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Have you forgotten about Windows?

We’re all so busy reading (you) or writing (me) about developing apps for cloud and mobile platforms, it’s getting pretty tough to find much in the way of Windows coverage. If you’ve forgotten about Windows on the desktop, you may be making a mistake.

Certainly, we all know the PC is dead, right? Well, not so fast. Consider this market research nugget published just six months ago by IDC. According to its own March 2015 Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, “total 2015 volume is projected at 293.1 million PCs, slipping a little further to 291.4 million in 2019.” (That includes Macs.)

That’s more than a quarter-billion desktop and laptop PCs (a lot more) globally every year from now through 2019. And the number is not going to suddenly plummet to zero in 2020. There’s no question shipments are in an overall declining trend, but a quarter-billion PCs every year is not to be ignored. In June 2015, the last full month before Win 10 started shipping, the various versions of Windows together accounted for 76.9 percent of all those machines, according to Statista. (Mac OS was 10.03 percent; Linux 1.77 percent.)

Granted, the PC numbers pale in comparison with IDC’s Aug. 2015 Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker that says worldwide smartphone shipments in 2015 will top an astounding 1.43 billion units. In comparison, tablet shipments in 2015 will be a mere 233 million units worldwide, according to a Jan. 2015 report from Gartner. That’s a bit of a recovery after sales plummeted in 2014, a year that Gartner described as “troubling” for tablets. Note that the predicted tablet shipments lag behind PCs.

What spurred me to think about this is the torrent of press releases I see weekly announcing new development tools. To the best of my recollection, only one company, Embarcadero Technologies (which has its roots in the old Borland of Turbo Pascal and Delphi fame) is actively focusing on Windows and bringing out new generations of its tools.

Do you still develop for Windows? Or have you moved to cloud and mobile exclusively? Share your opinions; we’d like to hear from you.