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.
Within a year, OEMs will only be able to ship PCs with Windows 10.
Windows 10 market share isn’t for sure what Microsoft expected at this point. With a 7.94 percent (6.63% on Sept’15), it’s a little disappointing that Windows XP systems are still far from W10 with a 11.68 percent.
The free update from Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 seems not enough for those users with legitimate copies of those versions. What’s wrong? There are several reasons that could lead to that decision:
No perception of advantages: people don’t see the benefit of the upgrade, even though Windows 10 is in many aspects the most ambitious OS from Microsoft. People probably don’t care about the ‘One Windows’ paradigm, but they will (without noticing) soon enough.
Fear to break something: inexperienced users probably don’t understand what is the update process even though Microsoft gives some good help on this. Maybe they insist too much on the update, though.
Resistance to change: that’s probably the main reason for users. The ‘If ain’t broke, don’t fix it‘ argument has been the cornerstone for Windows XP users for years. That operating system continues to be good enough for hundreds of millions of users around the world even though there are no security updates anymore.
There’s no easy way to fix this, but stopping the availability of PCs and laptops based on Windows 7 (and 8/8.1) will probably help. Mandatory updates aren’t an option, and I guess only a radical redesign of the operating system -people do judge a book by its cover- would have helped that transition.
Update: The radical redesign I’m talking about would be in line with what for example happened with iOS 7 (fastest adoption rate in iOS history) or with Android 5.0 Lollipop and the new Material Design. There were many other features on both upgrades, but the new interface was clearly one of the things that attracted users the most.