The latest data out of industry tracker IDC is encouraging for the tablet industry, but not so encouraging for Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT ) role in this booming market.
There were a whopping 49.2 million tablets shipped during the first three months of this year, well ahead of the 20.3 million devices that shipped during the first quarter of 2012. However, Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG ) Android and Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL ) iOS combined for more than 96% of the market.
There were just 1.8 million Windows-based tablets shipped, and half of those were Microsoft's own Surface tablets. To put this into perspective, Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN ) shipped as many Kindle Fire devices -- the tablets, not the Kindle e-readers -- as Microsoft and all of its hardware partners did during this year's freshman quarter.
That's a problem.
In this video, longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz explores the reasons why Microsoft's Surface may be hurting its chances instead of helping. Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
It's incredible to think just how much of our digital and technological lives are almost entirely shaped and molded by just a handful of companies. Find out "Who Will Win the War Between the 5 Biggest Tech Stocks?" in The Motley Fool's latest free report, which details the knock-down, drag-out battle being waged by the five kings of tech. Click here to keep reading.