After the flop show of Windows Vista, Windows 7 has turned out to be the 'knight in shining armor' and made a significant dent in the Windows user base. Although it has been a year only since Microsoft unearthed Windows 7, the latest operating system has found much traction among the users and has become the fastest selling operating system (OS) in Window's history with over 240 million sold licenses globally. Enterprises are also adopting Windows 7. According to a study, while 80 percent of the respondents are planning to deploy Windows 7 in less than 12 months time, over 7000 businesses in India have already opted for Windows 7. Seeing this successful run of Windows 7, Microsoft's recent announcement of the upcoming version of Windows seems to be a little early. The Dutch arm of Microsoft announced recently in a blog that the successor to Windows 7, dubbed 'Windows 8' by most; will be shipped in two years. While Microsoft is following its three-year development cycle for its operating systems, questions are being raised whether the new version will get traction or not.
Why this uncertainty? Well, it's quite simple. Enterprises, which are still migrating to Windows 7 from XP or the older versions of Windows like Office 97, are unlikely to repeat the same in just two years with the new one. Analysts said that generally companies don't prefer operating system upgrades because of the uncertainty of running critical applications. But since Microsoft stopped issuing security fixes for computers running the Windows XP operating system, enterprises had to shift to Windows 7 and in order to make them go for Windows 8 this time, Microsoft will have to take similar steps.But Microsoft must have seen it from a different angle, an angle which is more likely to be dominated by the desire to have a competitive edge over its peers like Apple and Google. According to a presentation leaked earlier this year, the next version of Windows will include a Windows App Store similar to the one Apple unveiled for Mac.
Analysts are of the opinion that Windows 8 will survive if it comes with minor changes and not with major architectural changes. They said that Vista became a failure since it was a sea change to Windows XP and people found it confusing while handling it. Microsoft's move of bringing in the newer version of Windows may have objectives of giving tough competition to its rivals or to be more precise to win the game, but at the same time it does have the possibility of being left aside, thus repeating the Vista history.