Faithful users of Windows and Windows-operated devices should not worry: the further support of Windows OS will still be in progress. On the other hand, you may forget about improvements and development of this OS as it becomes obvious that Microsoft puts a stake on cloud technologies and subscriptions.
There is a clear nonconcurrence: users and watchers of Microsoft work put emphasis on certain things, and Microsoft policymakers count on other things. Despite the fact that sales of Windows Phone Lumia had fallen, Surface tablet and laptop sales had risen for $1.35 billion for the period between October 1st and December 31st. However, in the annual report, Microsoft executives talked about revenues of their cloud and subscription plans: Azure, Office 365, game sales and Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (suite of services aimed to manage gadgets and content in them).
Microsoft’s financial review usually consists of three parts: More Personal Computing (that includes Windows and hardware), Business and Productivity (mainly Office 365) and Intelligent Cloud (cloud services of Microsoft). Today, Personal Computing part brings the company the biggest revenue; however, now main strategies are directed to device management, services for the Windows platform and development of new device categories. It is now becoming apparent that Microsoft senior managers are focused on the services that are attached to Windows rather than on Windows itself.
At the moment, Azure with 140% growth is one of the main directions of Microsoft development. And there are plenty of Azure-hosted services worth working with, including Azure Media Services, Cortana Analytics Suite, and many others. Also, executives lay emphasis on Office 365 and related apps for mobile devices (the number of downloads is more than 340 million) and Outlook (30 million active users).
One may say that it is an attempt to divert attention from slumping sales of Windows Phone and losing positions in PC and tablet markets. Still, Microsoft senior officers state that they are more than impressed with readings of the phone market this year. The company got rid of former Nokians as Microsoft has bought Nokia’s handset division, diminished number of produced Windows Phones and degraded budget of Lumia support until the next stage of Microsoft’s mobile development strategy starts – that is why information about Windows Phone performance satisfied Microsoft executives.
Microsoft also plans to monetize services – they want to earn money from the services attached to Windows Platform as well as sell games –placing ads there will bring a new cash flow to the company.
It is clear that Microsoft’s strategy has changed towards cloud and subscription services. However, Windows and Windows-powered devices won’t be forgotten as experts still search for ways to make them relevant.