Microsoft has been ruling the global computer OS (Operating System) market for the past couple of decades. Whatever be their business strategy, people have grown to like and depend on various Windows OS computers. Even after the release of Windows Vista and Windows 7, there are probably millions of computers still running on Windows XP! The reluctance to use cheaper and more frequently updated OS alternatives like Linux and Mac OS X is mainly due to the fact that we are familiar with the interface that Windows offers. Again, most software programs and hardware drivers are built for Windows primarily. These and several other factors have made Microsoft Windows synonymous with personal computing.
In recent years, iPads and other Tablet PCs have gained a lot of ground despite the dominance of PCs running Windows. In order to expand its influence into the Tablet PC market, Microsoft has created multiple Windows Mobile versions and has also announced the launch of its own Tablet PC (within 7 days! ) to challenge Apple, Google and other mobile PC OS manufacturers. With Windows 8 comes an interface that can be used across the entire range of computers, from desktop PCs to tablet PCs and mobile phones. In order to have multiple device support, Windows 8 is designed to run on cloud servers, just like Apple’s iCloud. The versatility of Windows 8 might however be countered by its own resource usage efficiency and user friendliness.
Windows 8 can be used on computers with mice, touchpads, keyboards, touchscreens and even a stylus! While having the same OS for all your computing devices sounds amazing, would it not be superfluous to have the software support for touchscreens on your desktop PC? How could you possibly find the “windows” specific features like select, resize, move etc. equally handy on touchscreen computers as well as those using conventional mice?
In addition to the bulk resulting from its versatility, Windows 8 has brought with it a reorganization of the navigation. Moreover, driver support for old hardware devices, having hardware that can maximize the user experience offered by the OS and the ability to run Windows 8 on low end PCs with 1 GB RAM and <512 MB Graphics Cards might become roadblocks in its popular adoption, much like the case was with Windows Vista.
Leaving aside the technical challenges, it might be a major issue for Microsoft to motivate the less tech-savvy people to learn to use the new features of Windows 8, amazing as they might be. When you are using your PC solely for web-browsing and word-processing like most computer users, is it really worth the money and effort to try Windows 8? Windows Vista had a similar problem, with several revolutionary features not present in earlier Windows editions, though Windows 8 is expected to have far fewer technical bugs. These factors might even make several former Windows loyalists switch over to Mac, Linux or one of the mobile OSes like Android or iOS.
I’m a Generalist Researcher working on a Theory of Reality, Horticulturist, Blogger, Natural Systems Analyst and Amateur Architect