The Importance of the Windows 8 beta on Feb 29th

Here is framed the invite at Barcelona’s Mobile World Conference
Windows 8 beta is important for Microsoft. Judging by what Microsoft is doing under Steven Sinofsky, this is a bet the farm edition of Windows. And if you see some of the details at the Windows 8 blog, Redmond keep doubling down on its feature set  with items like ReFS-Resilient File System, Picture Password , and Sensor enablement. Redmond is betting the farm that it can take desktop and mobile device features – and merge them into a compelling whole while preserving enough of the Windows 7 legacy to bring its billion of Windows users forward into the new Windows 8 world. And all this while trying to match the mystique of a departed  demi-god of  computing creativity.

And the stakes are growing higher by the day.

Gartner is reporting PC sales for Q4 2011  were  down in Western Europe by 8%  with England reporting a 20% drop and France 12%. Meanwhile Apple Mac sales were up in those two countries. iPad now represent 17% of the PC market if you consider an iPAD equivalent to a PC [or better]. And smartphone sales exceeded PC sales for the first time in Q4 2011 – and now you see why Microsoft is adamant about getting a breakthrough with Windows 8 on phones, tablets, and PCs.

Microsoft knows well from its competitive roots how relentless Moore’s law is – for at least the next ten years computing power for smartphones to PCs will be doubling every 18 months or less. This means that the next generation of  smartphones and tablets will effectively be PC equivalents for a broad swath of users. Think connectivity to all that is the Internet, phone and messaging services, word processing and spreadsheets [especially for the popular "convertibles' or dockable smartphoes and tablets] plus a bounty of games and fun. Windows 8 is Redmonds ticket to the future of  client side of computing.

Will the Risks in Windows 8 Payoff?

Everyone knows what happened on the last forced “innovation” march for Windows at Redmond – the Windows Vista disaster. Will the very ambitious Windows 8 have too many bugs, missing integration, and other foibles. About the time that Apple’s iPad 3 is announced – rumored to be early March – the ITWorld will know how well Microsoft is positioned to do battle with its new nemesis, as Cupertino now looks down on Redmond both financially and in the loyalty of hundreds of millions of consumers.