One of the biggest corporate debacles in modern history, Microsoft was forced to make a very public mea culpa for Windows 8. We all know what happened to Windows 8, it was supposed to the be messiah of Microsoft’s coprorate plan. It was supposed to be the embodiment of Steve Ballmer’s vision for Microsoft’s future. Unfortunately it went down in flames.
Windows 8 wasn’t the hit that Microsoft thought it would be. It was simple too confusing for many consumers. It was trying to be a tablet, touch device and Windows OS all at once while certain segments can appreciate what Microsoft was trying to do and roll with the changes, most Microsoft users found the changes really disconcerting. It is really quite a leap in terms of design, usability and first impressions from Windows 7 to Windows 8. It’s no wonder that Microsoft rolled out Windows 8.1 to make the OS a little bit easier to manage and to deal with for its installed base. Still, this setback has not done Microsoft any favors and it is one of the reasons why Steve Ballmer is stepping down. Regardless, Windows 8.1 has been released to PC manufacturers so they can start rolling out this simpler looking OS with newly manufactured devices. What is the upside? Well the upside is we already now what the drawbacks of Windows 8 is and Windows 8.1 seeks to improve on those. Another upside is, it shows that Microsoft is listening and people who might have been on the fence regarding upgrading to Windows 8 platform might finally get off the fence and this might translate to a better sale for Microsoft. In terms of the downside, the usual suspects that get hit by this type of situation are the devers but as it turns out, they really don’t have much of a choice.
Microsoft still has the operating systems market all zoned up and it’s not going to go anywhere. So it’s really important not to overplay the hassles suffered by software developers due to this snafu by Microsoft. Still, it would be very interesting to note how 8.1 pans out in the future because Microsoft really cannot afford too many incidents like Windows 8. Google is always nipping at Microsoft’s heels and it only takes one serious screwup to completely wake up consumers enough to switch to another OS.