I’m a big history buff. See, the reason being because I believe that we simply don’t know how to learn from our past…even though the past always seems to repeat itself. One of my favorite examples is how the Cloud is nothing we haven’t seen with mainframes and dumb terminals some 20-30 years ago. Here’s another great history lesson.
- Some sort of disruptive innovation occurs in IT;
- New entrants emerge because they are small and nimble;
- They start to gain market and mind share;
- Microsoft responds with some half-ass product that gets panned;
- Competition continues to innovate and make Microsoft look weak;
- Microsoft finishes its management by committee process and tries to make a comeback…to no avail;
- Microsoft then finally gets its aircraft carrier pointed in the right direction;
- Microsoft delivers an updated version of something, pulls out all the stops….including the rug out from under everyone else;
- Microsoft then starts pummeling the competition into submission or into an unrecognizable pulp.
Don’t believe me? Go ask the good people who worked at Lotus, WordPerfect, Netscape/AOL, and yes….even Apple circa 1995.
I believe we are now – at least from an enterprise mobility perspective – somewhere between Stages 7 and 8. Today, Microsoft announced the developer preview of Windows 8. Love it or hate it….it’s going to be everywhere. It’s going to be on servers, gaming machines, desktops, laptops, netbooks and tablets (and probably some new form factors that merge laptops and tablets) from Dell, HP, Acer, Asus, Lenovo and countless other vendors.
It’s also going to be on smartphones. (You don’t really think they’re not going to merge the code base of Windows Phone 8 with Windows Phone, do you?)
That means Windows 8, with its slick 8 second cold boot times will be EVERYWHERE. Companies are going to buy them and consumers will buy them. Don’t forget, Microsoft still has about 90% marketshare of the PC market. Even with the consumerization of IT, Windows 8 will find its way deeply into the workplace, because people will buy a PC and just want to use it for work. Oh and by the way….if you like your PC…which you probably do if you keep buying them….then why not just buy the tablet…and maybe even the smartphone. My, how things can changes once you wake up an angry beast.
So here’s an interesting twist for you. I’m thinking about enterprise mobility management. There are a bunch of vendors out there that provide some great tools for managing mobile devices….separate from the PCs and servers because, well….they’re different. What happens when they are NOT different?
A lot of companies use Microsoft’s System Center or other tools to manage their PCs and servers. Why not just use ONE tool to manage ALL your Windows machines….servers, desktops, laptops, netbooks, tablets….and smartphones.
Another thing I have said for some time is that we will eventually stop talking about enterprise mobility, because it will be subsumed by general enterprise IT. I think Microsoft has taken steps that will only accelerate this transition. 2013 – a few months after Windows 8 (or whatever they will end up calling it) will be far more disruptive to enterprise mobility and enterprise IT than people think.
What do YOU think?