Microsoft has been on an update spree lately and is trying hard to promote Windows 8.1 Update 1 to many corporations, nations, and individuals alike. From the time that I have been using Microsoft Windows (starting from 95 and then moving on to 7), I’ve found that much of OS has changed (for the worse) and it’s now nowhere near as easy, even for a fairly advanced user as me.
Something happened to Microsoft along the way and it was mostly and predominantly at the time that Steve Ballmer took over as CEO from Bill Gates and went on to ruin the company’s tried-and-trusted methodology of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ I might just be in the mood to forgive Microsoft for Windows Vista, but after Windows XP and all it’s variations, the upgrade to Windows Vista and then 7 was just marred with various issues and bugs and other things that I wouldn’t want to mention here.
Basically put, over the years in its evolution, Microsoft lost it mojo and became centered towards profit-mongering turning a blind-eye to its users’ needs and requests to make it OS more user-centric and to make it even more, I would call it, crude to put it in blunt terms. When you are designing an OS you have to have users’ perspective and views in mind. You just cannot have something be made that you think is going to go down well with your current users and prospective customers. You have to woo them with all the fanfare, but also give them something that they are happy and content with.
It’s not like you’re baking a cake for your evening tea-party where your invitees will give you feedback instantly on your cooking skills. To make the perfect OS you have to be willing to wait for it to cook and bake and see that all your ingredients are mixed properly and gel well in the oven through the alpha and beta stages and lastly you are able to give a proper finished product to your users and customers. The thing with Windows is that with its every evolution it has become a humungous monolithic beast of sorts and is now finding it hard to maintain its own against rival OS’s like Linux and its various flavors.
For the most part, Microsoft was on the right track with Windows XP and it lasted the company a good old ten years of revenue and a growing user base loyal to it. What ruined things for it was the introduction on Windows Vista and then Windows 7 and now Windows 8.1 Update 1. The tried and trusted formula was experimented upon which led to disaster after disaster and people jumping ship to other OS’s looking for greener pastures.
The one thing I find intriguing about Windows is that with every new iteration of Windows is it has higher hardware requirements (read recommended settings) to properly function. When you try and provide all-you-see with your OS be it in terms of functionality or glam-sham, the hardware requirements tend to increase. It is as though if Microsoft is trying to boost the PC hardware sales by changing the requirements with every new release of Windows.
I’ve been an avid user of Microsoft Windows and over the years I have found the OS to be dysfunctional to say the least. Just by adding more bells and whistles to it does not necessarily make it better nor does making a basic version with less functionality make it usable. What Microsoft needs to do now is to go back to the drawing board and make the next version (Windows 9) more usable and much more like Windows XP.
One of the most asked and talked about feature is the ‘classic’ interface of XP that many people are wanting. One cannot start to grapple with the fact that Microsoft has not implemented this in either Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 Update 1. The question is, why is Microsoft not doing this? What does it stand to gain by alienating users and prospective customers?
Hope Microsoft is able to see its shortcomings and able to reinvent itself before it is doomed like many other tech companies before it. If Microsoft has to be once again be relevant (for its own good) it is high time that it starts listening to its users and make drastic changes to it OS.