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Microsoft must manage consumer expectations of Windows 10 S to avoid PR nightmare

Windows 10 S is a new version of Windows which is initially being targeted at the education sector. Microsoft hopes that in time it will become the default mass market version of the OS.

Windows 10 S and the Surface Laptop take on Google and Apple

Here's the issue: Unlike the Windows we know, this version does not run Win32 apps. In the lingo of "Joe Consumer," it won't run familiar programs such as the popular Chrome browser. Instead, it's locked to the Windows Store where users can download the more secure Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps that have features such as Live Tiles, Cortana integration, and access to other app services.

Why Windows 10 S?

This new OS has some perks. By keeping Win32 apps at bay, a host of drawbacks that Windows users have grown used to enduring are also kept away. Lead Program Manager for the Windows Developers Platform Group, Stefan Wick, put it this way:

In today's world, Win32 has a lot of problems in terms of user confidence, privacy, battery life, etc. We don't want to bring those problems into UWP but want to provide the functionality that the user wants - and make sure the user is in control at the same time.Win32 apps can run code at any point in time at full privileges without the user's intent, drain your battery, read your files, etc. UWP creates a much higher level of user confidence and control.

Windows 10 S offers many benefits. The modern desktop experience it provides, as well as the potential for increased Store traffic, are reasons Microsoft deems the OS good for users. It also benefits UWP, the company's positioning in the modern app-ecosystem-driven market, and the company's bottom line. Microsoft has many incentives to aggressively push Window 10 S.

Though most early Windows 10 S PCs will be targeted at schools, some consumers will buy them. Furthermore, the Surface Laptop running Windows 10 S is targeted at college students. These early customers and a possible growing number of users will buy these new Windows PCs that won't work like their old PCs.

The question is, how is Microsoft planning to communicate to consumers that the Windows PC they may be buying will work differently than the Windows they know? And getting to the Windows they know will cost an additional $49 after they get their new PC home.

Communication must be intentional

Windows has been on the market for decades, and users are comfortable with it. History has shown that when this staple in personal computing changed too radically or in unexpected ways, users rebelled. (Think Windows Vista.)

Many of us grew up on Windows, so it's both personal and familiar. Even with updates and evolutions to the OS we expect things to fundamentally work the same. When they don't our responses are visceral. The backlash to Windows 8 was profound, for example.

Changes that came with Windows Vista frustrated users, and the Live Tile UI of Windows 8 angered them. Imagine how users will respond when they are surprised by a requirement to pay $49 to do what they have always done on any other version of Windows.

Microsoft's Windows S strategy and the company's vision for that OS are the future of Windows. I'm not arguing for or against that strategy. What I am addressing is Microsoft's need to ensure that the limits of the platform are broadly and clearly communicated to the entire market.

If consumers knew these limits beforehand, they likely wouldn't mind Microsoft's positioning a version of Windows that won't allow traditional programs. Especially since they don't have to buy those PCs, and if they do, the option to upgrade is there. What consumers will mind is ignorantly buying a Windows 10 S PC and being surprised by its limits and the cost to upgrade.

Good will

With Windows 7, Microsoft overcame the general bad will of the Vista debacle. Windows 10 is helping the company recover from the more recent Windows 8 flub. With UWP, Microsoft is attempting to establish a strong footing in a personal computing paradigm that has shifted away from the desktop toward a mobile and app-based model.

Windows 10 S is key to the company's strategy to make UWP and its app ecosystem relevant. It is also foundational to the company's long-term mobile plans to bring an ultimate mobile device to market that via Continuum can be a PC.

Widnows 10 Mobile Continuum

Widnows 10 Mobile Continuum (Image credit: Windows Central)

Windows 10s and Project Centennial are critical to Continuum's success

Failure to communicate the limits of Windows 10 S to unsuspecting consumers can create a PR nightmare for Microsoft in the critical early stages of the platform. Rather than marketing the merits of the OS, Microsoft may find itself in the uncomfortable defensive position of assuaging angry users.

Though the numbers of Windows 10 S users outside of the education arena (where the limits of the OS would be known) will initially be small, the effects of negative experiences are exponential. One user's negative experience will be compounded as he shares his opinion within his circle of friends and family.

Failure to communicate can have broad and long-lasting effects.

Several hundred bad experiences become echoed by the thousands, and potentially millions, with the additional support of social media. Mainstream media may pick up the story with the slant that Microsoft failed to communicate the limits of its new OS and required consumers to pay $50 to do what they "expect" to do with Windows.

Getting ahead of the story

I know that Microsoft is offering the Windows 10 Pro upgrade for free to students, teachers, and administrators. But how does the company plan to communicate the Windows 10 S story to the masses?

Will there be a television ad campaign? Will Microsoft rely entirely on retail associates and store displays to tell the story? Is Microsoft assuming that there will be an "unassisted" natural progression of the Windows 10 S story from the education sector to the mainstream? Is Microsoft relying on the "tech experts" (like you) to communicate the story?

Microsoft can't assume consumers will "know" what Windows 10 S is, and it needs to make every effort to ensure they know.

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

126 Comments
  • Thanks for reading folks! There are few things more angering and disappointing than unmet expectations. If Microsoft does not proactively ensure the limits of Windows 10 S are broadly communicated and the necessary upgrade to Windows 10 Pro will cost $49 for those who want "traditional" Windows, MS may once again find itself on the defensive, especially during a time it should be marketing the benefits of a new OS. What are your thoughts. Well folks LET'S TALK!!!
  • What are the few things more angering and disappointing than unmet expectations? Genuinely curious...(for my profession... You may teach me something new) Great article. Microsoft must strengthen what it's Achilles heel has always been... MARKETING. They need to stop trying to mimic strategies for other companies and create one that natively tends to their target audiences
  • but... how would you explain Windows 10S to people without IT knowledge? Its a downgraded Windows 10 = thats all what non IT people see and they will be like: What? Downgraded? What does it mean? It wont work as a normal W10? It does not have the same app as a normalw W? Oh no, I dont need it. I will buy a full W10 thats how random people think and Microsoft can not change it. The only solution is to let them upgrade to W10PRO.. but than the question is: Why would anybody use W10S? Its not even free... if it would be free than ok, no problem  
  • Microsoft wants to really move over to UWP fully and carry everyone (devs, consumers, and the media along). That is their future path. Maybe they *should* make it free (as you suggest) for a while, to seriously drop the price of the OEM hardware and get it in as many users as possible as part of a signal to devs to at least consider the journey to UWP.
  • That's the power Microsoft will have with those ARMs chips with devices on the lower end thru to the high ended power threshold with Intel/AMD. That's practically an unlimited range of devices and choices all in the hands of the OEMs to create, design and manufacture and perhaps start the next tech boom.
  • Do we know it's not free to OEM's? It may not be. I've not heard it is, so maybe that means it's not. But MS has offered full Windows 10 Home licenses for devices with smaller screens for free some some time. It seems like this makes a lot more sense as the only free OS to OEMs, becaues unlike Home, MS can make money on subsequent Store purchases or the $49 upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. I'm not really concerned about it being free to consumers, because the majority of people who build their own systems won't want 10 S anyway, and the benefits of improved battery life and security are most relevant in the tablet world where people aren't likely to install a non-native OS. The whole point is to attract customers with those lower-priced systems. If this has been stated publicly, I missed it. For me, this is key open question in their strategy: will it be free to OEMs and will there be any other constraints on that (e.g., maybe free for systems sold for under $500 or for systems with full pen support, etc.)?
  • This is a business it doesn't have to be free but the licensing can be far cheaper like they have always been.
  • The answer to your question is clear. First: No sales or marketing person who isn't insane would ever describe a product as "downgraded." Second: It isn't. Windows 10 S isn't "downgraded." It's another try at starting a better Windows. The way you sell it, while making sure people know the limitations would be like this: ------------- Windows 10 S is the future of Windows, the software that brings PCs to life. For work, play, and creativity, Windows 10 S enables new experiences while ensuring your online safety and security. Windows 10 S runs new, modern apps from the Windows Store. Designed with your PC's security and performance in mind, these exciting new apps will bridge the gap between your new PC and all your other devices. Don't worry, though, there's a growing number of your favorite Windows software being added to the Store, like Spotify, Apple iTunes, Adobe Photoshop Elements, and Microsoft Office. -------------- Like that.
  • You're correct.. The future is ARM, and that future involves "Mobile" apps (UWP apps), and NOT Win32 emulation... Emulation is just a bridge, a temporary necessity, until the store is sufficient with all the legacy apps that have been modernized with the new API's... At that point emulation will be irrelevant.... So, you're right, WS is the future, and the ENTIRE industry knows this. ARM is the future.....
    The name "Windows S" is just arbitrary.
  • That future doesn't require Windows at all. Microsoft really should be working on something new to replace Windows. It had a good run, it is time for a change. It cannot last forever. Would the iPhone be so popular if it was running OSX?
  • The future doesn't require Windows, OSX, Linux, iOS, Android, air, water, time, corn, gasoline, light, shoes, school, sex, traffic, orchids, music, hot, cold, friction, plutonium, or most things humans can think of.. The universe will be here no matter what...
    .......
    The fact is that at least for the FORESEEABLE future, for humans, all these things will be here, and that's all that matters.. Quit making up negative arguments just to disagree.
  • The forseeable future do not require desktop systems. As I see it only two things makes Windows of desktop rule, at home it is games and att work it is Office, specificly Excel. Windows would lose most of it office users would someone manage to port Excel with 100% compability to say Android. Most of the rest tools is going towards diffrent cloud solutions accessed by web browser. So Excel and dx11 is Microsofts hold on the common users. Not a very secure hold for the future.
  • What?... The foreseeable future includes now.. Y'all, just stop over analyzing this. Things aren't going to change overnight.
  • Just saying, that without Win32, would you really have a reason for Windows? A new app platform isn't the future of Windows. Microsoft would be better served by creating a replacement for Windows. It would be easier to market and could really be great if they were able to really start from scratch. It would be crazy for them to not be working on such a thing. Windows could still stay as a niche platform for pros.
  • Yes, if all W32 apps were switched to UWP apps Windows would carry on as usual, and definitely have a future... Where else are people gonna get these programs? They aren't running on iDroid... No matter how you spin it UWP, or W32, it's running on Windows for THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE. I'm not talking about "what ifs", or theoreticals, I'm talking about reality... Like I said, the foreseeable future includes now, the near future, and beyond.. There's just no arguing about this.
  • What mainstream programs are only available on Windows? Only niche, professional software is still exclusive to Windows. That isn't the future. There is definitely a place for it, but that space is shrinking. Without a mainstream, popular platform, Microsoft is going to have a tough time staying relevant with consumers. XBox alone isn't enough.
  • Dude... Snapchat isn't the future... AutoCAD, and similar programs are the future...
    Tell, me where else (besides OSX) you are gonna run those programs in the foreseeable future?
    And, you're talking about having a mainstream, popular, modern, program that can run it all.. Well, damn man. You're saying that's what MS needs to be working towards, and we're telling you that is the point of WOA. That's the point of WS.. What do you think they're doing? Will it work? Who knows, maybe so, maybe not, that's really up in the air. As a matter of fact, that's exactly what this article is about. Making things work. Marketing things the right way. That's what we're all talking about!... I don't get what your hang up is... Where your block is... Microsoft builds a driverless car, or at least attempts to, and you complain that they need to build a driverless car.. It doesn't make sense. You're just mad at MS, and it's obvious that you're being unnecessarily negative.. Why don't we just wait, and see, what transpires? I mean, it's a fact that MS is making huge changes with Windows... We can't say that all this stuff MS is doing with W10 is just some typical incremental update to Windows. It's different, and it's never been done before, so give credit where credit is due, at the very least. I'm not saying that MS isn't stupid, but.. 😂😂😂
  • I do not realy agree with you here Rodney as what I see is that more and more applications are moved to be web based services. Also alot of common application are on Android and iOS these days. But at least you do keep an proper conversation up instead of the tedious down votes so big tumbs up for that and a proper up vote :-)
  • Lol. Well, like I said, we don't know what will happen. MS is making moves. Let's just wait, and see, what happens... You can disagree with me, and that's fine. I just hate when people say others are stupid for their opinion. I believe one day MS will make a Surface Phone, and others may not. Big deal. Life goes on.💜💜💜💜💜💜🎈🎈🎈🎈
  • Microsoft has built a new platform, its called 10S
  • more fanboys downvoted you :)) Windows 10S is a way for MS to force devs to go uwp. It will not work! Just because Apple brings itunes to the store and whatsapp desktop as well, it does not mean that devs have suddenly embraced uwp. This is nothing but a delusion.
  • Yeah, but who is saying that it has worked?... Who is making the claims that you're prematurely trolling?
  • @bleached; They are changing by adding ARMs to the equation. I myself will continue to buy an Intel/AMD device and as of this time I have all three phone(ARMs/Android), Windows7/10; Laptop(AMD), Desktop(Intel). Future wish is a Windows Phone!
  • Your typical BestBuy salesman isn't going to pitch it that way, instead they're going to be blunt, "You don't want Windows 10S, you can only install apps from the WIndows Store, which honestly doesn't have much of what you want". Windows 10S seriously makes no sense outside of schools. It shouldn't even be offered directly to consumers, especially considering any Windows 10 Home owner can go into the settings and limited installations to "Trusted Windows Store" apps.
  • No delete on this app..
  • No delete on this app. Poor developer support from Windows Central... 😂😂😂
  • Exactly. That's the point of Jason's article... See.
  • You're mad, I want 10 S, I want my family to have 10S, it makes tons of sense and IMO is a very smart solution for the new generation.
  • @TheCudder; It's really not Microsoft who has been clear even with RT. Microsoft made it perfectly clear what RT was and had said it for practically a year before consumers bought and attempt to run software that an ARMs processor can't handle and blamed it on Microsoft. I think Microsoft is doing it right but nothing it can do if the consumer don't take the time to research a product before purchasing.
  • But would those users go for 10 S or just go for the Pro or home versions?
  • Why does anyone use Chromebooks. Chrome is has similar limitations. Only web and app store. In fact the play store wasn't a thing initially. Consumers seem to really like Chromebooks. Why? Simplicity. And they don't have all the apps and many don't work well either.
  • Even without Win32, is Windows that simple?
  • Chrome sounds NOTHING like Windows, and thus consumer expectation is already set the moment they choose to go for a Chromebook. Windows 10 S is a confusing name to average consumers just like Windows RT, and it'll suffer the same faith if Microsoft doesn't educate consumers very well via ads.
  • Truth
  • Very well said! Frankly, this Windwos 10S should simply be a switch in Windows 10 Home/Pro that's enabled by default on Windows installation/setup. Requiring additional payment to make a "new" PC (which you yourself already paid for) to work as your "old" PC did is just stupid, and microsoft would get the same response as they did with WIndows RT.
  • Or - one could say it's an upgraded Windows that is mostly imune agains malware, WannaCry and run mostly faster that the speck should suggest.  But maybe Microsoft should consider at free downgrad to regulare windows for the first year after purchase?
  • We can only hope MS can get it right. W10S is really great, especially for those who use a PC for the browser. More apps need to come to the store though, thats the biggest draw back. Alot of niche programs out there that will probably never come to the store
  • I quote: "Here's the issue: Unlike the Windows we know, this version does not run Win32 apps." I think this is a wrong statement as is. I wouldn't nag about this but this article is meant to paint a clear picture I suppose.... Windows 10 S CAN run Win32 apps when they are published through the windows store. The point is you cannot install any app which was not published through the store. It will of course all depend if and how they can persuede companies to use "Project Centennial" and do the publishing (of their Win32 app) through the Windows Store. That part is up to Microsoft doing a good job selling this. It is however also up to news sites like this to understand and communicate the same instead of stating things which are just wrong...  
  • Quite right. It's about the only thing Jason really gets wrong in this article. Looking at it from the POV of so many self-styled experts and power-users - aka nerds :D The fact that it can't install garbage apps from the internet is actually a plus, not a minus. The only reason that detractors can say, "BUT JIIMEY! TEH MILYUNS OF WINTHARTYTOO APPPPPZZ!!" is because for every "good" legacy app, there are 50,000 turds. I mean, seriously. How many "system checkers" and little apps to add nine terrible toolbars to the Explorer are truly needed? I dare say zero. Am I saying that the Store doesn't contain trash? Oh hell no. There's a lot of junk in there thanks to MS just allowing whatever in during the Windows 8 days, and still not curating it the way they should even today. But there really is an obscenely high number of absolute trash legacy apps.
  • Well, that's not entirely true. Per Jason's interview yesterday, MS states that a Legacy applications installer must be recompiled using project centennial, which will technically make it a UWP app.. That is the only way it can come through the store. So, there's a little work to be done to get legacy apps in the store.. Not a whole lot unlikely a developer will use resources to do this, but least likely than if a developer could simply offer their legacy app "as is" in the store. So, technically WS does not run legacy apps, until it is unlocked to do so.
  • So just to be sure, you say "the legacy application's installer"..... Is it the installer that needs recompiling or the application itself?  
  • I'm not totally sure, but I'm pretty sure they are talking about the old, legacy application installer that we're used to seeing evertime we install apps on Windows. Not the layer that we see on the screen, but the actual processes that are there to make installation of W32 apps possible on Windows..... It makes sense that MS would say that is the first, most basic, and necessary step, to convert a W32 app to UWP applications... Of course, I could be wrong, but that's my perception of information that was presented in yesterday's Q&A.
  • People will assume W10S is a new ransomware wanting 50 bucks to run a traditional application. Btw, is there an app for statistics & epidemiology? Such as SPSS? Many university lecturers teach statistics with specific software hands-on. I wonder if W10S will thrive in that type of education market.
  • ms is digging it's own grave. It's the store/user data mining greed that is taking down the giant.. slowly but surely..
  • Yeah, Google isn't doing anything like that with Android...
  • Hate to say it, but user mining is the new norm no matter the platform/software. You're only real choice is to accept it or become a luddite. Even your car is a data mining source nowadays. Best we can hope for is that privacy controls are robust and data stewardship is transparent, ad eventually the laws will catch up to enforce protections.
  • I'm still unclear if this is actually a mainstream OS. Windows on Arm they went out of their way to show it running non store x86 exes. What was telegraphed by all of the MS insider journos was that this wasn't meant for consumers but only for education so.... will this even be on store shelves other than the surface laptop? I'm thinking it would be stupid for this to even be sold in stores as a general purpose os for home users at this point. MS already had the RT moment where no one knew the difference so I can't imagine they would make the same mistake again with providing a product that lacked clarity in the actual basic capabilities of the device. Of course MS hasn't clearly defined any of this to date.
  • How about the OEM 10 S procucts? Just because you get a $189 10 S device does not mean you can you can upgrade for $50, or does it?  
  • I think you can. I remember reading somewhere that Microsoft mentioned that if students or teachers absolutely need win32 applications they can just upgrade to pro. Of course, that doesn't mean a $189 laptop will have the chops to run said application.
  • May depend on perception of the device that will be bought. iOS and Android users are used to a Store only context for phones and tablets. If the wanted apps are in the Store, then I don't think there will be much of an issue. Using the Store is easier than browsing the internet for a program and being sure it is safe, which is not an assurance for not installing all sorts of unwanted stuff.
    The average person is likely to go with it, unless tech writers start spreading the message that it is a less capable Windows, as is done in this article, sorry Jason.
  • It won't be so bad if the price point for the S is cheaper. As long as they are at least the price of the upgrade cheaper to start with I don't really see the problem.
    Plus on WOA they will be cheaper again.
    Do people complain about Chromebooks thinking they are buying a normal laptop? If not, what's the difference?
  • Exactly. .. This goes back to what I've been saying for years. When we are talking about "communicating to consumers" we are talking about proper marketing.
    .....
    This sounds like the all too familiar WP story.. WP7 was "severely limited" but, at the time contained new concepts, and ideas, that competitors yet to have... These ideas were not taken advantage of (and some, like Xbox live, were not executed properly.. These new concepts were not properly marketed, and the average consumer had no idea how nice, and frankly usable, a WP device was. MS foolishly left marketing to fans, carriers, OEM'S (Nokia), and the press. Bad idea.... Instead, the message that got through was that WP had ZERO apps, and it did, but at that time the store was slowly growing. And, by 2014, and WP8.0-.1, the store, and the entire platform, showed promise.. IMO, that "show of promise" took entirely too long, and was hindered by the lack of apps story... But, WP users know all to well that the 1520, 930, 1020, 925-20, era of devices had a WONDERFUL user experience... Sadly nobody else did, because of MS's lack of relentless, and effective, marketing... With WS we're looking at a very similar situation.. WP/WS both are not for everyone, because the average consumer just requires every app possible available to them.. But, not all average consumers at the time required this. That's when MS had the chance to grab them; when the smartphone market wasn't saturated, literally in every consumers pocket, and mentally in consumers minds.. Still, today, there are those consumers who use few apps, if any, and seriously don't care about popular apps. Those were MS's people. Instead they all have iDroid devices now, and the chances of turning to Windows in the future are slim... Jason is right, there's a chance that a lack of proper marketing (an onslaught of relentless, never ending, quality, eye catching TELEVISED ads) could YET AGAIN be harmful, and especially for W10S, going forward... Windows has no apps, but it has many other strengths, and the desktop version doesn't hold the same expectation for mobile apps anyways. Honestly, this applies to all of MS's products, and services. WS is just another example.
    I've said it for years, and now people are beginning to see the light.... A good salesmen can sell sand to a beach bum. A good salesman can sell ANYTHING to anyone. Good salesmen are terrific at building hype around the merits of what they are selling. Apple, and Samsung, are terrific salesmen, and they are selling terrific products. MS has terrific products, but cares less if anyone buys them (Band).. Marketing, or a lack of, is the MAIN reason why WP is where it is today, and that same lack of effort by MS will keep thier other products from ever being correctly perceived by the average consumer... It's extremely tiresome
  • Yup. I just said the same thing
  • Not only marketing.  Stop saying one thing and doing another....MS has done this many times in the past few years and its not helping their situation at all!...
  • Yes, they do many ignorant things when it comes to credibility, but as far as this article is concerned, It's all about marketing to the consumer the idea of WS.. And, it's all about MS taking charge of marketing, instead of foolishly hoping consumers get the message, like they've done in the past.
  • Marketing only gets you so far. You need a good product to back it up. Microsoft has issues with both, but no amount of marketing will make up for a bad product. It seems they do not bother​ much with marketing unless they think they have a great product. I wonder why they even release products they don't perceive as worth marketing?
  • No.... Read my original comment 4million times³, or until you get it. Whichever comes first
  • To be honest, you have been a great proponent of marketing from Microsoft on WC comments over the years. :-)
  • Thanks.
    Because, no,,,, nobody will hear a tree fall in the forest if nobody is around to hear it. You must invite people to your forest. Strictly common dam sense.
  • So how will this be communicated? At the end of the advert will there be a warning: this product does not allow installation of software outside the windows store?
  • No, that's not ENTIRELY what Jason's point was... It actually, would be better to market WS's MERITS, and the idea of using store apps, as a plus, not a "warning".... See, it's all about how they approach the consumer.
    Jason's fear is that if MS doesn't be proactive in approaching consumers themselves, and quickly, the message will get misconstrued by others. And, as we've seen before, this fear is valid.
  • Bestbuy will get them in.  Bestbuy employees will sell them as regular laptops. They might even mention the 49 dollar upgrade cost but it won't be emphasized.  Bloggers will run those stories as if people were duped intentionally and how MS should have known. ZDnet will lead the charge, WC will pick up the story and give the I TOLD YOU SO analysis. Soon after, MS will release the 49 dollar upgrade for free but by then, the MS Vista comparisons will be in full effect. So it is up to you WC. Lets see performance of these tablets with the upgrade and now they perform. Make it a worthwhile purchase.
  • You painted a very real picture of what is probably going to happen, based on past of Microsoft, including with the original Xbox One/Kinect combo.
  • While you may be correct, MS shouldn't be depending on "Best Buy" to do Marketing for them.... If MS is marketing, like they are supposed to, consumers will being going to Best Buy ASKING about, and asking for, WS. That's the ideal situation..... This article only exists because we all know MS's history. If this were Apple, or Samsung, we wouldn't even be talking about this,,,,,,, and that's sad.
  • They need boots on the ground for every W10S purchase making sure the buyer knows exactly what they are buying. Microsoft needs Best Buy and all the other retailers to handle this. They cannot do it sufficiently on their own. It will be a PR issue otherwise. Blaming Best Buy after the fact will not get them anywhere.
  • Won't make any difference.  They did the Boots on the ground thing with Windows RT.  Marketing aggressively in airports, etc.  Didn't make one bit of difference.  This will fail as well.
  • If you have to market that aggressively, maybe the issue is with the product.
  • Yup, this Windows 10 S would suffer nearly the same faith as Windows RT; barely anyone would be satisfied by its limitations compared to the full Windows, espcially on an expensive device. Only difference this time is that major brands will already have their apps in the store by then, so, when Windwos 10 S dies off like Windows RT, the Store will already have a sufficient collection of big-brand apps that'll keep the trend going...
  • Microsoft had enough problems communicating Windows Phone expectations and then Surface RT expectations. I can't see them doing much better with this, even if they use the terms 'security' and so on. Until they can get all Windows applications in the Store (impossible?), this is always going to be an uphill battle. I see a lot of disappointed customers and raging comments for this OS in the future.
  • Some will abandon Windows for the "idealized" fruit. I think Microsoft should be careful.
  • Exactly. It is frustrating when we already (as fans) have doubts going in... That means MS has a huge marketing problem.
  • Marketing is really Microsoft's Achilles heel. That in and by itself tells enough. I have not seen ANY Microsoft commercial outing of any kind here in the Netherlands, none. And I also mean with that, anything running Windows. Yes, retailers will have instore material and in their folders, but outside of that, it really, really, really is Android that dominates the commercials on TV, the Internet browsing experience, outdoor advertising. I even didn't see the Windows app version mentioned in a commercial for the official Formula 1 app, even though both Android and iPhone were. And it's not like the Windows