In the war between operating systems Apple’s OS X and Microsoft’s Windows have not only dominated the market but also the discussion. At first glance the numbers seem to overwhelmingly favor Windows. According to netmarketshare 91.38% of computers run some version of windows, 6.51% of computer run some version of Apple’s OS X, and all other operating systems combined account for 2.11%. Once the numbers are examined closer however we see a disturbing trend for Microsoft: 38.99% of PC’s run XP - an influence of enterprise computers (corporate owned computers), often inflexible when it comes to both software and hardware upgrades. Another 44.55% of PCs run Windows 7, representing a mixture of personal computers and enterprise upgrades. Lastly Windows 8 is only on 2.67% of computers.
Windows 8 not only is present on less computers than Apple’s OS X but worse is heavily ignored by the core business of Microsoft: corporate purchasers. What is wrong with Windows 8? Absolutely nothing is wrong with Windows 8 other than the total lack of innovation. There is not a single feature in Windows 8 that OS X did not have a decade ago! Additionally Windows 8 has been deployed in both tablets and PCs but it is designed to be touch centered - favoring tablets vs PCs! What is wrong with this approach? A serious market issue is presented here. Microsoft so far in 2013 (according to CNNMoney) only captures 1.7% of the tablet market, with Apple and Android dominating this growing segment. In fact more tablets are sold than combined desktop, laptop, and netbook PCs!
Microsoft is hedging a losing bet here. While Windows 8 might be their best operating system it provides not a single feature that does not exist in other operating systems and worse it is not intuitive! It would take even the advanced user some time and dependency on a several hundred page manual to do even basic computing tasks. The learning curve is not as steep in touch devices but it can be very frustrating for desktop and laptop users.
Microsoft is coming to the game late and while copying Apple in integrating their newest operating system for all Windows devices, to include tablets and phones fails to do it with the simplicity one observes when using an Android or Apple device. Microsoft is indeed fighting an uphill battle and their dominance is not only eroding but also is non-existent in the newer and more popular devices such as tablets and phones.
When looking at the most lucrative and still growing phone market the news are dire for Microsoft. According to netmarketshare Windows only occupies 1.24% of the market with Apple and Android dominating the market with 54.91% and 25.65% market share respectively. The odds are against the software giant. The late Steve Jobs once said that the biggest problem for Microsoft is their lack of innovation. His statement seems to be more true today than in any other time in the past.
It is without doubt that Windows 8 faces at best an uphill battle that indicates that Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer is missing the mark in virtually everything since he took office. Unlike the time that Bill Gates was in charge of Microsoft it is not only innovation that is lacking at Microsoft but also marketing savvy. It is not the best product that wins in the and - but the best product that is paired with the best marketing strategy. Windows 8 while a very good product is neither the best product nor the best marketed one. Both Apple and Android have loyal followers and have very successfully defined their brands based on innovation and marketing.
Windows 8 is poised to fail, Microsoft has failed to capture the public’s interest or imagination. According to Computerworld Windows 8 acceptance is still low, most experts predict the ultimate failure of Windows 8 because there is nothing that it offers that its dominant competitors have not been offering for some time now.