I once heard a quote from Leo Laporte – Leoville.com and TWiT Live

“Microsoft is not a people company”

I have been thinking about this, and after careful thought, am inclined to agree with him.
What this means, is that that Microsoft think more about what they want, and what they think would be good to have in their software, and not concentrate on what the public want.
I will give you a few examples:
  • Since the release of Microsoft Windows XP, many business immediately upgraded their computers to the operating system, since it was a great improvement on Windows 2000 and even 98/NT. After the release of Windows Vista in 2007, 87% of 50,000 businesses surveyed in June 2008 were still using Windows XP as their primary operating system, and had not upgraded to Vista. In my opinion, this was because of the bugs in Vista. With the bugs set aside, Vista was mainly aimed at home users, with most of the features based around Aesthetics, Entertainment, and their so called ‘WOW’ factor (as they originally marketed it as). Because of this, there was no reason for businesses to upgrade, since the new improvements and features were not relevant to what the company needed the software for.

    For example, Windows Aero, the new 3D visual style, was not necessary, since the PCs are there to get work done, and not for employees to sit there admiring the interface.
    Also, Parental Controls, another feature aimed at home users, was even on the ‘Business’ edition of Vista. This was completely useless to companies and businesses, since their PCs are most likely to be connected to a network server, which includes more powerful ‘Group Policies’ to regulate the use of their PCs, therefore rendering Parental Controls a waste of space.

  • People who would buy a PC for the home, would require features like Photo and Video Editing, Video watching, and Gaming. Microsoft has tried to facilitate this, by adding ‘Windows Photo Gallery’, which was, to be honest, a pathetic attempt at making decent photo editing software, with few photo organisational and editing tools.
    ‘Windows Movie Maker’, which many people like, had not been improved at all, and was absolutely no competition to Apple’s iMovie, which had more features in 2002 than Vista’s software.
    Parental Controls was a new set of features, designed to limit the amount of access their children had to the PC. Although there are some nice settings included in this, such as web filtering, the others were a complete mess. For example, you cannot block certain programs. Instead, you have to block all programs, and allow a few. In most cases, parents would want to block certain programs, rather than all programs.
These are both examples of how Microsoft do not think about what people really want out of an operating system.
Windows 7, on the other hand is a great improvement to Vista with a slimmed down size and a faster interface. Although these things are good, Microsoft have still not corrected the problem of separating business needs from home needs. Hopefully, one day they will get this right, and produce separate business and home versions.