Second Floor Computers

Windows 8: Why Microsoft's giant gamble didn't pay off

Even when it was launched, Windows 8 was seen as a gamble — but one that Microsoft had to make.

The stunning, out-of-nowhere success of tablets was making the PC look stodgy and out-of-date, so Microsoft had to show that Windows could still be relevant beyond its traditional desktop home. The company's response was Windows 8, with its colourful tiled interface and the emphasis on Windows as a touchscreen operating system for a new age  of computing — a bet-the-company move, according to then-CEO Steve Ballmer.

To reinforce the shift,  Microsoft even developed its own new PC-tablet hybrid, the Surface , to show off the potential of the new operating system.



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