What might have been


I was always a Mac user at home but my work machines were always Windows. I never respected any of the QDOS based Windows systems, but from Win2000 on the OS rapidly improved. XP (after a couple of updates) worked quite well. Vista sucked but then Win 7 was a big fat winner that just got better (except for the update function) year after year.

At the point where Win 8 came out I was teaching MIS classes to students who were mostly Information Workers (that is, their jobs centered around computers but they were not “technical” so the computer was just a tool to get the accounting, sales, operations, or whatever job done.). So I oriented my classes about things that would help them understand the world. When Win 8 came out, I put it up on the class computer, and invited teams of students (who were all expert at using Win 7) to come up and interact with Win 8.

Since the classroom computer (like their work computers) was based on keyboard/mouse interaction, Windows 8 was incomprehensible to them. They hated it.

So I speculated this:

  1. MSFT would contintue with the Win 8 approach (consistent with the Win phone) to try to make a useful UI for portable devices. (Remember, most of the portable devices for Windows had the drawback of miniature targets that could not be hit by fingers, so you NEEDED a stylus to hit a tiny target.
  2. MSFT would revert to a descendant of Win 7 as something like “Windows Buisiness”. This would have satisfied all the corporate users of Windows and the support people who had to manager deployment and updating of Windows for buiness. Remember: consistency is FAR MORE IMPORTANT than new features.

So my choice (had I been MSFT CEO) would have been to fork Wondows into (1) a production system that would be simple and straightforward improvements of WIn 7. This OS would have been a subscription product with recurring cash flow; and (2) what has become Win 10 which would be free but ad-filled.

I know some people who administer Windows computers for simall/medium companies and they would kill for a paid Win 7 solution that doesn’t expire.

Well, that didn’t happen. Explain to me why I’m totally wrong about it.

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