Microsoft plans to offer a glimpse of its vision for Windows this week, as its new CEO seeks to redefine the company and recover from missteps with its flagship operating system.
Although the new software won’t be formally released until next year, analysts already consider its success crucial for Microsoft and Satya Nadella, who has made mobile devices and Internet-based services priorities since becoming CEO in February.
With its tablet-like touch controls, Windows 8 had been Microsoft’s answer to slumping sales in personal computers amid a rising demand for mobile devices. But the company alienated many users by forcing radical behavioral changes. Research firm IDC even blamed Windows 8 for accelerating a decline in PC sales in the first full quarter following the system’s release in October 2012.
Microsoft has released updates that address some of the complaints, yet analytics firm Net Applications estimates that five out of six Windows users are still using something other than Windows 8.
The next major release will be the company’s chance to regain its footing and show that Microsoft can embrace mobile devices without sacrificing the traditional computing experience.
Microsoft is expected to give an early look at some new features Tuesday during an event the company has billed as a discussion about “what’s next for Windows.” The company hasn’t said what it plans to call the new Windows version.