It's no secret that Microsoft wants to get users onto Windows 10, and has been pretty pushy about it over the last few months. But a recent comment from a Microsoft marketing executive has pole vaulted over the line into outright bizarre.
On the Dec. 23 episode of Windows Weekly, a live streamed show hosted by long-time tech radio man Leo Laporte along with Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrott and ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft's Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela said that users who choose to stick with Windows 7 do so "at your own risk, at your own peril."
See also: How to handle Windows 10 updates
Laporte did confront Capossela on Windows 10's pushiness and said he was getting calls from users asking if they can stay with Windows 7 and said, "They are getting annoyed at this point." That's when Capossela made his comments. (Audio link, comments start at the 28 minute mark)
"For us, it's so incredibly important to try to end the fragmentation of the Windows installed base. So we think every machine capable of running Windows 10, we should do everything we can to get people to move to Windows 10," he said.
I could ask, since when does Microsoft care so much about fragmentation of the Windows platform, but in fairness, it could be they always have but just never said it so explicitly. And after the headache of trying to get people off Windows XP, they have a legitimate reason. I don't fault their wish, I fault their tactics.
Here's where he's falling into bizarro world. He went on to say, "We do worry when people are running an operating system that’s 10 years old that the next printer they buy isn’t going to work well, or they buy a new game, they buy Fallout 4, a very popular game, and it doesn’t work on a bunch of older machines."
First, Windows 7 is 6.5 years old and will be supported for another four years. Second, Microsoft is still selling Windows 7 and will continue to do so until October 31 of this year. If it's so bad, why are they still selling it? Third, if you can't play "Fallout 4," it's going to be a hardware issue, because the recommended specs are pretty high-end.
Finally, with Windows 7 at around 55% of the total installed base, what printer vendor in their right mind would ship a product without a Windows 7 driver? And by the way, Windows 7 and 10 use the same driver model, so it's moot.
This isn't a product manager who spoke out of turn. This is a C-level Microsoft executive who leads their marketing charge. Microsoft has gone from spreading FUD about competitor's products to spreading FUD about its own and I'm not sure what else to say.
He was also asked about the spying issue associated with Windows 10 and was a little more sensible. "You absolutely are in control of your own data. That's core to every privacy statement we made. The customer owns the data ... There is telemetry how the machine is performing that we do collect. Is it crashing? What antivirus is running? How long does it take to boot? …. We feel a responsibility to keep the system as high performing as possible. But that has nothing to do with data. That's entirely your own," he said.