The Truth is Out There.
It’s amazing the influence that the media has on the way our thoughts and perceptions are created. I have watched over the past few weeks as misinformation around Windows 8 rides rampant throughout the local New Zealand IT media and then I watch the local NZ blogging community (some local podcasters and bloggers are really bad) jump on the bandwagon. Mis information suddenly becomes the truth and if we got told enough we start to believe it.
So how did we get here?
In New Zealand we have an IT media community (main stream print and online media) that pick and choose the articles they want off the international wires, I am lucky that I get to see some of the articles that are available for journalists to pick up. For some reason if there is one negative Windows (Microsoft) article out of a pile of 5-10 positive ones then the negative one tends to get picked up by our media. My guess is that negative Microsoft media may drive more readers and clicks to websites which leads to more advertising dollars. I don’t know I am guessing here.
If I look at one of the leading online and print based newspapers in New Zealand (I am not mentioning the name as I might get in trouble) they really don’t take into account the 1.3 billion PC users. They have a dedicated portion of their technology site to apple (which is great) but they have not balanced this with a PC area. I pushed them (about a year ago) to have some PC based content and unofficially I got told that a lot of their computer hardware was apple based and it might not be look at favorable by the local apple suppliers. In the same conversation it was also commented on that the PC was not as cool as apple. I am sorry but please report on technology and not who supplies you your hardware. Be fair, give opinions but please do it in an unbiased way. Yes some PC hardware is boring, but there is a lot of amazing pc based hardware that is stunning. Some of it is more beautiful than apple hardware (Samsung Series 9), if you have not seen this device then I urge you to try it out.
Now we do have some very good IT writers that create their own content and I want to thank you for taking the time and energy to research some great local IT articles.
So what really is going on?
Windows 8, it seems that everyone wants this to fail and in most cases they want Microsoft to fail. I am not sure quite why as this would put most of the IT industry out of work. Steve Ballmer recently got quoted as stating that Windows 8 was going “Modest” what was not reported was that this was a translation off a French website. It seems that when it as translated back into English that it was lost in translation. Windows 8 sold 4 million copies in 4 days, when I bought my Surface it was out of stock and I had to wait. This to me is a great start for a product. The big challenge for Surface is that it is officially only launched in 8 countries, so it is currently really hard to work out how it is going around the world.
What in my opinion is holding Windows 8 back is as follows: The manufactures are behind, in the past at Windows launches there has been a plethora of hardware, this time around I am not seeing this when I go into stores. There is limited traditional laptop / ultrabooks and even less touch based devices running Windows 8. I think the OEM manufactures have missed the boat, maybe they don’t care? I don’t know, but there is a lot of positive interest out there from people that I speak with. Whilst Windows 7 was an amazing success for Microsoft there is still a very large amount of Windows XP users that are now looking to upgrade.
The new start menu has been way over blown, I recently showed Windows 8 to my 68 year old mum, who had been using Windows 7. At first she was confused, I showed her how to get the desktop and that she also had a start screen which showed you your installed apps. Her comment to me” oh they just flattened out the start button so I don’t have to go click everywhere to find things”. Wholly cow she got it and in under 3 minutes, why can’t people that have been using technology get it? I would love to hear from you, i want to really understand after you have used Windows 8 for 2 or so weeks. My sister (who thinks Apple invented everything and cant believe that Google or Microsoft invented anything) looked at it blankly and tried to interpreted back into how her apple ecosystem works. This failed, and therefore it is not good as it does not look like apple. Whist frustrating she has point, it will be a bigger challenge for Apple users to move to Windows 8.
For Windows 8 to be successful it needs support from the media in the form of balanced reporting. That is all it needs from our media. It really is quite simple. In regards to hardware, that is a much harder issue to fix. I am not sure if the hardware manufactures feel threatened by Microsoft and its surface device or that they just missed the boat.
The hardware issue must be a concern to Microsoft, as it is the devices that drives demand not the OS. Time will tell but if I don’t start seeing “cool” device in market within the next 6 months then it could be challenging for Windows 8.