17 Aug I used to doubt Microsoft. Then I installed Windows 10.
I don’t know if I broke a law of computing or committed heresy. But I installed Windows 10 on my Macbook Pro. I had feared that this would condemn me to purgatory in the gates of computing hell. But it has been an incredibly positive experience: my favorite Microsoft Office applications — Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint — work faster than ever before, and I can still use Apple peripherals — a Thunderbolt Display and Thunderbolt external hard drives. The best part is Windows 10 itself: it is a beautifully designed operating system that gives me the best of the past and present — maintaining the usability and familiarity of the old Windows operating system, and letting me download slick apps designed for tablets.
Another Microsoft product that I had written off years ago is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. The jury is still out, but Microsoft’s new browser, Edge, seems faster than Google’s Chrome. I may end up switching browsers as well.
I had thought I would never install a Microsoft operating system ever again after my experience with Windows 8. It was terrible: inelegant, difficult and expensive. It took me about 10 minutes to conclude that Microsoft had lost touch with its customers and was destined to go the way of AOL and Myspace, and I switched all I could to Apple.
But I still needed the Microsoft Office tools, because they are industrial strength and Apple still has no products that are as good. To use these, I had to load Windows and Office under VMWare on my MacBook. Instead of getting the best of both worlds, though, I got the worst: pathetically slow applications, poor battery life, and inconsistent user interfaces.
Then, last week, at an event hosted by CIO magazine, where I gave a keynote, I spoke to a group of Chief Information Officers of large and midsized companies about technology trends. The vast majority said they were buying Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablets for their users and upgrading desktop machines to Windows 10. In this era of iPads and iPhones, why would any company install such antiquated and clumsy technology, I asked. I was surprised at the response.