Windows 8 is here to stay…
Today I plucked a link out of my Twitter feed to a blog post by Israel Lifshitz, founder of SysAid Technologies about Windows 8.
The post on his blog was titled “Why I’m wishing success to Windows phone and not to Windows OS for PC?“
This is a good post worth reading but there are several points I respectfully disagree on.
What’s to disagree with?
I’m going to focus on some of the major points of the post:
- “Failure of Windows OS for PC will break the monopoly of Microsoft that has been going on for many years.”
- Monopoly is bad for competition
- Microsoft has blocked competition in the PC OS Market and stifled innovation.
- “The monopoly of Microsoft is starting to crack.”
I’m assuming that this post refers to medium to large scale companies with IT infrastructure ranging from desktop to laptop PCs, server backend, databases et cetera. For most of us there has been no Microsoft monopoly at least for ten years but I can agree that for this part of the market Microsoft technology has retained a greater degree of stickiness.
Very soon every Windows PC in the market…
…will arrive preinstalled with Windows 8. Whilst Windows 8 is a radical, revolutionary departure for some users from prior versions of Windows it still falls into their “It’s Windows oh good.” comfort zone.
If Windows 8 fails to take off (and I would say with 60 million licenses sold to date we may as well trash the term “fail” here) it will be due to 3 main reasons: –
- Microsoft has yet to come up with a constructive way to drive a stake through the heart of Windows XP and encourage companies to upgrade.
- Windows 7 was until Windows 8 the best product anyone has ever made in the PC OS market. Companies are reluctant to abandon that stability.
- Money: given the economic climate in Europe and the US there is a reluctance to expend valuable funds even to upgrade existing PCs to Windows 8. Keep in mind that some of these companies will discover hardware, peripherals and software that are not Windows 8 compatible in the system analysis phase and will have to refactor budgets to cover this.
What are your viable, productive alternatives?
- Linux Desktops.
- Apple’s MAC OS X
Okay, I used the word “viable” a bit easily there. IMHO Chromebooks are just taking off and have yet to build up any momentum. Linux Desktop is usable and there are certainly more than one version to choose from but that is what makes it a fragile alternative. If Linux is Linux then why the <redacted> isn’t the command line syntax not the same for Ubuntu, CentOS, Red Hat? It’s painful and annoying to switch between them and remember the differences.
Apple MAC OS X deserves its own mention. I like it. Yes don’t faint, I do. OS X has been around for a while and let’s be honest, it just works.
That said Apple has more money than some small countries and they still don’t have competitive work and productivity software to Windows. Take Office, yeah I know if you are on a MAC you would rather not; especially if you need to work in right to left languages.
Is this all just a matter of competition?
No. Apple and Google have failed to seize the PC market from Windows.
When you take into account just how much we work in the cloud surely this speaks to a ridiculous failure on their part given things like Google’s Apps productivity suite.
Microsoft has no more been strangling competition than Apple has become an evil empire bent on replacing Microsoft in that role.
(YouTube video courtesy of Microsoft Xbox)
The failure to innovate and produce superior and competitive products to Microsoft’s Windows Desktop OS or Office is just that: their failure.
Why is that? Because the warfare has been in the theater of mobile and yes, in terms of devices Apple is winning and Android is possibly most widespread but as I mentioned in a previous post Microsoft is poised to release Office 365 for Android and iOS.
This is the game changing move.
Microsoft will continue to battle uphill with Windows Phone but with Office 365 running on all the major mobile platforms they will secure ownership of the business IT market for on-device productivity and the common backend.
I have stated on many times in the past just how strongly I favor a market where competition is constructive and the consumer has choice. Is Microsoft inhibiting this? No. Their competitors have chosen to compete over mobile and ceded this market to Microsoft.
Between starting to write this post and finishing I read a post on RWW that cites Forrester’s latest market analysis titled “200 Million Workers Want Windows 8 Tablets, Not iPads” and yes one of the major influences here seems to be BYOD.
So while Windows 8 seems to be a tough nut for some to swallow my advice is make the extra effort, the revolution is here and it presents us all with boundless opportunities. We just have to recognize them not try to wish them away.