Windows 10/11 mini-survey shows: Microsoft missed terrible the user needs (2021)

Windows[German]It is sometimes hotly debated, whether Microsoft is developing Windows 10 and especially Windows 11 past the need. Susan Bradley conducted a mini-poll on SurveyMonkey weeks ago on the topic of "how satisfied are you with Windows 10/11 and the updates, the feature updates and the features offered". The evaluation from the end of September has only just come to my attention. First of all, the results are a severe slap in the face for Microsoft's marketing, which has been developing products that are not in line with the market's needs for years.


At the end of the article, there is a longer list of links to earlier articles here on the blog, which deal with various aspects regarding the usability and satisfaction with Windows 10. Then in August/September 2021 there was a new survey by Susan Bradley, the announcement of which on ComputerWorld had completely passed me by. Therefore, I had not addressed it separately here in the blog, but participated in the following Windows 10/11 survey on SurveyMonkey the days.

Survey Windows 10/11
Survey Windows 10/11

Susan Bradley wanted to get a picture of how IT pros use Windows, what they think of Windows 11, and what other options are available. The survey asks what operating systems and versions people use, how satisfied they are with Windows 10, what they think of Microsoft's update quality and Windows 10 feature updates. After all, Windows 10 has been on the market for 6 years, so the biggest opponents who are shooting against the "new" operating system should be used to it by now – the masses have long since arrived on Windows 10.

And Susan Bradley (aka Patch Lady or SBSDiva) wanted to know in the survey, which was aimed at IT pros, whether people would know Windows 11 and switch to the operating system. Alright, this isn't a representative survey with millions of participants – there were just over 1,000 responses. For me, however, it's an indication of the mood in the tech bubble in which I operate. After all, the readership is international. Susan Bradley had already published the results of these findings on ComputerWorld in this article at the end of September 2021, but addressed the whole thing again on Twitter at the weekend. I'll therefore present it here. 

Operating systems used

A first question was about which operating systems the participants still use. That's where the first surprises came for me.


  • Windows 10 is used by 74.75% of the participants in various builds.
  • But still 9.7% of the respondents use Windows 7 with ESU.
  • And 5.94 % of the respondents already worked with Linux

The rest (4.55%) were distributed among Windows 11, Windows XP, Chromebook and Windows 98, macOS from Apple came to 1.98% of the answers. No one can get past Windows 10, but Windows 7 and Linux have about 15% of the desktop market, which would not have been expected.

Satisfaction with Windows

The numbers on overall satisfaction with Windows (all versions) aren't bad at all, if you look at the following figures:

  • 21.82% are satisfied with Windows
  • 41.56% express themselves as at least partially satisfied with Windows
  • 14.71 % state that they are neutral towards Windows
  • 11.65% are not satisfied with Windows and
  • 10.27 % are absolutely dissatisfied with Windows

Since the majority of people work with Windows 10, these numbers can also be mapped to this operating system. In the survey, the participants could state why they were not satisfied with Windows. Three guesses as to what was mentioned most often? No, it wasn't the colorful icons that people missed. Nor was it gimmicks like News and Interests or Teams integration or the Peoples app. Satisfaction killers were:

  • the time wasted on updates
  • the issues encountered after updates
  • and the telemetry

When I see those three points, alarm bells should be ringing in marketing and product development. Microsoft has a big problem if more than 20% of the people are not satisfied or very dissatisfied and three big problems show why this is the case.

After all, 76.9% of respondents think Windows 10 at least meets their needs. One big driver for Windows 10 is probably gamers, an area where Linux cannot keep up yet.

Satisfaction with the update process

I found the questions about IT professionals' satisfaction with the update process provided by Microsoft for the various versions of Windows interesting. That's because I still remember my German article Anwender: Überlasst Microsoft die Verwaltung der Updates … from 2016. Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President of Enterprise Client and Mobility at Microsoft has been interviewed. At the time, Anderson says within the interview, that companies should just let Microsoft do it and patch automatically, they know what they are doing. We are now a few months older, have survived COVID-19 and HomeOffice and, above all, many patch days. How is this reflected in the survey?

  • 44.02% of respondents are not satisfied with the quality of the Windows 10 update process (about half are even very dissatisfied)
  • 19.06% of respondents are neutral about the update quality
  • 25.05% of respondents are somewhat satisfied and only 11.88% are completely satisfied with the Windows 10 updates issued by Microsoft.

Susan Bradley illustrates the discrepancy of what Brad Anderson has in mind in the above interview and what respondents think in two sentences. It used to be "Oh, a new Windows update, I really need to install that." Now you hear from Windows 10 users "Oh no, not again. A new update." People literally tremble before every patchday and wonder what was subsequently patched broken again. There can't be a more severe slap for Microsoft.

How useful are feature updates

When Windows 10 was released, the semia annual feature upgrades were praised as the greatest invention since the "Egg of Columbus". Always the latest features, security built right in and everything fully automated – user, what else could you want. A few days ago, on the he release of Windows 10 21H2, I mentioned that Microsoft will revert to annual feature updates for Windows 10 as well (as it did for Windows 11) in the future (see Windows 10 November 2021 Update (21H2) released).

  • Only 3.83% of participants rate feature upgrades as extremely useful
  • After all, 16.43% can still classify feature upgrades as somewhat useful
  • 26.11% of the participants see the whole thing neutrally, it's useful but it doesn't do any harm either
  • But more than 53% of survey participants did not find feature upgrades useful

Susan Bradley quotes one participant as saying "In the entire time Windows 10 has been available, I have yet to experience a feature update that has had an obvious impact on my work." That's a flat red card for Windows 10 management in Redmond, who have been developing an operating system past the needs of the majority of the user base for six years.

Will the breakthrough come with Windows 11?

Microsoft's Windows management will think: "Hey, what does the Windows 10 snow of yesterday care about, in October 2025 everything will be over anyway, we now have Windows 11". I had already mentioned here in the blog that the Windows 11 announced by Microsoft in the summer of 2021 and released at the beginning of October 2021 was simply unknown to the majority of normal users. And the majority of existing systems are also simply unsuitable for Windows 11 (see Windows 11: Rollout is the starting October 5, 2021).

The survey shows that almost all respondents had heard of Windows 11 – of the 1,006 participants, only 4 said they didn't know about Windows 11. Of the remaining 1,002 people, only 20.4% are excited about this Windows 11. When asked about upgrading, they said:

  • 22.74 % plan to switch to Windows 11 in the near future
  • 27.41 % have to stay with Windows 10 because of incompatible hardware
  • 11.82% stay with Windows 10 because they like it

Interestingly, 38.03% of respondents cited "other" as a reason for not upgrading, with some saying they would move to 11 once it proved stable. But the forces of persistence in the Windows ecosystem are strong, with 80.32% of respondents saying they will not upgrade to Windows 11 in the survey, which took place in August 2021 and was analyzed at the end of September 2021. Only 19.68% plan to upgrade, and 8.97% switched to a Linux platform, while 14.05% cited another option (including staying with Windows 7).

However, we are already a few weeks further – we have already seen how buggy Windows 11 is overall. In terms of improvement requests, Microsoft has already implemented one point "fewer feature updates" from Windows 10 21H2. Regarding the desire for stability, especially with updates, however, I see black. And the demand for "an operating system that belongs to me and doesn't constantly pull data with telemetry" or "my applications have to work and help automate tasks, and not constantly try to install social media garbage or crap like Candy Crush & Co. or other crap on my system" will probably remain a pious wish.

Clippy as killer icon in Windows 11

Microsoft employee and ex-MVP Richard Hay, formerly a blogger, has been community manager for Microsoft Q&A for a few weeks. This morning, the above tweet from Hay came to my attention. Apparently Candy Crush, Clippy and icons are more important than an operating system that meets users' needs and just works. But every user gets what they deserve.

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