Love Windows

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When new CEO Satya Nadella was new at the job he articulated Microsoft’s mission much more clearly than he does now. Instead of talking about intelligent cloud and intelligent edge he just said he wanted people to “love Windows”.  https://www.crn.com/news/applications-os/300075482/microsoft-ceo-nadella-we-want-people-to-love-windows-10-not-just-use-it.htm

I work in IT so my work is Windows. Windows clients, Windows server, the cloud and Office 365. I use Windows because it allows me to access the tools I need to do my work. I don’t use UWP apps at all and I use a variety of other tools including PowerShell. This puts me clearly in the Microsoft ecosystem.

I actually liked this idea of “loving Windows”. The idea that Windows was more than work and more than productivity, for me, was a good thing. I had a Windowsphone, a Windows PC, my old Xbox 360 was my movies and TV box and, when the family plan arrived, Groove would take over from Spotify as my music service. 

In three years Nadella has failed to progress my love of Windows. In fact it’s gone backwards. Now Windows has retreated from the central part of my technology use to being mainly something I use for work or when I need a keyboard to type. 

Apple did the same thing. There was a time when an Apple user had to have a Mac to sync music, activate and upgrade an iPhone and use Apple services like iTunes. Apple then just made the Mac a component in an integrated ecosystem. 

Microsoft seems to have done the same thing. It’s downgraded or deprecated Windows as just part of their environment. The difference is that Microsoft don’t have an ecosystem outside business and productivity. Of course there is Xbox and Minecraft. Despite their rather incompetent launch of the Xbox One in 2013 as a $500 TV box that had to have a Kinect sensor it survived the poor marketing of consumer products, 

I reflect that in 2018 there is little to make a consumer “love Windows”. I struggle to find a service, not related to work, that a normal non-gaming consumer would look to Microsoft for.

If you care about Windows then this is a little bothersome. Microsoft may be looking ahead to the next wave of quantum computing virtual reality headsets that interact with the cloud but Windows is disappearing. It makes me sad that I can’t love Windows and no one else can in the way Apple and Google seem to generate real passion for their products. I am not sure whether UWP or PWA really matter much in the Microsoft universe when cloud interaction may not involve Windows at all in 10 years. 

Nadella is and will make Microsoft shareholders a lot of money. That’s what he is there to do. However, I think if you care about Windows then we have passed the peak and are heading to a future without WIndows.

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