When I asked my son, who is an avid Apple fan, what he thought of Microsoft’s killer application, the new Window 8 operating system, he went very quiet and then pointed out that his opinion of Microsoft’s OS software till now had been less than enthusiastic [nightmarish, actually] and felt that both Google and Apple had scored home runs to the detriment of Microsoft.
Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, now talks about an ‘epic’ year for Microsoft, bigger than even the introduction of Windows 95 back in 1995 and as big as even the very founding of Microsoft.
So, it better be a good story this time and Microsoft has indeed produced a revitalized operating system specifically aimed at the touch screen era and importantly a new user-interface common across a number of platforms, and it is here than the Windows 8 OS for the moment has it over its competitors by in reality and for the first time enabling the use of the same operating system by PC, tablet, phone, and even Xbox.
It has meant new thinking by Microsoft and a new business strategy, so even if the past Windows and Office applications have been, and still are, the big earners for Microsoft, they needed something others did not have, and the smooth transition to the various screens of a variety of devices now means that the user can go from one device to the other without the problem of having to work with different OS and applications.
Microsoft has joined today’s trend: ‘IT in everything’, pervasive computing, if you will, a strategy now embraced by Microsoft, and my son agrees it is an excellent one, thought out well to deal with the market in the situation Microsoft finds itself. So will he change to become a Windows fan after the years of the ‘Heck No, Never, Ever’?
Well, if Microsoft can consolidate its market position, especially with the upcoming ‘Surface’ tablet, and perhaps get their mobile Windows RT platform – a pared Windows 8 version where the whole system and standard apps are already on the chip – to grab the public’s attention for the Windows phone, which by the way functions very well, maybe better than Android, and if installed on some of the market’s best hardware like Nokia, then they can finally gain traction on their competitors.
With the ‘system on a chip’ strategy the whole operating system can been installed on a long list of devices and appliances, even your refrigerator.
Son says, yes, after the many years as a faithful Apple user he will now seriously consider a Windows 8 ‘Surface’ tablet in preference to the iPad, so come the official launch of Windows 8 based devices Microsoft may have learnt what the customer really, really wants.