Microsoft’s Strategic Blunder with Windows 8

Could Windows 8 eventually catch on? Perhaps it can over time. But Microsoft needs to do a better job of easing people into it

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Article updated at 3:13 p.m. EDT on May 6, 2013 to correct reference to Lamborghini paddles being used for steering. The paddles are used for shifting.

Last fall, I had the opportunity to drive a Lamborghini at a corporate event that I attended in Monterey, Calif. This was a very cool experience since I have never driven such an expensive ($200,000-plus) car, let alone a serious racing car on a racecourse. When I was being prepped to drive it, the professional driver that was to be in the car with me went through the cockpit controls and showed me how they all worked. The dashboard controls looked like they were from an airplane, given the number of dials and complex features.

The instructor pointed out that while the car had a steering wheel, it also had the racing paddles used for shifting gears, which made steering the car easier and smoother when going fast on a racetrack. These are amazingly sensitive paddles that make controlling the car easier at fast speeds with curves; they’re not for the untrained or faint of heart. When he was showing me these paddles, I became very concerned. I thought he was trying to teach me to use them too quickly before we were to take off. Thankfully, he said the paddles would be disengaged, and I would use the steering wheel for our drive. He also disabled a lot of other features a true race-car driver would use. As a result, I was basically sitting in a normal car with a normal steering wheel, brake, accelerator and speed gauges.

The fact that I was going to get the car to 100-plus miles an hour on the straightaway still freaked me out, but the knowledge that I knew how to drive a normal car, even if this version was a race car, was ultimately comforting. The drive was truly exciting, but as I reflected on it, this race car was pretty much a normal, albeit highly expensive and very souped-up car. And because I knew how to drive a car, I was easily able to jump in and take off with very little instruction.

When Apple introduced the Mac in 1984, millions of PC users had learned to use a computer via DOS commands. Apple’s graphical user interface was revolutionary for DOS users, and very few PC users made the jump to Mac in its early days. However, it struck a nerve with graphics professionals and desktop-publishing professionals. Because of what it could do for them, they were willing to accept the leaning curve in order to master the newfangled interface Apple gave them on the Mac. For others, it was their first computer, and so they learned to use a computer with the Mac’s user interface from scratch.

In 1985, Microsoft realized that the Mac’s graphical user interface might be an important upgrade in user-interface designs, and so the company created the first version of Windows, which eventually became known as Windows 1.0. In 1987, Microsoft introduced Windows 2.0. However, these early versions were considered shells that ran on top of DOS, and it was not until Windows 3.0 was introduced in 1990 that Microsoft added support for virtual memory, which allowed sharing of DOS apps with Windows apps. At that point, the move to Windows began to pick up steam among even die-hard DOS users. But for those five years, when a PC booted up, it booted to DOS and gave users a togglelike approach to switch between DOS and Windows at will.

With the introduction of Windows 95 in 1995, DOS was pretty much history. It is important to note here that the actual transition from DOS as a mainstream interface to Windows took at least five to seven years to accomplish.

While I was entrenched in DOS in those early days of PCs, I jumped to the Mac for one major reason. As a market-research house, we published dozens of reports a year back then. At that time, we had to farm out the final layout and actual printing to a graphics-editing house, and then finally to an actual printing service. When the Mac introduced us to desktop publishing, pretty much all companies that did a lot of publishing quickly jumped to the Mac because it cut costs dramatically and gave us full control over much of the publishing process. Had desktop publishing been available on a DOS machine back then, I probably would have stayed with DOS PCs. However, desktop publishing did not come to the PCs until Windows was in full swing in the early 1990s.

With the introduction of the iPhone and the iPad, Apple again pushed the envelope of user-interface design by making touch an integral part the iPhone and iPad user experience. Once it became clear that touch was the next evolution in user interfaces, Microsoft began to diligently develop touch-based user interfaces of its own. These were first implemented on the Windows Phone line and last fall made their way to PC and tablet products. From a strategic standpoint, Microsoft clearly felt left behind by Apple’s success in touch-based smartphones and tablets, and I think Microsoft’s accelerated move to put touch on Windows PCs was its way of one-upping Apple.

However, Microsoft’s strategic blunder came when the lessons it learned from the past were not carried forth to the launch of the Windows 8 operating system. From the introduction of the IBM PC in 1981, people became conditioned to use DOS as the user interface. Microsoft took about five to seven years to help its customers completely migrate from DOS to Windows. Part of this was a tech problem since Windows 1.0 and Windows 2.0 were just shells; it took Microsoft a long time to develop the code with which Windows was the primary operating system, and DOS was the fallback operating system with full backward compatibility between the two.

But this time around, Microsoft basically threw users of Windows 8 a brand new touch interface and took away a key part of every Windows user’s navigational tools: the Start Button. Microsoft forced people to boot into Windows 8’s touch-friendly interface, but left out the way people have been used to launching into the desktop for the past 20-plus years. It would be like if the race-car instructor were to have taken the steering wheel out of the Lamborghini and told me to use the paddles to shift. Sure, over time I could learn to use the paddles, but to get going now, I need the steering wheel.

I suspect many people who get new PCs with Windows 8 on them feel similar frustrations. After 20 years of the Start Button (steering wheel) it’s gone, and now they have paddles (touch) to work with. Microsoft could have done a lot to make this transition smoother, such as by putting boot-to-touch only on touch-based PCs and then having a toggle button to go from the touch interface to the traditional Windows interface. Or work with the track-pad vendors to map to touch while still keeping the Start Button in place as an option.

This strategic blunder has kept millions of people from jumping on the Windows 8 bandwagon. We are now hearing rumors that the next release of Windows, code-named Windows Blue, will have the Start Button on it. If that is true, it might help get more people to buy Windows 8. However, Microsoft’s blunder has cost it and its partners dearly over the past nine months.

Could Windows 8 eventually catch on? Perhaps it can over time. But if Microsoft does not do a better job of easing people into Windows 8, it could be quite a while before current Windows users adopt this new operating system that radically changes the way they interact with PCs and laptops.

Bajarin is the president of Creative Strategies Inc., a technology-industry analysis and market-intelligence firm in Silicon Valley. He contributes to Big Picture, an opinion column that appears every Monday on TIME Tech.

85 comments
aaronsneddon
aaronsneddon

I got Windows 8 on two new PC's. Absolutely useless, productivity lowered with stupid pictures and the stupidised interface, it was like a childrens tablet PC. The biggest problem came when windows became corrupted, the automatic repair of course failed, tried many ways to repair it, even downloading a trial 8.1 Windows 8 install, it wouldn't install. Windows 8 uses a different file system, and the hard disk was locked in the BIOS, it took about a week to find this out after googling many hours and trying loads of fixes. In the end I decided to downgrade to the best Windows operating system ever, Windows 7. Unlockd the hard disk, formatted it, installed Windows 7, and boy am I happy again. I don't need to learn more, don't need a learning curve, because Im happy with this rapid Windows 7, Windows 8 was slow for me and Windows 7 is perfect. One more thing, I have a touchscreen laptop, and it works just fine. Yes, one other thing, to the guy that said he just has to type the application name into the search box, guess what, you just type the name of the program into the search box on Windows 7 and it does the same, but you do need to type the whole program name, so what.


Windows 7 is great, Windows 8 is awful, even Windows 8.1 is, the start button is pathetic and cut down, why didn't they put the real start button back with the functionality and feel of the old start button, there was nothing wrong with it.

wreckymeck
wreckymeck

I am a  mechanic-I work with oil,carbon,graphite,steel and lots of other gritty dirt,to use my computor I use a plastic mouse and keyboard cover that i can take of and wash what would I use to cover and protect a touch screen-I bet thats somthing the office turkey's have not thought of

wreckymeck
wreckymeck

All Windows need to do is look at the sales figures for windows 7 and the same for windows 8 in November 2013 sales of 7 beat sales of 8 that alone should tell them we are NOT AMUSED

to top matters of my 1 year old asus since upgrading to 8.1 has now lost haf the apps including desktop and internet shotcut leaving it unuseable and on the shelf hence I am now using my old RELIABLE VISTA desktop

choyns313
choyns313

I absolutely HATE the Windows 8 and I won't buy another MS product again if they keep this crap up.  I will just build my own machine and keep a free UNIX OS on it.  Screw Microsoft for trying to force people to use a crappy product.  I can't even smoothly downgrade back to a Windows 7 version on a new machine I bought that has Windows 8 on it (its not pro).  They purposely did this to make it difficult for people who want to use another OS so that you have to take numerous steps to disable the fastboot/secure boot, and a whole bunch of other crap in the UEFI just to download another OS.  You can't just simply reformat and downgrade.  What a crock of BS Microsoft!  You don't even get the actual DVD with the OS anymore when you buy a new PC.  They give the customer an e-manual on the PC that tells you have to do a recovery on a flash drive, but everytime I tried to do that after I bought the machine, the computer froze up, it didn't put the recovery onto the flash drives.  So if your machine dies or something goes wrong with it your SOL.  Not to mention their is so much JUNK on the Windows 8, and your stuck trying to figure out how to get it all off your machine!  I don't want all these games, and other features.  If I wanted them I would have bought them!!  They have loaded up so much "Bloat Ware" its annoying and just screams we don't care about our customers anymore.

bkreps
bkreps

I think Windows 8 (Windows Comic book edition) which came on my Acer Aspire is OK, but I agree that it's just another example of Microsoft pulling the carpet out from underneath our feet. To get around the absence of the Start menu I installed Classic Shell - http://www.classicshell.net

The silly tiles were easy to remove from the Desktop. I'm still trying to resolve a crippling problem with how Microsoft screwed us with regards to Java. To access the web interface of my HP ProCurve switches I need Java. Until I find the solution I have to rdp in to my  Win7 Desktop PC in order to access them.

ChristopherErwinHogan
ChristopherErwinHogan

My biggest beef with Windows 8, besides the missing Start Button, is the constant conflict with my Laptop mouse's "touch" commands.  I'm right in the middle of typing something, and all the sudden my screen zooms way in or out for no apparent reason, because I accidently touched the mouse. Or the cursor unexpectedly jumps to another line and I realize I'm typing in the middle of another word or sentence and have to go back and fix it.  Other times, my window closes completely because I accidently activated the "Toggle Window Tabs" feature.  Very annoying.

mahadragon
mahadragon

Surprised Bajarin wrote this article. Not a good analogy and not a good article either. First off, paddle shifters are very common in today's cars. The VW GTI has optional paddle shifters, and there's nothing especially exotic about a VW GTI which can be had for less than $25k. Mazda also makes models with paddle shifters as well, they are as common as bread. I don't understand why Bajarin makes it sound like paddle shifters are something exotic.

I've driven a Ferrari California, which is in the same league as Lamborghini's and to say a Lamborghini is a normal car that has been 'souped up' tells me that you are totally clueless when it comes to cars, and/or you really didn't push it. A Lamborghini can take a sharp turn at 35mph and stay planted, even in wet weather. 

If you took a normal car, like say a Toyota Camry, and 'souped it up' it couldn't come close to what a Lamborghini can do. Lamborghini's are made with the lightest weight materials and are designed for maximum performance. They are the ultimate driving machines with uncanny handling and performance that are best described as 'video game-like'.

As for MS's Win 8 blunder Bajarin again, completely missed the mark. MS didn't just remove the start button. They put a phone OS on the desktop. Since it's a phone OS it is optimized for touch screens, which most desktop users don't have. MS's move to put Windows Phone 8 on the desktop is curious since I don't recall anyone ever clamoring for Windows Phone 8 to be put on the desktop.

To make matters more complicated, there is a second OS which will run the older legacy software for Windows which looks like the traditional desktop. MS goofed again here because almost none of the legacy software for Windows is optimized for touch. MS is rushing for touch screens when few desktop users have touch screens on their desk, and even if they had a touch screen, none of their programs are designed for that touch screen.

Bajarin's article makes it sound like MS's blunder was omitting the Start Button but this is really shortsighted. MS's problems with Win 8 are much deeper than this. It will take more than putting the Start Button back in Windows 8 to make things right.

JAG2012
JAG2012

Win7                                                      Win8                                                       Comment

Start Button                                           All Apps                                                  Display all installed software

Task bar                                                 Start Screen                                            Quick access to favorite software

Start + Type in the Search box              Just start typing in the Start Screen

rln1114
rln1114

I think Microsoft should offer a FREE upgrade to those of us that have been forced to deal with Windows 8.  Heck, I'd take a free "downgrade" to Windows 7.  I purchase Microsoft products because I like them.  I do not want some stupid operating system that is an attempt to be more like Apple.  If I wanted an Apple I would by one.  So this is supposed to work for touch screens?  Well why put it on a computer without a touch screen?  I am so annoyed with this system!!!

JimSlaughter
JimSlaughter

I am avoiding Win 8 like the plague! What a bad move on MS's part! Fix it! Give us a traditional windows interface if we want it along with the start button. If I wanted a MAC, I'd buy one!

leon1376
leon1376

The analogy is all wrong. Windows 7 is a mature product, just like a steering wheel. You can't improve on the basic design. You can just make it look different. With Windows 8, Microsoft has tried to redesign the steering wheel. That's a no-go. It's like Microsoft came up with the brilliant idea of using your index finger to point in the direction you want to go. You sit in the seat, hold your finger in front of a box, and wiggle it back and forth to stay between teh white lines. Oh, yeah; that's gonna work real well. 

TAAllen
TAAllen

The premise of this article that if only Microsoft had eased people into Metro/Modern it would have been adopted over time is ridiculous.  The difference between DOS and Windows is that clearly Windows is a superior computer interface over command line input.  The Metro interface is a severely dumbed-down interface.  

A full-screen, simplistic environment populated by monochromatic design-less rectangles reduces a lot of overhead:  fewer needed programmers and fewer designers.  Even better yet for Microsoft, it takes what many have considered poor design sense away from them and puts it into the hands of their consumers.  A beautiful computing experience now depends on how skilled the user is at photography, how well their friends are at the same task and the choice of things they wish to follow.  For those in a corporate environment, I imagine Metro is a pretty ugly experience.  

Finaly, I'm so tired of the Start button as capitulation by Microsoft.  If all it does is take you back to the Metro home screen, then it's nothing more than a snub at al those who complained!

childresswhitney
childresswhitney

Due to the demise of my 2009 laptop, I was forced to buy a new computer. For business as well as personal purposes, I opted for a ThinkPad with Windows8.  BIGGEST MISTAKE OF MY LIFE!!!!  An unforgiveable issue is that cursor movement has unpredictable consequences.  Once pictures have been accessed - they'll randomly pop up at the most inopportune moments.  While I understand that cursor movement is "sensitive" - I'm on the verge of killing my ThinkPad with a meat tenderizer & becoming a MAC user as it's performance is simply unacceptable.  Maybe it's just me. 

SirajSyed
SirajSyed

Would like to share with you the terrible experience I had trying to install and activate Windows 8 on my PC. You could take this as a warning and be very careful while deciding to go in for this product, if you still wish to.
You may pass on this mail to anybody you feel might benefit from the advisory.
 
1. It took 709 hours of remote access by Microsoft Support (MS) to install and activate.
2. Having bought it on 26 October 2012, I could really use it only in May 2013.
3. MS works 9 am to 9 pm, only weekdays, so if you have an issue at home, as against at the office, you are doomed to be stranded without any support ever, since hardly any working person would be home during MS's working hours.
4. Windows 8 blocked Java, and I could not conduct any Internet banking or pay bills online for six months, because all Internet banking in India needs Java.
5. Windows Defender, the built-in anti-virus in Windows 8, conflicts with any other anti-virus you might want to install (like Norton/McAfee/Kaspersky/AVG), and they block each other, creating many security issues.
6. None of the dozens of attractive looking Applications you see on screen are pre-installed, as they appear. Only the icons are in place. It could take you weeks to download and install some of them.
7. Some of the icons of the Apps you see are of discontinued products or services. 
8. When I turned on the computer, every time over a period of two months or so, it would start downloading Windows updates automatically, for hours, and nothing could stop that process, not even switching it off. On restarting, it would start all over again, the moment the computer was switched on. Later, all these updates would be uninstalled for unspecified reasons, again taking hours. For every six hours I sat in front of the computer, I could get six minutes of work done.
9. You need three different log-in accounts, even if you are a single and only user, to access three separate areas of your computer. When logged in as one user, you cannot access files or folders created while logging in as another user. To access all files, folders, disks and programmes, you need to keep switching between three accounts constantly.
10. The Windows 8 Assistant programme, which assesses requirements for using Windows 8, says that the Operating System will work on Intel Atom processors. After six months of efforts to install Windows 8, I found that my Intel Atom processor, along with the RAM, had been destroyed, and I had to buy new hardware, worth $175, to continue using my computer.
11. Windows 8 suddenly blocked my Epson TX121 scanner (2010 model) on 25 April 2013, although it allowed the same machine to work as a printer. It allows my Epson C45 (2007 model) to work fine.
12. Every time I switched on the machine, there was a warning that Windows Defender had been turned off. I never turned it off ever. Also, there is a yellow triangle/red circle at the left hand bottom every time I switch it on, suggesting there is something wrong with  the system, but it is never specified what is wrong. Clicking on that yellow or red sign just takes me to the password page.

My total losses so far: $5,000.

RoboHobo
RoboHobo

I disagree that people back in the 80s who had used PCs stuck with them.  I was a die-hard PC programmer and user, and at a conference a bunch of us saw and got to mess with a Mac for the first time.  Even with the small, black and white screen it was electrifying.  We were agog.  It was so obviously the future that the only thing stopping us was money and good native programming tools.  Windows 1+2 were awful disappointments by comparison and a lot of us defected by the early 90s, even without the desktop publishing need.

rocketdriver
rocketdriver

The whole idea in tech is to get the public buying, buying, buying, and subscribing, subscribing, subscribing. If this isn't modern day slavery nothing is. The demand is created and updated and one-upped, on and on. Perfect example: Quicken software. Came out in 1990 and was a genius way to keep your checking account. Thirty releases later the program has a hundred ways of manufactured demand from online banking with fees, to cloud backup with fees, to buying checks with fees . . . .

Smartphones, tablets, downloading music, touchscreens. . . how did we ever survive before we had all this techno crap? Just fine as it turns out, and maybe better. My push is to get rid of all subscriptions and fees. Take back everything that went to the cloud (biggest ripoff in history) and throw out all the junk I don't absolutely need.

Ryuko
Ryuko

I highly doubt a significant portion of the world will jump ship and switch from using Microsoft products. MS has had a near-monopoly on the PC market, with only the not-so-user-friendly Linux and rather pricey Mac as the only viable competitors. Sure, it will take some time for Win8 to catch on, and likely the next version (or major Win8 update) will include more familiar options to help others transition to the new version. But honestly, Microsoft is in a position now that they can kind of do what they want. People will eventually need new computers. I was forced into the Win8 model when my Win7 laptop died and I just couldn't see putting down over a grand just for the entry-level MacBook. It was definitely a bit frustrating at first, and I still haven't figured out everything. But the standard home-user tasks I do are easy enough (though having to go to desktop mode for a more comfortable browser & multiple-window experience is slightly irritating). My other primary computing device is an iPad, and as such I've definitely grown an affinity to touch screens. I'll probably never use my laptop's onscreen keyboard, but there are several shortcuts that are just a little easier and intuitive with touch than a trackpad. Overall, I'm starting to like windows 8, and have come to accept that this is the way computing will continue to be done in the future. The kind of hybrid laptop/PC/tablets that you're seeing out now are a direct result of this paradigm shift, and many of the newest all-in-ones that I've see out there are pretty incredible. Having said that, win8 still does not seem an efficient tool for most office work. As one commenter implied, I believe most Enterprise It systems will continue to use win7 until a more viable hybrid is developed. I am confident this will happen. Ultimately, like the shift to a GUI-based OS, and then the shift to Windows 95 (when we were finally forced to stop using our beloved dos and use something called a Start Button), customers will become more used to this kind of operating system, and in a few years we will all be wondering why we ever thought the old way was better!

ScottSatellite
ScottSatellite

With Windows 7 I thought Microsoft had learned its lesson with the Windows Vista disaster, but apparently not.

Windows 8 is a complete misery that makes everything difficult. Nothing is where you expect it to be and don't be surprised if a lot of your existing devices aren't compatible.

The only reason I didn't return the Windows 8 computer I recently purchases is because there are some excellent shell tools out there that will help you transform your system into something you can navigate as easily as your old beloved XP model. You can also save yourself about $300 by sidestepping the gimmicky touch screen functionality. It doesn't work that great on smartphones, it works even less well on a PC, and adds a lot of needless wear and tear to the screen and you won't be looking at everything through a tapestry of smears and grimy fingerprints.

If at all possible avoid Windows 8 and buy a Windows 7 System while you still can between now and when Windows 8 gets a major overhaul.

edkollin
edkollin

Problem is Microsoft kept thinking everything Apple produced were toys and would fail. When they were proven wrong time and time again they went the extreme the other way totally buying into Apple's reality distortion field that the "post PC" world of tablets and smartphones has made the traditional mouse keyboard desktop a thing of the past. They designed a operating system around that belief. Maybe in the consumer world that is true but in the business world where people have many programs opened at once on a big screen it is not true. Besides taking away the start button each app filled the whole screen making it a nightmare for a user anting to multitask in a business environment. There was no tutorial as there has been with new operating systems in the past.  Basically they threw there long time traditional keyboard mouse users under the bus. That is their core constituency. Panicked decisions are usually bad ones and Microsoft panicked with the success of the IPAD which unlike ITunes their core customers were getting into as an accessory not as a replacement to the traditional PC. 

What made it worse was went on in the geeky world of the tech press where key opinion makers are. There has always been hatred and that word is not too strong between Microsoft and Apple die hards.  Despite Apple becoming iconic and the only type of computer you see on TV programs and movies Windows loyalists stayed loyal against what they felt was Apple products controlling simplicity and what they believed was elitist arrogance of Apple fans. Having there own company becoming Apple like angered them. What also hurt was the attitude of many Win 8 supporters in the comments section of the tech media. People who did not like the new interface were called people who hate change, morons who should get out of the way of the inventable progress. This has not gone over well with people who embraced most if not every new Windows version since the 80's or 90's and stayed loyal despite the Apple onslaught.  There is a white hot anger that will not easily be assuaged by any reverting that is done with Windows Blue               

CharlieRoy
CharlieRoy

no dvd playback? Microsoft thought there wasn't a need for it but yet its trying to sell it to you for 10.00 ?

this is worse than the coca cola blunder of the 80's, I hope they don't fold because I like windows but this windows phone thing has been a disaster, no one is buying them. losing sales and a lot of people staying windows 7.

the start button is no problem for me, I don't care about that.

it seems like a faster os for something's which I happen to enjoy.

the numbers look good for copy's being distributed but remember a lot of those numbers, were 14.99 upgrades that were not verified upgrades, way to go ms.

just simply tell them the store you bought it from and a time you bought it.

no checks nothing. 14.99, here you go buddy.



Read more: http://techland.time.com/2013/05/06/microsofts-strategic-blunder-with-windows-8/#ixzz2U3wDLEux

danilloyd2276
danilloyd2276

OK, Win 8 great for some but I don't Facebook, Tweet, or need my calendar & news popping up every second. The Metro tiles are pretty

but I have no use for them. I just want to pay my bills without using "apps", type a letter via Word, internet access, arrange music & photos, maybe play a game or two. My phone is touch don't need my desktop touch & no need for a laptop. So no Win 8 wasnt built for me or my needs, maybe for people who need to be "connected" all the time. I want a machine not some social media device..I'm not old just practical & XP & Win 7 fit my needs

grrsub
grrsub

Get over the removal of the start button. I was alarmed when I read it was gone. I have a well-organized menu on my PC, all accessible via the start button. But I realized I didn't use it as much after I discovered the power of Windows Search. Just hit the Windows key and type what you're looking for... "ou" pops up Outlook, "wo" pops up Word, "ex" pops up Internet Explorer and Excel. You don't need the start button anymore.

And remember when the Start button was first introduced? People were lost. Wanted their old MAIN program window back.

Move on... Win8 is the best Windows version ever and the best OS for productivity I've used since I touched my first PC back in the 80's!

Rio
Rio

Worse it it seems to have come at a time when most do not have touch screens for their computers!   Many bought new monitors then they are not interested in going out and buying a touch screen.  Those who are phone users are more likely to use it on the phone but the computer is for work.  What company want to have to license additional software just so people can get the job done?

CharlesClarke
CharlesClarke

Hardware lifecycle needs to be separate from software lifecycle. That's Apples failure and why thier business model is doomed. And PS - 1 year is neglible in the technology world. Microsoft was obviously working on Windows previous to the Apple debut. They just make a better OS and it takes longer. And Google has never made an OS or programming language. They married JAVA and Linux and built some Apps. Microsofts owns a patent on quite a bit of thier software, so Android, the software, is a Microsoft product.

CharlesClarke
CharlesClarke

Gosh you guys are idiots. Apple creates touch screen? Whatever. With decades of Surface models for business out there taking credit card from the table and whatever else. And Microsofts mobile 6.5 was better than iOS today. Just they didn't get oems on board. They don't do hardware... Or try not to. The Surface was meant as a taste. A direction for the OEMs to take. Proof of concept if you will.

CharlesClarke
CharlesClarke

Gosh you guys are idiots. Apple creates touch screen? Whatever. With decades of Surface models for business out there taking credit card from the table and whatever else. And Microsofts mobile 6.5 was better than iOS today. Just they didn't get oems on board. They don't do hardware... Or try not to. The Surface was meant as a taste. A direction for the OEMs to take. Proof of concept if you will.

LorinThwaits
LorinThwaits

To all the folks who bashed poor Tim because of the paddle thing---
Yes, Tim doesn't understand much about driving a race car.  Especially if 100mph is considered driving fast.  But I think this even further illustrates how people will approach Windows 8!  Tim is Joe Q Public, and none of them understand the basics of race car transmissions.  Also the average consumer will never find the start screen even remotely useful.  Even though Tim wrote this thinking he had the facts, and after yesterday's edit still screwed them up, he only gives more credence to his case.  He emphasizes that the public will NEVER find benefit in Metro tiles, boisterous windows that consume the entire screen, and dumbed-down applications where you can't find the settings you need to do effective work.

Bring back the damned start menu, Microsoft.  Time is ticking, and in its current state 8.1 is NOT going to fix anything.

(Unfortunately they aren't listening...  Peter Klein, their head bean counter is leaving, perhaps because he sees the situation for what it truly is.)

EmilyCarter
EmilyCarter

will MS 8 mean I have to have all new software for my thousands of dollars worth of programs because they were designed for WIN 7 and don't play will with 8?

vertical
vertical

The main problem is that 8 is a jack of all trades, master of none. The UI formally known as Metro works great on a tablet or phone (it's fast and fluid), but on a PC it gets in way- it takes more clicks to do things, and it mistakes mouse movements for gestures. The desktop actually runs better than 7, but on a tablet it's almost impossible to use with fingers.


If they had have made two seperate OSes, either or both could have been good, but this Frankensteinian mess just doesn't work well. 


The other issue is that it doesn't teach you how to use it- there's nothing to show a first time user that the corners or the sides do anything most people I've shown it discover these thing by accident- not a good teaching tool when it's already hard to get people to embrace change.

@markb3699: read my comment above. While we might be  computer savvy, a lot of people aren't. Getting people to learn a new system that's not intuitive is hard.

@eagle11772: too had support for it stops next year. That means no more security updates, no more driver support (you'll find it harder to get a new printer, webcam etc in the coming years), and less available software. Do take the time to learn 7, it's much better once you get used to it.

@luscusrex: you shouldn't have to do that, though.

DavidAgosta
DavidAgosta

8 - bad

7 -good

Vista - bad

XP -good

ME - bad

95 - good

lancedel
lancedel

@childresswhitney I love my Lenovo Win 8 machine.  It did take a while to get used to the "metro" look.  But, frankly, at this point, I wouldn't go back.

chokingkojak
chokingkojak

@SirajSyed I salute you for keeping track of the losses you've incurred as a result of yet another apparently "phoned-in" OS product by Microsoft.  Frankly, every PC owner should do the same when/if they experience such losses.  

MS is, as it stands, protected by the contract you agree to when activating your new OS, sure.   Nevertheless, aggregating loss data from all owners -- let's say millions of new MS OS owners x (say, hypothetically) .20 of them experiencing ridiculously time-consuming post-install issues such as yourself x (say, hypothetically) $1000 loss avg. per -- might yield a total loss sum well in to the billions.  

That's the kind of news that can hurt a certain company's sales and effect its share price adversely.  Facing that, I'd make some changes to my business-practices.  



vincentwansink
vincentwansink

@SirajSyed Just for the sake of balance I would like to share my experience Windows 8.

1.  I downloaded Windows 8.

2.  I installed Windows 8.

3.  Everything works.

Three different login accounts?  Absurd.  Updates automatically uninstalled?  Windows 8 blocking Java?  Weeks to download and install apps?  Dude, your stories are so bizarre they are impossible to believe. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this was PEBKAC issue, not a Windows issue.

JimSlaughter
JimSlaughter

@SirajSyed   WOW! You would have been better off buying a MAC! I'm going to go buy Win 7 on disk (if you still can) just in case I have to buy a new computer. Hopefully you can still format the drive and get rid of Win 8 and install win 7?

JimSlaughter
JimSlaughter

@Ryuko If Apple was actually as smart as they are smug, they would lower the price of their computers and put MS out of business. As it is, the average user can't afford even the simplest MAC compared to a PC!

edkollin
edkollin

@Ryuko Windows has the monopoly advantage in that peoples business programs can only run on Windows and while upgrading and adjusting to Windows 8 while a nightmare is not nearly the nightmare switching to Mac or Linix would be. This dependence gives microsoft a short term advantage but it could be a long term disadvantage because of residual anger. What if another company comes up with (or has come up with) a desktop keyboard mouse oriented system that works similar to Windows 95 - Windows 7 and is relatively easy to transport programs to?  What if another company comes up with a new way of computing that people like better then the "Metro" way? People will remember the way they were "forced" by microsoft and leave when a better opportunity comes along. Others may run a virtual Windows 7 or XP operating system on a Linux machine. Change may be inevitable but Microsoft's idea of change is in no way inevitable.     

leon1376
leon1376

@ScottSatellite Vista is just fine. I have it on an HP xw8400 Workstation running Adobe apps and Silverfast, with an Epson V700 flatbed scanner. Solid as a rock. Never crashes or otherwise misbehaves. But I would never try to run everything with Winndows 8. No way. I'd migrate to Linux first. 

edkollin
edkollin

@ScottSatellite Despite the widely held belief that you can not ,you can still by a new Windows 7 computer. You won't won't see them displayed in your big box stores. You have to buy what is known as business class computer and they usually are only made available on websites. Unless you are a high end gamer in the long run you will better off with a business class computer. Generally they are made better and they come with less junk pre installed.   Another option is to have somebody build a computer for you and install Windows 7. Windows computers are allowed to to sold until October and new windows 7 licenses will be available until October 2014. In general buying a new Windows 7 is preferable to buying a new Windows 8 computer and trying to downgrade to Windows 7. This is because of possible driver incompatibilities and because unless you buy the more expensive "pro" Windows you can't downgrade without wiping your computer clean and installing the more expensive "full install" license.       

CharlieRoy
CharlieRoy

 

are we really, because you posted the same comment twice ?



grrsub
grrsub

@LorinThwaits -- You're wrong - the Start screen is tremendously useful... it's a quick way to see your most used apps, which have live updates, right on one screen -- no need to open the app. I use both the Start screen and the conventional desktop extensively and there is a place and reason for both. Try actually *living* on Windows 8 - to do real work - you'll love it!

Ryuko
Ryuko

Traditional windows programs have, so far, worked just fine (I've not had any problems with anything that ran fine on Windows 7.). They will open up in the Desktop app. This sounds real weird, but in practice, it actually works just fine.

Think of it almost like 2 operating systems, both mashed together. The Start Screen is where you'll access fancy schmancy mobile-style apps, and the desktop (sans start menu) still works mostly as it did before.

LorinThwaits
LorinThwaits

@EmilyCarter 
They'll still run just fine.  The innards of Windows 8 are well-designed.  It's just getting to the programs that's the difficult part.  The interface that lets you choose what to run has been dumbed-down, made obnoxious, and is thus royally screwed up.

KelubTX
KelubTX

That'd be like saying "Porsche could really put Toyota out of business if they'd just release a cheaper car." No, they'd just have a cheaper car to compete with the other cheaper cars, and then they'd of taken their prestigious brand and lessened its value significantly.

Apple sells more laptops and desktops than PC OEM vendors in the $1,000+ segment, and they own the mobile segment. They've never been interested in placing volume over quality. It's not about being smug, it's about making a quality product and backing it up (AppleCare for 1 year after purchase vs... what exactly in the PC world? Retailer's return policy? A GeekSquad warranty you have to buy?) Again, no one expects Porsche to compete with a Corolla, or Ferrari to compete with a Ford Focus. They all have four wheels and an engine, take gasoline, and require oil changes; doesn't mean they're the same thing.

Apple isn't just in the software writing business like Microsoft is. They make hardware and mobile devices as well. Microsoft made the Surface - for the first time in 20+ years they actually made their own hardware. Other than that, they license their software out to any John Smith who builds a computer. Apple's been designing their own hardware from the beginning that specifically works with their software. Sure, they outsource the actual components, but that's nothing new - prior to Intel, the PowerPCs were made by Motorola. They work closely with the component manufacturers and choose specific chipsets to work with their software, instead of trying to make their software work with everything. It's a completely different business model than Microsoft. 

So your statement is false. "The average user" can afford a Mac - the Mac Mini is $600 and is very competitively priced compared to a "budget" PC. The iMac comes with an amazing monitor built-in - considering that factor, it's competitively priced. The laptops are competitive for the level of hardware and design that's put into them. No, they won't put out a system with a Celeron processor and 1GB of RAM with an OS that needs 2x the power just to run, then sell it at WalMart, like so many budget PC makers do because they'd rather prey on the ignorance of consumers than sell a product that works properly.

ScottSatellite
ScottSatellite

@edkollin @ScottSatellite 

Yes, I know Windows 7 is still available, that is why I gave that recommendation at the close of my original comment.

I only ended up with a Windows 8 model as I didn't know the operating system was such a turkey. I spent all my research time comparing system specs and performance as I was unaware Microsoft had gone astray again, as are most buyers until they end up with a Windows 8 system of their very own.

Our local medium-box store has 13 different options for Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit laptops alone plus countless additional choices for the other flavors of Windows 7, add in even more selections if you open the search to deskstop models.

So fortunately for anyone who reads this article relatively soon (and is smart enough to shop at the right places) a high-performance, affordable Windows 7 system is still readily available right off the shelf.

edkollin
edkollin

@ScottSatellite @edkollin I knew you knew Windows 7 is still available but based on a lot of comments it seems most people do not. So I figured a thread about buying Windows 7 would be a good place to give advice on how. Glad you can buy it off the shelf in your area.  From what I see and read that is not true in most areas.