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microsoftwayIt’s no secret that Microsoft hasn’t weathered the transition from a PC-centric market all that well. But sometimes it’s hard to translate headlines about the decline of PCs and the company’s rough performance in the tablet market into real numbers.

So here’s an interesting perspective: Horace Dediu at Asymco prepared a report showing Apple’s device sales compared to sales of Windows PCs and tablets, and he predicts that we should expect sales of Windows devices to be at parity with Apple’s devices business this year.

Check out his charts below.




In 2013, consumers bought 18.8 times as many PCs as they did Macs. While that may seem sizable, it’s down from a 19.8x lead in 2012, and down even further from Microsoft’s market share peak of 56 times more PCs sold than Macs in 2004.

If you factor in all of the other non-Mac devices Apple sold, Microsoft’s lead shrinks considerably. According to Dediu, compared to Apple’s total sales, Microsoft is only selling 1.18 more PCs.

Dediu argues that Microsoft is at a distinct disadvantage because its business is built for a market where institutional buyers control decision-making when it comes to computer choice. With the rise of mobile, companies aren’t as in control of consumers’ fates.

“The decision making process for buying computers, which began with large companies IT departments making decisions with multi-year horizons, has changed to billions of individuals making decisions with no horizons. Companies have become the laggards and individuals the early adopters of technology,” he writes.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that Microsoft is doomed. But the company’s new CEO is going to have a long road ahead if the company going to compete in a post-PC world.

What do you think: does Microsoft have what it takes to weather the storm? Let us know in the comments.

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