Microsoft’s chief marketing officer has admitted its heavy push to get users onto Windows 10 crossed a line in 2016, calling subsequent frustration and brand damage one of the “lowlights” of the year.
CMO Chris Capossela made a cameo on a video podcast for Windows users, acknowledging that pushing the free Windows 10 upgrade to PC users without giving them an easy way to cancel it earlier this year was “too aggressive” and an example of the software giant “stepping over the line”.
“There was one moment in particular where the red X in the dialogue box which typically means cancel, didn't mean cancel,” he told the Windows Weekly video podcast.
“Within a couple of hours of that hitting the world, with the listening systems we have, we knew we had gone too far.
“But then of course it takes us some time to roll out the update that changes that behaviour. And those two weeks were pretty painful and clearly a lowlight for us.”
He argued “we know we want people to be running Windows 10 from a security perspective”.
But he also conceded “we are always trying to push the envelope … [and] sometimes we make mistakes”.
The CMO blamed delays retracting the forceful upgrade on the sheer scale of the Microsoft operation.
“We don't hit a single button and everything is pushed out to 400 million machines. It is done in phases,” he explained.
The upgrade aggression compounded Microsoft’s reputation for Windows 10 pushiness, after it was also caught quietly downloading components of the operating system onto user’s computers without their knowledge in September 2015, in preparation for the subsequent upgrade.
Capossela nominated the sell off of its feature phone business as another low point of the year for the company.
“I think it was the right decision for us but it was a very hard decision,” he told the program.