July 16, 2013

The REAL reason Microsoft killed Windows XP!

Hint:  It's NOT, as Tom's Hardware claims, because XP is a "dying, cobwebbed platform".

By now, it's old news that Microsoft will no longer provide critical security updates to the Windows XP operating system.

And it's old news that the Windows 8 OS  is a marketing disaster.  Reviewers have panned it, and users have rejected it.   Desktop and laptop OEMs can't even give it away!  So buyers of new PC computers are being force-fed Windows 8:  Dell Computer now charges a premium of $45 to "upgrade" new Dell desktops from Windows 8 to Windows 7!   No, that's not a typo.  You have to pay NOT to have Windows 8.

Of course, this should come as no surprise:  Windows 8 being marketed as a desktop OS, though clearly it's designed as a mobile device OS.   So why would Microsoft push so hard to put Windows 8 -- a bad mobile OS -- onto desktop computers?  

The reason is obvious:  Microsoft wants to be a bigger player in mobile computing revolution.

Not that they haven't been trying.  Microsoft was there at the beginning of the mobile revolution.  First there was Windows, then Windows CE 3.  Windows CE 4.  Windows Mobile OS.    Windows Phone OS. 

Yet, for all their efforts, they've had to settle for a mere 4% share of the market.  Now they are barely a footnote in the war for mobile dominance between Android (52%) and Apple IOS (39%)!

So Microsoft needed a new plan.  I can imagine the brainstorming session going something like this:
"The desktop computer market -- our market -- is dying.  Mobile devices are the future.  Unfortunately, everybody knows our mobile OS (Windows CE) stinks.  So we need a new mobile OS --  call it 'Windows 8' -- that just so happens to run on desktop computers. Wink wink.  Then we kill Windows XP.  What are those suckers gonna do, switch to Linux?  Ha ha.  Nope, they're gonna buy Windows 8.  Ka-Ching!    But here's the best part:   When they shop for a smartphone or tablet computer, they'll want their good old Windows 8.  Ka-ching.  Ka-ching! Ka-ching!   Hah! Take that, Android!"
Unfortunately, they overlooked a small detail: The mobile computing environment is very different from a desktop environment.   For instance, desktops rarely have touch screens; so good luck trying to  "pinch-zoom" using a mouse!     And desktop users demand multitasking, while mobile users tend to focus on a single task at a time.  I could go on, but why bother?

Microsoft realized their mistake, but only after they released Windows 8, and the user backlash hit.  So they frantically patched it.  And updated it.   And the Windows 8.1 release is now reasonably functional for keyboard and mouse users.

Unfortunately, Windows 8 is also a schizophrenic mess!  The poor OS isn't quite sure what it's supposed to be.  Is it a desktop OS?  A mobile OS?  Touchpad OS?  Yes, it's all of those.  And none of those. 

It just needs a bit of patching.  And some updating.  Then Windows will be wonderful!

Whoa!  As Yogi Berra would say, "It's like deja vu, all over again!"


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