東京オリンピック2020ロゴ訴訟、全面敗訴になる可能性について

佐野研二郎氏がデザインした東京オリンピック2020の公式エンブレムが自分が作ったリエージュ劇場のエンブレムと極めて似ているとして、ベルギーのオリビエ・ドビ氏がエンブレムの使用の差し止め訴訟をベルギーの裁判所に起こしている。これはもうすでに報道されている

これに対して大会組織委員会はこのデザイナーを激しく非難する声明を発表した。恐らくはやましい点は一切ないことを世間に知らしめるためにあえて強い口調の声明を出したと思われるが、このままだととりあえずは裁判が行われるのではないかという感じになります。

さて、訴訟対策として本当にこれで良いのでしょうか?この点をちょっと考えてみたいと思う。なお私はこのような訴訟には特に詳しくありませんが、アップルとサムスンの特許訴訟はフォローしていたので、その時の状況を思い起こしながら考えたいと思う。

何を証明する訴訟なのか

以下に東京オリンピック2020の公式エンブレムとリエージュ劇場のエンブレムを並べてみた。一見して似ているものの、完全に一致しているわけではなく、異なる点も多い。とはいえ、リエージュ劇場のエンブレムを題材にこれを加工したものだということになれば、日本の著作権法でいう二次的著作物に該当するだろうと思われる。これはヨーロッパや米国ではderivative workと呼ばれるものである。

二次著作物は元の著作物を利用するので、元の著作物を使用する権利が当然ながら必要になる。今回は当然ながら元の著作物を使用する権利は譲り受けていないので、焦点は東京オリンピック2020のエンブレムが二次著作物に相当するのかどうか、つまり元の著作物を利用したのかどうかにかかっていると私は理解している。逆に佐野研二郎氏がリエージュ劇場のエンブレムとは全く独立にデザインをしたということであれば、全く問題はない。

つまり裁判の争点は、佐野研二郎氏がリエージュ劇場のエンブレムを利用したかにかかっていると思われる。当然ながら裁判の過程で、これに関する証拠集めが行われることになる。

そして証拠集め活動そのものが、佐野研二郎氏、審査員を務めたデザイナー、広告代理店、そして大会組織委員会に不利になる可能性を考えないといけない。

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アップル対サムスンの裁判では社内機密情報の公開までも要求された

アップル対サムスンの訴訟では、意図的な特許侵害があったのかどうかを確認する目的で、サムスン社の社内メールが弁護士によってくまなく調べられ、裁判に関係するものは法定資料として公開された。またアップル社の社内メールも一部公開された。メールだけでなく、機密性の高い社内会議資料なども公開された。このように証拠として重要な資料であれば、本来は隠しておきたい内容であっても公開させられてしまうのが裁判である。

今回のケースでは、佐野研二郎氏が果たしてPinterestなどのサイトから画像をダウンロードしていないかを確認したり、公式エンブレムを作り上げるまでの様々なバージョンを見たりしないと、リエージュ劇場エンブレムを利用しているかどうかが確認できない。したがって予想ではあるが、裁判所がMR-design社に資料の公開(メールを含む)を要求するだろう。

もしもその中に審査員の癒着とかを示す内容が含まれていたら…。それは最悪のシナリオだ。

敗訴するのか、和解するのか

勝訴にこだわればこだわるほどMR-design社は社内の証拠を出していかないといけないのかもしれない。そんなことよりもとっとと負けたり、あるいは和解した方が得かもしれない。裁判で勝つよりも、裁判の過程で機密情報がバレることの方がダメージが大きいかもしれない。今回の件はそんな可能性を感じさせる。

個人的にはどんどん争って、広告代理店との癒着関係が公開されていくことを期待はする。しかしエンブレムを取り下げ、和解してしまえばおそらくベルギー側からの訴訟は終わってしまい、すべてが闇に葬られてしまうかもしれない。それはそれで非常に残念である。

以上、著作権裁判、特にヨーロッパのそれの仕組みを一切知らずに想像で書いたが、今回の件は色々と裏がありそうなだけに裁判を戦い抜くのはかなりマイナスではないかと感じざるを得ない。大会組織委員会が勇ましくベルギー人デザイナーを非難したのは、本当にそれでよかったのかどうか。早期和解の可能性を遠ざけて、機密情報がバラされる最悪のシナリオに近づいてしまっていないか。私としてはそれが気になる。

Update

今回の私の議論について、より専門的な見地から解説しているのが大阪芸術大学の純丘曜彰 教授。こちらの書き込みでは、構想スケッチがあれば盗作の疑いを晴らせること、そして現状では裁判に不利であることなど具体的にを述べている。

以下引用

 商標がどうであれ、著作権は、ベルヌ条約によって無方式主義、つまりなんの登録も無しに、ただ創作しただけで、その時点に発生している。ただ、著作権に基づいて権利侵害を主張するには、類似性だけでなく、依拠性(パクったやつが自分の作品を知っていたということ)を立証しなければならない。その立証責任は、原告側にある。たとえネットで知りえた、としても、相手が知っていたという事実を証明するのは、なにぶんにも相手の側に経緯の資料がある以上、かなり困難だ。(へたに自分の構想スケッチを出すと、その画像から、知っていたということを証明してしまう(知っていたということにされてしまう)危険性があるので、記者会見で、それがあるにもかかわらず、それを出すのを弁護士に止められたのだろうか。)
 ただし、この依拠性は、間接事実からの推認でも十分とされている。すなわち、①知りえた可能性、②類似性以上の酷似性、③オリジナルの周知性、の3点が証明できれば、依拠した、ということになる。逆に、弁護側は、①絶対に知りえなかった、②それほど似ていない、③それほど有名じゃない、と抗弁することで、独立創作としての別個の著作権の存在を証明する。

サントリーのトートバッグの一件で、このデザイナーがpinterest、その他、ネットのかなり奥深いところから巧妙に素材を拾ってきていることが完全に明らかになってしまった。これまた、①知りえた可能性、というだけでなく、実際にネットで知った事実性がかなり高い、ということを自分で立証してしまったようなもの。おまけに、②酷似どころかまんまコピペの常習犯、となると、当該エンブレムに関してのみ、似ていない、関係が無い、などと主張する方がもはや難しい。

Update 2

本日、8月26日に朝日新聞に掲載された永井一正氏のインタービューだが、現時点では状況を変えるほどのインパクトはないと私は考える。その根拠については新たに書いたが、要は永井一正氏の言葉を信じる根拠が弱すぎるのである。

現象を最もエレガントに説明する説:東京オリンピック2020 ロゴに何があったか

サイエンスにしても何にしても同じだと思うが、観測されている現象を最も矛盾なく、エレガントに説明している説や理論が最も信憑性が高いと考えるのが自然であると私は思う。それが仮に2ちゃんねるのような怪しいところに現れた説であっても、その出処が重要ではなく、その説明能力こそが重要である。

その意味ではここに投稿された内容が非常に気になる。

五輪エンブレム 取り下げるべき と広がる波紋  問題ない と組織委★17

関係者から聞いた話をマジレスすると オリンピックパクリエンブレム決定の際博報堂社員からリエージュエンブレムと類似しているからと指摘があったらしい
本来はこの時点で失格になるはずなんだが 博報堂幹部がリエージュ側に了解をとるから大丈夫としたが、予想に反していくらお金を積もうともリエージュ側は了解しなかった
仕方なくデザインをギリギリの線まで変更したらしい
それで発表したのだが リエージュ側からクレームが出た
もともとは円の輪郭も大きくそっくりそのままでLの三角のところに日の丸があるだけで明らかなパクリデザインだった
審査員にはここまで大幅に変更したことは口止めしている

参考までに下に各ロゴを示した。

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佐野研二郎氏にまつわる今回の事件では不思議な点が多く、もっと裏があるはずだと多くの人が感じている。この投稿された内容を信じると、その不審点の幾つかが見事に説明できる。

  1. どうして事前に似ていることに気づかなかったか?: オリンピンクほどの大イベントであるから、エンブレムが他のものに類似してしまっていないか、事前に十分に確認が行われているだろうとは誰もが想像する。今回の投稿では実際に博報堂の社員から類似性の指摘があったということなので、この疑問点が解消される。
  2. リエージュ側がどうして大物弁護士を雇って訴訟を起こすのか?: 盗作されたと訴えているデザイナーはそれほど有名な人ではないのに、どうして費用が相当にかさむであろう大物弁護士を雇うことができたのか。また類似性はあるとしても、偶然の類似の可能性が否定できない程度なので、どうしてそこまで確信を持って訴訟を起こせるのか。私にはこの2点は疑問だった。しかし事前にリエージュ側と博報堂が水面下で交渉をしていて、その交渉が決裂していたということであれば納得がいく。リエージュ側としては絶対に勝訴できる盗作の証拠を握っていることになるので、勝訴を確信していることになる。

今回は私が確実におかしいと思っていたことに限定して解説を試みた。不審点はまだ他にもあるので、今後も今回投稿された情報の視点から考えてみようと思う。

それにしても、現象を最もよく説明する説であるとはいえ、この話はあまりにも汚すぎる。最も信じたくない説の一つであるのは間違いない。

アップデート

不思議に思っていることをもう少し追加する。

  1. どうしてそもそも佐野氏の作品が採用されたのか?: 私はデザインの優劣を評価する立場にはないが、このエンブレムは一般人の間では必ずしも評価が高くない。むしろはっきり言ってかなり低い。そのような作品がどうして採用されたのかが謎であった。今回の投稿によれば、どうやら博報堂の影響力が相当に強いようである。選考過程において博報堂の利益誘導があったとしても全く不思議ではない状況といえる。

なお確認はできていないが、これについては以下のツイートも気になる。本当であれば佐野研二郎のデザインが採用されるのは最初から出来レースであったということになり、なおかつそのことを利用しビジネスを有利に展開していた広告代理店の姿が見える。

多摩川 慰安婦問題さんはTwitterを使っています 東京五輪エンブレム発表会は7月24日 高崎卓馬は五輪エンブレムの選考委員 電通の高橋が佐野研二郎を前面に打ち出した 夏は昼からトート キャンペーン を 東京五輪エンブレムで佐野デザインがブレイクします ってサントリーにプレゼンしたのが5月のGW前後w FX Kuririn

アップデートその2

まだ一つ、私には理解できない大きなポイントが残っている。今回の投稿を含めて考えても理解できないでいる。それは、どうして大会組織委員会がベルギーのオリビエ・ドビ氏をかくも強く非難したかである。

我々の詳細な説明に耳を傾けようともせず、自らの主張を対外発信し続けたうえ、提訴する道を選んだ態度は公共団体としての振る舞いとしては受け入れがたい

これは真っ向から裁判で対決しようという姿勢であり、早期の和解の可能性を遠ざけるものである。よほどの勝算がない限り、それも早期に決着がつけられる自信がない限り、このような発言はしないと考えるのが普通であろう。なぜならばオリンピック関連のグッズ制作などは始まっており、スポンサーの広告などでもエンブレムが使用されるはずだからである。万一敗訴した場合にはその時点からすべてを作り直さないといけないわけで、故意が判明した場合には賠償責任を負うからである。裁判は数年かかるのが普通であるから、決着がつくまで戦うとオリンピック直前になる可能性があり、傷口が浅いうちに早期に和解するのが得策だろうと私などは思う。もちろん和解を有利に進めるための作戦もあるだろうが、ベルギー側を強く非難することはさすがにリスクが大きいと感じる。

今回の投稿と矛盾しない説明をするためには、エンブレムの類似性に気づき、秘密裏にベルギー側と交渉していたのは博報堂までで、大会組織委員会には知らせていなかったと考えないといけない。大会組織委員会に対して、博報堂などが「絶対大丈夫」と委員会に伝え、ナイーブにも委員会がそれを信じたと考えないといけない。そんなことがありうるのかどうかは業界の体質を知っている人間でないと何とも言えないと思うが、もしそうだとするならばあまりにも博報堂が傲慢だったと考えざるを得ない。また大会組織委員会もあまりに楽天的だと考えないといけない(ただし競技場の予算見積もりの報道を見る限り、組織委員会がそれぐらいに楽天的である可能性は否定できない)。

アップデートその3

日刊サイゾーに『佐野研二郎氏の五輪エンブレム“盗作問題”「損害賠償」を恐れる利権構造の闇』と題された記事が8月19日に掲載され、今回の問題の裏で動いている広告代理店について解説している。特に新しい情報はないが、今回取り上げた2チャンネルの投稿を裏付ける内容となっている。

How Can Tizen Differentiate From Android Wear?

Although Apple has not released the sales figures for Apple Watch and neither has any of their competitors, it is widely assumed that Apple Watch is dominating the general purpose smartwatch segment (excluding dedicated fitness trackers).

At this point, Apple’s competitors, the Android Wear camp and Samsung Tizen have two choices. They can try to incorporate the good ideas of Apple Watch into their own designs, but at the same time keep themselves distinct in appearance in UI. The other choice is to not give a damn and make themselves as similar to Apple Watch as possible, essentially copying the design.

Samsung has essentially proven with their smartphones, that the latter choice works tremendously well, and if you have the money to wage a long legal war, you can essentially escape serious punishment.

Samsung has just shown off a teaser for their new Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch based on Tizen, and to no one’s surprise, they have chosen to copy Apple.

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The great thing about Tizen is that Samsung is not held back in any way by Google, and it is completely free to copy Apple any way they wish. Google is much more likely to shy away from this approach and try to use their own Material Design, regardless of which approach results in more sales.

So here, Samsung has clearly found a way to differentiate Tizen from the Android Wear camp. Tizen will copy Apple Watch while Android Wear OEMs will use Material Design. I’m pretty sure that Samsung’s approach is going to work better.

Illustration Of Why India’s Market Is Difficult For Apple

I’ll just show some graphs that clearly illustrate the differences between the smartphone markets in China and India, and tell us that Apple still needs to do a lot of basic groundwork in India before it can expect iPhone sales to boom there.

The data is taken from StatCounter, and I have used mobile operating system (excluding tablets) web usage share statistics going back to June 2010.

China
StatCounter os CN monthly 201006 201507

India
StatCounter os IN monthly 201006 201507

  1. Web usage from iPhone in China was already above 10% in Jan. 2011. This is presumably mostly due to gray market phones or the second-hand market since Apple wasn’t selling nearly that much iPhones in China back then.
  2. This suggests that the Chinese market was already primed for a big jump in iPhone purchases, far before the iPhone became available on their largest carrier, China Mobile (2014).
  3. In the Indian market however, there is absolutely no priming of iPhone demand. Web usage from iPhone is very small.

It is clear that for iPhone to succeed in India in the mid-term, Apple has to be pretty aggressive. The situation is nowhere like how the Chinese market was.

Understanding Where Tablets Can Go From Here

Before iPad sales started to slow down in 2013, the vast majority of analysts were bullish on tablets, predicting the imminent replacement of mainstream computing (PCs) by tablets. I’ll just pick a few articles to illustrate my point;

  1. John Kirk on Techpinions, Jan. 2014: How The Tablet Made An Ass Of The PC
  2. Ben Bajarin on Techpinions, Jun. 2013: How the Tablet is Killing the PC
  3. Horace Dediu on Asymco, Dec. 2013: When will the migration from PCs be complete?
  4. Ben Thompson on Stratechery, Jan. 2014: WINDOWS 8 AND THE COST OF COMPLEXITY

Although the degree to which each analyst strongly suggested a glowing future for tablets varies, there was a very consistent theme that tablets were in the process of replacing PCs.

In 2014, declining iPad sales (and declining Android tablet sales shortly thereafter) proved that these analysts were completely wrong, or at the very least, overlooking a very important piece of the puzzle.

For the record, I was questioning the conventional wisdom that tablets were replacing PCs back in January and February of 2014, before most pundits noticed that iPad sales were flattening (1, 2, 3), so I think I had a pretty accurate sense that iPad growth wouldn’t be so easy. I even said in Jan 2014;

So what I sense is the possibility that tablets (as computing devices) may have hit a roadblock in adoption, and this is due to the potential market being actually much smaller than envisioned. Much smaller than the PC market.

Now that Ben Bajarin has become openly bearish(subscription required) on tablets, I think we should take a step back and look at the market from a birds-eye perspective. We should question whether we really understand what is happening.

Understanding the complexity of the tablet PC market.

The tablet market is extremely complex. PCs were first hired mainly to do increase office productivity, and later to connect to the Internet. Smartphones, despite being very complex in what they can accomplish, are essentially uniform in the value that they provide to their users. However tablets are very different. They can be very different things to different people. Let me elaborate.

Jobs where the iPad is already a good fit

  1. A corporate executive’s/sales rep’s communication device: By this, I mean a device that is hired to handle simple emails and messaging, leaning on the reading aspect more than writing. You could also add a bit of presentations and accessing corporate web-based dashboards.
  2. A home entertainment device: Current tablets allow users to view a variety of video content and also provide a wide range of video.
  3. A home Internet device: Current tablets, especially the iPad is used for a variety of common consumer Internet tasks like viewing websites, posting on Facebook, replying to messages, etc.

These are the jobs which already existed, and in which the iPad could already be considered mature. Because the value proposition was clear and obvious, these are the jobs which drove the initial tremendous ramp up of iPad sales. In particular, we know that the majority of iPad usage happened in the home and not at work. Hence it is likely that items 2. and 3. were the main drivers.

The problem is, these jobs were equally well served by smartphones as a) better software became available for smartphones (e.g. Facebook moving from HTML5 to native) and b) smartphones got bigger.

Jobs where the current iPad is not yet a good fit

There are also a number of tasks where the iPad is not yet a good fit, more often than not due to the fact that the market itself has not yet been established.

  1. A field worker’s device: This is something that Ben Bajarin has noted in several articles. In the field, many workers still carry around paper documents and fill in paper forms. There is non-consumption of IT in these workflows. Tablets will inevitably be the instruments that bring IT to these areas, but it will have to be accompanied by customised software solutions designed for the task.
  2. Organised education: Although there is a lot of educational software for tablets which parents use to help develop their children’s skills, iPads are still just starting to be used in schools. I’m sure that the US is the leader in this area, but I’m sure there are still a large number of children who are not able to use personal iPads or other computer devices at school. The situation is even worse in other countries like Japan. The hurdle here is not in the tablets themselves, but in finding the best way to utilise tablets in teaching and training teachers to use them, and obtaining budget. There is also a lack of good teaching material for the teachers to use. This is an emerging market for which tablets are very well suited, but it requires much more than just tech. We have to wait for a lot of other infrastructure to catch up.
  3. Hardware as a service: Tablets can serve as the gateway for a service. For example, a cable TV company can include a tablet in your contract which you can use to view TV anywhere in your house, or save locally to view during your boring train commute. This has also been discussed many times, but the point is, this requires cable TV companies and/or other content distributors to get on board. This kind of negotiation will always take a long time to happen.
  4. A full replacement for PCs: In the long-term, it seems totally obvious to me that we will not be using PCs. Back in the 1990s, we were using computers that could not multitask efficiently and would crash many times during the day. In the 2010s, we are still using computers that can suddenly be infested with malware and have to protect by installing 3rd party software, and which degrade in performance over time requiring a fresh install. Although current operating systems have come a long way in addressing these issues, it is clear to me that a new approach to PC security and consistency is long overdue, and that the sandboxing approach taken by mobile OSes will eventually turn out to be the better path. Just like how we transitioned from cooperative multitasking systems without adequate memory management (Windows 95 and classic MacOS) towards full multitasking and memory protection (Windows XP and MacOS X), it seems inevitable that we will move towards fully sandboxed OSes for the vast majority of users. However, the capabilities of iOS are not yet sufficient to fully replace PCs. This will take time, but we have already seen Apple slowly address issues, first with iOS 8 extensions and now with many features in iOS 9. Given the current rate of improvement, by iOS 15 or so, it is totally reasonable to expect iOS to be able to fully replace PCs.
  5. New jobs: When you look at the impact that smartphones have had on our lives, one can clearly observe that it has hugely increased our consumption of computing. We browse the Internet in situations where it was previously unpractical. We all put our schedules into electronic devices. We share huge amounts of photos. Tech is not about device A replacing device B. Instead, it is about technology being used in new ways. It is about the situations where we couldn’t use tech, being converted to those where tech makes a significant contribution. In the same way, we should not try to find areas where tablets may replace current devices; we should try to find the remaining areas where people are not using technology. These are the areas where tablets can shine. There is no shortage of these areas, but we have to keep in mind that there is often a good reason why they have not been penetrated by tech. We have to keep in mind that in many cases, non-tech issues will have to be solved before tech can come in. A prime example of such out-of-the-box thinking is the recent collaboration between Japan Post, Apple and IBM to bring iPads to Japanese senior citizens.

What this complexity means

Because the tablet market is so complex and has many independent jobs-to-be-done, the sales data that we are seeing is simply an aggregate value that tells you very little about what is actually happening. The decline in tablet sales does not necessarily mean that the long-term prospects are dim because these data do not expose nascent growth segments. It is very likely that we initially saw rapid adoption due to jobs in the first category (jobs where the iPad was already a good fit), but this market levelled out as smartphones evolved. On the other hand, I expect the jobs in the second category (jobs where the iPad is not yet a good fit) are just getting started. However, jobs in the second category were not previously associated with IT and hence there is often little infrastructure in place and no budget allocated. This means that it will take time for the second category to gain significant traction. At the same time, it is hard to gauge the market size of the second category.

What we can expect is that in the mid- to long-term, jobs in the second category will definitely start to gain traction. Furthermore, as long as Apple keeps the faith, tablets will improve to the point where they can fully replace laptops in not only the common tasks, but in virtually all tasks. What we do not know yet is what the size of the tablet market will be at this point in the future.

Multiple Windows in Windows Universal Apps

Although I was very relieved to find Windows Store Apps (previously Metro Apps and soon to be Universal apps) to be much nicer on Windows 10 compared to Windows 8, simply because they opened up in a separate windows instead of taking up the whole screen, there is one, very common GUI paradigm that I missed. That was, the concept of multiple windows per application.

Looking at the Store Apps that Microsoft itself has provided, multiple windows have been very much deemphasised. For example, in the Mail application, I have been unable to find a way to open up individual messages in a separate window. In Word Mobile, the application even explicitly saves and closes the current document when you choose a new one from the “open” menu.

Microsoft actually has developer guidelines regarding applications with multiple windows. Although they clearly mention that it is possible to create an application with multiple windows, and give you directions on how you should implement it, they also make it clear that you should be careful and deliberate about it.

  • Design new windows that allow users to accomplish tasks entirely within the window.
  • Don’t automatically open a new window when a user navigates to a different part of the app. The user should always initiate the opening of a new window.
  • Don’t require the user to open a new window to complete the main purpose of the app.

You can see an example of multiple windows in the Windows 10 calendar app when you view the details of an appointment. Note that opening an appointment in a separate window is a two-step process. You first have to view the details in the same window, and from there, you click the button on the upper right to open a new window.

スクリーンショット_080415_073101_AM

Because multiple windows has become such a common GUI concept on PCs, I expect many users to be confused or at the least irritated at this change. On the other hand, from a developer point of view, it is totally understandable that this makes it easier to create a single application spanning mobile and PCs.

Hopefully, Microsoft will think up new ways to bring the benefits of multiple windows to Windows Store apps, because simply, I think this UI policy is too restricting and unfamiliar except for anything but the simplest of apps. The hope is that Microsoft is seriously contemplating converting the current MS-Office apps to Windows Store apps, instead of providing separate versions (currently Word, Excel, PowerPoint Mobile for Windows Store, and Word, Excel, PowerPoint 2013 for traditional desktops). That would be something.

Monitoring the Adoption of Windows 10

StatCounter gives us an easy way for us to monitor the growth of Windows 10 instalments.

StatCounter os US daily 20150727 20150802

Note the rise of the black Win10 line. Windows 10 web usage will soon surpass Window XP and it has already surpassed Windows 8.0. Although it is dangerous to simply extrapolate the data, it is possible that Windows 10 instalments will exceed Windows 8.0 + 8.1 in August.

Note:
The decline of Windows 7 usage over the weekend is not indicative of Windows 7 machines being upgraded to Windows 10. This is simply a result of Windows 7 machines being used mostly in the workplace on weekdays. Due to the weekly cycles of usage and normal fluctuations in the data, we will have to observe web usage data for at least a few weeks to confidently detect a decrease in Windows 7 usage.

Note2:
In the above analysis, I used web usage data from StatCounter that was restricted to the United States. The reasons for this are simple.

  1. The “Worldwide” statistics for StatCounter are not representative of actual worldwide usage, nor do they try to be. For that matter, Net Market Share statistics aren’t much better either.
  2. The United States is the most likely the largest single market for Windows.
  3. Countries where high-speed Internet access is less common will be slow to upgrade, irrespective of the appeal of Windows 10. The rate of adoption of Windows 10 in these countries cannot be a measure of how well it will fare long term. Just for your information, there is significant variation in the early adoption of Windows 10 according to StatCounter. Countries like the US (4.3% as of Aug. 2), the UK (6.3%), Germany (4.9%) and Sweden (5.0%) have a high adoption rate. Japan, France, South Korea, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Russia have lower rates. However, given the sample bias in StatCounter, I would not take these differences too seriously.

Note3:
Although not yet clear enough to be certain, there does seem to already be a small but visible reduction of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 web usage in Sweden, where Windows 10 adoption seems to be particularly rapid.

StatCounter-os-SE-daily-20150704-20150802

The Lack Of Apps For Windows

I never thought I would say that Windows lacks apps. This is however, how I feel after using Windows 10 for a few day.

Granted, I am not a heavy Windows user and my experience is mostly confined to the PC that was handed to me at work. However, I suspect that for the majority of people, this is actually the full extent of their Windows experience. Although I am not a heavy user, I am pretty much an average user.

Now if your knowledge of apps on Windows is mostly limited to Microsoft Office and Exchange, then the only experience with a huge app ecosystem would be the iOS App Store and the Google Play store. You would not have known that there were a ton of apps for Windows even in the old days, and even if you did, you would not know where to find them. You best bet would have been to go the your local retail store to get a shrink-wrapped version, and no, Amazon isn’t really an option because they don’t even bother to include the descriptions that you can find on the boxes.

Therefore I would argue that for a regular user, their perception of the app ecosystem for that OS depends on the default app store, regardless of how many shrink-wrapped apps you can find at stores. In this regard, Windows 10 falls short. Terribly short.

It would be much better if Microsoft had a store for their non-Metro apps, much in the same way as Apple has their Mac App Store. They could even simply provide an app or a link to the Microsoft Store (which for some reason is down today) where they showcase hardware and software that run on Windows.

On the other hand, my expectation is that developers that are quick to embrace the Windows Store might get a lot of exposure, just like how early iOS developers were able to earn more money more easily than the current ones can. The Windows Store was available since Windows 8, but since the experience of using Metro apps on desktop PCs was so bad, I expect the vast majority of users didn’t take a serious look into the Windows Store. Now with Windows 10, the situation should be very different.

Will Windows 10 Invigorate Windows Store Apps?

One very clear observation with Windows 10 is that it lowers the mental barrier towards Windows Store applications. Given that Store apps are optimised for tablets and that the number of Windows tablets in use is very low in comparison to the total number of PCs in use, we can confidently say that not many store apps are being downloaded and used. In particular, very few are being used on desktop computers.

Windows 10 has the potential to change this. With Windows 8, I loathed Metro apps and was irritated when an icon that I mistakenly clicked took me to a Metro app that suddenly took over the screen. The keyboard shortcut to take me back to the desktop mode (Windows key + d) was one of the first that I remembered, and one that I never forgot. Now with Windows 10, Metro apps act more like regular desktop apps, consuming only a single window and leaving the rest of the screen alone. Interacting with background windows is a single click away, and you can view multiple windows at the same time. It’s something that we’ve been enjoying for decades, and it’s a relief to be freed of the tyranny of Windows 8 Metro apps. This should make users much more willing to try out Store apps.

For example, I never used the official Twitter app (a Metro app) on Windows 8. I like to have Twitter as a background window as I work on something more important, but Metro would not let me do this. Thus I never used that app. With Windows 10, my problems are solved. Keeping Metro apps in a background window is just as easy as it is with regular Windows apps. The only problem right now is that the Twitter app is still limited in features and the behaviour is a bit quirky, but it is no longer a hard limitation of the OS, but an issue with the app itself.

Because of this alone, I expect Windows Store apps to see much more interest than before. Because of the huge size of the Windows PC ecosystem and the rapid uptake of Windows 10, we might even see excitement in the Store. Now that would be something.

Update

One should also keep in mind the massive size of Microsoft’s goal of 1 billion Windows 10 devices in the next 2-3 years. Many analysts consider this to be conservative, but this would still be about twice as large as iPhone’s installed base. Android’s installed base is probably something like 1.5 billion to 2.0 billion so Windows 10 would be half of that. If we also consider that the Windows PC owner demographic is much more likely to spend money on stuff compared to the Android demographic, which skews strongly to relatively low-income owners, it could be that we on the verge of seeing the sudden emergence of new huge app store ecosystem. This is something to watch carefully.

Thoughts on Windows 10

Some quick thoughts on Windows 10 after playing with it for a couple of days after the release.

It is no longer confusing

I consider this to be the single, most important feature of Windows 10. Unlike Windows 8 and 8.1, I no longer am confused with how to perform really simple tasks like opening up a browser, getting to the control panel, opening up Evernote, etc.

The important thing to understand about the Windows ecosystem is that despite Windows 8 being released back in October 2013 and being with us for almost two years, the vast majority of users are still using the traditional Start Menu-based navigation system on Windows XP or Windows 7. This is more pronounced in corporate environments, most of which are still on Windows 7. One cannot overstate the importance of Windows 10 being intuitive to these users.

Number of Instalments

It has been reported that Windows 10 has been installed on 67 million machines as of 8AM July 31st. Since the release was on the 29th, this massive number was achieved in a just a couple of days. This is a tremendously huge number.

To put this number in perspective, the installed base of PCs is in the 1.0 to 1.5 billion range (Microsoft says that they have 1.5 billion Windows devices including phones, and 1 billion Office users). Of this, only about 15% are on Windows 8/8.1 (based on web usage statistics). This puts the number of Windows 8/8.1 instalments at 150-225 million. Windows 10 has achieved about 1/3 of this in 2 days. The number of Macs are only 5% of total PCs, at about 50-75 million (at WWDC 2014, Apple said it was 80 million), so Windows 10 instalments will likely exceeded the total number of Mac instalments any time now. Gartner is predicting Chromebooks sales of just 7.3 million in 2015, which is just a tenth of Windows 10 installs.

Simply put, the rollout of Windows 10 has been massive by any measure. Microsoft has also formally announced their goal of 1 billion Windows 10 devices within the next 2-3 years, which has been considered to be an achievable if not conservative goal.

Usage share

Given the massive uptake of Windows 10, Windows 10 should show up in web usage statistics. Sure enough, Stat Counter has put Windows 10 at 2.69% of US desktop usage as of July 31st. This compares with 0.92% for Chrome OS, 4.8% for Win XP, 3.19% for Win Vista and 20.9% for Win 8/8.1 and 17.04% for Mac OS. We can expect this this number to rise rapidly within the next few weeks.

Effect on future browser usage share

Windows 10 apparently sets your default browser to Microsoft Edge, even when you had previously set it to Firefox or Chrome. It will be very interesting to see how many people will stay with Edge and how many will set it back to the browser of their choice.

If many people stay with Edge, which is certainly possible given that it is actually quite nice, then Chrome usage share will suffer. More importantly, since the default search engine of Edge is Bing, Google Search market share may also decline significantly.