There has been, in the past few months, a mounting sense of dread among users of the Windows platforms that Microsoft didn’t care about Windows anymore. Microsoft, sadly enough, didn’t do much to allay those fears leading to a deluge of tech media personas speaking out about Microsoft’s strange strategy of supporting platforms other than its own.
In this case however, unlike previous years, Microsoft has not ignored these critiques, they have listened and heard and sought to address these with action. Sure enough, once the media had had their minds blown by Redmond , Nadella spoke to address those perceptions. Rather than sidestep them or reply vaguely, he gave a real answer. Where certain Microsoft fans have been arguing that the company wants to be focused on the enterprise and not the consumer market, that is not true.
Nadella spoke of a feeling of delight he had upon seeing a girl unwrap a Lumia 535 in India. That’s what the New Microsoft wants. They don’t want to be associated with stuffiness and Office work. They want to be fun. To be colourful. They want Windows to be the new Mac (figuratively speaking, not in the 5% market share aspect).
You get Windows? You get the best of Microsoft. You don’t get a Skype app that is worse than the OSX or Android app nor an Office inferior to that on other platforms. None of those “bolted on experiences”, rather they want users Windows to have the “best Microsoft experience”. Beyond finally putting to bed the doubts of their future plans, they also managed to summarize Windows 10 in four words. The best Microsoft experience.
All Microsoft devices, simply extensions of each other in terms of functionality. Whether using a 3.8 inch Lumia 620 or an 84 inch Surface, Microsoft wants you to have the best they can offer. If you have an iPhone or an Android, you may have Cortana or Office or Maps. But it won’t be integrated as well, as a result it certainly wont be as good as it is on Windows.
As for Windows itself, Microsoft doesn’t want you to use Windows because of Office, or because you have an irrational attachment to Internet Explorer and minesweeper. No. They want you to use it because you want to. They want you to look forward to it. They want you to love it your experience. Nadella wants each and every one of us to be that girl in India whenever we turn on our computers. To be delighted rather than apathetic. To enjoy rather than endure. Will they succeed? Time will tell. Mary Jo Foley asked last year, “With a platform-neutral Microsoft, why go Windows?”. Windows 10 is Microsoft’s answer. And I like it