According to the latest report from Net Applications, among Microsoft’s line of operating systems, Windows XP is still the most used OS in the end of April, though the software giant already announced that they would stop releasing support and updates for the said OS. But a report from StatCounter shows that more people are using Windows 7 than Windows XP. The discrepancy over the two reports is said to be due to different methods used in totaling the numbers.
But the dominance of both OS versions may soon be overthrown when the commercial release of the Windows 8 OS become available. The new OS is said to be the unifying OS for Windows based computers, smartphones and tablets, so the company has big hopes for Windows 8.
As the commercial launch of Windows 8 draws near, expected near the end of 2012, Microsoft is changing a lot in their product offerings. They’ve just announced that they will be retiring Windows Live.
Goodbye, Windows Live
Windows Live is “a set of personal Internet services and software designed to bring together in one place all of the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with more safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web.”
Microsoft hoped that Windows Live would bring a true connected experience but the feedback they get from users suggest otherwise. So they decided to discontinue Live to give way for Windows 8’s connected experience.
“Windows 8 provides us with an opportunity to reimagine our approach to services and software and to design them to be a seamless part of the Windows experience, accessible in Windows desktop apps, Windows Metro style apps, standard web browsers, and on mobile devices,” Chris Jones, a vice president in the Windows Live group, wrote in a blog post. “Today the expectation is that a modern device comes with services as well as apps for communication and sharing. There is no ‘separate brand’ to think about or a separate service to install – it is all included when you turn on your PC for the first time.”
Windows Live ID will be replaced by Microsoft account which can be used to log into a Windows 8 PC, Xbox LIVE, Zune, and the Windows 8 app store. And because they’re aiming for a true connected experience, when users connect a device or service to a Microsoft account, they will automatically be given a set of cloud services including a contact list, calendar, inbox, instant messaging, and cloud storage, all accessible via a Windows PC, Windows Phone device, and any web browser.
Getting ready for Windows 8
Finnish company Nokia already expressed interest in creating a Windows 8 tablet as they are very intrigued by the Metro user interface and they see the huge potential of tablets in the market but clarified that they don’t have a Windows 8 tablet yet.
If you recall, last year during Microsoft’s BUILD conference they unveiled the Windows 8 Samsung tablet, expected to arrive sometime in Q2 2012.
And with the new Microsoft-Barnes&Noble partnership, you can’t help but think that the two could be working on a Windows 8 Nook Tablet. If B&N releases a Windows 8 tablet, it could mean the abandonment of the Android platform, or two versions of every Nook – one for Android and one for Windows 8 – but that would be quite costly to produce.