III. New Windows Chief Stumbles as She Tries to Defend Windows 8
At the IDF keynote the new Windows President, Tami Reller
-- the marketing "brain" behind arguably the biggest marketing flop
in Windows history (Windows 8) -- was trotted out on stage. But when Mr. Skaugen addressed her, his tone seemed icy -- almost accusative.
"Tell us about what [Microsoft is] doing to ... drive Windows 8 demand," he asked Ms. Reller.
The response from the new Microsoft chief stumbled over here words at times, and delivered an extremely weak response. She said that Windows 8.1's builds had been downloaded by "2.1 million users" worldwide, but failed to clarify whether those numbers were for the public Release Preview
or the Release to Manufacturing
. Either way the numbers aren't very impressive; by contrast eight million users are estimated to have downloaded Windows 7's test builds.
New Windows chief Tami Reller struggled in her IDF appearance.
Ms. Reller also asserted that August saw the "most activations of Windows 8" of any month yet, while, declining to give numbers. That's also not terribly impressive -- given that August is the big back-to-school shopping month, and always
sees higher sales. What is more noteworthy is that June and July are rumored to have seen very slow Windows 8 sales. By contrast, by that point in its life cycle Windows 7 was firing on all cylinders
Ms. Reller also said:
[Windows 8.1] gives a chance for Windows to be familiar again. There's a lot of innovation coming to Windows 8.1. We are seeing demand for Windows 8.1 devices in the real world… We see that Windows 8.1 is a real milestone to take that forward.
She might has well have stopped at the first sentence. After all, Windows 8.1 has little to do with "innovation", and much more to do with unrolling, amending, or otherwise undoing
the "innvoation" of Windows 8. Returning to your old path
is many things -- "a lot of innovation" is not one of them. Most humorous, it seems Ms. Reller's comment admits that Windows 8 was "unfamiliar" to consumers.
A weak allusion to the upcoming 2014 Windows XP end of life
, might have been the single most convincing thing Ms. Reller said. After all, if Microsoft is forcing consumers off its aging but popular platform, they have to go somewhere, certainly. And some of them might go to Windows 8.1 right?
Intel, for its part, was content to beat around the bush, not-so-subtly alluding to Windows 8's embarassingly bad sales, which drove Intel to a major decline in profit