Windows 10: Will Microsoft’s final OS reverse its fortunes?

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Microsoft’s Satya Nadella has quite confidently said: “Windows 10 is a huge milestone for us as a company, and quite frankly the industry.”

You would expect this from the chief executive of what is still one of the globe’s largest and most influential tech companies, just maybe not as influential as they still perceive themselves to be or as threatening to the big A and G.

Microsoft’s decision to launch its OS for one last time in this manner and seek to upgrade in the same way as competitors do when needed or rather stealthy is a good idea. But financially, it may prove costly to manage when you consider the revenues Windows would generate for the company.

Once upon a time, the company’s OS was on 95% of OEM devices and now on an estimated tiny 14%. That’s a lot of licensing revenue down the tubes and with a mobile platform that is only on 3% of smartphones.

Now with Windows 10, perhaps achieving status as a serious player, offering synergy and a uniformed approach across not just PC’s, tablets and mobile but the Internet of Things will hopefully make Microsoft a more desirable platform to create apps for. The strategy, may just work if marketed and deployed successfully.

What does success look like? Doubling or tripling your share in smartphone penetration to some would be viewed as success but is 6% or 9% penetration even enough? I suspect not.

In order to do so, consumers need freedom of choice and cross-compatibility utilising devices and brands that they chose, with devices and software working in concert serving to enhance, not hinder the user experience. It’s the panacea every tech giant wants to achieve but as humans, we are pre-disposed to never be satisfied.

That’s what makes us unique, which reluctantly keeps tech evolving at a rate that many companies can’t feasibly afford to chase anymore, maybe?

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