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Windows CE Devices May Outsell Windows PCs in 5 years

April 7, 2003-
Microsoft has made tremendous progress in positioning Windows CE and its derivatives as one or the leading software platform for a large variety of electronic devices including as PDAs, Smartphones, consumer electronics devices and many other information appliances. Most of the devices that are starting to use Windows CE and other software platforms are already in volume production. This means that Windows CE device sales will grow at very high rate as shown in the table below.

Most Windows CE platform competitors only compete in a single or a few product segments. Only software platforms using embedded Linux versions are competing across the board. Even though embedded Linux is behind Windows CE in most segments, the long-term battle will be between these two software platforms. The only exception is handheld device categories where Palm and Symbian are the strongest competitors to Microsoft's Pocket PC.

Computer hardware and software platforms have started to invade many electronics device categories and will become the preferred system architecture for an increasing portion of electronic devices. Only the simplest devices with fixed functionality will avoid this trend.

  2002 2003 2004 2006 2008 2010
Windows PCs Sales (#M) 126 135-138 145-150 170-175 190-200 215-225
Windows CE Device Sales (#M) 9 14-17 30-35 105-115 200-220 300-340
Windows PCs Sales (#M) 41 42-44 45-47 49-52 52-55 55-60
Windows CE Device Sales (#M) 3 4-5 6-8 19-22 35-40 55-60

“Microsoft is taking advantage of the inevitable penetration of microprocessors and embedded software platforms into all electronics devices”, says Dr. Egil Juliussen, the author of the report. “It is not a question if this will happen, but a question of when it will happen for each device category.”

These are some of the findings of a new market research report by eTForecasts. The report explores the technologies, computer platforms, product segments and markets for information appliances including market estimates for six regions of the world from 1998 to 2008.

eTForecasts publishes market research reports for the PC, PDA, information appliances and Internet industries.

  Updated April 7, 2003