Menu
Matt Damon is Jason Bourne Again

Matt Damon is Jason Bourne Again

Galaxy Note 4 Screen is the World's Best

Galaxy Note 4 Screen is the World's Best

Iggy Azalea Sex Tape Controversy Heats Up

Iggy Azalea Sex Tape Controversy Heats Up

Paris Hilton just bought the Cutest and Smallest Dog

Paris Hilton just bought the Cutest and Smallest Dog

Kim Kardashian Flames Media about Kanye West Attack

Kim Kardashian Flames Media about Kanye West Attack

Is Microsoft Mismanaging XP?

Mar 28 2014, 7:58am CDT | by

Is Microsoft Mismanaging XP?
 
 

YouTube Videos Comments

Full Story

Is Microsoft Mismanaging XP?

I can’t wrap my head around Microsoft’s plans to phase out Windows XP.

On April 8 Microsoft will end support for this operating system which is still very popular both for the home and for businesses.

On the surface this makes a lot of sense: The program is over twelve years old, and has undergone so many patches that it has most likely become very unwieldy to the programmers who maintain it.  Plus, Microsoft would like to migrate XP users to newer operating systems so that it no longer needs to release applications that are XP-compatible.

The company can focus its resources on forward-looking products by pulling the plug on older ones.

But this ignores the fact that XP is still the second most popular PC operating system, trailing Windows 7 by only 18%.  That 18% is more than the combined market share of the next four contenders, each of which has less than 7% share, including Mac OS X.

The February 2014 survey by NetMarketShare.com shown in this post’s graphic found that 30% of PCs still use the Windows XP operating system.  Over the past year that number has declined relatively slowly from 39%.

Ask yourself: What would you do with an aging software product that still had 30% market share?  Would you end support?

Not me!  Not with a loyal fan base that seems willing to stick with an old product even though newer and significantly better products are readily available.  I would find a way to capitalize on these fans and turn XP into a cash cow.  With such good penetration, it just makes sense to try and find some other model to make it work.

How?  I would imagine that these same faithful users would be open to paying a nominal annual fee for continuing support.  Those that didn’t like this option could always upgrade, as Microsoft hopes they will under its current plan.

Other software firms have had success with this approach.  Typically they start with a lower fee, just below the customers’ threshold of pain, and raise it over time to compensate for attrition in the user base.  The cost of continuing support (and a reasonable profit margin) are defrayed over the subscriber base.  Over time customers migrate away driving increases in the price of support, a trend that accelerates over time.

As long as the support effort is profitable, then everyone is happy, users, shareholders, and the company itself.

Is this a “New Coke” moment?  Remember when the world’s most popular soft drink suddenly changed its formula?  In a similar move Microsoft is challenging its users’ loyalty.  Why do this when there’s a better option?

It’s too late for Microsoft to reconsider, but I can only hope that next time the company thinks long and hard about alternatives before taking one that will disenchant one third of its users in its biggest market.

 

You Might Also Like

Updates


Sponsored Update


Advertisement


More From the Web

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Ahmad Bradshaw appears in Monday Night Football Special
Ahmad Bradshaw appears in Monday Night Football Special
Ahmad Bradshaw appeared in the Monday Night Football Special and showed the world what he had in terms of playing talent.
 
 
iPhone 6 NFC chip is restricted to ApplePay but may open to developers soon
iPhone 6 NFC chip is restricted to Apple Pay
The iPhone 6 finally has NFC but you can't do much with it.
 
 
First iPhone 6 Teardown Photos Published
First iPhone 6 Teardown Photos Published
The First Photos of an iPhone 6 Teardown have surfaced.
 
 
Nina Dobrev Plots to Move Away from Vampire Diaries to Avoid Ian and Nikki
Nina Dobrev Plots to Move Away from Vampire Diaries to Avoid Ian and Nikki
Nina Dobrev is planning to leave Vampire Diaries?
 
 
 

About the Geek Mind

The “geek mind” is concerned with more than just the latest iPhone rumors, or which company will win the gaming console wars. I4U is concerned with more than just the latest photo shoot or other celebrity gossip.

The “geek mind” is concerned with life, in all its different forms and facets. The geek mind wants to know about societal and financial issues, both abroad and at home. If a Fortune 500 decides to raise their minimum wage, or any high priority news, the geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants to know the top teams in the National Football League, or who’s likely to win the NBA Finals this coming year. The geek mind wants to know who the hottest new models are, or whether the newest blockbuster movie is worth seeing. The geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants—needs—knowledge.

Read more about The Geek Mind.