How Windows 8 compromised Microsoft, perhaps terminally

For a long time people with iPhones and iPads predominantly used Windows. In previous years the vast majority of people who read iMore read it using Windows. That's been changing. Right now, the number of people who read us on iOS is exploding, and Windows, shrinking. Right now, the number of people using iPads for things they used to use Windows for is increasing. Part of the reason for that is certainly the success Apple has had with their devices over the last few years. The other part is Windows 8. While some might imagine I'm biased, here's Paul Thurrott of Supersite for Windows:

Windows 8 is tanking harder than Microsoft is comfortable discussing in public, and the latest release, Windows 8.1, which is a substantial and free upgrade with major improvements over the original release, is in use on less than 25 million PCs at the moment. That's a disaster [...] And though Microsoft will always be able to claim that Windows 9 wouldn't have been possible without the important foundational work they had done first with Windows 8—just as was the case with Windows 7 and Windows Vista—there's no way to sugarcoat this. Windows 8 has set back Microsoft, and Windows, by years, and possibly for good.

I used Apple and Amiga, but eventually switched to Windows 95 and stuck with that as my primary OS until Vista. I got a brand new, top-of-the-line Dell Vista laptop at work and... no driver existed for the graphics card it shipped with. It never got better, so eventually, in frustration, I switched to OS X Tiger and a MacBook Pro, and from there I went from a Treo Pro to an iPhone, an Xbox to an Apple TV, and so on. Vista was my egress from the world of Microsoft, and while they recovered valiantly with Windows 7, they didn't learn, and they went entirely the wrong way with Windows 8.

It's maddening, not as someone who uses Apple products, but as someone who wants to use great Microsoft products as well. I love my Lumia 1020, but where's my tablet running Windows Phone OS, with amazing, touch-optimized versions of Halo, Office, Sharepoint, Gears of War, and more?

Microsoft might have won the PC war, but it's the post PC-era now, and it's a bigger, badder, battlefield than ever, thanks not only to Apple but Amazon, Google, Facebook, and who knows who else. Microsoft is big and smart enough to be one of the victors, but unless they want to become the next IBM — brilliant but invisible to consumers — they need to get their act together and quickly.

Who they choose as their next CEO, and how, will be the first, best indicator that they have a chance.

Site: Supersite for Windows