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Is Windows 8 doomed?


When computer sales declined 14 percent in the first quarter of this year, fingers immediately began pointing at Microsoft.

The release of a new version of Windows is supposed to stimulate PC sales. But Windows 8 has received a lukewarm reception.

Strategic News Service publisher and KPLU technology commentator Mark Anderson doesn’t mince words. He thinks Windows 8 is a bomb.

The numbers aren’t very encouraging.

According to NetApplications, Windows continues its domination of the desktop with a more than 91 percent share of the market. But most of that is Windows 7 (44.72 percent) and Windows XP (38.31 percent).

Windows 8 only accounts for 3.82 percent. Even the much-maligned Windows Vista still has a 4.75 percent share.

These numbers are from 6 months after the launch of Windows 8. By comparison, NetApplications reports Windows 7 had an 11.94 percent share at the same stage in its life cycle.

Mark gives Microsoft credit for taking a risk and coming up with an operating system that’s spread across desktop, pad and phone platforms. But what works well on a phone isn’t necessarily the best solution for a PC.

Moving back and forth between a touchscreen and the traditional keyboard/mouse combo, for example, strikes Mark as a bad case of ergonomics.

Microsoft survived the poorly received Windows ME and Vista. Will Windows 8 do any real damage?

Mark thinks Windows 8 will hurt Microsoft and the PC industry in the short term. But three years from now, it could be a much different story.

Aside from the problems with Windows 8, Mark says Microsoft has actually turned a corner. He sees a complex, nuanced company with some really cool new products. The software giant has taken risks that have allowed it to enter new markets.

Microsoft is preparing a free upgrade, Windows 8.1, that’s expected to address many consumer complaints about the operating system. The company will offer a public preview in June.

Dave Meyer has been anchoring KNKX news shows since 1987. He grew up along the shores of Hood Canal near Belfair and graduated from Washington State University with degrees in communications and psychology.
Mark Anderson is the CEO of the Strategic News Service® (SNS), SNS was the first subscription-based newsletter on the Internet, and is read by Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Mark Hurd, and industry leaders and investors in computing and communications worldwide. Mark is the founding chair of the Future in Review® (FiRe) Conference, which the Economist has labeled “the best technology conference in the world,” as well as of SNS Project Inkwell, the first global consortium to address technology design changes for one-to-one computing in classrooms. He is the founder of two software companies, a hedge fund, and the Washington Technology Industry Association “Fast Pitch” investment forum, Washington’s premier technology investment conference.