Microsoft is remaining tight-lipped after it was accused by a national newspaper of making a U-turn on Windows 8.
A scathing article in the Financial Times said the Redmond-based giant was preparing to reverse course over key elements of its latest operating system (OS), which it claimed was "one of the most prominent admissions of failure for a new mass-market consumer product since Coca-Cola’s New Coke fiasco".
CRN understands the software vendor’s head of marketing and finance for Windows, Tami Reller, had given a pre-briefing to a number of titles in the build-up to the launch of the latest iteration of Windows 8 – codenamed Windows Blue.
However, details of the changes coming to the latest version – due later this year – are scant, although rumours are rife that the vendor will reinstate the Start button in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, currently missing in Windows 8.
When CRN contacted Microsoft to see if there was a response to the FT’s claims, we were pointed to a seeded Q&A with Reller.
“We are investing aggressively in retail and with OEM partners to arm the worldwide market with more touch tablets and PCs to drive adoption. And Windows Blue will take this approach further, which is coming later in 2013,” she said.
Earlier this year, official Context figures revealed that initial business uptake of Windows 8 is three times slower than that of predecessor Windows 7, but Reller said the company was in a strong position.
“We have just reached 100 million Windows 8 licences sold, and we continue to show promise for the future. From the outset, we knew that Windows 8 was a reimagining of every aspect of Windows. We made these changes to take the Windows business – and the 1.3 billion people around the world who depend on Windows every day – into the future,” she said.
“While we realise that change takes time, we feel good about the progress since launch, including what we have been able to accomplish with the ecosystem and customer reaction to the new PCs and tablets that are available now or will soon come to market.”
Reller also said she could not confirm what the final name for the new version of Windows will be, and played her cards close to her chest when asked to name new features of the OS.
“Windows Blue will advance the vision we set out for Windows in the future, which started with Windows 8, and we will take into account feedback we have heard from customers using Windows 8. We will have more to share about Windows Blue – so stay tuned,” she said.
Chief exec Jens Montanana claims Logicalis performed well despite 'currency headwinds'
All the photos from last night's event, which saw over 600 people congregate at the Hilton London Bankside
Five year deal with Essex NHS Trust will cover 400 sites, including hospitals, clinics and GP practices
18 individuals and three companies walked away as winners at CRN's inaugural Women in Channel Awards last night