Recent developments around Windows 8, Windows Blue, Windows Phone 8 and Microsoft Office deserve your attention.
3. Windows 8 posts more growth but shows signs of flagging momentum.
Windows 8 has amassed 2.67% of the global market, according to February stats released by Web tracker Net Applications. The new share represents 18% month-over-month growth, which would be encouraging were it not the OS's smallest monthly uptick to date; Windows 8's share jumped 58% from November to December and 31.4% from December to January. It also trails Windows 7's progress through the same period.
On the bright side for Microsoft, Windows 7 and Windows XP still dominate the overall market. Windows 8 has also moved ahead of Mac OS X 10.8, the most popular version of Apple's OS. Windows Blue rumors have continued to heat up, with a new but not particularly revealing screenshot of Microsoft's alleged follow-up to Windows 8 surfacing over the weekend. While details are still scant, Windows Blue could provide Windows 8 the shot in the arm it needs to accelerate its progress.
4. Microsoft continues to build anticipation for new devices and form factors.
When Windows 8 failed to revitalize the PC market over the holidays, Microsoft officials suggested the culprit was a dearth of compelling hardware. This theory should be tested over coming months, as a new slate of touch-friendly Windows 8 devices will be hitting the market soon. Windows Blue is arguably a more significant test, as apps and UI have been a concern as well, but with Microsoft officials suggesting that new Surface devices could be in the pipeline, Richmond will have the chance to set the example of hardware-software cohesion.
New members of the Surface line could include a 7-inch model and a smartphone, but Microsoft is also evidently interested in more extreme form factors. Examples include a refined version of Panasonic's 20-inch, 4K Windows 8 tablet, which was first glimpsed as a prototype at CES, and, eventually, perhaps even wall-sized displays.
5. Microsoft could face stiff fines from the European Union.
According to a Reuters report, Microsoft could face hefty fines from the EU. Related to a decade-old antitrust case, the conflict involves Microsoft's failure to offer European customers a choice of browsers within Windows. A verdict is expected before the end of March.
The issue originally came to light over the summer, and Microsoft has previously blamed a technical glitch for its non-compliance. Given that the EU has fined Redmond more than $2.1 billion to date, however, the forthcoming penalty could be substantial.
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial ServicesIT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
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