surfaceproTablets running Microsoft Windows and Windows RT will account for slightly more than 10 percent of the worldwide market by 2017 — still well behind Android and the iPad — predicts research firm IDC in a report released today.

This is not good news for Microsoft’s efforts to remake its flagship operating system for a new world of mobile devices. IDC says one of the big challenges is the lukewarm reception for Windows RT, the version of the new operating system that runs on ARM processors.

“Microsoft’s decision to push two different tablet operating systems, Windows 8 and Windows RT, has yielded poor results in the market so far,” said Tom Mainelli, IDC research director, in a news release accompanying the report. “Consumers aren’t buying Windows RT’s value proposition, and long term we think Microsoft and its partners would be better served by focusing their attention on improving Windows 8. Such a focus could drive better share growth in the tablet category down the road.”

Android, with 42 percent market share in 2012, is projected to reach almost 49 percent this year before slipping to 46 percent in 2017. The iPad, at 51 percent in 2012, is projected to fall to 46 percent this year, giving up the lead to Android, before slipping to 43.5 percent in 2017.

Here’s an IDC chart showing its projected trends in the market.


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  • KIN-ed

    I think if you have Windows RT you are going to be KIN-ed soon.

    It’s like being Kimed but instead of sticking it to good employees, they’re sticking it to good customers by dropping the product entirely.

  • guest

    I wouldn’t be surprised if even that proves overly optimistic, as it has in mobile. MS apparently learned nothing from the latter and went on to repeat all the same mistakes and then some. Only this time the impact on growth, margins, headcount, and the stock are going to be far more severe.

  • guest

    Pretty grim. MS and it’s OEM partners get to fight it out for the scraps.

    Gonna be a bloodbath.

    • fat lady sings


  • Mark

    Disheartening. MS waited too long and then shipped too little, in a confusing manner, with insufficient OEM support. The “most epic year in MS history” promised by Ballmer has turned into a swan song.

  • Samir Shah

    Microsoft chose a wrong horse, x86. And let press write an obituary for Surface/Windows RT.

    Wrong kind of people are buying the Surface Pro or similar ones from other OEMs, these are the laptop people. They will dump Microsoft with time and go for iPads.

    I do not have answers right now, I need time to think.

    • Bob

      They made at least a half dozen serious mistakes, but supporting x86 in addition to ARM wasn’t one of them.

  • JR

    Someone in MS senior management is right now deleting “market share” from their scorecard and replacing it with “CAGR” in order to still claim “success” and receive a seven figure bonus.

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