Windows 10 is turning into a controversial choice. When you consider the fanfare that greeted its launch, the relief for Microsoft to be free of the backlash that met Windows 8 must have been huge. When 8.0 came out and everyone pointed out that the vast majority of Windows users didn’t have touch screens, it seemed Microsoft had been too ambitious, after missing the boat on smartphones thanks to Steve Ballmer’s lack of vision, customers made a fuss about its lack of a Start button, there was the inevitable climb down and the release of 8.1 appeared to be an apologetic way of restoring it. They gambled on encouraging Windows 7 users to leave an OS which was perfectly good, except for its reliance on Internet Explorer, so that finally people had a good reason to adopt 10.
The new OS is championed as being more secure, Internet Explorer makes way for Edge which has new features and apparently much better security and hardware has caught up. Laptops have merged with tablet technology so that even if you don’t have a Surface, you might be able to use the touchscreen functionality and perhaps even disconnect your screen from its keyboard.
However, all you hear about is complaints about prompts to upgrade before the end of July while 10 is being offered for free to 7, 8 and 8.1 users. Then it was discovered that Microsoft had changed the upgrade from an option to a recommended update if you clicked the cross to close the prompt box.
I know that if I was to upgrade my tired old laptop it would grind to a halt. The additional demands of graphics and browser strength would be more than my 6 year old processor could sustain. But people don’t like feeling that something is being imposed on them. Has Microsoft annoyed customers at a time when it had a genuinely good product that people should want rather than resent?
Anyone needing to replace ageing hardware will have a choice between Windows and the new MacOS Sierra. Do you go for a £200 Windows machine or a more expensive Apple product? Let’s be honest the vast majority will go for Windows 10 in the hope that it’ll be stable, compatible and more secure (sounds like a Mac!!).
How ironic that, because Windows phones really haven’t caught on (did you hear the one about the software giant who paid $7.5bn dollars for a Finnish phone company and then had to write it all off within 2 years?) there will be lots of users out there who own an Android or iOS phone and have a Windows laptop. Not quite the joined up, super compatible world they dreamed of, I’m sure. Mind you, I’m still an advocate of having a Gmail account, owning an Android phone and using all your Google services with ease whether you’re on a Mac or anything else.
When you get to a position of massive dominance in market share, it’s easy to be complacent but Microsoft have to work harder than ever to persuade people that theirs is still the right choice in this age of multiple devices, touchscreen, tablet and smartphone technology.