Microsoft opened the 1990s with two pieces of software that paved the way to its total domination of home and business PC computing: Windows 3.0 and 3.1. Microsoft's operating systems arrived at a seminal point in digital history: the rise of Intel, whose chips changed the economics of the PC, and the demise of a fractured …
"Can Windows 8 bag Microsoft another 20 years of success?"
It depends on whether you agree that the last 20 were a success? Were Millennium and Vista a success? Were the security jokes of nimda and slammer an endorsement of success? Was Microsoft's answer to piracy, that of shitting on their paying customers a success?
I guess the phishers and punters of malware and hostageware would endorse the trail of destruction and declare it a success for them.
whether you agree that the last 20 were a success?
Only a real moron would ask if a company who has obtained something like 90% market share and increased profits by several orders of magnitude has been successful.
Success is measured in dollars.
It never was about the software
If it had been about the software, Microsoft would have died off long, long ago. It's been solely about marketing and aggressive business technique.
Will that iron grip continue for another twenty years? I think the doubt on that one has been growing ever since Mr B took over.
Re: It never was about the software
Finally somebody said it! I find it interesting that so many people continue to discuss the pros and cons when the reason the average Joe, Microsoft's largest market, uses Windows is that it was on the box when he bought it and he doesn't know what to do about that - or that he even could do something.
Can the lawyers bag Microsoft another 20 years of success? That is the question.
Re: It never was about the software
Do you have the answer for the (right) question?
Re: It never was about the software
I think MS won't be able to retain it's hold on the IT market as it is today. They're just too late on the smartphone/tablet market to get a > 90% market share. It a pity it took 20 years....
They can still get away with the traditional desktop PC
Microsoft stranglehold on the PC OEMs and PC retail channel is largely unchanged and there's no sign of rebellion on the horizon so they should be able to pull this off easily. Outside of this realm, I would say there's slim chance Microsoft will get dominant. Besides the two reasons mentioned above, Apple and Android have shown users can still have a rich computing experience outside the Windows ecosystem.
Windows 8 will get virtually no traction in the business sector because it's virtually unusable in a business context, and would require large scale retraining of staff. Meanwhile XP continues to work adequately well at minimal incremental cost and doesn't require retraining.
For most users Office hasn't had a useful new feature since long file names. The only reason to upgrade is the continual changing of the file formats, and the requirements of enterprise licensing.
This will be compounded by the fact that a large number of senior executives (ie DECISION MAKERS) now have iPhones and iPads, and have discovered computing that "just works". Increasingly they will want to know why their huge investments in PCs provides systems that keep falling over and failing to deliver in spite of continual "upgrades".
Microsoft is dead in the water, which is why its shares have been flat-lining for years, in spite of the huge profits it continues to make from its legacy business.
Enterprise keeps 1 major version behind
I don't think any large enterprise or even experienced end user will jump to win8 no matter what Microsoft says.
I know XP and win server 03 are still used. As vista crashed and burned (even Intel declined), once win8 ships, there will be huge installs of win7.
So, they still win.
Really wonder what kind of an insane panic attack it is to ignore billion PC with mouse& keyboard.
Re: ME II
Enterprise will upgrade from XP -> W7, which will bag MS loads of cash. They don't have to worry about W8 in the enterprise.
Clearly, W8 is focused on tablets and touch-screen PCs.
Can Windows 8 bag Microsoft another 20 years of success?
I hope not.
It's so very sad to see people invest their emotions so heavily in an operating system.
No, by definition
No possible way.
Exhibit 1: Windows 8 is on the wrong end of the bad/good release cycle. That by itself means M$ will just scrape by using paying customers as Q/A until Windows 9.
Exhibit 2: Windows 8 is a major redesign, which makes it even less likely that M$ will get it right the first time.
Exhibit 3: Windows 7 is Good Enough. With people just now finally starting to move off XP (first released in 2001), they're more likely to move to Windows 7, which has a proven track record. Only full blown Fanbois and people in circumstances where they have no choice, will make the leap to 8.
Exhibit 4: By now, everyone knows the above, and anyone who uses Windows to make money, as opposed to being paid to review it, will wait at least until SP1, and will probably skip the release entirely. (I know I will.)
Re: No, by definition
W8 not doing well doesn't mean it can't build for future success. Vista was highly maligned but laid the foundations for W7, which has been very well received.
So W9 is where the s*** really hits the fan.
Till there is the ability to roll out Windows 8 with Bob 2 turned off and locked down with no ability to activate it all via GPO it will not make any headway in the Enterprise arena. If there was a little animation that showed the Bob 2 interface (Metro) being burned away revealing a "Classic" fully functional interface then I would be all for it. Windows 8 has some great things under the hood but that crappy Bob 2 interface gets in the way and is just in general crap.
It's legacy technology
Businesses buy Windows because they need to run their old 1990s software on, as well as their VBA based software infrastructure. That is the reason people have Windows. Nobody cares about "advanced features" or anything, people care about running what they have.
As soon as people think they can run their old programs better on Windows than on the alternatives, Windows will stay. Once they believe Wine is more compatible than the latest version of Windows they'll switch. That's why Windows on ARM won't be very popular. (Although SMB share access is quite an incentive)
Nobody builds anything new on Windows. It's a dead platform for new things. Browser GUIs are now good enough to replace most native applications. And thanks to visualization it's now possible to deploy even complex web-server based packages easily.
Way to editorialise a headline.
Though I suppose 'Will Windows maintain a dominant position through the same combination of corporate inertia and anti-competitive business practices as it has over the last 20 years?' would be equally biased in the opposite direction.
See a pattern here ?
Win Vista Useless
Win 7 Useful
My prediction is Win 8 will be a horrendous stopgap whilst MS scrabble to make the next useful version.
Windows 9 will probably be the next good version after 7, if they don't lose their market share before then.
Re: See a pattern here ?
You left out the early versions, which wouldn't even allow you to play Solitaire while your files copied.
You left out 2000, which, in my view, was the first Windows version that wasn't entirely crap. Let's zoom in on that:
Win 98: Useless
Win 98-something: (I forget what they called it) showing, at long, long last, promise
Win2000: Useful! Wow, but can I have my money back for all the previous attempts? No? I thought not.
WinXP: Gosh, a half-decent OS, with a good user interface.
If they'd stopped there, a vast number of people would be satisfied, but hey, MS need our money.
Another 20 years is a long time
Personally, I can see the operating system becoming less important and thus Microsofts power waning. I see the power shifting to digital distribution, digital rights management suppliers, whoever they may be in 20 years time.
You can see it today with Steam today as to where it's going. You now have a choice on what platform (Windows/Mac OS X) the Games in your account run on. The day I can run my Steam catalogue on a Linux or new future open source OS, will be the last day I boot up a Windows machine at home.
Aye matie.... me thinks 1982 MS DOS V1.0 shipping on the IBM PC was a pretty bloody important step. It as the IBM platform was 'open' spec, it was quickly cloned and MS's clever marketing / arm twisting ensured all the clones shipped with DOS. DOS was the clear standard until Win 3 showed up in 1990.
Me thinks they should rename Win 8 to Metro V1.0, then rev it annually until Metro V3 is shipped no one will touch it with a barge pole.
If MS waits three years to ship Win 9 / Metro V2, MS will be toast. The tablet / mobile market is leading the way now (just look at Apple's earnings!) and annual cycles are de rigeuer. so the Steve's had best pick up their pace.
OS isn't what it used to be
Stating the bleeding obvious clearly sometimes is useful, so here goes.
It seems to me that the cloud and web-based apps *are* a game changer that have the potential to make the Operating System much less important than in the past. Microsoft's business model is fundamentally based on leveraging the Windows/Office/VBA eco-system. Consumer use has steadily pulled developers away from that towards the web, and that is starting to filter back to business environments with growing momentum.
If I was in charge of Google, I would be turning google gears/gmail/google docs/g+ etc into a proper platform to rival and exceed office/outlook/exchange/vba. The key here is productivity applications that you don't need to be a rocket scientist to customise for specific business purposes.
My guess as to how revenue from productivity applications will be structured in future is by tying them to carriers. Using the cloud increases your bandwidth requirements, and you pay for that. So I think consumer device speeds are going to be less important (already happening with tablets and smartphones vs laptops) and internet bandwidth more important and you're going to see a redirection of resources (investment and intellectual capital) in this direction. I believe after the dot.com boom there was a perception for a time that bandwidth was in over supply. That is patently untrue now.
Divining the future/Flame Bait.
I am not convinced of the "game changing" nature of cloud computing, OR tablet/cellphone-styled computers will be dominant in the market forever. They are a new and novel technology who's cost is only just now beginning to lower enough for the average curious joe to partake in the feeding frenzy for ipads and smart phones. But novelty has a nasty habit of wearing off. Apple has done a magnificent job in putting the "cool" into their product. That said, rummage through your parent's old photos and then come tell me that nothing dies a more horrible death than last generation's notion of cool.
I predict, rather unpopularly, that this trend will slow down to be more or less equal with desktop sales. I believe this will happen because I suspect portable computing will remain supplementary to the desktop environment in the long term. While this will make stodgey old programs like operating systems LESS relevant, it will not force them out. Cloud computing itself will also only be supplementary to localized storage/processing.
My evidence for that is found in an economy that is faltering, energy prices perpetually going up for the long term forseable future and, even more importantly, security. Sony's experience with PS3 hurt them, and hurt their online platform. This time it was just video games, but the first time a forbe's 500 or a large swath of the population has their tax information stolen from a cloud based program, they'll become smart real quick about localized processing. The market will swing back and we'll see a balancing act between the two forms stabalise. And let's be honest here; the concept of programs as a service, whether that be pay by the hour or a flat rate fee to use, is unproven on a large scale. In an age of a vanishing middle class, I don't necessarily see it being all that popular once people really get smacked with those first few bills and see that it magically now costs them a ton of money to do what they were doing for free after software purchase a year r two ago.
Microsoft is in a very good position to take advantage of this.
Sorry for the wall of text.
Windows 8 won't but Windows 9 might...
Windows 8 is all about tablets - unfortunately tablets are quite ready for windows yet.
Windows ARM tablets will eventually arrive but they will be 1st generation products. Hybrid intel-based systems will take longer still due to battery / power consumption / CPU power issues.
So by the time hardware is ready for Windows 8, it will be time for windows 9.
Windows 8 itself is a "Vista" - lots of new features = lots of teething pains. No doubt these will be resolved by Win9. If the hardware gets there by the same time, there's a good opportunity for MS to secure the crown for another 10 years.