Since launching Windows 8 this past fall, Microsoft has experienced its brunt of comments, complaints, successes and opinions regarding this new operating system. Now, as a result of the backlash and noisemaking, the tech giant has listened to the market, and is reportedly making changes to the OS, calling it Microsoft Blue. According to various news reports, such as posted on ZDNET yesterday, Blue will be designed to address user complaints regarding the OS.
For me, personally, I have not yet experienced Windows 8. I have, for the last couple years, been using a PC with Windows 7, which has more than served a purpose. Last Christmas, we purchased a Windows 8-based laptop for my dad, who is retired, and likes to use his PC to look at news, sports scores and the stock market reports. While I haven’t really looked at his PC with his new OS, he told me that he went out and bought a user’s guide on Windows 8 to help him along. So far he says he is ok with it, but again, he is someone who is basically using his PC to consume, not create, data.
According to tech analyst Jeff Kagan, the story behind Windows 8 can be likened to a case where the frog jumped out of the pot of boiling water before it was cooked. There is an old saying about innovation. If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water it will jump out. However if you drop it in a pot of room temperature water and turn the heat up, bit-by-bit, it will eventually cook. You can’t change too much, too quickly without customer pushback.
“This is a great way to describe what happened with Microsoft Windows 8,” Kagan says. “It was too innovative, too quickly and customers pushed back. This is Microsoft’s, New Diet Coke story. Companies who want to innovate must do so more slowly to be successful. The new version called Blue will not be available until later this year. I don’t think Microsoft fully understands yet all the changes they need to make. I have several suggestions. Then again so do many others.”
Kagan added that he feels Blue will be Microsoft’s second chance to make a good first impression. “I hope they use it well and don’t blow the second chance,” he says. “Windows 8 was the brainchild of CEO Steve Ballmer, and while I applaud the innovation, it was too much, too soon. Unfortunately is has not reignited users interest in laptops.”
Perhaps, Kagan, adds, Microsoft should have followed the mantra of “everything in moderation,” when it came to Windows 8? “If Microsoft can create something more moderate, they could be successful. If they could let the customer turn up the dial, at their pace, as time goes by, this could work,” he says. “The pace of change is different for each customer, so each customer should be able to control how much innovation they want to deal with at a time. Some will be all the way from the start, while others will take a while.”