Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been finding tough sledding for its Windows 8 operating system in the consumer marketplace, as sales have been hard to come by – mainly, it is postulated, on the radical changes in this OS compared to Windows 7. Sales have been slow going, and it seems that Microsoft may not be taking its long-term, patient approach anymore. That has always been the hallmark of a Microsoft product or service – they aren’t always drawing long lines at retailers, but as word gets out about them or they get used in an enterprise setting, over time Microsoft find itself prominent in the marketplace, if not controlling it, but sticking with something and just tweaking it with updates.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has always been known for patience, so it is interesting to hear the latest from the Computex tech show in Taipei this week, when it appears that Redmond is losing patience with Windows 8 after less than eight months on the market. Tam Reller, Microsoft CFO and Windows chief marketing officer, announced at the show that the company is throwing in a huge bonus to those who buy a Windows-based tablet – Microsoft Office Suite will be thrown in for free. “That’s Word, that’s Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote in the box,” Reller said.
The push is clearly designed to help put more Windows 8 tablets in the hands of consumers – and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is then counting on those consumers becoming loyal Windows users in the future. “Windows 8 represented an ambitious change, no doubt about that. We made a collective set of big bets, all needed to set up for this next generation, an entire generation of mobile computing,” Reller said at Computex.
However, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been receptive to the feedback over Windows 8, which sort of launched with a thud last fall. The new interface was a very radical departure from what Windows users had been accustomed, and an anemic launch followed by strong feedback from consumers, IT directors and the tech blogosphere has led Microsoft into making some changes, which has brought on the upcoming free Windows 8.1 upgrade, which reportedly will offer users the option to toggle between the standard desktop view or the tiled window currently on Windows 8.
Al Hilwa of IDC has noted “a somewhat more open communication strategy which is welcome by the ecosystem and especially the developers.”