy

      Because Apple is already in the phone / tablet space and parts of the cloud.
      I know were all windows supporters, but this report is serious.
      Microsoft needs to wake up and swing back against apple / google if they want to survive.
      Tech is a fast paced world, if you miss the boat, you can very easily be gone even if you have nice products. Ask Palm, (Soon to be?) Blackberry, etc.

      • VHMP01

        Still Android is taking over Apple, if MS is irrelevant in 4 years, and Apple is below MS, it means exactly that Apple is even more irrelevant. Easy.

        • V_Diddy

          That’s wishful thinking.
          Apple isn’t below msft in tablets or phones (not yet at least). So until they do, msft is the odd man out right now and if that doesn’t change in next four years, it will be really tough for them to survive.
          I hope msft delivers big time. I’m tired of the bandwagon people around me hyping up the pig with a lipstick aka android.
          Truth is theres a lot of anti-msft sentiment out there, that’s one of the big things hurting them. They need to fix their brand image as well.
          I speak to people and the answers I get back are clearly based on dislike for msft not having actually tried the product. I got my gf to give WP a shot and she legit likes it a lot.

          • VHMP01

            I am looking at the graph from the so called Gartner’s forecast, which is pure crap. Still, based on it, Apple forecasts lower than MS in 2017, if Gartner dares saying MS will be irrelevant, their are also stating worst for Apple. Simple.

        • Bugbog

          Whilst the graph may look dramatic, it doesn’t in any way indicate the actual reality of these “shipments”, it is simply comparing the entire number of devices that may ship with an Android O.S. vs that of a PC. Not an indication of the competitiveness of business models, or a monetization thereof!

          Of course, a substantial amount of that volume will indeed be using Google’s Android, however an even larger amount will ship from a disparate set of manufacturers that will have forked the O.S. for their own purposes, that will have no bearing on the greater Android eco-system, and thus have limited competitiveness beyond their uniqueness factor. (Amazon, Ooya, B&N, Proj.Shield, etc)

          Additionally, this is supposing the current Android O.S. model continues into the future!? Which I seriously doubt!

          Given the number of compatibility forks that Google has been introducing into most of its major product lines (Caldev, Webkit,, it’s only a matter of time before Google makes sure that (even if not monetized) at least all the entities using products based on its work, will have to use proprietary forks that acknowledge them as Google owned.

          And, of course, that assuming Google continues to get away with its wholesale mashup usage of other companies IP! (Which if you’ve been following the judgments for the last 2 years, is doubtful).

          So, all-in-all, this “research” is more sensationalistic than anything else.

      • NegLewis

        MS makes some bold movements but in the same time they are following Apple.
        the only reason why MS/WP/RT Tablets are not selling well in the world are: No USB support, No drivers support (from mouse to, HDMI and Bluetooth) no RingTones, No Radio, No Flash …
        Many Little Things.

        People like these Little things.
        Do you know haw hard is to explain “Zune” file transfer and Video Conversion to people?

        • mrdeezus

          What? I have had the surface rt, the pro and now the active pro and they support every feature you just mentioned. Also my 920 shows up as a drive on my explain these ludicrous claims.

        • Datdamonfoo

          You have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • Vish2801

        This isn’t serious, do you know in howmany field MS is ?? MS’ half of revenue comes from Server and enterprise business, windows division is another 40% and I think game console business will get them good money. It’s very hard to defeat MS, it’s a giant. And windows8,wp8,winRT will be better day by day and will see good support after some time, just like xbox.

  • J A

    Gartner may be irrelevant in less than four years if they don’t reform their lousy no-news and false predictions/forecasts behavior.

    • opteron opteron

      You anticipated my reaction!! Gartner has been irrelevant to me since many of their predictions turned out to be bogus in the last couple of years – this is NO NEWS. Even a guru with a crystal ball can do better than Gartner in the field of IT.

    • Monkey boy steve

      Would you posted the same comment if the report predicted a bright future for M$?

      • Dumbfounded Dane

        He probably wouldn’t, but that doesn’t change the fact, that he is right.

        Gartner (and the likes) have time after time, proven that they are filled with false predictions and a have a less than stellar ratio of truth to fiction.

        These (non-news) hit or miss foresight articles should be taken with a grain of salt.

  • just

    Gartner is smoking some good stuff, and talking before they think.

  • Chung-Ping Hung

    Airplanes will be irrelevant in global vehicle market in 4 years if they don’t outsell bicycles.

  • NegLewis

    With so many Linux/Unix Versions, I see no winner with this OS’s. Except maybe Ubuntu that has begun a porting to Touch.
    The only problem here is Intel. In 1-3 years they will crack the Efficiency Problems and Touch Panels will be cheaper than an mouse.
    If ARM manage to beat Intel – it’s even better for Windows (Tablets).

    The only thing to ask is:
    Will Apple’s MAC OS will merge with iOS
    Will Android be a reliable Windows Replacement? They will allow Android on Desktops?

    • arcana112

      In fact I can see an undisputed winner: Microsoft.
      Do the math: (1500 million Android devices) x (MS Licensing Fees) = (A gazillion dollars).

      • wp77

        Estimates are MS gets $15 per android device (for Google stealing their IP) and have inked 1,200 licensing deals. That is a lot of coin!

  • Juan Rodriguez

    from what I see on that graph is about 400 mil devices that are eather pc / laptop and ultra portable both of which android does not make and MS owns 95 96% of and you could easy say MS will also own another 200 mil of the tablet market so that would put them at 600 mil of the 800 mil listed there…

  • bawboh

    Until Android or iOS gets some sort of IDE support, and can work on something beyond ARM so I don’t have to wait 5 days to build a simple program, Windows devices will always have a place in the world. Heck, even if you’re a Linux dev, you still need something with Oomph to do any good programming, or work in general. Seriously, Gartner, just give up. You haven’t made an accurate prediction in years.

    • Michael Brown

      WTF are you talking about? Android and iOS have had IDEs from day one. Infact, you can now code for either one in Visual Studio now. “Heck, even if you’re a Linux dev, you still need something with Oomph to do any good programming” LOLz whut ?

      • bawboh

        I mean programming using an Android device, not programming FOR Android or iOS. What IDE runs IN Android? What IDE can I install on Nexus 7 to write software?

  • bhss

    Like it or not, Microsoft has been vastly losing Windows marketshare in the last few years, with tablets getting more used than traditional PCs, there’s bound to be much less demand for the traditional PC. Microsoft have completely failed in the tablet and phone market, with single number marketshare in both, which for Microsoft is pretty bad numbers, not helped by the fact the actually wanted by many Surface Pro is not available anywhere, playing the pretending to be out of stock to make it seem they’ve sold more than they actually have.

    • Juan Rodriguez

      don’t confuse sale with marketshare most people will buy a tablet in the next 3-5 years but that doesn’t mean they that they don’t already have a pc. sales of tablets as more people buy them will possible out pace the sales of pcs but that doesn’t mean that people are all of a sudden throwing their pcs out to the trash they just might not be replacing them as often as they will get less use. and the last time I looked windows had 1.5 billion users. and all android devices are around 400 mil. so don’t see this happening anytime soon.

      • wp77

        Exactly, it’s not an either or situation. Can’t I have a new PC and a tablet? Once the tablet market is saturated, it will become a cheap commodity business and MS will be churning along selling Office, SQL, Windows servers, etc. MS will be a strong player because of Office and Enterprise connectivity.

        The fallacy in the argument is that tablet sales will increase forever and PC sales will come to a halt. Both untrue.

      • Bugbog

        Some short-sighted people (probably young ‘uns) that are so excited by the sensational headlines they are really using their critical facilities! :) (and are confusing popularity with ability).

        The fact is, when it comes to PC’s, is, if you purchased a mid-range PC (Not Laptop!) in the last 5 -7 years, barring component failure, you wouldn’t need to replace it anytime soon!

        • SagetB

          Which is why the end is near for MSFT if they do not get their collect head out of Ballmers behind. Where people upgraded every 4 years it is now 7. Where people had 2 or 3 computers in the house they now have one plus cell phones and tablets. This cutting MSFT of from its major income source “Windows” and “Office” profits.

          Without these profits keeping the company going it will soon be just a memory of its former self. It will sell off divisions and try to hold on as a enterprise back end provider. Other words, irreverent.

          It is also important to understand on of Gartner biggest customer for it research is MSFT and they though long and hard publishing this report but because so many people who really understand Business and Technology has all ready come to this same conclusion, they did not have a choice.

          • Ef Jay

            Very good analysis. I am one of the biggest Microsoft fans out there but if we do not start paying attention to these warnings there will be little for us to care about in the near future.

  • torch4x4

    yeah right!… irrelevant??? go to careerbuilder and search for Microsoft, then choose another job skill to compare, Android, Linux, iOS, etc. you will notice that MS is far away to be irrelevant, even google is hiring people with MS skills, the truth is that MS cannot success in everything at the same time, but irrelevant? really?

  • Martyn Metalous

    I best buy some MS shares, all those Android devices will generate a lot of dosh in patents for MS!

  • Rikkirik Contrera

    Turkey wants to serve up 15million w8 tablets, schooldistrics covering 540 thousand students are using either w8 pc or tablets or hybrids. Ballmer said w8 RT is definitely a business. I think Gartner wiil be irrelevant before Microsoft will ever be

  • CC

    Irrelevant in next 4 years? Really? Don’t see how 90% of Windows OS market share will fall below 10% in 4 years time.

  • The26thLetter

    Why does the media love to bash Microsoft? You would think the company that modernized American business and made the pc as common as the television would get a little more respect.

    • Bugbog

      And as an Entity that is still standing (after 25years), is still productive, and still competes with the ‘best of the best’ out there.

      ….but still can’t get no damn respect?! :/

      • The26thLetter

        Agreed Bugbog you’d think as Americans we’d root for our home grown companies. Right now Microsoft gets more respect in China, and that’s a shame.

  • TheQEntity

    Gartner IS already irrelevant with their sensationalist unfounded “predictions”.

  • Rob Engelen

    I call BS. Microsoft’s only chance of becoming irrelevant is if consumers stop buying Xbox-es, and if companies ditch Windows Server/Exchange/SQL/Active Directory/SharePoint/Lync/Office/Dev tools/Dynamics/SCOM/SCCM/Forefront/and on and on.

    Oh yeah, and that tiny little thing called Windows – which analysts like these seem to think is the only product Microsoft makes.

  • Duel

    They have good point here, windows 8 isnt selling, windows Tablets arent selling, windows phones arent selling like they should. MS is still big, its losing everyday, but just like nokia the real situation shows after few years because they are so big company in the business.
    What i have seen all around, people just are bored with microsoft, they want something different.

    • Wtechrover

      No they haven’t and neither have you. Nice try though 😉

  • grobey

    Catch up with Abdroid and Apple App Stores and they’ll succeed

    • Duel

      A LOT easier to say than make it reality. It took android tablets few years and still are way behind iPad. So when android had only on opponent, microsoft have now 2 huge opponents. Its very very very hard road for microsoft. Im not surprised at all that all the windows tablets have been huge flops. I mean seriously why would buy those.

      Without app stores i would buy windows tablet right away, it just tells how big problem microsoft really have. If you dont sell your tablets devs doesnt make more apps/games. Also you dont buy tablet which doesnt have apps/games. So yeah just like for android its not easy to make good selling tablet.

      • Viktor

        It’s easier and cheaper to create an app for windows. This will drive soft creation and future sales.

        • Duel

          It doesnt matter if its easy or cheap. Devs does apps and games for OS which have many potential buyers. For now by far biggest is iOS then comes android.

          • Viktor

            It s not true for corporate users, who write for themselfs or making orders for some apps. And besides, running out of budget, while creating an app, you have zero potential users.

        • Michael Brown

          Uhmm no, it’s not. Unless you you are writing apps using GTK-Sharp, it is going to cost you at least a Windows license. It costs absolutely nothing to produce an app for Android sans the time it takes to write a great app. You people really need to get a grip on reality.

          • Viktor

            Nothing but TIME? Omg, are you a student or something? For everybody else time == money.

  • arrow2010

    Just check the job listings, Java/C++/C# have many times more openings then Apple tech.

  • xma1e

    Microsoft needs to start appearing on cheap hardware to become relevant.