A Brief Story of the OS Wars

Over the years, the onetime giant's share of the consumer computing market has taken some dramatic hits.

At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Intel and AMD announced a dual OS platform that would allow one device to run both Android and Windows—yet another blow to Microsoft, which has been fighting a losing battle against Apple, Google, and other companies.

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  • 2005*: The 4GB iPod Mini is introduced, followed by the iPod Nano.
  • 2006: Two hackers, narf2006 and blanka, are the first to run Windows on a Mac.
  • 2007: The iPhone is released.
  • 2008: Android is released, on the HTC Dream.
  • 2009: Microsoft experiences the first quarterly sales drop in its history as a public company. Executives cite slackening demand for Windows as PC sales decline.
  • 2010: Apple introduces the iPad... and Samsung debuts the Android-powered Galaxy tablet.
  • 2012: With sales of its Surface tablet lagging, Microsoft launches tablet-oriented Windows 8. Windows head Steven Sinofsky leaves abruptly soon after. (Estimated)
  • 2013:Smartphone ownership cracks 50% of the U.S. adult population, 28% of whom own an Android. Only 1% of adults own Windows phones. (Estimated)

*Goldman Sachs chalks up the 2005 jump in the "Other" category to the "widespread adoption of non–PC computing devices," like cell phones.

[Illustrations by Aled Lewis]

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