What if Windows 10 fails?

“It has been 25 years since the potential market failure of a Microsoft operating system carried serious consequences outside the corporation’s own campus,” Scott M. Fulton reports for IDG News Service. “MS-DOS and Windows versions have failed to gain traction before and even been publicly lampooned. But in that quarter-century, Microsoft’s dominance of the desktop has kept the platform afloat, even when consumers and businesses stalwartly refused to upgrade. Today, the word ‘dominance’ doesn’t really apply to Windows, and especially not to Microsoft.”

“Windows 8 was a spectacular flop, sunk to a large degree by the start screen. If Windows 10 performs no better, there are two views of the consequences,” Fulton reports. “One is that the Windows platform is now vulnerable to obsolescence… Some analysts have an alternative view: It’s Windows 7, not 8, that has the lion’s share of the operating system’s installed base. If Windows 10 performs no better than Windows 8 in the consumer, small business, and enterprise markets, Windows 7 will simply linger on.”

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll hope for the former, thanks.

“The best thing Windows 10 has going for it right now is the lack of a viable alternative,” Fulton reports. “‘If Microsoft were teleported to another planet tomorrow, it would still take a long time for Windows to disappear,” stated Ross Rubin, principal analyst with Reticle Research, in an e-mail discussion. There are Chromebooks at the low end and Macs at the high end, but [Windows] still has very high share in the meat of the PC market,” Rubin continued. “Android might step in, but Google would have to loosen the reins on it in laptop form factors… For many users, there is no ready alternative.’ Google hasn’t shown the capability yet, he noted, to offer the services Windows users expect; and Apple hasn’t demonstrated any willingness to compete on cost, in what retailers call the ‘value’ segment. ‘So you’ve got this huge swath in the laptop market between, say, $300 and $1,000, where… it’s Windows.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple already owns the high end, lock, stock, and barrel. Macintosh has owned the top end of the PC market for many years. And, now, Apple offers some compelling products for the upper-middle market: Mac mini starting at $499 and, more importantly, the MacBook Air, starting at $899. But: Trucks vs. cars. For most “PC” users, the iPad offers more than enough functionality; they just have to be educated to stop buying cheap, disposable PC laptops that they do not need and get the iPad that would serve them far better. Apple will never descend to the bottom of the barrel; Microsoft and Google can duke it out for that low- no-margin market.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “James W.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Newsflash: Apple sells premium products at premium prices to premium customers – October 23, 2012
Apple Mac owns 90% market share for ‘premium’ PCs costing over $1,000 – February 1, 2010


  1. What if Windows 10 fails? Heck more like “When will Windoze 10 fails”.

    Shortly after it is released no doubt.

    It won’t be such a bad thing and Microsoft has already preempted the failure because Windows 10 will be way better than Windows 9.

    The scary thing to consider is “What if Windows 10 is a success?”

  2. I spend about 95% of my computing (not including mobile) on my new Retina MacBook Pro 15, often attached to an external display, running Mac OSX (I plan to try the W10 Tech Preview when I have the time to set it up). This is a fairly big change for me as I was probably 80% Windows before 2014. There is only one main program that I miss on Windows and I know that it won’t be ported to Mac OSX.

    Windows 8.1 is actually fine if you clean up all the UI and Cloud Integration crap. I did this for both Windows 8.0 and Windows 8.1 and the result is a nice machine (except for a few annoying bugs). It probably took me about ten hours to figure out how to make the machines look and feel like W7. I imagine Dell, HP, Acer, Toshiba, Lenovo could do the same thing unless Microsoft had some restriction over this. The typical user doesn’t want to spend ten hours getting their system to work like what they are used to.

    I’ve heard from friends that have played with the W10 Tech Preview and they say that it’s a concession to their business users and that it’s pretty good. Microsoft can’t afford to screw up W10 – because the alternatives are getting better and better.

    1. W10 and my only mandatory Windows App will remain in Boot Camp, until the SW developer finally ports to the Mac.

      After that, Windows will remain just so I can help friends once in awhile.

      1. I’d rather have it in a VM and I’d rather not have to pay for it. Or if I do, not more than about $40. This machine has 16 GB of RAM and I need to put it to work. My one Windows program is QuoteTracker and it only runs on Windows. The author is currently doing a complete rewrite for … Windows. I tried running it under Wine before but it has about 96% compatibility and there were a few things in the 4% that I wanted.

        My old MacBook Pro has Windows XP in Boot Camp and Windows XP as a VM (yes, I paid for two separate Windows licenses). So I can use that if I’m desperate. It is amazing spending so little time in Windows these days. I have a lot of coworkers doing the same thing. The company provides Windows machines for employees and we just buy our own Macs and the Windows systems sit under our desks, unplugged.

        1. Yeah while Windows laptops and such may be initially cheap (except for all your time spent purging Trialware and Junkware) buying the OS upgrades is not, especially as compared to free from Apple. Buying a clean Apple machine is how it should be for ANY computer and no-cost OS upgrades works for future painless upgrades.

          1. I find that Windows laptops, equipped to similar levels as MacBook Pros, cost the same or more than Apple systems. Free OS updates is icing on the cake. One further benefit is that you can reuse your old power adapters. I bought spares many years ago and I can use power adapters from 8 years ago on my current Mac (with a cheap adapter).

            1. People always seem to compare the fully equipped Macs with barely sufficient Windows products. Yes you are right when the specs compare PC’s can cost the same, or more.

              I am a dyed-in-the-wool Mac user and for professional graphics & VFX work I’ve used Mac Pro’s but newer HP models like the Z840 are faster than the current Mac Pro and I am needing a replacement soon. I am sorely tempted. I am hoping by WWDC newer Mac Pro models are introduced with faster Thunderbolt. Current PCIe 3 16x (now becoming standard on high end PC’s) are like 5-6X faster than Thunderbolt 2. Ouch.

  3. If Windows 10 fails, Microsoft will put their resources into Windows 11.. I don’t think Microsoft is going to give up so easily. And with Apple still stumbling around with their softwares they are helping Microsoft already.

    1. If Windows fails Microsoft won’t come out with Windows 11, it will be Windows 12 or Windows 20. So they can claim that the next version is such a leap forward from their last version.

  4. Strangely, I like Windows 10. Well, to be clear, I like it far better than 8. Don’t know if it’s better than 7.

    AND, at the end of the day, since you can still automatically install malware on Windows 8, even with anti-virus installed, running, and up to date, Windows 10 will be no better in that regard.

    In closing, Windows 10 is *still* North Philly.

  5. Windows 10 has the same code as Windows 8 with some user interface elements changed.
    This was reported at the Windows development conference.
    No significant changes.
    Microsoft will never rewrite their software and get rid of legacy support.
    Every year they become more and more unimportant.

  6. I just updated our supported hardware specs. I didn’t include the $499 Mac Mini. I left it off the table. What I did do though was bump up to the $699 Mac Mini. This whole not being able to upgrade later concept, is a pain in the butt. But that’s beside the point. I have come to the conclusion, the $499 Mac Mini is not a replacement system, it’s a getting started system. Therefore I would rather spend a little extra.

    Thanks Apple.

    I need to buy more Apple stock.

  7. As far as Windows 8, 8.1, and 10. I completely skipped 8, built a supportable image of 8.1 and used it as an excuse for x64 support. While the plan is to fully role out Windows 10. It seems that Windows 10 should have come out first, and got all the dev attention that Windows 8 and 8.1 received. I mean, Its 3 years late to the gate.

    All I hear though are complaints about anything after Windows XP, even though Windows XP seems so old now. No one is particularly happy these days.

    Please let Windows 10 be worth our time and effort.

    Here is the Windows roadmap in the corporate world: We are tired of deployment expenses. Product has to come from the vendor, running, and we access MS Office 365, without laying anything down on new hardware.

  8. I would have no desire to try Windows 10 … except for the fact that since Snow Leopard, Apple’s Mac team has been stumbling badly. Mavericks and Yosemite have been such huge disappointments.

    The reality is that if you use both Macs and Windows all the time, you’d discover that Windows 7 stacks up very well to the latest Mac OSes in features and stability. Security, well, we all know that story, though again look at the number of security patches that Apple has had to roll out due to some boneheaded programming. The competent user can manage either system, and as we all know, Windows programs are more numerous and tend to be better supported and more frequently updated than Mac apps. Even to this day many leading Mac apps are pathetically hobbled compared to their Windows equivalents. That is a headwind that Cook seems to have done nothing to correct, and that’s why so many of us are forced to support both Mac and Windows to do what we do.

    Windows 8 was a GUI disaster, but so too is Yosemite. Apple seems to have spent a lot of effort to look and feel more like Windows 8 than anyone here is willing to admit, and it’s horrible. If you think otherwise, then you’re willfully ignorant. Objective reviews on usability and features show that Apple has regressed, focusing more and more of its time on its consumer-grade “walled garden” iOS instead of improving on their fundamentally better Mac platform. Merging the development teams was a major strategical blunder. Putting Ive in charge has been a demonstrably stupid move as Mac apps ratings have plummeted in recent years.

    Bottom line, MS knows they blew it on Windows 8, and they know that their phones are a disaster, so after 3 years o they’re finally correcting course to offer their desktop users a better interface. As history has shown, MS will slowly fix its worst errors and attempt to give its major users what they want.

    In contrast, Apple has put a designer in charge of the Mac OS who has degraded the Mac into what looks like a stark illegible mobile device, with no apparent course correction despite mountains of unsatisfied users. Apple seems to be completely deaf to beta tester input and user feedback. After years, it still can’t fix Maps errors that users have submitted repeatedly. Intuitiveness has been thrown out the window (pun not intended) so that Ive’s pathetic flat grey design meme could be implemented on all Apple software and hardware to the dismay and bewilderment of anyone who cares about intuitive, efficient, user-friendly design. Look at the approval rating of Yosemite on Apple’s App store, that’s the bottom line.

    Will Windows 10 fail? In our dreams. Windows 8, as horrid as it is, has more users than all versions of Mac OS X combined. There is no doubt that until Apple gives switchers significant usability improvements over Windows 7, that majority of longtime Windows users will replace their aging machines with Wintel boxes. They will stick with Windows 7 or go to Windows 10 before adopting a Mac with a Windows 8-like OS that Jony Ive keeps screwing up.

    How do I know this? Look at the real world instead of spending your entire life in a Mac fanatic echo chamber.

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