Space Ramblings

How Microsoft Can Get Windows 7 Right

1. FOF Focus on the Features. If you expect people, particularly businesses to shell out money and time to upgrade to a new OS, you’re going to have to deliver real value. Generic promotion with people of different ages and races all using the OS will not do it. Promising features, such as Vista’s security, you can’t deliver on won’t either. Expecting people to upgrade because it’s the new OS is such foolish arrogance. FOF. Focus on the Features. Give people vital reasons why they need Windows 7 and they’ll upgrade. Don’t and they won’t.

2. KISS Keep It Simple Stupid. You know this one. Everyone today has a lot to deal with, uncomplicate. Apple doesn’t release 4 versions of a product. Having a home and advanced edition of a product is one thing, though even it might be a mistake. Having multiple versions is just suicide. Don’t list confusing or inaccurate system requirements that will impact early user experience. List the real requirements meant to get a superior user experience to the old OS. Avoid dumping too much on users, don’t expect users to constantly deal with pop ups or manage their system. That’s why they bought your new OS. If they wanted to do it all, they’d be using Unix.

3. Know What Your Customers Want. Forget the acronyms here. Don’t design a new OS to just appeal to hardware manufacturers, get more OEM money flowing or to sell some services. It doesn’t work that way. Find out what your customers want from a new OS and give it to them. It’s pretty simple really. And what most people want is fewer hassles and more functionality. At a time when open source and freeware products are easily beating corporate software in those departments, it’s obvious that the key benefit is actually giving people what they want, rather than bloated suites of what they don’t want.

4. Learn the Firefox Lesson. If you don’t make your users happy, someone else will. And these days they can do it for less than you expect and without a profit motive. Having a monopoly doesn’t mean you make the trends or that you’re immune to them. Your customers will go where they choose if they have an option and options are opening up all over the place. Windows 7 might be your last shot, if you blow it, the OS rival that takes your customers might just be around the corner.

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