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Surface RT’s failure calls the whole “Windows 8 Project” into question


The issue for Microsoft is whether the PC can be disconnected from the idea of Windows, and by extension whether the death of one leads to the death of the other.

Microsoft’s challenge is obvious — divorce the connection between the PC and Windows such that Windows can survive as the PC wanes.

That’s what the “Windows 8 Project” was all about. Reimagine Windows in such a way that the PC is just one place where it runs. If the PC dies off — so be it, Windows still exists on other devices. If it doesn’t, great, Microsoft now has Windows on anything.

The Windows 8 Project encompassed a refined desktop environment, the Metro-style/Modern, (what I call “New Windows”) UI paradigm, and new form factors including the lead-from-the-front Surface devices. To a lesser degree, the project also bleeds into Windows Phone and Xbox.

Microsoft’s objective is to position this greater Windows 8 Project against smartphones and tablets that run iOS and Android. These latter operating systems are true post-PC operating systems. The are optimized towards the “grandparents Skyping the grandkids” end of the usage continuum, rather than the “commercial efficiency/proper work” end.

Surface RT was, by design, a good enough post-PC device implementation to compete with iPad and Android in that post-PC market. It ticked enough boxes to make a good showing — certainly more boxes than Old Windows did.

More importantly, Surface RT also failed in terms of philosophy, taking the whole of the Windows 8 Project with it. The principle of the project — namely that the post-PC was getting it wrong and that people were desperately after a “PC Plus” — has now been shown to be flawed.

There’s only really one way out of this — Microsoft needs to abandon Windows on Consumerland tablets and get Nokia to build a 8″ Windows Phone based tablet running on Windows Phone 8.

This lines up with how Apple and Google build their post-PC operating systems. It would also technically be ridiculously easy to do. Good prototypes of such things I am willing to guarantee exist in a lab somewhere.

But for Microsoft to make this happen, they’ll have to admit one thing.

Namely that Windows as a post-PC operating system is dead. Share your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to like this post.

Source: Associated Press


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This entry was posted on July 22, 2013 by in Microsoft, Tablet and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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