Prophet was being interviewed by salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) CEO Marc Bienoff at the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, who drew laughs from the crowd when he asked Prophet what happened to Windows 9.
Forgetting Windows 8 and Windows 9
“It came and it went,” Prophet responded, adhering to the party line implemented by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella, who has been responding in a very similar way.
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The idea is that people should not associate the new version of Windows with the terribly unpopular Windows 8.
“Windows 10 is not going to be an incremental step from Window 8.1,” Prophet explained. “Windows 10 is going to be a material step. We’re trying to create one platform, one eco-system that unites as many of the devices from the small embedded Internet of Things, through tablets, through phones, through PCs and, ultimately, into the Xbox.”
Windows 9: New development strategy
Microsoft was criticized for not listening to user feedback during the development of Windows 8, despite undertaking an exhaustive 1.24 billion hours of testing. Commentators famously dubbed Windows 8 another Vista months prior to its release. Prophet has claimed that the same mistakes will not be made this time.
Microsoft is allowing users to try out the new product a lot earlier in the development process than before, with the Windows 10 Tech Preview version, which was released two weeks ago, already having been downloaded 1 million times. The Windows Feedback app has already received over 200,000 pieces of user-initiated feedback from Windows Insiders.
“The reason we’re doing that is so we can listen to our customers,” he says, with enterprise users receiving particular attention.
The focus on enterprise users hails a vastly different approach than with Windows 8, which focused on providing an interface for touchscreen tablets. Following Microsoft’s lack of concern for their needs, enterprise largely ignored Windows 8, preferring to upgrade from XP to Windows 7.
“Our objective with Windows 10 is… to build absolutely the best OS for the enterprise. That’s the early focus,” Prophet said. “We’ve got the process. We’ve got a million people using it. And we’re listening.”