It seems unlikely that any single operating system will wind up being the market share leader in every device category ranging from PCs to tablets to smart phones, despite a growing operating system similarity in all those device segments. To be sure, it never has been the case the “leading” PC operating systems were the leading mobile phone operating systems.

But the growing use of smart phones and other devices as computing appliances has been pushing suppliers in the direction of more-common device OS platforms. Perhaps none have moved as much as Microsoft, in that regard.

Microsoft says it eventually will merge its PC and mobile operating systems. And that explains why many observers think Windows 8 will be so important: it is a step towards that eventual fusion of mobile and PC operating systems.
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Forrester Research analysts believe three operating systems will be dominant in 2016: Google, Apple and Microsoft.

The result is a market where Microsoft still dominates PCs, Apple’s iPad leads the tablet category, and Google’s Android leads in smart phone sales.

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