I have written extensively about how I haven’t agreed with a lot of the decisions that Microsoft have made regarding this move to Windows 8 but there’s no heading back.
I think that Microsoft have the ability to push through until the controversy around this new OS is behind us and Windows 8 becomes the Microsoft OS standard.
There is however one very large potential obstacle that could derail this whole thing.
It’s an obstacle that is formidable, large, has a lot of cash and is prone to chaos at times. This obstacle is the one thing that could make this entire endeavour a mess that will be studied in business schools forever.
The name of this obstacle?
We have all seen enough of Windows 8 to know what the flaws and strengths are. We know that there are areas that can and should be criticized and there are areas that kick Windows 7′s ass hands down.
When this Operating System launches, there might be a shocking consumer reaction at first. There might be some fear, some uncertainty and definitely a lot of doubt.
This will definitely be amplified by the competition, namely Apple and Google. They would love to see Windows 8 fail.
At this point, with all the noise and the uncertainty, this is where Steve Ballmer, Steven Sinofsky and all Microsoft executives will need to show LEADERSHIP.
This is a large scale migration from one paradigm to another. Obstacles should be expected, criticism should be welcomed.
I believe Microsoft realize that there is no plan B. The boat is out on the sea and the only way to go will be forward.
Now if the outrage and criticism begin and Microsoft start to waver and equivocate, people will sense that.
It will then begin the vicious cycle of even more criticism and more equivocation until the whole enterprise crashes and burns..
This can not be an option.
We know this is not Vista so technical problems are not the issue. The issue is large scale change management.
That’s always easier to fix than products that are plainly defective.
Like a well oiled political campaign, all Microsoft executives need to be on the same page.
Practice those talking points boys and girls - “Windows 8 is the future of PC computing and we are excited to see the positive reactions from our users and developer community“.
Make sure your partners understand that there can be no “off the record” Paul Otellini moments. This is simply not the time for bullshit.
There’s a lot of money on the table here and everyone needs to bring their A game.
“Windows 8 is the future of PC computing and we are excited to see the positive reactions from our users and developer community“.
Say it over and over again into the cameras, into the blogs, in your advertising, on the radio.
Say it over and over until we believe that you believe it. Once we can see that you believe, history says we will too.
Microsoft, you’re the only ones who can derail this thing.
Don’t mess this up.