Microsoft, Intel reportedly partner to crush Apple

Want iPad market share to plunge below 50% next year

Apple iPad Mini

We don't need "industry sources" to tell us Intel and Microsoft are actively encouraging computer makers to offer Windows 8 tablets - or that there will be a host of these machines announced before the year is up.

Intel, in particular, needs to promote its chippery, especially now that rival processor platform, ARM, owns almost all of the tablet CPU market at the moment, and that Microsoft, acknowledging this, is releasing a version of Windows 8 for ARM chips.

It'll be called Windows RT. 'RT' stands for 'Real Time', apparently.

But here's a thing: both Wintel giants have allegedly set themselves the goal of pushing Apple's share of the tablet market to below 50 per cent by this time next year - specifically, the middle of 2013, say Taiwanese contract manufacturer moles cited by DigiTimes.

Good luck, guys, but that's not what market watchers reckon. Gartner and IHS iSuppli, to name but two, reckon Apple's share won't drop below 50 per cent until 2015 or 2016.

And it'll lose out to Android far more than any other platform. Indeed, Gartner last week forecast that Microsoft's OS will lie well behind both Android and iOS come 2016, shipping just over 4m units, compared to almost 130m Android tabs and 170m Apple devices that will ship in the same timeframe.

And that forecast seemingly ignores any impact the putative 7.85in 'iPad Mini', launched to check the advance of Windows 8 tablets, might have. ®

Sponsored: 10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity