Recently at its Worldwide Partners Conference, Microsoft stated that one of the future goals for the company is to develop a ‘single ecosystem’ for all computers. This system would be developed to work with all PCs, smartphones, tablets, and any new future devices. In addition, the company believes that a single OS could also power its popular Xbox and televisions. If Microsoft is able to accomplish this, what will it mean for Windows as we now know it?
Well to answer that question one must first look at the struggles Microsoft experienced with the Windows software when the first netbooks were introduced to the marketplace. The first issue appeared to revolve around having only two operating systems — Windows XP or the shrunk down version of Windows 7 Starter — that would work on these pint size units. Other issues included memory that had to be curbed back to 1 GB in order to provide the units with additional operating time while on battery power. This problem had been resolved by other companies by use of an ARM or other variants to fire their Central Processing Units.
Fortunately for Microsoft, the sales of netbooks was mediocre, therefore not posing a serious threat to Windows until Apple came out with its popular iPad. It was with the unparalleled success of the iPad, which Apple struggled to meet demand for, that Microsoft found itself at a serious disadvantage. Now that other companies have joined in the tablet market, that disadvantage has only become more glaringly obvious. Due to its slowness in solving its OS issues, Microsoft finds that it has nothing to compete against the iOS from Apple or the Android operating system from Google.
Despite that, however, I do not personally believe that we are entering into a post PC world since I still find that I require a fully functional Windows generated computer to do real work. Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy my Apple iPad or using the free Cr-48 computer Google sent me,. it just means that I need the ability to multitask and Windows 7 meets my needs. I believe that while tablet computers and smartphones are great supplements to the standard laptop and/or desktop computers, they are not a replacement for those of us who depend on a Windows system to do our daily work activities.
With that being said, I hope that Microsoft is able to develop one operating system for all devices in order to create an advantage of continuity for end users. However, like most of us, I have no idea if it will take Microsoft one year or ten years to develop such a complicated operating system.