The Microsoft software giant is launching the Windows 8 version of its operating system this week, and suffice to say that it’s radically different from Windows 7. The button and the usual start menu have disappeared, for example, through a series of large colored road pavers. And there is a new feature called “Charm Bar”.
Give Microsoft recognition for innovation. But will corporate customers quickly accept the change or will they initially oppose it? According to Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Professor of Business Administration Ernest L. Arbuckle at Harvard Business School and a leader in change management, the signs of resistance are strong. “Even at a time when young technicians are looking for the latest technology, people are resisting change,” she said.
The introduction of the new operating system by Microsoft will be accompanied by the launch of a new tablet PC, the Surface RT, which will compete with the Apple iPad. Industry observers have identified similarities between Apple’s tightly controlled marketing tactics and Microsoft’s marketing campaign for the next operating system. Microsoft even uses indie rock music in its Windows 8 ads.
What works for Apple may not work for Microsoft. Unfortunately, when it comes to adopting the latest technologies, consumer hardware and enterprise software are just as different as Apple and Orang, but as different as Apple and enterprise software. “Software is the way people work, and if you need a radical change in how they work, it’s a lot of questions,” Kanter said.
“If you ask for a radical change in your work, there is much to ask”
In an article published in Harvard Business Review in September, Kanter outlines ten key reasons why people resist change in the context of leadership. This week, Kanter spoke with HBS Working Knowledge to explain how these reasons might prevent companies from adopting Windows 8.
1. Loss of control – Unsolicited changes naturally go hand in hand with autonomy. IT managers and other department heads around the world may not appreciate the fact that their operating system is completely different than above. “People do not like it when they’re forced to change their plans instead of choosing the changes they want to make,” Kanter said.
2. Excessive uncertainty – “People often prefer to be in misery rather than approaching a stranger,” Kanter says in his blog post.
“There will be questions about Windows 8,” says Kanter. Does it work? Does it require additional upgrades as Microsoft fixes the bugs? People might wait until there are others. Certainly, to think that if the current software works well, why should it change? ”
3. Surprise, surprise! – A sudden change almost always encounters resistance, says Kanter. To this end, Microsoft sought to prepare the public for the use of Windows 8, to inform the press a few months in advance, and even to offer a pre-release version for download. Nevertheless, Kanter wonders, “Did the influencers have enough time to get used to it and help others get used to it?” And why started on October 26? There is a lot going on in the world. this moment. ”
4. Everything looks different – a radical change is more unpleasant than a gradual change, says Kanter. Early reviews show that Windows 8 looks like a journey into the unknown. She cites Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, who reports that “even the most dedicated users will not recognize the time-honored computer operating system in this new incarnation.”
Windows 8 “Of course every change makes a difference, but how many differences can we handle at the same time?” Ask Kanter. “In Windows 8, there is the mosaic interface, there is no start button anymore, there is this” Charm Bar “… These tools may work well, but human psychology says, if it’s too different and too shocking, you turn away ‘I do not want to think about the tool, you want to think about the work you have to do.’
5. and 6. Face loss and concerns about competence – not to mention a change that was not their idea; People do not like it when a change makes them feel incompetent. And some early reviews from Windows 8 suggest it’s not an ego booster. In a commentary on cnet.com, computer science professor Beta ‘jabnipnip’ said: “It sure is, it charges up fast, but you’re wasting productivity trying to figure out how to do things like printing! No joke. Open one PDF file in the native drive and you need to know “intuitively” to print the file with Ctrl + P. I can not tell you how many times I’ve been sitting there, pissed off, trying to figure out how to do something … I’m not an idiot when it comes to computers, but this operating system gave me the impression of being one of them
“Your software should not give the impression that someone is an idiot,” advises Kanter.
7. More work – This is a big, inevitable problem. Change usually requires work. This may seem ironic when it comes to a software upgrade that is advertised as a tool to make the job easier. Even the most positive critics of Windows 8 have recognized a steep learning curve that could irritate the mass of tired companies.
“We are talking about an incredibly crowded population of people who do not need more work,” Kanter said. “They need something to do the work for them, like Siri.”
8. Wave Effects – “Like throwing a pebble into a pond, change creates waves that reach distant points in ever-widening circles,” Kanter writes in his blog on HBR.
“Your software should not give the impression that someone looks like an idiot”
The introduction of a radically different operating system has a major impact on driving, she says. Confused individual users can overload the IT department with “how-to” requests. Managers may be late for meetings because they are trying in vain to find their calendars with the new interface. Etc. Some problems are more likely than others, but “Concern over spillover effects can significantly slow down the process of change,” Kanter said.
9. Resentments of the past – “Managers should consider measures to heal the past before navigating into the future,” Kanter writes. “The spirits of the past are still waiting to persecute us.”
We have two ghost words for Microsoft: Windows Vista. Almost six years have passed since the release of this version of Windows, but IT managers should never forget these issues. (PC World magazine rated Vista as the biggest disappointment of 2007.) “Microsoft has had problems in the past,” said Kanter. “The company is trying so hard to do something disturbing, but then only the users are disturbed.”
10. Sometimes the threat is real – Kanter explains in his blog that many people are afraid of change because they can be very dangerous and threaten not only old ideas but also jobs. With the introduction of Windows 8, Microsoft’s competitors – including Apple, Google Inc. and Amazon.com – may lose market share if the operating system and the new tablet were successful. “Competitors are certainly resistant to change,” said Kanter. “They will do everything in their power to try to use every cautious customer and fuel the flames of user-resistance.”
The deep redesign of the operating system is also a risk for Microsoft, which needs Windows 8 to be successful in order to maintain its own market share, especially among consumers.
“Microsoft has developed a bold innovation in Windows 8, and the company deserves applause,” says Kanter. “The market’s success, however, will depend on the willingness of users to make such a leap forward.” Will this big change activate too many conventional sources of resistance? That’s the question. “