Will Microsoft's Steal Apple's Thunder Sooner Rather Than Later?

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Many investors have all along feared that Microsoft would turn out to be a one-trick pony, after the company was swept aside by the mobile revolution, spearheaded by tech titans Apple and Google . Microsoft finally snapped from its deep slumber after realizing that the revolution was not a fad but was here to stay. Still, nobody seriously believed that the company stood any chance with its Windows platform, against the vastly popular Android and iOS platforms.

But all that is now changing, after Windows has shown serious intent in becoming one of the top players, and perhaps even unseat iOS as the second-most popular operating system after Google's Android. Windows phone is now the fastest-growing smartphone platform, and the second-most popular smartphone platform in Latin America and India. The OS grew 48% year over year in the emerging countries, and enjoyed a huge 366% year-over-year increase for Nokia Lumia sales in the U.S. Investors have been quick to notice all this impressive progress, and Microsoft shares gained 47% in fiscal 2013.

Fastest-growing platform
Windows platform for both smartphones and tablets has been growing much faster than any other platform, and by a wide margin. More importantly, Windows phone sales saw a 46.7% year-over-year growth, while iOS saw a 6.7% growth, leading to loss of market share for iOS from 20.9% to 17.6%. In terms of market share alone, iOS market share fell 15.8% last year.

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