The story about Microsoft Windows and software saturation
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People used to line up to buy Windows 95 like they are doing for the latest iPhone. The whole world was buzzing when Windows XP was born. But not many people knew the launch of Windows 10 or Windows 7. Is it because Microsoft is so downhill, people do not care about Windows anymore or for some other reasons?
When the opponent of Windows is ... Windows
Finally, after 4 years, the latest version of Microsoft's operating system - Windows 10 surpassed the 10-year-old Windows 7 to become the most used computer operating system in the world, accounting for more than half devices worldwide.
According to the latest information from Net Applications, Windows 10 exceeded 50% market share for the first time in August. This number had increased by 20% since October 2017.
To reach this achievement, Microsoft has had to spend a lot of money removing its old operating systems. They had to do a lot of work to 'force' users to move to Windows 10. The company will show pop-up windows as reminders encouraging Windows 7 customers to switch to Windows 10, despite criticism and offensiveness from the users.
Microsoft has also stopped supporting Windows 7 for mainstream users since 2015 and is also expected to end its enterprise support in January 2020. The company will stop providing new features and security updates and stop technical support for this version.
Despite the constant 'attack', the market share of the 10-year-old operating system in August was still over 30%. Windows XP still accounts for nearly 2%, equal to 1/3 of the latest Mac today, though XP was born almost...20 years ago.
It is not exaggerated to say that Microsoft Windows' biggest rival is Microsoft Windows, because Microsoft has done too well, leading to its own saturation.
In the technology market, there is a concept called software saturation which refers to the phenomenon of software capacity which has exceeded user needs. At that point, users are usually satisfied with the version they have, and there is no need to update or upgrade it to a newer version. Until now, many people still use Microsoft Office 2003 because the software still meets the needs of text editing, common calculation of office tasks. Office suite has been saturated.
In fact, Windows has been saturated since Windows XP. This operating system, launched in 2001, immediately captured the absolute market share of computer operating systems. At its peak, many competitors rushing to compete did not undermine the dominating position of XP, because XP met so well the needs of the user.
Therefore, Windows 7, despite being a good operating system and 8 8years younger than XP, can only gradually replace XP. And a decade later, Windows 10 took 4 years to beat Windows 7.
The operating system is saturated. Time has changed, and users have got a new segment - mobile devices - to care about, so the OS market has become a lucrative market. Companies that make computer operating systems must find a new direction.
The future direction of Microsoft and Apple
Windows was once the “golden egg”, the product that created the Microsoft empire, so they understood their saturation situation. The 'coerce' actions to make customers upgrade software as mentioned above are just temporary solutions. Therefore, Microsoft has begun to shake hands with the world of open-source software, its "enemy" for the last 20 years, to take advantage of the open-source community.
This reduces the cost of developing Windows and transfers resources to other areas. Chances are, it will be a long time before Microsoft releases the next version.
Apple also encountered saturation with their Mac OS. But they changed direction earlier, and the direction also seems brighter. Each year Apple regularly releases a new version of Mac OS, but they are not sold but completely free for users for decades.
Recent versions are increasingly turning to the mobile world, where there's plenty of room for growth due to the advantage of having an available iPhone ecosystem which is something Microsoft doesn't have. However, Apple is facing another saturation risk, iPhone saturation, as Microsoft once saturated with Windows, and that's another interesting story to follow.
By: Joe Cook