528 - Windows 10 D-Day

We’re delaying the discussion on PC options until next week to cover Win10s debut. 

We need to restate our warning concerning yesterday’s (July 29th) release of Windows 10.  Win 10 is not an “upgrade.” It is a modified, slimmed down combination of Windows 7 and 8. It was not designed to improve your computing experience. It was designed to allow Microsoft to control your operating system (mandatory updates, no longer optional). Microsoft needs this control in order to enhance its ability to sell advertising to third parties and applications and cloud services to you. Microsoft is not playing games. Developing these revenue sources is critical to Microsoft’s survival and they will do whatever it takes to survive.

“Pioneers” are the “early adopters” who upgrade to a new OS or buy a new PC with the newest OS in the first few months after product release. Microsoft needs lots of Win10 “pioneers” in order to get the ball rolling and to help them debug the new OS. In the case of Win10, businesses won’t touch it and Win7 users would get no benefit from it. That leaves unhappy Win8 users as Microsoft’s primary “pioneer” candidates for the “free upgrade.” That’s unfortunate because, while the majority of Win8 users may be unhappy, there just aren’t that many of them. Win8 was so bad that only 15% of users have it. The second unfortunate circumstance is that, as a group, the 15% who actually have it are fairly naïve users. Microsoft would have preferred to have more sophisticated “Guinea pigs” helping them debug Win10.

Microsoft’s chance of getting a large pool of “Pioneers” from new PC sales doesn’t look good either. There appears to be little pent up demand and even less enthusiasm for new PCs with a new OS. XP and Vista users who might need a new PC represent only 15% of users and have proven fairly resistant to change. Those “pioneers” who do buy new Win10 PCs will tend to be retail store customers who simply don’t know any better. This gives Microsoft another fairly unsophisticated “pioneer” pool. In the computer industry there is an old adage that goes like this, “You can always tell who the “pioneers” are by the arrows sticking out of their backs”

Microsoft announced that Win10 will be their last “Windows” OS. In reality Vista was their last OS. All subsequent OS (7, 8 and ten) are simply refinements on the basic Vista platform. Win7 was modified to resolve the user problems in Vista. Win8 was modified in a failed attempt to sell Microsoft phones and tablets. Win10 has been modified to help Microsoft sell advertising, products and services. 

Microsoft will continue the evolution of this OS now called Win10. Perhaps someday they’ll find time to consider their user’s needs. If that happens Win 10 may indeed eventually morph it into something we all want and need. That would be the time to adopt it. For now our advice is to let the “Pioneers” handle the arrows. 

Next week we will continue the conversation on new PC options for business and home.