Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Is Microsoft's new strategy going to pay off?

Its been no secret that Windows 8 is having a tough gaining market penetration.  Microsoft says that they are selling 20 million units a month but does that mean to OEMs or consumers?  The company has made some bold moves with the OS like getting rid of the start menu for the new tablet interface.  Even the companies own flagship device seems to be off to a rough start.  What seems to be the problem?

The first problem is having two different versions of Windows.  All of the advertising for Windows 8 shows the Start screen.  It looks the same on both Windows 8 and Windows RT.  The only difference is that Windows RT has very limited capability even though it also has a desktop.  Since Microsoft chose a horrible name for their ARM version of Windows, people not familiar with the tech industry will have a tough time differentiating the difference between RT and Windows 8.  Another thing that hampers Windows RT is that the app market has to be re-created since normal Windows applications will not run on that version.  Microsoft already had to do this with Windows Phone with limited success, what makes them think developers will be wanting to develop for the RT portion of Windows 8?

Another reason their strategy is off to a low start is that the price of their devices are too expensive.  I understand that Microsoft thinks they have an amazing operating system and OEMs think they can trick  consumers into paying ridiculous prices for their tablets and PCs but those days are over with the advent of the netbook.  Its not really the consumers problem that OEMs fought a race to the bottom with prices.  They made their bed and now they have to lie in it.  If I or anyone else is going to pay upwards of a thousand dollars for a computer, i'm going to buy a Mac and I bet many other people feel the same way.  Even the RT tablets are expensive.  I am sorry Microsoft but your tablet is not an iPad and shouldn't be priced like one.  Didn't they learn their lesson from the Android tablet pricing model?  I guess not.

Lastly, the devies that have been released have not been great.  I like an all-in-one PC but not for the prices they are charging .  I feel like for a desktop PC, your going to want a desktop operating system.  I feel the same way with laptops.  I do not want to touch my laptop screen, that is why I have a touchpad.  Some of the convertibles are neat but they are also lacking on disk space and the prices are outrageous.  If you want a convertible with some real power, your going to have to get a core i3, i5, or i7, that comes with a fan as well as they are bulky.  If you instead look to buy an atom powered device, your making compromises on power.  I think that the atom processor devices, that are convertible or hybrid devices, will sell the most because they do have decent battery life, are lighter and smaller, and can run full Windows when you need it as well as convert to a tablet when that makes sense.  Also, where the hell is a seven inch tablet version of Windows RT.  Has Microsoft been living under a rock? I am pretty sure that Apple released an 8 inch iPad and 7 inch tablets are killing it in the market.  Why was that not released day one?  I think a seven inch surface tablet that is reasonably priced would have done much better in the market that what they released.

I think Microsoft should have kept traditional Windows only for laptops and desktops.  Hybrids and convertibles could have full Windows while also have a mode for a tablet version of Windows Phone.  Tablets 8 inches and under would run only Windows Phone tablet edition.  I don't think Windows RT has a chance in hell of doing anything in the market and until OEMs and Microsoft releases devices that make sense to consumers, they are going to have a tough time convincing consumers that their high priced computers are worth purchasing over the competition.

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