” We want to move from people needing Windows to choosing Windows, to loving Windows. That is our bold goal,” Microsoft CEO – Satya Nadella said three years ago. At the time, Microsoft was disclosing more information about Windows 10, and astonishing people with technologies such as the HoloLens headset.
Microsoft announced a new reorganization. It’s the fourth major shuffle inside the company over the past five years. Microsoft is splitting Windows into different parts. Terry Myerson, a 21-year Microsoft veteran, as Windows chief, is leaving the company. The core development of Windows is being moved to a cloud and AI team, and a new team will take over the “experiences” Windows 10 users see like apps, the Start menu, and new features. The first big clue about the OS’s future is that Microsoft’s “Windows and Devices Group” is now “Experiences & Devices,” and it includes Windows, Office, and Surface. Experiences, instead of Windows, is also a huge clue at how Microsoft and Nadella see the operating system in the broader aspect of computing in general.
Android has 2 billion monthly active devices, and more than 1 billion Apple devices are in active use around the world. Microsoft always claims that 1.5 billion people use Windows, although there are signs that number could be dropping. Windows 10 is now running on more than 600 million devices (as of November), including PCs, tablets, Xbox One consoles, HoloLens headsets, and even Surface Hub devices and phones. Microsoft’s own Windows trends show that Windows 10 was running on 45 percent of all PCs and tablets back in November, meaning overall Windows usage might actually have slipped to 1.33 billion. 600 million Windows 10 users is still a massive number, but it’s just over half of Microsoft’s original target. Microsoft had three years to reach the 1 billion goal, but it was clearly based on Windows Phone being a success. The software maker gave up on its bold target after just a year.
Windows is surely more respected than it was three years ago. Windows 10 has been an impressive return to form from the controversial release of Windows 8. Microsoft has listened to those still using Windows, and it’s adapted the operating system wisely. Windows isn’t dead, but it’s clearly not as important to Microsoft anymore and it will play a very different role in the company’s future. Microsoft needs to follow and provide cloud services and apps to people on the platforms they’re using. The company has seen great success with Office 365 and apps like Outlook for mobile, and Microsoft expects that two thirds of its Office users will have moved to its subscription cloud service by next year. Windows is being adapted for new devices and scenarios, but it’s not the core of Microsoft’s business anymore and hasn’t been for years. Nadella says “the future of Windows is bright,” but in the same sentence he says Microsoft will “more deeply” connect Windows to its Microsoft 365 offering. Microsoft 365 lets companies purchase Office and Windows together in a single subscription.
Now that Microsoft has moved the fundamental core of Windows over to the cloud team, it’s easy to see the long-term future of Windows being a cloud subscription service for the people who really need to use it, rather than love using it. Bill Gates figured out how to put a computer on every desk and in every home, and now the company is ready to grow and tackle the future. It’s not the old and trusted Windows operating system that will get Microsoft there.
Source : The Verge