The world is moving away from Windows as we know it. Cloud based technologies will make for thinner and thinner personal computers (in technical terms a “thin” computer is one that doesn’t have a lot of computer power or storage). Most of the technical community assumes that this means the end of the line for Microsoft. If your computer is to thin for Windows and Office than what good is Microsoft doing you anyway?
Microsoft apparently doesn’t see it that way. I have spoken before about how Office 360 (a cloud based version of MS Office) gives them a chance of continuing revenues from Office in the face of competition from Google Docs and others. Well on Wednesday, Microsoft announced that Windows 8 will be integrated with the cloud (namely that all users will have access to SkyDrive if they choose). Which begs the question, is it possible for Microsoft to keep up with the evolution of personal computing and avoid letting Chromebooks (an ultra-thin browser only laptop) and Google Docs become mainstream?
It should be an interesting race. Slow sales for Chromebooks indicate that most people aren’t quite ready for the change. If Office 360 can get perfected and a very cloudy version of Windows get released before the tipping point, then maybe Microsoft has as strong a future as it has a past (I’m almost convinced enough to make a small investment).