Unveiling a preview of Microsoft Windows 10, the company gears its latest version toward enterprises to redeem for 8’s blunder. Misinterpreting the market, they followed up the successful Windows 7 with in innovative user interface, the touch screen. The user interface was found to be problematic and businesses opted to wait for something new.
Businesses disfavored the touch screen so for the last two years, Microsoft encountered considerable resistance with upgrades to Windows 8. Many CIOs feared the touch screen version would confuse their users and opted to retain with version 7. IDC analyst Al Gillien’s opinion was that Microsoft Windows 8 failed to give information workers an experience allowing them to be efficient at work. As it happened, Microsoft took a hit in productivity.
Businesses obtained 715 million copies of Windows by the end of 2013 – 361.2 million of Windows 7, 224 million of Windows XP, and nearly 40 million of Windows Vista – compared to 16 million copies of Windows 8. In the consumer market, Windows 8 – still trailing behind Windows 7 by 204.8 million copies – performed more favorably with 117.2 million copies at the end of 2013, according to IDC.
Microsoft Windows defied expectations and revealed the next generation of the OS in Windows 10 intended to redeem for the under-performed version 8. This user interface is designed with businesses in mind. Microsoft made concessions to attract CIOs and IT managers.
Windows 10 deviates from the perplexing 8 user interface. Now, the user interfaces will be tailored for PCs, tablets, Windows Phones and potentially the Xbox and a common core of operating system elements will work across all these platforms. Microsoft’s goal is to minimize user frustrations.
The touch interface of Windows 8, called Modern, alternated with a traditional desktop to run legacy Windows 7 applications. Users complained that it abhorred with the difficult and inconvenient process of interchanging between the Modern and the traditional desktop as well as the touch screen and mouse and keyboard.
Windows 10 new feature, Continuum – not yet a part of the Windows 10 preview build – allows users with two-in-one devices to more easily transition between connecting and disconnecting keyboards. A back button appears on the task bar once a keyboard is disconnected to help users navigate easily.
For many businesses, upgrading from Windows XP and Windows 7 to Windows 8 prompted the hiring of consultants to train users on the new operating system. This was an expense begrudgingly paid or altogether avoided. Equalizing the transition to Windows 10 would eliminate concerns of additional expenses.
Microsoft plans to do exactly that: seeking to win over Windows 7 users to 10, Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President, Operating Systems Group at Microsoft, intends for Windows 7 users to feel like they are upgrading from a Prius to a Tesla without having to relearn how to drive.
About the scaled-back interface, Belifiore said Microsoft is not giving up on touch but appealing to both Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. He stressed that the goal of Windows 10 is to “find UI approaches that use the same mouse and keyboard experience evolving from Windows 7 so the touch users get something natural.”
Michael Silver, a Gartner analyst, opines that Microsoft could regain favor with enterprise IT departments by adding a standard release track option for organizations to schedule and manage the frequent Windows upgrades. Users would similarly be pleased with not being forced to upgrade in order to access security fixes, bug patches, and other enhancements.
There are many issues in version 8 that the company has redeemed for with Microsoft Windows 10. Silver and others are hopeful that other concerns are addressed as well but they will have to wait to find out. Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group, says Microsoft plans to deliver the completed version of Windows 10 by mid-2015.
By Charice Long