Little Reason To Worry With Microsoft Stock
Maxwell is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Over the years, the Internet evolved to allow people to connect with other people around the world to build friendships, business relationships, sell goods and services, enjoy movies and video games, and much more. And because more and more people now have access to the Internet, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) decided to let anyone with an Internet connection and a hearty dose of curiosity try its latest OS platform, Windows 8.
Providing Access to the Public
Allowing people to preview Windows 8 is a smart move on Microsoft's part. Not only does this build awareness of the new OS, it also gives people a chance to provide feedback concerning features and functionality so the company can make any final tweaks and changes before the release date. Available for view in 14 languages, this latest release showcases many new features, apps, and other capabilities not seen on previous versions of Windows or in earlier previews of Windows 8.
This past February the company released a Windows 8 Consumer Preview, which was downloaded by about 1 million people within a 24-hour time period. Combined with the number of people that will download the release preview, this version will probably become the most consumer tested OS ever. Once the company compiles feedback and other data from consumers and makes any last-minute changes, Windows 8 will be released for purchase.
Windows 8 Features
For investors, the release of Windows 8 is much anticipated. I think investors will be pleased to know that Microsoft has incorporated many features and functions that can be accessed by touch for tablet and smartphones and with a mouse for traditional PC users. This is important because even though the popularity of tablet computers has increased dramatically in a very short period of time, many businesses and consumers still rely on laptops and PC's.
Other features of Windows 8 include improved access to photos, mail, and apps (found on the Windows Store website), multi-monitor support, and the integration of the Adobe Flash Player into the Explorer 10 web browser.
These features include something for all types of consumers. From those that enjoy surfing the Internet and chatting with friends to businesses that rely on computers for research and data mining. Investors should feel confident that the new OS will do well in the marketplace. Even though Microsoft has been criticized in the past for releasing new versions of Windows too soon and with too many bugs and flaws, this latest version has undergone lots of testing by those who will use it the most - the consumer.
Popularity of Windows 8
Getting people to buy Windows 8 should not be an issue either as people want to invest in the latest technology now that they have new gadgets to try the technology out on. In the past, when a new version of Windows came out, people were excited, but not compelled to buy the new version right away, especially if they were satisfied with the older version. But with the advance of tablet computers and smartphones that can now download information from the Internet easily, consumers may want to upgrade because many of the new OS features are geared towards portable devices.
This means that Microsoft won't have to spend much to advertise and market Windows 8. And, since the company released several previews for consumer use, many people interested can't wait for the release date. I think investors should hold strong for right now until the impending frenzy over Windows 8 subsides - which won't be a while.
Much like the release of other products such as the iPad from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) or Android OS from Google for mobile phones, people really want what's popular and easy to fit into their lives. And just like iPad and Android dominate the tablet and mobile phone markets; the Windows OS platform dominates the operating system market even though there are other alternatives available.
Growing Customer Demand
Customer demand for smaller, more portable devices, faster Internet speeds, better search engine capabilities, and ways to manage online activities quickly and easily has changed the way telecom and other tech companies create products and services. Windows 8 makes it easier to people to check their email and chat with friends via social media. Other companies like Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) and Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) have both debuted products that combine the latest technology with the convenience of one-stop navigation.
Oracle develops mostly data management products and services while Cisco develops computer networking equipment and software, Even though these two companies aren't direct competitors of Microsoft, both must continue to meet customer needs in order to remain in business. An interesting side note is that products and services produced by all of these companies must work in tandem so all products and services continue to work effectively. For example, if a customer can't rely on their Cisco router, then they will not be able to power their computer via Microsoft's Windows 8 to save important data on an Oracle database. Even though there have been many times when these companies fail to work together, it's very important for customers that these companies rectify any differences in order to produce products and services that everyone can use - regardless of OS, database, mobile phone platform, and more.
A Final Word
Those who invest in Microsoft don't have much to worry about when it comes to losing money any time soon. I think with Windows 8, the company has provided customers with added convenience and much more. It will be very interesting to see how the general public reacts after enough people invest in the new OS. Windows 8 should hopefully be a profitable addition to the company's large portfolio. Investors should sit back and relax to see just how popular the new OS will become. Only time will tell how many people will be ready to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 - but with increased interest in portable devices, this will probably happen sooner than later.
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