Windows 10 is a great operating system. It has great features and it’s an ambitious bet for convergence and platform unification. The problem is that once again Microsoft has had big trouble selling its product.
The message was neither clear nor complete. The user was the girl wanting to be conquered. Windows 10 was the aspiring boyfriend.
But it became a boring boyfriend.
Most girls will say no to the annoying boyfriend. The problem is, many of them could decide they finally want to give this boy and opportunity. And after July 29th they’ll have to pay.
I wonder how many of them will cry out loud and complaing again. At first it was privacy and annoying messages. Later on they will complain about the boy not being free anymore.
Yesterday I wrote at Incognitosis (in Spanish) about the latest data that Canalys published about the PC segment. The numbers are crude but real: sales are down for all hardware makers, and even Apple is feeling the pressure.
Analysts from that firm suggested -not really a new argument- that the smartphone is guilty for that reality, but there is at least one more reason:
Your PC (or laptop) is good enough.
I made two polls that would be useful to confirm that idea, but the results were not so definitive as I would have thought. The first question, “How many years have you been using the same PC or laptop?” was pretty conclusive: 7 out of 10 users have a machine that is at least 3 years old.
The second question was more interesting: “Are you thinking of buying a new PC or laptop?“. The answers were pretty different from what I would have assumed:
As you may see there (although the poll is in Spanish) there are many people here who is thinking in buying a new desktop PC (around 40%) or a new laptop/convertible (46%) in the next three years. I think my audience is really tech related -the same happens here- so the poll isn’t that definitive in either case, but I would have thought of much more reduced percentages there.
After analysing the results, there’s an obvious fact: we updated our old PCs because we had to. If we didn’t, we were just missing the future. We wouldn’t have been able to enjoy those exciting features Windows and its apps and games were giving us. We always want more, but in that case we also needed more in order to avoid falling behind.
That’s not the case anymore. The market is mature and most people feels no need to upgrade or buy a new PC. Their machines are good enough, and Microsoft has made a big mistake with Windows 10, an OS that runs even better than Windows 8 or Windows 7 in old hardware. What happened with minimum requirements? Suddenly the equation didn’t work for us. And that’s a tragedy for Microsoft, Intel, AMD and all the rest of companies that once were successful thanks to that feeling of being compelled to buy a new PC.
Microsoft has applied all kind of tricks -some of them quite dirty- to try to make Windows 10 its most succesful OS ever, but adoption rate quickly slowed down. The numbers are solid –300M active users at the moment- but not great, and this announcement is different from others.
It’s different because you can see Microsoft is actually begging you -at least, that’s the feeling one gets after watching the video– to upgrade to Windows 10. Even the final sentence in the official announcement from Microsoft’s blog reflects that:
If you’ve already upgraded to Windows 10 – thank you. If you haven’t upgraded yet – we hope you’ll consider upgrading today.
That’s not a good sign and reflects a weak position from a software developer that hasn’t been convincing enough on his proposal. What has failed? Difficult to say, but marketing and communication haven’t been what we expected. Nagging users, downloading the OS to your computer without asking or making us worry about privacy issues haven’t helped.
It will be difficult to solve this problem, and the fact that the upgrade won’t be free in two months time makes Windows 10 situation more problematic. So upgrade now.