Many, many years ago, there was a time in Microsoft’s history that being aggressive would land them in hot water. The story of the EU fining the company for bundling its browser and then forgetting to include a browser ballot screen are well documented and are a part of the reason why the company could not get away with harassing users to upgrade or offering tools to make it easy to switch platforms.
In the past week, we have seen Microsoft directly go after Oracle, offer up a tool to make it easier to ditch Evernote and pit employees against admins when it comes to Windows 10. Reaching further back, we see the company placing Windows 10 upgrade advertisements in Windows 7 and 8 trying to get consumers to upgrade, attacking Apple’s MacBook with advertisements for its Surface, and the list goes on and on.
One thing has become clear in the past 18 to 24 months: Microsoft is not sitting back and letting the market dictate when users should upgrade. The tech giant is now pushing their products without repercussion as the market is now allowing them do this. With Windows XP, companies only upgraded after the support for the operating system came to an end, and Microsoft is hellbent on making sure this same scenario does not play out again with Windows 7.
A few years ago, if they would have offered up free licenses to Oracle users, tried to buy Accompli, or released a tool that made it easy to ditch Evernote, there is a real possibility that these actions would have been blocked by consumer-protection groups around the globe. But with the looming threat of being sued by government agencies for business strategies, Microsoft was cornered in a way that hindered them from pushing their users forward like we see today.
Microsoft, who is still a strong player in the tech space, now has sizable competition from Apple and Google and even Amazon and because of this, the company is going back to its roots where it can be aggressive without repercussion. And it doesn’t matter if this makes you uneasy, Microsoft is a for-profit company and they intend to not let how they operated in the past decade stop their progress.
For those who may not remember, Microsoft obtained its position in the late 90s as the kingpin of the tech industry because of how Gates’ built the company and aggressively took on competitors like Netscape and Novell.
In short, the aggressiveness we see today might seem new to some, but it’s really the old version of Microsoft, and it’s not going away. And while this will annoy those who are entrenched in not upgrading software, it’s likely better for the tech community as a whole, as new software brings with it modern security enhancements that help keep your data safe.