Microsoft has taken a very different stance with its products recently. When Microsoft’s Xbox first debuted back in 2001, part of the strategy was to keep the Xbox separate from Windows.
Back in 2001 there was certainly a mix of emotions when regarding Windows in general (though it really didn’t get bad until Vista).
Now, Microsoft has flipped this strategy around and is actually trying to bring its products together. The Xbox 360 dashboard has recently received an upgrade that makes it feel a lot more like the upcoming Windows 8 Metro interface for one thing.
Windows 8’s Metro is actually very similar to the existing Windows Phone 7 interface.
Windows new approach has received many different mixed emotions and there are many who doubt that Windows 8 will be able to ‘do it all’, appealing to both PC and desktop users.
On the tablet side, many draw comparisons to Windows Phone 7 and how it hasn’t done well in the market so far.
According to many of these naysayers, part of the reason is that people still don’t like the strong connection to Windows.
Windows Phone 7 is a solid product and has many features that make it a good choice, but it is no secret that sales haven’t been exactly hot.
If ARM tablets only run METRO and don’t have the desktop, they will seem very similar to Phone 7. So can Metro do better on tablets than almost the exact same interface has on the Phone?
This is something I wonder about myself. The biggest difference will be marketing strategy.
With Windows 8, Microsoft is focusing on the selling-point that tablets will use a Microsoft OS based on the popular PC OS.
If people associate Windows on tablets with the same OS they have at home it could possibly help.
In contrast many people associate Windows Phone 7 with the older Windows Mobile 6 platform. Unfortunately, the WM6 OS never exactly took off and was largely disliked because its interface was old and too much like the desktop version.
Of course that brings us back to the original point, people don’t like Windows on mobile platforms because it makes them think of traditional desktop PC interfaces. These old PC Interfaces just don’t work great on mobile phones and tablets.
So what is Microsoft doing to change this perception? They will market Windows 8 as a tablet-style touch-friendly operating system, focusing on Metro.
By changing PC users perception of Windows’ PC OS into a more touch-friendly platform it will actually help re-envision what Windows is all about.
Right now when people think of Windows on mobiles, they think of Windows 7 most likely being poorly translated to a phone or tablet.
When Windows 8 arrives, Microsoft is somewhat gambling that people will instead think of Metro when they think about Windows. When thinking about Metro on a phone or tablet, it will seem more natural and acceptable.
No matter how you look at it, what Microsoft has been doing is a gamble. Will such a strategy work at all? This remains unseen for now. Why do you think that Phone 7 hasn’t done as well as Microsoft might have hoped? Will Windows 8 fare better? Share your thoughts below.