Keeping an Eye on the Cloud

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-10-26 Print this article Print


5. Windows 7 mode 

One of the best features of Windows 7 is the ability to run a virtual version of Windows XP on the operating system. That has helped Microsoft increase enterprise adoption and keep employees productive while they're trying to learn a new operating system. With Windows 8, Microsoft should deliver a virtual version of Windows 7. After all, if it's drastically different than its predecessor-and it probably will be-giving users something they feel comfortable with is probably a good idea. 

6. An anti-OS mentality 

Microsoft must acknowledge that the future of the operating system market will be ruled by consumers that care less about the operating system than the device they're using. Previously, computers mattered little. But now, the OS is taking a backseat to the computer. If Microsoft can build its operating system with that reality in mind, it can go a long way in keeping Apple's Mac OS X at bay. 

7. Cloud considerations

 The cloud is undoubtedly the future. And although Microsoft has been slower to bring its services there than it should have been, it must realize that Windows 8 should include a strong cloud component. By then, consumers and enterprise customers will expect some Web-based productivity features. If Microsoft doesn't come through, users might just look elsewhere for options.

8. The privacy opportunity 

Privacy is quickly becoming a major issue on the Internet. It seems that with each passing month, another company is being hit hard by privacy advocates who say that the firm overstepped its bounds. But with the right strategy in place, Microsoft can use Windows 8 to its advantage by being a privacy-focused firm. After all, Windows is used by the vast majority of Web users around the world. If Microsoft can be an agent of change in the privacy field, that can go a long way in improving its standing among consumers and enterprise customers. Plus, it'll only help its reputation in broader overall field of security. 

9. A decidedly anti-Google stance 

Microsoft has two options with Windows 8: It can be Microsoft and deliver the same basic products it has offered in the past with strategic improvements, or it can try to follow Google's lead in the software market. When it comes to Windows 8, Microsoft has no choice but to be anti-Google. Never has there been a clearer line drawn between two companies than the line that separates Google and Microsoft. If Microsoft tries to blur that line and become too Google-like, it will face annihilation at some point in the future. But if it sticks to being Microsoft, it might just overcome the tidal wave that Google is bringing down on it. 

10. Fewer OS versions 

Microsoft has confused customers throughout the years with all the separate editions it has released with each new Windows version. These various additions allow Microsoft to address specific markets at different price points, but they really seem to contribute to market clutter that backs up the distribution chain. It can be difficult for consumers and business customers to sort out all the options. With Windows 8, Microsoft can't do that. It should simply offer

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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