re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I will ask the one question which nobody, in any online article or review of Windows 8, seems to have asked: Why didn't Microsoft, when developing Windows 8, split the interface development into two nodes -- one node with the specific focus on reviving the home and business PC markets, and another node with the specific focus of gaining a substantial share of the tablet market? Instead, Microsoft entirely focused on the tablet market while providing PC compatibility as a poorly implemented afterthought.
Amazingly, the new Windows 8 OS isn't smart enough, upon installation or booting, to automatically use the touch screen interface if a touch screen display is detected, or to automatically use a more conventional mouse/keyboard and compatible Windows 7-like interface if the OS detects that the hardware does not have a touch screen display. Instead, the default for Windows 8 is to FOLLOW the general appearance of Android and MAC tablet operating systems, further exacerbated by a complete lack of any intiuitve instructions or help popups about how to use this new interface.
A business maxim: Lead, follow, or get out of the way. Following can lead to the latter. Mangling a "follow" attempt definitely will lead to the latter. Sinofsky completely mangled Microsoft's "follow" attempt. There is no other way to describe both the reviews, user experiences and general overall rejection regarding the new Windows 8 operating system. This is borne out by recent ads for new Windows 8 PCs and laptops which are now listed on retailer web sites as "clearance" items with blowout prices. This latter fact, above all else and regardless of Microsoft's reported sales, reveals the true picture of Windows 8. Overall it appears that public acceptance of Windows 8 is even worse than Vista. Nothing is going to change that, just as nothing changed things for Vista.
Microsoft's strategy has completely ignored the existing business world users, experienced users and the general public who still use PCs for a variety of tasks which just aren't suitable to perform on tablets. Microsoft also completely ignored the need to do something which would revive the PC market since that market is related to the aforementioned groups of users. Why didn't Microsoft decide to also focus on the PC market, instead of completely ignoring this market simply because many analysts think that this market might wither and die? When the first PCs were introduced in the early 1980s, many analysts said that PCs were merely a fad and that PCs were nothing but glorified calculators. How wrong they were. Regardless, PC manufacturers were and still are clamoring for a new OS which to revive the PC market segment since they know that PCs, for at least the next couple of years, will continue to outperform tablets. For the time being, tablets just don't have the screen size and workspace, raw processing power, and battery life to complete with high performance PCs.
Over the past months, both the PC industry and online media falsely hyped the Microsoft line that this new operating system would be revolutionary. In particular, both believed Steven Sinofsky's hard court press that this new Windows OS is what consumers really wanted. He was dead wrong, and of course he no longer is with Microsoft.
I recall the similar hard court press tactics which were associated with the pending release of Windows Vista, and I vividly recall the questionable tactics which Microsoft used to force consumers to upgrade to Vista. For the latter and most notably and when Vista's sales figures were very disappointing, Microsoft released IE7. After installing IE7 on an XP machine and when the user tried to use previously installed Win98 and XP programs which relied on two specific DLLs, Windows would report that those programs were trying to use DLLs which supposedly were "Vista only DLLs" and that the user should upgrade to Vista for "improved performance," when in fact the two DLL's in question had been included in all versions of Windows since Windows 95. Installing IE7 actually deleted those existing DLLs from the user's computer, all in Microsoft's effort to try to force users to upgrade to Vista for a better user experience. If an XP user skipped upgrading IE6 to IE7 and instead upgraded IE6 directly to IE8, then these DLL issues did not occur since, by the time IE8 was released, Microsoft had completely given up on trying to force users to upgrade from XP to Vista. Thus IE8's installer was not configured to delete these two installed DLLs since Microsoft by this point had totally given up on Vista.
With the above in mind, let's look at where Windows 8 utterly fails in terms of Microsoft's "assessment" that tablets are the wave of the future. Microsoft's assessment is clouded by Microsoft's desire to make strong inroads into the tablet market, but this rapidly growing market segment is merely one very distinct portion of of the overall industry market. Sinofsky totally missed this crucial point. Instead Sinofsky erroneously thought that the tablet market segment, rapidly growing as it is, is the ONLY computer industry market which Microsoft's new OS should be designed for. In short, Sinofsky completely disregarded the desires of a plethora of PC manufacturers who hoped that the new Windows 8 OS would help to revive the PC market. Sinofsky completely ignored both the home PC market. Most importantly and damnably, Sinofsky with his complete control of the Windows 8 development process, utterly ignored the needs of of one of Microsoft's largest, most important and most loyal customer bases -- the business market. This, in short, is Sinofsky's most striking and abysmal failure. No wonder he "left" the company on such short (one day) notice.