Gartner is prophesying the end of the Windows desktop. Windows 8 marks the beginning of the desktop operating system's slide to irrelevance, the firm said, and begins the new Windows RT computing era that will allow users to run Windows desktop programs alongside new Win RT mobile apps.
Win RT is a new platform designed to keep Microsoft relevant in a future that will be dominated by mobile devices, Gartner said. The firm expects Microsoft to position Win RT as its strategic platform for new development. But the demise of the Windows desktop won't happen overnight. Gartner is betting most users will continue to run Win32 applications for 10 or more years.
"Windows 8 is the start of Microsoft's effort to respond to market demands and competitors, as it provides a common interface and programming API set from phones to servers. It is also the beginning of the end of Win32 applications on the desktop," said Michael Silver, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "Microsoft will continue to support Win32, but it will encourage developers to write more manageable and engaging applications using Win RT."
A Technology Shift
Although the new Metro interface model will lock organizations into the next generation of Windows, Silver said enterprises will take many years to move their applications to the new model. Specifically, he said it will take at least five years for significant traction of Metro-style apps to pervade all areas of user-facing enterprise apps.
Gartner advises organizations planning to develop new Win32 applications to switch to Metro for all new user-facing applications beginning in 2013 and focus on external apps first and internal apps later.
"Windows 8 is more than a major upgrade to Windows -- it's a technology shift," said Steve Kleynhans, vice president for client and mobile computing at Gartner. "We don't see technology shifts too often; the only other one Microsoft's client OS has gone through was the move from DOS technology to Windows NT technology, which began in 1993 and took eight years, ending with the introduction of Windows XP in 2001."
A 2020 Prediction
Gartner believes most business users who adopt Windows 8 through to 2015 will spend most of their time in the desktop running Win32 applications and the desktop browser. However, by 2020, Gartner predicts enterprise end users will spend less than 10 percent of their time in Win32 applications. Most applications and the browser will be run from Metro. (continued...)
Posted: 2012-07-01 @ 9:52am PT
The tablet will die before the desktop. A desktop allows productivity. As much as people are seduced by shiny apple products, its useless at work. Microsoft can't just tell business to 'be cool'. Business has a job to do and that's not wafting around an OS with hand gestures.
M$ has extrapolated a trend towards tablets and followed it assuming it ends with zero desktops. They just lost market share, not the market. It wouldn't have kept going like that forever.
Now they are exacerbating the problem by saying it is the way to go. But businesses don't want employees sat on bean bags playing angry birds and fiddling with weather gadgets.
Its a shame because with Google and Facebook doing their best to destroy privacy MS could have positioned itself as the knight in shining armour. Instead they focussed their attention on Apple, a company that always produced style over content.
Posted: 2012-06-29 @ 5:37am PT
Considering that many companies are still running Win32 operating systems that are more 10 years old on hardware that is of the same era, I think think the 2020 timeline is aggressive. I can easily see my company using ~2015 hardware running Windows7 well into the late 2020's and likely beyond...