Skip to main content

Windows 8: Microsoft Needs To Refresh Its Game, Not Its OS

Windows 8 is just a few days from launch and I imagine that Microsoft and its marketing teams are going to create the biggest splash since the Windows 95 launch. Not least because this is the biggest Windows launch since 1995.

Just as Microsoft were slow in recognising the value of the internet and connected computing, I believe they have missed the boat on cloud computing - even though with Skydrive they were one of the early players. Windows 8 is supposed to be the OS that fixes that but its going to be so challenging for users that I'm struggling to see that really happening.

Don't get me wrong, Windows 8 looks fabulous and, especially if you're a previous Windows Phone user who 'gets' the new interface,  it works well where it works. For others its going to be a complete nightmare.

The problem is that good as Windows 8 looks, it doesn't work anywhere as well as Windows 7 unless you're talking about a touch device use scenario. Plenty of new devices will come touch enabled, but realistically unless you're talking about a tablet a touch screen isn't the right way to interace with a laptop/desktop computer.

Office 365 flags the direction that Microsoft should be taking - and as the traditional PC market shrinks, as it will do over the next five to ten years - this would be Microsoft's hedge bet against the erosion of core revenue streams for Windows and Office. Microsoft needs to ensure that Office 365 works well with touch only devices and make it work with iOS and Android devices. I believe that the next version of Exchange will switch to an HTML 5 browser based client only (killing off Outlook) and Microsoft needs to recognise that this is the path for Office too.

If it doesn't make these difficult decisions now Microsoft may not have much of a future ahead of it. The writing is on the wall, read it wrong this time and Microsoft may not get a third chance.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…

WhartonBrooks Indiegogo Windows 10 Mobile Even More Doomed To Failure Than Usual

WhartonBrooks is currently crowd-funding its latest Windows Mobile smartphone on Indiegogo. If crowdfunding isn't already a bad enough idea, a company trying to crowdfund a Windows Mobile device should be warning enough for you.
Not that anyone seems to be taking the project too seriously. With a few weeks left to run the campaign has managed to ensnare just 2% of its $1.1m target.
If you want a better indication of how few Window Mobile loyalists remain I doubt there is one. Of 3,900 Windows Phone enthusiasts Wharton Brooks was seeking for its new phone, it has managed to entice just 50.
Windows for Phones is dead, even if the corpse hasn't stopped twitching yet.