They won’t admit it, but in launching Windows 10, Microsoft will desperately seek to undo the disaster of Windows 8.
Like a bewildered politician, banished to opposition following a electoral hammering, Redmond returns in 2015 with new hope, new enthusiasm and a new operating system, capable of moving out of the shadow cast by its deeply unpopular predecessor.
And while Windows 8 bashing is getting all too easy and all too old, such an iconic failure means that, for want of a better phrase, Microsoft needs to be bang on the money with Windows 10.
“There’s a great story to be told through Windows 10,” says Frazer Scott, Marketing & Operations Director, Microsoft New Zealand.
Speaking exclusively to Computerworld New Zealand Scott believes that aside from the significant global opportunity Windows 10 brings for Microsoft, closer to home on Kiwi shores, interest in the latest operating system is in the ascendancy.
“We believe there is huge potential for Windows 10 in New Zealand and come July 29, we’ll be the first country in the world to launch which always adds an extra level of excitement,” adds Scott, speaking in Microsoft’s first local interview on the topic of Windows 10.
The commonly held industry forecast is that within 18 months of launching, Windows 10 will be on over 410 million PCs across the world, based largely on the expectation that more than three-fourths of all PCs running Windows 8 or 8.1 will migrate to Windows 10 sooner rather than later.
While New Zealand is expected to make up around two million of this figure, device wise, Scott says the tech giant is preparing for “hundreds of thousands” of device shipments coming to New Zealand within the next year, a move he believes represents a “massive opportunity for Kiwi businesses and consumers to take advantage.”
The end goal for Redmond is to have one billion devices running Windows 10 worldwide within the next 2-3 years, a goal Scott believes is more than achievable, with a little help from New Zealand.
“It’s absolutely our aim,” Scott adds. “At present we have two million devices out in the New Zealand market alone which could realistically upgrade to Windows 10 within the next few months.
“Locally speaking, and in taking IDC’s view of the market, in the next 12 months we are expecting to see north of 750,000 devices shipping for Windows 10 so the scale across the country is definitely there.”
As Scott points out however, it will be devices, not necessarily PCs, which could trigger a surge in Windows 10 uptake.
In theory, Windows 10 should be a significant contributor to the PC market, providing an upgrade path from Windows 7 for commercial users and a range of features boosting convenience and integrating the user experience across platforms.
That said, the free upgrade offer which Microsoft is providing to select partners technically reduces the need for a new standalone PC, paving the way for tablets, 2-in-1s and smartphones to provide new Windows 10 hardware options.
But despite such a forward thinking approach to the new platform, and a genuine acceptance that mass migration will occur, those Kiwi businesses hit hard by Windows 8 may of course think differently.
As reported by Computerworld New Zealand in October last year, Windows 10 is a necessary move for Microsoft to fix a growing problem in its a poor Windows 8 product.
Yet for Scott, in directly addressing aggrieved Windows 8 and lingering Windows 7 customers, the attraction of Windows 10 is simple.
“To our current customers on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 platforms, Windows 10 brings all the goodness that people expect from the Windows ecosystem,” he explains.
“This is across a touch-based or mouse-based environment and it brings together everything people know and love about the operating system to one point.