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Microsoft's Shaw Strikes Back at New Coke Comparison

By - Source: Microsoft | B 85 comments

Frank X. Shaw speaks out against all the Windows 8 comparisons to New Coke.

Earlier this week, Richard Doherty, an analyst at tech research firm Envisioneering, compared Windows 8 to The Coca-Cola Company's failed attempt to alter its base flagship product with a new, sweeter formula called New Coke back in April 1985. The consumer reaction was so negative that the company reintroduced the old formula as a separate Coca-Cola Classic product less than three months later. Windows 8, it seems, may be suffering a similar fate.

"This is like New Coke, going on for seven months – only Coke listened better," he said.

Now Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft, is striking back at all the Windows 8 critics who have taken to the recent New Coke comparison. He said we live in a world where everyone is a publisher, and those who want to stand out opt for sensationalism and hyperbole over nuanced analysis. Page views are currency and heat is often more valuable than light.

"In the center, selling 100 million copies of a product is a good thing," he states. "In the center, listening to feedback and improving a product is a good thing. Heck, there was even a time when acknowledging that you were listening to feedback and acting on it was considered a good thing."

"Windows 8 is a good product, and it’s getting better every day," he continues. "Unlike a can of soda, a computer operating system offers different experiences to different customers to meet different needs, while still moving the entire industry toward an exciting future of touch, mobility, and seamless, cross-device experiences."

He goes on to talk about how Microsoft will improve Windows 8 as it does with all its products. There will be people who agree with what Microsoft does, and those who don't. "So perhaps this week’s lesson is look less to the edges and more to the center," he concludes. "There’s more light there."

The idea behind the New Coke comparison is understandable: if it's not broke, don't fix it. The Coca-Cola Company changed its formula to match the sweeter-tasting Pepsi-Cola. Microsoft has altered Windows to battle Apple and Google. In both cases, consumer feedback hasn't been entirely positive. But with Windows 8, the platform will evolve to meet consumer demand. It's part of a bigger picture that spans multiple devices. This feat cannot be easily accomplished in a matter of months.

Shaw is correct: Windows 8 is a great product. Sure, there are certain features like the Start button/menu that should be returned for the desktop user. The overall change may have been too much too quick. But that's irrelevant now. Unlike New Coke, Windows 8 is here to stay, and Microsoft is intent on making it the best multi-device platform yet. As Shaw's blog points out, Microsoft is indeed listening.

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Top Comments
  • 47 Hide
    jack1982 , May 11, 2013 12:59 PM
    People who tell me I'm wrong if I don't like their product just make me dislike it even more.
  • 39 Hide
    twelve25 , May 11, 2013 12:46 PM
    It's exactly like New Coke. New Coke wasn't a foul tasting Cola, it just wasn't Coca-Cola. Lot's of people even liked the New Coke, maybe some even better than Classic Coke.
    Windows 8 is fine and you can get along well enough in it, but it isn't Windows as we all knew it. Some people like it, those with touch screen probably like it most, but it's not got enough classic windows that the 500 million windows users worldwide were expecting.
  • 21 Hide
    devotiecon , May 11, 2013 12:18 PM
    "Shaw is correct: Windows 8 is a great product."
    I stopped reading there.
Other Comments
  • 21 Hide
    devotiecon , May 11, 2013 12:18 PM
    "Shaw is correct: Windows 8 is a great product."
    I stopped reading there.
  • 39 Hide
    twelve25 , May 11, 2013 12:46 PM
    It's exactly like New Coke. New Coke wasn't a foul tasting Cola, it just wasn't Coca-Cola. Lot's of people even liked the New Coke, maybe some even better than Classic Coke.
    Windows 8 is fine and you can get along well enough in it, but it isn't Windows as we all knew it. Some people like it, those with touch screen probably like it most, but it's not got enough classic windows that the 500 million windows users worldwide were expecting.
  • 3 Hide
    beoza , May 11, 2013 12:51 PM
    "Shaw is correct: Windows 8 is a great product." On a Tablet I would agree.
  • -3 Hide
    Aoyagi , May 11, 2013 12:56 PM
    And here is a little different point of view about what Shaw said: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/10/microsoft_media_picking_on_us/

    Edit: It's an actual point of view, not just praise and marketing babbling. Tom, I'm disappoint.

    Edit: damn, wrong link, fixed that
  • 47 Hide
    jack1982 , May 11, 2013 12:59 PM
    People who tell me I'm wrong if I don't like their product just make me dislike it even more.
  • 17 Hide
    redyellowblueblast , May 11, 2013 1:04 PM
    - Microsoft just needs to learn to swallow their pride and admit they were wrong about Windows 8. I'm still not sure what made them think Windows 8 was a good idea to begin with. They had a good thing going with Windows 7. Why did they feel like they needed to wreck it?
  • -2 Hide
    Aoyagi , May 11, 2013 1:05 PM
    edit: gah, refresh-post again. Sorry...
  • -4 Hide
    mpdugas , May 11, 2013 1:11 PM
    After I read all of the negative backlash about this new version of Windows, I was very reluctant to even try it, I admit.
    I'm well over 65, so you'd think I'd most likely be resistant to new ideas, but Windows 8 is really, really good.
    Windows 8 has turned out to be one of the most delightful PC operating systems that I have ever used, going all the way back to my early experiences with DOS 2.11.
    There is nothing that any previous version of Windows has done that Windows 8 cannot do, at least for the tasks that I use it for. There is much that it does that nothing else can, as well.
    Instead of listening to others, I'd suggest that someone who is considering it to give it a try for themselves.
    Windows 8 is really good.
  • -6 Hide
    everygamer , May 11, 2013 1:28 PM
    Does anyone who comments actually use the product, I've been using Windows 8 since it was RTM and then since it was released. Windows 8 is Windows 7 with a different start button. The desktop experience is the same as it has been in the past, standard non-metro applications work as they always have. In fact I don't use any metro applications, all I do is use Windows 8 like I used Windows 7, or Windows XP, or Windows ME or Windows 95, the only difference now is that when I don't have an application pin'ed to my task bar, I put my mouse in the top right of the screen and then type the first 2-3 characters of the applications name I want and hit enter and it pops up. That takes less time than drilling through the old start button menu, so in my mind time saved and applications work the same ... win win. Other than the start button, Windows 8 is no different from Windows 7 for performance and stability.
  • 9 Hide
    killerclick , May 11, 2013 1:49 PM
    To be fair, Windows 8 is a great product if you never have to look at Metro and you have a Start Menu instead of a Start Screen. The thing that concerns me is that Microsoft might be fine with losing 40% of desktop market share if they could gain 20% of mobile/tablet. They want people who buy apps and new devices every 6 months, not people who buy the discounted OS via whoever made their laptop.
  • -4 Hide
    edogawa , May 11, 2013 1:53 PM
    Quote:
    "Shaw is correct: Windows 8 is a great product."
    I stopped reading there.


    Windows 8 IS a good product at it's core with technical improvements. Metro is NOT a good change(it's not good enough yet) and the only bad thing about Windows 8. If you disagree, prove me wrong. They really need to return the classic start menu and make metro optional in control panel.

    I use Windows 8 with Start8 and I love it. Why am I using Windows 8? I needed a new license and it was 40 dollars + 5 more for Start8, so why on earth would I not jump at such a deal.
  • 2 Hide
    eklipz330 , May 11, 2013 2:08 PM
    the only thing that makes me hesitant on getting win 8 is the damn tiles. can desktop users just have the ability to turn that shit off? my bro seems to like it, but it seems counter intuitive to look for an app on tiles instead of have them listed alphabetically... you have to do more searching
  • -2 Hide
    Gtquan , May 11, 2013 2:42 PM
    Windows 8 works well for me. I was skeptical given all the negative press and comments. I think its really good - some growing pains. My 3 year can navigate the start menu. For all those that hate it - what are the specific issues that are making it so hard to use? I have not found anything I can't do in windows 8 that I was doing with windows 7. There are also a lot of improvements compared to windows 7.
  • 2 Hide
    b23h , May 11, 2013 2:57 PM
    Good job Kevin. Windows 8 may not be GREAT, but it is good and it will be improved. I think you have done a better job at avoiding hyperbole and in doing a good analysis than I have seen in a number of different pieces on this issue. Your understanding that Windows 8 is the keystone to a ecosystem covering several different devices and that this is a path that has been embarked upon that is still evolving and improving is spot on.
  • 3 Hide
    twelch82 , May 11, 2013 2:58 PM
    Windows 8 is worse than new Coke. New Coke was actually a decent product. Windows 8 is a huge step backward as a desktop interface.
  • 8 Hide
    beayn , May 11, 2013 3:34 PM
    Working with and repairing Windows 8 on a daily basis has drawn me to the conclusion that it is quite possibly the worst OS to repair, and for me, the most annoying OS the work with as a result. It's too difficult to list the dozens of small things, but I'll leave you with the most annoying - the old "F8" menu now shuts the computer off after about 30 seconds, giving you that much time to research a specific error... so irritating. One of many, many quirks that have only one purpose - to make a technician's job more annoying.
  • 1 Hide
    morstern , May 11, 2013 4:08 PM
    Microsoft to Coke: See they messed up because they didn't keep updating the new formula. But we do!
    Microsoft to negative views: You just want clicks and fail to recognize out Super Duperness!
    From me to Steve Ballmer: I had a dream and about you and this was the song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsaTElBljOE
  • 7 Hide
    jblank , May 11, 2013 4:09 PM
    Nobody would have ever had a single issue with Windows 8 had they given the user the ability to turn off the tiles on boot, and go straight to the desktop, and give you the option to have the Start button back. It is common sense to just leave those as options for the user.
  • -1 Hide
    pcichico , May 11, 2013 4:36 PM
    A good tech never blaims his os. Ya I've had 8 brick on me, but in less than 5 min I restore from an acronis image and back in business. Plus 8 is so robust you can restore just about any image from any motherboard and it boots up no problem on different hardware. Like the other guy pointed out, what specific issue is so impossible in 8 that you guys can't overcome. For every complaint their is an obvious work around. I've run 8 since day one and never see or go to metro ever.
  • 2 Hide
    defg0003 , May 11, 2013 4:46 PM
    one word = NO.
    the day Windows 7 is no longer supported, I load the best Linux distro,
    Finis. Who needs a dumbed down operating system that works on a cell phone or tablet? Not I.
    Common sense seems to have left the building, so to speak.
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