NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- When you're dealing with Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) it's not that it's going to get bad, it's about managing how bad it's going to get. Take its radical new touch-based desktop and tablet operating system, Windows 8, due out this year.
Never mind investor grumbling about the ugliest rollout of any major tech product, probably ever. Company management is pretty much winking at the ugly days ahead.
Microsoft's radical new touch-based desktop and tablet operating system, Windows 8, is due out this year.
"Designing a new release of a product already used by a billion people in a billion different ways is, as we say, like ordering pizza for a billion people," said Steven Sinofsky, president of Windows, in a company blog post.
And at least based on my months of testing and considering the medium-term exposure, I can confirm Steve is correct. Windows 8 has a long, strange road ahead.Here's what investors can plan on. A surly countdown to 8
Keep in mind that the Windows 8 liftoff has in fact already begun. Last week Microsoft formally rolled out a "release preview" of the product, probably the final riff before the full code is released -- I am guessing sometime in October. Don't bother downloading and/or installing it. Much more interesting for markets, anyway, is the roughly 11,000-word (honestly it might be longer) blog post by Jensen Harris, director of program management for the company, called "Creating the Windows 8 user experience." Here the beastly truth of what investors are facing is clear: This company is utterly and totally invested in the principles behind Windows 8, no matter what anybody thinks. No traditional "Windows" layout, a focus on touch-controlled technology and the ability to work for PCs, tablets and other devices. That means there will be no backing down from this offering. And no New Coke, Microsoft Kin, here-today, gone-tomorrow investor bailout if things go south. In short, Redmond is committed to 8. It's do or die with this product. Yikes!