Of late, some have been discussing the almost unthinkable and that’s the demise of Windows. Windows, the flagship OS that has been practically (in usable form) with us since 1995 might be showing signs it is on its final legs. Its not something that would happen overnight but with time, viability would transfer elsewhere.
The Rise of Android
Android has become a force du jour. Computers based on Chrome or Android are making a big splash. They are inexpensive and there are a ton of applications for them. In fact, all the Microsoft applications run on Android.
Chrome-books are popping up everywhere. They are showing up in schools in significant numbers simply that they are an inexpensive resource that supplies students with a firm footing in computing technology and has the apps to go with it.
This is very significant. Windows seems to labour to get quality apps of late. At one time, if you wanted apps you went to Windows. No more. In fact, when you check out the Windows store it is amazingly boring.
The Mac’s Rise from near Obscurity
The Mac was a major product as we turned the corner into the 90’s. However, by the end of the 90’s the company was almost bankrupt. John Sculley, the man responsible for the decline, had been removed and Steve Job’s was off doing his own thing at NeXT Computing. However, Apple had the foresight to get him to return and he basically turned the company around.
Apple became known for quality; if you want to make a statement through design you get a Mac. Jobs quickly engineered the iMac as a colourful but easy to use computer. He introduced the famous iPod which was superseded by the iPhone.
Today, unlike the 90s, the Mac has a slew of software and exciting software at that. There was a time when you had to turn to Windows to provide a complete solution. This is no longer the case. The software on the Mac is considered to be the best quality. Android is catching up on this front but still lags. Although Android has numerous apps, the quality is only starting to show itself. In fact, many quality Android apps are ports from the Mac.
The Mac’s app stores and I do say stores are far from boring. There is a slew of useful, high quality products to choose from many of which are touting multi-platform (IOS/OSX) and cross platform (OSX/IOS/Android). Some of these apps even see there way to Windows making for a powerful cross platform environment.
Windows does not enjoy the wealth of software found on the Mac. If you want a quality, well designed device you get it from Apple and no longer Microsoft. Windows is all about software and it lacks now on that front. With good software available on the Mac and Android, where does that leave Windows.
Windows is simply no longer the place where cool and useful software is introduced. The tables have turned so much, it now puts in question Windows 10.
Satya Nadella is focusing Microsoft in an Entirely New Direction
Sataya Nadella was brought in to shake things up at Microsoft. Steve Ballmer, who was a salesman, was head of Microsoft for thirteen years and in those years he almost ruined the company. Microsoft’s saving grace was its vast store of cash.
Ballmer had introduced Windows 10, which is considered a good operating system but does it compare to the Mac’s OSX or IOS. It’s generally not considered as good although they were able to pull off the one software platform runs on all devices. Still, this is not considered good enough.
Nadella had a different vision for Microsoft. In Nadella’s world, Microsoft would be leader in cloud computing and thaAZt’s exactly what’s happened. Windows is not considered integral to Microsoft’s success. So, Nadella set out to port all Microsoft software to alternate platforms, primarily Android and the Mac.
Microsoft Office 365
Microsoft Office 365 has become a household world. No longer is Windows the it! Rather, cloud computing is where it’s at for Microsoft and they have harnessed a winning horse. You can buy personal, small business and Enterprise 365 and in all cases for a good value. Office 365 Personal gives you 1 terabyte of cloud storage, an array of Microsoft Office solutions plus other software all deemed worthy and for $69. To add some perspective to this, Dropbox costs about $120 for a terabyte of cloud computing and that’s what you get.
Office 365 also has a student version that is priced very aggressively. It has been a success but to pull this off the product has to work everywhere. Windows 10 is shaky but the whole Windows mobile effort, for all intents and purpose, is dead. So Nadella ensured that Office 365 runs on the Mac, Android and Windows identically. If you’re a Mac person, you don’t even give it two thoughts if you’re buying 365. It simply just works.
Office 365 Business
Office 365 small business allows a small business to deploy enterprise level tools. Further, this is all outsourced to Microsoft and the management of the system is done by Microsoft. Everyone has access to all the tools that allow team computing at a variety of levels all in a cost effective manner. As such, teams can operate effectively with a gamut of tools whether the business is small or large.
At one time, it would have been cost prohibitive for a company to operate like this due to the resources they would have had to deploy, support and train on. Such is not the case with Office 365.
Office 365 has been Extremely Successful
Office 365 has surprised many by just simply how successful it has been. Growth of the service has made Office 365 its core strategic product. When one considers this, it is easy to recognize how Windows role has changed and changed dramatically. In fact, if Microsoft were to approach this whole business as a Windows underpinning business, they would have not had nearly the success they’ve enjoyed.
Microsoft has become the #1 vendor in cloud computing. They have pulled this off with q solid product offering, priced aggressively and fully open running on all the major platforms. People can work together and use their platform of choice.
Windows has a Role to Play but a Diminished One at Best
Windows is important to Microsoft to provide end to end computing using the cloud. However, it is not that important that it is Windows at the end but that it is Microsoft doing the heavy lifting. By playing in a fully open systems environment and laden with excellent software, they can deliver their services to anyone regardless of device that is being used.
At the heart of the solution is Microsoft and whether it is Microsoft providing the end or terminal points it doesn’t matter. Through strategic use of first class hardware, robust software, an open systems and unbiased approach to computing and aggressively priced services with the talent to back it up, they have moved themselves into an enviable position.
It remains important to provide a robust Windows simply to provide full scale capability end to end but it doesn’t matter the way it once did. There is a significant revenue shift here for Microsoft. Windows no longer needs to be the bread and butter of the company. In fact, one might wonder if Microsoft even wants to play the end role, something they have lost in anyway. The future is in cloud computing and Microsoft is fully positioned to provide top notch capabilities in this environment.