Microsoft Programming Chief Julia Liuson says that Windows has evolved into a platform for everything. More specifically, she believes Microsoft has moved from the Windows platform to any platform. In other words, the company has opened up Windows and other services. The platform is no longer closed, according to Liuson.
Speaking to Forbes, Liuson says Microsoft’s change has only been a recent one. As close as 2006 the company was marketing with the “Where do you want to go today?” slogan. However, Liuson points out that what Microsoft meant was users could go anywhere, but within the closed Windows ecosystem.
Microsoft did not want customers going to other platforms for its services, the window was still closed. That has of course changed, especially since Satya Nadella became CEO two years ago. Microsoft is now embracing other platforms and even paying attention to open source. Its services are spread far and wide.
Yes, there are many who doubt Microsoft’s new role, and indeed the company’s overall intentions. Despite that, there is no doubt Microsoft is more inclusive than it ever was, and the platform more open.
Now Microsoft is working under the image of any developer, any app, any platform. Naturally, the company wants to guide dev’s and customers to Windows. With that in mind, all this openness eventually leads back to the platform in some way. Regardless, the change in tact is obvious.
Changing the Windows Plan
One of the major factors in opening its services has been the recent embrace of Linux. Microsoft now works with the open source platform. For those of us of a certain vintage, the idea of the company playing nice with Linux is as alien as Apple now deciding to open source its iOS platform.
Away from Windows, Microsoft’s willingness to use other platforms for growth is best evidenced in the mobile space. The company is among the biggest developers on Android and iOS. Indeed, most Microsoft services from Office to Cortana are available on those rival platform. To the frustration of Windows 10 Mobile users, Microsoft often pushes exclusive apps to Android and iOS ahead of its own platform.
Microsoft has also changed the way in which it manages Windows as a platform. The company has developed the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) to bring form factors under one roof. The idea to have Xbox, PC, mobile, and HoloLens under one ecosystem feels like Microsoft attempting to have a dynamic network platform.