Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Friday, December 24, 2010

Microsoft Promises Windows 8 = Gaming

Yeah, right. No, no, Charlie Brown, I won't yank that football away this time. Really. I promise. What's that you say? Microsoft is promising that Windows 8 will be a relaunch of PC gaming, putting gaming back at the forefront of the PC universe. Wait, haven't we heard this promise before? I seem to recall hearing this for Windows 7... and Windows Vista... and Windows XP... and Windows ME...

Microsoft has relaunched their Games for Windows marketplace, but it's a far cry from what Steam has become. I'm not sure if Microsoft is hoping to restore sales of PC games at retail, or recognizing that goal is a lost cause and the future lies in digital distribution.

It's probably not a coincidence that Apple is launching their Macintosh App Store this January, where you'll be able to find full retail versions of all kinds of Macintosh software. Which will probably boost sales of such software significantly, and not incidentally boost sales of Macintosh hardware. This is a good thing at a time when laptops and desktops alike are forecasted to begin losing significant market share to tablets. That's the market that Apple currently controls, and the one where Microsoft apparently has no clue of how to compete. Is anyone looking forward to a Windows tablet?

Hey, it's great that Microsoft wants to try once again to make gaming more important on PCs. But other companies have been doing that for them (like Blizzard and Steam), so if they fail (as they have so many times before) it won't make much difference to the marketplace as a whole. Not so great for Microsoft, maybe, but they are still searching for their lost mojo. Right now their most promising areas seem to be the Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7, so maybe a push to bring the PC games into the spotlight would work. I could see the synergy between the three areas, and if Microsoft can make the connections on a deep level this could be a strong counter to the enemies at the gate (or Gates...).

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