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Windows might start losing its lifelong battle against Apple this year

Windows vs macOS

Windows vs Mac is just about the oldest battle in computer fanboy history. Right-click sheeple against computers that just barely work is a flame war for the ages. But in the history of the rivalry, it’s always been accepted that Windows will be sole on more devices. Quality vs quantity is a defining feature of the disagreement.

But starting in 2017, it looks like things might change as Apple steals one of Windows’s most important stats.

According to analysts at Gartner, sales of Apple devices (that’s iOS and macOS, not just MacBooks) will eclipse Windows sales for the first time this year. Windows has held a diminishing lead for years, but 2017 looks to be the year the tide finally turns.

Gartner is forecasting Apple to sell 268 million iOS and macOS devices this year, an increase of 8% on 2016 numbers. That’s a big jump, but if you consider that Apple just released the long-awaited MacBook Pro update, and is set to release a big iPhone update this year, that’s not unrealistic.

Windows, on the other hand, is forecast to continue its slow demise to obscurity with another 3% decrease in units sold. I’m willing to believe that the raft of good new laptops announced at CES will go some way to stopping the bleeding, but it still probably won’t be a bumper year for Microsoft.

One thing that seems to be left out of the report is the damage that Chromebooks might inflict. They’ve gone from being a niche curiosity to actually eclipsing MacBook sales, and with some capable machines around the $500 price point, I could see Windows and Mac both suffering from an influx of Google this year.