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Can Microsoft stop Windows’ slow slide into irrelevance?

Published Sep 30th, 2014 12:35PM EDT

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Windows is still by far the most widely used desktop OS in the world but things are decidedly trending downward. The most recent numbers from NPD showed that while “U.S. consumer retail PC sales grew almost 3% during the 10 week Back-to-School period (week of July 4th through Labor Day week),” Windows device sales actually fell by 3% over the same period. Instead, NDP found that all growth in PC sales came from Macs and Chromebooks. Microsoft’s struggles in the mobile market are even worse — while iOS and Android dominate the smartphone market, Microsoft’s own Windows Phone has been a bust so far and has actually seen both its market share and total shipments decline over the last year.

Because of all this, Microsoft has a lot on the line with its Windows 9 launch on Tuesday. ZDNet’s Ed Bott, a veteran Microsoft reporter who has often defended the company from assorted detractors, offers a brutally frank assessment of Windows’ declining reputation in the consumer market. In fact, one of the biggest things he thinks Microsoft needs to do with Windows 9 is to ensure enterprise customers that “your workers aren’t going to groan when they see the Windows logo.”

“Among IT pros in enterprise jobs, Windows still has a measure of respect,” Bott writes. “But among consumers, the Windows brand name is sullied. Increasingly, those consumers are making the decisions about which devices they will use to access corporate services. In a BYOD working world, the devices they are bringing are not typically running Windows.”

Read Bott’s full analysis by clicking the source link below.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.