It’s been a strange sort of day for Microsoft and its flagship Windows 8 Operating System as there have been more rumours that the company has been forced into a U-turn over the OS whilst at the same time it has been reported that Windows 8 passed the 100 million sales mark.
Let us look at the bad news first, which is that Microsoft may be forced into a relaunch of Windows 8 due to the amount of criticism it has drawn from some users.
Apparently some users felt they changed too much too quickly, the main focal point of their complaint seems to be the removal of Windows long standing ‘Start’ button, as many claim customers updating to Windows 8 did not understand or grasp the raft of new features and the completely revamped layout.
The logistics of the move to Windows 8, which attempted to bridge the gap between desktop computing and touch screen interfaces with one all-inclusive OS, always meant that it was in danger of ostracising some users who were not as tech-savvy as others but apparently the level of flak they have received for the move has resulted in them announcing this relaunch.
The relaunch, named “Windows Blue”, will supposedly come later in the year and will be coupled with an alteration of some “key aspects” of Windows 8 as the company conceded that “the learning curve is very real”.
Microsoft’s announcement must have been difficult for the company, as they put so much on the flagship OS and they really seemed to feel that they had mastered the middle ground between desktop computing and new tablet technology.
It would appear however that the learning curve they spoke of was just too great for existing users and even undertrained retail staff have been blamed for the failure of punters to grasp the new concepts in Windows 8.
This U-turn has been dubbed by many as the biggest change in policy over a new product by a large corporation since Coca-Cola cut it’s losses and admitted their ‘New Coke’ was a terrible idea almost thirty years ago.
So we can expect a scaling back of some of the key new features of Windows 8 when Windows Blue is released later this year and the result will probably be something between old Windows Operating Systems and Windows 8, they may just stick that trusty ‘Start’ menu back in for good measure.
The figure is an impressive one considering that the product has only been in general release for about seven months and alongside these impressive sales figures is the fact that Microsoft’s SkyDrive passed 250m users, 20% (50m) of which have come since the release of Windows 8, which shows that users were using some features like Microsoft’s integrated cloud software.
Microsoft’s plans to relaunch Windows 8 shows however that customer opinion and critic response to the product may be more important than sales figures and could give an insight into just how much criticism the company received for the revamped OS, as there would have to be considerable consumer pressure to alter something that performed considerably well on the sales front.
Despite the good news from sales today will be marked down as a bad one at Microsoft Campus with their U-turn on something they were so proud of and excited about when it was first released is slightly embarrassing and it will certainly be interesting to see just how many new features and key concepts from Windows 8 gets stripped off and left on the cutting room floor when Windows Blue is released this year.
I’d love to hear some opinions from readers that have used Windows 8, is this good or bad news to you? Did you love the new look OS or do you agree with those who complain the learning curve was just too steep?