2013 : the moment of truth for Windows

I was invited to a Microsoft event recently and it started very odly. The guy from Microsoft started with a comparison of the cumulative shipments of Android devices and Windows devices. The Guy was chespounding that there were more than 1,5 billion Windows device in use compared with as little as 500 M Android devices.
So the real threat for Microsoft isn’t Apple but Android. And when you look closer and start to do some forecast there is a serious risk for Microsoft to be outnumbered by Android device in not a so distant future.
Here is forecast, I have cooked up aggtregating numbers from different sources.

Android vs Windows shipments forecast (M units)

Android vs Windows shipments forecast (M units)

As there is very little growth in the PC segment, the Windows growth will come from 2 sources : smartphones and tablets.
Next year 2013 will be a truth moment. If Microsoft Windows 8 or if Windows Phone fails, Android devices will outnumber Windows devices and will become the dominent computing platform.

Microsoft pampering its developers

Microsoft is in the final rush to launch the awaited Windows 8 and Windows RT this fall. Developers have submitted their applications and compiled and re compiled (and re re compiled and re re re …) their code from the Consumer Release, the General Preview, the Release to Manufacturer.

Now Microsoft is hesitating between two stances:

  • Being very strict on the UX guidelines by rejecting all applications that are off the target then offering a compelling windows UX
  • Being easy-going and certifying nearly all applications to have at launch a market place with a huge number of available apps

This is certainly a thin line to follow. But if Microsoft does it wisely it will surely lead to both a good app portfolio and a great user experience.

Which Windows to do some word processing ?

Office Home and Student will be bundled for free in every Windows RT tabtop (tablet + laptop). So if you buy a more powerful Windows 8 Intel powered PC you will have to buy it at an average 89€ on most online stores.

> Engadget article

The logic behind this choice is beyond common understanding. On the entry level tabtop running Windows RT you’ll get more software to create content than on a regular laptop running Windows 8.

My understanding of the frontier between the two OS is that with a taptop you do some light work and you consume a lot of Internet and multimedia. On a laptop running Windows 8 you work and produce content with the like of Microsoft Office software.

My view is that the Office giveaway on Windows RT is there to justify the price of the OS in front of Android.

But is it a wise choice or will it upset high end consumer that might start to be upset being milked so obviously on Office software?  Will it create some appetite for Libre Office software?

Windows 8 or Windows RT for your next tablet?

I was really enthusiastic a few months ago with Windows8. The promise to have a converged OS for PC and Tablet working on both x86 and Arm architecture was really outstanding.

Now, back to earth, the reality is a bit disappointing. There will be two version of Windows launched this fall :

  • Windows 8 for x86 architecture
  • Windows RT for Arm architecture

Windows 8 will come with two UIs : the classic PC one and the MetroUI.  Windows RT (standing for Real Time?) will have just the Metro UI.

Metro UI applications will run on both platforms but classic UI x86 applications will run only on Windows 8.

So we will have under our Christmas trees 2 kind of products :

  • Tablets or Netbooks running Windows RT
  • PC and “super” tablets running Windows 8

Windows 8 & Windows RT

Let’s hope that Microsoft will communicate efficiently the difference between the 2 versions. Otherwise consumers will be disappointed and reject the whole Windows 2012 release like they did with Vista.