Windows takes top 4 positions in OS usage ranking, but don’t expect any real reshuffling until after Windows 9 launches

Last Updated on Sunday, 3 March 2013 06:35 Written by admin Sunday, 3 March 2013 06:35

Iterations of the Windows operating system have taken the first four positions in an OS usage ranking put together by Net Marketshare. As of the end of February 2013, Windows 8 joins its predecessors by surpassing all versions of Mac OS X and Linux in terms of usage share. Climbing to 2.67% of the market, Windows 8 is right on track to dethrone Windows Vista and become the third most used operating system version in the world. My personal prediction is that Windows 8 and Vista will swap places by the summer of 2013, by which time Microsoft is rumored to release the first major update to Windows 7’s successor, thus far codenamed Windows Blue.

Windows 7 continues to be no. 1 with a usage share of 44.55%, growing from 44.45% the previous month, which means that consumers worldwide are still buying new copies of the OS as well as new machines powered by this iteration of Windows, despite the availability of Windows 8. Windows XP’s usage share continues to drop, especially as users are upgrading either to Windows 7 or Windows 8. XP is now down to 38.99% of the market, while Vista, the OS that so many love to hate, is just at 5.17% as of the start of March.

Considering the gap separating XP and Windows 8, I really don’t see any chances for the latter to displace the old time favorite version of Windows, even if now more than a decade old, and closing in on its retirement date. Microsoft will cut support for Windows XP in just a few years, but by that time, I estimate that Windows 9 and not Windows 8 will take advantage of the hole which the death of XP will leave in the market. Mark my words, Windows 8 will never be more than third best, usage share-wise. You heard it here first.


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3 Reasons Why Windows Phone Has Not Taken Off

Last Updated on Tuesday, 3 January 2012 11:39 Written by Mire_B Tuesday, 3 January 2012 11:34

Former Microsoft Windows Phone General Manager Charlie Kindel said sometime last year that carriers and device makers are responsible for Windows Phone’s moderate, to use an euphemism, success.

 

You see, Microsoft is the good guy in the WP story. The company is battling device makers and imposing strict hardware requirements for Windows Phone. And at the same time it’s holding carriers on a tight leash and not letting them run wild with the platform.

 

The result? Both OEMs and carriers have little love for Microsoft.

 

“Apple has been successful (at least in terms of generating revenue) in this space by cutting the device manufacturer out. They have then used that fact to force the carriers into being even more of a fat dumb pipe. A topic for another day, but my belief is over time this strategy will start to deteriorate for Apple.

 

Google has been wildly successful with Android (at least in terms of units) because Android was built to reduce friction between all sides of the market. It ‘bows down’ to the device manufactures AND the carriers. It enabled device manufactures to do what they do best (build lots of devices). It enabled carriers to do what they do best (market lots of devices). It enabled users tons of choice. My hypothesis is that it also enables too much fragmentation that will eventually drive end users nuts.

 

With Windows Phone Microsoft has taken a different approach. WP raises its middle finger at both the device manufacturers and mobile carriers. WP says “here’s the hardware spec you shalt use” (to the device manufacturers). And it says “Here’s how it will be updated” (to the carriers).

 

Thus both of those sides of the market are reluctant. Especially the carriers, but also the device manufacturers. Remember that end users are highly influenced by advertising and RSPs. Carriers own the marketing money and spend billions a year. The money is provided by the other sides of the market: OS providers & device manufactures, but the carriers get to spend it; they are the aggregation point where the money actually gets spent. The carriers choose what devices get featured on those TV ads. They also choose what devices to train their RSP (retail sales professionals) to push. They choose to incent the RSPs to push one device over another.

 

This is why, despite being a superior PRODUCT to Android, Windows Phone has not sold as well. Spending marketing dollars on advertising Android devices is and easy decision for the carriers. Pushing RSPs to push Android is easy.

 

Spending marketing dollars advertising WP7 requires Microsoft to push hard on the carriers. Getting RSPs to push WP7 requires Microsoft to push hard on the carriers to incent their RSPs correctly.”

 

Here are a few of my own reasons why Windows Phone is failing to really gain traction with consumers worldwide:

 

No iPhone killer

 

The one thing that Microsoft and its OEM partners should have created is the ultimate device, the iPhone killer. I don’t think that there was a single customer not expecting the anti-iPhone from Nokia. Instead they got the two Lumia handsets, brilliant only in their mediocrity.

 

But it must be very hard getting OEMs to build you an iPhone killer when you’re busy alienating them with countless patent violation lawsuits and intellectual property infringement blackmail.

 

Now, just to be clear, every big tech company is using the same arsenal as Microsoft, Apple included. But some, such as Apple can afford to sue left and right. Others, less so.

 

No love from geeks

 

Hardcore geeks hate Microsoft. This is as axiomatic as it is gratuitous. Microsoft hate is so strong that some geeks are ready, willing and perfectly able to content to using an inferior product just because it’s not a product of the Redmond software giant.

 

And you know who consumers listen to before they even get in the store for salespersons to push whatever device they prefer to down their throats? Well, they ask their geeky friends what’s their best option.

 

I guarantee that today, the vast majority of geeks would recommend that their less tech savvy friends buy anything else but Windows Phone.

 

Windows is no longer cool. Windows Mobile never was. Windows Phone is in a coolness limbo.

 

iPhone is cool. Google is cool, and almost everything it touches turns cool as well.

 

Windows is not cool. And Microsoft is as cool as a bluescreen, or a blackscreen, or endless crash loops, or Windows Vista (ouch! But true!). Windows Phone is in a coolness limbo.

 

People don’t buy iPhones because they’re cool, they camp out for days in front of Apple stores to get devices that are arguably minor updates to the ones they already have.

 

And if Google makes using the Internet as cool as google.com, then how cool would a mobile OS from this company be? A whole lot of consumers are crowding to find out.

 

Windows Phone has no coolness factor to give it an extra edge. None to speak of. And for so many, Windows is still synonymous with crashes and bluescreens, with viruses, with Internet Explorer, with Vista. Bleah… Who would really want that on their device? It doesn’t matter that it’s not true. Perception beats reality once again, imagine the surprise.

 

Please don’t make me explain this coolness thing. If you disagree leave a comment. If you dare say that Microsoft is cool, leave a comment.

 

You know what being cool is all about? It’s about going into a store with a single thought in your mind, and whatever the carrier ads said, whatever the salespersons are telling you, buying a Windows Phone or opting to use a land line, because that’s the only conceivable alternative for you.

 


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Microsoft Demonstrates Early Windows 8 Build at CES 2011

Last Updated on Wednesday, 5 January 2011 04:28 Written by Mire_B Wednesday, 5 January 2011 04:25

As expected, Microsoft unveiled a very early Build of Windows 8 at CES 2011. And yes, it’s version 6.2. I’ll provide more details as they become available.

From the Windows team blog:

At CES 2011 in Las Vegas, we hosted a press conference announcing that the next version of Windows will support System on a Chip architectures from Intel, AMD, and ARM. We announced that the next version of Windows will support System on a Chip (SoC) architectures including ARM-based systems from partners NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments.  On the x86 architecture, Intel and AMD continue their work on low-power SoC designs that fully support Windows, including support for x86 applications. SoC architectures will fuel significant innovation across the hardware spectrum when coupled with the depth and breadth of the Windows platform. We are making this announcement now so that our ecosystem can start working together to enable the widest possible range of devices, from tablets on up, to ship with the next version of Windows.


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