During our interview last week with Steve Ballmer, one point of contention was whether or not Windows was losing market share. The context of the question was a discussion on consumerization and its impact on enterprises. What our clients are telling us is that there are an increasing number of Macs being brought into the enterprise. Our clients are calling us with questions on how to secure and manage these devices.
In the interview, John and I stated that Windows was losing market share in the enterprise, Steve emphatically stated that it was not.
What does Gartner research show?
In this full market analysis available to Gartner clients, you can get the complete breakdown. Here’s just a portion (I’ve combined all of the variants of Windows together – the report has this broken out by OS).
For non-consumer usage worldwide, all variants of Windows combined held a 95.2% market share at YE2009 (this number includes the entire installed base of machines, not just the percentage of new PCs shipped where the market share of Windows is actually lower). Not only is this projected to drop in 2010, but it also drops every year to a projected 94.4% at YE2014.
For just the consumer installed base, the adoption of non-Windows PCs and laptops is even higher. All variants of Windows combined drop to a projected 92.8% market share by 2014.
Sure – in absolute numbers, Microsoft is clearly selling more copies of Windows as the number of PC users in the world continues to increase. But when looking at market share, Windows is losing market share. The drop in market share may seem small, but when you are talking about hundreds of millions of machines installed worldwide, every tenth of a point of market percentage drop is a large number.
I’m sure that Microsoft could show numbers that indicate otherwise, so let’s set the numbers argument aside. The pain you are feeling is real.
The reality is that nearly every one of your enterprises has more non-Windows devices coming in the door (usually Macs). Sometimes employees bring them, sometimes they demand them and IT procures them. Sometimes its the CXO level of the organization and you can’t say “no”. We don’t have a choice. I see this everyday in discussion with clients asking for the best practices and advice for securing and managing these devices.
What Microsoft really needs to do is acknowledge that the issue and pain you are feeling is real and start providing solutions that help you manage and secure an environment that isn’t 100% Windows. That’s how Microsoft could really help