In 1998, a book about dealing with change called “Who Moved My Cheese” was published and remains as one of the best-selling business books. In October, 2012, Microsoft released its new operating system, Windows 8. Windows 8 is a drastic change from previous releases of the popular operating system, so much so, that it was blamed for the recent slumping personal computer sales. Why did this happen? After all, the user interface of Windows 8 is similar to Apple and Google’s Android operating systems, which people are comfortable using. The difference is change. For decades, the user interface of Windows has been keyboard and mouse driven. The completely redesigned modern user interface of Windows 8 introduced tiles and removed buttons and icons. This design is great for smart phones and tablets, (which may ultimately be the demise of the PC), but personal computer users did not welcome this change. The first experience I had with Windows 8 and no Start button, (that’s right, I said no Start button), I found myself having a hard time finding documents and simply trying to power down the pc.
Microsoft heard the complaints and responded. In June, at a Microsoft conference in San Francisco, the release of Windows 8.1 was announced. In this release, Microsoft brought back a couple of key comforts of pc users such as the Start button and the option to boot the computer to the desktop interface instead of the tiles. So far, the reviews have been positive. While Microsoft is not going to abandon the new tile-based modern user interface, at least they are going to leave some bread crumbs to help us through the change.
Note: Spencer Johnson is the author of “Who Moved My Cheese” published by Putnam Adult.
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