Archive for October, 2010

A week ago Microsoft celebrated the first birthday Windows 7’s release. And now Microsoft is working on the next version of Windows, the blog says in Dutch, but it will be about two years before Windows 8 is on the market. If you look at the journey so far – in early 2008, more than a year after Microsoft launched Windows Vista, Windows users had emphatically rejected that upgrade. Fewer than 10 percent of Windows users had switched, and nearly 5 percent of all Windows PCs in use were running Windows versions older than XP. The Windows 7 story is very different.

Windows 8 in 2 years: Is it justified to wait?

One year after the release of Windows 7, it has made a significant dent in the Windows user base, and those diehards holding on to pre-XP versions have mostly surrendered. XP’s share of actual usage has declined more than 20 percent in two years, and that trend is accelerating.

Microsoft managed to sustain an overwhelming competitive advantage, even after a decade’s worth of antitrust action and now the situation is different. The presence of Apple and Google as direct competitors suggests that maybe Microsoft is overdue to take a tumble. Is Apple really making a dent in Microsoft’s long-standing Windows monopoly? A presentation leaked in June says that the next version of Windows will include, among other things, an app store similar to ones offered by Apple and other mobile device makers. Apple announced this week that it will bring an app store to the Mac within 90 days.

The presentation also said that Microsoft wanted to improve startup times and the time it takes to resume from sleep, improve power efficiency, as well as work more closely with computer makers to better differentiate their respective computers. While these are all needed things, it’s going to be a very long two years for Microsoft if it can’t better addresses Apple’s moves in the tablet and notebook models before Windows 8. In such a situation is it justified to wait for two years?