Friday 24 January 2020

'Biggest product U-turn since New Coke' as Microsoft announce Windows 8 rework

Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp
Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp

Charlie Cooper

MICROSOFT is set to bow to pressure from customers and change “key aspects” of its much-maligned Windows 8 operating system.

In a move described by some analysts as the biggest product U-turn since Coca Cola dropped “New Coke” 30 years ago, an updated version of Microsoft 8 released later this year will be significantly different.

Microsoft's head of marketing and finance, Tammy Reller, confirmed the plan in an interview with the Financial Times, admitting that many users had struggled to master the new operating system. “The learning curve is definitely real,” she said.

Windows 8 was viewed as an attempt to update the personal computer for the tablet era when it was launched last October. It includes a touchscreen interface but does away with the “desktop” launch screen familiar to millions of home and work computer users.

Ms Reller did not reveal details of what changes would be made.

Richard Doherty, an analyst at tech research firm Envisioneering told the Financial Times: “This is like New Coke, going on for seven months – only Coke listened better.” New Coke was dropped after a huge consumer back lash.

Microsoft sold 100 million Windows 8 licences in the first six months since the new operating system launched in October last year.

However, consumer interest has flagged. The revamp is viewed by some analysts as a significant admission of failure by Microsoft's chief executive Steve Ballmer, who called the launch of Windows 8 a “bet-the-company” moment.

Independent News Service

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