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Apple The Third Largest PC Maker Thanks To The iPad
Apple is now the third largest PC maker in the world, according to research firm Canalys.
Instead of pussyfooting with the definition of a "PC", Canalys has just decided to lump iPads in with traditional "PCs" when looking at shipments for the fourth quarter, which is how Apple reached the number three marker.
While the PC market as a whole grew 19% on a year over year basis, Apple grew an astounding 240% thanks to shipments of the iPad.
What does this mean for Apple? Not much, we already knew the iPad was selling well.
For traditional PC makers, though, it's another sign that they need to figure out how to make a good tablet to compete with the iPad. Considering Microsoft's operating system won't really be ready for tablets until 2012 at the earliest its partners will probably start looking at Android, which could lead to a long term decline in Windows.
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Here's How Scared Microsoft Is Of The iPad
Microsoft is handing out talking points to help its partners convince enterprises they should use Windows slates instead of the iPad.
This is a stunning development.
It's one thing for the iPad -- which launched less than a year ago -- to capture "casual consumers" who previously spent $800 or for a full-featured Windows PC, only to find they were using it mainly for e-mail, Web surfing, and games.
The iPad does all of those things well -- in many cases better than Windows -- and it's easier to use and maintain. Microsoft seems to be OK with losing a couple points of consumer market share now and hoping to capture those consumers back with the next version of Windows in a couple years.
But the enterprise is supposed to be Microsoft's core. Windows has dominated the enterprise desktop for more than 20 years. Most enterprises have a few Macs around -- usually in the design department -- and there are always programmers who prefer to work with Linux. But the vast majority of what Microsoft calls "information workers" still use Windows and Office.
Apple is making a push into the enterprise with the iPad -- it's hiring salespeople to work with carriers like Verizon to sell iPads into large companies, and Wall Street banks like JP Morgan are starting to allow them in.
As ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley has found, this has apparently scared Microsoft into action. The company has prepared a set of marketing slides for the partners who sell into enterprises, briefing them on how to counter interest in the iPad. They're supposed to familiarize themselves with the Windows 7 slates that PC makers are making today, then talk to enterprises about things like security and management, where Windows has a long-standing edge.
In the slide deck, Microsoft acknowledges that "end-user interest is driving adoption" of the iPad in the enterprise.
That's the whole problem. As many sources have explained, these aren't random workers with no influence. The people bringing iPads to work are executives, high-level IT staff, and respected early adopters -- the people who drive technology decisions. They like their iPads. And you can bet that companies will support them, no matter how hard Microsoft tries to convince them otherwise.
The iPad already has 7% of the global PC market. That's just among consumers. Imagine what happens to Microsoft when the iPad starts making inroads into corporations as well.
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