If Microsoft is true to tradition, next week's Worldwide Partner Conference will be replete with pronouncements of how well Windows 8/8.1 is doing in the marketplace and how the platform is showing the world the benefits of a dual-purpose operating system.
The truth is Windows 8/8.1 is making the disaster otherwise known as Windows Vista look like a bestseller. After 20 months on the market, the two operating systems have a combined market share of 12.5 per cent. Windows 8, the first version to hit the market, saw its market share fall four-tenths of a per cent in June. Windows 8.1, the updated version released in October 2013, saw its market share climb by roughly the same amount.
You don't have to do the math: Windows 8 market share has remained flat since Windows XP's end of life in April.
Over the same period, Windows 7 - arguably the most successful operating system in the Microsoft franchise - gained three per cent. Windows XP saw its market share fall four per cent, as mostly businesses moved to Windows 7 and avoided Windows 8.
Encouraging for the PC industry, though, is the impact Windows XP's discontinuation is having on desktop and notebook sales. Analysts had forecast another down year for PC sales. However, the end of Windows XP has caused businesses and some consumers to refresh their PC fleets, stabilising sales to the point of narrow, nominal declines instead of the double-digit freefalls of 2012 and high single-digit dips of 2013.
Many in the PC segment were expecting a renaissance, given that as of June one in four PCs is still running Windows XP. Without support, the industry's expectations are that Windows XP users will either migrate to Windows 7 or adopt an alternative platform, such as tablets or phablets.
Some analysts believe the Windows XP migration is over.
Michael Turits, an analyst at Raymond James, says the migration cycle peaked in June and will end by the end of 2014.
The reason, he explains, is consumers and businesses are no longer tied to operating systems as a computing platform. Alternative platforms, cloud-based applications and resources, and virtualisation give users different means to fulfil their computational needs.
This trend of the weakening of Windows dominance as a computing platform is reflected in Microsoft's operating system earnings.
"Over time, we expect Microsoft's financial results and investor sentiment to decouple somewhat from the PC cycle as Windows declines as percentage of revenue (from 23 per cent in FY12 to 18 per cent this year and 14 per cent in FY16 in our model)," Turits writes.
Microsoft rarely concedes defeat while a product is in the field. Despite massive evidence to the contrary, Microsoft pounded the drumbeat of success for Windows Vista. It only conceded that Vista was a failure after Windows 7 proved viable. Microsoft may hint at the forthcoming Windows 9, codename: Threshold, which is expected to hit the market in early 2015.
Like Windows 7 was a correction to Vista, Windows 9 will likely be a make-good on Windows 8. It's rumoured the new version will sense the type of device in use, booting into either a traditional desktop mode or touch-enabled interface.
And, if history remains consistent, Windows 9 will likely be a substantial improvement over Windows 8, just as Windows 7 vanquished Vista. The only question is whether Windows will remain a significant driver in the PC market.
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