I was reading "10 hurdles to Windows 10 adoption". In slide 12, there's this paragraph:

I still think it’s smartest for Windows 7 customers to stand pat, unless they see something in Windows 10 that’s absolutely irresistible. The carrots in the current version 1511 aren’t that great for most. Microsoft’s infuriating push to Get Windows 10, and its uneven handling of the new Windows-as-a-service paradigm show the need for a whole lot of maturing, both in the product and in the way it’s handled.

I guess "carrots aren't that great" here means the features aren't good enough. Correct?

What's the real expression used here? Is it common?

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    As an aside, I find the window management in 10 to be a significant improvement over that in 7 and 8, at least in regard to tiling. Also the improvements to cmd.exe. So those are some carrots the average user won't find attractive but power users will.
    – JAB
    Feb 18, 2016 at 17:11

1 Answer 1


Here, the carrots refer to attractive features that might lure you into adopting the new version. It comes from the idiom carrot and stick. To induce someone to do something you can promise a reward, the carrot, threaten punishment, the stick, or do both. There’s an analogy here to trying to make a horse or donkey go forward. Thanks to Todd Wilcox for the picture suggestion. enter image description here

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    A picture might be worth 1000 words here: i.ytimg.com/vi/HkVHCG9-SMY/maxresdefault.jpg The idea is that there are two ways to make a horse move, lead it from the front with a carrot or hit it from behind with a stick. It's a widely used metaphor for the balance between positive and negative encouragement/enforcement. +1 Feb 18, 2016 at 13:44
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    @Todd Wilcox - I guess I'm missing some context, but why is that baseball player riding a horse? That picture is indeed worth a thousand words, all of which make up a line of questioning about animal cruelty and MLB. Feb 18, 2016 at 17:00
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    @Matt I'm guessing it's an attempt to draw a polo jockey by someone who is more familiar with baseball than with polo.
    – R.M.
    Feb 18, 2016 at 19:01
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    Interesting, I always thought the "stick" in that idiom was the one the carrot was attached to. Seems I was wrong...
    – Ajedi32
    Feb 18, 2016 at 21:58
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    @R.M. Maybe that's a baseball player that's late for his game.
    – Jacinto
    Feb 19, 2016 at 0:21

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