Windows Reimagined!

New Coke Can

The date is April 23, 1985 and in a move to shake the competition, the Coca-Cola company would change it formula for the first time in 99 years! The goal would be to re-energize its Coca-Cola brand in its largest market at the time the United States. What no-one would envision would be the firestorm of protests from its consumers. The firestorms ended with the return of the of the original formula on July 11, 1985 putting 79 days of agony to an end.

That same year on November 20, 1985, the first version of the Windows operating system would be launched. What no-one would know at the time would be that the product would go on to change the face of computing. Now with Windows 8 officially launched, the stage is set for the battle to begin. The article that follows is my personal view on the subject of Windows 8  I do not work for Microsoft!

Last weeks post was on the Windows Roadmap I talked about how the Windows product line got to Windows 8. Personally however, I must say that Windows 8 is impressive because for the first time, Microsoft will be making hardware. The Surface Drop Test scared and thrilled me but it pointed to a bigger issue. Microsoft is in a street fight!

Someone once said that the four technology superpowers going into the future are Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon. The executives at Microsoft  know that going into the future, Microsoft  will have to dent the dominance of the Great 4. This will mean entering into consumer computing. There is the need to understand that Windows 8  devices are targeting tablets. Everyone seems to agree that the next big wave will be in the tablet market.

The Great 4 seem to have an hold already on the tablet market and Microsoft wants its share. How it goes about grabbing a share will make the next 3 years very interesting. To start with, there will be developer events as the year comes to a close. The goal will be to get developers to build applications for the Windows Store.

The Windows Store is where the real story of tablet domination will be told! The total app count is less than 5000! Frankly, for developers around the world, this is where the opportunity will be! With the ease of visibility being higher than in Android and Apple stores, getting into the Windows 8 marketplace is a sure fire strategy to get visibility.

But developers don’t write code only for fame. The cake really is monetization. I am not one of the believers in the advertisement model. I believe more in freemium. That said, developing an application requires time and effort and without a way to compensate the workers, such a task is an exercise in futility.

This has been the experience in the tech space in the last 3 years! In West Africa, being a developer myself, I am yet to meet a fellow developer who has a clear monetization model; we are still searching! That said what seems to happen is that we are like a bunch of hobbyist building good products!

But funds run low and machines need changing! With Windows 8 out, some developers will be thinking of how to get new machines. This brings the issue of monetization close to heart. What I and a few of my fellow developers seemed to do was use the App Stores to gain credibility and popularity. This made us get client jobs but the apps themselves made no money.

So going forward, a lot of developers will be searching for business models to ensure their survival the same way Microsoft developed Windows 8 in order to guarantee its future. Windows 8 is beautiful because for the first time in history, developers in West Africa have the same access as their counterparts in other countries. Access to the Windows Store is for all! Microsoft will be pouring all its resources to make sure Windows 8 is a success. Like Microsoft , the year is 2012 but unlike the Coca-Cola company, there is no going back!

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