Speaking of blues… “Schumpeter” of The Economist has this to say about Microsoft and Windows 8:
This is why Windows 8’s poor performance matters. It was an attempt to solve the innovator’s dilemma by creating an operating system and a user interface for both PCs and mobiles. Mr Ballmer hoped that consumers would want to move effortlessly from PCs to tablets to smartphones—and that Microsoft would be able to invade the mobile markets while simultaneously reigniting demand for its core PC products. But so far the reverse has happened: Microsoft has reinforced suspicions that it does not understand hand-held devices while simultaneously alienating its core PC users. It is possible that Microsoft will be able to solve this problem with future iterations of Windows 8. But it is looking likely that the two types of device need different operating systems. Microsoft’s biggest rival, Apple, has kept the two devices separate. That bodes ill for Mr Ballmer’s strategy. The comparison with New Coke actually understates Microsoft’s problem. Nothing forced Coca-Cola to introduce New Coke: tongues and throats do not change much. And all the firm had to do to rectify its error was to bring back the old version. Technology firms, in contrast, must innovate to survive. Restoring the start button will not restore Microsoft to its former glory.
It’s not that Microsoft isn’t trying to innovate, it’s that the type of innovation they chose to move forward with was ill-conceived. And this may well end up hastening their long-term woes. It’s the proverbial “rock and hard place”. It’s a textbook example of why innovators have dilemmas.
“There were certain decisions that Microsoft made that were in retrospect flawed. Notably not allowing people to boot into desktop mode and taking away the start button. Those two things have come up consistently. We've done some research and people miss that.”
—IDC analyst Bob O’Donnell • Discussing the big problem with Windows 8—which is that many people appear to be foregoing the new interface and jumping towards the legacy interface at their first opportunity after boot. The analyst suggests that Microsoft needs to figure out how to make the experience easier for normal consumers to use, because what they have now isn’t working.