This Wednesday, Microsoft will launch its campaign to persuade consumers they need Windows 10; however, according to The Telegraph’s technology boffin, Matt Warman, it’s going to be an uphill struggle.
Microsoft scored a hit with Windows 7, which plucked success from the jaws of failure by replacing the ill-fated Windows Vista. But Windows 8 didn’t follow suit. One in five computers, in fact, are still running the 14-year-old Windows XP and most are running Windows 7, so unpopular (not to say maddening) Windows 8 has proven to be amongst consumers.
Bluntly, most consumers want a traditional way of getting to Word, the internet and Excel. For those who were using Windows 8 on a normal desktop, it proved deeply frustrating (although it worked well on touchscreen machines, which is what it was designed for). The Windows 8.1 update sought to improve user experience, but frankly it proved too little too late.
Windows 10 effectively faces the same challenge as Windows 7 (the fact the Microsoft has skipped a number is a signal that it’s making a radical break with the unloved Windows 8, not just a smooth evolutionary progression). The idea is that Windows 10 will provide a single platform for all Microsoft products, from PCs to tablets, phones to the Xbox.
Microsoft’s head honcho, CEO Satya Nadella, is focusing heavily on productivity, offering a new battery of the apps and services that have powered global businesses. But he undoubtedly has a major challenge on his hands: as more and more people find that their iPhone or smartphone is the only business tool they need, persuading them that Windows still has an indispensable role in their lives will be a tougher job than it was when Windows 7 made its debut.
Today, the computer giant has to prove that its tablets can outperform the competition and that the PC remains the best way of doing certain things (such as website copywriting and article writing, perhaps). But it will also have to concede that the PC is no longer the only option.
Windows 10 brings back the much-loved Start menu and retains the strikingly attractive tiles of Windows 8, aiming to bridge the split between the old desktop and the new look. But if all you’re after is a web browser, Windows 10 faces a steep hill to climb.