Chris J Powell

Death of the Desktop? Looks Like the End is Nigh!

Windows 8 as a platform is struggling trying to find its Identity.  If you look at Microsoft numbers they are saying that it is the most successful version of Windows to date…but they said that about Windows Me and Vista too so I have a tough time buying that.  The move to the Metro Interface was a bold move by the Enterprise Desktop Giant and signaled that they were ready to take on the Post PC Era and go head to head against all comers.

The real question that I have is what will be Microsoft’s next move.  The Surface Tablet has had lackluster uptake, the Windows Phone Platform is not the success that they wanted and across the board PC and Laptop Sales are down globally.

Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q12 (Units)

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Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs, including mini-notebooks but not media tablets such as the iPad. Data is based on the shipments selling into channels.

So with yet another drop in Global PC Sales (with Lenovo and Asus being the only companies of the big 5 seeing any growth…what is going to happen?  Is this a Tablet Revolution…or are we just in a lull in the purchasing of Desktop/Laptops?  The 2012 fourth Quarter results as compared to 2010 are not that bad and when we look to the long term forecast that Gartner Published back in 2008 the reality is, that while it has slowed down somewhat…this was actually forecast as such.

The next iteration of Windows though is designed from the ground up to shed its connection to the Desktop.  Windows Blue (????) what were they thinking?  Well I looked at an early release video published by the Verge and it is what Windows 7 was to Windows Vista (a natural extension of the mistakes that they made in the first release).  But the fact that they are not giving up on Metro but instead moving to a deeper and deeper connection to this Post PC reality is indeed interesting.

So if the fact that OS of choice on more than 90% of all Desktops is moving away from its traditional users in favor of a new reality that has still not really proven itself as a replacement of Content Production and has really only been a Content Consumption platform I think illustrates an interesting future.  Either Microsoft has solved the struggle with usability of an iPad/Tablet/Smartphone to comfortably and easily do the work that we all do on a daily basis with our Desktops and Laptops…or they are just giving up on that market in favor of a new reality that in my opinion is really not well defined.

I have seen numerous reports that the tablet market is really swinging away from the 10″ models that were built around the iPad’s introduction in favor of the smaller and more affordable iPad mini, Kindle Fire etc market place…and I have said that since the very first time I hoisted a Tablet…7″ is the right form factor for a mobile tablet.

What is different about Windows Blue that makes me think that Microsoft is abandoning the 90 Million Units that were sold in Q4 of 2012?  Head over to the Verge and watch the video they produced and look through the Screen shots.  The move to Mobile is front and center for Microsoft…unfortunately…it may just be the demise of Redmond because so far…people are not buying what they are selling.

Cheers,

Chris J Powell

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