Last month, I talked about how mobile devices and technology are overtaking the digital landscape. An earlier AP article follows this theme in discussing the disappointing launch of Windows 8. Well, disappointing to Microsoft, if to no one else.
What was supposed to be Microsoft’s answer to the burgeoning number and influence of mobile devices has turned out to be anything but that. The overhaul of Windows was intended to bring the look and feel of the software that powers many mobile devices to PCs and laptops. Unfortunately, Microsoft didn’t count on PC users being resistant to such a major change.
For one thing, Windows 8 is designed to work with touch-sensitive screens. But for PC users who don’t already have touch screens or who aren’t willing to spend the extra dollars to obtain it, there’s a significant learning curve involved with trying to navigate the new software with a mouse. And, for users who aren’t very familiar with the touch-screen utility of Smartphones and/or tablets – and there are still quite a few of those folks around – navigating Windows 8 can feel like trying to sew a delicate embroidery piece while wearing thick, heavily-lined mittens.
For those on the fence about moving to a tablet, Windows 8 may well push them in the direction of a mobile device instead of another PC. With the latest sales figures showing a continued decline in the number of PCs and laptops sold during the first three months of 2013 (this is the 4th consecutive quarter for declining PC sales), a poor showing by Windows 8 does not bode well for Microsoft or other hardware and software companies. Companies such as H-P, Dell, and Intel are at a crucial decision point.
In the meantime, we as marketers, need to stay on top of the state of technology. Although not quite there yet, mobile technology is headed toward a dominant market position. The questions to ponder:
- Do we take an “all or nothing” approach with mobile and focus all of our digital efforts in that direction?
- Do we take a Mobile First approach and use mobile design as a launching pad for other sites?
- Should we still be mindful that not everyone is on board yet with mobile as their primary means of digital communication?
The answer for your organization likely depends on the demographics of your market area. Your Web analytics can help you make the most appropriate strategic decision for right now. But, make a habit of watching the mobile access trends to your sites, as many of our clients are already seeing nearly half of their Web volume coming from mobile devices. The tipping point is near.
How is your organization proceeding?