The new adventures of old Microsoft‏

At this point in time, it seems to me that I am the only one to understand Microsoft’s recent strategy moves concerning Windows 8 and its design philosophy. And let me tell you, it feels lonely. I guess people don’t understand why the decisions for the modern style (formerly named Metro) were those and not others. Well, the inability to understand may stem from the inability to grasp what Microsoft really wants. What Microsoft really wants is for its Operating System to run on every device that exists. And she will not stop until she succeeds.

Now, in the old days (a few years ago), there were PCs and servers. Microsoft got to the point where it had a great OS for both. And it named the server OS after the PC OS, too. The common name was Windows. (Microsoft dropped the NT moniker, something that made IT people go bizerk at the time. If you don’t believe me, read the letters to Windows IT Pro magazine during that period.) This was a great decision, of course. People’s faith in the Microsoft server OS was further strengthened because it was named exactly after the successful and omnipresent PC OS.

After having successfully consolidated the OS for PCs and servers, smartphones and tablets started to emerge and at some point, their use exploded. Now what would be the Microsoft’s OS’s reason for existence if it would not try to cover those devices as well? They outnumber the servers and PCs and their importance grows every day. So, Microsoft’s OS has to cover this market, too. Also, this market seems to be more important in the long run.

Things are heading to a future where services will be in the cloud (hopefully hosted in Windows Azure if Microsoft can help it) and PCs, tablets, smartphones, set top boxes, wearable devices and other devices will access those services. Microsoft has to push its OS to all those devices. Then and only then will she really be successful.

You see, this is Microsoft’s nature. Microsoft started with a successful PC OS. Then she asked her mirror on the wall whether she was really successful. Well, the mirror agreed, but pointed out the server market. After expanding to the server market, she asked the mirror again. The mirror verified, but pointed out the virtualization market. After Hyper-V, the mirror pointed out the cloud. After Azure, the mirror pointed out smartphones and hand-held devices. And the story continues. For our sake let’s hope the story has a happy ending. I do believe it will have a happy ending. I would hate for Snow White to win this time. Whoever Snow White may be at a particular point, Microsoft’s philosophy and business aesthetic have been proven far superior from the competition time after time.

Microsoft has just began the final and most important war. That of winning the cloud on one front and tablets, smartphones and other devices on another. And to show this clearly, Microsoft changed her description to a devices and services company. These are the two fronts that Microsoft has to win in order to be ultimately successful and in order for the mirror to finally and wholeheartedly agree.

As in all wars in her past, Microsoft is going to use her most important weapon: its OS. And she will shape it and form it and change it in a way that will help her win the cloud and the devices. What we experience with the modern UI is this transformation of the OS in order to win over the devices market. Every design decision Microsoft made has to do with its OS fitting from PCs to smartphones and everything in between. The modern UI, JavaScript and touch as first class citizens, the desktop-modern UI duality/coexistence are nothing but shaping the OS to compete in the devices battleground. Even making the modern UI part of the server experience has to do with that. It shows that Microsoft is 100% percent behind it and wholeheartedly backing it up and that it is the interface of the present as well as the future.

Microsoft is moving full speed ahead. And she is determined to win. And I support her decisions and admire her fighting spirit.

About Dimitrios Kalemis

I am a systems engineer specializing in Microsoft products and technologies. I am also an author. Please visit my blog to see the blog posts I have written, the books I have written and the applications I have created. I definitely recommend my blog posts under the category "Management", all my books and all my applications. I believe that you will find them interesting and useful. I am in the process of writing more blog posts and books, so please visit my blog from time to time to see what I come up with next. I am also active on other sites; links to those you can find in the "About me" page of my blog.
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