With Windows 7 already out of the gate and doing fairly well, Microsoft is reportedly prepared to shift its focus towards Windows 8 development beginning in July 2010. And what, exactly, will the next iteration of Windows have in store for users? Well, Ars Technica writes that Microsoft is keeping a close eye on moves made by both Apple and Google as it attempts to better position Windows to compete in a market place where it’s exorbitant market share may not be a given anymore. Microsoft realizes, Ars writer Emil Protalinski notes, that “there are new challenges in the changing marketplace that have to be met head-on if the Windows brand is to continue to flourish.”
Microsoft will focus on evolving and optimizing “the Windows brand experience,” specifically the “trifecta” of Windows brands for the consumer audience (Windows 7, Windows Live, and Windows phone) in the years to come with Windows 8 and beyond, sources said. More broadly, Microsoft leaders and colleagues will be trying to refine “the holistic brand strategy” for Windows Client, Windows Server, Windows Azure, and Windows Embedded.
Ironically, part of the problem with Microsoft’s strategy is evident from its proposed solution. Windows Client, Windows Server, Windows Azure, Windows Live, Windows Embedded – what the hell do all of these things do?! Microsoft’s strategy of dipping its feet into everything tends to confuse more than optimize, and as we’ve noted before, Microsoft’s branding problem drives at the heart of its predicament – namely, what exactly is Microsoft trying to accomplish? If it’s offensive strategy is more akin to defensive maneuvering, it doesn’t seem likely that Microsoft will every recapture the luster it had back when Windows 95 was king.
Put simply, Instead of trying to “take on” Apple and Google, Microsoft would be well-advised to develop its own roadmap instead of borrowing their’s from competitors. Because when it comes down to it, Microsoft may very well be looking down the field, but Apple and Google already have their sights set on the end zone.