The end of Windows

Ben Thompson writes for Stratechery:

The story of Windows’ decline is relatively straightforward and a classic case of disruption:

• The Internet dramatically reduced application lock-in
• PCs became “good enough”, elongating the upgrade cycle
• Smartphones first addressed needs the PC couldn’t, then over time started taking over PC functionality directly

“What is more interesting, though, is the story of Windows’ decline in Redmond, culminating with last week’s reorganization that, for the first time since 1980, left the company without a division devoted to personal computer operating systems (Windows was split, with the core engineering group placed under Azure, and the rest of the organization effectively under Office 365; there will still be Windows releases, but it is no longer a standalone business),” Thompson writes. “Such a move didn’t seem possible a mere five years ago, when, in the context of another reorganization, former-CEO Steve Ballmer wrote a memo insisting that Windows was the future.”

Thompson writes, “The story of how Microsoft came to accept the reality of Windows’ decline is more interesting than the fact of Windows’ decline; this is how CEO Satya Nadella convinced the company to accept the obvious.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Now all we need to do is get rid of cancer, heart disease, and bad mass-produced beer.

Even before iPhone, a few hearty souls foresaw that the Dark Age of Personal Computing was drawing to a close:

As we have always said, even as many short-sightedly waved (and continue to wave) the white flag, the war is not over. And, yes, we shall prevail… No company is invincible. Not even Microsoft. — MacDailyNews, January 10, 2005

Microsoft’s Windows is doomed – September 1, 2017
Steve Jobs’ plan to take back the personal computing business from Microsoft proceeding apace – December 7, 2009
Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ ultimate goal: ‘to take back the computer business from Microsoft’ – June 16, 2005


  1. MS announced that Windows 10 would be the last major release of Windows for the foreseeable future- they would just update it as needed. That means this was not that big a deal.

    Windows isn’t going anywhere for quite a while- just as the ICE will be in cars and trucks far longer than Wall Street and the tech press think.

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