Windows 8 – Can it Fail? Will it Fail?

We’ve heard a lot about how important the success of Windows 8 is to the future of Microsoft. You have to wonder though, without much real competition in the desktop world, can it actually fail? Even if it was an unstable and worthless repeat of Vista would it change anything?

Would everyone throw Windows out the door for good and move on to a new platform? Probably not. Instead they would likely bunker down with a copy of Windows 7 and wait for the storm to pass and the inevitable rebirth of Windows 9 instead. That’s what happened with Vista after all.

So why is Microsoft preparing to spend $1+ billion on a Windows 8 marketing campaign if it doesn’t really matter? Because it matters a lot. Yes, I’m being confusing here. No, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all Windows fans will jump ship.

They will stick to Windows 7 instead— but the PC market is continuing to shrink.

On the desktop front they probably could afford another massive screw-up like Vista arguably was. On the mobile front, it may be the last chance. All Windows efforts in the mobile frontier have done less than great.

Windows Phone is a great platform but isn’t taking off. Windows tablets before Windows 8 were largely unusable for the average consumer and consumption needs.

With so much focus going on the touch-optimized Windows 8, it if fails in the mobile world I sincerely think it will finally be game over for the mobile market. As the mobile market expands, the desktop market decreases. They need this to work.

Alright, this is nothing new. We’ve talked about this before. With Windows 8 just around the corner though, I thought this was worth revisiting briefly.

Microsoft hopes desktop users get used to Windows 8 and they have brought several awesome new desktop features to help entice people to give it a try. But Windows 8 was made because they had to do something different with the mobile world.

IF Windows 8 fails….

The mobile door will be shut for tablets, probably for good. In the desktop market, they will likely be okay, but it could finally give Google the incentive they need to reach into the desktop world. Google would probably consider all-in-ones and laptops as ways of giving Microsoft a true threat.

If Windows 8 works, Android could be in serious trouble in the tablet space and will certainly not be a viable option for laptop/desktop users.

Will Windows 8 do well though? I am thinking yes. Not at first, though. Surface is going to be a big help, as is their marketing campaign. The desktop world probably won’t embrace Windows 8 with open arms until later 2013, but I think the tablet market has room for Windows.

Will it overtake Android or iPad? Not this year, probably not even 2013. Microsoft needs to lay the groundwork for success. They don’t have to rush in and do awesome out of the gate. Long-term thinking is a strong point for Microsoft.

They don’t need Windows 8 to be an instant success. They just need it to be successful at pushing Microsoft into the mobile world.

I think the same thing happened with Windows Phone 7. It wasn’t necessarily a success, but it laid the groundwork. I truly think Windows Phone 8 will be much bigger.

What do you think of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8? Is Microsoft’s mobile future bright?

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