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Microsoft's Windows Strategy: A New Hope
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anon5351707475
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anon5351707475,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/28/2014 | 12:31:18 PM
Re: Not just for touch.
Really sick of this, tired of hearing that. What's next...tell those darn kids to get off your lawn!
ricegf
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ricegf,
User Rank: Guru
2/28/2014 | 12:12:40 PM
Re: The Elephant in Microsoft's Living Room
Yes, you're exactly right - with 81% of the worldwide smartphone market, Android is looking suspiciously like a monopoly-in-waiting on its own. I'm not really a proponent of Windows as a reaction, though - they already had a desktop monopoly, and that didn't end well.

Fortunately, we have several recent Linux-based challengers from which to choose - Firefox OS is shipping from several vendors on low-end phones, Jolla (the guys who bolted from Nokia when they switched to Windows) just began shipping a well-received mid-range smartphone from Finland colloquially known as The Other Half (cool hardware!), Canonical just announced two Ubuntu-based phones that will ship late this year, and Samsung has announced an actual Tizen-based phone and smartwatch after several delays.

If you're concerned about Android becoming a monopoly, I'd suggest supporting one of these products - but the price is that none of them are yet as polished as Android or iOS.

Personally I'm fond of Ubuntu, as they have a cleaner convergence story that anyone else I've seen. YMMV, of course - but if you're concerned about Google's growing market dominance, do consider voting with your dollars for ABA (anyone but Android).  ;-)
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2014 | 11:27:07 AM
Re: The Elephant in Microsoft's Living Room
Competition restored?  Maybe.  We might just be witnessing a passing of the torch to a new monopoly.
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2014 | 11:24:31 AM
Re: Not just for touch.
I agree.  Every time Microsoft has ever changed something they alienate some/most/all existing customers.  I'm certainly not dismissing the idea that improvements to Win8's non-touch UI aren't needed or welcome  I'm just agreeing that any change always generates a certain amount of hate and that it's way past being thoroughly debated.
ricegf
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ricegf,
User Rank: Guru
2/28/2014 | 11:03:20 AM
The Elephant in Microsoft's Living Room
The elephant in the room, not mentioned in this enthusiastically optimistic story, is Microsoft / Nokia's introduction this week of 3 new Android phones. While the announcers tried to put on a brave front as to how this would "drive more volume to Microsoft services", it's pretty much an admission that they need Android to compete in the high-growth emerging market segments - in effect, the (very nice) Windows-based economy phones just aren't cutting it.

This is further evidenced by the actual market research, which shows that while Windows smartphones show promising growth rates as a percentage of market percentage (!), both Android and Apple sold a lot more additional phones than Microsoft / Nokia (the article hints at this quite gently). In effect, the math tricks hide the actual dismal state of Windows mobile product sales, to which the slow growth of the Windows application store attests.

And then there's Chrome OS's incredible surge in the 4th quarter (as every major laptop vendor introduced new Chromebook models), and utter domination of such bellweathers as the Amazon laptop bestseller list (4 of 5 are now Chromebooks, not Windows 8 laptops). This only adds to Windows 8's dismal failure in the desktop and laptop market. As XP's long delayed demise finally arrives only 5 weeks hence, XP still has a far larger installed base than 8.

Microsoft almost certainly has several more years of locked-in rich corporate "software assurance" revenues on which to subsist, not to mention their patent fees extracted from Android vendors under threat of massive legal action, which to date has kept their balance sheet looking healthy. Unfortunately, BYOD threatens to tip even corporate income into a death spiral, as when people bring their own devices to work, they tend to buy what they use at home, where Android and Apple reign and Chrome OS shines - which may leave Microsoft as a mere patent licensing and litigation shell of its former self in a few years.

The monopoly has clearly cracked, and competition has returned to computing. Finally.
mikemuch
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mikemuch,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/28/2014 | 9:27:38 AM
Not just for touch.
Really sick of hearing this stuff about Windows 8/8.1 being only for touch devices. I've been using it on a desktop with mouse and keyboard and find it smooth and quick. After learning just a couple new habits, I feel like I can get around the OS faster than in legacy Windows OSes. Also sick of hearing the lamentation over the loss of the start button. The Start screen is just a full screen start button! With a little experience and setup, you can actually get to what you want--new or old-style app--faster with it. Just as with the old start button, just start typing to show the program you want. Or just put tiles for programs you use all the time in easy click reach.

Another thing I'm tired of hearing is that no one wants a touch-screen on a desktop or laptop. I just visited an older friend who got a new touch-screen Windows 8.1 laptop, and he very much likes the ability to just poke the item on the screen to start it.
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