Windows 10 picks up good vibrations, user excitations

Social media buzz measurements by Adobe peg Microsoft's new OS with a lower 'sadness' score than Apple's next OS X

Windows 10 is buzz-worthy, Adobe said Wednesday as it cited data from its social media metrics platform that showed positive vibes about the new OS.

Measuring 3-plus million mentions harvested from blogs, Instagram, Reddit, Twitter and elsewhere over the last 30 days, Adobe's Social analytics pegged the most upbeat slice at 40%, only slightly less than the 46% measured for Apple's OS X El Capitan, the Mac upgrade expected to debut in the next three months.

Adobe drops social media impressions into a number of buckets, including ones labeled "admiration," "joy," "sadness," "surprise" and "anticipation."

Windows 10 garnered 40% in admiration and joy, 20% in surprise, and 6% in anticipation. On the negative side, the operating system tagged 30% of the mentions with the sadness sticker.

El Capitan, meanwhile, polled 35% in that sadness category and 46% in admiration and joy. For anticipation and surprise, OS X 10.11 scored 2% and 17%, respectively.

That Windows 10 -- which is not known for an audience of fawning users -- came close to matching El Capitan's numbers in the admiration and joy buckets, and beat Apple's OS with a lower sadness score, has to be considered a win for Microsoft.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has spoken several times of building an emotional bridge between customers and Windows 10. "We want to move from people needing Windows to choosing Windows, to loving Windows. That is our bold goal," Nadella said in January during a consumer-oriented pitch for the operating system.

"Needing" is the traditional opinion on Microsoft's software, the take largely drawn from Windows' success in the workplace. Moving Windows along Nadella's line of transitions, first to "choosing" Windows -- which is a hard enough row to hoe when Apple's iOS and Google's Android power the vast bulk of computing devices -- then to "loving" it, may be both bold, as the chief executive put it, and unattainable.

The nearly one-third of mentions put into Adobe's sadness category showed that Microsoft has work to do. Contributing to that bad buzz, said Adobe, were problems that some users encountered while trying to upgrade and privacy concerns raised by the OS's new Wi-Fi Sense feature, which shares encrypted passwords to Wi-Fi networks with friends.

Most reviews of Windows 10 published by both mainstream and technology outlets have been buoyant. "Windows 10 is a dramatic improvement over Windows 8," concluded Preston Gralla, who reviewed the OS for Computerworld. "It works as single, unified operating system rather than a Rube Goldberg kludge of two operating systems poorly bolted together [like Windows 8]."

But those same reviews typically added the caveat that the launch code had more than its share of bugs compared to past editions, and that it wasn't a bad idea to pull the upgrade trigger later rather than sooner. Such talk stemmed from the new it's-never-finished development model and accelerated release cadence.

"There are compelling reasons to wait a little while," Gralla said.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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