As reviews and predictions increase ahead of Friday’s release of Microsoft Corp.’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows 8, a few issues dominate the commentary. The first is that Windows 8 is such a radical departure that people who might upgrade will be put off by the substantial changes that will force them to learn how to navigate an almost entirely new environment.
A second issue is that Windows 8 is a less important product than Windows has been in the past. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) Mac sales have blossomed in the past few years. Many people have dropped PCs completely to use tablets and smartphones, many of which run on the Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android OS. And many companies believe that they do not need the upgrade at all because their employees use Windows primarily for Word, Excel, email and basic Internet access.
There was once a time when the launch of a new Windows operating system was a huge deal for the technology departments in many businesses. Not anymore. Microsoft Corp’s release of Windows 8 on Friday is likely to be a non-event for most companies — and some experts say many may never adopt it.
Douglas A. McIntyre