Is Windows 8 The End Of Windows Or The Beginning Of A Resurgence?

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Microsoft is getting ready to launch a full on assault with the new operating system Windows 8. However, unlike most launches, this time it’s not just the PC getting the upgrade. The question on everyone’s mind is, is this the beginning of a Windows (Microsoft) resurgence?

There’s been some recent comments from the Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff that Windows 8 is the end of Windows and that Windows is irrelevant?

I’ve been a Windows user since 3.1 and have used every iteration since then. I for one, disagree with Marc Benioff because we’ve never seen such a big co-ordinated push by Microsoft and it’s partners like we’re about to see.

I still remember sitting down and learning how to navigate and get my Windows 3.1 PC to do things that used to be so mundane, but now were so exciting.

Can you remember when Microsoft bought out Windows 95? It was simply awesome.

What’s more, the daily use of Microsoft Office (both at work and at home) played a big part in my love for all things Microsoft.

Apple made a dent – but can it last?

Times have changed however, and my technophile bent has forced my love for Microsoft to be bastardised;

  • It started with my Creative Zen player being replaced by my iPod.
  • My normal Nokia mobile phone replaced by a Blackberry which was hastily discarded and replaced with an iPhone.
  • The iPad – the biggest game changer in recent history came along and was a ‘must have’ device.

So over recent years, my Microsoft products and toys have slowly been infiltrated by Apple products.

The adoption of Apple products allowed me to become more familiar with their software and usability. So much so, last year I went out and bought a MacBook Pro 15“.

Unfortunately for Apple, this is where things take a turn for the worse.

If you’re like me, you were probably a little persuaded by the I’m a Mac and I’m a PC commercials. Especially the phrase ‘It Just Works‘.

Like any good marketing campaign, your promise is only good if your experience matches the promise.

On this occasion, it failed miserably.

I bought my new MacBook home and started it up. Within the hour I saw the spinning colour wheel stuck on my screen and the MacBook was frozen. After 10 minutes I rebooted. This happened 5 more times on the first day!

Early the next morning I phoned the Apple store to tell them what had happened. They made me disable the security setting which forces you to log back on after inactivity or closing the lid.

ERM WHAT? What if I lose my MacBook at a clients office – someone can jump straight on and immediately has access to all my dropbox files – EVERYTHING?

And that was where I became disenchanted with Apple. Their marketing message wasn’t true to the experience. It tainted everything.

I now started to notice every little thing that didn’t ‘Just Work’.

  • Like the iCloud. I’ve had countless problems syncing between devices and users globally have experienced missing emails because of outages.
  • Have you tried using Apple Maps?
  • Then Samsung comes along and declares there’s nothing new on the iPhone – they’ve had it all along. “The next big thing is already here“. Samsung picks a fight with Apple in the same way Apple did to Microsoft 5 years ago – and makes a compelling argument for its device.
  • Finally my iPhone and iPad keep randomly resetting my email settings. It would be slightly annoying if a user has 1 email address. Unfortunately, I have over 15 across 3 different companies and my personal emails so restoring their settings is painful – to the point where I no longer use these devices for email.
So after all this frustration trying to get Apple devices to do what they’re supposed to do, I had a good think about switching to 100% Microsoft platforms or moving to Android. While in the phone game the SIII looks appealing, it’s still a disjointed peripheral which might not cut it.

Enough is Enough

Microsoft is about to launch it’s biggest technological advancement  since Windows 95.

The engineering behind Windows 8 is simply stunning – and as a software engineer I feel like a little girl squealing with excitement over some of the features.

What’s more is the new phones rolling out based around Windows 8 are simply stunning. Take a look at the Nokia Lumia 920 which has been built specifically with Windows 8 in mind (and happens to be my personal choice and will be added to my collection as soon as it’s available).

And in the tablet space – the new Microsoft Surface is inspiring and looks to make the iPad look more like a Gameboy in comparison.

The fact that Office is about to be relaunched and will move a lot of users to the cloud in 2013 is also a big plus.

This is Microsoft’s big opportunity to impress us

This is Microsoft’s big chance to appeal to the consumers it lost while it wandered in the wilderness blending in and falling behind the competition.

Big business love Microsoft (or at least see Microsoft as a necessary evil) and is entrenched in it’s use. With the release of Surface, many professionals will love the simple integration and the power that comes with it. From a security standpoint it should also be a robust solution.

There are many users (just like me), just wishing things would be easier and work better. This one big push could start to put Microsoft back in the ‘leader and innovator’ chair once again.

2 comments
David Shepherd
David Shepherd

Hi Steve, I actually agree with Marc & think Windows 8 will be the downfall of Microsoft. I have a feeling that it might be one of the Windows Vista moments. Oh cool, Windows Vista... Oh, woops, I installed it - bugger, ill go back to windows XP. I have owned a windows phone, I was one of the early adopters of the first generation & it was the most painful 2 years of my life. The operating system was ok, but the support & the features of the phone were worst than horrible. Because they aren't mainstream, there are 0 working apps for the phone & the homepage tiles are now scared in my memory.... The unfortunate part about this is the otherside of the coin, would I change to apple? Hell no! There are so many functions that come with a PC computer that I simply couldn't live without. Its almost coming to the lesser of two evils, which is the least bad? With Apple's record of success without Steve Jobs is also another point to consider, this is all a bit speculative, but he was the main driving force for their innovation and change. So who is going to fill the market? Samsung should move into software!