With the failure to capture a global audience with the Windows phone operating system and hardware.
Will the new Windows 8 O/S signal the phoenix from the fire, or will Microsoft never really get back into the game now people expect quality?
Windows 8 Tablet – Best Be Good!
Quality user interface is key:
There used to be a time when people took what they were given and dealt with their usually pretty sh***y hand.
Lets think pre-Windows 7 here:
Making reference to poor PC users; yes the ones burden with a Microsoft Windows operating system, full of Viruses, Trojans, and general Malware that slowed the pieces of crap to a grinding halt from power on.
With software and hardware that perpetually conflicted with each other, and a truly p*** poor look and feel of the actual computer (by and large) though Sony did try some style.
Usually containing a hodgepodge of things under its bonnet to make it work as you want, from various manufacturers especially if you built your own.
Contrast to Apples offerings:
While others were using a mac for the last decade or more, blissfully unaware of the lost hours that many PC owners were facing “sorting” their perpetually poorly PC, and looking pretty cool at the same time.
Microsoft got lazy?
For Microsoft they almost seemed to not care or at least could not work out how to solve their software issues that most accepted as part of owning a computer….arrogant some may say.
Not any more – Apple brought enlightenment:
Times have changed, and with more and more people having access to technology designed by control freaks Apple, an enlightenment has taken place at the user experience level….the one Microsoft never really understood.
What many have taken for granted is using Apple products the rest are starting to see as the missing key to making life online more enjoyable.
The real money is in software AND hardware:
They once said the money was in software not hardware (much to Apples pre 2000’s agreement) and Microsoft’s huge success, however the money is clearly in both!
So where does this leave Windows 8 and Microsoft’s entry to the tablet market?
Web browsing via Windows devices has dropped way below 90% to just above 80% recently this is a huge shit and as you can see form the chart is partly due to Smart Phone and Tablet Internet access.
Note how the mobile category has only been added this year!
Microsoft’s firm grip on mediocrity slipping at last:
Couple this with the ruling stating that all new Windows installed computers should FINALLY give people a choice over which browser should be installed…..something Microsoft has been selling the world short with for WAY TOO LONG…(web designers, and security experts, I feel your pain)
This all bodes pretty poorly for Microsoft, what with no tablet or decent phone OS to shout about as of yet.
So how does Windows 8 look:
Microsoft seem to be looking at something no other Smart Phone or tablet manufacturer is doing.
What they want to achieve with Windows 8 is an operating system that scales up and down to work on all devices:
From your PC, to tablets, and smart phones, all being run with a variation of Windows 8
This is in contrast to operating systems that are highly tuned in for a certain device as is the present train of thinking….albeit with Android and Apple iOS being for Tablet and Smart Phone, Mac OSX is altogether different.
They will be bringing in UK processor manufacturer ARM who have seriously carved a niche in the Smart Phone and Tablet arena for producing processors offering fantastic speed, power and low battery consumption, single handedly taking away the limelight from the Goliath of Intel in a very short period of time..sound familiar?
The x86 versions of Windows 8 PC’s will feature a Windows 7 compatibility mode and work on Intel and AMD processors, while tablet ARM versions will not.
The question is what do Microsoft really have planned?
With two iterations of its dated O/S XP in the shape of Vista and 7 as an attempt to please Windows users in quick succession with very very mixed reviews on both, they now need to get this right or face serious consequences.
Functionality, portability and personalisation is the key for future operating systems:
From watching videos and researching on the web, the user experience is seemingly at the heart of the new OS, something if they pull off well could be their saving light.
It is functionality, personalisation, and portability that people demand now.
Are they really ready to step into a market they have never had a grip on and do something useful?
What looks in-store for Windows 8 and its new tablet?
Lets take a look:
Apps and the Windows app store:
Well within familiar territory for Microsoft a planned marketplace for Windows apps will be something they hope lives up to expectation and is tempting enough for developers Globally to work on when iOS and Android is so prevalent already, could they have waited a bit too late here?
Built for business?
It looks like Steve Ballmer is looing to develop the Windows tablets as more than just a fun toy and feels that business users are the real prize:
If they are focusing on bringing software we know and (love?) already to their tablet; Office, Excell, Word etc then perhaps they will do just fine….one piece of software for all the “business folk” to buy, harking back to early Ford days….this would seem to be the desire.
A recent New York Times interview states that:
“The company believes there is a huge market for business people who want to enjoy a slate for reading newspapers and magazines and then work on Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint while doing work”
However this could be their stumbling block as I am personally unsure if tablets are for business (just yet), the laptop is still around for that.
And if Microsoft release their tablet in the vain hope that all Office users will want to be portable while using Word, and ditch their laptops then they best hope that developers start making other apps for their tablet that also have some mass appeal as Office on a tablet sounds as dull as dishwater.
What Smart Phones and tablets are great for is messing about, not to say that work related activity will not become common place on them at all….but…
Read a recent article about the death of the pc and rise of the smart phone.
Right now they are toys, bloody powerful, sexy and functional all the same, but just now they are toys, but when Windows do eventually release their own OS and tablet maybe just maybe Microsoft will become game changers and usher in a new functionality.
This remains to be seen.
Nokia as manufacturer, or go it alone like the Xbox?
It looks possible that Microsoft will team up with Nokia as they are yet to release a tablet and not expected until 2012 while Samsung and Dell have close links, will they want to steer away from Android O/S for sake of manufacturing for an old foe/friend?
Or could rumours from Taipei be true and see Microsoft manufacture their own tablet like they have with the Xbox?
This makes more sense to me.
Microsoft the uncool dad on the dance floor:
In summary I still do not get Microsoft as a business any more….and this as any businessperson will tell you spells failure….got to have that elevator pitch just right!
Unfortunately I can not help but see Microsoft as the uncool Dad trying to dance at a party and unfortunately being laughed at by all the blokes and getting some pity from a few nice girls while the rest are “heavy petting” in the toilets with the younger and more trendy guys…..oblivious to the floundering Dad show on the dance floor.
Microsoft….get it together now or never!…..Your brand is almost forgotten!
As my mum would say…
Belt up lad!Anthony Munns