Looking at the decreasing numbers of Macs and PCs being sold obscures what is really happening: a wholesale shift in personal computing to tablets:
Horace Dediu, Perspective and Context in Personal Computing
Seen this way, rather than there being a crisis in personal computing, we have a renaissance. And as in the actual Renaissance, it’s a volatile and unsettling period.
Nowhere more so than in the changing of bases of power. Consider the following data:
A change in perspective leads one to conclude that Apple is the new leader in selling personal computers. Maybe this charting is putting too fine a point on it, but the data is beginning to make evident that which has been perceived subjectively by only a few.
And that conclusion would only be more evident if we included smartphones in the mix.
The steampunk era of personal computing — with a WIMP interface, and the desktop metaphor of files (documents), folders, applications — is being supplanted.
iPad is the pivot on which this renaissance is turning. And Windows is the grave on which we will be dancing.
Apple is moving to merge Mac OS X and iOS — I expect an Air/iPad sort of hybrid in 2013 — where the keyboard is the cover, but which can be used as an iPad without hard keyboard, too. They will be able to make that trajectory work, but it’s harder to imagine Microsoft turning the corner. MSFT has a long way to run in a very short time: getting their mobile Windows 7-8-9 adopted, building a viable tablet, and crafting a future version of PC Windows that can merge with mobile.
Yes, there are still a lot of desktops and laptops running Windows, but a lot of the people using them are buying iPads, and their companies are shifting to BYOD (bring your own device). I think we are seeing the death of windows, and the transition of Microsoft to an IBM-like enterprise software company.