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Microsoft Distances Itself as Far Away from Windows 8/8.1 as Possible with Move to 10

by Eric Smith | 10月 06, 2014

Nothing says mea culpa louder than this timeline:

Oct. 2012

Windows 8 Release

Oct. 2013

Windows 8.1 (Service Pack)

Sept. 2014

Windows 10 Tech Preview

Just as Microsoft did with its troubled Xbox One rollout, it has quickly recalibrated to better respond to user demands with its Windows 10 Technical Preview. The open beta program will gather user input in the run-up to an official release expected for Q2 or Q3 2015 while showing how much Microsoft understands the complaints levelled against Windows 8/8.1.

Our recently updated PC forecast is showing that Microsoft Windows is slowly losing market share of PC operating systems as Apple performs above the market average and Google’s Chrome OS continues to gain traction among low-price tier customers and educational institutions. Meanwhile, Windows 7 can no longer be pre-loaded on consumer PCs beyond October 2014 and enterprise PCs will likely have this privilege for another 18 to 24 more months.

Yours truly installed the Windows 10 Tech Preview on an old PC on its last legs (clean install, leaving Vista far behind) and found it to be a milder and more pleasant version of Microsoft’s modern computing user experience. Windows 10 completely reverses many of the changes consumers disliked about Windows 8/8.1 (the Start Menu is back, the traditional desktop is front and center) while keeping some of the best features (“Metro” or “Modern” apps now run in windows and Live Tiles bring streamed updates, though as a subset of the Start Menu).

Source: Microsoft

To be fair, Windows 8 was released at an inconvenient time for the PC industry and the slump of the PC market is much more attributable to changing PC usage patterns, replacement cycles, and hardware specifications out-performing common software requirements. Those fortunate enough to have touchscreen displays reviewed the OS much more favorably. Unfortunately, touchscreen PCs cost about $100 to $200 more than their non-touchscreen counterparts in 2013, hobbling the OS during a crucial proving period. These factors and more are explored in greater depth in our recent report, “Computing in the Post-PC Era: Growth Opportunities and Strategies.”


- Eric

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