Gartner believes Microsoft's Windows platform will be destroyed by Android by 2017

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Gartner is beginning to make some strong and edgy "predictions" as of late. Today, the research group revealed that Microsoft is threatened as smartphones and tablets rise in popularity. In fact, tablets will outsell desktops and laptops while Google's Android platform pretty much eliminates Microsoft as a competitor, by 2015.

According to Gartner, Microsoft is facing a big challenge right now. Within the next four years, Microsoft needs to make progress in the smartphone and tablet market or face becoming irrelevant. In fact, Gartner sees the PC market shrinking into oblivion.

On top of that, Gartner believes that Google's Android platform will be installed on more than a billion devices by 2014, giving increased dominance to Android (as well as Apple's iOS platform). By 2017, Gartner believes shipments of Android devices will "dwarf" those of Windows PCs and phones.

Gartner believes that people are most likely to have a smartphone and a tablet as their first computer. "They're starting with a smartphone, not a PC, so when they're looking for something larger, they look at something that's a replacement smartphone experience - which is a tablet or ultramobile device. And Android or [Apple's] iOS are the two that they're looking at."

Looking at recent stats, Windows Phone is well below Google's Android and Apple's iOS platform in terms of market share. Could Gartner be right? Perhaps the upcoming 'Blue' update to Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone will spice up sales and prevent Microsoft from losing grip in the mobile market. We'll just have to wait and see.

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