Microsoft is rather hit and miss, when it comes to operating systems. Windows 98 was a hit, 2000 was a flop, XP was (and still is) hugely popular, while Vista was buggy and slow. Then came Windows 7, Microsoft's best attempt yet to make a modern enterprise-focused operating system. Unfortunately it was followed by Windows 8, which despite being a lucky number in Asia, has nonetheless seen the worst uptake of any of the previous operating systems.
So went wrong? Primarily, Windows 8 was just a few years ahead of its time, and tried to accommodate too many platforms at once. The biggest mistake, as is well-known now, was the inclusion of the ‘Metro’ style start screen as the primary navigation area of the GUI. While this decision was undertaken to accommodate tablet and touchscreen users to the interface, in reality all it served was to alienate the vast majority of the users who were familiar with (and only wanted to use) the Desktop and Start Menu environment.
Now rumours have begun to trickle out, that after the next update to Windows 8.1, Microsoft will leave the OS to an unceremonious death, preferring instead to move full steam ahead with Windows 9.
This new operating system will reportedly take the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8
This new operating system will reportedly take the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8 and deploy these features different across different devices. In essence, this will manifest itself as the operating system booting by default to the Desktop for desktop and laptop computers, while booting to the ‘Metro’ Start Screen for users of mobile devices. In addition, the settings and file system fragmentation that exists currently across the two platforms will be addressed, making system changes much simpler.
While this is certainly a change for the better, what Windows 9 really needs to be successful is acceptance by the business community and enterprise users. For Microsoft to create a system which is useful to these people they need to make something both with tight cloud integration, as well as an easily intuitive interface, which does not necessitate in depth worker retraining. Here’s hoping they can pull it off...
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