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Can Windows 10 Win Back Users?

The next generation of Windows is aiming to fix everything that was wrong with the last generation. Can Microsoft reverse its fortunes with Windows 10? Microsoft’s self-stated ambitious goal with Windows 10 is to inspire new scenarios across a broad range of devices, from big screens to small screens to no screens at all.

Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Operating System Group, called Windows 10 the first step to an era of more personal computing. “This vision framed our work on Windows 10, where we are moving Windows from its heritage of enabling a single device — the PC — to a world that is more mobile, natural and grounded in trust,” Myerson said. “We believe your experiences should be mobile — not just your devices. Technology should be out of the way and your apps, services and content should move with you across devices, seamlessly and easily.”

Windows’ Main Competition

Of course, having that vision is one thing. Delivering on it is another. We caught up with Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, to get his thoughts on whether or not Windows 10 can win back users. First, he told us, Windows is still dominant against other current PC operating systems.

“Windows 10’s competition now is mostly Windows XP, iOS, and Android and often more about form factor than OS features,” Enderle said. “Windows 10 needs an easier migration path to help with XP users as that platform is just too far back to move easily and it hasn’t reached critical mass on tablets or smartphones.”

What’s more, Windows 10 also addresses the negative issues surrounding Windows 8, such as the missing start button, Enderle said. He’s betting the new operating system should be a far stronger alternative to the last version.

Not Fully Cooked?

Although Enderle doesn’t think Windows 10 is as strong as Microsoft could have made it, he said to truly take the market back from iOS and Android, Redmond needs the kind of exclusive OEM support it once had. But that appears to be outside of Microsoft’s reach and the capability of any product.

“Microsoft does appear to be fixing their relationship with Intel and OEMs actually prefer them over Google but the market moves where the user is,” Enderle said. “To capture the user they’ll need a magical product, hardware and software, much like the iPod became and the iPhone and iPad started out being.”

As Enderle sees it, this is a combination of software, hardware, and services that creates a unique product — one that a critical mass of consumers can’t refuse. Windows 10 will be adequate to this task, but the other two parts — hardware and services — of this effort aren’t fully cooked yet, he said.

Pierre:

Posted: 2015-02-23 @ 6:41pm PT

Windows-10 will suffer the issue of upgrade compatibility, as with win-8, in that the upgrade is *not* exactly a SPx update – it’s a huge update, that you have to make, unless it’s downloaded incrementally. As with win-8, most people will only change, when purchasing a new computer.

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