Windows 8 is slowly but surely making its way to store shelves. The operating system is scheduled to be released in the fall, and when its made available, Microsoft will hope to usher in an entirely new era of computing. From tablets to Ultrabooks to desktops, Windows 8 will be the latest operating system that can run on wide range of PC models from desktops, notebooks to tablets and as Microsoft hopes appeal to a wide array of customers.
However, just because Microsoft is launching a new version of Windows that doesnt mean that the new operating system will be an unqualified success. Being popular in todays software market requires not only smart decisions but a generous portion of good luck along with mistakes by other companies. Simply put, Windows 8s chances of doing well are not set in stone.
1. Security woes
Microsoft has said time and again that Windows 8 will be the most secure version of its operating system to date. But what if its wrong? If Windows 8 cant deliver a high level of security that protects both consumers and enterprise users, itll have a hard time attracting users.
2. A poor tablet experience
Microsoft has thrown a Hail Mary with its Surface tablet. The companys slate will be the benchmark by which all other Windows 8-based products are judged. If the Surface proves popular, then Windows 8 will do well on other tablets. If it delivers a sub-par experience, Windows 8 will be in for trouble.
3. A delay
Although Microsoft has smartly decided to not say just yet when Windows 8 will launch, the company has made every indication that itll be available in the fall. If theres a delay, however, real trouble could arise. Hardware OEMs along with consumers (and especially enterprise customers) dont like delays. A delay in the release of Windows 8 will also likely delay the shipment of new PC models. It also gives PC shoppers time to think about looking for a Windows alternative, such as an Apple Macintosh.
4. Mountain Lions continued popularity
As Apple prepares to launch Mountain Lion, there isnt a single person in the market that doesnt believe the operating system will be successful. And because of that success, Apples operating system could hurt Windows 8. After all, if its chief competitor is capturing the attention of customers, how can Windows 8 expect to hold up?
Will Enterprises Be Ready to Upgrade?
5. Desktops continued decline
According to most research firms, desktops are on the way out. It wont happen anytime soon, of course, but their once-massive growth rates in shipments has declined and notebooks and Ultrabooks are taking over. Even tablets are hurting desktops. If desktop sales drop precipitouslya not-so unlikely scenario, according to some analystsWindows 8 will be hurt.
6. Poor Ultrabook adoption
All of the talk in the mobile PC space revolves around Ultrabooks. The ultra thin, ultra lightweight computers are designed with mobile customers in mind and could dramatically improve the Windows ecosystems standing against the MacBook Air and the iPad. However, if prices stay up and demand turns sluggish, Windows 8 could be in for serious trouble.
7. Apples iPad move
Apples iPad is the product that might have a major impact on Windows 8, and yet, its often overlooked in a discussion of the operating system. The iPad is the Surfaces chief competitor, and the product that Microsofts tablet will be judged against. If the iPad hurts the Surface, Windows 8 adoption could prove sluggish.
8. Microsoft efforts to diversify
For many years Microsofts focus was on PC operating systems and application software. But over the past decade the company has diversified through the development of everything from personal media players to video game consoles. That hurt Vista and could very well hurt Windows 8 if Microsoft doesnt focus on the most important task at hand.
9. The enterprises issues with upgrading
As Microsoft knows all too well, the enterprise is not so keen on jumping on the latest and greatest products. Instead, it takes its time to determine if a particular product is right for what its after. Although that is to be expected with Windows 8, with a sluggish economy still impacting firms, theres no telling when the spending freeze might start to thaw. If it takes longer than expected, Windows 8 could deal with some adoption problems.
10. Windows 7
Windows 7 is highly popular. The operating system is, in fact, the most popular Microsoft has offered at this point in its lifecycle. Considering that, how might Windows 8 adoption be impacted? Sure, Windows 8 will be a better operating system (on paper, at least), but to many, that doesnt matter. Windows 7 is a known OS with high-quality features. Many users, at home and in enterprises, could very well take their time upgrading to Windows 8 just as Windows XP users did when Microsoft introduced Windows Vista. This could be true even assuming that Window 8 is vastly superior to Vista and a major step up from Windows 7.