Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Windows 8 was a dud, but the software giant hasn’t run out of steam yet. According to research firm Gartner, Windows OS will play a crucial role in reviving the PC market, which has been declining for the past several years.
Total PC shipments are expected to decline from 317.6 million in 2013 to 308.4 million this year. But shipments will rise to 316.68 million in 2015, forecasts Gartner. Even the decline this year would be lower than previously expected. Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal said that the revival of the PC market will be driven by massive upgrades of PCs running on Windows XP in the enterprise sector. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) no longer supports Windows XP.
Atwal estimates that about 60 million PCs are likely to be upgraded this year. Enterprises are mainly upgrading to Windows 7 rather than Windows 8. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) [stockdata ticker=”MSFT”] is unlikely to launch its new OS until next year. Therefore, Windows 7 remains the OS of choice for businesses.
Including smartphones, tablets, and PCs, total shipments of computing devices is expected to rise 4.2% this year to 2.4 billion units. Shipments will rise further to 2.6 billion units in 2015. Most importantly, tablet shipments are projected to surpass PC sales in 2015. During the launch of the iPad in 2010, Steve Jobs had predicted that one day tablets will overtake PCs.
Gartner says tablet shipments will grow to 256 million units in 2014, from 207 million last year. In 2015, tablet sales will reach 321 million compared to the protected PC sales of 316.68 million units. Mobile shipments will rise 3.1% this year to 1.86 billion units.
Android will continue to dominate the smartphone OS market. This year, the shipment of Android-based devices is projected to grow 30% to 1.17 billion units. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iOS will get a boost from the upcoming iPhone 6 later this year. A total of 271 million devices running on iOS and Mac OS will be shipped this year, up 15% from last year.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Windows OS and Windows Phone OS will be installed on 333 million devices shipped this year, up slightly from 326 million last year. But Windows and Windows Phone-based device shipments will rise to 373.7 million units in 2015.
Most of the growth in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) [stockdata ticker=”MSFT”]’s OS business will come from smartphones, says Gartner. Windows Phone currently has less than 4% share in the smartphone market. But its share will rise to 10% by 2018.