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Microsoft disavows 1B-or-bust goal for Windows 10

Gregg Keizer | July 18, 2016
Cites failure of Windows-powered smartphone strategy; but other factors played their parts, say analysts

It's in the public eye because Microsoft put it there, of course, by openly drawing a line in the sand rather than keeping it internal. But it wasn't the end of the world.

"This needs to be put into context. All businesses have to do [course corrections]," Adrian said. Businesses constantly monitor internal goals and the milestones toward those goals, whether company-wide or on a project basis, whether financial performance or unit sales. They ponder what has been done, and if those actions haven't advanced toward the goal, they rethink.

That's what Microsoft has done, Adrian said. The difference? "They want to be public," he said, again hitting his theme of a more transparent Microsoft.

Yet Adrian also admitted that there is a public relations aspect to the goal being ditched. "It's about how well you recover," he said. In the early stages of Windows 10, Microsoft was slow to respond to criticism -- such as the charges of widespread data collection -- or even intractable, as with the aggressive, even deceptive upgrade tactics it has employed. Today's declaration was more preemptive; it may have been triggered by questions from people like Bott, but Microsoft could, as it often has, simply stonewalled.

Instead, Microsoft owned up. And learned a lesson.

"If you draw a line in the future sand, and that line is at the water line, the next wave can wash it away," said Adrian.

 

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