Times sure do change. Few would have predicted Microsoft would reach this position, but riding on the sales of Surface RT and Surface Pro devices, it is now the sixth biggest Windows 8 device maker.
Mind you, this is just Windows 8 devices, not all hardware, but still an important distinction.
The latest statistics revealed by the advertising network AdDuplex show that only five other hardware vendors are above Redmond in this list that takes into account all Windows 8 devices, worldwide.
HP continues to bet big on Windows 8, and leads the rankings with 23 percent of Windows 8 and Windows RT devices out in the wild. Dell with its 11 percent market share is good enough for a second place finish.
ASUS, Acer and Toshiba round up the top five with 10, 9 and 8 percent shares respectively.
Then comes Microsoft with a 6 percent stake. The Redmond-based company currently sells two Windows 8 hardware products — the Surface RT and Surface Pro. Both slates are available in the United States and a few other select markets.
But several new countries are next in line to get these devices, with the United Kingdom, Germany, France and a few other European markets project to receive the Pro variant of Surface by the end of May. The Surface RT, on the other hand, is more widely available.
Expect Microsoft to climb up the rankings by the end of the year.
Not only will both Surface models be more widely available the world over, but joined by newer (and smaller) Windows 8.1 tablets that are projected to join the family in the summer. Rumors suggest an 8-inch Surface tablet is on target to hit store shelves, around August or September.