When The Coca-Cola Company tried to introduce “New Coke” to the market back in 1985, it was considered one of the worst product decisions known to mankind.
Now, some analysts are comparing Coke’s mistakes to Microsoft and Windows 8, based on the negative reaction to radical changes in the operating system, and Microsoft’s upcoming move to address “customer feedback” with the upcoming “Windows Blue” update.
But those at the Redmond software giant disagree, and that’s especially evident on the official company blog today with a post titled “Staying Centered.” Frank Shaw, VP of Corporate Communications, questioned the reasoning of the naysayers and noted differences between soda and software.
Here’s part of the post:
So let’s pause for a moment and consider the center. In the center, selling 100 million copies of a product is a good thing. In the center, listening to feedback and improving a product is a good thing. Heck, there was even a time when acknowledging that you were listening to feedback and acting on it was considered a good thing.
Windows 8 is a good product, and it’s getting better every day. Unlike a can of soda, a computer operating system offers different experiences to different customers to meet different needs, while still moving the entire industry toward an exciting future of touch, mobility, and seamless, cross-device experiences.
We are going to keep improving Windows 8, as we do with all our products, making what’s good even better. There will be new devices, new use cases, new data that makes us think, “Hey, we should do more of this, or less of that.” And we will. There will be people who agree, strongly. There will be those who disagree, equally strongly. All good, all expected.
Microsoft announced earlier this week that it has sold 100 million Windows 8 licenses since the launch of the new operating system last fall, as the company looks ahead to a new wave of devices and the major “Windows Blue” software update that aims to ease the transition to Windows 8.
The company is seeking to regroup after an underwhelming launch for Windows 8. PC shipments continue to decline despite the release of the new operating system, while sales of the iPad and other tablets keep climbing.
But Tami Reller, Microsoft vice president in charge of marketing and finance for the Windows business, told GeekWire that awareness of Windows 8 remains high. Customer satisfaction on touch-based Windows 8 machines is strong, according to Microsoft’s research, and satisfaction on non-touch machines is “stronger than you would believe by just reading the press,” she said.
Windows Blue also will address customer “feedback,” a.k.a. complaints. Reller declined to disclose specific plans for the update. However, according to earlier reports, the company has been working to bring back a version of the Start button to the traditional Windows desktop, and allow users to boot directly to the desktop, bypassing the Start screen that was introduced with Windows 8. Those are two of the changes that can make Windows 8 a significant adjustment for new users.
Reller said, “There’s a number of pieces of customer feedback that will help all customers on Windows 8, and there are a number of features that will help more traditional users — enthusiasts, business customers, non-touch users.”