WE ARE NOW about nine months in to the Windows 10 era, and things are going great or not so great, depending on to whom you listen. Microsoft keeps touting ever growing numbers of active users of its latest operating system, which it claimed had passed 200 million by the start of this year.
Meanwhile, figures from market research firms such as IDC and Gartner appear to show that sales figures for PC systems have not shown the recovery that was predicted once Windows 10 was available.
This has been blamed partly on the fact that Microsoft has made Windows 10 available as a free upgrade for the first year following its release, meaning that people did not necessarily feel the need to buy a new system.
However, a steady stream of negative stories about Windows 10 may have coloured the perception of the platform among potential users, and could be discouraging many from taking up the free offer.
This could be worse for Microsoft than it first appears. It comes at a crucial time when Windows is arguably going to sink or swim, and the company cannot afford to take a misstep right now.
The danger for Microsoft is that there are perfectly good alternatives to Windows these days. Linux distributions such as Ubuntu or Linux Mint now offer an ease of use comparable with Windows, and many tech-savvy users, including yours truly, will be tempted simply to ditch Windows in favour of Linux because Windows 10 is starting to seem more trouble than it's worth.
And this could turn into a real problem for Microsoft if the next generation of techies grows up with more experience of using Linux than Windows