Microsoft's view of the post-PC world: 'I'm not bovvered'

Microsoft's view of the post-PC world: 'I'm not bovvered'

Summary: Back in January, Microsoft announced that it had sold 60 million Windows 8 licenses. That was four months ago. Where is it now? Some analysts say "dead". Microsoft ain't bovvered.


It's funny how many analysts have come out making outrageous assertions that "Windows is dead", "Windows 8 is dead", or better still, something to the tune of "Microsoft is lost in the post-PC era". Well I hope those kinds of headlines garner you some pageviews, and I'm sure they do, but do they have anything to do with reality? The simple answer to that question is "no".

Microsoft isn't "bovvered"* by cheap shots or by hip-fired analyses that paint it as ill-prepared for the coming post-PC era. Nor is it upset by its meager** 60 million Windows 8 license sales as of January 2013. I'm sure the number is close to 100 million or so by now. But it doesn't really matter if it is or not.

Here's what I think that people, especially analysts, fail to realize. Microsoft will cease to support Windows XP as of April 8, 2014. That means that there are millions of people who still run XP, or possibly Vista, on their desktops. PC sales are sluggish because people haven't needed to upgrade.

But the onslaught is coming because people will need to upgrade to move to Windows 7. Yes, I wrote "7" because there's been so much bad press about Windows 8 that a lot of folks will decide to run with an "N-1" approach to the desktop operating system choice.

Microsoft will be happy to sell you Windows 7 with or without a new computer. "Thanks, and have a nice day; we're not bovvered." And why isn't Microsoft "bovvered" by selling you Windows 7? I hope I don't really have to answer that.

I feel like most companies will move to Windows 7 for their desktop operating systems. Windows 8 will take over the phone, personal PC, and tablet market for Windows devices, but the corporate market is slower to change. But 500 million copies of Windows 8 worldwide isn't a failure, for sure. That number is what Microsoft expects to sell of Windows 8 by the end of 2013.

I'm not sure that it will be all Windows 8 in that 500 million. I think it will be more like 300 million, and then another 200 to 300 million of Windows 7 as people transition away from XP and Vista.

Windows 8 is really oriented toward tablets, mobile devices, and portable computers (laptops, netbooks, ultrabooks) equipped with touchscreens, but you'd think that Windows 8 is a total flop by how horrible PC sales are and how rotten Windows 8 sales are.

We're at sort of an interesting crossroads in computing with phones, tablets, mini tablets, ultrabooks, netbooks, laptops, and desktop computers all colliding in our heads. A lot of companies and individuals find it a bit overwhelming to be at this place.

On the one hand, if you buy new, you'll have Windows 8, and maybe you can downgrade to Windows 7 as others did with Vista/XP and 7/XP. On the other, you can choose to stick with the hardware you have and upgrade its memory, its disk, and possibly its CPU, and move to Windows 7 where you'll be safe.

Let me try to put this in plain English for you from Microsoft's perspective. Microsoft isn't bovvered because you need Windows for whatever computer you're going to use. Use Windows 7. Use Windows 8. Heck, you can even use Vista if you want. I'll laugh, but you can do it if you want to. You're going to pay Microsoft for Windows Vista, 7, or 8 on your devices, regardless of which you choose.

And when Windows 9 comes out, we'll have this discussion all over again, when the analysts decide that Windows 9 is the "bringer of hate to the world", or some other such nonsense. But the best part of Windows 9 is that you'll think that Windows 8 is the greatest thing since, well, Windows XP maybe.

In fact, I think I'll draft up a whole series of articles telling everyone how Windows 9 sucks, that it's the end of Microsoft, that it's the end of personal computing as we know it, how Linux or Mac are perfectly acceptable replacements, and how Microsoft is solely responsible for the Zombie Apocalypse. I'll bet all of the zombies will wear T-shirts with the number 9 on them.

I've seen it all before. Windows 95 was the first Zombie Apocalypse harbinger, and Microsoft and Windows are still here. Look at my face. I'm not bovvered. And neither is Microsoft.

*A British term meaning "bothered" from one of my favorite (favourite) comedians, Catherine Tate, whose chavette character, Lauren Cooper, barrages some poor teacher with her rapid fire "I'm not bovvered" retorts. Watch a few episodes and if you don't spew your drink, the next round is on me.

**Sixty million sounds very respectable to me.

Topics: Microsoft, PCs, Windows, Windows 8


Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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  • Windows will march on...

    SJVN, Matt Baxter, AHK etc. and cheap blog sites like The Verge and other anti-MS sites and the so called 'Analysts' could spread all the FUD they want.. but Windows remains the most comprehensive platform for the computing needs for consumers, SMB and Enterprise.

    Most analysts and bloggers doesn't realise that Google / Apple are just parasites making a living using the computing empire Microsoft once built.
    • Yeah right

      Go tell that to Gary Kildall.
      Alan Smithie
      • You can't

        He's dead, remember.
        William Farrel
        • The point is...

          this market was created by Gary Kildall, Steve Jobs and the likes. Bill Gates took the work of others to sell to IBM.
          • Uh, no.

            Microsoft purchased the rights from Kildall. Likewise
          • Wrong!

            Microsoft bought QDOS (Quick & Dirty Operating System) from Seattle Computer Products for a paltry sum and renamed it MS-DOS.

            It then teamed up with IBM to put MS-DOS (re-renamed as IBM PC-DOS) on the IBM PC as the default so that users who wanted CP/M would have to pay extra. This killed off CP/M, sadly.
          • Let bygones be bygones

            Man are people ever going to quit arguing over who started what? Bill Gates brought the PC to everyone, Jobs brought it to a few select individuals, that hasn't changed almost 40 years later, Apple has 4% of the PC market, Microsoft has 91%. (I'm not talking about phones and tablets) The GUI didn't come from Gates or Jobs, it came from Xerox labs, this is also the same location the mouse came from, yet Jobs claims he invented both the GUI AND the mouse, and accused Gates and IBM of ripping his ideas off, yet he did the same thing. Just read the book iWoz and see from Apple Employee No. 1 for yourself the true account. The French invented ABS brakes in 1929, but you don't see them banishing the rest of the world for taking their ideas and improving on them. It happens everyday in technology, get over it.
          • MS didn't purchase DOS from Kildall.

            They purchased it from Tim Patterson. Kildall had developed CPM which DOS was similar to. DOS was designed to run on the Intel 8086 and CPM on the Z80 and intel 8080 processors. DOS had a better filesystem with FAT12 versus CPM. Patterson was hired by MS in 81. The brillance was when Gates negotiated licensing DOS. This allowed them to sell DOS to the other companies and IBM could not say a thing.
          • DOS WAS A CLONE OF CP/M

            Gary Kildall would have licensed CP/M under the same terms as DOS:

            "DRI offered manufacturers the same low-cost licensing model which Bill Gates is today credited with inventing by sloppy journalists - only with far superior technology."

            Google without quotation marks: "theregister MS-DOS paternity suit settled"

            DOS was a clone of CP/M, designed to run the same popular packages that ran on CP/M.

            The processor is largely irrelevant because CP/M was written in PL/M (a high-level language designed by Kildall), not machine code, meaning it could be ported to different computers without too much effort.

            Gates showed NO BRILLIANCE at all. He told IBM "I don't do operating systems - speak to Gary Kildall".

            But IBM insisted that the Kildalls sign a non-disclosure agreement that gagged the Kildalls while allowing IBM to freely discuss with third parties what was said in the meeting. Hence, no meeting.

            There are variants of this story, but what's not in dispute is that Gates simply saw a chance to make a quick buck by buying a clone of CP/M. He was NOTHING BUT AN OPPORTUNIST. IBM did eventually sell CP/M alongside its clone, but priced it at $240 to kill it.

            Read my other post for further info. and links.
          • Well Ray Kroc bought Mc Donalds from the

            Mc Donald brothers. That's all part of business. How do you put Steve Jobs in the same category as Gary Kildall and the likes. I would put Woz in that category not Jobs. MS didn't have time to develop an OS because IBM needed one now. MS had developed MS Basic previous to that which was developed by Gates and Paul Allen.
          • Ha.

            Nothing like ruining your credability with one line.
    • Exactly...

      Microsoft is so much bigger than Windows & Office, and that's what most uninformed & short-sighted bloggers fail to understand (or just ignore because it's inconvenient to the point their making).

      Microsoft is entrenched where it counts--with slow-moving, conservative corporations/enterprises who already have billions of dollar invested in Microsoft's software and, quite frankly, few options other than Microsoft. Meanwhile, Apple & Google are battling for the fickle hearts and minds of consumers--a great market to have (no doubt), but not nearly as stable as the enterprise. We're already seeing iOS lose market share to Android & Windows Phone... when just two years ago, no one believed that was possible.

      Microsoft isn't in decline at all. In fact, it's had such a small presence in mobile prior to Windows 8 that it has almost nowhere to go but up. Any phone sale, any tablet sale--new revenue & profit for Microsoft.
      • Also

        For every percent Windows Phone gains of market share... and it IS gaining market share, I would say that is equivalent to about 15 or 20% of Androids market share or more, simply because Google does not sell Android to hardware makers, Microsoft DOES. And it's for good reason, you get unmatched support, a minimum of 2 years of updates for ALL devices, unlike Android where you may never even get an update depending on what model you buy, and WP never, ever crashes. I use Windows 7 on my laptop, WP7.5 on my Focus, and Android 4.2.2 on my Nexus 7, and I will tell you the Nexus has crashed more in the 4 months I have had it than either of the previous 2 combined not only over that same period but over the entire time I have been using Windows 7 since it released. That doesn't mean I despise it, I actually enjoy it quite a bit, the OS in general I mean. But I don't limit myself to just one gaming console, why should I be doing that with tech devices. But I do want to add, that you said Msoft is entrenched in enterprise, there is no denying that, but what about the other 1.3 billion Windows users out here? Would you call that entrenched in the consumer market also?
    • It can happen...

      MS is somewhat vulnerable in the mobile space, the space where the future is trending. They need to be careful because they are dead last in Smartphones and pretty close to dead last in tablets. So they made some huge mistakes due to lack of innovation.

      I will say though that they do have a decent presence in cloud computing with Office 365, Skydrive and other offerings. MS competes against Oracle, SAP, Apple, Google,, Amazon (that's right, Amazon. Both have virtualized cloud offerings to corporate America) and many others.

      Microsoft is not dead by any stretch but do they have the capability to innovate or will they be another IBM - too big to fail.
      • IBM.....

        Turned over $104 Billion in their last financial year, generating $17B profit, at 48% GM, 15% Net.

        Got out of the small end, embraced only the high end and more profitable all round.

        They innovated quite successfully...
    • Windows will march on...

      What about the 90% of Windows users who are sick and tired of getting viruses and lockups?
      Did you know that those Windows users bought Androids and iOS phones and tablets and found out what a real OS is like?

      It is highly likely that a great many of those Windows XP users will not upgrade their hardware and will save their money and frustration by switching to Linux.

      It's imminent.
      • iOS a "real" OS?

        It was very difficult for me to not laugh at that.

        Any OS that doesn't let you have access to the file system or base-level system settings, that doesn't have the option for any other external storage beyond "the cloud", and *especially* requires you to connect to a "real" PC in order to transfer files bought from another device (& especially in order to perform a full backup of it) is *not* a "real OS".
        • Not an OS ?

          I honestly don't think you have ever used IOS. You are just showing how ignorant you are in the ways of the post PC era. I guess you are running Windows VISTA on the desktop and think its the best thing since sliced bread.....
          I have a number of WIFI enabled storage devices and USB devices that I can connect to my IOS device to maintain external storage outside of the cloud.....oooooooooo
          FYI I wouldn't degrade my IOS device by connecting it to any PC to transfer data...firstly I don't have to do that to transfer data and secondly, I couldn't be sure I wouldn't get some Windows cooties..... By not having access to the file system one could say Apple was trying to make the IOS device more secure from Malware, and perform better without little fingers creating file system corruption and the like. However you wouldn't know anything about that :)
          Richard Romanov
        • Have you ever used iOS?

          Because everything you just said is false.
      • is it?

        in linux you cant do lot of stuff, and its illegal to do so...