Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has set October 25th as the date it will release Windows 8, the latest version of its famous operating system. However, many have been expressing concerns over whether or not it’s ready.
The biggest name that has been reported to express these concerns is Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini. According to reports Mr. Otellni told employees in Taiwan that Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system will be released before it is ready. But he is also reported to have said that it’s the right thing for Microsoft to do as improvements can be made later.
Windows 8 is the first version of Windows designed for touch tablets. It is important for Microsoft to get Windows 8, and its sister Windows Phone 8, out there before the holiday shopping season.
Windows 8 is a big gamble for Microsoft. On one hand Microsoft has to get into the tablet and smartphone business in a big way as users are increasingly using these devices instead of PCs. But there is still a huge market for, and huge installed base of, PCs.
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT), which appears to justify its claim to be the “ world’s leading information technology research and advisory company”, just published a press release entitled “Gartner Says Windows 8 Is a Big Gamble Microsoft Must Make to Stay Relevant in World Where Mobile Devices with New Experiences Are Becoming the Norm”.
The title pretty much says it all. The release noted that “Making radical changes to Windows poses a risk for Microsoft as organizations like to reduce technology risk by deploying mature, stable, well-supported products.” But it also noted “However, smartphones and tablets, led by the iPhone and iPad, have changed the way people work, making the PC just one of several devices people use. The PC is increasingly simply a peer with other devices.”
So that has been Microsoft’s dilemma – move cautiously and risk being left behind in a dramatically growing market, or take some risks – especially given the unfinished nature of Windows 8 – to try and remain a technology leader. The smart money seems to agree with Microsoft, saying to Microsoft “Go for it”.