Microsoft's mobile OS will surge, after a fashion, amid slower growth for the smartphone industry as a whole, predicts research firm IDC.
Apple is still the No. 1 tablet vendor, but its Android counterparts are really the ones pushing market growth, a new study shows.
But analysts warn that their report shouldn't be construed as a comeback for the global PC industry.
Apple will hold onto to a "value edge" in 2014, but Android's ecosystem is poised to make big gains, according to IDC.
Microsoft doesn't have a workable tablet strategy yet, an IDC analyst tells CNET.
The research firm says tablet shipments should remain weak in the current quarter but pick up in the last three months of the year.
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The uptake of Windows 8 is hampered by a completely saturated U.S. PC market and corporate upgrades to Windows 7, says author of IDC study.
The marketing researcher also predicts that this year tablet shipments will jump nearly 60 percent -- and top the number of laptop shipments.
Demand for tablets is accelerating, the research firm says, as the market shifts toward smaller screen sizes and lower prices.