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Day June 19, 2012

The evolution of the computing value chain

The history of personal computing has come to be defined as the history of Microsoft. At least since 1981 Microsoft’s operating systems have been the consistent market share leaders, and by a very large margin. That is about to change. This year Android will be on more devices sold than Windows. iOS is also set to also overtake Windows next year. The following chart illustrates the wave of mobile platforms that has emerged, and in spite of some notable failures, is overtaking traditional computing.

Of course we should remember that PC themselves overtook entrenched predecessors like minicomputers and mainframes which themselves overtook business computing systems based on adding machines, typewriters and slide rules. This is the cycle of disruption and there is nothing new about it.

However, it always seems to take people by surprise.