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Credibility and trust: Microsoft blows it

Jun 01, 20163 mins
MicrosoftSmall and Medium BusinessWindows

By forcing Windows 10 on users, Microsoft has lost the tenuous trust and credibility users had in the company

On the surface, Microsoft has yielded to turns in the market more rapidly. But now they’ve blown it, pushing back increased trust and credibility, perhaps years, and for an inane reason: shoving Windows 10 down user’s throats.

It’s a fine operating system. It has the madness of near-malware ads now sewn into it, and damnable tracking—with no publicly vetted method of preventing adware malware. Yet it’s more stable than Windows 7, it’s nicer to use than Windows 8-something, and it’s a great price model.

That is, it’s a great price model until you get to this point: allowing users to reject it, for whatever reason they want. Foisting it upon them is boorish. Citations of “quit bitching” don’t acknowledge that the current trust for Microsoft is still really tenuous.

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Microsoft has made a lot of effort recently to win the minds of open source advocates, save perhaps, the orthodox. They acknowledged that getting Windows 10 onto Nokia phones and eating Apple’s lunch was a bad idea. 

They’ve become nimble, even, and I say this hesitatingly, fleet of foot—not the aircraft carrier that takes several miles just to turn around, let alone the fuel burn needed to sustain the simple turn.

Missed opportunity

And so I wonder aloud: WTF? Here you had a chance to erase decades of bad design, haughty, churlish, boorish behavior, and then you ram an upgrade down users’ throats. Yes, it has better security—a huge design problem Microsoft hasn’t admitted but only patched, patched, patched for nigh a decade.

Add this to the enormous insanity of Windows 8X, where a product decision was made to alter the GUI radically enough to present a gotterdammerung of no-adoption storms. Stir in an off-and-on barrage of attempts to shove the upgrade down users’ throats, timid and wary as they might be, and you’ve blown it, Microsoft.

You’re not learning. Look at the amount of trust and veracity that was dashed against the rocks of Windows 7 users. Their OS actually worked for a change, and THEY DIDN’T WANT TO CHANGE. They wanted to get off the upgrade merry-go-round, wanted stability, and you gave them the total debacle called Windows 8.

You skipped 9, and despite the large warmth (hugely offset by perceived privacy issues), you crammed them with messages. Leave them alone. Stop it. You’re behaving badly. Time to send a product manager to China or perhaps to the Xbox returns warehouse.


Tom Henderson is dojo of ExtremeLabs, researcher at Network World, world traveler, and friend to many.

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