paranoia_primary_ne-100009266-largeEverything is on the line with Windows 8 and Microsoft. It’s do or die, according to pundits. So goes the headline hyperbole.

But here’s the zinger: Dire make-or-break predictions for the launch of the latest Windows, tying it to the failure of Microsoft itself, have also greeted the releases of Windows 7, Vista, XP, Windows 98, and Windows 95.

A Windows OS launch just isn’t complete without an everything-is-at-stake-for-Microsoft prediction.

And this time around, the feeling that Microsoft is at the precipice of failure on the eve of releasing its latest operating system is no different, as the fear mongers would have you believe that the October 26 release of Windows 8 may be spookier than a Halloween thriller for Microsoft.

I agree that more than the usual is on the line for Microsoft with the release of Windows 8. The company is going all out, introducing the Windows 8 and RT OSs, an overhauled user interface, the Surface RT tablet, Windows Phone 8, and a bevy of upgrades to the back end for cloud services and mobile apps. Does the future of Microsoft rest on Windows 8’s success? According to many experts it does. At this point, who knows? This time they may be right.

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Will Windows 8 topple Microsoft?

My personal favorite paranoid headline from the 2012 rollout is Forbes’s “Is Windows 8 going to kill Microsoft?” In the article itself, the writer, Forbes contributor Tim Worstall, doesn’t actually assert that Microsoft will go under; the headline is more trollish than anything. Instead, Worstall hypothesizes that, because Windows 8 looks different from Windows 7, “the very change [Microsoft is] bringing in means that people will be open to changing to a non-Windows platform.” For pure entertainment value, I like the headline better.