Microsoft’s New Coke

A news story from Microsoft caught my attention in yesterday’s copy of The Guardian. As we all know, the corporation generates significant profits from its Windows licenses and thus relies on the sales of Windows to remain successful.

In 2012 Microsoft took a huge leap by launching Windows 8 - a whole new look and feel for the software. This included tablet style tiles and apps and also the removal of the start button. Of course, the drastic change meant that the complaints began to roll in about how difficult the system is to navigate now.

After launching the new design, Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer said he was ‘betting the company’ on it. And what a bet that was, computer sales have made a record breaking drop of 14% in the first three months of this year and Windows has been blamed for the disaster.

Not only this but, ironically,  according to research the two most downloaded apps for Windows are Classic Shell, an app to bring back the Start button and an app named Skip Metro Suite which allows you to skip the confusing tiles.

To conclude, Windows is now expected to release an update, which will bring back these key features that are currently upsetting the market.

This smells a bit fishy to me. The last company u-turn that I remember reading about was Coca Cola’s New Coke, which was abandoned within three months of its launch in 1985 after customer protests. Coca Cola was forced to apologise to customers and bring back the original recipe.

Understandably, Microsoft may have made the changes after witnessing the great success of tablet sales. Perhaps the company contemplated the need to stay relevant for what the future may see as a desktop-computer-less world.

If this is the case, it will be interesting to see how Microsoft deals with the whole kerfuffle. As Technical PR people and users of Windows 8, we can’t wait to see this unfold.

Will the company apologise to the market when the update brings back the old features just like Coca Cola did? What do you think? Why not contact us and let us know?

By Ashleigh McLeod

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Ashleigh McLeod

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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