Microsoft is rolling out its new operating system, Windows 10, Wednesday. Analysts say the company is hoping for a smooth deployment that might mend fences with customers and businesses still bitter about the last big update in 2012.
Microsoft is giving the new operating system away for free as an update, a first for the company, trying to lure back consumers who gave up on Windows for mobile devices, says David Johnson, a principal analyst at Forrester.
“Microsoft faces an uphill battle here to win tablet users back to the Microsoft platform, and phones back to the Microsoft platform,” he says. “So it’s by no means certain.”
Windows 10 aims to synchronize the PC and mobile experience, says Darren Hardman, COO for North America at Avanade. But he knows Windows 10 won’t send consumers flocking to buy Windows phones. Avanade is a Microsoft partner that helps deploy Windows software and other tech for large corporations.
“Absolutely we expect for the clients to continue using multiple sources of brands and devices — that’s just the world we live in,” Hardman says. “And I think we’ll be successful, both Microsoft and Avanade, if we’re helping our clients support interoperability across devices into a strong Windows platform.”
Alan Lepofsky of Constellation Research says the focus in Windows 10 on allowing users to move “seamlessly” from device to device reflects a changing Microsoft that’s more responsive to consumers, and to the reality of how businesses use technology.
“I think we saw a decade of Microsoft a little bit stagnant,” he says, “and I think in the last two to three years…it’s a new Microsoft.”
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