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Microsoft is looking a lot like Apple and Nadella like...
Last week, Microsoft CEO said what Windows fans haven't wanted to admit:
The fact that a billion-and-a-half users use Windows is incredible. And we want to be able to serve that base and grow that base with the innovation. ... And thatís what I want us to be focused on ... We have bigger hopes, higher aspirations for Windows. We want to move from people needing Windows to choosing Windows, to loving Windows. That is our bold goal.
For far too long, Microsoft has abused Windows, releasing and then resolutely defending monstrosities like Vista and Windows 8 under a very cynical belief that people had no choice but to swallow Windows, whatever version Microsoft delivered. Its attitude on Office wasn't much different, so the product blew up to Jabba the Hut proportions.
When people had a real alternative to Windows, they moved at a pace never seen before in the history of technology, making the iPad the most quickly adopted technology ever. For half a decade, PC sales have declined, but Mac sales have grown, despite their huge price premium. Android also benefited from the "I don't need a new PC" attitude from individuals and businesses alike, and Google is now hoping so too will Chromebooks. Anything but Windows, right?
Thus, Nadella's comments are striking in their core acceptance that Windows today is unloved and his goal of making Windows beloved again -- as it once was, back in the Windows 95 days.
Also striking: Nadella is extremely clear about making Windows great again, with none of the pretense displayed by previous Microsoft regimes.