Take note Microsoft

On March 3, 2012, in news, by

Dear Microsoft.  I doubt you’ll listen to me, but perhaps you’ll listen to these folks:


and http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hardware/restore-the-start-menu-and-disable-metro-ui-in-windows-8/18767

I think Microsoft needs to take a lesson from Donny Osmond and BMW Group.  Bear with me as I explain.

When BMW wanted to bring out a different, sportier version, they bought a brand and did not taint their more “corporate, expensive” brand of BMW.  Mini Cooper.  This brand is hipper, cooler and all that.

When Donny Osmond wanted to release a new album, they knew his name was such a kiss of death that DJs would not play his music and listeners would not listen.  So they intially released his album without telling anyone who it was. 

What do both of these have to do with Windows 8 and with Microsoft listening? 

Firstly the young generation that Microsoft wants to aim at, the brand of Microsoft is the kiss of death.  Apple is cool.  Google is hip.  Microsoft is… well stuffy BMW.  Expensive and big.  

I can see how Windows wants to be hipper, cooler, Metro-ish, following Apple and Google.  But in doing so it’s soooo jarring in the metro interface to flip over to the Windows gui in the background.  It’s like getting inside a Mini Cooper and 1/2 way through the drive, the car flips over to BMW and the ride changes and you go whoa, what happened?

Microsoft is trying to build a Mini Cooper on top of a BMW.  They are trying to do it by announcing ahead of time that they are Donny Osmond.  No matter what pundits you see in the news that say that Windows 8 was released to rave reviews, that’s not what I’m seeing in the rank and file.

Listening to the final session of the MVPnation where they are talking about tablets and Windows 8 and they are saying that when Microsoft is coming out with all these new keyboard shortcuts, it’s not going to happen with users.  Mouse on desktop HAS to be better than what it is now.  I can see Metro on a tablet platform, but on a desktop, it’s painful.  I’m going to wear out the Windows key on the keyboard at this rate. 

Microsoft it appears you are chucking out all of your BMW owners just to chase after car owners you don’t have. 

You almost need to keep building that BMW model and come out with a Mini Cooper one.  Then don’t tell anyone it’s you.  BECAUSE it’s Windows, and BECAUSE it’s such a jarring change, but not a jarring change once you get under the hood a bit, you need to come out with a different name, only on tablets and be a Donny Osmond and don’t tell us it’s you.

Bottom line, a lot of churn right now.


8 Responses to Take note Microsoft

  1. Randy Spangler says:

    Susan, you hit this one out of the park (metaphorically speaking, of course…)

    I loaded the CP version onto a Dell Latitude ST tablet (no kbd or mouse) supposedly with multitouch and so far, IT SUCKS. Sorry. This Dell is a real tablet, not a convertable. In fact, the tablet looks a lot like an iPad with a aftermarket LineX wrap-around. So, I figured that an O/S that was destined, nee, built for tablet use would feel like a comfortable old running shoe, but it actually felt like a one-size-too-small combat boot (again, metaphorically speaking.)

    The screen lurches, nothing is intuitive, I don’t know how to swipe or gesture and I couldn’t easily find a User’s Guide (do they still make those things?) on the Internet to get me started.

    Like hearing Creed and immediately comparing the band to Pearl Jam, I couldn’t help but remember how natural it felt the first time I picked up an iPad… Oh, just tap the icon to run an app? Cool. Oh, that big round button gets you back to the icons? Cool. Oh, look what happens when I pinch the screen, things get smaller. Cool. Oh, so this is how you install an app? Cool.

    I think Microsoft is so afraid that they are going to offend users of 7, Vista, XP and beyond, that they cannot let their hair down and do this thing right. I can see the group in Building X on the campus in Redmond that invented the REAL Microsoft tablet O/S tugging at their shackles and begging for just one hour of sunlight. (Or perhaps, Apple owns all of the patents on natural, intuitive tablet UI elements.)

    I am sure that in the end, I, along with the hoardes of IT professionals, will drink the Kool-Aid and learn to accept Metro and quickly learn how to turn it off for everyday use. I also imagine that Window 8 R2 SP1 will fix a lot of what is wrong with the product, but by then another century (in computer years) will have been squandered.

    And, by the way, why didn’t the RDP client connect to my Terminal Ser… uh, RDS server?

  2. Pete says:

    Omg! Is Windows 8 painful on a desktop with a mouse and keyboard! You’re right on Susan, with your analogy. I’m very concerned. Even Apple has two different OS’.

  3. bradley says:

    This needs solid touch hardware. And right now Microsoft has to make kissy face with hardware manufacturers, unlike Apple.

  4. Joe Raby says:

    Microsoft is talking with a lot of manufacturers to implement 5-finger touchscreens. Many Windows 8 all-in-one PC’s and notebooks will feature touch as a standard feature, and of course tablets will already have it. The biggest downside to upcoming systems is that Intel is pushing razor-thin high-margin (read: expensive for the sake of being expensive) MacBook Air clones, dubbed Ultrabooks, as the new notebook standard and touch isn’t even an afterthought. The problem with Intel’s motivation is that consumers have already had a taste of sub-$600 notebooks, and I highly doubt they’re going to go back to paying $1000+ for something with just lackluster video performance since they don’t have the thermal design to carry discrete GPU’s, and Intel’s video sucks. My saying is that if you can’t get a system for $1000 that will play the latest games – and well – then there’s something wrong with that picture. Even AMD’s lowest-end APU has SLAT and D3D11 support.

  5. Bill Hole says:

    I’d be happy if we could get the start orb back. That alone would make it easier. It’s clearly a consumer OS at this point. How Lacerte, CS and CFS will run in the metro experience is going to be a challenge… I’m not sure business folks are going to like this without some “modifications”. Microsoft is going to have to produce a huge amount of case study to show the ROI and productivity gains around the metro interface. For everything I like about 8, there’s an equal amount of discovery to gain old functionality easily. Good perspective Susan.

  6. Joe Raby says:

    Windows 8 is a big change. Microsoft is hoping that it’s as big a change as was Windows 95, and can you honestly say that the industry is better off sitting on Win32 for the foreseeable future? Something has to break somewhere. WinRT offers app sandboxing and a better development model all around (those .Net Frame-doesn’t-work updates that Sue loves to hate are supposedly going to be a thing of the past with the new WinRT programming model). Yes, this will be a transitionary product and there are going to be speedbumps in getting developers into the right traffic lanes, but then again, look back at Windows 95. And then look again at Windows 2000 and Vista. Each product broke the ties with the past in favour of The New, and yet each successive product was better because of the baseline. With Windows 8, The Old isn’t going to be obsolete (at least not on x86). Also, Metro is just one UI. WinRT doesn’t require that you use it, much like how iOS apps don’t require that you use UIkit.

    Also, for those wondering about legacy compatibility and manageability of WOA (Windows on ARM) for apps that aren’t available for Metro, Microsoft already has a solution for you: RemoteApp. WOA devices will probably be fairly popular with consumers, and the BYOD movement will be looking at the feasibility of these. If the user can access a remote connection, implementing RemoteApp will be a good solution. Just lock down local resources for the connection and the user can access that LOB app without you needing to worry about managing their home device with Domain-Join. Don’t forget that WOA devices will come with Office and can only install software from the curated Windows Store, so existing malware will be less of a concern. RemoteApp can further sandbox the remote system running the app too – the only thing the user needs is the video stream and support of input devices (mouse, keyboard, or touch input). There is no requirement that states that you must allow a RemoteApp config to support file sharing with the guest machine.

  7. Susan you are spot on.
    After using it for 4 days now, I’m going out on a limb here, but without MAJOR changes and a mouse/keyboard rollback interface they are setting up Windows 7 for a longer Corporate and Enterprise run than XP Pro.

  8. Susan you are spot on.
    After using it for 4 days now, I’m going out on a limb here, but without MAJOR changes and a mouse/keyboard rollback interface they are setting up Windows 7 for a longer Corporate and Enterprise run than XP Pro.