The ‘Windows’ Name is Not Microsoft’s Problem

by Christopher Paul on December 7, 2012

Lots of people are talking about this post from The Verge where Tom Warren suggests Microsoft drop the Windows brand and name because the stigma attached to it is too great. And I agree, the stigma against Windows is rather large. But I don’t think dropping the name will solve any problem with Microsoft. You can call their OS anything – Windows, Surface OS, Developers, Developers, Developers OS, or anything else and it still will suffer from the same issues.

Remember the Zune? No? You’re better off. The Kin? Was that even a thing?

Those devices didn’t have Windows in the brand. And like the opposite of Midas, everything Microsoft touches turns to lead. Many have speculated why – bureaucracy, legacy staff, cash cow products making them lazy, poor vision, poor execution, you name it. There isn’t a single cause (other than Balmer) that one can point to for Microsoft’s poor perception with consumers. Fixing it doesn’t go away with a name. In fact, you can argue that if a name can change people’s perception, they should change the name ‘Microsoft’ to something else. Because it’s not just Windows that’s the problem.

The Surface isn’t getting good reviews. Internet Explorer doesn’t get much good press (if at all which is still a bad thing). As I mentioned earlier, the Zune and the Kin were also failures. The only consumer product that has done well is the X-Box and, maybe, their mice (do they still make keyboards and mice?).

Whatever problems Windows has, Microsoft has. The lack of excitement, cutting edge design, or build quality is emblematic of the company itself – it’s very being – and not what people call the things they produce.

Previous post:

Next post: