Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 19th Apr 2013 09:31 UTC
Windows "Many PC OEMs are dissatisfied with what Microsoft has done with Windows 8 and the way the company has handled the negative response to the operating system. Privately, one OEM source told me that Microsoft is 'destroying' the PC industry, while another claimed that Windows 8 has 'handed over millions of customers to Apple'. Other OEMs are making their displeasure known publicly. Both Lenovo and Samsung have released Start button replacements for Windows 8." Windows Phone isn't the only thing not catching on. I'm really happy with my Surface RT - warts and all - but there's no denying the response to Windows 8 has been Vista-esque bad.
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RE[3]: Definitely related
by hhas on Fri 19th Apr 2013 23:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Definitely related"
hhas
Member since:
2006-11-28

Microsoft needs to decide if desktop is still the most important business for them or if mobile is. If its desktop then deliver for desktop else you fail like on mobile.


That's an easy one: it's mobile. Desktop is a completely mature market with no more potential for growth but lots of potential for shrinkage as mobile platforms increasingly handle average users' daily wants and needs.

Those users used to buy desktops not because they were the best tool for the job but because they were the only one available. That is no longer the case. A household that might've owned two PCs might now own one PC and a couple Android devices. And instead of buying a new PC every couple years to stay fashionable they buy new Androids every year and only replace the PC when it finally gives out after 4 or 5 years. Furthermore, the more popular Android becomes the more motivation there is to expand into additional areas that were once the sole dominion of PCs.

Figuring how all this impacts PC sales is simple math. Microsoft failed to get a completely new mobile platform (e.g. Courier) to market before Android ensconced itself as The Official Mobile Platform for Windows Users. That's their fault for being complacent after living on top for so long, spending all their time fighting internal threats instead of external ones. Even with the writing on the larger wall, I wouldn't be surprised if the old internal power structures are still fighting to hold control - it'd certainly explain why they're still not getting their act together on Metro.

Because MS missed the boat for building a new mobile users base from scratch, its task now must be to translate its existing Windows user base into its new mobile user base** before those customers leak away to Android instead. Not because it's their best option, but because it's now the only viable option they have left.

The approach that longtime Windows geeks would have MS take - keeping traditional Windows forever as-is - would guarantee MS a very long, slow future slide into niche vendor status. But Microsoft is a business, not a product, and can't afford to be sentimental as users can. So Windows users can howl and cry all they like, but at a very fundamental level MS understand it's better to sacrifice the product to save the company than lose the company just to save the product.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Definitely related
by hhas on Sat 20th Apr 2013 00:00 in reply to "RE[3]: Definitely related"
hhas Member since:
2006-11-28

FWIW, I think there's a useful lesson in all this:

- As long-time PC underdog, Apple boldly and deliberately burned the established desktop platform (which it had already lost) in order to drive growth in its new mobile user base (where it stood a good chance of winning big). While iOS may not have captured the monopoly Apple might've liked thanks to Android doing a bit of a Win95 on them, they're still in a far stronger position than they were before.

- As established PC top-dog, Microsoft sat on their laurels for years, willfully suppressing any internal disruption or change even after the writing was on the wall. As a result, they're now left with no other choice than to cannibalize their existing PC platform and users in the hope they can build their new mobile base faster than Android can steal away their existing desktop users. This is not to say they can't do it, but it's riskier and definitely a lot more painful for everyone.

- As established mobile top-dog, Nokia also burned its existing aged platform once they saw the writing on the wall - but made the awful amateur error of doing this before its new platform was ready for sale (see: Osborne Effect). That made its existing users jump to competitors when they should've jumped to its new platform instead.

Assessment? Fortune favors the canny-planning forward thinker who is not afraid to disrupt themselves before somebody else does. Maybe the likes of FOSS/Linux could learn from this too.

Reply Parent Score: 2