We’ll All be Using Metro in 2020? Gartner Analysts Think So

Why does Microsoft spend so much time trying to shape the way that we use our computers to conform with their sales plans, instead of just responding to our needs and supporting the way that we want to use our computers? It’s almost like they’re trying to chase customers away.

According to Gartner analysts, the release of the Windows 8 operating system by Microsoft will mark the beginning of the end for the NT platform, and the beginning of the WinRT (Windows Runtime) era. The shift towards the new platform will not be abrupt by any means, with Gartner predicting that Windows users will run traditional desktop applications for at least another ten years.

By 2020 though, the company’s analysts believe that in Enterprise environments, users will spend less then 10% of their time in desktop applications, and the majority of time in Metro apps instead.

By then, the analysts predict that most Win32 desktop apps will be run using virtualization or using server-based computing.

Gartner expects that the Windows Desktop and legacy Windows applications will decline in importance in future Windows client releases. Metro is a new interface model that will lock organizations into the next generation of Windows. However, Mr. Silver said that enterprises will take many years to move their applications to the new model, and it will take at least five years for significant traction of Metro-style apps to pervade all areas of user-facing enterprise apps. Organizations planning to develop new Win32 applications should switch to Metro for all new user-facing applications beginning in 2013 and should focus on external apps first and internal apps later.

The analysis looks at enterprise and business environments, and not home users, and eight years is a lot of time. If Microsoft keeps up its pace when releasing new versions of Windows, we should see at least two new Windows releases at that time (Windows 9, Windows 10) that Microsoft could use to integrate Metro more closely into the operating system.It is likely that MS will go forward with Metro, unless Windows 8 bombs and share the fate of Windows Vista which really did not convince consumers or businesses at all.

What’s your take on the prediction? Will we all be using Metro apps in 2020? I personally think it depends really on how successful Windows 8 will be, and how Microsoft intends to integrate Metro into future versions of the operating system.

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