There is smartphone section, the tablet section and the PC section (which includes laptop and desktop manufacturers) which makes for the IT segment of consumer goods. The software industry has come a long way and undergone a plethora of changes since the first windows and macintosh. iOS6 was launched not a long time ago and on Oct 26th, Microsoft came out with Windows 8. The recent reports about a month’s performance of the operating system in the market has indicated that it has been received better than Windows 7 which was released in 2009. Win 8 is touch enabled and is primarily designed keeping the upsurge of smartphones and tablets.
Windows 8 has a lot banking upon its shoulders as far as Microsoft is concerned. While Windows still holds the higher ground in the PC section followed by the Mac from Apple and variations from open source, MS designed the OS so it would be easy to integrate with touch screen devices like smartphones and tablets. The partnership with Nokia did not prove to be as fruitful as MS has hoped with the range of Nokia’s flagship ‘Lumia’ devices.
Apple on the other hand, along with Samsung’s Android has been one upping MS’s Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8 enabled devices from HTC and Nokia (and most recently with the new Lumia 920). To reclaim its position and prove its might, Microsoft had to come up with something radical and game changing which it tried to emulate in windows 8. It is a lot different from the usual windows interfaces which started from Windows NT and Windows 95. The touch capability renders it powerful and easy integration is possible with other platforms and peripherals like cloud services are a new set of features launched with Win 8.
There are a lot of features which were absent in the previous versions of windows. There has been a radical change in the user interface. The OS now has a tablet operating software look which has movable boxes which can be clicked upon (or touched to activate in the case of a tablet), instead of the desktop-icon arrangement. One striking feature of Win8 is that the OS maintains its UI across all platforms, be it smartphone, tablet, PC or laptop. The tablet version of Win 8 is Win 8 RT which is pre-installed on the surface tablets. The upgrade includes latest softwares like the new internet explorer and MS-office 2013.
As far as the market potential is concerned, Windows 8 has already fallen prey to piracy. Out of the 40 million copies sold in the last month, to start with, have not been all sold to individual customers, but also to dealers who then move on to sell the copies with the hardware they sell. Quite a bit Windows 8 using population (a majority in my opinion), uses the pirated version of Windows 8. Not even the full build but also the trial version that Microsoft released around a year ago was available online for illegal download. There is not going to be much effect on the usual sale trends but a valid strategy would be to sell the OS along with the hardware that runs it, and Microsoft still has not shown indications of any such venture except for the smartphone speculation and the surface table pre-installed with Win RT.
Although, Microsoft being the only seller that sells the OS independently, and the fact that most applications generally run on Windows will retain its market capture.
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