June 8th 2013
Customer Culture Revisited
For Windows 8 to succeed, especially for its tablets to compete well against the iPad, it will need to adopt a more Apple-like confidence to say “no” to its customers when they ask for everything under the sun. And, surprisingly, they might be doing exactly that.
One of the reasons Metro is interesting to people like me who usually ignore Microsoft is that it’s full of very un-Microsoft-like decisions, generally for the better.
The question isn’t whether Metro will be good: it probably will be. And that’s a huge accomplishment for Microsoft that they should be commended for.
But how will their customers react?
Will Metro be meaningfully adopted by PC users? Or will it be a layer that most users disable immediately or use briefly and then forget about, like Mac OS X’s Dashboard, in which case they’ll deride the Metro-only tablets as “useless” and keep using Windows like they always have?
Almost 2 years later, this is looking extremely prescient. I like what Microsoft was attempting to create with Windows 8, and love the Metro/Modern/Whatever style in general, but 8.1 seems to signal most of the effort since has been spent hedging on it instead of doubling down, and I can’t see how its going to get where it needs to go like that.