Today, Microsoft revealed some detailed information about two eagerly awaited features of Windows 8.They are … drum roll please … refresh and reset.
This is a perfect example why the iPad and smartphones are posing such a huge life-threatening challenge to Windows.
As Microsoft writes, “But what if you could get the benefit of a reset – starting over with a fresh Windows install – while still keeping your stuff intact?”
But wait a second — why do you have to start over at all?
Think about any other product that is so unreliable and degrades in performance with such predictable regularity that the next version will have a feature that makes it easy to WIPE IT CLEAN and start over. Is that a product you’d be super-excited to buy?
- Refresh gives users an easy way to reinstall the operating system if they encounter a problem. Data and some settings are kept, while potential trouble spots are wiped clean. Users will also have to reinstall most desktop apps, although apps that use the Metro interface (the bright coloured UI that was designed mainly for touchscreens) will stay around.
- Reset is a little more dramatic: it restores the PC to a clean state, like when you bought it, which will be useful when you want to sell or give away an old PC.
Sophisticated Windows users will no doubt welcome these features, particularly refresh.
(It’s kind of a running joke at Microsoft employees never see the niggling performance problems that a lot of customers face because they just wipe their computers and reinstall Windows every few months. Now, that process will be quicker and less disruptive than ever before.)
But features like this aren’t going to draw many average consumers who were considering trading their five-year-old Windows laptop in for an iPad.
That’s what Microsoft has to do with Windows 8 to be successful.