Does Microsoft move too slowly to ever really be a hearts and minds favorite?

Does Microsoft move too slowly to ever really be a hearts and minds favorite?

I’ve been putting together a comprehensive video review of the BUILD conference that I will roll out in the next few days.

It will talk about the behind the scenes stuff at BUILD and then talk about Windows 8 and my thoughts around it.

As I started putting that material together, I started to think of a larger question and it’s the title of this post “Does Microsoft move too slowly to ever really be a hearts and minds favorite?”.

As I think about all the stuff that Microsoft is laying out regarding the vision for Windows 8, I’m pretty impressed. I cannot tell a lie.

It’s forward thinking, it’s bold, it’s brave and it contextualizes their position in the world. By that I mean that they have shown a lot of self awareness by adopting HTML 5, Javascript and CSS, by live blogging, by giving out 5000 tablets etc.

That’s some pretty self aware stuff. It reflects a sense of consciousness of how far behind they are PERCEIVED as being and they need to be congratulated for it.

But on the heels of an Amazon announcement tomorrow, I can’t help but wonder, despite all the sexy talk, is Microsoft still like IBM? Slow, thinking long term, resolute, thoughtful but not dynamic and sexy?

All the Windows 8 news and developments being discussed as part of BUILD are cool and all but we are talking about technology that will be beta tested NEXT YEAR.

This stuff will go through extensive testing and will then be available if we are lucky by December of 2012.

Aggressively, we can say that Windows 8 will be ready in 12 to 15 months. That is an eternity in the new age of technology. Heck amazon might be on the second generation of their tablet by then.

It feels to me that the companies that capture the imagination of the consumer are companies that move pretty fast (FaceBook, Google, Apple – the usual suspects) and they make mistakes, fail and move on.

I like Metro and the concept – the question is, by 2012 when it’s ready and polished and has to stand against Apple and Google’s new UI’s, will it seem dated?

Will it seem dated not because it is but because we have been waiting for it for one year?

Hard to tell.

These are tough questions and once again, I think Microsoft are doing the best they can for a juggernaut of their size. even as a blogger, I’m the first to admit that there aren’t always prefect answers to some of these intellectual questions.

Microsoft seem to be approaching things methodically and deliberately – often a good thing.

Just not sure it’s quick and sexy enough for people like me.

  • Rodney J

    Makes sense dude. At least I think so..

  • Eric

    If stability and good GUI is built into windows 8, that will be worthy to wait for it. I can’t tell how good windows 8 is as I can’t test the preview in my windows 7. I have no idea why. Installed it on virtualbox few times and i always got the frown face and restarted by itself. Too bad. Another thing is that I think Windows 8 can’t boot another system? 

  • CompUser

    I know people seem to be mesmerized with flashy marketing these days, and the quality of the product seems to be a secondary consideration, but I’ll take a top notch product over marketing magic everyday. Even if it takes longer to get it. Keep it up, Microsoft!

  • william lopez

    i think microsoft is the best company in software.They excite people and want to follow them in the
    new media like i do.but i have other side which is they and to move to fast when they feel they
    been left behind in the pad and phone.the window 8 developer should have not been made public
    it was not ready.To work on something thats given to you in part by part is no good.they should have waited for the window 8 beta which would have been more complete.
    william lopez

    • CompUser

      The idea is to get user input as to what works/doesn’t work, and what they would like to see changed, as the product is developed (although I haven’t found a way to report bugs or make suggestions). Microsoft did the same thing with Windows Vista and Windows 7. If you don’t like using an incomplete product, which everyone should know developers previews and betas are, then you shouldn’t download or use them. And if you decide to try them out, you shouldn’t install them as the sole operating system on your only computer.

  • Scorpian562004

     Microsoft needs to plan way ahead, get a system in the works that whenthey send it to customers, they have something new and fresh.
     Windows 7 just came out not too long ago, and still has issues with websites not opening because of conflicts with Java as well as other plug ins, and now they want to hurry and get out Windows 8.
     Microsoft needs to devote time in getting one system working like it is developed to do.
     Now, when Windos 8 hits the stores, MS will push out Windows 9 before the bugs are out of their new one.
     I am ready to drop Windows and IE all together because of this.

    • michael

      Don’t drop windows, if your problem is the web drop IE, there are other browsers to choose from.

  • james s

    Microsoft is the best company in software..There is no compairion to Apple….Just be glad when Windows 8 is released….

    • michael

      Agreed,
      If Apple OS is as good as the MS critics would have you believe then:
      1) why is it that Apple has such a tiny piece of the market
      2) why is it that the MS critics even bother to try the latest MS offering

      As james says just be glad when it is released!

  • james s

    where or when will the beta vision be out?

  • Sorenlarsen21

    To be honest. I will like Microsoft to wait until 8″ is fully finished before they release it. You can ‘just’ download it now, but is it really fully functional now? Maybe? Please wait until it is finished.

    • CompUser

      While it is surprisingly functional, it isn’t fully functional. It’s a developer’s preview – basically a pre-beta release. It will probably have another developers preview, a couple betas, and a release candidate before Microsoft releases the final, fully functional retail product (supposedly) around October next year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000695115625 Alex Indestructible Shaffer

    Microsoft is on the right path. Nothing worst then getting software that is halfassed from being rushed.With the garbage out there now I can wait 🙂

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-WN/503715363 David WN

    Of course M$ isn’t very nimble. As to capu=turing hearts and minds, well, that’s a separate question and has more to do with other internal dynamics, IMO.

    But the burning question, to me, after reading the email subject line that led here (“Does Microsoft kove too slowly to capture hearts and minds?”) and the headline of the article itslef is, Does Onoura need a spell checker or does he simply need to learn to cut and paste? 🙂

  • Eddie

    A stable system everyone will buy, an OS that crashes or locks up is not what people want. Microsoft should wait till it is ready to release the beta version.

  • Alvin49tx

    Onuora,
     I watched the entire build conference on a video sent to me . As nice and forward thinking the engineers at Microsoft are , I really believe after seeing Apple’s Lion Operation System that Microsoft will be a year and a half behind Apple in releasing the OS . Therefore it being almost obsolete upon release . 
     I have never like Microsoft’s expensive price tag along with the fact there are too many versions that make it were it is behind Apple , for instance Apple builds one OS for their systems that has the function eqaulivent to  Microsoft’s Ultmate version and Server versions . At the price for a compltete build coming in around 139.00 dollars .
     I would have thought with the success of Windows 7 , Microsoft would of had the Windows 8 to us beta  tester last Spring at the latest with the touch capibilities because of Apple’s success with it and their version of Lion .
     It appears like Windows 7 that Microsoft has copied Apple once again .
      In my own mind Microsoft should pear down to two versions, Windows 8 consumer version Ultimate and Server versions for businesses . 
     And be more competitive in the pricing with Apple : example a copy of Lion 139.00 dollars as compared to Window 7 that still 2 years after release at well over 300.00 dollars for a full copy .
     Apple Lion upgrades at 39.00 dollars compare to the cheapest Windows 7 upgrades at over 100.00 dollars just for Starter that has no real functionality .
     The ideals are goood but the timing is so far behind it’s biggest competition Apple that it seem’s Windows is always several years behind .
      Alvin Clemons

  • DarkPr0fit

    I agree because of the size of Microsoft, and it’s divisional complexity it must make it hard to maintain communications across their business environment, thus hindering their development time. This has cost them business before. As far as windows 8 is concerned I think they are on the right track so far, as long as they design the interface that can relate to both a new and a power user. Historically MS has always designed the interface for the novice, which included too many nags or popups. But it is still too early to tell, a couple more releases should tell the truth.

  • Happy For Windows

    It’s just for fourth graders, like the whole internet.  Switching from icons to word puzzles, overwrapping things in gigabytes.  And, the whole thing never really perfects, windows crashes every other time.  Then windows 7 came up with tiny icons, didn’t the developer make something nice to click on?  I’ve never used a gadget because that would imply I didn’t have a life, a watch, or a cell phone.  Then I’d get into how programming languages help other companies, but no way, the whole internet is for, “are you more annoyed than a fifth grader”.

  • Ben

    What will Windows 8 provide for the average user that Windows 7 (or even XP) doesn’t provide? Will it really make a difference in how people read their emails, shop on eBay, or post on Facebook? If you consider yourself a power user (whatever the hell that means) how exactly will 8 improve your computing experience? Whether you’re an average user or a power user, don’t you want something that works? Even if it takes an extra 6 months or a year, will your computing world come to a screeching halt just because you don’t have the latest and greatest from Microsoft? Sheesh!

    • CyDySy

      I think what many
      corporate users are waiting for is a tablet device that has a very similar/same
      UI as the smart phone and PC/laptop. Trying to get users to optimise their
      feature usage when they have to learn, in some cases, three different systems,
      is costly and time consuming. Having one system to redirect desktops / document
      libraries etc onto one network platform, rather than having to try to get
      whatever the exec brings to work will have a huge amount of time.

      For the average user, it probably won’t change much, for the corporate (not
      just business, but users on a domain) there will be many benefits.

  • CyDySy

    I liken software to my favourite restaurant. I go there
    because I know what I am getting. Sometimes the food might be a little cold,
    not seasoned enough, but compared with everybody else the consistency is great,
    and the problems small. I will try other new food places for a while, but after
    the initial honeymoon period, the food becomes bland, the main chef leaves (Mr
    Jobs), then the menu changes completely, or the style changes completely. You
    turn up looking for a menu item that you loved, and not only has that item
    gone, the menu is now vegan. (not that there is anything wrong with Vegan, just
    not my first choice)

     

    My favourite restaurant might see that people are now liking
    Indian food, so they try a few dishes specials, and if popular, they keep them,
    if not, then look for something else. But you know when you walk in the door;
    your steak will be consistent, you will recognise the staff (and they know you),
    a chef may leave, but the theme will not change suddenly, they may re-hash the
    menu, but basically it is the same steak with a different sauce. That is what I
    like.

    • Mwzephyr

      Amen! I heartily agree!!!

  • Francisco

    Don’t let I-Pads & the rest,fool you!These,are low to middle Gadgets,in terms of Computing Capabilities.What’s the real difference between an I-Pad & a Netbook,in terms of Operational Abilities?Only One-The I-Pad,is More Sexy!It’s only the Good Looks,that counts,what’s Trendy & Sexy,etc.
    For me,personally,there’s no substitute,for a real Laptop,especially,at the price range of 500-600$,where the Apple Products,are currently sold.
    So,a real Laptop,has to be supported,by a topclass Operating System and Vista SP2/Win7,are very classy Operating Systems.
    In my Opinion,there has to be a space of 2,5-3 years between,new Operating System’s arrival.
    In Conclusion,Microsoft,is in the right path in terms of Security,Reliability,Interactivity….even,the Web,their Weakest point,with the Adoption Of HTML5 Stardands -Internet Explorer 9/10,promises,a richer,safer more productive,Computing Experience!

  • Owais_503

    lets just say MS is doing a good job on windows 8

  • Stilup

    With top compitition and all,
     Windows 8 needs to work good enough to make you want it.
    Being able to get things done fast and easy.
    There is still allot to do.

  • Peterboy7

    What will Windows 8 provide for the average user that Windows 7 (or even
    XP) doesn’t provide? Will it really make a difference in how people
    read their emails, shop on eBay, or post on Facebook?
    I think you should wait till it is released and fully working.

  • Tom

    I love how when I came here there is an advertisement for Windows XP Professional. It’s going for $83.99… makes windows 7 look like the ridiculously overpriced OS it is.

  • Mwzephyr

    Please get it right as close as possible, then release it….
    Microsoft is huge so yes they may miss a bit but not much.
    No one can be everything to every man and I am gratified that they are not trying to be Google, Face book etc. I wish they would get a bit more down to earth with reaching out to the less savy people- americans who are not “main stream users”. The average guy like me wants familiar, reliable, and reliable. We buy cars, appliances, etc. because they fill an emotional need for new… but we rebuy because they are reliable. Let Microsoft  get it right even if it is a little late. I’ll wait for them. Familiar, reliable, and relaible may not be sexy,nor everyone’s flavor but most of us take a spin with the techy stuff, the hot new item and then go back to what works, what we can count on.
    Most of our lives are relationship based- be it with a job, a car, a machine, a way of life, with a partner.
     Familiar, reliable, that’s what most of us return to, and buy again.
    Soap box back to you.
    mwzephyr

  • Penta2100

    I hope windows 8 stays in the womb until its fully done. 🙂 unlike vista…

  • Plhitts

    I wish MS would use the Toshiba table w/phone. I saw it on th web and it will fit all my needs. I am still trying to figure out if windows 8 will convert my Toshba satellite into a touch screen . If so I WANT IT! I think it is better to wait for the finished product. Look what happened to HP. Thry made a tablet that was expensive and did nothing without you connecting to computer. iPAd same thing. No ports for any usefulness. I am thinking about dumping iPhone. I cannot expand memory on it. Can’t plug into anything but the laptop to sho bigger picture. Good things come to those who wait.

  • Robert Rooks

    It is just a developers preview ways from a beta release let alone an alpha version.  I have no use for the metro screen, I am interested in what the version has to offer just have I with 7, which I do feel is going to be a hard one to beat!  Enterprises are just now slowly changing to 7, most skipped wisely Vista all together.  The Metro interface is an attempt at the touch screen, tablet, phone market, think todays Amazon realease of Kindle2 and Fire really will take the wind out of MS plans.

  • Imepv7

    Tablet era has arrived and sad to say Windows OS was not that prepared for it.  Windows 8 is what PC users are waiting for. Hurry up guys!

  • Ryan Marinoff

    If the final product is stable, secure, and fast, then I believe there will be nothing wrong with them taking it a little slower than the other companies. Microsoft will be the base that everyone compares their products to, not the other way around. Sexy and trendy? Na, in the end people want stability and longevity.

  • Marisa Laurina

    I believed that Microsoft will always trying to be the best. Despite of all the
    mistakes (if there’s any) Microsoft will always appears on the screen of any computer that is turned on. I don’t know much, but I do know that Microsoft is a pioneer. Hopefully in the future we will find that Microsoft not just fast, but also perfect.

  • http://olivermills6.wordpress.com Oliver

    What’s not ‘sexy’ about the Surface, the majority of Windows Phones, or the Metro UI?