Considering the buzz regarding Windows 8 operating system’s release, many PC and mobile users are confused. They just upgraded from Win7 or even XP, and they are concerned about another operating system upgrade so soon: Is it worth the cost and the hassle? Windows 8 OS is different enough from Win 7, whether used in a stationary device or a mobile device, that learning curves are needed, and users are frustrated with the inherent frustration of ridding themselves of old habits. As mobile technology expands and improves, some experts whisper that developing new PC operating systems merely toss money to the wind, as they believe mobile computing will put paid to stationary computing in just a few years.
Manufacturers can attempt to steer trends, but it’s the consumer who has the final say, and their voices are ringing cash registers daily – away from PCs and toward mobile computers, such as laptops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones.
Microsoft, owner of the Windows OS platforms, has attempted to insert itself in the mobile handset universe with mobile OS platforms. They formed a partnership with Nokia last year as their flagship provider of Win mobile devices. Nokia did benefit from this association as they steered away from their own Symbian operating system that was loosing users to Android right and left. However, Nokia has, according to industry rumors, begun fading from Win 7 mobile OS and toward Android, the leading mobile OS platform today.
In August of last year, Steve Jobs announced his prediction of the death of desktop computers. Hewlett Packard announced shortly thereafter their cessation of PC model development.
Apple introduced the iPad tablet in 2010. They weren’t the first developer, however. Microsoft presented the first commercial tablet in 2002. It was bigger, bulkier and heavier than current models. The world, however, wasn’t ready for mobile computing. The world was just fully awaking to a computer’s potential and convenience. Consumers weren’t quite ready to switch from solid desktop computing to mobile computing. Microsoft’s timing was off by eight years.
It’s long been known that Microsoft’s desktop computer sales has been salvaged by business use. However, even businesses have been trending toward mobile computers. Many more industries and organizations opt for laptops at work, replacing the space-hungry desktop computing devices. Thinner monitors are the rave over the bulkier and heavier “standard” monitors.
Microsoft has attempted to reclaim the computer software leadership position with continuation of their free OS licensing with computer manufacturers: There are more computers sold with a Windows operating system than with any other OS in the world. However, the worldwide trend toward mobile devices may leave Microsoft in third place, just as it is in mobile device operating system theaters.
Microsoft’s invention of the Xbox with storage, music and gaming capabilities has inserted some much-needed revenue into a looser computing environment. Bluetooth technology has aided their cause as well, enabling synchronization to computers and TV sets. Limited computer-oriented functions often enjoyed via PC and mobile device platforms is now possible as well.
Why Windows 8 OS Platforms?
With all that handwriting on the wall, all inferring PC computing is a dying breed, why would Microsoft continue to develop a PC operating system?
Because until the entire world is comfortable with mobile computing, there will still be a place in the computing universe for devices that can rest on top of a desk, regardless of its external dimensions.
Microsoft is still finding its mobile legs, and they have much ground to cover, but MS has several more years in a PC environment to fully adapt to mobile technology, including smartphones and tablets alike.
by Jaye Ryan, a freelance author who loves to write about mobile computing technology for MobilePhones.org.uk.