Originally the internet was dominated by personal computers running Microsoft Windows.
But, as with all empires, it was doomed to failure.
However, the speed of the collapse has been astounding.
The problem for Microsoft is that their long standing policy of planned obsolescence began to fail in 2007 with the release of the unloved Windows Vista.
Windows Vista (codenamed Longhorn) is an operating system by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, tablet PCs and media center PCs.
On 30 January 2007, it was released worldwide and was made available for purchase and download from Microsoft’s website.
Amid the negative reviews and reception, there were also positive reviews of Vista, most notably among PC gamers and the advantages brought about with DirectX 10, which allowed for better gaming performance and more realistic graphics, as well as support for many new capabilities brought about in new video cards and GPUs. However, many DirectX 9 games initially showed a drop in frame rate compared to that experienced in Windows XP.
In its first year of availability, PC World rated it as the biggest tech disappointment of 2007, and it was rated by InfoWorld as No. 2 of Tech’s all-time 25 flops.
Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence in industrial design and economics is a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so it will become obsolete (that is, unfashionable or no longer functional) after a certain period of time.
In a competitive industry, this is a risky strategy because when consumers catch on to this, they may decide to buy from competitors instead.
Crucially, the failure of Windows Vista in 2007 coincided with the release of Android and iOS which ushered in the era of smartphones and tablets.
Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google, based on the Linux kernel and designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Initially developed by Android, Inc., which Google bought in 2005, Android was unveiled in 2007 along with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance – a consortium of hardware, software, and telecommunication companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices.
iOS (formerly iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. exclusively for its hardware.
Originally unveiled in 2007 for the iPhone, it has been extended to support other Apple devices such as the iPod Touch (September 2007) and the iPad (January 2010).
With the release of Windows 7 in 2009 it appeared [for a few short years] that Windows 7 would emulate the very successful Windows XP that was released in 2001.
But then Microsoft really blew it by ramping-up their planned obsolescence cycle with the release of three terrible turkeys:
Windows 8.0 ,
Windows 8.1 ,
Windows 10 .
This leaves the future of Microsoft Windows in rather a precarious position.
Firstly, statistics from Lithuania during Operation Saber Strike 2016 suggest the military sector is still very committed to Windows XP.
Operation Saber Strike is an annual international exercise held since 2010 by the United States Army Europe (USAREUR) focused on the Baltic States.
The exercise spans multiple locations in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and involves approximately 2,000 troops from 14 countries.
Saber Strike 2016 is scheduled from May 27-June 22.
Secondly, the business sector appears to be hanging on for dear life to Windows 7 whilst hoping that Microsoft will return to planet Earth and release a viable alternative before extended support for Windows 7 ends in January 2020.
Thirdly, in the retail sector, the uptake of Windows 10 has stalled.
This stalled adoption is very evident in China where Windows 10 [8.47%] has only just managed to nose ahead of Windows XP [7.51%].
Over the next three years Microsoft hopes it can cajole the majority of its legacy customer base into “upgrading” to Windows 10.
The problem for Microsoft is that hope isn’t a viable long term strategy.
Even a massive marketing budget can’t transform hope into a winning long term strategy.
This especially applies to American consumers.
Just ask the Hillary.