Looking backing Microsoft wishes is handled the Windows 10 Anniversary Update differently. It would not be the first time. The company has a history of dropping the ball with software updates. This includes several painful incidents over the years – such as Windows 8.
However, the execution of this years’ Windows 10 Anniversary Update was especially poor, even by Microsoft’s standards. Not only was the update pushed on users but then there was a raft of complaints about the update and then a series of patches to fix self-inflicted problems.
One of the problems with updating any Windows operating system is the complexity of the software. Windows has always been an expansive program, but it is has grown even bigger over the years and today the software includes the operating system, add-ons, and even virus protection. It has become the software equivalent of the blob – expanding with no end in sight.
This creates numerous challenges for the project manager. But what has really hurt Microsoft is the fact that they forced the update on users – many of whom did not want it. The company’s Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Capossela, admitted the process was ‘annoying and at times obnoxious’ and he conceded the company has to work harder to win back customer trust.
Ultimately, the company is on the right track with Windows 10, but the operating system is only one part of its business model going forward. Granted this does not include mobile – at least not cell phones. The company has opened its office suite across multiple platforms, and its cloud offerings have become one of the main public cloud offerings. The company is also investing heavily in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).
Another area where the company is making progress is the Surface RT. While some pundits have slammed the tablet, CNET writer Ian Morris has called the latest Surface Pro one of the best professional-grade tablets on the market. While it is still early, the device might be the just what Microsoft needs to break back into the mobility market.
Even with the missteps, Microsoft has successfully repositioned itself for the post-PC age. However, bigger challenges are likely to appear, especially as the company moves into an ecosystem where its operating system is not a dominant – i.e. mobile devices.