Remember when Windows 95 shipped? It was a huge step in the advancement of the Windows Copies Mac Operating Systems. And next most of us landed on Windows 98 and moved up to Windows NT as we grew in our needs for power and speed. Finally the massive resting point for business was Windows XP. It seemed as if, blue screen of death aside, most of the Windows buggaboos had been muted. And then along came VISTA and just about set the PC industry back 2 years.
Nobody wanted Vista. It was bloated. It didn’t run very well. It was Microsoft’s answer to the elegant Mac OSX. And it was a massive failure both financially and technologically for Microsoft and ALL THE VENDORS who run Windows Operating Systems.
Do you recall that Microsoft made an announcement about a year in to the Vista-era and stated that manufacturers would no longer be able to sell Windows XP after a certain date? And I was inside Dell at this time, as a huge WHAT? when through every division of Dell’s business on the day Microsoft made this declaration. And somebody blinked. Because a deal was struck and Dell was allowed to continue to sell the systems businesses wanted, WITH XP and NOT VISTA, for an additional DOWNGRADE fee of $50 per system.
The funny part, that you might not know, however, is that Microsoft also made a deal that the sales would be recorded as Windows Vista, even if the downgrade was purchased. In that way, Dell kept all of it’s Microsoft marketing money, and Microsoft got to report inflated Windows Vista sales numbers.
It didn’t work out that well. And until Windows 7 came along, the entire Windows Enterprise was stumbling along installing legacy systems and NOT installing or supporting Vista.
And Windows 7 was an unqualified hit. Things worked. It was a masterful stroke of performance and simpliciy above Vista. And it even had a fancy little “retrograde extension” you could run to make it behave just like Windows XP. That was the “just in case” relief valve that got Windows 7 back into the install path for most businesses. “Even in the worst case senario, you can run the XP thing, and every thing will work fine.”
Now, nobody faults Microsoft for wanting to thrive and earn more money from upgrading and releasing new software, but when Windows is that software you are upgrading, you’d best check with the install base and see what features they are asking for, and what features they DON’T NEED.
So here’s my problem with Windows 8.
I’m running it on a laptop. I don’t have any touch screens. I don’t want a Microsoft Surface (my iPad works just fine, thanks). And I’m not fond of software putting cute and designery interfaces between me and my workflow.
It’s no wonder that the Dell website has gotten itself in another cluster. If you go there today, you’ll find the messaging around which WINDOWS version to buy, that you’ll probably not buy anything. You either need a friend in the business or a Mac.
I don’t know, maybe Microsoft should go back to naming their software for the year or two before it actually shipped. Like so many of us still using Office 2008. There no real reason to upgrade, and of course that is killing Microsofts business model. They are thinking now, maybe you want your Office software (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook) delivered in the Cloud. Office LIVE 365. And you can pay one low fee, FOREVER.
So it’s not like Microsoft should not keep trying to innovate and bring new products to market. BUT… When you finally get a solution to years of pain, as Windows 7 was to the entire tech industry, you don’t jump off in two years and PUSH another “innovation” and call it Windows 8. You’re going to fk up your momentum with Windows 7, you’re going to cause massive havoc with your vendors who depend on your software and marketing dollars. And most importantly, you’re going to hurt the entire tech business in the process.
Sure people can go buy Apples. And sure the IT departments will all figure out how to blow away Windows 8 images with their own Windows 7 loads, but why why why did you have to put this MOBILE and TOUCHSCREEN optimized browse layer out as a NEW WINDOWS OS?
I think it’s a mistake. The tech industry thinks it’s been a mistake. The adoption numbers are WORSE than VISTA at this point in the launch cycle. And companies like Dell are having to reinvent their sites, and reinforce old purchase paths, to keep from driving away 100% of their online sale customers.
Of course, you can’t rollback an OS release. The METRO (Windows 8) genie is out of the bottle, for better or worse. (SRSLY, couldn’t Windows 8 have been an extension or MOBILE WINDOWS version?)
So here we are. Apple is the biggest tech company in the world. Sales of PCs and Windows devices are at the lowest ebb ever. And Dell is striving to eat its own tale and become private again. Of course, the irony is Microsoft is giving a 2 billion dollar loan to the company putting the Dell purchase together. Do you see a Dell Surface Pro model coming out anytime soon? They will probably Dell-Sub-Brand it to death before it hits the web. Introducing the new touch-screen tablets from Dell: 1. The Dell XPS Surface 10; 2. The Dell XPS Surface Pro 12; 3. The Dell XPS Surface Pro 13.7i; and 4. The Dell XPS Surface Pro-Z.
Because if Dell does anything worse than anyone else, it’s brand and sub-brand their computers to death.
Don’t say I didn’t tell ya.
“Microsoft has provided a $2 billion loan to the group that has proposed to take Dell private,” a Microsoft statement said. “Microsoft is committed to the long term success of the entire PC ecosystem and invests heavily in a variety of ways to build that ecosystem for the future.” from How Bad is the PC Market.
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