Whither Windows Death?

Over at BetaNews I pose question “Will you upgrade to Windows 10?” and provide readers a poll to answer the question. Timing coincides with the official launch of the platform tomorrow. To be brutally honest, I seriously considered using headline: “Will you upgrade to Windows Death?”

Because: if Windows 10 doesn’t succeed it will be the last viable version, given the success of Android or iOS; shipments of both mobile platforms either match or exceed Windows computers; and Microsoft’s advancing cloud strategy signals the end of Windows as we have come to know it, as the operating system evolves and updates in a manner more like Chrome OS than the big release delivered every few years. Then there is the criticism, much of it among beta testers, that makes upgrading to Windows 10 seem like Death. 

Commenter tongues would wag accusations about clickbaiting had I used the hed, which is hysterical to me because from a SEO perspective including Windows 10 in the headline probably has a longer tail than does Death. I like catchy headlines that pique people but skipped this one because the focus should be the poll, not the headline, which would have distracted the conversation from the purpose, methinks.

From my perspective as a journalist reporting about Microsoft for nearly two decades, Windows 10 is the platform’s last stand—last rally against the advancing Android and iOS horde. It’s not a question if contextual, cloud-connected devices will replace traditional PCs but when. Microsoft’s tile-and-touch oriented Windows 8 and 10 user interfaces, even with design concessions made for Desktop traditionalists, acknowledge that contextual cloud computing is here.

Windows is too much today what I said it would be a decade ago: Like the PC shifted informational relevance from the mainframe, anytime, anywhere, on-anything computing shifts relevance to cloud-connected mobile devices.

For a lens from the past explaining the future, see “Google: It’s Not about Search” (Oct. 4, 2005) and “Microsoft Has Lost Its Way”, which I posted here in parts 1 and 2 on June 22, 2009. The three analyses illuminate where I saw Big M headed, which is very much the destination reached in 2015.

Windows Death is not an inappropriate moniker; perhaps for a future analysis. 🙂

Photo Credit: Matthias Lueger