For years, people have been predicting the death of Microsoft’s Windows dominance. And in the last two years, it’s finally happened. The rise of iOS and Android have made Microsoft’s operating system significantly less important.
Luckily for Microsoft, this hasn’t meant the death of its business overall. Thanks to the strength of its Office franchise and its Servers and Tools business, Microsoft is still very healthy.
But, there’s no escaping that Windows is what drives the whole company. CEO Steve Ballmercalls Windows, “the heart and soul of Microsoft from Windows PCs to Windows Servers to Windows Phones and Windows Azure.” And that heart is beating a little bit more weakly today than it was in say, 2005.
Going into 2013, this will be one of the major stories to watch. Microsoft released Windows 8 in an attempt to reverse the decline of Windows’ importance. It has touch elements which are meant to mitigate the rise of the iPad, and Android. But so far, it’s off to a slow start. Can Microsoft reverse it in 2013? Or is this time different? Are we really, finally, seeing the end of Windows?