Ben Bajarin is the Director of Consumer Technology Analysis and Research at Creative Strategies, Inc, a technology industry analysis and market intelligence firm located in Silicon Valley.
Earlier in the week Microsoft gave the world a more in-depth preview of their next operating system at their developer conference called BUILD. Many in the industry had their eyes and ears closely tuned to what Microsoft would unveil at this year’s conference. The reason for this is because many know that Microsoft needs a breakthrough OS release.
(MORE: Windows 8: The PC Goes Post-PC)
The technology industry is moving incredibly fast. Microsoft historically does not move that fast, and if Microsoft doesn’t have a hit with its next major OS release, my concern is that the market could pass them by.
As I look at what is being shown and the emphasis that Microsoft is putting on developers to re-write or write new apps for the Metro UI aspect of Windows, it makes me think that Microsoft is trying to start over with Windows 8.
In fact, this is exactly what I think they need to do. Start over fresh and re-build Windows from the ground up for the next 10+ years. And with the cloud being where most of the apps will reside, there is no better time than the present to take this radical step. I also believe they should consider not even calling it Windows 8 but something entirely new.
Microsoft needs a ground-breaking release. Something consumers can get excited about and, more importantly, something their hardware partners can grab onto and exploit for everyone’s benefit. The success of Windows 8 is not only important for Microsoft but it is also important for the entire tech industry. Microsoft has a large number of partners in the tech eco-sphere; many companies depend on Microsoft to take them into the future.
This is especially true with the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who make personal computers. Everyone outside of Apple who makes personal computers ships Windows. They literally have no other reasonable option.
Many of these partners also make things like tablets, and some also make smartphones. To date they have leaned on Google’s Android to provide the OS layer of their hardware.
I know that many of these same companies would love for Microsoft to have a hit with Windows 8 so they can also support them with a tablet and possibly a smartphone as well. I hear over and over again that device makers would love to have an alternative to Android.
(PHOTOS: The First Windows 8 Tablet)
Microsoft will hopefully now deliver their partners a serious alternative with Windows 8. The goal and approach with Windows 8 to unify an OS across PCs, tablets and most likely phones is a very risky play. However it could be one that will pay off in droves if they do it right.
article continues on the next page…