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Windows 8 – What a Successful…Flop?

Windows 8 – What a Successful…Flop?

Windows 8 sure came in with a bang! Hype for miles and miles, excitement that made any ADHD sufferer seem calm and collected! What was accomplished? Is it good? Should we switch? Why doesn’t anyone seem to be using it? All I hear are complaints; so is it that hard to use?

For the first time in computing history, an operating system company came up with an operating system that could work on a smartphone, tablet system and desktop system – keeping look, feel and feature consistent. If only Apple made its computers and laptops look and feel exactly like their iPad’s and iPhones they could be top of the market like Microsoft…or did they decide to leave well enough alone strategically?

If you know how to use one of these Microsoft devices, you can work them all. Pretty smart of Microsoft to start selling Windows 8-like smartphones well before the desktop computer and tablets followed suit. The mistake they made was putting that look and feel on the desktop though. Users have all but been revolting. If you look at many of the blogs and forums out there, you’ll quickly see that Windows 8 is a huge step forward in operating system reliability and fitness, but not so for effective and efficient use.

Users want their Start button! No Start button has meant ‘no deal’ for many IT departments and consulting firms because of the training deficit and requirement to ramp up users – if the users accepted the ramp up to begin with. Users like wallpaper. Users like lists of applications…when they click on the applications list in the Start Menu. Big active icons on the desktop, known as tiles in Windows 8, take up screen real estate the end user likes to have as their own. If they want active content on their desktop, they can use a multitude of widgets to get that functionality.

Microsoft’s big Windows 8 OOPS has been compared to the massive New Coke disaster that Coca-Cola made in 1985. New Coke lasted less than 3 months before Coke Classic was brought back and introduced as the ‘original’ once again. This disaster turned Coke into the Giant it is today. Coca-Cola sales skyrocketed – customers missed their original Coke!

Well, it seems as though Microsoft is following Coca-Cola’s lead. The upcoming Windows 8.1 release is supposed to give you that Start button back, but nobody knows for sure. One of the best things they could do is allow a user to move the Charms bar to the Start Screen so the most needed features are literally a click away, versus an awkward mouse gesture and more.

We don’t know if the Start Button and menu will return, but we are assured of many user interface changes and updates to make the system easier for those specifically not using touch screens, and easier still for those that do. Unifying an operating system among all device platforms has not fared well for Microsoft thus far, but then again, neither did the operational changes in Windows 95, 98, or Vista. Over time and tweaking, Microsoft made it work the way people would be willing to buy the product, and I’m sure they will do it again.

If you need help making heads or tails of strategic technology decisions, email or call Rick Mark, Service Area Manager of SingerLewak’s Business Technology Management Services area.

Rick Mark  |  Service Area Manager  |  818.999.3924

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