Introduced in 1985, Microsoft Windows proceeded to dominate the world’s personal computer market, peaking with a 95% market share in 2003. That dominance began to fade by 2009 and was finally surpassed by Google’s Android operating system in 2017.
Steve Balmer became CEO of Microsoft in 2000 and established a “devices and services” strategy. Under his 13 year tenure, revenues more than doubled. He added the profitable x-box entertainment and data centers divisions to Microsoft’s product lines, but he failed to capitalize on tablet computing, smartphones and music player opportunities, seeing them as threats to the continuing success of Windows and Office.
On February 4, 2014, Satya Nadella became Microsoft’s third CEO in its 42 year history and began by redefining the Microsoft mission statement: “At our core, Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world. We will reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more.” Microsoft stock has risen more than 130% to an all-time high since Nadella became CEO.
Microsoft recently announced its fourth major reorganization in the past five years, intending to further capitalize on its current major growth areas: artificial intelligence, cloud (internet) services, enterprise software and the Internet of Things.
Web services and AI have become the stars of the show for Microsoft and Windows has faded to a supporting role. For consumers and small businesses, Microsoft envisions continuing changes for personal computing. Constantly connected devices will soon become the norm. Windows Store Apps will truly become Universal Apps and run on most devices.
By 2018, all versions of Windows 10 will offer an “S Mode.” Introduced in 2017, Windows S was marketed to the education market and others looking for budget-friendly, low-maintenance devices. Windows 10 S exclusively runs Microsoft Store apps and progressive web apps; browser choices will be restricted to Edge or Internet Explorer using Bing as the search engine. While the expectation is that customers will come to “love the security, faster boot time, better battery life and consistent performance of Windows 10 S over time.” Users will have an option to switch to the more traditional Windows 10 functionality.
Microsoft “believes Progressive Web Apps (PWA) is the key to the web’s future.” The Microsoft store has recently started listing PWA. PWA is traditional web applications enhanced with modern web technologies. They’re universal, easy to build and maintain, cost-effective and searchable. Critics contend that Microsoft, Google, and Apple would never accept a single app platform that challenges the established model, but those critics are already wrong. Edge, Chrome and Firefox browsers are ready to work with PWAs today and Safari will join in “soon.” PWA could open up software development like nothing before it, and chances are – it will.
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’… Bob Dylan