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Entries in Microsoft (2)


Windows 8: Ambitious Failure

Mark Wilson in Fast Company's Co.DESIGN writes about Windows 8's schizophrenia: notionally, it is a superb OS, but no one likes it. 

Microsoft's Windows 8 Is The Perfect OS That Nobody Wants


With Windows 8, Microsoft did the unthinkable: The company designed a groundbreaking interface of boxes called Metro that could scale from laptops, to tablets, to phones, to Xboxes--meaning any Microsoft device in any context would always be equally familiar. Not even Apple has been bold enough to merge Mac OS and iOS, which is why it seemed that with Windows 8, the nerds at Microsoft had somehow won the design war.

But the Metro interface hasn’t brought a new golden age for Microsoft. Adoption of Windows 8 PCs has been slow, while Microsoft's Surface tablets have proven a $900 million-plus flop. And nowhere is consumer response more apparent than in how Microsoft has backpedaled, reinstating the Start button in Windows 8.1. This one button drove the Windows interface for almost 20 years. Removing it in Windows 8 marked a paradigm shift of the company's UI. And bringing the Start button back signifies that consumers never wanted something new in the first place.

Adding fuel to the flames, new rumors suggest that Microsoft will revert its design even further, adding more options to run Windows 8 far more like a traditional Windows machine, complete with a full Start Menu and Metro apps that happily run on an old school desktop.

What is going on?

Wilson nails the issues from my perspective: 1) people don't actually want the same interface on different devices, and 2) multitasking in Windows 8 is poorly executed. I'd also add 3), swiping is an unnatural act on a lap- or desk-top, as opposed to a phone or tablet (but this may be the same as 2)).

See link above for full article. 


The Decline of Microsoft?

Wow -- there are several recent tough commentaries on Microsoft's future, likley precipitated by the "uniqueness" of Windows 8 and/or its slow take off, plus given the continued juggernauts of Apple/iOS and Google/Android. 

Dan Lyons in readwrite: "Microsoft 'Blinded By Its Own Hallucinations' And 'Turning Into A Sideshow'" --

I have written my share of blistering articles about Microsoft over the years, but I just read this one by market research analyst Roger Kay and all I can say is, "Wow." Kay has been around for a long time. He used to run the PC research group at IDC, and now has his own firm, called Endpoint Technologies Associates. The point is, he knows his stuff. And he knows Microsoft incredibly well. And boy did he just go ballistic in a column published on

The gist of his article is, Let's stop beating around the bush and just say it - Windows 8 is a dud. So is Windows Phone 8. Everyone in the world knows this, except Microsoft. 

"Microsoft has reached an Orwellian impasse, in which it cannot tell the truth - even to itself," Kay writes. "It is blinded by its own hallucinations about how the market is operating. The result is that its public pronouncements entirely lack credibility."

Continued at link.

Here is aforementioned article by Kay in Forbes: "Microsoft Is Fast Turning Into A Sideshow"

And, here, Fast Company weighs in -- "5 Lessons Microsoft Must Learn To Compete In 2013;" -- in summary -- 

  1. Commit to innovation -- stick with changes introduced (including Windows 8). 
  2. It's risky to allow your hardware partners to deliver your innovation. 
  3. Have an ecosystem. 
  4. Deliver the apps! 
  5. Build credible excitement about your direction.