Microsoft recently unveiled its new operating system Windows 8(not out in stores yet however) with remarkable and bold changes tailored to cater the rapidly increasing tablet market dominated by Apple’s iPad. The boldest change was replacing its original user-interface which displayed clickable desktop icons to a more mobile-centered interface featuring tile-like icons users activate by swiping instead.
Wall Street Journal’s tech critique Walt Mossberg has considered Windows 8 as Microsoft’s biggest change ever to the Windows interface and mentioned that the changes were “pretty radical” and “shocking”.
Microsoft’s newest product has been met with mixed feelings of confidence from some and skepticism from other. Thus, the question that remains is: Will consumers buy it? Or will it go down in history as one more Microsoft failed products?
Time will tell us the answer to this question. For now however, this question prompts us to browse through Microsoft’s history in search for its Top 5 glorious and inglorious products, please:
Top 5 Success Products
Windows XP – Over 400 million copies of what is considered to be Microsoft’s most time-enduring operating system were in use as of January 2006 according to a IDC analyst. Apple currently has about 54 million active Mac users worldwide (click here to view source)
Windows 7 – Windows 7 sold over 90 million copies since it was released in October 2009 and has received positive critiques from consumers as well as tech reviewers for its convenient features and easy-to-use interface.
Microsoft Office – Ubiquitous in every business. The success of programs such as Word and Excel, and the fact that it has made our lives more efficient is undeniable.
Xbox – Selling millions of its popular Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles and hit games such as the “Halo” series, Microsoft is today considered a gaming giant in the video game market and rivals the once market-dominating Nintendo and Sony.
Bing – Although Bing’s 14.1%(comScore - April 2011) still trails Google’s dominance of 65.4% of the total US search engine market share, reports from comScore show that Bing is actually eating in Google’s dominance. Since Bing’s inception in 2009, Microsoft’s search engine start-up has been on an upward trend ever since, and with this streak of continuous growth there are still no major threats to it cooling down. Click here for full report.
Top 5 Failures
Zune – Produced to rival Apple’s iPod, the Zune’s design was appealing and chic, but its launch, November 2006, compared to the iPod’s October 2001 release was a bit too late.
Microsoft Vista – Users were haunted by not only the internet connectivity issues Vista was producing but also the cost and the hardware requirements it implied. It was no wonder that PC World rated it as the biggest tech disappointment in 2007 and was catalogued as the #2 product in Tech’s all time 25 flops by InfoWorld.
Tablet PCs – Although innovative enough to capture the attention of the tech-savvy audience, the display-rotating laptop that could be used as a digital notebook failed to make a lift off in sales probably due to its pricy value that went from $2000 to $2500
Kin – Promising users a better on-the-go social networking experience, the KIN was launched on May 13, 2010 in the US and was planned to be launched in Europe the same year but was cancelled due to poor sales in the US. Microsoft has long stopped promoting this device (which cost almost $1 billion dollars and several years to develop, where did the money go?) even though it was launched one year ago.
Live Spaces – Released in 2005, this online blogging community channel was an attempt to harvest in the growing number of bloggers that wanted to get their voices heard through the internet. Unfortunately, Live Spaces wasn’t user-friendly and Microsoft had failed to address it quickly and efficiently. Successors like Blogger and Facebook, made the job much easier.