Its Difficult to Imagine a World Without Windows

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-09-13 Print this article Print


4. Mobile operating systems mean little

Mobile operating systems are important, for sure. But in the grand scheme of things, they mean very little in the operating system space. As noted, Android and iOS are trailing far behind Windows in total market share, even though they're dominating the mobile space. When looking at the industry on a macro level, mobile operating systems mean very little, compared with Windows.

5. It drives the world

Try to imagine a world without Windows. It's quite difficult. The operating system powers just about everything that consumers, enterprise users and government organizations need to run all aspects of the world. No other operating system, including Mac OS X, Android or Linux can cite that as one of their key strengths. And until all those many stakeholders see no value in Windows, there will be no way for other platforms to become more important.

6. Developers need it

Much has been made about developers flocking to mobile operating systems. And that's certainly the case. But Windows is still the most important platform for any software developer or peripheral maker. If their products don't support the operating system, they won't sell well. It's as simple as that, and why every major company and small firm must consider Windows before they make any decisions on future products. No other operating system has that luxury.

7. It's big money

So far, iOS, Android and even Mac OS X haven't done a whole lot to drive significant revenue gains for their respective makers. Sure, iOS is central to the iPhone's success, and Android is helping mobile-device makers with their bottom lines, but Windows is, in and of itself, a cash cow for Microsoft. Customers all over the globe are dropping hundreds of dollars for a new version of the operating system. PC vendors are paying Microsoft boatloads of cash just to bundle the software on their products. Simply put, Windows is big money. And in today's world, big money is still king.

8. It will determine the fate of future platforms

As of late, there has been quite a bit of talk surrounding Chrome OS, Google's cloud-based operating system. The operating system, which was launched earlier this year to take on Windows, is being called by some, a future Windows killer. However, these analysts fail to realize that the only way that can happen is if Microsoft changes its own strategy. See, Windows affects the direction of the operating system market, not the other way around. So, while Google is trying to push customers to the cloud, Microsoft's gravitational pull is keeping them offline and within the traditional PC model. If Windows stays offline, that won't change. But if Windows heads to the cloud, anything can happen. Like it or not, Windows determines the fate of all its competitors.

9. It's the go-to platform in emerging markets

It's easy to think about how the OS market is changing in mature markets, such as the U.S. or Western Europe, but in emerging markets, Windows is still the only go-to platform for folks. And it just so happens that technology adoption in those countries, especially PC purchasing, is higher than anywhere around the world. Considering that, it doesn't appear Windows will lose any steam anytime soon.

10. Consumers still care

When thinking about Windows' position in the marketplace, more than anything else, it's a good idea to think about consumers. Sure, some of them are buying Android and iOS handsets, and they're warming to the idea of acquiring Macs, but by and large, they're still flocking to Windows in record numbers. Windows Vista might have caused some to wonder about the operating system's future, but Windows 7 has made it abundantly clear that it's still just as important to consumers as it was a decade ago.

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Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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