Why can’t Microsoft get their products right on the first try?

Owen Williams calls it how he sees it:

It’s easy enough to argue that the iPhone 1, for example, shipped without many features we have today as they were added over time, but Apple at the time were creating their own market. The popular phones were the kind that flipped and slid open, or had a stylus. Microsoft is executing the same strategy – release now, fix later – that their competitors use but they’re five steps behind the rest.

Microsoft Launches Windows 8.1 Preview

Frederic Lardinois, for TechCrunch:

Windows 8.1 represents a chance to fix some of the issues with Windows 8. The fact that Microsoft is bringing back the Start button and now allowing users to boot right into the desktop is a sign that the company has been listening to its users. In many ways, 8.1 — even in this Preview version — is what Windows 8 should have been.

It looks like Windows 8 is full of fixes, rather than new features. I can’t fault Microsoft for improving their product based on customer feedback, but it is a shame there are so few new and exciting features for users. Frederic agrees:

It’s a shame that many of the features Microsoft is introducing now weren’t in Windows 8 already.

My take? Windows 8.1 is what Windows 8 should have been.

“Windows 8.1 Will Include Boot to Desktop Option to Bypass Metro Interface”

I’m reminded of the difference between Apple and Microsoft:

Apple’s products say, “You can’t do that because we think it would suck.”

Microsoft’s products say, “We’ll let you try to do anything on anything if you really want to, even if it sucks.”

Microsoft’s Mobile Comeback Isn’t Happening

Great piece by Dan Frommer:

comScore’s numbers continue to show very little U.S. interest in Windows Phone. It hasn’t tanked as bad as BlackBerry, but Windows Phone subscribers are barely growing. (At least they’re not still shrinking at the moment.)

Still, the momentum Microsoft needs isn’t here. And it doesn’t look like the Surface tablet is helping, either.

Sticking with Windows 7

Consumer Reports:

A quick look at our newest computer Ratings tells an interesting story: Despite the release of the new Windows 8 OS, many Windows 7 computers are still available from a variety of retailers, and several top our Ratings. If you're shopping for a new computer right now, there are some good reasons to opt for Windows 7.

Clearly, Windows 8 isn’t to everyone’s liking. But what strikes me the most is that Microsoft is willing to allow retailers and hardware partners to ship Windows 7 even now. (Not to mention that Windows 7 computers still top the ratings.)

This kind of move feels antiquated in 2012. Struggles between hardware partners and Microsoft have been amplified by the Surface and I can’t see the tensions ending in a particularly great fashion for anyone — Microsoft, their partners or us users.