Gartner has stated that Microsoft is taking a big risk with the forthcoming releases of Windows 8 and Office.
In fact, the analyst praised Microsoft for its strategy of trying to maintain relevance in a market that is increasingly moving towards new form factors and user experiences.
“When the PC dominated personal computing by providing a single device for messaging, Internet access, gaming and productivity, Windows was a powerhouse for Microsoft,” commented Gartner’s vice president, Michael Silver.
“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.”
Gartner cites a number of reasons why the new OS is a risk, chief among them is the introduction of the Metro UI – while it would provide an optimum environment for tablet and hybrid users, it could be less appropriate on desktops and laptops, which still constitute the majority of the PC market.
Nonetheless, if the operating system is successful then Gartner feels it will change the face of the PC industry.
“Windows 8 is not your normal low or even high impact major release of the OS,” added Garter’s research vice president, Steve Klaynhans.
“It’s the start of a new era for Microsoft — the RT era — which follows the NT era, which began in 1993 and is just now starting to fade out. Microsoft eras seem to run about 20 years, so the technology underlying Windows 8 will last a long, long time.”