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Here I am at the dawn of a completely new online project, that I’m starting from scratch, without moving over any older posts and contributions from my previous online endeavours.

I am pretty sure that many folks from Romania (but not only) associate my name with Windows for consumers, as they got used to my “limitless” Windows “Fără Limitewindowsfaralimite.ro passionate writing and podcasting, which went to wfl.ro and finally to windowsinsider.ro, however that online journey ended there to make room for the one I’m starting today.

After some major organizational changes at Microsoft, I decided to shift paths and walk this new way, matching my online presence to a professional context I’ve already been into for some time now.

The timing for starting this project wasn’t chosen randomly. Today is the second day after Microsoft’s March 2018 reorg. Along with replacing Terry Myerson with Rajesh Jha (former EVP of the Office organization) the Windows and Devices organization at Microsoft was “shattered” into multiple compartments, pertaining to various other Microsoft organizational groups/units. Here’s what hapenned:

  • Rajesh Jha will lead a new group, called Experiences & Devices
  • Scott Guthrie will lead a new group as well, based on Cloud + AI Platform.
  • Jason Zander becomes EVP of Azure and Windows (client, server and any other platforms).
  • Harry Shum stays in charge of AI + Research.
  • Joe Belfiore is still in charge of Windows experience, including OEM partnerships
  • Panos Panay is the new Chief Product Officer

To put it otherwise and more to the point, it seems to me that more recently Windows was overall too expensive for Microsoft. Even if there won’t be any massive layoffs anytime soon, former Windows team members are being reshuffled to various teams which are owned by various organizational units. This way, the budgets will cover those expenses.

I think it’s time I expressed freely some personal views about what Microsoft did on consumer side in the recent few years

  • I think that all Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile consumer efforts were an incredible waste of time and money, for several successive years, caused by the unexplainable alienation from the true consumer needs the Windows and Devices group leadership at Microsoft has demonstrated. For instance, the severe failure on the smartphone market has severely disappointed many Windows Phone software and hardware enthusiasts and regular consumers at the same time.
  • All these years all I perceived from Microsoft was a deepening fracture, a permanent hesitation regarding true market research and communication with power users, with enthusiasts, consumers, but – worse of all – with developers and OEMs.
  • Despite of extreme transparency through the Windows Insider Program, compared to the “closed” Sinofsky era, I honestly feel that the user feedback isn’t assimilated into the product in a satisfactory manner, and Windows as A Service with two annual releases doesn’t fit a lot of customer plans, regardless if they are consumer or enterprise customers.
  • Too many times Microsoft reacted and acted with an unbelievable anti-talent on several directions. The decisions Microsoft made during the past recent years regarding consumer Windows are often unbelievably hard to understand even for the biggest Microsoft fans.
  • To be honest, more and more often I fail to see why Microsoft keeps replacing useless old bloatware with shiny new Windows (10) bloatware. Nu such bloatware will ever convince consumers or customers that this continuous improvisation called Windows 10 is actually worth using as a primary OS. Let alone unfinished integrations and the shocking ugliness and inconsistency of the new Fluent design language implementation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Fluent is bad, however the inconsistent manner by which it’s being implemented kills any charm it may have.
  • UWP apps seem to be a big flop, and the bridges used for porting desktop apps didn’t get too far either.
  • Windows 10 S was changed into a mode of Windows, most likely to avoid admitting the old new failure, which looks so similar in many ways to the Windows RT failure.
  • Microsoft Edge is a very safe, capable and standard-compliant browser that nobody uses.
  • Groove Music went south, giving in to Spotify.
  • I still fail to understand what Paint 3D is doing in Windows 10, because nobody uses the PC to create 3D memes, except for kids and teenagers maybe. But they are no market for 3D capable hardware, but rather an EDU market.
  • Then comes the half-baked Cortana integration with the OS, which makes users ignore Microsoft’s Virtual Intelligent Assistant both domestic and enterprise environments.
  • Add the perpetual transition from Control Panel to the Settings app and I could go on and on.

That’s why I understand quite well new Microsoft’s efforts to bring these Windows team fellows back to Earth and try to get them to do a really good job. Their Windows organizational decay from Microsoft’s main cash cow to an auxiliary tool happened because no one in charge of Windows has been really listening to the customers. Nobody.

That’s why I’ve been reflecting a lot during the past months and now, when Microsoft is getting this reorg, I’ve decided it’s time to let go of Windows and focus my time and career on something else. It’s been a nice ride, but … the thrill is gone.

Sorry guys. but I’m done as a Windows Enthusiast, I got better things to do. I must follow the money too.

What’s next for me? I’ll dedicate my time and energy to the IT Pro segment, with an accent on Office 365, Enterprise Mobility and Security. I’ve been contemplating these plans for quite some time now, and I think/feel it’s time to move on.

God Speed …

P.S. I feel honored to mention that recently I was nominated again for another year as a Windows Insider MVP, but I declined the offer due to some of the reasons above but mostly due to some more important personal reasons.