In the run up to the launch of its Windows 8 Operating System, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has begun a slate of new releases that will augment and support the objectives that frame the company’s future. The most recent additions, which were in the news today, include Microsoft Server 2012, and Kinect for Windows 8.
Microsoft Server 2012, which was fully released today, is the first big update the company has given to its server running technology since 2009. New features embedded in the software will help manage clusters of servers remotely, a feature pivotal to the expansion of cloud computing.
The release of the updated server technology is a clear signal to the enterprise part of Microsoft’s business that they have not been forgotten, despite the emphasis on “consumer electronics” that has pervaded the industry, since the release of Apple’s iPhone in 2007.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) faces major competition in the server world, not from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), or Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), but from Unix and Linux based server technologies. 2005 was the first year in which Windows servers outsold Unix based servers.
A second big announcement made today, was the release roadmap for the company’s Kinect Windows 8 software. Microsoft released Kinect for Windows late last year, but a lack of applications able to utilize the interface made it less of a useful tool, and more of a toy for developers.
With Windows 8 Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is looking to deeply integrate many of its disparate divisions, including mobile computing, desktop computing, and its Xbox console, the birthplace of the Kinect. The firm is hoping that developers will take to the tool in their creation of new applications for Windows 8.
Along with an update to the Kinect package, Microsoft announced an expansion in its availability, some South American and Eastern European countries will be supported as of the 8th of October. The biggest news however, was the expansion into China, a country favored by many, including Samsung and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), for its huge earnings potential.
Microsoft will be hoping to challenge the dominance of alternative systems in Asia, and across the globe. The release of the Kinect in east Asia signals a wilingness, and a capability to do just that, with both its Windows 8 Operating System and its Xbox line of consoles.
Windows 8 is not a make or break release for Microsoft. The company still attracts by far the most users in the PC market, and in enterprise settings, Microsoft is unparallelled. The problem comes with the transition to mobile computers for everyday tasks. Microsoft has been, up until now, entirely unprepared and uncompetitive in that market.
Windows 8 is hoped to change all that. The software is seen as a bulwark against what seems like an inevitable decline, and an impetus toward making Microsoft a strong, resilient, and innovative company.
With these new releases, bound to be followed by many more leading up to the October release of Windows 8, Microsoft is demonstrating its willingness to lay the groundwork for a successful launch. The biggest question is whether or not they have the capability to bring it about, and the strength to fight Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s dominance.