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Newsletter Issue #699: Designing by Focus Group

Microsoft reportedly relies heavily on focus group testing, though you have to wonder what sort of group they used in light of the Windows 8 debacle. Sure, there is a commentary from one blogger, known to me, who claims that Windows 8 is the next XP, and that it is destined to become the PC workhorse that will fuel a future resurgence.

Do the words “in your dreams” come to mind?

In any case, the argument is based on the fact that XP arrived in 2001 during an economic downturn, and that Windows 8 is in a comparable position. But in 2001 we didn’t have the iPad seriously cannibalizing PC sales. In other words, we didn’t have a resurgent Apple dominating the industry, and even if Apple didn’t do as well in the last quarter as some might have hoped, the company remains a powerhouse that a competitor ignores to their peril.

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