How Microsoft Can Get Its Enterprise Strategy Right

by CXOtoday News Desk    Sep 30, 2014



Will  Windows 10 be better than Windows 8? That is one question on everyone’s mind right now with Microsoft’s launch  of Windows 10, three years after Windows 8.

The sentiment is the same as it was prior to the launch of Microsoft Windows 8. There were several ifs and buts. But going by the user reviews, it seemed that Windows failed to live up to it, at least in the initial stage. That came as a big shock for Microsoft, which was still high on the popularity of Windows 7. Perhaps Microsoft underestimated the expectations of consumers about Windows 8.

Although reaction towards its performance improvements was positive, the complex user interface of Windows 8 came under heavy criticism. But despite that, 60 million Windows 8 licenses were sold in January  2013.

The fundamental complaint  about Windows 8 was that it was designed for touch-screen devices like tablets and not actually for PC users with keyboards.

Amazon review page is full of such complaints: “It is totally non user friendly, extremely difficult and frustrating. I feel like Microsoft was striving to impress us with their self-perceived intelligence and they delivered a product that is time consuming, quirky and makes the most simple task difficult,” writes Sally.

Following poor response, Microsoft tweaked Windows 8 and offered Windows 8.1 to make it more comfortable to all. Yet, that was insufficient. Forrester Research says that only 20% of organizations offer employees PCs powered by Windows 8. That Windows 8 was not meant for enterprise use was the biggest mistake.

“Microsoft needs to give enterprises reasons to move to a new version before it becomes a crisis,” Forrester analyst David Johnson said in a statement.

With Windows 9, as it is supposed to be called, the company will return the start menu and integrate the apps offered on the Metro screen to that mode, PCWorld reports.

In July, CEO Satya Nadella had said that the next major version of Windows would be a “single, converged” OS for “screens of all sizes. We will unify our stores, commerce and developer platforms to drive a more coherent user experience and a broader developer opportunity,” he said then.

This time, there could be increased focus on enterprises to ensure that the operating system is compatible for business use. “With Windows 8, Microsoft was aiming at having a product with a good touch-first experience for consumers, and Microsoft didn’t think about what would happen with enterprises,” Al Gillen, an IDC analyst, told PCWorld.

With subsequent Windows upgrades Microsoft has made a sincere effort to address enterprise concerns. It has made the software usable on PCs with keyboards and mouse. With Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft allowed customers to keep old machines and run custom web software.

Now, if it wants to compete with Apple, whose prime focus has always been to provide effective mobile technology to enterprise customers, Microsoft needs to get its Windows strategy right and leave no chances for ‘updates’.