The year is 2015 and Microsoft’s flagship Windows 8 OS is in third place – lagging behind Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.
According to Gartner VP David Cearley, the era of PC dominance with Windows as the single platform is on track to be replaced with a post-PC era where Microsoft’s OS is just one of a variety of environments IT will be required to support.
“By 2013 mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide and that by 2015 over 80 percent of the handsets sold in mature markets will be smartphones,” explained Gartner VP David Cearley.
“[And] by 2015, media tablet shipments will [also] reach around 50 percent of laptop shipments.”
Cearley also noted that Windows 8 is Microsoft’s “big bet” and recommended the OS be evaluated to gain a better understanding of how devices loaded with the OS might perform in real-world environments as well as how users will respond.
”Consumerization will mean enterprises won’t be able to force users to give up their iPads or prevent the use of Windows 8 to the extent consumers adopt consumer targeted Windows 8 devices,” said Cearley.
In addition to operating systems, Cearley discussed the current app ecosystem, which he described as “complex,” with well over 100 potential tools vendors.
“For the next few years, no single tool will be optimal for all types of mobile application so expect to employ several. Six mobile architectures – native, special, hybrid, HTML 5, Message and No Client will remain popular.
“However, there will be a long term shift away from native apps to Web apps as HTML5 becomes more capable. Nevertheless, native apps won’t disappear, and will always offer the best user experiences and most sophisticated features… Developers will also need to develop new design skills to deliver touch-optimized mobile applications that operate across a range of devices in a coordinated fashion,” he added.