July 15, 2011, 2:57 PM — Microsoft made big headlines with an announcement some interpreted as meaning it was gearing up to try to re-take the computer world again by putting Windows on every electronic device in the world (by force if necessary).
Others assumed it was giving up and getting ready to give up the name "Windows" and compete on a more even basis with OS and apps makers in the phone, tablet and, eventually, the PC market.
Why it would give up the name, image and market power of an operating system hundreds of millions of non-technical people think of as "the regular computer" -- in the same way they think of even their own extreme provincialisms as a "regular" accent – is anyone's guess.
It's also anyone's guess how Microsoft was planning to re-take the computer industry it had a government-certified monopoly over in the 1990s and gradually lost as the Internet, the Web, the Cloud, the iPhone, the Smartphone, the Tablet and a host of other smart and smartish devices gave normal people powers and abilities far beyond those of cubicle rats trapped in the office because it was the only place they could get email.
The chatter was launched by a presentation Tuesday from Andy Lees, president of Microsoft's Windows Phone division at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles.
The core of it was that Microsoft wants to change "things" so there won't be "an ecosystem for PCs and an ecosystem for phones [and] one for tablets. They'll all come together."
"Our strategy," Lees said, "is that these new form factors are within a single ecosystem and not new ecosystems themselves".
As Computerworld columnist Preston Gralla pointed out, that doesn't mean all those things will come together under Windows.