Microsoft has a lot to lose if they ignore consumers.


Over the past 2 years but mostly this last year we have witnessed a methodical decimation of their consumer efforts in order to focus on the Enterprise and Cloud. With them pretty much killing the Band and putting Phone on life support it is becoming very apparent that they don’t want to be in the consumer space.  I am surprised they still push Xbox as hard as they do btw.  It is becoming hard to recommend the Microsoft ecosystem.  Even if they try to release a phone next year consumers will not buy because of broken trust.

Last remaining WP consumers have moved on to competing platforms and only the diehards are remaining. I have myself picked up a nexus 6p in April and have been using that on & off mostly trying to prove to myself that Android is not worth it. It is becoming very hard to do that as time goes on when in fact Android is getting the right updates and support from App makers and such.  Now my 950XL is my secondary phone and started to use that only to check out insider preview updates. When Android merges with ChromeOS you will see more and more folks not using Windows anymore. This is already happening in schools where most kids are using Chrome Laptops, iPads and such.

From a developer standpoint it is very clear to me that using Windows as a development platform/workstation is on the way out as well. As my company is going through a major Windows 10 upgrade cycle I am seeing that about 40% of my colleagues have chosen to switch to a Mac instead. 

If Microsoft thinks that I will keep using Office, .NET, and their other enterprise products even on competing platforms they are wrong. I will use what’s best on those platforms.

I think that myself and probably many of you are here because of the consumer side of Microsoft. I doubt that anyone looses any sleep over Sharepoint or PowerBI. I don’t care for a new IBM or Oracle.

Sorry for that rant.

Comments (14)

14 responses to “Microsoft has a lot to lose if they ignore consumers.”

  1. 268

    While not disagreeing with you on some of these things, let me give you another perspective. As an enthusiast at home and a person in charge of corporate images at work for a very large company I see both sides. For years we have been asking Microsoft to quit making Windows so damn consumer focused. The amount of time we have to spend decrapifying their builds is actually quite impressive. This started for us with Windows XP and has gotten worse with each release of Windows. These days we have to replace the entire start menu XML file (not supported, but we do it anyway) for Windows 10 because it is littered with consumer centric live tiles that make no sense in business and confusing mail clients that aren't the corporate mail and calendar that isn't the exchange calendar, etc. So sure, they have a big focus on cloud, on SharePoint, etc. But Windows itself has gotten more consumer gunk with each major release. I imagine if they continue to lose consumer mindshare that will change. But it is funny how some of us corporate users see Windows as too consumer while consumers at home see them as on the corporate track only. Anyway, not disagreeing on most of your points...

    • 413

      In reply to JerryH:

      To echo this tought a bit, with a slight tengent.  

      I'm currently somewhat stuck in the "iPhone" blackhole.  I have three kids, 2 of which have iPADs that I received through work. As a result they are comfortable using them and live on the suckers. That being said, being 5 and7, they have also figured out how to use iMessage.  Enter my wife who has always had an iPhone and at one point I tried to get her on Android and she couldn't stand it.  

      For me the one thing I wish I could have is MS's openess with Apple.  Using Facetime and iMessage is so easy for my kids, and keeps me stuck on IOS.  

      As of late I have been playing a lot more with Linux, and have started playing with my Macbook Pro more often as well.  As much as I want to run Linux, there are just a few things that drive me nuts.  So as I have been palying with the Mac, I'm actually enjoying it.  The retina display, the overall appearance, the fact I can take messages and calls from the laptop, and the continutiy is awesome.

      As I have been having random issues with the Surfacebook being docked, that everytime I get a call, or message I have to pull out my phone to check it.... all of these things I wish I could have on Windows but I just don't see it happening.  Windows 10 is by far the greatest OS Microsoft has had.  I know that the Apple issue just that, not MS's fault.

      However when you combine that with MS bringing everything to the cloud, from Office 365, to Azure, Linux in the cloud.... I literally could probably work off a Mac most of the time.  There is the gaming issue, so I would still have a Windows Machine for that as well as the "Tablet Functionality" not that I couldn't use an iPad Pro for that as well.  

      Point being is it pains me.  I've always been a Windows\MS fan boy and being pigeon wholed into Apple pains me but at the same point the Mobile First cloud first mentality has made me depend on Microsoft not for Windows but for everything else.

  2. 907

    Rant away KITRON. I can assure you by reading other MS fan sites that you are not alone in your feelings. MS are making it very difficult to support them lately.

    • 906

      In reply to anchovylover:

      Not sure where this fits. I have a computer in a multiple office building that I use for dictation of medical records. I only connect it to the internet THROUGH MY IPHONE ON LTE to be sure i have a clean, connection that nobody can listen to. 

      Just found out that Microsoft Downloaded Windows 10 anniversary edition through my phone. I guess they may not have had any way to know it was an LTE connection, but IF THEY HAD ASKED, I would have politely said, "No, not just now." 

      Data overages are gonna be a bitch.




  3. 5753

    Great rant, you are echoing my thoughts exactly. 


  4. 399

    I am surprised they still push Xbox as hard as they do btw. 


    Yeah, but they also seem to be pivoting the XBox brand away from dedicated consoles and onto the PC. I wouldn't be surprised to see Scorpio being the last XBox made by Microsoft. I half expect XBox and MS Studios to be spun off as a Steam/Valve competitor at some point, with XBoxes being something you buy from the likes of Alienware or Razer.

  5. 5038

    You're absolutely right, it's sad for us who actually enjoy and think some of their products have been best in class, but it will also lead to their ultimate downfall.  Without a strong consumer presense they will eventually be relagated, at best, to only backend stuff that's not visable to any users.  In this age of BYOD and BYOS (bring your own software/services) they have to have products that people actually want to use, and that can't be in a vacuum, they need a whole ecosystem of stuff around it, including consumer software and services.  If Windows clients die off, it will eventually take Windows Server with it. If there's no Windows clients, why use AD?  If you don't need AD anymore, can you get by with just Linux servers, and on and on it goes till all need of Windows has eroded.  Then they are left with Azure cloud only, and just a shell of it if no ones running Windows/MS services on it anymore.  All this, because they gave up on Zune!!! :)  It would take many years, decades probably, but it's the path they seem intent on going down.  I'll say one last thing, they need to be all in on Xbox (and gaming on Windows 10) because it seems their last and only hope to keep what they have and rebuild some sort of consumer presense.  

  6. 180

    It is not that Microsoft doesn't want the consumer space, they do. It is that they tried to capture that space and they failed. They failed. Put a fork in it, it's done.

    Microsoft's only available strategy to stay relevant is to focus on the corporate space, and try to remain indispensable.

    If Microsoft thinks that I will keep using Office, .NET, and their other enterprise products even on competing platforms they are wrong. I will use what’s best on those platforms.

    And Microsoft's challengeis to be what's best on those platforms. That's what they're focused on. And they're not doing a bad job. Office on iOS is pretty good. They have MDM solutions, Dynamics, they have those products. And Windows is still a great managed solution for businesses, and a decent solution for consumers.

  7. 239

    Amen brother. I too am a diehard 950XL user that recently has made the switch to iPhone. The Lumia device is an excellent piece of hardware but the lack of developement in Mobile 10 has me concerned.

  8. 4010

    Microsoft will never give up on consumers.

    Windows Phone is so far ahead of the competition it hurts. The UI is buttery smooth and absolute delight to use. The live tiles are just gorgeous and provide so much invaluable information at a glance. Yes overall the platform is lacking some apps, but UWP is already yielding results. We're getting some incredible new apps on the platform, and new releases are coming all the time.

    iOS looks so dated, everything about it lacks innovation and delight. It won't be long before iPhone is forgotten by all their customers. And Android is an absolute mess in terms of security, bad apps ported from iOS, and now companies at war with Google.

    Windows Phone will be there to capitalise when both iOS and Android fades into oblivion.

    Keep the faith.