From Needing Windows to Loving Windows

At yesterday’s Windows 10 event, Satya Nadella highlighted the theme I think encapsulated both what Microsoft is trying to do with the new operating system and what it needs to do more broadly as a company. In his closing remarks, Nadella said (I’m paraphrasing slightly in the absence of an official transcript):

  • “We want to go from users needing Windows to choosing Windows to loving Windows”
  • “We want people to love Windows on a daily basis”
  • “We want to make Windows 10 the most loved release of Windows”

What these three phrases have in common is the use of the word “love” in relation to Windows. That’s strikingly new language for Microsoft and it’s a big departure from how I think many people view Microsoft and its products today. As with much Nadella has said over the past year, it’s also refreshingly honest in its recognition of Microsoft’s current status as the default option but not a chosen option (let alone a loved one). Microsoft thrived in the past on being the de facto standard in both operating systems and productivity suites (mostly in the absence of mass market, affordable alternatives) but it can no longer do so in a world where Apple is resurgent, Google increasingly dominant in certain categories, and free options in many categories abound. Microsoft now needs to return to getting customers to choose it, and that in turn means getting them to associate positive things with the brand and the products.

The big challenge: does anyone love operating systems?

As a goal, I think this is laudable and appropriate for Microsoft – it’s a great rallying cry internally, apart from anything else. But as it applies to Windows specifically, I think the biggest challenge is that no one loves their operating system. If people love an experience on a computing device, it’s usually associated with the device as a whole, and often times with the device maker rather than the software developer. Apple doesn’t have this problem as such, since it combines both in a single company. But for Microsoft (and for Google, as I’ve written before), the challenge is I suspect people associate positive computing experiences with the device much more than the operating system. This could change and, in the case of Windows, the core experiences are at least preserved more or less intact compared with the Android experience on many OEM devices, but I think it’s a fundamental challenge for this idea of “users loving Windows”.

The single operating system is not a consumer pitch

Another challenge is, despite the common naming, I’m not sure consumers will buy the idea of Windows 10 as a single operating system, or that this idea will even matter to them. As Microsoft has taken pains to point out, the OS is optimized for different form factors and so won’t even necessarily feel like the same OS on different devices, especially now Microsoft is rolling back some of the touch-centric UI stuff in Windows 8. These will feel like different operating systems in many respects, as they should (I wrote previously about the mistake Microsoft made with Windows 8 in making the two seem too similar). What I think is much more compelling is Microsoft’s concept of the “Mobility of Experiences”, which refers to the ability to carry over experiences from one device to another. It’s definitely an echo of Apple’s Continuity concept, something Microsoft is now clearly embracing wholeheartedly. Interestingly, Google has always focused its cross-device integration at the services layer, whereas Apple and Microsoft are now clearly baking it into the OS (something I first wrote about here). Many of those experiences will carry over between specific apps, some of them not even running on Windows, rather than between versions of Windows 10. Again, I’m not sure Windows 10 is the thing users will come to love even if this works well.

Need for OS loyalty above services

So, why is Microsoft even pushing the OS so strongly? The theme over the last few months has been one of cross-platform development and services which were agnostic to which device or OS they were running on. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s operating systems remain also-rans on the fastest growing device categories and it might be tempted to give up or dial back. Instead, Satya Nadella made an incredibly clear statement in his closing remarks at Wednesday’s event, to the effect that Microsoft will make its services and the application endpoints for them available everywhere, but Windows will be the home for the best Microsoft experiences. The flaw with the cross-platform mantra is it’s impossible for Microsoft to bake its services as deeply into Apple and Google’s operating systems as they are into its own and, at the same time, both Google and Apple are integrating their services ever more deeply into their OS’. In this world, Microsoft can at best run an “over the top” strategy which focuses on the application layer, but as integration of first party services into voice assistants, cloud storage and the like becomes ever more important, it will be tough for Microsoft to keep up as long as it’s reliant on third party operating systems for distribution. That – I believe – is the reason why Microsoft is still talking up and trying to gain share for its own operating systems, including Windows Phone, despite the seemingly overwhelming odds. As Nadella put it, Microsoft experiences and services will be “uniquely harmonized” in Windows in a way they can’t be anywhere else.

Building love beyond Windows

For all the reasons I’ve talked about, I think getting consumers to love Windows is a tall order and I don’t know if Microsoft will be successful in the way Nadella describes. But I do think getting customers to change their perceptions of Microsoft is critical if it’s to transform itself and grow in the future. However, that love (if it comes) can’t be centered in an operating system. It will be directed at key specific experiences that Microsoft creates. Getting consumers to engage with those experiences means changing their perceptions of what kind of company Microsoft has become. To that end, I think Wednesday’s unveiling of HoloLens and Windows Holographic is hugely important in building a narrative that Microsoft is a technology company that can truly innovate and bring new experiences to market. If Microsoft is to be successful in the consumer market, it does need to engender more than just a grudging acceptance of its products and get consumers to actively choose, and then enjoy using, its products. From what we saw Wednesday, Microsoft has a good start on doing this in gaming, but the rest is more up in the air.

Published by

Jan Dawson

Jan Dawson is Founder and Chief Analyst at Jackdaw Research, a technology research and consulting firm focused on consumer technology. During his sixteen years as a technology analyst, Jan has covered everything from DSL to LTE, and from policy and regulation to smartphones and tablets. As such, he brings a unique perspective to the consumer technology space, pulling together insights on communications and content services, device hardware and software, and online services to provide big-picture market analysis and strategic advice to his clients. Jan has worked with many of the world’s largest operators, device and infrastructure vendors, online service providers and others to shape their strategies and help them understand the market. Prior to founding Jackdaw, Jan worked at Ovum for a number of years, most recently as Chief Telecoms Analyst, responsible for Ovum’s telecoms research agenda globally.

223 thoughts on “From Needing Windows to Loving Windows”

  1. After watching the Windows 10 event I felt better about Microsoft than I’ve felt in years.

    The Windows 8 development felt forced and totally directed toward tablets. Then when I finally got a Windows 8.1 tablet to use, I was blown away (one of Microsoft’s favorite terms at the Windows 10 event) by how BAD it was. To do just about anything you had to drop back to a desktop control or app. Incredibly bad. And I had been using Windows 8 on a notebook for 2 years by then.
    I’ve got a new tablet on order and will install the newest version of Windows 10 that I can find. I’m curious to see if it’s better. I haven’t gone to Windows 10 on my daily notebook just because it’s had some major issues in some of the interim releases. So the tablet and a development system will be my tests.
    It’s possible that things will turn around for Microsoft. Both Apple and Google came from a much lower phone market shares when they introduced their first phones (zero?). Nobody then thought Blackberry would have a lower market share than Microsoft after all.

    1. Perhaps here’s the problem with Microsoft’s failed strategy BEFORE (windows everywhere) and AFTER yesterday’s announcement (Windows Everywhere): Nothing has changed. Literally nothing.

      “I’ve got a new tablet on order and will install the newest version of Windows 10 that I can find.”

      You were already deeply ingrained with Windows ecosystem – using/adopting anything from Microsoft. You were & are “Windows Everywhere”.

      Problem: no one else was/is. Or even want to be.

      For those vast majority of users (and growing significantly). Literally nothing is of benefit or helps all their users.

      It’s a question of needs: Windows everywhere, Surface Tablet integration, and Windows Phone integration was not and is not on any user’s list of needs.

      This is not a good sign. Microsoft is not listening or serving their users’ needs.

      1. In a rapidly changing world, maybe Microsoft doesn’t always have to change. Smartphones will get bigger and faster. Simple tasks that we currently do on smartphones may be offloaded to smartwatches.

        If this is the case, smartphones users may want to do more PC-like tasks on their phones, which would fit with Microsoft’s strategy.

        Apple draws the line between tablets and PCs. That’s the border between iOS and Mac OS X. Will this always be where the line should be drawn? I’m not so sure.

        Just a thought, but I got the impression that you were treating the user needs as a constant, and I would be more cautious.

        1. Oh no. That was my mistake if I came across saying user needs are constant they’re not. (Though enterprise users are the most conservative & most resistant to change).

          Microsoft does not *have* to change. Of course not. But they’re are technology company. If they’re fine with staying constant & falling behind – that’s their choice. Perhaps we should then view Microsoft more along the lines of General Electric; Big, bureaucratic, completely irrelevant conglomerate.

      2. I’ll admit that I’m immersed in the Windows world. My job depends on me understanding and providing a product that helps Windows. That’s why I’m happy that Microsoft appears to be improving.

        As an OEM employee, I helped create some of the early Windows notebooks. I owe many years of my career to Microsoft’s steady pull to improve the products and watched in dismay as Windows 8 became disjointed and was released as a partial solution to both mainstream Windows machines and the beginnings of the tablet products.

        As a multi-generation Windows Mobile user, I watched as the original iPhones were released and then I switched to the Nexus One and several follow-on Google devices. Having worked on PCs that could be upgraded to the latest OS for many years, I grew tired of the way Google would drop development on their slightly one year old phones. About that time I switched to iPhones and iPads. I’ve been a very happy Apple user for many years now. I keep my devices for several years and Apple provides regular updates to them. My Apple phone and tablet devices integrate very nicely with my PCs thank you.

        I have to agree that Windows everywhere is not a requirement for this user. I really don’t care that the Mint app I use on my Apple devices is different than the Mint web site that I use on my PC. I only care that data is available. I’m happy to use Tweetbot on my phone and tablet because Twitter isn’t something I do on my notebook. I use a Roku on the TV to access Hulu and Netflix. When I want to watch Netflix and Hulu on my tablet, I easily use their native apps.

        As a user, I really don’t care which machine I’m using. As long as it’s the best one for the job. It just can’t be annoying for the uses. I’m not anti-Microsoft nor am I pro-Microsoft. I’m actually pro-user.

        The last company that I was anti was Apple of the 90s.

        I feel that Microsoft helped keep the PC ecosystem alive and growing strong for many years. In a way, their stumbles and pratfalls of the last few years have been at least partially responsible for the market growth troubles that we’ve had.

        1. I can see your sympathy of apathy for Microsoft.

          Unfortunately – even as you have noticed – they’re not addressing any of their user needs RIGHT NOW.

          They’re continuing to push for advancement of their needs – regardless of the fact that no one is need of them.

          Of all MS devices that have been & currently is a failure – is the Surface tablet. Windows Phone – although close to failure – *is* seeing slight uptick in entry-level market.

          But even then Windows Phone 10 completely ignore’s those users’ (whom never owned a smartphone, let a lone a PC) needs. What was shown in Windows Phone 10 were more features meant to capture mid to high-end users in the America… and app developers. It’s absolutely dumbfounding that Microsoft is ignoring their only hope (entry-level). No hope for mid to high-end market for phones especially in North America.

  2. Microsoft has three large problems in the consumer space: they have a bad rep, they are too far behind the leaders Apple and Google (who are not standing still), and they are too married to Windows. They made one serious error after another and now the market has moved on.

    1. Worse yet. Yesterday’s announcement actually reinforces that failed error. Windows comes first and it must be everywhere!

      “You WILL learn (forced) to love it”

  3. My main issues with the last few years of MS consumer OS efforts have been execution, execution and execution. So it’s nice to know they have the PR all set up for a nice consumer push, “Love” countering “Magic”, but.. I’ll wait and see.
    I disagree with you in that I think Metro is in theory a nice consumer interface including on the desktop: LiveTiles are a nice half-measure between iOS’s dumb icons (and Windows Desktop/MacOS desolate emptiness speckled with random app and file icons) and Android rich but more complex and typically less cute Widgets. But desktop Metro was forced on users before being finished, with missing OS tools, missing UI elements, missing apps (Office ??) – and what was there was very often terribad, even the 1st-party apps (mail client, Skype…).
    We’ll see how successful they are in populating the new mixed mode Modern/Retro environment with good apps and tools, and getting others to do it. If, like now, my poor parents still have to spend over half the time on the Desktop because Metro is so full of holes, I’ll chalk it up as yet another miss.
    At least in developed countries, there *is* a large contingent of consumers with a built-in interest in Windows on Mobile: because they’ve got to use Windows at work anyway, they’d rather use it at home too to save learning another ecosystem, even if it’s less pleasant than iOS/Android; and also, there are lingering doubts about iOS/Android interfacing with Exchange, Office…

    1. Nice post. But re: your last para, I posit that relatively few people are both comfortable with their skills on Windows, AND wanting that level of in-depth capability / management of complexity on their phones. Different Jobs To Be Done; different UIs with which to do it; different duration of a session; etc.

      Apple and Google have been quite comfortable with Windows’ approach here, and so far, I’d argue it’s not the half-hearted execution, but the attempt to shoehorn an Enterprise-class Starship OS into something you can pick up and check the weather with. Perhaps the execution reflects the inherent tensions of the objectives; it takes a while to pick the right compromises versus determining where an utterly new paradigm is needed to bust through what appears to be a tradeoff.

      Of course, you can ignore all the options of having your WX app alert you when the temperature is forecast to fall below zero, but the conflict is inevitable in what options are afforded, and which are left out for simplicity.

      1. agreed completely.

        iOS interface reflects their user needs for the jobs to be done.

        Forcing Windows Everywhere and its UI on all platforms – perhaps is not what users want.

      2. Jan points out;

        These will feel like different operating systems in many respects, as they should.

        At least Microsoft is iterating hard to find the sweet spot where the inherent tensions/conflicts balance out. It will be interesting to see how well they have managed.

        I think it’s also worth noting that as technology improves and smartphones get larger, the sweet spot will shift. It is possible that the Jobs-to-be-done of a smartphone will change with time. It is plausible that it will shift towards towards jobs that we previously associated with PCs.

        If this is the case and execution is good, it may end out that Microsoft was actually ahead of the curve. I just think that we have to keep in mind that Jobs-to-be-done can change.

        1. I see you’re point. But that will surely be not “ahead of the curve” but more along the lines of way out there solving an issues we don’t have needs for currently or in the near future.

          Think Newton.

        2. Yes, hardware & refined software can shift — HAS SHIFTED — the mix of what fits on a phone, and will fit on a wearable, etc.

          Also of note is users’ expectations and experience. The iOS7 shift that removed a lot of iPhone skeuomorphism, for example, wasn’t a disaster because users had a better sense of what interaction to expect on any given view of an app. Apple retained the red handset-down button for “hang up,” but other frequent functions lost their button-ness. Again, it works because we easily infer that tapping on a word invokes an action, rather than just show us some info.

          PS: writing “hang up” reminded me how obsolete our language has become as IT has failed to keep up. Nobody “dials” a call and we don’t end a call by hanging up the earpiece onto its hook. Again, all part of changing user expectations and objectives.

      3. I’m not sure the choice is that much of either/or.
        Windows/Modern really is an extra layer on top of Windows/Desktop, exactly like Android is an extra layer on top of Linux, and iOS on top of BSD. With tweaks and cruft that the mobile environment completely invalidates taken away. There’s no reason any underlying OS should be worse for mobile-izing than the other 2, and actually Windows Phone is praised for running well on low-end hardware.
        The one difference is that MS is trying from the get-go to get Modern to work for both Mobile and Desktop scenarios, while iOS is emphatically refusing to, and Android is doing it, but rather accidentally (there’s not really that much to it once apps have a Tablet layout). Modern/Desktop is a bit redundant for now, because of old-Windows/Desktop. But looking forward, assuming the OS and apps reach a satisfactory state, that enables 2 important things: mixed-mode devices (phones and tablets that become real desktops once docked), and cleaning up Windows’ legacy apps quagmire (that is making the transition to high-DPI very complicated; forces MS to maintain tons of legacy APIs and code, opens umpteen security leaks…)

        1. Oh, so not “exactly like”, then. That’s part of the contention with Microsoft’s Windows Everywhere approach. You nailed it: Modern is a layer on top of Desktop.

          Whereas: iOS is a layer on top of BSD exactly like OS X is a layer on top of BSD. Both having both shared and different modules at same level.

      4. Actually, thinking more about it, I think MS should release compatibility libraries (à la .NET, VC++ runtime…) to make Modern10 apps compatible with XP, 7 Vista and 8. That way devs can start targeting exclusively Modern10 w/o waiting for the user base to upgrade their OS.

        1. This would indeed demonstrate that they’re transitioning to mobile/modern, rather than trying to revive the growth rate of Windows.

          I’d wager—and given your puckishness, doubt you’d take the other side—that Redmond would find your enchanting idea “infeasible for a whole range of technical reasons,” number one of which would be what I allude above.

          1. Except they *ARE* trying to revive growth rate of Windows. Last week’s announcement: Windows Everywhere is alive and well. Running at Full Force.

            Everyone hated the Surface & sales were a failure – Microsoft’s response= too bad.

            Windows Hub & Windows Holograph.. Windows will LITERALLY be everywhere.

            “We want people to LOVE Windows.” Another sigh: Azure cross-platform back-end service dream is dead.

          2. Well, yes, it’d be bonkers to forgo sales of current products.

            I meant just that their energies MUST BE (and excusing some ordinary mistakes that every individual & organization is prone to), HAS BEEN looking to the future. What they realize now is that they can ill afford to presume their solid reputation on the desktop will move their customers into mobile. Apple derided this as a “refrigerator-toaster” strategy, but the real mismatch is assuming that ordinary consumers — I think mostly ordinary Americans — want the same types of tools in their pocket that they use at their desks. Sure it’s nice to have the same metaphors, but only up to a point — I want a totally different interface for the bike that I now mostly commute on, than I want on my car that I formerly used exclusively.

  4. The old adage, “it takes two to tango” applies to Apple products. I don’t think you could love Yosemite if you didn’t love the hardware too. You wouldn’t love iOS if it wasn’t for the iPhone, iPad or even still-kicking iPod touch’s elegance, style and build quality.

    People may come to “like” Windows a bit more once 10 (or X in Apple speak) is released but since they probably won’t “love” the hardware it’s running on it’ll never reach the heights that Nadella desires.

    For all the progress Microsoft has made with the Surface Pro 3 I don’t think anyone loves it. If they did I’d find it hard to love a $130 keyboard accessory with its baby-sized trackpad and Dollar Store-quality stylus holder that’s literally a loop of paper stuck to the side of the keyboard. Clearly the product wasn’t lovingly made so how can anyone love it in return?

    I was actually impressed with what Microsoft demonstrated but the proof will be in the deliverable later this year. While I’m extremely excited for the future of HoloLens I scratch my head when I look at Explorer and the lack of energy Microsoft put into coming up with a new way to manage, store and view files. If ever there was a time to do something different with file management now would be the time.

    When Apple first introduced QuickLook it was a revelation. What?!! I can view (almost) any file just by tapping the space bar?! I don’t have to open Word to view a Word document?!! I can sample a music file or video without opening an application?!! That’s bonkers!! That changes how I manage and view files. Not to mention tagging and Version Control.

    I know we still have time before Win10 is released but I’d like to think that if they were going to reimagine the entire file structure of Windows they would’ve at least mentioned they were working on it. Instead we still have to wait several months before the Spartan browser is ready for prime time.

    1. Not only do people not “love” the Surface 3… practically No One owns/bought one!

      Of the near zero sales for prior versions of Surface…. Surface 3 sales are even LOWER (not higher or better as some mistakenly believe).

      Regarding you’re mention of QuickLook, file systems, version control, and other features that will actually IMPROVE your Windows workflow…. EXACTLY.

      This is exactly what Windows users have been asking for – for years! That would satisfy Microsoft’s user needs. No one was asking for the failed Surface interface to be integrated into Windows as Windows 10 does. No one. No one is asking for ANOTHER proprietary Internet Explorer (remember IE 6?) and yet they give us Spartan.

      Microsoft is not serving their customers. They stopped along time ago.

      1. I might not love MS, but I really like my SP3. I own a lot of computers, and aside from my desktop, it’s my favorite computer. So when you say “no one”, last I checked, I had 46 chromosomes. I’ve seen them in meetings more and more (yes, I was surprised at first). I also got a lot of interest from people considering one after seeing mine.

        I care far less about the flimsy loop for the pen, than I do for the fact that it actually has a pen.

        Still, I don’t know why anyone that’s not a MS financial stakeholder would give a hoot about how many sold.

        1. Developers…. then users because of lack of good apps… then other developers…and the vicious circle continues.

          It’s simply unfortunate that instead of addressing their actual market & customer needs – they instead develop & place an enormous amount of their resources on devices & platforms no one wants and destined for failure.

          They should focus on their core market. Provide & serve their core customer needs.

          Think for a moment before Surface, how many of their customers would list a Surface like device/platform as a top need? (vs. say fixing Outlook, Windows Networking, file management, IE replacement, backup, etc…)

          1. I think one issue is that MS’s core customer are Corps. But Corps’ actual users are also Consumers. If MS keep focusing on Corps and only Corps, BYOD (non-MS then) will keep scraping away at MS’s stranglehold on the Corp market, until it’s no longer a monopoly, because once Corps can handle iOS and Android clients, handling MacOS and ChromeOS even Linux clients is not much extra work, and once you’ve got such heterogeneous clients, heterogeneous servers and apps are probably just as good as an MS back-end monoculture too.
            The other issue is that Consumer in général and Mobile in particular are booming, and MS wants a piece of that, maybe needs a piece of that because Entreprise is no longer booming, maybe not even growing.

          2. agreed.

            That’s why I and most analysts think Legacy Windows (“Windows Everywhere” or Windows First mentality) is dragging them down/killing them.

            Best possible outcome (though unlikely) break-up Microsoft:

            1. Windows + Windows Server + IE + WinPhone + Surface = “Legacy Microsoft”

            2. Office + Azure cloud + other stuff = “Microsoft”

            Once this happens, Microsoft can be free without the burden of fighting for Windows dominance on old fought battles. Can truly focus on building the BEST productivity apps, services, and clouds for ALL platforms.

            Right now it can’t.

            BTW I really you’re opinions. (even if I don’t always agree). Thanks for keeping the name-calling of this.

    2. Let’s do quotes then: Rome wasn’t built in a day.
      MS obviously have realized they need to make hardware and build Consumer and Mobile ecosystems (image/PR, apps, service, hardware). They’re iterating through the learning process.
      The hardware has undoubtedly gotten better each generation. The PR at least seems to exist now. Apps/OS are still a sore point, and service is an interesting item, because though they lack retail shops, they do have a lot of trained techs in corporations, and many users do have some experience with MS OSes+Apps.

      As for the File Explorer features you mention, 1- nobody has ever asked me for any of this 2- they’re here: preview pane, version control, and tags. You’re mostly saying your knowledge of Windows is outdated. The one complaint I have about Windows file management is that moving the user directory out of the system drive is cumbersome: has to be done for 5 subdirs instead of the root of the user dir.

      1. I don’t want to write a diatribe on the differences, check that, advantages OS X has over Windows 7, 8 and even 10 as it’s clear that this could never be settled in this forum.

        I’ll just say that I’m very familiar with Windows’ capabilities and trust me, things like Preview Pane and tagging pale in comparison to what OS X can do. I’d actually question your experience with OS X as I can’t see anyone calling Preview Pane a more robust solution than QuickLook. It’s just not possible. Might as well argue that games looked better on Nintendo 64 than they do now for the Playstation 4.

        But here’s where I’m not sure you’re entirely caught up on current events as it relates to Microsoft. You say they don’t have retail shops. According to the wiki there’s over 60 Microsoft Stores worldwide. The fact that you don’t know about these stores probably speaks to Microsoft’s larger PR issue.

        And yes, while each generation of Surface has gotten better I believe their new venture into hardware flies in the face against every business model they’ve ever had up to this point. Never mind that they’re flushing billions down the toilet by making all future upgrades of Windows free.

        Microsoft’s back is against the wall. They continue to lose major ground to both Apple and Google so frankly they have no choice but to brave new waters. I just don’t know how long they can sustain a business model they have zero experience in while also admitting that they’re not at all competing with the OEM’s they do business with. Cognitive dissonance aside I still think they can be successful but to a fault.

        I guess we’ll all find out together.

          1. Hmmm… one store for every 100 million people on the planet; they haven’t exactly gone berserk.

            And yet, I’d think only a tiny fraction of Microsoft revenues come through them. Got figures to show how they have a solid match between their products and their sales channels?

          2. Microsoft Stores are like Samsung stores.

            They’re dead. Potentially has a future… but will require a change in leadership.

          3. There are precisely zero Microsft stores in the UK. The UK business registrar quietly closed Microsoft Retail business registration a while ago due to non use. The only outlsets for Windows phone are in carrier outlets where they compete with iPhone and Android, not an easy position, and arrier stores are not a good environment to evaluate a phone’s UI. Finally there are 38 Apple store in UK and many independent official affiliates who specialise in Apple, whose stores appear just like Apple stores. Latest Windows 10 Preview suggests MS really doens know what to do with the Start menu, it’s a time of confusion in their design dept I feel.

        1. agreed.

          And *this* is precisely why Myself and many others believe the best thing for Microsoft is a breaking up.

          Spin off Legacy old Windows (Windows Everywhere & Windows First mentality is a SIGNIFICANT strategy Tax & killing them)

          1. Windows + Win Server + IE + WinPhone + Surface = Legacy Microsoft

          2. Office + Azure + others = Microsoft.

          Until then, any strategy from any division will always run in conflict/counter to each other in the long term.

      2. I’ve dropped out (retired) from the Enterprise environment, but if the firms where I had experience are representative, approximately nobody will turn to their IT departments for support of anything that is the tiniest bit personal. That plus the yawning gap in the retail experience — Ms Ahrendts’s $73 million package might be a significant share of what Microsoft spends IN TOTAL for its retail operation — means that even if Microsoft is “iterating,” they could be falling further behind in their ability to support ordinary consumers.

        I’ve written other places about the Apple retail effort, which started over a decade ago under Jobs’s direct care, included getting a senior retail exec on Apple’s board, and now has about as many employees as all of Microsoft. Retail is a long-standing and core effort for Apple, not heroics or heroism. Microsoft as yet hasn’t chosen to make that effort, and until we see one, we can assume that Microsoft has chosen to content itself with an Enterprise emphasis.

  5. I don’t think about “love” regarding my computing devices. I do think that I know them, I like them, I can use them to do what I want to do. I am pleased, sometimes impressed, when the new device or OS version introduces something that I didn’t know I could use and benefit from. Preferences, likes, accustomed-to’s — yes. Love — no.

    The goal of having “users” “love” sounds like a philosophical impossibility. The goal as I hear it, sounds like those lonely socially-awkward people struggling to turn over a new leaf so they can become the most popular kid in high school. Perhaps this goal of having people love Windows reveals what is really wrong with the company. It is led by people who really do love Windows and they can’t figure out why most people, even their own users, don’t love it like they do.

    1. I agree, love isn’t the right word. I’ll give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt for now. They probably mean love more in the sense of how pleased and satisfied users can be. I don’t love my gear either, from Apple or others, but I am very pleased and have a very positive experience with it, I appreciate things that work well. I’m hoping Microsoft means ‘love’ more in that sense. But if they do mean love as in LOVE, then Microsoft is simply lost.

  6. it is all about perception
    and the feeling I get is that MS wants us not to look for things we may need (or think we need) but for things we may want in the future,
    I have a 30 year on-off history w MS and when I saw the holographic stuff it sends shivers down my spine remembering similar things from the past,
    I wont list them, we all know them,
    the slide background had a certain blue nuance resembling “norwegian blue”,
    and the speakers went on yada yada yada “nice plumage, isn’t it”
    ps google “norwegian blue” if the reference don’t ring a bell ds

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