Microsoft Launches Windows 8 to a Slow Clap, Will it build into a Thunderous Applause?
Today Microsoft launched its Windows 8 operating system and surface tablet with a live broadcast event from New York. The windows 8 launch, which consisited of a ton of name dropping, nervous banter, and awkward claps from the audience showed just how desperate the software giant is for people to accept this new era in Microsoft technology.
Microsoft began the presentation much like the Apple presentation started just a day before, with some numbers and figures around Windows 7. Windows 7 has 670M users and has been the fastest adopted OS in business. Over half of all businesses have deployed Windows 7. Speaking to the importance and adoption of the cloud, Microsoft stated that there are over 200M Skydrive users and over 11B photos have been uploaded to the service.
Microsoft has made Windows 8 the most affordable upgrade with prices starting at just $39.99 and the OS is compatible with all PC’s that are compatible with Windows 7. Windows 8 was designed with touch in mind but has been optimized to work well with a keyboard and mouse, according to executives. The OS will launch with a “Simple How-To” guide to help new users navigate around the very different landscape. The company is seeing today as its “Grand Opening” and with that is also holding its grand opening for its new Windows Store.
The new store that will be a place for Windows users to get apps for their Windows 8 devices, has more apps at launch than any other competing app store at its opening. Though this may sound impressive; considering the amount of developers that now write for cross platform compatibility, it really isn’t that much to brag about.
The Windows RT platform that relies so heavily on these apps is optimized for ARM processors and connects to over 420M exiting peripherals allowing most devices to connect easily to the software.
The presentation consisted of a ton of name dropping. The list was long and images on the screen made up many companies and retailers. Some I jotted down were Intel, Hulu, Urban Spoon, Ultrabook, Acer, Dell, Wikipedia, Lenovo, Samsung, Asus, AT&T, The Wall Street Journal, ESP, and many others. There have been some major grumblings in the OEM and manufacturer circles about Microsoft’s new approach and this may have been a calculated effort to appease the ranks.
Surprisingly there was no mention of HP that I recall, though I did see a logo on a machine, they seemed to be left out of the major manufacturers. Is this a sign of a weakened partnership or just a misstep on HP’s part in not working closer with Microsoft on the launch?
Steve Ballmer took the stage but seemed as if he had downed a Xanax or two, or partied too hard the night before. The crazy man that most of us know was no where to be found, instead a very calm Ballmer pretty much presented all of the things we have heard from him before about the new operating system.
The crowd seemed eerily tranced and claps came at the most awkward of moments. In all the entire launch felt much like an un-event. Even the end was weird. No one appeared to know it had ended, a number of people marched up to the stage to gather the various notebooks and tablets, but it looked like they were going to break into a flash mob scene that never happened. Attendees began getting up and looking around like “uh, was that it?”
Microsoft Windows 8 and Microsoft Surface go on sale at 12:01AM October 26th. Will Microsoft get the huge, commanding applause? We will have to wait and see, but if even Steve Ballmer can’t get excited…