What might a post-Windows world look like?

Mike Halsey MVP
Jan 15, 2012
Updated • Jan 15, 2012

We take for granted these days that Microsoft will always provide new versions of Windows and Windows Server, that Google will always provide world-leading search and that many other companies will just be there for us in perpetuity.  After all, look at the big names like Coca Cola, Ford and and more that have been with us for a hundred years or more.  Only when it comes to specific websites such as Facebook do we accept that their candle may burn out quickly.

But the technology market is different, and in the last three years we've seen it take on a whole new dimension where Windows is no longer the obvious operating system choice, and where comparisons are increasingly being made with IBM.  On tablets, a market that Microsoft invented back around 2003 they're going to have a real fight on their hands, and in computing generally it's no longer clear what devices and form factors we'll be using in even five or ten years time.  What is obvious however is that the traditional desktop PC is well and truly on its way out.  Lastly new operating systems such as iOS, Android and WebOS have blown away the notion that people will resist a learning curve on new devices.  So what would the world be like if Microsoft stopped making Windows desktop and server products?

There has already been talk that Google would like to bring Android to the desktop.  HP said the same of WebOS, which they are still developing or at least maintaining, and could put extra resources back into quickly.  Ubuntu Linux is now at least as friendly as Windows XP was, only the lack of big name software for the platform is holding it back now and Apple's OS X is becoming more like iOS with every release.  So it's already clear that there's plenty of choice.

We might also expect an open-source upstart operating system to appear too and it might even be a reinvigorated WebOS.  Companies such as the Mozilla Foundation might see an opportunity as their Firefox browser begins to fade in popularity, and this is just one of several places where a new operating system might emerge.

In the business space, some of the GNU/Linux companies including Red Hat, might jump in with versions that will run Windows programs on the desktop.  This isn't new and has already been done with operating systems such as Lindows (later renamed Linspire).  This product still exists today and could prove popular with businesses if Windows 8 and Windows 9 fail to deliver the working experience that they need.

Again it's very unlikely that Microsoft will cease development of Windows in the next twenty years at least.  If they'd have done it even five years ago there would have been almost no alternatives to choose from.  Should they do it now though businesses and consumers would probably just shrug their shoulders and quietly move on to the next big thing.


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  1. Some Dude said on March 19, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Are these articles AI generated?

    Now the duplicates are more obvious.

    1. boris said on March 19, 2023 at 11:48 pm

      This is below AI generated crap. It is copy of Microsoft Help website article without any relevant supporting text. Anyway you can find this information on many pages.

  2. Paul(us) said on March 20, 2023 at 1:32 am

    Yes, but why post the exact same article under a different title twice on the same day (19 march 2023), by two different writers?
    1.) Excel Keyboard Shortcuts by Trevor Monteiro.
    2.) 70+ Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows by Priyanka Monteiro

    Why oh why?

    1. Clairvaux said on September 6, 2023 at 11:30 am

      Yeah. Tell me more about “Priyanka Monteiro”. I’m dying to know. Indian-Portuguese bot ?

  3. John G. said on August 18, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Probably they will announce that the taskbar will be placed at top, right or left, at your will.

    Special event by they is a special crap for us.

  4. yanta said on August 18, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    If it’s Microsoft, don’t buy it.
    Better brands at better prices elsewhere.

  5. John G. said on August 20, 2023 at 4:22 am

    All new articles have zero count comments. :S

  6. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 7:48 am

    WTF? So, If I add one photo to 5 albums, will it count 5x on my storage?
    It does not make any sense… on google photos, we can add photo to multiple albums, and it does not generate any additional space usage

    I have O365 until end of this year, mostly for onedrive and probably will jump into google one

  7. St Albans Digital Printing Inc said on September 5, 2023 at 11:53 am

    Photo storage must be kept free because customers chose gadgets just for photos and photos only.

  8. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    What a nonsense. Does it mean that albums are de facto folders with copies of our pictures?

    1. GG said on September 6, 2023 at 8:24 am

      Sounds exactly like the poor coding Microsoft is known for in non-critical areas i.e. non Windows Core/Office Core.

      I imagine a manager gave an employee the task to create the album feature with hardly any time so they just copied the folder feature with some cosmetic changes.

      And now that they discovered what poor management results in do they go back and do the album feature properly?

      Nope, just charge the customer twice.

      Sounds like a go-getter that needs to be promoted for increasing sales and managing underlings “efficiently”, said the next layer of middle management.

  9. d3x said on September 5, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    When will those comments get fixed? Was every editor here replaced by AI and no one even works on this site?

  10. Scroogled said on September 5, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    Instead of a software company, Microsoft is now a fraud company.

  11. ard said on September 7, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    For me this is proof that Microsoft has a back-door option into all accounts in their cloud.
    quote “…… as the MSA key allowed the hacker group access to virtually any cloud account at Microsoft…..”

    so this MSA key which is available to MS officers can give access to all accounts in MS cloud.This is the backdoor that MS has into the cloud accounts. Lucky I never got any relevant files of mine in their (MS) cloud.

  12. Andy Prough said on September 7, 2023 at 6:52 pm

    >”Now You: what is your theory?”

    That someone handed an employee a briefcase full of cash and the employee allowed them access to all their accounts and systems.

    Anything that requires 5-10 different coincidences to happen is highly unlikely. Occam’s razor.

  13. TelV said on September 8, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    Good reason to never login to your precious machine with a Microsoft a/c a.k.a. as the cloud.

  14. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    The GAFAM are always very careless about our software automatically sending to them telemetry and crash dumps in our backs. It’s a reminder not to send them anything when it’s possible to opt out, and not to opt in, considering what they may contain. And there is irony in this carelessness biting them back, even if in that case they show that they are much more cautious when it’s their own data that is at stake.

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