Channels Forum Channel watchers Canalys celebrated the launch of Windows 8 this month by declaring we are now in the "post Windows" era.
Canalys CEO Steve Brazier kicked off the Channels Forum conference with a state of the industry keynote which questioned how much success Redmond could expect on the back of the Win8 launch, particularly as it had hacked off its traditional partners.
"We are in an Apple led industry. It dominates figures," stated Brazier uncompromisingly. He added this in part explained the distribution sector's flat performance, as the Cupertino firm - which has accounted for much of the IT industry's growth lately - was "not a distributor-led company."
However, if Microsoft thinks this will drive distributors and their myriad customers back into the Windows fold, Brazier thinks there may be disappointment ahead for Redmond. Apple' dominance, in his view, doesn't mean we are in a "post PC world."
"But," Brazier continued, "We may be in a post Windows world."
While Windows 8 was getting great reviews on touch devices, he questioned take-up on PCs. He predicted the greatest impact would come in consumer for the next 12 months - though this is the case with most OS releases.
Microsoft has made life harder for itself, Brazier added, by developing its own hardware and selling through its own shopfronts.
"If it's an experiment, it's a very strange one."
By launching its own devices, Microsoft might be taking on Google, he said - but Google doesn't have the sort of ecosystem Microsoft has built over the last 25 years.
"If they really think they're going to shift a lot of products through their own websites and stores ... they're not going to sell very much," commented the Canalys chief.
For its part, Microsoft chose not to attend the conference. ®