Microsoft will need to police OEM’s when Windows 8 is released

With the (hopefully) launch of Windows 8 next year, we are going to see a plethora of Windows 8 devices coming to us from a bunch of different vendors.

We’ll be getting Windows 8 tablets, Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 desktops. The vendors will be big names like Acer, Dell, Samsung and all the usual cast of characters we have come to know and love.

I’ll make you a prediction now – inevitably, there will be stories of Windows 8 running slow and people will take that ball and run with it. Upon further investigation, we’ll find out that it wasn’t really Windows 8 but it was the vendors hardware.

While Apple completely control and dominate their supply chain, Microsoft work as a pure software company and license their software out to different companies for resale.

Apple’s advantage is that because they build their own stuff as well as make their own software, every time you see a Mac or and Iphone, it is running the way the vendor wants it to run and the way they want it to run for you.

There’s only one type of Apple Mac or Apple Ipad you can buy right now – one’s made by Apple.

Microsoft has a different and relatively loose distribution model with OEM’s regarding the building and licensing of Microsoft software. By relatively loose, I mean that the emphasis has been on making sure that the right license is applied to the right computer and the end user has a proper licensed Windows PC.

What that means is, when you buy a Windows PC from Dell and one from Asus, the performance may vary massively with the very same version of Windows installed on both PCs. The consumer who gets the slower computer typically blames Microsoft and Windows when things are slow.

Most computers don’t understand that it may be the vendor’s fault and Windows may be fine.

I think for Windows 8, Microsoft needs to go a step further.

Since they don’t make all the hardware that will be released during the initial rollout of Windows 8, they need to influence vendors to make Windows 8 really shine on their debut hardware.

In order to make this rollout super successful, I believe that Microsoft should be firmer with OEM’s than they have been in the past. Large OEM’s should be encouraged to make sure that Windows 8 runs on superior hardware at least for the first 6 months of the rollout.

People need to trust the software and the message cannot afford to be muddled in any way because of slower hardware that some vendor is rolling out. This is not just CPU’s I am talking about but hard drive space and performance, graphic card drivers and capabilities etc.

This will be especially important for Windows 8 tablets as they go on the market. The consumer will punish a slow Windows 8 tablet and OEM’s need to load those initial tablets with lots of RAM and superior graphics capabilities.

I know that Microsoft are doing their best to make sure that Windows 8 is able to run on Windows 7 requirements and I’m sure that give or take that will be true. However, there will be a lot of pressure on Windows 8 devices to be slick and glitch free for the first few months.

We need OEM’s to make sure they don’t screw up perception.

What do you guys think?

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