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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