Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft Businesses Operating Systems Windows

Microsoft's "New Coke" Moment? 786

Posted by timothy
from the basement-stash-makes-more-sense-for-coke dept.
theodp writes "Remember New Coke? Twenty-eight years ago, Coca-Cola replaced the secret formula of its flagship brand, only to announce the return of the "classic" formula just 79 days later. Had it launched in 2013, Coke's Jay Moye suspects a social media backlash would have prompted it to reverse itself even sooner. In a timely follow-up, ZDNet's Steven Vaughan-Nichols points out that Microsoft is facing its own New Coke moment with Windows 8. 'Does Ballmer have the guts to admit he made a mistake and give users what they clearly want?' Vaughan-Nichols asks. 'While it's too late for Windows 8, Blue might give us back our Start button and an Aero-like interface. We don't know.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft's "New Coke" Moment?

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 06, 2013 @08:06AM (#43640655)

    Seems like Microsoft already had their 'New Coke' moment with Vista.

    Two failures in three OS launches is going to be a lot more difficult for the shareholders to get over.

    • by SJHillman (1966756) on Monday May 06, 2013 @08:37AM (#43640861)

      Many of Microsoft's 'failures' are the result of doing something new. And then when the 'improved' version comes out, it can be quite a hit.

      Vista - flop
      Vista SE (Win 7) - big success

      Office 2007 - somewhat of a flop due to criticism of the Ribbon
      Office 2010 - not a whole lot different from 2007, but a lot more popular now that people are familiar with the Ribbon

      Windows 8 - Works pretty good, but people bitch about the UI
      Windows 8 SE (Blue?) - Hey, Metro apps are cool now. Maybe.

      Of course, they have done it backwards...
      Windows 98 SE - pretty good
      Windows 98 SE 2 (Win Me) - "Hey, people will forget about this once Vista comes out"

      • by Vanderhoth (1582661) on Monday May 06, 2013 @09:18AM (#43641243)

        Office 2010 - not a whole lot different from 2007, but a lot more popular now that people are familiar with the Ribbon

        I'm sorry, but no. Just because people are complaining vocally anymore about something originally done five years ago and another screw-up that took place three years ago doesn't mean things are ok now.

        I got use to the ribbon, but I still hate it and it is still way less productive than the file menu. I switched to LibreOffice for all my home stuff, and later switched to Ubuntu, because of the ribbon and how badly MS Vista was. I only use MS office when I have to deal with work stuff. One of the small differences between 2007 and 2010 was the replacement of the circular windows button with the green "file" tab, making it closer to the older style file menu and slightly more usable, it still sucks donkey nuts. It takes way too long to load, options are literally hidden in the interface, sometimes not in the main interface at all and are unintuitive when they are there.

        • by TheMadTopher (1020341) on Monday May 06, 2013 @10:32AM (#43642083)

          Office 2010 - not a whole lot different from 2007, but a lot more popular now that people are familiar with the Ribbon

          I'm sorry, but no. Just because people are complaining vocally anymore about something originally done five years ago and another screw-up that took place three years ago doesn't mean things are ok now. I got use to the ribbon, but I still hate it and it is still way less productive than the file menu.

          Where are mod points when I want them? People lost the choice as it was use 2003 software or use the ribbon. Businesses eventually migrate as support and features in 2003 got dropped.

          Productivity wise, 2003 file menus >>>>>> ribbon.

        • by Alomex (148003) on Monday May 06, 2013 @10:38AM (#43642177) Homepage

          I got use to the ribbon, but I still hate it and it is still way less productive than the file menu.

          Ditto. Like most other people I'm unsettled by relearning an environment but usually adapt rather well after a short amount of time. However I still hate the ribbon. It is not intuitive or useful and as many have pointed out, it robs you of space in the direction you need it most.

        • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Monday May 06, 2013 @10:42AM (#43642237) Journal

          The ribbon sucks. Having to hunt for things that change depending on "context" sucks. The program is guessing what I need, and getting it mostly wrong. It sucks. It doesn't make any sense to me because when I expect one thing, I see another. And talk abouit UI clutter, much of the ribbon space is useless and doesn't enhance productivity at all. At least, not for me.

    • by jamesh (87723)
      I said just that [slashdot.org] about Vista when Windows 7 came out.
    • by jimbolauski (882977) on Monday May 06, 2013 @09:29AM (#43641339) Journal
      That is the Microsoft pattern. They really have a 4 year product rotation with a 2 year sucker upgrade in-between.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 06, 2013 @08:11AM (#43640675)

    Rarely ever will a CEO admit a mistake. It's the user's fault for not loving it.

  • New Coke was a Flop? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Deathlizard (115856) on Monday May 06, 2013 @08:11AM (#43640687) Homepage Journal

    I'll debate that while New Coke didn't work out, the aftermath resulted in Coke classic dominating the cola wars with a solid lead for decades now.

    If it wasn't for new Coke, Pepsi would have overtaken Coke in the mid 80's and never looked back.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No, New Coke and then the switch to "Classic Coke" concealded the real changes from using sugar to using corn syrup as a sweetener. Classic Coke was *not* identical to the old Coke formula, it was considerably cheaper to make because of that switch to corn syrup.

      We might see something similar with the taskbar, where they re-organize the taskbar in Microsoft's classic non-backwards-compatible ways but conceal them behind the restoration of any taskbar whatsoever.

      • by gl4ss (559668) on Monday May 06, 2013 @08:39AM (#43640889) Homepage Journal

        No, New Coke and then the switch to "Classic Coke" concealded the real changes from using sugar to using corn syrup as a sweetener. Classic Coke was *not* identical to the old Coke formula, it was considerably cheaper to make because of that switch to corn syrup.

        We might see something similar with the taskbar, where they re-organize the taskbar in Microsoft's classic non-backwards-compatible ways but conceal them behind the restoration of any taskbar whatsoever.

        it's not the metro ui they want. it's the software marketplace that they want. that's the whole business case for windows8 from microsofts view. they had to create a new ui so they could force developers to submit to paying a real ms tax of thirty percent.. well, they didn't have to do that but the backlash is less.

        just imagine the execs eyeing getting thirty percent from every CS installation. thirty percent from every autocad installation.

      • by jmauro (32523) on Monday May 06, 2013 @09:07AM (#43641141)

        The corn syrup thing is just a myth [snopes.com]. They switched from sugar to corn syrup five years before the introduction of New Coke.

        • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday May 06, 2013 @09:59AM (#43641703) Homepage Journal

          They switched from sugar to corn syrup five years before the introduction of New Coke.

          So, that's not what the link says. It says:

          In 1980, five years before the introduction of New Coke, Coca-Cola had begun to allow bottlers to replace half the cane sugar in Coca-Cola with HFCS. By six months prior to New Coke's knocking the original Coca-Cola off the shelves, American Coca-Cola bottlers were allowed to use 100% HFCS. Whether they knew it or not, many consumers were already drinking Coke that was 100% sweetened by HFCS.

          The relevant question, which Snopes dodges, is "was all Coca Cola Classic manufactured using 100% HFCS when it was reintroduced"?

          An alternate way to disprove the assertion would be to show that all bottlers were using 100% HFCS six months prior to the introduction of New Coke. But Snopes's carefully chosen words suggest that wasn't the case.

          • An alternate way to disprove the assertion would be to show that all bottlers were using 100% HFCS six months prior to the introduction of New Coke. But Snopes's carefully chosen words suggest that wasn't the case.

            I think it is much more likely that Snopes just does not know how widespread HFCS was and instead of straight out admitting they don't know, the person responsible for that particular article thought it better to "save face" by wording around the important questions. That still doesn't reflect any better on the Snopes editors, but it means you can't really draw any conclusions one way or the other.

  • by Hentes (2461350) on Monday May 06, 2013 @08:23AM (#43640771)

    What these critics all miss is that Microsoft is now betting on the tablet market, and doesn't give a damn what its PC users think.

    • by Tridus (79566) on Monday May 06, 2013 @08:33AM (#43640837) Homepage

      If that's really how they're thinking, they're dead and don't realize it yet.

      Windows on the PC is known by just about everybody. Microsoft's tablet offerings are not. If people hate what Microsoft is offering them in Windows 8, why would they ever seriously consider buying Microsoft in the tablet market?

      People don't have a lot of choice in the PC market, but MIcrosoft is a nobody in tablets. If your experience with the last MIcrosoft thing you used sucked, why would you go with them in a market where they're nobody when you could just get a known commodity in either Apple or Android tablets?

      Microsoft needs to leverage their PC users to grow their tablet base, not beat them and hope they come back for more. That is not going to fly.

  • by puddingebola (2036796) on Monday May 06, 2013 @08:28AM (#43640801) Journal
    I loved the flavor of new Coke. The Edsel was an innovative automobile. I still have Vista installed on my PC. I plan to upgrade to the Windows 8 experience. I am insane.
    • They did sell it as "Coca-Cola II" for a few years after the whole fiasco. Whats interesting is that Coca-Cola eventually made a diet version of the "Coke Classic" formula called Coke Zero. Diet Coke junkies didn't revolt because they still sell it side by side.
  • by Tridus (79566) on Monday May 06, 2013 @08:37AM (#43640859) Homepage

    They don't need to backtrack very much. Add a button during initial user setup that lets you enable boot to desktop if you want it. When that's on, boot to desktop and show a start button. At a bare minimum that button could just bring up the Metro Start Screen, which as long as it had a clear way to close it (like an X at the top right when on a PC) would mollify a lot of the complaining.

    Bringing back the full start menu would solve more of it, but I'm not convinced that's entirely necessary. In my experience most users actually start programs by clicking icons on the desktop and don't use the start menu much at all anyway. What they really need is just a more familiar way to do what they need to do.

    For the more serious people that really want a full start menu back, there's stuff like Start8.

  • by lee n. field (750817) on Monday May 06, 2013 @08:52AM (#43640995)
    I've been in the business since DOS4 and Windows 3.0 were the currently shipping versions. Windows 8 is the only version I have seen where people around you will spontaneously chime in and tell you how much they hate it. Even WinME wasn't like that.
  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Monday May 06, 2013 @08:54AM (#43641017)
    Ask any computer professional or any focus group of moderately intelligent users and you'll get the same thing. Bring back the start menu, leave the new features that are actually beneficial, dump UEFI, and ditch Tile Land. That's it. After that, it's all set to go. I'd even concede the BIOS-embedded license key because I'm sick of other repair shops than mine playing games with Windows 7 licenses to save money. 1 license = 1 motherboard and enforce that for everyone and I can accept that.
  • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex.project-retrograde@com> on Monday May 06, 2013 @09:12AM (#43641187)

    "I am altering the OS, pray I don't alter it any further."
    — Darth Ballmer.

  • Windows 8 User Here (Score:5, Interesting)

    by p0p0 (1841106) on Monday May 06, 2013 @09:29AM (#43641335)
    My laptop started chugging on Windows 7. I noticed a performance increase on my netbook when I previously tested Windows 8, so I thought I would give it another try,

    I have to admit, it works wonderfully. The system definitely performs better and the interface on Windows 8 is nice.
    Here comes the obvious: Metro is pretty shit.
    The full screen apps are useless and the main interface has no appeal. You know what my biggest problem is? The thing that bothers me the most? When I search for a program, there is no default "Show All". First it only shows programs installed, and then "Settings". Often I'm using it to find windows components like Device Manager, and it requires additional mouse clicks and movements to get there. Likewise on a tablet, it would require more touches. It's the simplest, most obvious thing, and if they overlook little things like this I don't have much hope for the rest of Metro.

    The OS itself it pretty nice though.
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Monday May 06, 2013 @10:06AM (#43641791) Homepage Journal
    Sure some of their shit seemed insightful, allowing DOS 3.3 to be pirated so widely established their dominance. Playing "API of the Week Club" while OS/2 was prevalent was just short-sighted anticompetitive behavior that just happened to work out in their favor. They never had a long term strategy other than "copy successful shit from other people." Their surprise that the Internet wasn't just a passing fad is more than enough to prove that. That was nearly two decades ago now, people! Their "strategy" is to attempt to gain a monopoly position at whatever new market they try, and then use their dominance to dictate the standards and crush all opposition. That may have worked well enough when PCs were a new thing, but the only place they've really managed to ever gain a foothold was in the OS market, and OSX and Linux are both eroding even that bastion of their business.

    This industry can turn on you in an instant (Well a decade-long instant, you really have to not be paying attention.) Look at Sun, no one ever thought anything would take them down. A decade before Sun went under, I attended a Linux con in Denver and had some SGI rep try to convince me that his company was crapping daisies and unicorns. I asked him point blank why I should buy a storage solution from him when I knew for a fact that IBM would be here two decades from now. He then tried to blow some marking smoke up my ass, but their company sank shortly thereafter. I started seeing the same writing on the wall for Sun later on, and they were gone a couple years later. I really feel like these guys believed their marketing and thought nothing could take them down. Well these days Microsoft's competitors are VERY quick on their feet and can take over emerging markets before Microsoft's lumbering behemoth even realizes there's something to take over. So they're coming in against already-established and VERY popular players. So unless Microsoft loses the complacency and learns how to compete in this new era, the gutted remains of their company will join Sun and all the others in the "Also-Ran" bin of history. This is not an anti-Microsoft rant. This is a warning.

    My guess is the future will be pretty robust competition between an Android-based Google OS and OSX. Though I'm still not sure about Apple without Steve Jobs' vision to keep them rolling. Plus, once they exhaust the world's supply of brushed aluminum, things will get difficult for them, too.

  • by brundlfly (893064) on Monday May 06, 2013 @10:08AM (#43641815)
    http://www.classicshell.net/ [classicshell.net] I recommend this to everyone who's complained to me about Metro. For a bonus it customizes the Start Menu and Explorer. No Windows 8 isn't bad, just the forced mobile GUI was a bad choice. You lost the mobile war M$. Foisting your mobile GUI on desktop users isn't going to increase the love.

What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away.

Working...