Despite the increasing criticism regarding rushed production, compatibility issues and security flaws, Windows has made a spectacle out of the launch of each version and has continuously expanded its market share. Launched back in 1992, Windows 3 managed to transform personal computing for millions of people (to the tune of $1.1 trillion over the first two years of sales).
With Windows 8, Microsoft officially broke the billion-dollar marketing barrier (and nearly broke the $2 billion barrier), combining its software launch with the debut of new hardware (its Surface tablet).
Regardless of its missteps along the way, Microsoft’s intention to continue its domination of the personal computing marketplace is clear. But with the rise of mobile computing and the increasing importance of smartphones and tablets, the company that trotted out the Rolling Stones to “start us up” back in 1995 will need more than spectacle to see that intention through.