Who Is the Real Winner?
It remains to be seen who the real winner in this scenario is going to be. Ideally, Google would love for all those IE 8 users to switch over to Chrome as their web browser of choice. An area I think this could be a real possibility is with education and government entities. There’s no doubt that Google has gone after these institution hard by offering a lower cost alternative to Microsoft Office. Due to Microsoft’s slowness in responding to the demand for cloud based productivity applications, Google has made some inroads in these areas. Organizations that are entrenched in Google apps may not be ready to turn the ship around and dump XP. As I stated earlier, Windows 7 really doesn’t offer a lot more for the average office user and typically, education and government institutions are slower to adopt. Google could possibly stand to gain some market share if the scenario plays out in this manner. However, I wouldn’t bank on it if I were Google.
Who Is the Real Loser?
I believe these previously mentioned institutions that are entrenched in Google apps are the real losers. I believe these folk are going to be scrambling to figure out what to do. My gut tells me that rather than switch over to Chrome for their apps, these institutions are going to come to the stark reality that it is time to switch to a new version of Windows. One big reason for this is that if these organizations are using Active Directory, it is much easier to administer web policies for Internet Explorer than it is for Chrome, or any other web browser for that matter. That may not matter much to the average user, but I guarantee that matters a lot to the IT departments of these institutions and if you’ve ever worked for a government entity, you have to know that IT has to keep a tight reign on its users simply because they are outnumbered. Simplicity is what these IT departments are looking for. I may be wrong, but I think Google has scored one in Microsoft’s goal by forcing these users to upgrade.
In conclusion, if the reality has not yet set in with your organization that XP is a dead horse, let this be your warning. XP is a dead horse! Now the next question you’ll have to answer is what operating system do you choose next? Do you go with Windows 7 or do you go ahead and embrace Windows 8? This may be a topic for another conversation, but with a question like that, how can Microsoft lose?