Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Windows Blue Insights

These days tech industry is fueled with code name “Windows Blue” for the next upgrade of Windows 8 operating system. This article would give you complete insights which include certain problems and analysis about new upgrade to address the confusion.

Price remains the major constraint behind any innovation. Microsoft did not mention the price when they announced their product last week. Consumers might be thinking Microsoft is going to offer free decimal point upgrade for Windows 8 users. It means the upgrade is free but it is limited to Windows 8 users only. So the first thing is to get Windows 8 and get the upgrade for free.

Microsoft has introduced an improved version of Windows by overhauling Windows 7 back in October. Windows 8 was meant to meet the growing needs of smartphone industry. They managed to provide users almost complete control on touch screen. They received criticism from users for eliminating the Start button. It provided them a new way to access programs and control over frequently used items. In the PC mode they just resembled older version without having the Start button to access settings and programs. As a result, they had more than 10 percent PC sale decline in the first quarter.

The newest Windows 8.1 upgrade is better for tablets and 1/8 inch screens. Furthermore it would allow devices to compete with smartphone giants such as Samsung, Google and Apple devices. Once they successfully implements upgrade on devices, they will land into the market with pre-installed 8.1 on Microsoft devices.

Would Windows 8 Significantly Fix all Problems?

It is essential for Microsoft to refresh the OS in order to spark the tablet and PC sales. The company expects higher sales through the introduction of Blue. They made several changes in Windows 8 such as modifications to the subcomponents, feature set and tweaks on user interface. Combining all these changes, it’s just minor solution to the overall problems. They certainly need to get more work done on apps storage, price, positioning and other enterprise level changes.  

They are going to ship the upgrade in holiday season. It means the scheduled release has to work in fast-paced development procedures. Perhaps this is the continuous development strategy from Microsoft to increase its share in Tablet, Smartphone as well as in Desktop market. They are accelerating the pace of updates by now. The previous yearly updates in form of Service Pack between Windows editions have now turned into feature changes. This will enhance security level and fix the problem more importantly.

Currently they are focusing on the User Interface and Small to Medium Level Enhancements. They need to do more improvements. As I said earlier, the price has been a major role playing issue. It looks like they would lower the prices in decimal point upgrade. Lowering price would certainly increase the sales. They have planned it back in 2010 when they were building Windows 8 and Windows RT projects. At that time the prices of tablets were high but now the trend shifts to lower prices for tablets and smartphones. Newer devices would have larger screens at lower prices. Apps issue shall also be fixed in 8.1.

Microsoft currently claims to provide different styled user interface for touch-centric programs. The developers need to build up top-notch apps for consumers.

Update is Free for Windows 8 and RT Users

To cut the price Microsoft has provided free upgrade for Windows 8 and RT users through Windows Store. Consumers were expecting they are required to pay for the upgrade. They have already sold million copies of Windows 8 and placed 70,000 apps on store. The free upgrade will made transition simple. Microsoft believes that new strategy of updates will provide richer experience for consumers.

Biggest Threat

The biggest threat to Windows Blue is that it cannot fix app problem. The upgrade would initially solve some of the rough edges but core platform issue remains the same. The preinstalled apps are no more source of entertainment for consumers. The induction of the Start button as stated above is real time improvement and there are changes made on user interface end. Most likely company is focusing on changing the style and adding improvements in features along with fixing bugs in decimal upgrades. If they could work closely with apps session, they can increase the market share.

On Microsoft Store there are more than 70,000 apps for consumers. Microsoft already ships these apps with Windows 8 but these apps are underpowered and likely fit in tablet session. The mail app which is present in Windows 8 is far behind MS Outlook or web based email systems. Another Skydrive integration is plus but app is limited functionality. The design of IE for Windows 8 looks clumsy and seems something inferior to Desktop version of the browser.

The market competitors are dominating in apps section because Google Play Store is providing 800,000 apps, Apple App Store is providing 775,000 while Microsoft has only 50,000-70,000 apps. Windows Blue 8.1 would be a better operating system if they could solve apps problem.

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