Beyond Windows 8.1


So now that Microsoft has released an update to its flagship desktop operating system, Windows 8.1, what’s next? The rumours are already flying about what is being coined ‘Windows 9’.

Some people, like in this article, seem to believe that it will be coming sooner rather than later:

Other pundits believe we won’t see a new version until April 2015:

Obviously the truth will lie somewhere in between.

What shouldn’t be forgotten in all of this is the that the desktop is become less relevant as the world moves increasingly to a mobile world. The challenge for Microsoft is to continue to remain relevant in this new sphere and most importantly, remain profitable.

The general consensus seems to be that Windows 8 has failed to hit the mark with users and in this hyperactive news world it has been swooped upon and branded as a failure. This perception only seems to get accelerated by the online world in which we live, irrespective of whether it is right or wrong.

You need to applaud Microsoft for trying to achieve the lofty goals it was with Windows 8. You also have to ask why there are not more touch enabled devices (laptops and screens) available for Windows 8 to take advantage of. Even if Microsoft had been too advanced with what it developed in Windows 8 it is far better to try and fail than to not try at all. If the shoe was on the other foot and Microsoft has just produced something that looked like Windows 7 many would have lambasted that as failure as well.

Clearly, Microsoft can’t win no matter what it does. When it comes to pushing the envelope with software it relies on hardware partners to create hardware devices that take advantage of all the features. You also need to appreciate that Microsoft has a huge base of legacy software that for most people is more than they will ever need. In that case, what does Microsoft do to move them to the latest offerings while ensuring in maintains revenue for future viability.

In all of this it is important to separate fact from fiction. Yes Windows 9 is coming but a long way off and Windows 8 is not nearly as bad as people tend to make it out to be.