Windows 7 is the new XP

Microsoft's tone-deafness regarding the Windows 10 upgrade nag and several other issues left a majority of users out in the cold.

You might recall the Windows Vista disaster, an operating system by Microsoft which, as a result of various failures and resets in its development stage, resulting in an end product so buggy, it failed to grab its consumers’ acceptance after the revolutionary XP. The same mistake was unwittingly repeated by Microsoft themselves with the introduction of Windows 8, and as of recently, Windows 10.

Windows 10 was met with staunch resistance from quite a lot of average users. As Microsoft wished that Windows 10 would topple the market share of Windows 7, I’m afraid that isn’t going to happen in the near future, mostly because of concerns about how it was pushed towards people.

Let me start by getting this out of the way: Windows 10 is a fine operating system. I use it as my daily driver. It’s not great, but it’s fine. The new features being introduced in the initial release of Windows 10, such as Cortana and Action Center, had some great ambitions, even though the end results are rather half-baked. There are also features included in the upcoming Anniversary Update which caught some attention, such as Windows Subsystems for Linux, complete with Bash on Windows(!), Windows Ink Workspace, and much more.

Windows 10 was initially introduced to fix the mess that Windows 8 and 8.1 had brought up. You see, Windows 8 was a mess. It’s not as much of a mess as Windows Vista was, but it was still a mess nonetheless. Then out came Windows 10, which fixes all of the main issues with Windows 8, complete with lots of promising new features, security improvements, and so on. And to make up with their past, Microsoft offered Windows 10 to consumers as a free upgrade, which applies for the first year of its existence.

However, there’s one problem with it: Microsoft forced the free upgrade on everyone. People weren’t given much of a choice to upgrade on their own terms, and Microsoft resorted to using “malware-like” tactics to push Windows 10 out to everyone. There’s about a month left before the free upgrade offer ends, and we can see Microsoft is trying to push it even more before it ends. The whole push has become so viral, it has often been turned into a meme.

Then there’s the issue with privacy, and telemetry. You’ve seen a lot of those posts about how Windows 10 is “spying” on you, and the like. There are still some heated discussions about this going on. Many who jump in the conspiracy bandwagon are certain that Microsoft is spying on its citizens as part of the NSA program. Meanwhile, people like @SwiftOnSecurity think that they have no idea what they’re talking about.

The above tweet were later corrected.

I won’t go into the whole Windows 10 privacy/telemetry debate in this post. It’s already way too exhaustive of a topic for me to dig in even deeper. I’ve left my thoughts on privacy in my previous post. Go check it out.

Unfortunately, even with these problems well-known, Microsoft’s tone-deafness regarding its customers’ issues doesn’t help. We’ve seen article after article, complaints, FUDs, inflammatory posts and the like about every single one of these issues for quite a while now. Yet it seems like Microsoft never gave any amount of shit to address these issues publicly.

These were the reasons why, even though Windows 10 is slowly gaining its ground, Windows 7’s market share is still way up at 45% as of April 2016. It’s why Windows 7 still prevails as the front runner of the PC operating system market, even when it’s already 7 years old.

Usage share of operating systems, as of April 2016
Usage share of operating systems, as of April 2016. [StatCounter]

Microsoft has irreversibly ruined the Windows name with Windows 10. Most of the customer’s trust has pretty much eroded. Which was a shame, since Windows 10 had the potential to be an exceptional OS. This is what frustrates me about Microsoft at this point. Not the forced upgrades. Not the alleged “spyware”. But the lack amount of work given by Microsoft to address all of its customer’s issues, especially the most dire ones which I brought up in this post.

And unfortunately for Microsoft, this means that Windows 7’s market share will most likely stay at the top until its support ends in 2020.

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