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Microsoft Operating Systems Upgrades Windows Technology

Microsoft: Windows 8 To RTM In August 343

Posted by samzenpus
from the here-it-comes dept.
nk497 writes "Microsoft has confirmed Windows 8 will RTM the first week of August, with general availability in late October. Steve Ballmer suggested Microsoft expected Surface to sell "millions" of the 375m Windows 8 PCs expected to sell in the next year — spending much of the keynote talking about partners' devices. From the article: 'Tami Reller, chief financial officer and chief marketing officer of the Windows and Windows Live division, confirmed the release date at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto today, as she showed off a host of Windows 8 devices created by the software giant's manufacturing partners.'"
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Microsoft: Windows 8 To RTM In August

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  • by Trashcan Romeo (2675341) on Monday July 09, 2012 @11:49AM (#40592477)
    Were journalists allowed to touch any of them this time?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 09, 2012 @11:50AM (#40592489)

    Question: is there any reason for PC users to consider this OS, or is it only for tablets?

    • by Jeng (926980) on Monday July 09, 2012 @11:52AM (#40592513)

      Some may say that this is a re-incarnation of Microsoft Me or Microsoft Vista, no, it is much worse than that, this is a re-incarnation of Microsoft Bob.

      It does not matter which platform you want to put this OS on, it will suck on all of them.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 09, 2012 @11:58AM (#40592589)

        Me and Vista were two very different problems. The former is what happens when you half-heartedly add a few features to a dying OS; the latter is what happens when you try to do quite a bit of under-the-hood engineering and modernisation, give up, start again, and then realise you've sold nothing new for half a decade so put out what you have before you're ready.

        8 is what happens when you imagine that Program Manager wasn't sufficiently unsuitable for a modern high-res PC, and instead decide that you're working in CGA in an accessibility mode for people with reduced vision and dexterity.

        This is like Acorn, Amiga, etc. in the late '90s - instead of following their strengths in the desktop world, they suddenly rush to the new consumer device - then it was the Set Top Box / Multimedia Thing / etc. A few minutes later, they're all but dead.

        Hm, could MS really die out soon on the desktop?

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:10PM (#40592729)

          If they do, they're gonna take the desktop down with them.

        • by smash (1351) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:14PM (#40592787) Homepage Journal
          The risk is there. Most applications are going HTML+JS on the client side, which makes end user platform largely irrelevant. I think they've hedged with Windows Azure - even if Apple eat their lunch in the desktop / notebook market, icloud, etc all runs on azure anyway.
        • by Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) on Monday July 09, 2012 @02:52PM (#40594873)

          Me and Vista were the SAME problem...that being Microsoft's inability to perform a platform upgrade for windows in less than ~7 years. Sadly the cash flow wants 5 years, so they have to stump some piece of crap out that will bring in the cash.

          ME was just 95 with some stuff on it (like 98) because XP wasn't going to be ready early enough to help the cash flow. Vista was basically win7 with some stuff cut off of it so they could get it to market, since 7 was going to take a couple more years to be ready.

          Windows 7 is about all I (or anyone) needs for the foreseeable future. In fact XP is enough for many. Windows 8 is just a knee-jerk "lets put a phone interface on a pc" reaction, seems hard to me to use, and doesn't bring any serious features that would help a lot of people, or even a large minority.

          So yeah, I'll be lumping it in with ME and Vista. Pointless crap designed to part people with some cash. The one major difference is that I think 7 will have a lot more staying power than XP, and Microsoft is in the same bucket as RIM. Rode the same pony for too damn long.

      • by Aqualung812 (959532) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:00PM (#40592625)

        Comparing Win8 to ME or Vista is unfair to Win8.

        The really sad part about Win8 is Metro. There is a LOT to like about the underlying OS (password unmask, much better taskmanager, and many other small improvements), and I have no reason to think that the OS itself will be unstable like ME or Vista.

        If Microsoft would fix Metro on the desktop (It may be fine for tablets and phones), Win8 would be something I would like. However, as it currently stands, I won't "upgrade" until I have a good, stable way to disable Metro and use the other features of the OS.

        • by Viol8 (599362) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:08PM (#40592709)

          I mean who uses the GUI to do much work in Windows anyway? Pfffft , cmd.exe is all I need!

        • by smash (1351) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:08PM (#40592713) Homepage Journal

          The only way to "fix" metro is to kill it with fire. And then you have Windows 7 with a new task manager and IE10. Whoopie fucking doo.

          I'm against the grain here, and I'll actually say that Vista was a good operating system. It was hobbled by lack of driver support and people trying to run it on inadequate hardware at the time, but if you run it on anything newer than say 2004 vintage with a couple of gigs of RAM, it is FINE.

          I had zero stability problems. Windows 7 is essentially vista with UAC toned down a bit, a fancy UI slapped on top and some tweaks to the scheduler.

          • by aztracker1 (702135) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:26PM (#40592935) Homepage
            Well, a lot of the Vista issues were addressed in SP1, prior to that, there were a lot of commonly occurring issues. I like Win7's UI changes a lot... it's probably my fav. UI at this point... If nothing else, I can see Win8 bringing a rebirth of the explorer shell replacements like LiteStep in the Win9x/2000 days. Which might be nice, I remember using a customized litestep theme as my main desktop shell until win7 came out. I wouldn't mind something fairly modifyable as a desktop... though win7's is hands down my current fav, there's always new ways... I just don't see myself liking metro on multiple monitors.
          • by mcrbids (148650) on Monday July 09, 2012 @01:57PM (#40594275) Journal

            Comparing Vista and Windows 7 performance wise is a joke. I have a respectable quad core AMD system with 3 Gigs of RAM that CRAWLED under Vista but runs very nicely on Win7, changing nothing else.

            Yes, there were driver problems, people did run it on inadequate hardware, etc. but it's a clear indicator of where the problem is when the later (typically bigger/slower) versions run faster/better than the previous generation.

          • The bitch is it COULD have been great if they'd have done that, as they could have focused on what's under the hood and making cool "must have" features instead of making the desktop into a smartphone [youtube.com]. for example make it easy peasy for someone like my dad to hook up into his office PC from home so he could work from home, kinda like easyconnect. Or something like what they had promised with WinFS, where there would be smart metadata on every file so i could type in "blue dress" and any video or picture that had a blue dress would pop up without me remembering the file name, now THAT would be nice.

            Instead what we get is obviously MSFT's Hail Mary, where they risk taking a dive on the desktop in the hopes of getting some smartphone sales. What MSFT doesn't seem to get is nobody runs Windows for Windows, they run it for third party X86 apps that WinRT will never have so MSFT on the phone is fucking pointless! So stick to Win 7 and avoid the aborted mess that is Win 8, maybe we'll get lucky and Ballmer will retire and somebody will come in with a fucking brain. couldn't do any worse than Ballmer has.

        • by Billly Gates (198444) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:11PM (#40592745) Journal

          Windows 8 is fucking NICE kernel wise. I am using on a crappy el cheapo laptop with only 2 gigs of ram and a dual 1.6 ghz AMD turon with integrated graphics circa 2007. It boots in 25 seconds!

          It is slip, Windows update runs circles around my 3 ghz phenom II desktop with 8 gigs of ram running Windows 7. Even with the buggy bios it sleeps and resumes in half the time my Asus desktop does with Windows 7.

          It is even liter than XP on that old laptop. WindowsTOGO makes it possible to use a Windows bootcd like Linux users have done for a decade. Profiles are synched with all your desktop settings on the go and even has some Active Directory features without AD such as having policies and profiles complete with apps uploaded to your mobile device/laptop when you log in with your corporate email address as your login.

          If Windows 7 was not a good enough reason for corporations to leave XP, Windows 8 certainly is appealing as sales and mobile people are a pain in the ass to support and lockdown when they are never on the network. ... If it were not for METRO I would predict corps skipping Win 7 and going right for Windows 8. But the gui is very very important for a workstation user as it is what the user interacts with all day. Sigh

        • by bazorg (911295) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:27PM (#40592965)

          huh? in what way was Vista unstable?

          • by Aqualung812 (959532) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:36PM (#40593067)

            Shitty driver support. This is a 50/50 split between the vendors being lazy and Microsoft being unpredictable.

            MS made some HUGE changes between not only betas, but release candidates on Vista. Many OEMs and 3rd-party vendors decided to wait until it shipped (or until first service pack) until they updated their drivers. Then, some of them decided "Screw it, you can buy our new product with Vista drivers, but we're not touching the old stuff". *I'm looking at you, Logitech.*

            If you had a computer that had proper Vista drivers, then everything was completely stable. However, Vista had the worst driver support that I've ever seen because of the drastic driver model change.

            So, was the OS itself unstable? No. However, Microsoft made it hard on the people that actually wrote the drivers, so as far as the end user was concerned, it sucked.

            • by smash (1351) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:53PM (#40593317) Homepage Journal
              Shitty driver support isn't Microsoft's problem. At least, we keep getting told it isn't Linux's problem when hardware doesn't work. If you bought non-shitty hardware you got working drivers fairly promptly. I ran Vista between 2006 and 2009 and had zero issues other than a wifi card that took until SP1 to get a driver.

              Microsoft didn't "make it hard on people who wrote the drivers" they just required them to pull their finger out and actually write things properly before they'd get the MS signing. Windows has ALWAYS had stability problems due to shitty driver support. Rather than let that continue, MS enforced driver signing.

              • by Aqualung812 (959532) on Monday July 09, 2012 @01:11PM (#40593603)

                Shitty driver support isn't Microsoft's problem.

                Maybe it isn't. User perception IS their problem, and a bad driver experience causes users to blame the OS.

                I also had Vista during that window, and it worked great on my Dell laptop. By SP1, most issues were resolved by the OEMs.

                Still, people didn't want to touch the OS because of the bad day 1 issues with driver support. Windows 7's best improvement over Vista was not being called Vista, so people actually gave it a shot.

        • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:51PM (#40593289) Homepage

          And I don't even think that Metro is bad. It seems like it could be ok for tablets. The problem is the Microsoft seems intent on forcing desktop users to use it.

          Windows 8 would be greatly improved if they just brought the start menu back and made Metro completely optional for desktop users.

          • by Aqualung812 (959532) on Monday July 09, 2012 @01:04PM (#40593531)

            Best idea I saw was in the comments section of a MS blog post.
            Not an exact quote, but it was something like:

            1. Put a Control Panel option in to disable Metro launcher, restoring start button menu.
            2. Set Metro to be default ON when no mouse is detected. If a mouse is detected, set it to default OFF.
            3. Allow Metro windows to be re-sized when a mouse is detected. (Metro apps could still be launched from start menu).

            If they just did those three things, I'd be excited to get Win8.

            I have a Windows Phone, and I do like the Metro interface there. I equally hate it on my laptop and desktop.

            • by IntlHarvester (11985) on Monday July 09, 2012 @02:59PM (#40594933) Journal

              When MS introduced a vastly improved desktop with Windows 95, the old Program Manager/File Manager combo was still lurking in there, and a few old stick-in-mud types insisted on using them. Likewise, they've always maintained a "classic" theme if someone insisted on a Win95-style look.

              Microsoft should realize that 95% of people will just stick with the defaults, while the other 5% will loudly resist any form of change. Completely removing even the option of restoring the Start Menu is incredibly arrogant, and is creating a backlash when they can least afford one.

        • by Tom (822) on Monday July 09, 2012 @01:11PM (#40593599) Homepage Journal

          Comparing Win8 to ME or Vista is unfair to Win8.

          Not necessarily. Every other windows release sucks so badly, it could be sold as a vacuum cleaner. Since Win7 was fairly ok, Win8 is destined to be the one that sucks. Like Vista was after XP and ME was after 98.

          The difference is that the last times, the total failures were a kick in the nuts for MS to shape up and produce something at least somewhat useable next time. This one might be the end of the OS division for MS. If Win8 fails really hard, the next Office could be running on Android and OS X.

        • by gman003 (1693318) on Monday July 09, 2012 @01:14PM (#40593659)

          Comparing Vista to ME is unfair to Vista.

          I had a laptop. It came with Vista. It worked fine. There were a few small complaints, but (at least with SP1) it was a fine OS, far, far better than XP. The only time it had a BSOD, it was because of a hardware problem (hard drive failure the first time; GPU thermal shutdown the second time).

          I got plenty of time on various W7 computers. 7 was a bit better than Vista, but not enough to buy. To people upgrading from XP, I recommended 7; to people thinking of upgrading from Vista, I advised against it.

          I later got access to a legit, free (as in beer) copy of W7 via MSDNAA. Still not worth the upgrade. The time it would take to do an upgrade would just not be worth it.

          Compare ME. I had experience with that one as well. Compared to the contemporary 2K, it was rubbish. Crashed constantly, Unstable, unreliable. Slow - extremely slow. Even compared to 98, it was bad.

          Now, maybe Vista really was that bad, pre-SP1. I can't comment on it, because I never used pre-SP1 Vista. But the Vista I used was nowhere near as bad as the ME I used. And I have to question whether all the Vista hate is from people who actually used it regularly, or if it's hearsay from the nontechnischken who were confused by anything that wasn't XP.

          • by Aqualung812 (959532) on Monday July 09, 2012 @02:28PM (#40594591)

            I addressed this in another post, but to sum it up:

            1. Delays in Longhorn development caused driver makers to not have enough time to make drivers for day 1 of Vista
            2. From day 1 to SP1, there were MANY computers that had bad driver issues. Some, designed for Vista (like my laptop), worked great. Others were unusable.
            3. After SP1, most OEMs had decent support, but the bad times before that point make Vista a bad word in IT.
            4. Windows 7 came out with minor upgrades from Vista, but its biggest feature was not being called Vista. People upgraded, saw that the drivers worked, and liked it. Had they upgraded at Vista SP1, they would have been just as happy.

      • by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:16PM (#40592827)

        It's Microsoft's attempt to build a new desktop OS that works well and that people like, but to improve usability in the face of their massive market losses to Apple which are mostly predicated on usability.

        It's also an attempt to shortcut their way into the mobile space by adding a mobile UI to their existing product. Their mobile OS is failed on phones, but there's no big competitor to Apple in the tablet space right now, and MSFT hopes they can be that.

        Basically, MSFT is years behind in just about every product line they have, but are still following their tried-and-true, packaging up other peoples' ideas with Windows logos, and selling them as innovation.

      • by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:44PM (#40593207)

        The server version looks cool. You can boot it to a command line. The full GUI is a loadable option.

        Windows 8 is faster than Windows 7 in every way. If I could get it without the Metro UI or only the Metro UI, I would likely buy it. If the final version is the same as the consumer preview, I'm not interested at all.

      • Meh, it might be good for tablets....maybe. Having run the CP on a machine in the shop sitting out front for customers to play with, as I have just about every beta of Windows going back to Win2K, I have found this to be a typical user experience [youtube.com] only with more frustration and cursing. See how lost she is? How she can't figure out even basic tasks? Oh and before someone says 'It would be the same on OSX" no it would not, as i had a G3 sitting in the shop for awhile with the last OSX release for the PPC and people had no trouble using it just fine.

        Whether you like or hate MSFT, whether you think tablets are the future or believe the whole "post PC" thing is bullshit designed to sell more hardware the one thing i think we can ALL agree on is this...Win 8 is just a bad design folks. It is NOT intuitive, NOT easily discoverable, doesn't do jack shit to help the users, no wizards or tooltips that explain WTF they are going for, its like you took the absolute worst ideas of tablets and desktops and ran them through a blender, its just a mess.

        I have run every single Windows beta in the shop as my personal OS going back over a decade, i even struggled with Vista for nearly a year before i gave up on it, but not this time. it took less than a month for Win 8 to irritate the living hell out of me so badly I wiped it with a smile on my face. Its just not worth a damn without touchscreens and desktops and laptops simply suck balls with touchscreens, the angle is all wrong and will cramp the shit out of your arm with the constant poking the screen.

        Final verdict? If you want Win 8 wait and buy a WinRT tablet or phone, otherwise stick with Windows 7 and pass on Win 8 for X86, its just not good at all.

    • by msauve (701917) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:21PM (#40592877)
      "is there any reason for PC users to consider this OS"

      Didn't you see the headline? Windows 8 is going to read the manual for you! No longer will people be able to tell you "RTFM!," because it's already been done for you.
    • by jellomizer (103300) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:36PM (#40593081)

      Well I have a Tablet/PC hybrid. So I am kinda excited about it (I have been using the customer preview, and it makes using my PC like a tablet more useful then windows 7 or Linux does.). But for Developers who are Making Windows Apps, they should get up to snuff on Meto Applications,
      New PCs will have more tablet features...

      However do you need to upgrade, your existing PC.. No but do you need to upgrade your XP system to Vista or 7... No...

      So you are looking for a reason to not upgrade, you have plenty... But there are new Metro Apps that most likely will be developed, in time, they may become the main type of program you use. (much like how we Had DOS apps, then they slowly became Windows app)

      However your next PC may have a touch screen, then you may want windows 8

  • by erdos-bacon sandwich (2676113) on Monday July 09, 2012 @11:50AM (#40592497)
    Microsoft has announced that the release date will be pushed out to Friday, December 21, 2012
  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew.gmail@com> on Monday July 09, 2012 @11:56AM (#40592567) Homepage Journal

    1. Windows 8 was well tested by the masses. And I consistently saw the same complaints from most news shops and users.
    2. Microsoft is still releasing Windows 8 on time rather than listening to any of the criticism levied during testing.
    3. They have slashed the price really low. I do think they heard the criticism and know that consumers don't want Windows 8, but maybe if it is really cheap, people will buy it anyway.

    Here's the problem. Why should I pay money to make my OS worse? Microsoft should listen to the criticism from testing and improve their product and then sell it for full price.

    • by Anpheus (908711) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:27PM (#40592951)

      How did it make your OS worse? What did it take away other than your precious and empirically poor performing start menu? How will it change your workflow so drastically that you would call it a downgrade despite all the additional features?

      • I have a shit-ton of games installed on my PC (the main reason I keep Windows around and don't just use Linux full time) as well as an ass-load of apps. The Start Menu is organized in folders and I can quickly get to what I want to launch. The classic XP exploding Start Menu was actually better than the Vista/7 Start Menu for browsing. The new menu is supposed to encourage you to search, but the search is slow. With Metro I just have a huge mess of tiles.

        The best way to launch apps is with Alt-F2 in Linux or Win+R in Windows and then just type what I want, but most casual users aren't familiar that functionality even exists.

        Windows 8 literally wastes my time by making me jump through hoops. My time is valuable. My software is supposed to enable me to work, not get in my way.

        When I press the Windows button in Windows 8, I immediately get dragged back kicking and screaming to the Metro interface.
        Pasting URLs into the run dialog brings up the Metro IE browser.
        The new explorer also makes me jump through extra hoops to accomplish the same tasks.

        The concept of having an app store and unified app updates in one place is nice, but those apps are primarily mobile games at the moment. It doesn't provide me any benefit on my desktop.

        What new feature in Windows 8 offsets wasting my time? Being able to store my account on Skydrive? I already use Google Drive for document storage in the cloud. Native USB 3.0 support is great in theory, but I don't have any USB 3.0 devices yet.

    • by Verunks (1000826) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:35PM (#40593055)

      it's a bug/hardware compatibility testing, that's what pretty much all the free betas are for

    • Here's the problem. Why should I pay money to make my OS worse?

      I bumped my head the day the Windows 8 RC was released, and installed it on my non-touchscreen work laptop. I've been using it for development every day since. To be clear -- I used the developer beta briefly and really disliked the experience, but hey, this is the future, might as well jump on the train early and figure it out, if only to head off future questions that'll be bubbled up to IT.

      Overall my experience has still been very close to that of Windows 7. Once you're on the desktop, the start screen stays out of your way until you ask for it and apps work as usual. It's not nearly what screenshots make it out to be. The tablet apps look like they'll be great on a tablet, but they suck for desktop use. It's easy to avoid them. The new start screen, however, is growing on me.

      I put several live tiles there so I can hit winkey and get a quick glance at everything. Once I'm done scanning them I hit winkey again to go back to desktop. It's really very useful, and completely fluid without ever touching the mouse. You can put icons for desktop apps on the start screen as well, and I occasionally use it to launch them. For the bulk of it, though, the "winkey + typing" trick still works to launch apps just like it does in Windows 7.

      As far as development goes, Windows 8 does have some compelling new APIs. WinRT has asynchronous APIs for many things that would have blocked in Windows 7. This can be an instant user experience win for any app that can use them. There's also Registered I/O, which is a fully asynchronous and zero-copy sockets API designed for applications needing low latency and super high performance. Server applications with many concurrent connections and perhaps even games will benefit from this.

      Is it worth the $40 upgrade cost? Sure, I'll tell people I know to grab it. Especially since that will preserve Media Center capabilities.

    • It may be an issue of Microsoft adjusting their strategy to account for past mistakes. It took them a very long time to get Windows Vista out the door, and even then it sucked. They might be thinking, "Oh, this OS sucks? Well lets just push it out now and be done with it. We'll fix it in Windows 9, which we'll release in a year and a half."
  • Better yet (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 09, 2012 @11:58AM (#40592605)

    Released to WTF sounds more appropriate.

  • by kiwimate (458274) on Monday July 09, 2012 @11:59AM (#40592615) Journal

    Four stories after a submission asking if grammar matters any more, we find this gem of a sentence in the summary:

    Steve Ballmer suggested Microsoft expected Surface to sell "millions" of the 375m Windows 8 PCs expected to sell in the next year â" spending much of the keynote talking about partners' devices.

  • by vlm (69642) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:00PM (#40592627)

    Windows 8 will RTM the first week of August, with general availability in late October.

    Why does it take two months? I'm assuming they mean "release to manufacturing" not something like "register trademark" or "remember the milk" (a shopping list app, maybe it'll be released on winderz 8 then, I donno)

    Do they mean general availability as in boxes printed in China on shelves in the US which means they're cheaping out on the shipping which at least makes sense, or general availability as in manufacturers gold copy chock full of bloatware is ready to be shoveled out / I mean imaged onto new device hard/flash drives, in which case 2 months is pretty pitiful, or ready for download from .torrent sites in October (oh wait, I think they'll do better than that)

  • by yoyoq (1056216) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:00PM (#40592631)
    finally someone will Read The Manual
  • I mean really. People get Windows on their PC's because the have no choice. In the tablet market they do. Why would anyone choose to be under Microsoft's oppressive thumb if they didn't have to be?

    • by vlm (69642) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:17PM (#40592835)

      Why would anyone choose to be under Microsoft's oppressive thumb if they didn't have to be?

      Hoping for corporate purchases of tablets? In other words we'll be stuck with them because the MS sales rep gives the CIO season sports tickets?

    • by dsmey (193342) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:25PM (#40592921)

      No one I know wants Windows 8. No one I know is even talking about it. I don't want Windows 8. I don't want Windows RT. I don't care about Microsoft products anymore. No one I know does. The last time I paid for an MS product was a promotional copy of Windows 7 Ultimate for $30 from one of their retail partners I worked at. I got a copy of Office 2007 from my University for $10. I will never purchase another MS product at full price. The only way they could get me to upgrade is by knocking 90% off the retail price.

      I have decided to stop giving them my money, and I've switched almost entirely to Apple. I'd much rather use Mac or Linux, since nowadays there is more support than ever for comparable programs to run on those platforms.

      MSFT will slowly fade into obscurity. Consumers, and even businesses, don't care about them anymore. The only people who will buy their products are big businesses, OEMs and college students who can already get the software for 90% off. And heck I don't even know any big businesses who have upgraded their systems from Windows XP. I know a small handful who have gone to Windows 7.

      • by smash (1351) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:43PM (#40593199) Homepage Journal

        They're even in danger of losing the business market. All the PHBs at work are in love with their iphones, ipads and asking for macs (MBAs) where I work.

        Currently we're warning them that they are untested, all our back end software has only been tested on Windows, etc but eventually they'll green light the changes required to take care of that, rather than giving up their new shiny toys.

        Microsoft has nothing anyone actually WANTS to use. People are using Windows because they have to, because it is entrenched, but this is gradually changing.

  • by Teresita (982888) <`badinage1' `at' `netzero dot net'> on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:15PM (#40592795) Homepage
    Having dropped the Start Menu in the initial release, and cluttered the desktop with boring tiles, the first Windows 8 maintenance service pack will replace those tiles with a host of animated sprites. Click on the Pearly "Gates" to access the Cloud. Click on the lie detector sprite to verify your CD has been paid for using the Microsoft Trusted Customer Media Player. Click on the flying chair to register a bug report.
  • by realmolo (574068) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:25PM (#40592929)

    Ballmer is a clueless prick, and he doesn't care about providing good products so much as he cares about playing political games with Microsoft employees. Plus, he's an egomaniac, who refuses to believe that MS ever does anything wrong.

    Metro is the result of a few "powerful" interests at MS protecting their collective asses. It's easier for them to just shove Metro out there, and then start pointing fingers when everyone hates it, than it is to risk the wrath of idiot managers like Ballmer and his cronies.

    Ballmer needs to be replaced if MS wants to be relevant in the future.

    • by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:56PM (#40593377)

      Metro itself isn't the problem. In fact, I think it's the first UI that Microsoft has really spent a lot of time on aesthetics.

      The problem is their insistence on Windows everywhere. The entire world outside of Microsoft seems to understand that a one-size-fits-all UI is a fantasy. Metro is a good choice for handheld devices with relatively small screens. It makes little sense on a desktop or laptop.

      • by smash (1351) on Monday July 09, 2012 @01:14PM (#40593635) Homepage Journal

        I think jobs said it best about microsoft. "They just have no taste".

        Like them or hate them, apple are doing the desktop vs touchscreen thing properly (more or less). OS X is getting a few things from IOS, but not the entire UI paradigm. Because it doesn't fucking work in a desktop environment.

        Trying to force it on people and claim it works is not going to help Windows 8 sell at all.

  • by na1led (1030470) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:30PM (#40593001)
    I have been testing Windows 8 on my tablet PC for months now, and it's been a horrible experience. The interface is very cumbersome. It's difficult to find your programs and settings without a real Start Menu, and why have two different browsers (Metro and Desktop)? Also, any computer with an Intel Chipset of 865-965 is not fully supported (most PC's from a few years ago). Startup is fast, but some applications will not work properly unless you do a full restart. Oh, and the stylus keyboard only shows up when using the Metro Apps, you have to manually bring up the keyboad when using the desktop apps. And who thought of making it so hard to access the shutdown menu? What were they thinking?
  • by jones_supa (887896) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:40PM (#40593137)
    Around Windows 7, Microsoft said it would speed up the pace of releasing OSes (so you wouldn't get 10 years of silence like after XP), but I'm not sure it was a good decision. It seems the point of Windows 8 is just to release something for release sake. Maybe it would instead have made more sense to milk Windows 7 longer and hold next release until you have something cool to bring on the table. Instead of a clunky and ugly tablet interface with some Explorer tweaks. :)
    • by smash (1351) on Monday July 09, 2012 @01:03PM (#40593511) Homepage Journal

      They should have released Windows 7.1 with IE10, a sandboxed app store, and the virtualization/vhd improvements.

      3 major GUI changes in 3 releases just makes supporting the thing a nightmare - we already have users on a mix of Windows XP and 7, add 8 to the mix and support costs will go through the roof.

  • by asylumx (881307) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:46PM (#40593227)
    Ur... yeah, I misread that. The actual article is much less useful.
  • by Eravnrekaree (467752) on Monday July 09, 2012 @01:10PM (#40593593)

    The Windows 8 UI is atrocious and probably will kill Microsoft, as well as Microsofts announcements they are going to screw over users from upgrading from older versions of Windows by deleting their settings. I think people would have to be insane to consider upgrading to Windows 8 considering the UI is unuseable and a disaster and so on. Microsoft is really committing suicide with this and is basically telling its users "fuck you" and deterring users who would actually buy an upgrade.

    I would like to say Linux is a better choice, but Ubuntu has the same problems with its atrocious Unity interface. Yes, it can be disabled, but that sort of misses the point that Ubuntu is supposed to be user friendly, most users when encountering Unity will just give up on Linux right away as this is what they will think Linux is like, its those first impressions.

    The start menu and task bar model "just works", is easy to use, makes sense, etc. It is clear, it is simple, it is not too obtrusive, it is categorized and easy to find things and so on. There are just things which you cannot improve on, where things have gotten to such a point of perfection that messing with it can only make it worse. I think start menu and task bar is such a point of perfection and trying to mess with it invariably makes things worse. Both Microsoft and Ubuntu appear obsessed with novelty, for change for the sake of change, which is very bad design motivation. They are more concerned with trying to be edgy than they are about being concerned with what the users need.

  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Monday July 09, 2012 @01:14PM (#40593639)

    Return The Mayonnaise?
    Rent To Muslims?
    Run Towards Montana?

"Look! There! Evil!.. pure and simple, total evil from the Eighth Dimension!" -- Buckaroo Banzai

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