Home > Uncategorized > Windows 10 Shaping Up To Be A Disaster For Microsoft Shareholders?

Windows 10 Shaping Up To Be A Disaster For Microsoft Shareholders?

Summary

  • Windows 10 had a bit of a shaky start due to a never-ending reboot loop caused by an update.
  • The mandatory update process plays into why the OS goes into this never-ending loop. The change in policy has become a double-edged sword.
  • However, Windows 10 does come with a lot of new bells and whistles.
  • The adoption of Windows 10 has been rather strong and is projected to reach 300 million-plus users.
  • Furthermore, Microsoft is still in the early innings of its OS launch, which is why I’m not quite ready to hit the panic button yet.

Windows 10 could be a game a changer for shareholders, right? Making an investment based on those assertions could prove faulty, as Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) revenue is more diversified than ever in its 34-year history. However, there’s no denying that Microsoft could come out a winner with its recently released OS, so as long as they continue with the mandatory updates and actually do something with those updates aside from minor security patches and bug fixes.

However, the mandatory update is proving to be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it prevents a fractionalized user base whereby a small minority runs the latest version and the rest run on older OS versions. Keeping an updated OS creates numerous benefits and allows Microsoft to release new programs as a part of the OS bundle to immediate effect. However, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been able to move users to new OS versions without forcing mandatory updates upon them. Updates should be voluntary, and communicating the advantages to moving over to a newer version should take higher priority. However, not every tech company has the ability to attract crowds to formal tech events. In other words, Microsoft doesn’t have the means to communicate a fine-tuned message that clearly highlights all the advantages to an updated version of Windows – so making the update mandatory could help insulate the Windows ecosystems from Mac OS.

However, in the early goings of a new OS you inevitably run into problems, and the mandatory updates sit at the center of it. This problem is driven by patch KB3081424 (the naming cadence of Microsoft’s patches are horrible).

According to Forbes’ Gordon Kelly:

The patch in question is KB3081424 (ironically enough a roll-up of bug fixes) and during its update process affected users find it fails and triggers the message: “We couldn’t complete the updates, undoing the changes.” Undoing them results in a mandatory system reboot, but as soon as the user logs back on Windows 10’s update process kicks in and tries to install KB3081424 again.

Somehow, Microsoft’s mandatory update creates this never-ending reboot loop. Because the update failed, it will work backwards to correct the issue, but to do this the OS must reboot. The PC attempts to update to the patch, fails, goes back and reboots again, and again.

I’ve had a couple issues with my MacBook after installing two additional monitors, but never have I been stuck inside of a reboot loop before. Sitting through Groundhog Day would be an irksome experience, especially for everyday users wanting a functional PC.

Microsoft has yet to respond, and quite frankly, I think malware would be more preferable to a continually failing booting sequence. That being the case, people have been able to create a workaround to the problem. However, the solution is somewhat risky and requires you to delete a registry key. Not a solution for people who barely made it past basic computer information sciences and unlike Apple, Microsoft’s support for its OS and its products isn’t as comprehensive.

If you own a Mac you simply take the thing to a Genius bar. Chances are the Apple technician will fix the thing for free within the first year of owning the device. In the case of Microsoft you would probably have to pay a massive premium to get it fixed by Geek Squad, which rips you apart in ongoing costs. Again, casual users, which I refer to as at the mass market, will not know how to troubleshoot this problem and will pay a lot of money to an IT professional so they can address the problem by deleting the registry key.

Windows 10 was supposed to be a smooth launch, but the ongoing efforts to improve the Windows experience have created bumps along the road. I just didn’t anticipate the change in update policy to create such a massively awful user experience.

Either you have a mandatory update policy or not, but my gut is telling me that Microsoft will stick with mandatory updates for the time being.

Meanwhile, I can imagine Apple starting a new ad campaign dubbed, “The Mac. It just works. You don’t have to skip the ad, because the ad is already over.”

I know, Apple won’t use the same marketing lingo, and will continue down a path where they continue to emphasize the number of pixels across a 5K Retina Screen and laugh at Android for attempting to create a decent mobile OS. However, the marketing folks over at Apple have fresh ammunition to launch a firestorm in the direction of Microsoft, which will compound into more PR problems.

That being the case, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Windows 10 has many more features than Windows 7 and 8, starting with Direct X12, which will boost performance by 30%-40%. This should provide some relief to GPU vendors who have reported declining sales. Also, casual gaming will come to the PC through Xbox streaming, which is reported to be both fast and responsive. The OS comes with a virtual assistant called Cortana, which allows you to interact with other apps like Outlook and Calendar, and also allows you to search the web. Windows 10 comes with Edge Browser, which is suppose to be Chrome-like, but the jury is still out on that one. Furthermore, better security from malware and spyware and the universal app ecosystem, along with a start menu that’s inclusive of metro-based tabs.

Of course many of you are aware of this, but after starting the article so negatively, I need to hype up some of Microsoft’s recent accomplishments with Windows 10.

Furthermore, analysts are projecting that because Windows 10 is free, for pre-existing OS-licenses, adoption could reach 350 million within the first year,according to Computer World. If the adoption rates are that strong, users may choose to upgrade to a newer computer based on the feature additions and the assumed advantages newer hardware will bring.

(click to enlarge)Source: Amigobulls

The stock hasn’t responded to the negative news. However, investors did perceive the 14M downloads and ongoing adoption of Windows 10 positively. In other words, the good seems to outweigh the bad. The ecosystem is gaining momentum across gaming, tablets, mobile and PCs. Going forward, Microsoft’s monetization model around the OS may have to change, but for the time being, the strategy seems to be working.

Sure, the launch of Windows 10 could have been better, but the positive sentiment from the media and the ongoing adoption of Windows 10 from pre-existing licensees reasserts why Windows will continue to be the platform for mainstream PC users.

Therefore, I continue to reiterate my buy recommendation.

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