Windows Blue is no Uturn and Windows 8 is not New Coke

first_imgWindows Blue is coming later this year, and it’s going to bring some welcome refinements to the Windows 8 user experience. No matter how big those changes are, Windows Blue is not some sort of “u-turn.”Windows has always emphasized personalization and administration options, and that certainly didn’t change with Windows 8. The Start Button may indeed return and an option to boot directly to the Desktop app may be introduced, but that’s no u-turn.Sure, it’s important to listen to user feedback and respond, but Microsoft also knows that the good (better application performance, improved power saving, reduced start-up time, resistance to malware, multi-monitor support) vastly outweighs the bad (Metro, which can easily be avoided) in Windows 8. Microsoft doesn’t need to reverse course here.That doesn’t stop the chatter, though. The ongoing critical outcry prompted one analyst to equate Windows 8 to the New Coke “fiasco.” That’s a great way to get your name mentioned by over-eager critics, but it’s not very accurate.New Coke was an undeniable flop. Is Windows 8 an undeniable flop, too? In a word, no.For the first time ever, Windows tablets actually made their presence felt in the marketplace.  Strategy Analytics pinned the April 2013 number at 7.5% — well behind Android and iPad, but a very respectable gain over the big fat zero Microsoft posted last year.Why the big gain? Because Microsoft introduced an operating system that emphasizes touch and provides an app store and device manufacturers that were willing to build good Windows tablets. Soon they’ll also start introducing smaller, lower-cost Windows 8 tablets — and you can bet that market share will climb again.Microsoft’s new marketing chief, Tami Reller, also notes that the pace of Windows 8 license sales is still keeping up with that of Windows 7. Yes, the global PC market has slowed — but that has a lot to do with the fact that tablets are now included in those sales numbers. And yet for some reason, many analysts believe that Steve Ballmer should come out and admit failure and start shipping Windows 7 again. Perhaps if this was actually a New Coke moment he would, but it’s not. Windows 8 isn’t failing.But then again, if you ask the Coca-Cola folks how they view the New Coke “failure” today, you’d probably be surprised. They’d tell you about how the PR “nightmare” allowed the company to reconnect with fans and revitalize the brand. Would Microsoft like to do that? Absolutely, especially if it led to more rapid Windows Blue adoption and an even bigger slice of the tablet pie.last_img