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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  • http://www.facebook.com/KozureOokami Dan Stephens

    I don’t expect too many to upgrade existing machines. Windows 7 really is good enough and comfortable enough for those machines. These aren’t Apple fans out here. The won’t jump for the next shiny.
    On the other hand, I have used Windows 8 on a Dell Duo since the Developer Preview and I think it has what it takes to be a big hit in the table world. that’s where it’s going to happen. And that’s where it has to happen.
    Windows people tend to think in terms of accomplishing things. Some bought iPads and some bought Androids, but what really excited them was the notion of a Tablet that was a real productivity tool. The idea that they could run real Windows apps that they have on a portable touch device is enticing. The advantage of a light weight tablet combined with a real computer, not just a consumer device just makes sense. That is where it will be justifyable to spend the money.
    Now, it’s just about the price …

  • JLD

    I am an “old timer” who built his first Heath/Zenith Z-100
    computer back in the late 1970’s. I have
    owned every version of Windows. I have
    built every computer ever owned, with a couple of exceptions, when a couple of
    HP computers were purchased that could only be described as “inferior” and
    loaded with crap ware. After Apple
    decided to move to the Intel processor, I purchased one of their desktops, a
    couple of their lap tops, along with an iPad and a few iPhones. Apple produces a well built and superior
    hardware product but a very restrictive operating system. I never used the Apple OS and loaded Windows. I am currently running Windows 8 (RC) and
    extremely satisfied with the new features.
    It took a short while to get accustom to the “Metro” style start screen
    but quickly realized this was a very small part of the new look. The live tiles
    are a nice touch once they are understood and realized they can be customized
    (broadly stated). I have been holding off
    buying the new iPad and iPhone to determine what the new “Surface” and “Windows
    8 Phone” has to offer. If Microsoft integrates
    the desktop, laptop, tablet, and phone they will have proven what Apple has
    been dreaming about. If this turns out
    to be true, I will be purchasing several “Surface” tablets and “Windows 8
    Phones”. If they are not truly integrated,
    I will need to reevaluate. There are
    five people (family members) in my home and each person has a desk top, lap
    top, and iPhone. Three of us have the
    iPad. I have another HP all-in-one
    computer (several years old) sitting in the kitchen. Microsoft has chosen to be very secretive and
    if they don’t produce a fully integrated product(s) on October 26, 2012, I will
    be spending a lot of money at Apple; however, I will still purchase the boxed
    version of Windows 8 Pro.

  • 123321

    win8 is THE option for tablets. why should i buy an android tablet or an ipad which can only do the same things as my smartphone? but a win8 tablet can completely replace a PC and that means you can always have everything you need with you. win8 really shows how mobile computing works! really looking forward to getting win8.
    maybe win8 won’t be that big success in desktop world but it definiteley will be on the mobile market.

    • Andrew_Grush

      I agree– Windows 8 has the potential to take mobile productivity to a new level.

  • 1stkorean

    I own 2 Android tablets an original Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 which is still an Awesome device, and a Asus Transformer Infinity 700 another Awesome device. However I am extremely excited about the Microsoft Surface tablet RT or Pro version but the way many Windows 8 Tablets are being priced if Surface is priced accordingly it is going to have a difficult time.