“XP and Vista users as well as Windows 7 and 8 users can have the Windows 10 upgrade “free.” “Windows 8 revenues down 26% in latest quarter” “Microsoft fires VPs in management shake- up.” These events at Microsoft last week need to be discussed in the light of the impending release of Windows 10 in July.
Microsoft is a ponderous bureaucracy. They have been famously slow in reacting to trends and technology. They were late to understand the importance of the Internet and late to understand the impact of mobile technologies. Now they are desperately trying to catch up. With their main revenue source, OS (operating systems) for PCs drying up, they’re a late entry into the mobile markets (phones and tablets.) dominated by Android (Google) and iOS (Apple). They hope to morph Windows into a single OS that will work on Mobile devices and PCs. Google provides the mobile Android OS at no cost to mobile device makers. They make profits from device sales and Google gets the revenues from ads and apps. On Apple devices, Apple gets all the money and that’s what Microsoft wants to do.
Microsoft developed and manufactured the “surface” tablet and spent 7.2 billion dollars in 2013 to buy Nokia’s struggling phone and tablet division. In 2013 Microsoft’s Windows was being used in only 3% of mobile devices. By 2015 with Windows 8/8.1 Microsoft’s market share had dropped to 2.7%.
Last week Microsoft made several changes. They combined Windows OS, PCs and mobile devices under a single VP, Terry Meyerson. It’s called WDG (Windows and Devices Group). Most of the top executives from Nokia have been let go including Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO and once touted as Ballmer’s successor at Microsoft and Mark Penn the man responsible for Microsoft’s advertising and market strategy.
Meyerson has the tough job of building Microsoft’s mobile presence and selling the Windows 10 cross-platform technology to users. Much of the blame for Microsoft’s current predicament gets heaped on Ex Microsoft CEO “Monkey Boy Ballmer” (if you want to see why Ballmer is called “Monkey Boy” simply type Monkey Boy Ballmer into your search engine and watch the You Tube video. It’s worth the trouble) Ballmer bullied a reluctant board of directors into endorsing the costly Nokia deal and presided over the Windows 8 disaster.
If Windows 10 doesn’t succeed Microsoft’s risks joining the legions of great American companies that slowly wither away. Make no mistake; Windows 10 was designed to save Microsoft, not to benefit users. It is no surprise that Win 10 is now being offered free of charge to XP and Vista users. Microsoft only delayed that announcement in the hope that Vista and XP users would pay for an upgrade to Win 7 or 8 in order to get the free Win 10 upgrade. It will be no surprise when Microsoft extends the one year free upgrade period indefinitely. Microsoft needs everyone to be on Win 10.
Windows 10 may indeed be something you will want to have on your PC, tablet or phone someday. If you have and hate Win 8/8.1 you may want to switch to Win 10. If you have Win 7 you probably won’t. Whatever your situation, it is foolish to “upgrade” to a new OS until it has been debugged and proven in operation for a few months.
Next week we talk about Win 10, what it’s for, what’s it missing and how Microsoft plans to make money by giving it away.