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Microsoft’s High-End Struggles: Benedict Evans Analyses the Battle for Laptop Market Share

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London-based technology analyst Benedict Evans recently released insightful data indicating that Microsoft is struggling to gain ground in the above $800 laptop market, where Apple continues to hold sway.

High-End Struggles and Low-End Wins

According to the data, Microsoft’s share in the consumer Device Market (DM) for units priced above $800 decreased by 1.3% YoY, despite an overall market share growth of 2.9% across all price segments. On the other hand, Microsoft seems to be faring well in the sub-$800 market, commanding a dominating 77.3% share in the $500-$800 segment and 27.9% in the $300-$499 range.

https://twitter.com/benedictevans/status/1674427730648240130

Evans, a partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, regularly shares valuable insights on various technology topics through his newsletter, blog, and social media platforms. His analysis often covers platforms, regulation, AI, ecommerce, and more.

Consumer PC Landscape

In a series of tweets, Evans pointed to an estimated 5 billion active smartphones globally, of which approximately 1.5 billion are iPhones, around 3 billion run Google’s Android, and an additional 8-900 million are China-specific Android devices. Furthermore, he estimated around 550 million corporate PCs and 750 million consumer PCs, with Microsoft claiming around 1.3 billion active Windows devices.

In response to Evans’ data, former president of the Windows Division at Microsoft, Steven Sinofsky, offered a critical perspective. He highlighted the potential pitfalls of targeting the low-cost market, questioning whether winning in the sub-$500 range – where customer experience may suffer due to cheaper hardware – could be deemed a real victory.

The Microsoft Challenge

While Microsoft’s overall consumer DM Windows Share increased by 2.9% YoY, the shrinking market share in the premium segment (> $800) poses a challenge. The data shows a tug of war between Microsoft’s efforts to regain high-end market share and Apple’s continued dominance in the premium laptop segment.

As Microsoft aims to wrestle market share from Apple, it faces the challenge of producing devices that not only compete on price but also offer a user experience that rivals or surpasses that of Apple’s MacBook range.

This data paints a revealing picture of the competitive landscape in the tech industry and underscores the complex task ahead for Microsoft. Balancing market share growth, user experience, and price points in an industry dominated by major players like Apple and Google will undoubtedly continue to be a juggling act for the tech giant.

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