Microsoft is reportedly hard at work on the next-generation desktop operating system–ostensibly dubbed Windows 8. There were initially some leaked rumors that Windows 8 was being fast-tracked for July of 2011, followed by rumors that Windows 8 is “delayed” until late 2012.
It seems silly to me to talk about a vaporware product missing a rumored deadline as “delayed”. Besides, Windows 7 just launched at the end of 2009. It is the fastest-selling operating system ever and has been a tremendous success, but more than a year after its launch it only has 23 percent market share–less than half the market share of the decade-old predecessor to its predecessor, Windows XP.
I realize that Microsoft has marketing and revenue motivations for wanting to crank out a new Windows OS, and that technology changes quickly and Microsoft needs to update or replace Windows 7 to adapt. Fair enough. But, in my opinion, Microsoft should not release Windows 8 until WIndows 7 has 50 percent market share, or at *least* surpasses Windows XP.
Windows 7 is a phenomenal operating system. Personally, I can’t fathom why anyone would willingly stick with Windows XP. But, the tenacious endurance of Windows XP demonstrates that users abhor change and will cling to a comfortable OS that just works. Convincing users to turn around and upgrade again from WIndows 7 to Windows 8 after only a couple years is a formidable challenge.
I look forward to Windows 8. It sounds like Microsoft has ambitious plans for the next-generation operating system. But, I don’t believe Microsoft should go out of its way to rush Windows 8 to market. Let Windows 7 simmer a while.