(By Rich Bieglmeier) The financial web pages are buzzing with a proactive claim from
Gartner research, "Microsoft Could Be Obsolete By 2017." Screech to halt, put
in a reverse and say what? Does Bill Gates know about this?
Slumping PC sales in the face of rising tablet and smartphone
sales are the basis for the Mayan like prediction. Gartner says Notebook and
Desk Based computer shipments will fall 7.63% in 2013 versus 2012. The slowdown
will slowdown in 2014 with shipments falling 4.10%. By the end of 2017, Gartner
forecasts that PC sales will be lower than 2012's total by 20.41%. R.I.P. PCs
and Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)?
[Related -Why Apple's (AAPL) Outlook Is Improving Heading Into 2014]
Smartphones appear to be flattening out with anticipated 2013
growth 7.42% and a lowly 3.94% for 2014. No wonder Apple (AAPL) is struggling;
however, tablets should offset the hit eventually for the one-time darling turned
goat for every fund manager.
Global demand for tablets is expected to grow by nearly 70%
this year, 34.75% in 2014, and 303% by the time the calendar flips to 2018. In
fact, the research firm predicts that tablets will outsell PCs, nearly 2:1, by
Since tablets look like the name of the game in the next few
years, iStock decided to look at Google Trends to see how Microsoft's Surface
stacks up to Apple's iPad and Samsung's Galaxy. Is the tech device with the
snappy commercials that rival Disney's High School Musical – what's the point? –
making inroads on the competition?
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Two letter answer – No. Like you didn't know that already.
According to Google trends, "iPad" is still the king of worldwide
Google searches. During the last 90-days, however, queries for the iPad have fallen
about 20%. The folks in Redmond Washington are obviously hoping to pick up some
of that slack, ahh, but no. During the last three months, online interest (as measured
by Google Trends) in MSFT's Surface has flat-lined, starting the 90-day window
with a score of 7 relative to iPad, end ending at 7.
Now, we do think that Microsoft has a chance to overtake
Samsung's Galaxy Note as Surface searches have made contact with Note, but
haven't been able to get over the hump, yet.
iStock is of the mind-frame that he/she who rules content
will rule the tablet/wireless roost. As we have seen with smartphones, the
device will just become the conduit for content via apps, streaming video, word-processors…
Eventually, the tablet will meet the same fate.
Overall: iStock isn't ready to say Microsoft Corporation
(MSFT) is about to go the way of Dinosaurs; however, we do think the company
needs to something bold to alter the tablet landscape, perhaps purchasing the likes of
a Netflix, Inc. (NFLX), or teaming up with somebody like Time Warner Inc. (TWX)/
DIRECTV (DTV) to bolster their content offering.