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With the release of Windows 8, Microsoft had a big year. Here's what to look for in 2013:
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Xbox and skype are the best things they've got goin .. and win xp, but they recently turned their back on that..
I am that die-hard Windows user you speak of. Nothing will change my preferred OS. Granted, I won't likely be switching to Windows 8 anytime soon. But when it comes down to it, Windows is the ultimate computing software IMHO. I know there are things you cannot do on Windows, though I cannot name any. But even when I am forced to read lists of what is limited, nothing in those lists are even worth switching for. 
MS can look forward to a slow steady decline into irrelevancy in 2013
+Hal Lesesne I agree with xbox being profitable in the long term. Windows will start to fade as the PC market begins to shrink. Unless they can pull out a miracle with WIndows Phone 8, it looks like the mobile market has standardized around 2 dominant platforms already
+Hal Lesesne Still have my HTC Tilt 2 with Windows Mobile 6.5. And I won't be switching it anytime soon. And by the way, I'm not the only one.
Looking forward to microsoft's future. 
I love Windows 7. I won't upgrade to 8 until I have a touchscreen interface. It just seems unnecessary to me. Windows 7 does everything I need it to as an IT professional. I also have an Android phone (personal) and a MacBook Air I got for free so I could learn OS X and be able to support the students at the school I work at. I agree with others that have said Microsoft will be around for a long time. It doesn't matter how much you like Apple; Windows can do SO much more. 
Well, one can wonder what miracles Windows do for somebody. For me it is just old shit in new wrapping. Why live with a closed OS these days ?  
With things like Active Directory, domain services, policies, etc, Windows will remain at the front of my enterprise domain. I just haven't seen another solution come close to that. Now if you're just talking personal computing all of the OS choices are fine. 
A competitive Microsoft is good for the market. Competition Innovation from Apple, Google, and Microsoft benefit everyone. Think about what the industry price structure would look like for software and hardware if Microsoft were not in the market.
On the enterprise side it all depends. All funcionality related to AD, domain services , policies etc. can be solved on Linux,  And it is not difficult. But for me it is better to do it the Lunux way then implementing Windows solutions on Linux. If there was a denand for AD on Linux then it will be made. And that is the core.  The problem with all these Microsoft solutions are that they are not open. This means that you as a user think you choose, but you are tied. For Microsoft this make sense , but for you as a user this means a slow down adapting and also your company will be using too much money on solutions that are trivial. The regions in the world adapting will take over also the solution building. This is a long process , but you can see it with Microsoft in that they ar struggling and must more and more count on locks and lojal people to keep up the pace.
Nathaniel. Very nicely put. At my last company, they bought a software solution that needed a Linux server on the backend.
Since my experience with Linux was minimal, I decided to purchase a Dell server with Red Hat Linux. (I figured that way I could get support from both companies as needed). When all was said and done, it worked the way it was supposed to. HOWEVER, to get it setup required about 3 installs of RHEL 6 (Can't remember why).
Once the OS was installed I then had to skim through both Dell and Red Hat manuals to get it to look reasonable. (Choosing and properly installing drivers for the video card and monitor. Deciding on X-Window or the other GUI. Manually adding other server component drivers. Etc etc.)
So the way I figure it, you're paying a little bit to Red Hat to make your life easier and it was still way too much work/effort. 
I decided from then on I'd rather pay a little more on top of that and not have to use a command line to install drivers; or sift through obscure websites to find the sytax to install the video card because for some reason it couldn't be found by Linux.
And sure, it's nice to say it's open software and that makes it a beautiful thing; but that's a big part of the problem. People write open source and update things as hobbies, not as their main job. This makes the landscape of titles very bumpy and support for open software can not be counted on. (
Unless of course, you pay for it. But if you do, why didn't you just pay at the beginning and go with a proprietary software company with a vast number of employees?)
Win8 provides touch-enabled laptops, which the competition does not have. That will differentiate the OS from the rest.
We switched over to Google Apps for Education. Great for email and nice for multiple users, but we still have Office and will continue to for the foreseeable future. 
My understanding is that the disaster of Vista (subcontracted to Apple, if memory serves) prompted this game change. I am a huge Microsoft loyalist, and I, for one, am excited to upgrade my Hotmail account to Outlook. Fabulous. 
I've been in IT for nearly ten years.. and I run Linux at home as my primary OS, but I do dual boot with windows 8.. I would by far prefer Microsoft products as Corporate solution over the work it takes to get Linux to the same caliber... which isn't always possible..
Ive been using w8 for over 6 month now and I wouldnt go back to 7... I do not use the metro apps and wont be getting a windows phone anytime soon... But it is a move in the right direction and I think it that they have the right idea and will live upto its potential in time.. maybe in 9 or 10
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