http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jan/08/microsoft-windows-8-future?CMP=twt_gu

A good read which is not just about Windows 8. The good news, and the potential for MSFT, are in the subtitle:

Windows 8, the PC giant’s new operating system, is stylish, award-winning, multi-platform – and critical to its future

But check out the “critical to its future” challenges:

Windows Phone took just 1.5% of the mobile operating system market in the third quarter of 2011, according to research firm Gartner, compared to over 50% for Android and 15% for Apple.

The danger for MSFT around the shift to tablets and the post-PC world:

Research firm IDC forecasts that in affluent western economies, desktop computer sales will slip from 57.8m a year in 2010 to 49.8m by 2015. Laptop sales dipped by some 7m in 2011; they are expected to recover this year, but go on to grow at a far slower pace than previously. Sales of tablets are heading the other way, rising from 17.6m in 2010 to 77.4m last year and a projected 326m in 2015.

Check that last sentence again. That’s 440% tablet growth year on year last year. And 420% more growth over the next 4 years.

On the Ballmer point: why is there not more outrage that the company’s stock is at the same price it was in… 1998?

Windows 8 vs The Post-PC World

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