Report: Tough Year May Be Ahead for Windows Tablets

Dennis Faas's picture

A new report reveals that only a tiny portion of all people with a tablet computer right now are using one that runs the Windows 7 operating system (OS).

According to statistics from research firm Strategy Analytics, Microsoft's operating system provides the software basis for just 1.5 per cent of tablets sold during the fourth quarter of 2011.

The report reveals that 27 million tablet computers sold in the fourth quarter of 2011, a big increase from the fourth quarter a year ago.

"Global tablet shipments reached an all-time high of 26.8 million units in Q4 2011, surging 150 percent from 10.7 million in Q4 2010," said Strategy Analytics Director, Peter King.

"Demand for tablets among consumer, business and education users remains strong." (Source:

Apple Dominates, Microsoft Tablets Barely Represented

With 58 per cent of the market, by far the dominant operating system running on all those fourth quarter tablets was Apple's iOS, although that dominance is less than last year's 68 per cent market share.

Following in second place with 39 per cent of the global market was Google's Android operating system. That's an increase of ten per cent over fourth quarter 2010.

Coming in a very distant third on the list was Microsoft's Windows, with only 1.5 per cent of the market. A number of other firms together scraped together sales to cover the remaining 1.9 per cent of the market.

While the numbers are certainly disappointing for Microsoft, both Google and Apple should be very pleased with fourth quarter tablet trends.

Shipments of Apple iPads went from 7.3 million in late 2010 to 15.4 million during the last quarter of 2011, an increase of more than 100 per cent during this past holiday season compared with that of the year prior.

Android Eats Away at iPad's Market Share

With 10.5 million tablets shipped, this year's sales of Android tablets more than tripled, compared with 3.1 million Android tablets shipped during the fourth quarter of 2010. The increase significantly ate away at Apple's dominance of this nascent and very lucrative market.

This inability to compete against Apple and the Android system leave Microsoft in a great deal of trouble, according to most observers.

Microsoft's weak sales numbers are leading many experts to predict a tough year for tablet computers running either Windows 7 or Windows 8, since there's so much ground to make up on Apple and Google. (Source:

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