Windows 8 launched: the PC has evolved

Microsoft has launched Windows 8, a new version of the world's most popular operating system.

Windows 8 is an evolutionary leap forward in computing. It's revolutionary. The PC has evolved. Windows 8 is much faster, much more convenient and designed to work on any form of device, from mobiles or tablets to desktop PCs. The launch of a new version of Windows is always a big deal. That is more true with Win 8 than ever before. 

The new OS is being promoted by arguably Microsoft's best ever ad campaign (historically Microsoft has consistently failed to market its products and services as well as deserved). I only wish the fun and trendy new adverts would point out some of the actual key selling-points and reasons to upgrade -- like speed (super-fast boot, 1 second WiFi reconnect compared to 15 seconds in Windows 7, etc, etc).

Nevertheless, many commentators have over-stated the importance of Windows 8 to Microsoft. The reality is, it's a necessary step, but that is all. Remember, Vista was a flop, but after that Windows 7 went on to become the fastest-selling OS of all time. Not ever new OS version has to be a big hit. If you look under the hood, Windows 8 is not so different from traditional Windows, despite the radically new UI. The "Metro" UI is only skin-deep, underneath which is a fundamentally similar yet much improved OS which can easily evolve again and perhaps even take on a radically new UI in the future. Windows will always be a victim of its own success. A Windows XP PC from a decade ago is still as useful now as it was then, so there's no pressing need to upgrade.

Microsoft becoming a hardware company

Experts have noted Microsoft's metamorphosis into a hardware company as well as a software company. This means there are lots more gadgets coming soon!

Microsoft has been undergoing transformational changes over the past half decade or so. The company has responded to the most common criticisms in the process, leaving die-hard critics with nothing but historical ammunition. And it's working. Microsoft as a business is nor more modern, exciting and diverse than it ever has been before. Microsoft has changed, undergoing a remarkable Renascence, and they've already had some exceptional successes along the way.

Microsoft's hardware strategy looks promising -- Xbox is a pioneering and highly-successful entertainment platform. Surface and its accessories are superb and innovative pieces of next gen hardware -- the PC truly has evolved.

29 October 2012

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