Friday, 7 September 2012

Windows 8: The Saviour of the Old Guard - Microsoft and Nokia?

Nokia has just announced the next in the line of its original and slick Lumia series, (this time operating the full Windows 8 instead of the similar Windows RT) - the 820 and the 920, and wow, do they look good. (Well in my opinion anyway!)

But regardless of how much the critics rave about the UX and Win RT OS the sales are still uninspiring. Perhaps it a similar problem that many companies suffer from; that you have to experience, and live with the product before you can be convinced, and then perhaps you will be a convert for life? If this is the case then Nokia and Microsoft are well placed to enforce this. But can they combine, with Windows 8, to reign once more in tech fashion, innovation and popularity? The Nokia launch of the next Lumia phones precedes Microsoft's upcoming release of the widely anticipated release of Windows 8. This is a significant period for both companies and what is fascinating is the similarities in the paths taken by both companies. It simply highlights the dangers in complacency, especially in the tech world. I believe Apple have also fallen into this trap in a way. It is a very difficult trap to avoid. Why try and fix something that isn't broken? And by the time you realise it is broken, someone else is ready to topple you as market leader. With Windows 8, Microsoft has undertaken the mother of all transformations.

As can be seen - the block-style UX that is used on Windows RT can be used on a machine running Windows 8, but there is also the option to revert to the familiar UX Microsoft is famed for, simply looking sleeker, and glossier. There is a commitment from Microsoft to use this new UX and they clearly trust that the consumer will eventually revert to this thinking. By linking all platforms; the hugely successful XBOX, PC, Windows Phones and the upcoming 'Slate' with Windows 8, Microsoft is trying to dominate all aspects of tech life in your home, and although they've been late to the party I wouldn't bet against them. Microsoft lost it before. Very little denying that. The company fell into the very same trap of complacency that Nokia did. Both companies were comfortable market leaders having saturated their respective markets. In this position, as aptly demonstrated by this example, it is necessary to continue to dictate by controlling the market. This means continuing to innovate. Microsoft and Nokia missed this. Microsoft missed the fashion wave with computing, and Nokia missed the smartphone wave. Both mistakes cost each company greatly.

But what does the future hold? Well Microsoft are in the fortunate position of continuing to hold a market share with the Windows platform on PC. The shift to Win8 is dramatic, as dramatic as the technology world has seen from a major player but I admire this gamble. Microsoft have recognised (late, il grant you that) that the platform was tired and in need to rejuvenation. So kudos for that. Will it work? It certainly won't be an overnight shift but I believe it will work. Whilst many tech bloggers, reporters etc have found an easy target for ridicule in Nokia and Microsoft, we're still talking about giants of the technology world. The power Microsoft have at their disposal is still hugely significant. With over 700,000,000 PCs in operation and Windows 7 having recently taken over as the most used OS, there is the market still for Microsoft. Not only this, those priced out of the Apple market (with computers that is A LOT of people) will be looking towards Microsoft and the new Windows 8 platform. This will help adoption rates early on.
     Nokia face a different, more treacherous path. Win8 on the Nokia Lumia series is a joy to use. But will consumers give it a chance? Nokia have taken the correct steps by following the HTC 'less is more' route. Their recent release will no doubt be overshadowed by the hype of the New iPhone (or whatever they try and call it) and to a lesser extent - the Galaxy Note II. Does that matter? Perhaps the timing was well judged by getting in just before the hype becomes unbearable but at the moment especially, Nokia cannot attract the clamour that Apple can produce. I like their forward thinking though, and being a fan of social media I recommend you check out which is another interesting investment.

Either way, these two juggernaughts have found strong partners in each other, and it will take time plus a lot of effort but they will get there. By combining, familiarising the public with a new Windows, the adoption will snowball and it won't be long before Microsoft and Nokia are fighting back on a positive sales incline once more.

Thanks for reading, if you fancy it just click the follow button up on the right! As always, thought, criticisms etc are most welcome!

No comments :

Post a Comment