Building and dismantling the Windows advantage

Don’t miss these insights by Horace Dediu. Snippet:

(…) As a result the Mac began to whittle down the advantage Windows had. The ratio of Windows to Mac units shipped fell to below 20, a level that was last reached before Windows 95 launched. It’s as if the Mac reversed the Windows advantage. This was an amazing turnaround for the Mac. But the story does not end there.

If we consider all the devices Apple sells, the whittling becomes even more significant and the multiple drops to below 2. Seen this way, Post-PC devices wiped out of leverage faster than it was originally built. They not only reversed the advantage but cancelled it altogether.

Considering the near future, it’s safe to expect a “parity” of iOS+OS X vs. Windows within one or two years. The install base may remain larger for some time longer but the sales rate of alternatives will swamp it in due course.

The consequences are dire for Microsoft. The wiping out of any platform advantage around Windows will render it vulnerable to direct competition. This is not something it had to worry about before. Windows will have to compete not only for users, but for developer talent, investment by enterprises and the implicit goodwill it has had for more than a decade.

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