Newsletter Issue #813: The Windows 10 Report: Less Than You Expect

June 29th, 2015

Microsoft went into Windows 10 with low expectations from the public. After the Windows 8 debacle, just about anything would present an improvement. Indeed, the key feature of the forthcoming Windows refresh appears to be the return of a fully-enabled Start menu. The word “pathetic” comes to mind, that a feature mistakenly removed (or at least delivered with reduced functions) becomes a significant reason to upgrade to Windows 10.

I wouldn’t presume to guess how Microsoft’s executives, some of whom are no longer with the company, could have so misjudged the public when Windows 8 was being developed. Even after people who downloaded the public beta versions complained, it doesn’t seem as if Microsoft read the memo. They were so immersed in giving Windows PCs a look similar to the one that didn’t catch on with Windows Phone gear, that the warning signs just weren’t heard.

The most profitable portion of the Windows user base consists of businesses. IT people do not want to be surprised, and Microsoft is still confronting the reality that hundreds of millions of PCs, ATMs and point-of-sale devices are still running Windows XP. That includes at least some of the computers at the IRS, although the agency paid Microsoft $30 million last year for extended support past the announced deadline.

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