Microsoft are paying people to use Bing and giving away free client operating system upgrades in exchange for peoples data (Yeah, I’m calling Windows 10 opt-out spyware). Microsoft are on the back foot.
So what’s going on with Microsoft and what are they trying to do? Last year at Tech-Ed the keynote was heavily focused on the value of data, and how Microsoft wanted to move towards “Big Data” as their core business. Unfortunately their foray into the search engine market (the core of the Big Data industry) has been a bit of a failure to the point where they will do anything they can to try to get people to use Bing.
Most recently they have succumbed to giving their latest client operating system away for free. The Windows client has for years been the cornerstone of the Microsoft monopoly, with the nearest threat being Linux, a free operating system with an alien user interface, which is complex to use and won’t run your favourite apps.
So why is Microsoft stooping to give away their best chip for free? Well, the fact is that free operating systems (well, OEM) are now mainstream, such as Google Android & Apple IOS. OK, these aren’t largely computer operating systems, but they will be! Mobile devices (such as smart phones & tablets) are becoming closer and closer to desktop computers with the proliferation of touch screens and more powerful CPUs. Google have already released an operating system that can run on your phone or PC.
These free operating systems are a not like Linux. They’re easy to use, have lots of cheap apps available and look pretty. Whatsmore, people aren’t scared of them. In fact… They like them!
So what would it take to knock Microsoft off the consumer market? They’ve already lost the search engine war. All they have left is the Office suite that home users like to use for their CVs, etc. and the operating system their users are comfortable with.
I’ll leave you with a thought… Imagine a competing operating system that’s free, has a wide range of apps, people like using it and has an affluent and influential marketing machine behind it along with major hardware vendors. Now imagine that there are two such competing operating systems (Google and Apple). Really, all that’s keeping the future of Microsoft’s client operating system afloat is the fact that there are no PC games available in order operating systems… At the moment. Even so, a good chunk of the PC gamer market has moved over to games consoles. Again, with the proliferation of cheap, powerful hardware, there’s no reason why PC games couldn’t move completely to game consoles.