We’ve been hearing a lot about Windows 8, Microsoft’s latest operating system, since its introduction last fall. And you’re going to be hearing a lot more about it, too, now that Microsoft has announced its plans for Windows 8.1, codenamed Windows Blue. Scheduled for release sometime before the end of this year (read before Christmas), Windows 8.1 will be a free upgrade to current Windows 8 owners.

The radical overhaul of Microsoft’s ubiquitous operating system has clearly “befuddled as many people as it has impressed,” according to a report by Michael Lledtke of the Associated Press. Many of the changes and updates in Windows 8.1 are designed to address those challenges.

Complaints notwithstanding, however, Brad Chacos states in a recent article in CIO magazine that there are at least 12 ways Windows 8 dominates the OS competition. He cites:
1) A vast software library
2) Backward compatibility
3) Games
4) Stellar syncing
5) IE, the native web browser
6) Browser security
7) Widespread peripheral compatibility
8) Multiple monitor support
9) System search
10) Multitasking
11) And my favorite, the new-car smell!

Ok, I know, that’s only 11. Did I miss one somewhere? I don’t think so. Check out the article yourself and see. But to keep the title accurate I’m going to add my own #12 item…Windows is still the dominant OS in the world, especially in the world of business. And that’s not likely to change any time soon.

As the world changes to a more mobile computing environment with tablets, laptops and mobile devices, the new Windows has been designed to be equally accessible across all of them. In the long run, Microsoft is betting that’s the approach that will pay off.

Only time will tell.