How Microsoft failed to revolutionize the PC

MS should not have competed with Android and Apple in the smartphone and tablet arena but should have reinvented the PC, the medium that it ruled for good 3 decades.

There is a lot of talk circulating the web about a Surface tablet, both the RT and Pro versions and Windows 8 which powers them. The Internet is replete with comments and blogs praising the features of Nokia Lumia 920 or HTC X8 smart phones. However, the sales of such items are clouded in mystery although some indicators recently published point out that only 10,000- 15,000 units of Nokia Lumia 920 were sold in the United States per week. Far cry from iPhone 5 and especially Samsung’s Galaxy S3, which are sold in millions on weekly bases in the North American market alone and are currently the top selling cell phones on Amazon.

This does not bode well not only for Nokia whose stock is already in the junk status but more so for Microsoft itself. Its new desktop OS is a mixed bag; many users cannot get past by the new Modern UI and theso-called Live tiles in a miss-marriage to the classical desktop experience.  Modern UI works well on mobile devices whether they are smart phones or tablets, but blown up on the large desktop screen it becomes an obstacle to productivity.  And there are plenty of angry people who are voicing their displeasure with the latest Microsoft technological wonder (Steven Sinofsky might have been fired because of this). In this ill-conceived move, MS has has ditched everything that an average Windows user has used or gotten used to in the last 3 decades, all in an effort to unseat to behemoths of mobile and smartphone arenas Apple and Google. These two giants, with their strong ecosystems and customer base, are so deeply entrenched in this particular market that even caseloads of Microsoft’s cash cannot unseat them.

Furthermore, by alienating its current desktop Windows users as well as the small army of Windows Phone 7 faithful by osbourning their devices only months after they hit the market, Microsoft is conducting (miss)steps from which it will be almost impossible to recover.

Instead of fighting an uphill battle, Microsoft should have concentrated on what it does best; the PC. It should have put all its energy and cash reserves into revolutionizing the PC experience. In the age of Internet driven computing, especially Cloud services, Google’s Chromebooks (highest notebook sales ratings on Amazon), and declining PC sales, it would have been wise of Microsoft to boldly go where no current manufacturer or software developer is ready to go.

 By manufacturing its own tablets Microsoft has alienated some of its trusted OEMs,  and by announcing a new version of Windows 8 codenamed Windows Blue slated for the next year it is showing signs of panic; something is not going right for Redmond. It is dithering in the dark lost in its own hubris and lack of vision.  


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