Tiled interface too much of a learning curve
Microsoft is planning to do a u-turn over key elements of its Window 8 operating system, it’s claimed, after many users found the new platform difficult to master. The Seattle giant is due to release an update to the OS later this year and, in an interview with the Financial Times, its head of marketing Tammy Reller admitted the “learning curve was real,” hinting that significant changes were on the way.
The admission also puts a question mark over Windows Phone 8, Microsoft’s current mobile operating system and which deploys the same Windows NT kernal.
When Windows 8 was launched it was panned by many critics, despite being an ambitious attempt by the software giant to update PCs for the tablet era.
But its new touchscreen interface based on colourful tiles hid the desktop launch screen previously familiar to computer users around the world.
This lead to with some analysts blaming the new platform for a global slump in computer sales.
Even before its launch, Tim Cook, CEO of rival Apple, took a swipe by claiming that Windows 8 was tantamount to combining a toaster and a fridge – which while technically possible, was “probably not going to be pleasing to the user.”
If the changes planned to Windows 8 spill over into the phone version, it could have ramifications for firms like Nokia which has bet heavily on the success of the mobile platform.
So far, in Britain at least, sales appear to be going well with research firm Kantar suggesting in February that they had grown by a staggering 240 per cent in a year and now accounted for 6.2 per cent of the UK market.
Kantar also claimed that in the previous 12 months some 700,000 new WP8 users were added.
Meanwhile in the three months up to end of January 2013, sales of the Microsoft-based devices – spearheaded by Nokia’s Lumia 800 and HTC’s 8X – surpassed those of BlackBerry in Britain.