Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) has had two things going for it since Satya Nadella took over the role of Chief Executive Officer from Steve Ballmer. The most obvious is that there has been a continued bull market. the second is that Wall Street appears to still be willing to endorse the notion that Nadella’s “cloud and mobile first” effort is going to transform Microsoft into the technology that will still be used by the next generation rather than only used by older generations of tech users. But now comes the wild card for 2015 – Windows 9!
So, Windows 8 is not even two years old and now the world is already considering Windows 9? That is way the world turns, and it may turn even faster ahead. And with how Microsoft loyalists treated Windows 8, you know that Windows 9 will (or sure should be) be more along the lines of a Windows 7 interface. After all, many users feel like if they have to relearn the wheel then why not just make the move to the Mac from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL).
There has been a more increased news flow of late with stories pointing to how Windows 9, currently nicknamed ‘Threshold,’ is going to be different.
Slashdot’s report signals that Windows 9 is aimed at winning over Windows 7 holdouts who refused to go to Windows 8. Again there is the “Start Screen” issue that is up for discussion. Slashdot signaled that the operating system will look and feel differently based on hardware types used – one for desktop and laptops, and allowing a switch to classic and modern interfaces. Slashdot projected that Windows 9 is expected around spring of 2015.
The Verge reports that Windows 9 will be previewed late this year (after a Windows 8 update), and will be focused on desktop users. TechCrunch also reported that Microsoft may prioritize the desktop with the Windows 9 release.
It turns out that by no longer supporting Windows XP, companies and organizations bought new computers (per the Intel raised guidance) and that means they got new operating systems. Most of those would likely be operated by Windows 7 if the upgrade took place inside an enterprise level organization or any medium to large sized businesses.
Here is the real rub with Microsoft’s Window’s platform. Before Satya Nadella took over it was telegraphed that the future of Microsoft’s Windows operating system could see updated versions yearly or close to yearly. This seems to aggressive from a logical stance of users who do not necessarily want to be forced into IT training exercises each year or two. And how this will work under Satya Nadella remains a work in progress with an unknown outcome.
Microsoft knows that it has its work cut out for its employees. A repeat of the Windows 8 experiment will not likely have a good outcome for the company. That being said, it is amazing to see that Microsoft shares are not just within 2% of a 52-week high – these are still highs not seen in over a decade.
Microsoft will want to keep one thing in mind in its transformation year. Many PC users own an iPad from Apple. Many of the same consumers also have iPhone 5 or other iPhone models. Microsoft better keep in mind that while the iPhone 6 frenzy takes place later this year that consumers don’t just decide to opt into the Mac ecosystem rather than Windows for their desktops too.
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