Jul 192012
 
Microsoft's big gamble with Windows 8

It’s official, Windows 8 has an October 6, 2012 release date.

For Microsoft, the pressure is now on. Not only does the desktop version have to be shipped but also the smartphone and tablet versions. Their cloud services are going to have to be flawless on the day Windows 8 goes live.

The tablet version is doubly important as Microsoft has to convince cynics like me that the Microsoft Surface is not vapourware. With the Surface RT scheduled for release with Windows 8, Microsoft are going to have to announcing pricing and final specifications very soon. Reports are that the Surface is beginning to appear on Amazon sites so release may not be far away.

Nokia too will now be under a lot of pressure as releasing credible Windows 8 are the only hope for the company’s future. As it is, the current range of Lumia phones are now dead in the water despite massive discounts.

As we’ve previously discussed, Windows 8 is essential to Microsoft’s market position and will define their future – a failure will almost certainly lock the once dominant software giant to a another lost decade.

We’ll see a lot advertising and PR hype around Windows over the next few months, the real test will come at the end of October and with the Christmas buying season.

By the middle of next year we’ll have a good idea of just how successful Windows 8 will be. Steve Ballmer’s future depends upon it.

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