The Decline of Windows

Over the next couple of years the importance of Windows will decline rapidly as more users and more products switch over to become browser based. The browser will play the dominant role and the OS will go behind the scenes. We’re clearly seeing this change now with more people wanting to use Netbooks and handheld devices. They simply need to connect to the "cloud"; it makes little difference in how they get there.

Right now we’re already seeing a huge increase in browser functionality. You upload pictures to sites like Webshots, Flickr and Facebook through the browser, create blog entries with plugins like Scribefire, transfer files with FireFTP, check email at Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo and others, watch movies at Hulu and Netflix and if Flash and HTML 5 continue their development even games like Quake and dozens of titles from Popcap can be played inside a browser.

An extensible browser will have more value than an OS that takes 13GB of space just to get running. Currently, Firefox supports the best model with the proliferation of extensions that can be loaded. And, those same plugins will work regardless of whether you’re on Windows or Linux. The number of plugins available for Firefox dwarfs what’s available for IE. Even Chrome has more plugins available. As we move to a more web centric mentality there will be little need for a preposterously large base operating system. Do you really want to wait for a minute or two while you machine boots up or comes out of sleep mode and reloads everything into memory?

I fully expect that within the next year or so we’ll see full applications running inside of the browser using Flash, Silverlight, HTML 5 and plugins. Developers are making utilities right now that extend the power of Firefox and that will continue as the browser exposes more features. And as Flash and Silverlight develop we won’t be limited to simple games, but more full fledged applications.

Windows will also continue to lose dominance and importance and more games switch over to console platforms. Case in point, even Microsoft is no longer a game publisher for PC games and has even shuttered some of the biggest titles they had – Flight Simulator, Age of Empires and Rise of Nations just to name a few.

DirectX 10 didn’t do much to keep games on the PC either. There’s only a handful of games that are written specifically for it and most game developers have stated they plan to keep writing for DirectX 9.

Microsoft itself is pulling users away from Windows with Xbox 360. They are betting the ranch on Project Natal, which if successful will move even more users off Windows. Further, with the addition of streaming media, Twitter updates and other social media integration the need for a PC and thus Windows will continue to erode.

The other cash cow for Microsoft has been Office which I believe peaked in feature set in 2003 and now offers little reason for continual upgrades. Blog tools, social network apps, and online editors have all chipped away at the need for Office, certainly for Word which is the major reason people buy Office. Even those online comment forms highlight your spelling mistakes.

Word contains thousands of features no one will ever see, let alone use. Excel probably still has features to offer to niche groups, but overall it has exceeded the capacity of most users. In the grand scheme of things, why upgrade? What do these new versions of Office offer? And if they don’t offer new features, the need and want to upgrade to a new OS to support them diminishes quickly. Remember the launch of Windows 95 with Office 95 and again with Windows 2000 and Office 2000? WinXP and Office XP? Funny, it didn’t happen with the ill-fated Vista or the follow up cousin, Win 7.

Sure there is a surge in lemmings upgrading to Windows 7, but considering just how bad Vista was and the low expectations people have it’s really not that surprising. Plus, how many people actually went out and bought it off the shelves versus buying a new machine? Yes, they had a lot of pre-orders and the sales have been steady, but will most users be so quick to upgrade to Windows 8? I don’t believe they will. The hype and excitement over the Apple tablet more than proves people are looking for smaller, faster devices that get them on the web. It also says the functionality is the most important factor, not the OS.

The timing of Windows 7 was probably right, but with so many alternatives coming out and the push to do more on the web, the next version of Windows will probably have a hard time gaining acceptance. I’ve been using Windows 7 for a couple of months now and dislike it immensely. It’s not the upgrade I was hoping for and I have no intention of spending money for the same old crap next time around.

Other articles of interest:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Comments
  • How To Disable the Quicken Registration Prompt (10)
    • Jack Woltz: Worked great but now I get update nag which is worse
  • How To Download Movies From Hulu Using Freemake Video Downloader (1)
    • Doomups: I often use allavsoft to download Videos from Hulu on Mac and Windows. And it also can batch and Direclty Download Hulu Videos to MP4, WMV, MOV, AVI, FLV, etc.
  • Why is Daemon Tools Lite triggering Norton Internet Security Anti-Virus? (1)
    • Jaguar: What’s an alternative to using daemon tools? That would be useful to know.
  • Loot Drops for the last few hours of Season Surprise Event – Crime City (1)
  • Topping out with a Trillion Dollars in Crime City (13)
    • Don Pedro: So, just to show how ridiculous things have become, a few weeks ago, I crossed over the 3 Trillion mark in cash. My income has moved to 525.7M IPH. I have both Luggage Lugger buildings upgrading and am working to upgrade the...
    • Tom Offski: Thank you
    • Don Pedro: My income is all from buildings. I have just about every LTB they’ve introduced. I skipped one or two based on their enormous size and terrible income/upgrade costs. Almost all of those buildings are now level 10s. The...
    • Tom Offski: Hey, I’ve been playing sonce 2013, but stopped for a year and a half mid-way. My IPH is 1.05m, and my main source of income is a certain job which gives you 2-7mil for 178 energy… how do you make so much money? Is...
    • Don Pedro: I am very familiar with the time of which you speak. That is when I first came on board as well. There were some good prizes back then such as the decrease in deposit fee. Some of those old buildings are somewhat laughable...
    • Duane Stovall: Yeah 3 of the 5 building upgrades are working on the older regular buildings now. I’ve got all the LTB’s up to level 10. Started playing when FUNZIO owned CC…so was able to purchase every LTB that came...
    • Don Pedro: Upgrading 5 buildings at a time? Damn son! And your IPH is a lot higher than mine. I’ve only got 485 with 3 upgrades at a time, of which I’ve only been using 2. I’ve thought about getting another upgrade...
    • Duane Stovall: I’m up to 517mil iph…just hit my first trillion in the bank. Would have hit a while back…but started a baby syn for my two smaller accounts and maxed out most of the bonuses with the help of one other...
    • Up!: Wow, and here I come with 2m iPH trying to build up a syn.. How long have you been playing? I do think that for normal accounts (without the reduction) its cheaper to leave the money out, being robbed 10% .. would mean in my case 5m...
  • Put another trillion on the fire – Crime City (1)
    • Paul: Im right behind u Scabby at 425 mil iph!! Wish there were better 12 hour buildings coming out
  • New version of Freemake Video Downloader brings back YouTube Playlist downloads (1)
    • ALI: Hi there, I have been trying to download a playlist contains more than 300 episodes but when I copy and paste the link into freemake video downloader app, I can only download max of 100 videos only. Is there anyway to download all...