Microsoft's strategy behind Windows 8 was three-fold:
- Redesign Windows to run well on smartphones and tablets.
- Force you to use the redesigned Windows on your PC, so that you'll become familiar with it.
- Market Windows smartphones and tablets to you.
But as Michael says, Microsoft botched execution of the strategy. Windows 8 is simply unlovable. I had made up my mind months ago never to use it; there was no upside in my taking the time to learn a new user interface. Apparently, many other consumers and most industry CIOs agree. Windows 8 is actually killing sales of new PCs. If I had to buy a replacement laptop at this moment, I'd do one of three things: order it with Windows 7, reformat the hard drive to erase Windows 8 and do a clean install of Windows 7, or install Linux Mint (an option only for nerds.)
If enough people resist Microsoft's self-centered strategy -- and apparently, enough people are -- Microsoft will have to reconsider. There are already signs that Microsoft will make concessions in Windows 8.1 to lower the hurdle of unfamiliarity. Although these reports could be mere obfuscation from Microsoft, I'm sure that Microsoft prefers tweaking their strategy to abandoning it. Besides, my friend John Mainwaring often observes that Microsoft has alternated between successful and unsuccessful releases of Windows:
- Windows 98... good.
- Windows ME... awful.
- Windows XP... good.
- Windows Vista... awful.
- Windows 7... good.
- Windows 8... awful.