Microsoft: Three Terrible Decisions Made by the Tech Giant in 2015

Microsoft has given us a lot of treats, surprises as well as disappointments in the past couple of years. This year, the company was intending on providing consumers with the best of what computing offered, but its plan did not quite work out on several occasions. Here are three terrible decisions made by the tech giant during 2015.

1. Not keeping an eye on its pricing strategy for its mobile products

Ranging from the company’s Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, and its Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, Microsoft has presented the best of what Windows 10 has to offer. These products are stacked with very impressive hardware and on top of it all, they are running the company’s ‘unified interface’ operating system. However, their pricing suggests that only the affluent will be able to afford them and if you add additional costs, it appears that only the 1 percent of Pakistani consumers will have at least one of the products present in their households. All pricing details have been listed below:

  • Surface Pro 4: $899 for the base model
  • Surface Book: $1,499 for the base model
  • Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL: $549 and $649 respectively

Note: Expect prices of these items to be much higher when they officially enter Pakistan.

Looking at those prices, we have to wonder, is Microsoft really concerned about its pricing strategy? Especially since we did hear that the aforesaid products are going to be targeting a larger audience? Did consumers somehow grow thicker wallets or have ridiculous amounts of funds appear in their bank accounts magically? Keep in mind that Windows 10 is not just running on these machines, because we reported that several Chinese alternatives, including Teclast X16 are running the same platform. While, these products cannot match Microsoft’s mobile offerings in performance, but in terms of price, they are an absolute steal. For one thing, Teclast X16 will definitely give the company’s Surface 3 a run for its money.

Expect that other leading Chinese manufacturers such as Lenovo will be rolling out products that will challenge Microsoft’s mobile devices on both price and performance, and sooner or later, Microsoft will be forced to go to extreme lengths, and that usually involves price reduction on their products, or laying off a very large number of employees due to unable to generating significant revenue. Microsoft, please get your pricing strategy right next time.

2. Deciding to reduce its OneDrive cloud storage was a terrible decision

When talking about its cloud storage service, here’s what Microsoft has done so far:

  1. All storage limitations for its Office 365 Home, Personal, and University subscribers will be capped to 1TB
  2. OneDrive’s 100GB and 200GB storage options will be replaced by a 50GB for $1.99 per month plan
  3. Free storage will be reduced to 5GB from the original 15GB
  4. The free 15GB ‘camera roll’ feature for smartphone users which will be removed in the future

Considering that there are several alternatives available in the form of Google Drive and DropBox, one can only wonder what the company was thinking when it decided to come to this egregious decision. If Microsoft actually had a monopoly over its cloud storage service, then there is little the population could have done. But the tech industry is highly competitive, particularly when it comes pricing. Now, $1.99 might not seem like such a bad deal for consumers and businesses for 50GB, but more storage is always a welcome sight, and it is something that the company’s rivals are offering in abundance.

3. Opting to make Windows 10 free for a period of 12 months

Sure, Microsoft has catered to Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users by making its latest platform free, with the only gripe being that the update is going to be free for a period of 12 months. Most consumers must have happily upgraded in the hopes of experiencing much better performance and getting to try out new features that were obviously not present in the operating system’s predecessors. However, imagine the severe outcry that is going to be experienced by Windows 10 users when they are greeted by the warning that their 12 month trial is going to expire soon. They will obviously be required to pay in order to continue using it.

Keep in mind that the product keys are nowhere near close to being affordable because the basic version will cost you $119.99 (for both USB and regular ISO file downloads). A major percentage of users might have already placed a ton of items in their storage peripherals and the warning message will only add more grief of having to go through the excruciating process of downgrading to a previous operating system.

Imagine the severe outcry that is going to be experienced by Windows 10 users when they are greeted by the warning that their 12-month trial is going to expire soon.

So what is going to happen now? We have seen on more than one occasion that the power of social media has a terrifying effect, and either Microsoft will substantially reduce the price of its Windows 10 keys, or offer users another 12 months of using Windows 10 absolutely free. This is highly disappointing, seeing as how Windows generates a major portion of the company’s revenue.

Microsoft might mean well for millions of customers out there, but it has to be reminded that there are several companies that will eventually surpass it in the mobile products race (ones that are running Windows 10) if it does not continue to keep a watch on its pricing strategy, its cloud storage service and of course its primary bread winner, Windows. Let us hope that the software company has something much better for us when 2016 starts.


  • What are you talking about? Windows 10 isn’t a free trial for 12 months. It actually is a FREE upgrade and will remain free forever for those who have upgraded now. Those who upgrade after 12 months will have to pay.

    Secondly Surface Pro isn’t even available in Pakistan so why on earth would you expect Microsoft to cater to Pakistani people when pricing it? And are you seriously comparing this product to a cheap Chinese product? Are you also one of those people who thinks BMW 7 series should cost the same as a Mehran because hey, after all both will get you from point A to B.

    • Alex Snelson, a Windows product marketing manager at Microsoft Australia, clarified what will happen after the deadline:

      “Microsoft will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for qualified Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices in the first year. After the first year, upgrades will be paid via boxed product and VL Upgrades.”

      So there you have it. If you don’t make the leap to Windows 10 within a year of its summer 2015 launch, you’ll have to pay if you choose to do so in the future. And if you’re building a new PC, remember that Windows 10 isn’t truly free—the offer’s only good to upgrade PCs currently using a legitimately licensed version of Windows 7 or 8. DIYers will still need to buy a copy of Windows.

      In short, you will still be paying for it after the 12 month period, but we have rectified this little confusion.

      • Oh God! Now you’re just digging yourself into a hole. What Alex Snelson said is exactly right. So how would that lead to the conclusion in your last para. Now you’re just being daft on purpose to save face instead of owning up to your mistake. If only you had done this research *before* writing the article, you wouldn’t have landed in this situation. Truly pathetic, the so-called “tech writers” these days.

    • wut?? Win 10 isn’t free. you will have to pay after 12 months. Surface pro isn’t available in pakistan! read the article carefully. What the author is trying to say is when it will OFFICIALLY enter pakistani market, it will be much more higher priced!
      There should have been a model in-between 300-600$ for people who can’t afford 900$+ model (which will probably be above 1000$ here when officially launched). That’s why the Chinese product stands as a alternative, Since it offers much more in ~500$.

      • Nope. But even assuming you are right, you’ll only have to pay for it if you upgraded from a unlicensed copy of Windows. People who used their earlier Windows key to upgrade will never see the trial ending screen as the article claims. As for the pirates, they will just pirate it again rather than downgrading. So moot point. Secondly, Microsoft has no plans to release the Surface Pro in Pakistan anytime soon. If it does, it will be priced MSRP + whatever overhead charges the gov applies like any other imported device, for example the iPhone. But people still buy iPhones in droves even in Pakistan.

        Third, there is a Surface model in that price range, if you had just bothered to google it. And fourth, the Chinese alternatives are not a bad thing. It’s actually one of the reasons Microsoft made the Surface tablet: to serve as an example to all Windows OEMs what a premium device should look like. They even encourage these clones as long as they run Windows. As for the Surface, much like it’s main competition, Apple’s Macbook line, it’s in a league of it’s own. You don’t buy either for good value for money. You buy it for the ultimate PC experience.

      • Surface Book will never officially be available here in Pakistan. Microsoft isn’t catering to the low end crowd with this product.

  • I believe the 3rd reason is not as terrible and slightly misleading.

    Users of Windows who have upgraded from GENUINE 7, 8 or 8.1 version to Windows 10 within the first year get to keep it forever.

    • True.
      It’s only that after 12 months, they would stop receiving further updates. Updates after 12 months are paid ones

        • Alex Snelson, a Windows product marketing manager stationed Microsoft Australia, clarified what will happen after the deadline:

          “Microsoft will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for qualified Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices in the first year. After the first year, upgrades will be paid via boxed product and VL Upgrades.”

          So there you have it. If you don’t make the leap to Windows 10 within a year of its summer 2015 launch, you’ll have to pay if you choose to do so in the future. And if you’re building a new PC, remember that Windows 10 isn’t truly free—the offer’s only good to upgrade PCs currently using a legitimately licensed version of Windows 7 or 8. DIYers will still need to buy a copy of Windows.

          In short, you will still be paying for it after the 12 month period, but we have rectified this little confusion.

          • I think I’ll take the word of Microsoft VP for Windows, Terry Myerson himself, over some low rung marketing guy. Second para from his Windows official blog titled “Geniune Windows and Windows 10”:

            “Once a customer upgrades, they will continue to receive ongoing Windows innovation and security updates for free, for the supported lifetime of that device”

            Come to think of it, isn’t it sad that we in the comments are the ones educating you, the author? This should have been your job before you decided to write the article.

  • Does anyone even fact-check before publishing editorials? I can understand someone misreporting on a news item, but research is an essential part of editorials right?

    @Ammar666:disqus already pointed out the obvious flaws in the article. I’d only add that Surface line is expensive because Microsoft has said they’re not making a volume play here. They’re only making reference devices to inspire their partners (DELL, HP etc) to build similar, cheaper devices. Since they’re not targeting volume, they can and will have expensive price tags to make up the cost.

  • For me the biggest mistake of Microsoft is when Microsoft has pushed the so called Live Tiles in their UI design for many years now and clearly the people are not buying. They’ve tried it on phones, tablets and even desktops without success. Yet Microsoft insists on using them even in the Windows 10, even tough they are now pushed aside to the start menu when using the desktop mode. In my opinion the basic problem of the tiles is actually built into human perception and the brain. This makes me wonder why the high salaried Microsoft designers are not getting it?

    Surely Microsoft knows that the tiles simply are not working, but for some reason they refuse to pull back from their Metro UI / Modern UI concept. In Windows 10 mobile they have redesigned the actual icons within the tiles smaller, possibly trying to make the UI look less crowded. In the PC version desktop mode the tiles are hidden to the start menu. Why not just get rid of them?

  • Who approved this article? Whole internet is screaming that Windows 10 is a free upgrade and here we are listening to author’s home baked stories.

    This reminds me of Samsung’s NFC battery which was spying on us. Poor Pakistanis..


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