Windows 10: Microsoft looks to catch up in the mobile world

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Updated: July 29, 2015 7:52:05 PM

Microsoft, that changed computing with MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System) in 1981 is looking to reinvent itself with the launch of Windows 10 today in 190 countries.

microsoft windows 10Satya Nadella, the India born CEO of Microsoft wants a billion devices globally to run Windows 10 over the next three years. (Image: Microsoft)

Microsoft, that changed computing with MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System) in 1981 is looking to reinvent itself with the launch of Windows 10 today in 190 countries. The huge change for MS is that it is launching Windows 10 in a world market that has over the past few years moved from desktop computers and laptops to smartphones.

That huge change has meant that this time round MS from being a leader is a follower in many ways. To take on the competition, Windows 10 will be is available universally. It will run on everything―desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets and will be hooked into the Windows 10 Store that will provide a single platform for a wide range of apps, games, software and services. That’s a space that has already been captured by Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store years ago. Windows 10 has introduced Cortana a personal digital assistant quite on the lines of Google Now and Apple’s Siri. As if that is not enough, this time round instead of charging existing Windows users to
upgrade, it is following the free download model that is prevalent globally today. That’s a huge change for Microsoft and a clear indicator of the fact that it realises that it is in a tight spot.

Satya Nadella, the India born CEO of Microsoft wants a billion devices globally to run Windows 10 over the next three years. All along, MS has focused on the PC and laptop market. It is only over the past few years that it has been looking to get a foot into the mobile space―the acquisition of Finland’s Nokia was just one such step. That’s not surprising. In 2014, personal computers accounted for just 12.7% of all devices sold globally according to Gartner. That number is expected to fall further to 12.2% in 2015. Mobile phones (including smartphones) and tablets accounted for the balance. But the problem for MS is that Windows phones account for a mere 5% of the global smartphone market that is dominated by Google’s Android. After all some of the biggest mobile handset vendors such as Samsung and Mircomax are on the Android platform. It is in a complex world that Windows 10 is arriving. If it manages to break into the smartphone space, it could be a huge re-entry for MS. That, however,
remains to be seen.

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