Microsoft is running the risk of cannibalising its current OS, but I don’t think that’ll happen.
Windows 8 is approaching, and Microsoft is already encouraging upgrades. How will that impact Windows 7?
Around now was when Microsoft were rumored to be talking with OEMs regarding launch strategy, though that has obviously never been officially confirmed. Microsoft is also encouraging users to upgrade to Windows 8, a signal that consumers should stop buying Windows 7, but will the backfire and halt sales?
Microsoft is simultaneously demoing Windows 8 while saying to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7. Microsoft is beginning to position Windows 7 as an OS designed before the market shame, perhaps referring to touch or the rise of tablets. Why, then, does Microsoft include the desktop version of Windows in Windows 8? Isn’t that an admission that the functionality of Windows has been a key ingredient of its success?
Windows 8 was described as a better Windows than Windows 7, and a generational change. Windows 7 is the final version of the OS to be designed for plugged in desktops or laptops. Metro, and Windows 8, is clearly designed for tablets and touch screens for mobile use.
Enterprise-Windows 8 Relationship
The problem is that enterprise is not seeing the incentive to skip Windows 7 and install Windows 8, partly because of the issues associated with launch – and that’s not just Microsoft, it’s every type of medium, look at Diablo 3 – and the issue of how Metro works for business. A while back Microsoft showed beautiful Metro documents, but we don’t know how functional they are. And that’s the key, because enterprise doesn’t care about flashy UIs. That’s why Windows XP is still popular.
Windows 7 is also going to become the default operating system, with support for XP ending in 2014. Microsoft then has three versions of Windows, two of which are co-existing. It would have been more creative by Microsoft to launch two separate versions of Windows 8 – one for enterprise, which is desktop only – or even three version with the dual OS approach and separate Metro and desktop versions of Windows 8 for enterprise and mobile respectively. However, upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8 is cheaper and easier: legacy apps are supported.