In the recent years Microsoft has become adept at upsetting customers and pulling defeat from the jaws of victory. It has failed to predict and foresee change, whilst missing opportunities to hold on to it’s enviable customer base as a result of Corporate and Technical Arrogance.
Who can ever forget Windows Vista fiasco, Windows 8 misconceived user interface, and the gigantic misstep in Smartphones despite being one of the first to see the move to mobile environment (remember Windows for Mobiles?). Let’s not be too harsh because Windows7 was and is till is a great and stable product.
Once again Microsoft is at it again. By all account Windows 10 is a great product but despite this Microsoft is determined to push it down your throat whether you like it or not. The move from gentle “Windows 10 Pop up” to now aggressive withdrawal of support for Windows 7 and Windows 8, forced upgrade through Windows Automatic Update is worrying. It shows either someone in Microsoft is getting their backside kicked for not making their “Windows 10 Upgrade” targets, or that Microsoft management is incapable of learning from past mistakes in Customer Relationship. I stress Customer Relationship as on the financial and innovation front it appears to have finally got it’s act together.
This is something Microsoft appears not to be getting it’s collective corporate head around. To Microsoft it is unfathomable that they have created a great and stable product, but people have the audacity to want to stay with their old Windows 7 and Windows 8!
There is perfectly good reason for not upgrading. We, like many of our customers, use applications that are not ready to move to Windows 10. Microsoft can give Windows 10 for free, or can even pay us to upgrade, but until such time as all (and I mean ALL) business applications we use are ready to migrate, we will not upgrade.
This is not being a Luddite or signs of resistance to change, but it is business continuity and survival issue. Businesses are not run at the whims of Microsoft CEO, the needs of Microsoft shareholders, or Wall Street’s expectations for Microsoft performance.
In January 2016 Microsoft ratcheted up the push for Windows 10 and moved Windows 10 upgrade to “Recommended” updates status, which means depending on your Automatic Windows Update setting you could wake up one morning with Windows 10 on your desktop and none of your applications working!
Remember Windows Update set up in default installs all Critical, Security, and Recommended updates. By changing the status of Windows 10 to “Recommended”, all those Windows users that have left Windows Update in default mode (probably 80% of users) will be automatically updated. Those who use applications that are not yet available on Windows 10 will have a rude awakening.
Microsoft argues you can Downgrade if you do not like the experience. That is not really the point. Firstly, for the average user the downgrade process is not as easy as Microsoft makes it out to be. Secondly, Microsoft has decided your time is for free, so the time you spend returning your Desktop to a usable state is of no concern to them. This is having contempt for your customers and their time, which runs contrary to any notion of “Customer Care” or desire to retain your customers.
Finally, we come to my usual cynical view of corporations. Those of you who know me, also know I have a very dim view of large corporations and their antics (well, I worked for them for over 20 years!). What I cannot fathom is why my Windows 7 desktop had 1 blue-screen crash in 5 years of seriously heavy usage, but it has had a crash on weekly basis since “Windows 10 Free Upgrade pop up” has been making an appearance. Coincidence or paranoia on my part? Well, I don’t know but as one man said “Just because I am paranoid it doesn’t mean they are not out to get me!”. All I would say that for nearly 20 years I worked alongside very clever engineers and I can tell you they are very clever. It is not beyond their capabilities to code shutdown process in your OS (it is merely 1 line of code), but then I am just a cynic!
Microsoft is moving dangerously close to Apple’s view of life “Our way or No way”. Well you can give your 2-fingers to your customers, but remember they can walk away with their wallet and give you the 2-fingers too! The difference is, once your customer has switched from your operating system, you will have a long time waiting for the next opportunity to bring them back. The question is will you be around when they next need to change?
This very much depends on whether you have had the misfortune of having the very last update on your Windows 7 and 8 or not. In the last update, Microsoft removed some of these options (see I am not just paranoid). Those who have not had the update yet can save themselves by changing their Windows Update settings whilst they can.
The process is very simple and will take you less than 30 seconds (assuming you know where your Control Panel is!). So follow these steps:
Finally, remember Windows Updates now ask your permission for download and installation so don’t do the usual “Yes, Yes, Yes!” to everything you see on the update screen! Read each update carefully and decide intelligently what needs to be installed. If you are not sure, search on the Internet (ignore Microsoft’s Knowledge Base as it is biased – yes paranoia again!). The point of this exercise is to put you in charge of updates not Microsoft product managers with share options.
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