Empire Under Fire? Why Microsoft Just Has To Get Windows 9 Absolutely Right

The Windows 8.1 Update 1 express train is chugging along, while at the same time in some secret nooks and crannies of the Redmond offices, engineers are also hatching early plans for Windows 9.

But while the upcoming refresh of Windows 8.1 may boost performance, enhance reliability, and bring in some usability and UI changes, it is the next major version of the operating system that will play a more vital role in charting Microsoft’s future.

For this reason, and this reason alone, it is absolutely vital that it gets Windows 9 right.

From Inside, And Out

Speaking of charts, the company earlier today confirmed that it had sold more than 200 million licenses for Windows 8 since release. The modern operating system achieved this milestone in 15 months. In contrast, Windows 7 crossed the 240 million milestone in 12.

Sure the current state of the PC hardware industry has a lot of say in this, as is the relentless mobile assault from tablets and smartphones. But Windows 7 had that added advantage of direct upgrades, as Windows XP and Vista users bought copies of that OS off the shelf and upgraded their systems.

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A CEO Depends On It

If you take a retrospective look at it, the less than stellar performance of Windows 8 (and the industry criticism that followed) was the primary reason of the hurried exit of Steve Ballmer. In fact, there are some that think that Satya Nadella’s performance as a leader will depend on the success of Windows 9.

The new CEO would want to solve all issues and make the new OS a success. And while it is hard to see him resigning just because of an operating system that disappoints, it would surely not make this the best way for him to get his new gig as Microsoft CEO underway.

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The Wholesome Market

At the end of the day the One Microsoft initiative is much more than just corporate restructuring. Services like Bing, SkyDrive, and Skype run the risk of losing out unless Windows succeeds. Even Office carries this risk, even if just on the consumer side. Relentless mobile assault is relentless, after all.

While Microsoft’s corporate standing is great, market watchers and analysts have, for good reason, talked about why it is crucial for Microsoft needs to stay relevant in the consumer end of the spectrum. Competitors like Google, Apple and more will pounce at any openings they see from Redmond.

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The Mobile Companions

It is becoming clear that for Microsoft to really make Windows 9 as successful an operating system as Windows 7, it will have to pay due attention to the desktop, which in turn should have a positive effect on the desktop and laptop user base. But again, mobile is not an area, the company can take lightly now.

By the time Windows 9 comes around, Nokia will be fully integrated, the third generation Surface tablets ought to be out, and both Intel and AMD would have put newer, powerful solutions. A merger of Windows RT with Windows Phone, then has the potential of assisting Windows 9. And vice versa.

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A combination of all these factors, along with some positive impetus from hardware vendors and OEMs to launch a variety of Windows powered devices could go a long way in making the next version of the most successful operating system of all time.

Which is what Windows 8 vanilla should have been.

Microsoft have a noted history of correcting their mistakes, and while we will have to wait for BUILD 2014 to get a better idea of what the company is preparing for Window 9, there is every chance that it will bring the goods this time around.

If not, then at least the proverbial Chatty Cathy will have ample material to talk about.

Please Leave Your Comments Below...

  • 1stkorean

    “Speaking of charts, the company earlier today confirmed that it had sold more than 200 million licenses for Windows 8 since release. The modern operating system achieved this milestone in 15 months. In contrast, Windows 8 crossed the 240 million milestone in 12.”

    This statement makes absolutely no sense. I am sure what you intended to say is;

    Speaking of charts, the company earlier today confirmed that it had sold more than 200 million licenses for Windows 8 since release. The modern operating system achieved this milestone in 15 months. In contrast, Windows 7 crossed the 240 million milestone in 12.

    • Fahad Ali

      Right you are! Fixed. Thanks!

  • WillyThePooh

    If MS just follow what people say instead of their own vision of the future, it will end up they win the battle but lose the war. Besides, a lot of critics online are not current windows users. They already said they have moved to Linux or Mac side. Among actual windows users, about half and half said good or bad about win8.x. However, most of the bad comments about win8.x have third party solution to solve their problems. The rest are related to driver or old hardware compatibility problems. But for driver and hardware compatibility problems, I have those problems with win7, iOS or OSX as well.

  • Ray C

    I think they will be fine. They just need to continue to improve Windows. All the people that are telling Microsoft what to do, that Microsoft is supposedly not listening to, have no idea what they’re talking about. If Microsoft continued to just put out enhanced versions of Windows 7, they would really be in trouble. And yes Google and Apple will pounce on any opening they can get. That’s partially why the Apple and Google fans out there who run practically run almost every tech-related blog out there do nothing but talk down about everything from Microsoft. A majority of PC users switching to a modern Microsoft platform or some taking up their mobile devices is the worst nightmare for the anti-Microsoft crowd.

  • Stephan Berger

    “the third generation Surface tablets ought to be out”.

    I think when Windows 9 will be out, it will be the 4th generation of Surface, not the third. (as the third generation will be out for septembre 2014 and Windows 9 is due to april 2015).

    • Fahad Ali

      Yeah, we probably will be talking about Surface 4 in April 2015. Then again, there are some that believe Windows 9 is coming this year, and Microsoft will stick with their year-end update cycle.

  • collective pitch

    I’m sticking to WinXP as long as I can. Even if I buy a laptop in 2015, and the laptop has XP drivers, XP will be my main OS. Why? XP is just the fastest code executing PC OS! I’m not just talking about gaming, but .NET applications. Blows my mind the same .NET 3.5 app runs (renders) up to 7 times faster on XP than Win8.1!

    Take note Microsoft: I don’t buy a new machine because I want to make Windows 12 (you read this right) run faster, I buy a new machine every few years so I can run XP faster with less heat and longer battery life. You guys need to make a good OS, not a bloated one just so users keep on upgrading their hardware. You won’t affect hardware sales at all b/c people will always want cooler, longer running, faster machines!

    Also, you have things like thinner, lighter weight, higher resolution driving hardware sales… So, I’m hoping Win9 will at least manage to become a good successor to XP (I don’t consider Win7 a good successor at all due to it’s bloatiness)