So you know that line in the movies where the magician says “pick a card, any card”?

Well, Microsoft sales and marketing employees need to learn how to make a variation of those words work.

“Pick an Operating System, any Operating System”.

At this point, Microsoft have said that Windows 8 will come out in 2012. If that is true, it means that on the day it comes out, Microsoft clients will have 5 choices available to pick from as their OS of choice.

  1. Windows XP
  2. Windows Vista
  3. Windows 7
  4. Windows 8
  5. Windows 9

Windows 9? Why, whatever do you mean by that you ask?

Well the fact of the matter is  that (Since Windows Vista), as soon as Microsoft release an Operating System, all responsible businesses have to ask themselves this question “Should I wait for the next one?”.

Windows 9 will become a factor the day Windows 8 is released. Not my rules, just the way the game is played.

Anyway, in 2012, it seems that the sales pitch will be Windows 7 is the path to Windows 8. The problem is that for a lot of businesses, it’s not that simple.

As we know, there are a bunch of businesses on Windows XP and they need to upgrade at some point but they have 3 years to do so – so what’s the rush for them? In a year or 2, does Microsoft encourage them to go to Windows 7 or Windows 8?

There are businesses on Windows Vista right now and of course it makes sense to move to Windows 7 BUT after going through that, do they have to start planning on moving to Windows 8 or should they wait for Windows 9?

Then we have the businesses on Windows 7 (the good clients). Have you used Windows 7? It’s fantastic – heck these companies have just spent time and money retrofitting their legacy apps, getting off XP and training all their users.

Oh, you want them to move to Windows 8? Probably not for a while, besides “Should they wait for the next one?”. Also, what’s going to prevent these clients from nestling in and doing the Windows XP dance – i.e. stay with the one you love forever?

Then, we have the messaging for Windows 9. Remember that Microsoft still have to make software and the development will turn to Windows 9. By 2014, there will be a discussion of the benefits of Windows 9 and some clients on XP (yes some will be on Windows XP even then) will be asking “Can we have that?”.

This is enough to make your head spin because it really is a mess.

Here’s where I think the problem began – Windows Vista.

Because of the quick rush to turn the page from Vista, Steven Sinofsky was given the mandate to make a replacement OS quickly. He did (in about 2 years) and the result was an amazing success – Windows 7.

Problem is, it seems that because that worked, Microsoft want to turn right around and briskly crank out another OS.

As you can see from all of the above, there are messaging consequences.

I think that 2012 is too early to release Windows 8.

I think that Windows 7 is a fantastic Operating System that should have been celebrated and given some time to settle and become a defacto baseline OS for Microsoft.

Instead of rolling out a comprehensive set of dual Operating Systems (Windows 8 desktop/Tablet), I believe that Microsoft should have worked on the Windows 8 tablet OS and worked on deep integration with the Cloud and Windows 7.

They should then have taken a couple of years to analyze the public’s reaction to the Tablet OS and based on that (real tangible feedback), they should have built the desktop version of Windows 8.

I believe that this would have been a more BALANCED approach and would have been a win-win.

Before I started my own business, I worked in quite a few large companies.

Any employee working for a large company knows the feeling of having a huge reorganization, people moved all over the place, titles changed, offices changed etc etc and having senior execs tell you that this is the way forward.

18 months later, those execs leave and new execs come in and – you guessed it – huge reorganization, people moved all over the place, titles changed, offices changed etc etc …this is the way forward.

The moral of this story is, sometimes you have to let big changes settle a bit and take some time to see if they work. Once you have enough data, only then should you carefully make changes.

I think that Windows 7 works great and it’s too early to talk about replacing it.

Having said that, Windows 8 will be displayed at the BUILD conference in September. Maybe Microsoft will prove me wrong.

What do you guys think?

About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. ( and The Redmond Cloud (

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  • Techguy

    Great article with awesome insight!

    • Onuora Amobi

      Well thank you very much.


  • 1234568

    I agree that the planned release date of Windows 8 is too early for desktops but there are other markets Microsoft is keen to quickly get a hand in. The biggest of these is the tablet space. People are quickly embracing mobile computing. I believe the aim to get one OS on any device as quick as possible is the reason we will see Windows 8 in 2012.

    • Onuora Amobi

      Yeah. I think Windows 8 tablet is waay overdue…

      • 1234568

        Your recent article, “is is time for the rebranding of Windows?” solidified my original thought that Microsofts main aim is to get one OS on any device. They simply can’t wait until Windows 9 to try and capture the tablet market as the boat will have already set sail.

        I personally cant wait for Windows 8 on tablets. In my eyes the ability to transition between a touch interface and the traditional Windows GUI could potentially revolutionise the way people use personal electronics.  Here’s what I would love to see… a tablet with a clean touch interface for use during commutes or lounging around at home, but one that can also be placed in a cradle to gain the use of a keyboard, mouse and monitor for doing real work. This would allow one device to act as my desktop and tablet (maybe my laptop too). Just a few years ago this would have sounded impossible but the specification of some modern tablets with i5 chips etc makes this a reality.

        As well as saving on the cost of investing in multiple devices I see other benefits. By having all your files saved on one device you would never get back home to find that you had left a file on the work computer, or have to perform software updates on multiple machines. I believe there are a great number of benefits to this approach. As well as one OS on any device maybe Microsoft should also consider one device to rule them all!

        I do realise there are some obvious problems here. The battery life of such a device would be poor to say the best. A solution may be for the processor to automatically underclock when it is out the cradle, and return to its full potential when placed back in it. I think it would also have to use ARM instead of x86 which means goodbye legacy apps but wow this could be good!

        If this is to be done well it will require very tight co-ordination between Microsoft and the hardware manufacturers, which unfortunately is Microsoft’s Achilles heel, so I wont hold my breathe just yet, but one can always dream!

        • timotim

          I agree with this 100%. There’s a product about to be released called that Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid. Its both a netbook and tablet in one device. Whats special about the device is while in netbook mode, its a full x86 Windows device, but once detached from the transformer it becomes a Linux ARM device. My hope is that hardware makers will also develop a transformer-like device that can be paired with their Windows 8 tablets and while docked, its a Windows 8 x86 device, but once detached, its a Windows 8 ARM device. Yes, this means that in tablet mode it wont run legacy programs but you only really need legacy while being stationary anyway and could get all the benefits of ARM (battery life etc) while out in about. If this can be done in an elegant way in terms of design and mechanics than the next revolution in computing will be upon us. I’m not buying this notion that people want 4 different devices that do 4 different things…Windows 8 looks to bring the best of these devices together in way that makes sense based on the scenario.

  • hootadmin

    The current software trend is towards faster releases, and more frequent innovative product pushes, not the other way around. This can be seen in the browser market as Firefox, MS, and Opera accelerate their schedules in response to Google’s rapidly evolving Chrome platform (Version 13 is in beta as we speak). 

    With Apple’s rapid upgrading of the Mac OSX platform and Google’s entry into the OS market with ChromeOS, MS cannot afford to maintain it’s traditional 3-5yr cycles without risking becoming irrelevant.That being said Windows Client OS (XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8, etc) serves both the Consumer and the Business markets, and while consumers might look forward to new ‘goodies’ and ‘features’ (Painful upgrade costs aside), this trend towards faster releases is a full-on nightmare to businesses that rely on tested and stable platforms, and incur millions of dollars in upgrade/migrations costs.So for MS it is a damned if you do and damned if you don’t proposition. For a cloud OS, it is opportunity knocking. I would wager this trend will ultimately result in the demise of desktop OS in corporate in favor of the Cloud OS. The cost of a desktop OS at some point will simply make no sense.

    • Onuora Amobi

      Great point. I couldn’t agree more…

  • Francisco Londono

    I don`t think the problem is any particular OS.The real problem lies with the marketing policy of issuing  an OS every two years,behind the idea of innovation that frequently fail to prove its usefulness.   

    • Onuora Amobi

      I’ve heard that too…

  • Lee Geraghty

    I think Windows 7 is a great OS, would love to test Windows 8 as I beta tested Vista which lasted 2 days on my machine and beta tested 7 which I still use. Putting Windows 8 in a tablet would be the best way to go as I feel bringing out a new OS so soon is just silly. Microsoft is pushing it if they believe for even one second the world will rush out a buy/install 8 so soon after 7. Nice story and great insight there Onuora.

    • Onuora Amobi

      Tablet is the way to go…

  • Shane

    I think just what you think……..
    Win 8 is too early, but we can keep hope on clouding in win8 more than current versions.. 🙂

    • Onuora Amobi

      Sounds like most people think it is early.

  • Indra Nawawi Daeng Parani

    Dear Onuora,
    Since my dell inspiron 8600 laptop was sent as a gift from a family who stayed in Kesington, USA. They want me to communicate with them using email, so I try to learn using internet, because they knew that before, I work with IBM for few months and know how to operate the machine, even though I don’t have engineering background in computer, so I learn by myself and some time ask the expert from ITB. (Institute Tecknologi Bandung).
    I belief that our tecknology grew in a rapid way, faster and faster each day, only some can survive in this situations and most are left behind. Now we have many kind of Windows Operating System where these puzzle us what to choose, and pick the best to use. After I try using Windows product released by microsoft corporation, I used Windows XP SP3 for some time then move to Windows7 Ultimate for few months. There are many changes but better, and my email communications going well each day, until one day the Windows7 runs slow and deteriorated the systems. I found out that my machine has lack in memory and it shows only 1,0 in performance test. I decided to use XP SP3 again and this time runs fine in good speed with the help of update by microsoft until now, I never touch Windows Vista, 7, 8, or 9 again, and our communications still sound good.
    Don’t worry much about what Windows product release, there are many consumers want to use them for many different purposes, if I am the creator of Windows I would suggest just Windows with a complete set that can easily be operated in an easy manner. Thank you.    

  • Vivienne McDonald

    I would have to agree with you – WAIT! Is it that they want to show off that they’ve got clever people? Or is it that the marketing department haven’t got a clue about what real people want? Really, another OS, that of course people will have to pay for. They should be giving it away free to make up for the years of grief their problems have caused people. If they get something right – and they really seem to have got it right with Windows 7 – they should let people just use it, and learn to use it well. it takes time for ordinary people to learn to use these things, and for businesses to cope with the changes. 

    Wait, settle down, let everyone actually be happy about using a Microsoft OS and work on the tablets instead. 
    Thanks for the article, Onuora, as always, marvellous. Cheers Viv

    • Onuora Amobi

      Thanks Viv.

      Appreciate it.