I am neither an Apple addict or a Microsoft connoisseur. All the computers in my household have a specific purpose, be it my Apple iPhone, my iMac, my Chromebook (that is in the mail), or my various windows computers. In my eyes both Windows and Apple (soon Google) play a particular role and serve consumers specific needs. Though from an investing standpoint my personal opinion and favoritism does not matter. Most American consumers have a bit over one computer (just like they have half a child statistically speaking). This means that from a standpoint of putting your money to work, only one platform really prevails and remains the driver of future growth. That being said let me tell you a bit about Windows 8.
Microsoft has effectively attempted to redesign their platform. Making the home screen the start screen (as shown above). The concept is catchy. Though the functionality is nonexistent. The result of the new approach is a platform caught between ancient Microsoft and a futuristic version based on Apple. Microsoft has attempted to take the world of the Apps to their computer, but failed in doing so. Most of the software is installed the same way it has been for 15 years. For example I searched Google Chrome on the app store and then was taken to their website, rather than being able to download it in the “App Store.” Basically the platform got lost somewhere between vision and implementation.
The biggest and most obvious misstep of the Microsoft team was failure to differentiate. Differentiate between a tablet and a desktop (or laptop) computer. Resulting in the Windows 8 on desktops (and laptops) having an interface that would be more productive on a tablet. This lack of vision cost Microsoft the potential edge they had during this product cycle. I think that is still what separates Apple from Microsoft in this context. Apple has a similar interface for all their devices, but also the ability for each to be tiered towards that device. Microsoft has attempted to have the same approach but failed on execution. Though a Microsoft aficionado could argue that the interface on both desktops and tablets presents itself as clean and functional (though from my standpoint the two basic home screens remains odd).
Overall Windows 8 remains functional It is a big step in the future and even took a tech guy like me a bit of getting used to. From a money standpoint the reality of the situation is hard to bear for Microsoft lovers. In an environment where other companies like Apple and Google are eating Microsoft’s lunch and using it to feed their dogs, the Windows team really needed to blow us all away. They failed to do so and once again launched an inconsistent product (that seemed rushed). Windows 8 will serve a purpose and will sell, but will fil to stop the exodus of Microsoft users to other brands.
Note: Sometime ago I mention I was excited about the launch of Windows 8 and the potential it had for Microsoft. I now disagree completely with those statements. Windows 8 was just lackluster.