How Many OSes Does Microsoft Need?

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | December 5, 2013 - 06:53 PM |
Tagged: windows, microsoft

Peter Bright at Ars Technica is wondering how many operating systems (OSes) Microsoft actually needs and, for that matter, how many they already have. Three consumer versions of Windows exists (or brands of it does): Windows RT, "full" Windows, and Windows Phone. Then again, it is really difficult to divide up what a unique operating system even is. All of the aforementioned "OSes" run on the same base kernel and even app compatibility does not align to that Venn diagram.

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In my personal opinion, it really does not matter how many (or what) operating systems Microsoft has. That innate desire to categorize things into boxes really does nothing useful. At best, it helps you create relationships between it and other platforms; these comparisons may not even be valid. Sure, from the perspective of Microsoft's marketing team, these categories help convey information about their products to consumers.

... And if recent trends mean anything: very incorrect and confusing information.

So really, and I believe this is what Peter Bright was getting at, who cares how many OSes Microsoft has? The concern should really be what these products mean for consumers. In that sense, I really hope we trend towards the openness of the last couple Internet Explorer versions (and of course Windows 7) and further from the censored nature of Windows RT.

You can have 800 channels or just a single one but that doesn't mean something good is on.

Source: Ars Technica

December 6, 2013 | 02:16 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

M$ needs an OS for the desktop! Oh wait, 7 will do, they just need to stop forcing 8, 8.1 onto new hardware buyers! Yes a windows 7 SP2! Windows 7 was the ONE M$ OS that its customers actually looked forward to, after Vista, and do miss greatly, compared to that steaming pile of CACA, windows 8,8.1! There are plenty of other NON-M$ OSs for Phones/Tablets so no need to bastardize your desktop OS, you know M$, it was 7, the ONE people could use with a mouse! Its the ONE, 7, that most enterprises, with sane management, liked to use, the ONE that did not require a massive investment in retraining costs. M$, so many people are just now switching to 7, the ONE they like, so just give them the ONE, 7 with the same desktop UI, and keep the improvments under the hood.

December 6, 2013 | 04:20 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I stopped reading at the point where you used the term "M$".

December 7, 2013 | 02:56 PM - Posted by Tali (not verified)

Same here

December 6, 2013 | 07:45 AM - Posted by Branthog

They need two. Three, if you really have to splinter off the server (unlike Linux and Unix where it's essentially a full crossover between the two).

They need their bullshit casual user and touch device OS and they need their power user and business OS.

The tech company I work for has over a hundred thousand employees and we are only now forcing an upgrade away from XP before it is EOL. The upgrade is to Win7. My mind will be blown if we were ever to move to Win8.

Microsoft has to make a decision. Do they want to tell business and power users to fuck off and embrace only your grandmother's use of operating systems? Or do they want to address both markets with appropriately designed and targeted products?

It's a pretty poor business decision to force one product choice on your entire customer base. All you'll end up doing is alienating a lot of your customers and driving them elsewhere. There's a reason most successful companies produce different lines of products so they can reap the most from their spectrum of consumers.

Or, you know, don't. It's not like Apple is doing any better. I'm at the point, now, where a decade of choosing Apple as my go-to laptop (and often, desktop) along with my entire engineering group is a thing of the past. They're going the direction Microsoft is. If this opens the door for Linux, then that'd be fantastic.

At any rate, something has to give -- you don't abandon massive market segments and not expect someone to come in and fill that gap.

December 6, 2013 | 12:50 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

As sales have shown, people have mobile devices with other more liked OSs, but why did M$ have to go and kruft up their desktop/productivity OS with all that phone/tablet junk! The answer is M$ lusted after Apples Phone/tablet ecosystem, with its walled garden approach! Even Apple, in all its glued together glory, never dared experiment with its main desktop OS! M$, not content to slowly develop its phone/tablet market share, had to, in its always late to the party approach, try and reach Apples closed ecosystem nirvana, and reach it the usual M$ Vista/ME/BOB hastily done manner. Once again M$ customers, or cows, as M$ likes to think of them, are again completey ignored, as they have been experssing their dismay, at first sight of the very first beta, of that TIFKAM on the desktop abomination, 8, and its not much changed after all the outcry, 8.1. How can a company like M$, a supplier of OSs to third party laptop/desktop OEMs, get away with forcing its way with the totally indipendent OEMs, well that's 3 decades of totally non existent policing by the agencies in charge of insuring fare and equitable market practices. The same goes for the CPU industry, pre mobile devices ascendancy. With the rise of the ARM business model, and the licensed CPU/GPU IP and Android/linux/BSD OSs, that goes along with the new market, no one CPU/GPU or OS maker will ever have control of so much of the market, and the suppliers of OSs and CPUs/GPUs will be returned to their rightfull place, as suppliers to the OEMs and not the overloards, of the OEM's or the OEM's customers. Expect much enterprise/govrnment investment in ISO standard OSs, OSs as vital infrastructure as opposed to OSs controlled by one entity! Many enterprise Servers and most supercomputing environments are built around the Linux kernel, as well the BSD/Linux kernel on laptops/PCs, both derived from Unix, and even Google has shifted from using it own in house Linux distro, to using Debian wheezy, the open source distro that many other linux distros are derived. This marks the end to the neo-trusts of the personal computing era, and just like the railroad and oil trusts of the past, people will wonder why these monopolies were tolerated for so long.

December 7, 2013 | 08:13 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Troll on fool. Use what you want to use and get on with your life. End of story.

December 7, 2013 | 12:35 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)




further granularity within each of the above classifications if so desired, but really, those 3 categories about cover it

December 9, 2013 | 01:34 PM - Posted by praack

Microsoft definitely needs a tablet os, and a separate desktop os that does not share features (read that metro) with the tablet os.

of course you need a server os

as for phone- well phone is the tablet os- tablets and phones are the same- run the same processor only one is a bit larger and lacks the phone. even that is changing now.

do we need different flavors of the desktop- not really but this is where microsoft makes money- i would like it if they left the memory alone though- to have a 64 bit os and have the max mem curtailed based on version is a bit weird.