Microsoft Hits Back at 'U-turn' Accusations

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The software giant claims some reports did not 'accurately represent' content of its conversation with certain national media journalists.

Editor’s note:  As part of our special editorial partnership, Channelnomics is publishing this recent article from CRN in the UK.

Microsoft Corp. has hit back at the Financial Times after the paper accused it of making a U-turn on Windows 8.

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As reported yesterday the software giant had given a pre-briefing to selected media titles ahead of the launch of its updated Windows 8 operating system (OS) -- codenamed Windows Blue.

But the FT said the vendor was preparing to reverse course over key elements of its OS and labelled it “one of the most prominent admissions of failure for a new mass-market consumer product since Coca-Cola’s New Coke fiasco.”

In a statement sent to CRN, Microsoft said, “It is unfortunate that the Financial Times did not accurately represent the content or the context of our conversation about the good response to date on Windows 8 and the positive opportunities ahead on both Windows 8 and Windows Blue.

“Our perspective is accurately reflected in many other interviews on this topic as well as in a Q&A with [head of marketing and finance for Windows] Tami Reller.”

To see the full Q&A click here.

Details of the exact changes to Windows 8 have yet to be revealed, but the vendor claimed they were all the result of feedback from customers and partners.

However, the OS seems to be the Marmite of the channel.

Sam Routledge, solutions director at Softcat, is a fan of the existing format.

He said, “I quite like the Windows 8 interface. It is a bit different and interesting. It is a really good attempt at merging tablet functionality and style with desktop style. Personally, I hope they are not going to change it too much.”

Routledge said Softcat was seeing increased demand for the OS, particularly in the education space for Windows 8-powered machines.

“I would urge Microsoft not to go backwards and say it is doing the right thing and moving in the right direction,” he added.

But speaking shortly before the Windows Blue announcement, the boss of another reseller told CRN that his firm simply could not shift machines running the latest OS, characterising it as “the Titanic of operating systems.”

“Sales have failed to live up to even our very modest expectations,” he added. “Windows 8 tablets are not selling at all. Lots of marketing money is being pumped into the channel but the product is just not wanted – it feels unfinished. There has been a lot of press about Windows Blue, or Windows 8.1, and that has got a lot of our clients talking about waiting.”

For more UK channel coverage from CRN, visit www.channelweb.co.uk

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