Can Microsoft stem the rising tide of frustration and abandonment long enough to debut Windows 10?

Kareem Anderson

Can Microsoft stem the rising tide of frustration and abandoment long enough to debut Windows 10?

Why, Microsoft?

This question is becoming all to frequent these days among Microsoft product users. The vocal minority are now becoming the increasingly frustrated majority with each passing day.

While some stories like, ‘I’ve given up on Windows Phone’,  ‘Here’s what’s wrong with Windows 8’ or What is (still) wrong with Microsoft’s Window’s Phone strategy, have been sensationalized by the tech media, their origins share the overwhelming frustration many current users are having.

The confused Microsoft user

Microsoft fans and enthusiast are finding it harder and harder to sift through the arbitrary sense of secrecy Microsoft is still clinging to in a post-Sinofsky era. Rather than coherent and readily viewable press conferences, Microsoft teams go into great length babbles about specific product features but have relatively little to say on the much bigger issues facing the platform. The growing concern for some users, fans or enthusiast is the ambiguity at which Satya Nadella and Microsoft seem to be approaching their future, as well as the future of users.

A ‘services and devices’ company appears to have a clearer purpose in a capitalistic driven ecosystem than a ‘mobile first, cloud first company’. The latter sounds more like a Marxian fever dream than a market reality. People use services, those same individuals also purchase devices to use those services, how does one “mobile first” or “cloud first?”

Can Microsoft stem the rising tide of frustration and abandoment long enough to debut Windows 10?

What does mobile first, cloud first really mean?

It would appear this fundamental confusion is not only becoming increasingly apparent to users but seems systemic within the company. A lot of things set in place by an older Ballmer-fitted Microsoft are now being muddled and replaced with no clear communication to current users. In an effort to usher in this new mobile first, cloud first era, Windows (Windows Phone primarily) users are being treated like 2nd class citizens on their platform. Apps are appearing with more features on rival platforms than on Windows. 

Questions about Microsoft’s mobile strategy (i.e. the death of Windows RT and why choose a Windows Phone) are being l eft unanswered. The design focus on Nokia Windows Phone hardware seemed to take an entire year off from what it once was. Understandably, Microsoft is in a massive transition and perhaps many of these perceived slights will all be accounted for with the debut of Windows 10, but for some this change is taking too long and for others the awaited payoff may not be enough.

Why did you take away my start menu?
Why are you taking away the charms?
Why isn’t my Lumia 1020 getting an update?
Why did you ruin Xbox Music?
Why did you buy Nokia?
Why did you release Android X?
Why aren’t you selling a Surface Mini?
Why are you spending so much time with desktop improvements when you had a touch first OS?
Why aren’t you focusing resources outside of the US?
Why does Bing suck ever where?
Why haven’t I received Cortana, a year after she debut?
Why is Windows (phone) 10 taking so long?
Why isn’t the keyboard sold with every Surface? 
Why are all your apps more feature rich on other platforms?
Why should I buy a Windows Phone at all?
Why did you remove the OneDrive functionality from Windows 10?
Why are you painting every app with a hamburger menu brush?

Can Microsoft stem the rising tide of frustration and abandoment long enough to debut Windows 10?

Microsoft is still shooting itself in the foot

Hopefully many of the current issues Windows users are facing now, will be addressed by Microsoft in the coming days and near future. At present, the company is doing itself no favors though. Allowing carriers to muddle with feature rich firmware updates to a platform starved of features already, is garnering ire from users. Releasing countless apps and app updates to rival platforms with no beta release, schedule updates or simple news of the same software on the native platform is crushing the spirits of many users. The seemingly arbitrary removal of functionality, features and UI and UX changes is increasing frustration among diehards. 

Lastly, pitching a mobile first, cloud-first strategy for a year with no tangible advantages for current users of the native software or first party hardware seems to have massively eroded  what little goodwill Microsoft had with parts of its most trusting user base.

Needless to say, Windows 10 and presumably Microsoft’s answers to a litany of growing concerns over the years; can’t get here fast enough. We’ll be reporting any and everything we can make each day in the Microsoft ecosystem hopefully make sense, but Microsoft will be facing a severe wave of frustration and possible abandonment of their platforms if they do not have a solid story to sell come this fall for Windows 10.