Microsoft plays risky game with Windows 8

Michael Carroll
26 Sep 2012

Microsoft is taking necessary risks in launching new versions of Windows and Office concurrently, Gartner analysts say.

The software giant is playing with its core revenue generators with the updated PC operating system and software suite, but faces becoming irrelevant in both markets if it doesn’t, the research firm notes.

“Windows 8 is not your normal low, or even high impact major release of the OS. It’s the start of a new era for Microsoft – the RT era, which follows the NT era which began in 1993 and is just now starting to fade out,” Research vice president Steve Kleynhans states.

The danger for Microsoft is that major organizations tend to only adopt mature products that come with plenty of backup. Gartner points to the lack of adoption of Windows Vista as an example, noting that third-party support for the software is already waning due to its lack of adoption.

While the gamble will pay off if Windows 8 proves a hit on tablet PCs, Michael Silver, vice president at Gartner, notes most organizations “are still working on eliminating Windows XP and deploying Windows 7.” That means big businesses “will need to decide whether they continue with Windows 7 or consider Windows 8.”

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