POV – Windows 8: Winning the war
With the introduction of Windows 8, Smart glass and Xbox 720 rumoured to be released over the coming months, is Microsoft emerging as the front runner in living room technology in the battle to dominate the consumer market?
Lost a few battles, but not the war
There is no doubt that Microsoft is at a crucial tipping point in the success of the company. What is not clear yet is whether Windows 8 is the tip of the iceberg of a longer term strategy which will see them dominate enterprise and domestic markets.
It is well documented that Microsoft products and web technologies have on the most part been unsuccessful in challenging Apple, Google and Samsung’s dominance in recent years, with several failed operating systems and casualties including Bing, Windows Live and MSN. Despite this, Microsoft has had significant and growing success which may pave the way to future resurgence in domestic markets.
Microsoft set to dominate the living room
Where Apple, Google and Samsung have had less success, Microsoft is dominating. Take the Xbox for example; it’s a market leader as a gaming device and now a media/companion device giving Microsoft an important foothold in the battle for living room technology.
The Xbox gives the consumer a robust and high fidelity operating system for their TV, an area where competitors are lacking. Smart TVs from Apple, Google and Samsung have seen slow adoption rates and sales remain low. Samsung’s Smart TVs are a disappointingly clunky, low tech solution; Microsoft however has got it right. Plug in your Xbox to your TV or monitor and the experience is superior, giving you access to games, entertainment and music content all through a powerful connected device. Microsoft has a strong foundation in the quest to take over living room technology.
There are other notable rumours emerging from industry sources. In a leaked presentation Microsoft describes the next generation of Xbox with an improved Kinect device. The Xbox 720 will be able to instantly stream any content you want and work with Windows 8 to provide a unique home entertainment experience. And don’t forget Microsoft’s second screen technology, SmartGlass. Microsoft is already delivering rich and engaging second screen experiences.
Converged Media –Devices, content and experiences
The next chapter for Microsoft sees the introduction of Windows 8, the new touch based operating system for Microsoft.
Where Windows 8 differentiates to competitor’s iOS and Android, is the ability for the user to share content and experiences between multiple devices. If you’ve got a smartphone (Nokia Lumia) and a tablet (Slate) running Windows 8, you can easily share content between devices. Then if we add the Xbox 720 and traditional laptop into the mix, the experience becomes something else entirely. Windows 8 and Xbox is the glue that enables a truly seamless, cross device experience for consumers.
So by solving the age-old fragmentation issue, through connecting, enabled devices, Microsoft presents itself as a potential juggernaut in the battle for control of the living room. The future will see users syncing mobile, tablet, Xbox and Smartglass with the Cloud delivering a truly powerful, integrated and slick home experience for the whole family. Ardent Digital is a Microsoft Gold Certified partner and is working on several Windows 8 projects for large brands in enterprise and domestic markets.
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