Is Microsoft going backwards with the current design of Windows 9?
So once in a while I come back up for air and will write about Windows here and there.
I’ve been too busy with my other business but I saw a quote from a blog the other day that really caught my attention.
The exact quote was:
This makes quite a bit of sense as we have heard that Microsoft wants to move on from the current Windows release to make Threshold feel more like Windows 7, with just the right amount of Windows 8.1 tossed in.
The idea is that if they can make Windows 9 feel more like Windows 7/XP, it will make the transition easier for legacy users but they, by no means, want to do away with Modern apps. The apps will live on but will also be able to run on the desktop in a window.
The takeaway I got from this quote was that Microsoft is trying to unravel Windows 8/8.1 and make the whole thing look and feel a lot more like Windows 7.
Let me explain.
Having the benefit of hindsight and over 8,000 posts on Windows, I can tell you that most people missed the real lesson behind Windows 8.
Windows 8 was a good example of Microsoft doing exactly what they should have been doing. INNOVATING.
Dictionary.com defines innovation as:
- something newly introduced, such as a new method or device
- the act of innovating
Notice it doesn’t say anything about acceptance, popularity or profitability.
Windows 8 was radical, it was new, it was unlike anything we had ever seen, it was unique. It was innovative.
The problem was, it didn’t work. You see, that’s the dirty little (open) secret about true innovation, it doesn’t always work.
So now, Microsoft is faced with a stark choice.
Full Speed ahead
Continue to innovate and push the envelope in a different way with Windows 9. Build something different and force your users to take a new ride with you. This would be uncomfortable, possibly dangerous and very risky.
Hard on the brakes
Head back to the safety and security of Windows 7 because that’s what the users want. Because that’s what businesses feel most comfortable with and because Microsoft is a publicly traded company that has to think of shareholders, obligations and responsibility.
Let’s be clear, from a business strategy perspective, that’s the right and safe thing to do.
Unfortunately, based on all the dribs and drab leaks that have started coming out of Redmond, it looks like Microsoft have decided to go backwards and the truth is that would be a shame.
I strongly disliked Windows 8. Windows 8.x hasn’t done much for me either. I basically bought a $2000 Macbook Pro because I didn’t want to use Windows anymore and I think that the entire Windows franchise has gotten stale.
That is precisely the reason why Microsoft should not be looking back at Windows 7. It’s a fools trap.
If they keep parts of Windows 8 and tweak it so it looks more like Windows 7, they will be creating a Frankenstein’s monster and saying to the world that they wave the white flag.
They will defacto be saying that TRUE innovation will have to come from Apple, Google and others who aren’t beholden to corporate interests with their software.
You see because consumers so thoroughly rejected Windows 8, there really is no good fix for it.
Removing charms and bringing back Start buttons/menus are really band aids that are better off in Windows 8 Service packs. The real million dollar question is what value can Microsoft add to the desktop and tablet experience that will really change the way we look at computers forever?
New features like a brand new UI, substantial Cortana integration and virtual desktops seem like the beginning of the way to go. It still remains to be seen whether the “new” OS will really push the envelope though.
Let me be clear, with Windows, I continue to think Microsoft are always only an inch away from massive success. They have smart developers and talented UI people and most importantly, they have gobs of money.
Satya Nadella has a really tough job because he has to decide which way to go.
Whether he will give consumers and businesses what they want or be bolder and give them what they need.
I for one hope that he makes the bold choice but I fear that after Mr. Ballmer’s “riskiest bet” with Windows 8, Redmond may not have the appetite for yet more change.
That would be a loss for us all.
Well that’s my opinion, what do you guys think? Back to Windows 7 or press forward to the future?
Use the comments below…