Microsoft seems to be confused about the Windows 8 fiasco it is currently facing. The company put its entire publicity machinery behind the latest version of their operating system but still could not make the people accept it the way they did the previous versions. Six months on, the performance of Windows 8 has been unsatisfactory, to say the least. 100 million licenses have so far been sold but Microsoft wants to improve the Windows 8 sales even more. At present, it is just about keeping pace with Windows 7.

Can Minor Changes Improve Windows 8 Sales?

Steven Sinofsky at the launch of Microsoft Windows 8, in New York on Oct. 25, 2012. Sales since the launch have been steady but not record breaking.

To have invested so much time and resources into creating Windows 8, Microsoft isn’t inclined to settle for a below par performance. The latest in their efforts of improving Windows 8 sales is to make some minor tweaks to it. Unless you have been living under a rock for the past month or so, you would have heard about Windows Blue, which is now being called Windows 8.1. It is an updated and refined version of Windows 8 with some changes made to it. Among the changes is the return of the conventional Start Button on the Windows interface.

As far as reports go, there are only minor changes which have been made to Windows 8 so far that will be part of the update when it is released later this year. So, this begs the question whether the minor changes are enough to improve Windows 8 sales or should Microsoft look for some other ways. Even targeting smartphones and tablets didn’t have the desired impact on sales. The PC market is contracting, of that there is no doubt. Still, Microsoft would have expected Windows 8 to put better numbers on the board in the first few months of release.

Coming back to the point, it doesn’t seem as though the minor changes made to Windows 8 will have any major impact. For one, user acceptability is the main problem when it comes to Windows 8. There are just too many things for the average user to learn to be able to use the operating system. This makes it less user-friendly than previous versions of the operating system. Unless the proposed changes actually address this problem, there is little chance that people are going to change their perception regarding Windows 8.

Microsoft has maintained that they are satisfied with the performance of Windows 8 thus far. 100 million isn’t a small number by any means but there decision to make minor changes to the operating system creates doubt. If Microsoft is confident about its operating system, there is no reason to roll out the changes within a year of release. That is exactly what Microsoft intends to do with 8.1. The move might end up backfiring if people perceive it as a defensive measure taken by Microsoft to protect its market share.

The only reason why people might develop an interest in a Windows 8 update is if offers something new. With this being unlikely, it is seemingly unfathomable that the minor changes that are being made will influence sales too much.

[Image via salon]