“Windows 10 is a necessary move for Microsoft to fix a growing problem in its a poor Windows 8 product,” says Mark Skilton, Professor of Practice, Warwick Business School.
Skilton, who researches digital enterprise and digital ecosystems, believes that in the longer term, if the problem was left unresolved it could have damaged the current market dominance Microsoft enjoys in the PC market.
“Microsoft needs to be careful not to squander its market lead in the desktop market,” he explains. “As in the digital world this could soon be eroded as it’s now the content and applications that work on top of the operating system that are the main revenue earners today and in the future.”
As Apple has shown, with just 15 per cent of the mobile market and around four per cent of the desktop operating system market, its capitalisation, at $600 billion, is still almost a third more than Microsoft at $380 billion.
So much so that Skilton believes strong products plus powerful apps and services are where the market is now and Microsoft must swing the ship around and make the cross-platform world work.
“Microsoft currently has a reported 92 per cent share of the desktop operating system market but only eight per cent of this is Windows 8,” he adds.
“Its Windows mobile market share is almost the complete reverse with around five per cent and the majority, 80 per cent, running on Android and 15 per cent on Apple according to Kantar in August.”
Skilton says Windows 10 is “clearly trying to get back to the core strategy” of a single operating system that works well across all platforms.
“The trouble with Windows 8 was that apart from low adoption there were significant technical mistakes made around its usability design,” he adds. “Too many user design principles were violated by Windows 8, as it was in effect trying to be a desktop and a touchscreen at the same time but failing at both.
“Windows 10 has a better tile resizing function and a new ‘quadrant’ layout to help improve usability of the applications and the content pages, something that was clearly confused in Windows 8.
“The return of the much missed ‘Start’ button is recognition of the importance of desktop for Microsoft. The touchscreen does not need this but the desktop does and so it’s a step in the right direction again.”