Microsoft Demise Exaggerated But Can Windows 8 Cut It?

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A week after Microsoft’s new OS for all sees the light of day, analysts have weighed in to the debate of whether Windows 8 will make it.

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The touch system, hailed by Microsoft as ‘the biggest change to the Windows interface since Windows 95, which will run on all PCs including tabs, was showcased on a range of different chips systems at Computex including ARM, although it left some in doubt over the viability of the touch based OS following the demo.

W8, using modern shell (MoSH), and which borrows heavily from Window Phone 7 tile based OS for smartphones, allows use of  keyboard and mouse to interact with the system in the same way they might with a tablet, making it a touch heavy system for PC, a first for Windows.

“Every program, everything that runs on Windows 7, every device that you can plug into that, will just run [on Windows 8]” according to Steve Sinofsky, head Windows Live division.

However, analysts Ovum believes Windows 8 is still in with a chance as although tablets are growing popular, business users in particular have not yet ditched the PC, so this hybrid OS could be a smart move by Steve Ballmer’s company.
 
“Tablet devices, such as the Apple iPad, the Motorola Xoom and RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook, are offering users an alternative computing ‘lifestyle’…but most business users of these new tablet devices have not yet ditched their desktop or laptops PCs,” Ovum believes.

Tabs have taken the role of “a convenient and more usable extension to their primary computer while on the move or away from their desk” but are yet to kill off the PC completely.

 

And if it takes off W8 could do the business among millions of MS Office users by providing the ability to run the productivity tools on tabs as well as PCs, giving it an advantage over the likes of Google Docs looking to replicate its success among commercial users.

It may “provide business users and ‘content creators’ with a tablet-sized device that has a full touch-based user interface, an ability to run standard Windows productivity tools and business applications.”

However, Microsoft’s work is far from over and will be depending on hardware and software developers to match with good designs.

And reports from last week’s Computex and AllThingsD indicate the Washington based software giant is paying far more attention to the hardware this time round, and providing far more guidance to hardware manufacturers like offering recommendations for how large to make the bezels on tablet computers to ensure that they’re comfortable to hold.
 
Ovum “believes that Microsoft is still a viable market-maker, and that reports of its imminent demise are somewhat over exaggerated.”

However, the software giant “must bring its innovations to market in a more complete and marketable manner than has been the case to date,” it warns.

 

And Microsoft agrees. “We’re not out of the game.” We aren’t there yet, But we’ll just keep trying,” declared Sinofsky last week.
 

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