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Microsoft Windows

Is Windows 8 Microsoft's Riskiest Bet? 362

Posted by Soulskill
from the sometimes-you've-gotta-roll-the-hard-8 dept.
Microsoft has rolled out many new products and many revisions of old products over the past couple of decades. The releases haven't always gone well, as in the case of Windows Vista, but Redmond has managed to ride out the rough patches. However, Windows 8 is an even more dramatic revamp of one of Microsoft's top products than Vista was. At the same time, they're piling their tablet hopes onto Windows 8 as well. Does this make it Microsoft's riskiest bet ever? "Thus the problem facing Microsoft: How to convince Windows users to rush out and buy an upgrade of a perfectly good (and relatively new, at least by Windows standards) operating system? Compounding the issue is the new Windows 8 design, with a Start screen that discards the traditional desktop interface in favor of a bunch of colorful tiles linked to applications. That revamp is supposed to make Windows 8 more touch-screen friendly, and thus optimized for tablet use; but it could turn off consumers who don’t like change, not to mention businesses that shudder at the idea of retraining their workers in new ways of doing things. ... if Surface and the other Windows 8 tablets fail to make an impact on the market, then Microsoft will have lost a major chance at seizing the new paradigm, which is centered on mobility and the cloud. Meanwhile, that same paradigm shift is drifting the center of peoples’ computing lives from desktops and laptops to smartphones and tablets—which puts Windows’ traditional center of strength at long-term risk.
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Is Windows 8 Microsoft's Riskiest Bet?

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  • by ilikenwf (1139495) on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:07PM (#41028801)
    It's suicide.
    • If you think a lot about it, you'll discover that there is some chance Windows 8 actualy has the effect MS is hoping for.

      I mean, the chance is non-zero. It can be estimated. It's even bigger than the chance of the air living the entire MS headquarters at random, and suffocating everybody there. It is also bigger than the chance of the entire planet deciding it wants to decay into iron at once and blowing.

    • Having used Windows 8 preview for a while. I actually quite like it, I do have a multi-touch display on my laptop so works quite well. Comparing it to Windows 7. It made it from a Laptop that just happened to have a touch screen, to a high performance tablet (Core I7 Sandy Bridge 8 gigs of ram), that runs standard PC applications.

      Should you go out and buy Windows 8 to upgrade your old desktop? No Windows 8 isn't for you, you are better off with Windows 7 (or XP if your system is really old)

      When you get a

    • Re:It's Not A Bet... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Sir_Sri (199544) on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:40PM (#41029387)

      No, it's not suicide.

      If this was 10 years ago, then yes, probably suicide. The Windows ecosystem is so big, and so entrenched with 'new' computers being sold with 2 year old parts in them (not used, just parts fabbed 2 years) as great buys that a single iteration of windows being a clusterfuck isn't the end of the world, because people will still buy the old version, with hardware suited to the old version.

      That gives them a chance to change direction after people have had windows 8 for a few months and the torrent of negative feedback ends up as a pie in ballmers face. And then they can change direction to: consistent design. It's not that any of the interfaces in Windows 8 are bad, it's that there are more than one, and things inconsistently shift between them. That's a fundamental design problem on microsofts part, and they'll have to pick something and go with it.

      It probably is, correctly guessed, the biggest bet MS has taken so far. They know that the feedback has been by and large negative, and that it's horrible to use, microsoft employees must have parents and putting windows 8 on one of their computers risks getting you disowned it's that bad. But they're releasing it anyway, and it's hugely expensive to make an operating system like Windows 8, so that's certainly risky, and it's risky because they're banking on their ability to not fuck up windows 9, whatever that will be, even if (and likely when) windows 8 is a disaster.

      It certainly won't be the biggest bet MS ever takes, but to this point I could be reasonably persuaded it is the riskiest bet they made. All of the other major revisions they've made have been into different market conditions or as a much smaller company.

    • Re:It's Not A Bet... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Locutus (9039) on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:44PM (#41029451)
      it is so far looking like an attempted suicide and all because someone thinks all their products must run the same UI. And it's a phone UI tuned to work on tablets forced down to all users of their desktop devices. As we've seen the iPod->Touch->iPhone-iPad migration while Apple has left the MacOS as a different product at the UI level. We've seen Android on phones to TVs, infotainment systems and tablets without any push to desktop systems. But along comes Microsoft with a migration from Windows Mobile to Windows Phone and it's Metro UI( yes it's easier to define it as Metro because they have for 2 years on the phone ) based on Windows CE and a port of Windows 7 to ARM with the Metro UI on it for phones and tablets while at the same time forcing desktop users to endure the Metro UI also. that is just nuts. But I can see that with the failiure of Windows Phone 7 to gain any market share and even the loss of their market share held with Windows Mobile, Windows 8 not only would have not apps but be the same as Windows Phone 7 but different only under the hood. Developers developers developers as Monkey Boy once danced is once again their bet. Because they are forcing desktop developers to make Metro apps for teh desktop and by default they can be listed as developers for tablets and phones. Not to unlike how they killed off PenOS by Go Inc by marketing how many developers they have on the platform(Pen for Windows) when it was mostly smoke and mirrors.

      They are attempting suicide but they still know that for OEMs to dump Windows, the OEM would have to create either new partnerships with something new to the desktop in the scale of Windows shipments or create their own software org to tune something like a GNU/Linux version to be desktop ready. Much like how Corel once did that with Corel Linux.

      I do think they will be pushing many many many of their customers to the Mac. Their OEMs will shrink as sales of new systems fall and Microsoft will spend billions subsidizing their own hardware products in attempts to gain a market share in the double digits. It'll be suicide by one thousand cuts and a slow death unless they give the desktop back a familiar UI and quick like. IMO.

      LoB
      • by gtall (79522) on Friday August 17, 2012 @05:07PM (#41029801)

        In the not too distant future, Ballmer is standing in front of the MS faithful. In a fit of unconstrained euphoria, he rips the mask off his face and reveals....Stephen Elop. Said the Elopster before dancing off the stage, "I just knew I could fry a bigger fish than Nokia...bwahahahahaha!!"

      • Your entire post seems predicated on the fact that Microsoft removed the familiar UI from Windows, when in reality it's right there waiting for you. You can spend your whole day on the desktop and forget the Metro UI ever existed. If the fact that it's there bothers you in the back of your mind, you're free to install any launchers [lee-soft.com] or shells [sourceforge.net] that remind you of the good ol' days.
        • by Dahan (130247)

          You can spend your whole day on the desktop and forget the Metro UI ever existed.

          How do I do that? Sure, I can get to the old desktop, but it's just a desktop with not much on it. If I actually want to start a program, as soon as I hit the Windows key, it switches back to the Metro start screen. So unless I'm expected to put icons for all my programs on the desktop or pin them to the task bar, I'm going to have to use Metro. That said, the start screen doesn't seem much different than putting icons for all my programs on the desktop, and feels like a regression from the Windows 7 start

    • by CPNABEND (742114)
      I actually put up an RC of Win8. For a short period of time. All I could think of was Microsoft Bob...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:12PM (#41028893)

    Windows 8...another thing to add to the long list of Obama's failures...

  • Well is relative (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:12PM (#41028897)

    The releases haven't always gone well, as in the case of Windows Vista, but Redmond has managed to ride out the rough patches.

    It's worth noting that Windows Vista still to this day has an install base of 12% of computers, more than every version of Mac OS combined. It was still gaining market share until October 2009, a little after Windows 7 was released. Although it wasn't gaining traction as fast as MS would have liked, they sold hundreds of millions of copies thanks to the fact that it's the defacto install on all new machines, and the same will be true for Windows 8.

    Even a botched release for Microsoft by all accounts is considered a good day.

    • by symbolset (646467) *
      Vista was different. There was no heir apparent. Now there are two. That may be difference enough.
      • by sjbe (173966) on Friday August 17, 2012 @05:13PM (#41029869)

        Vista was different. There was no heir apparent. Now there are two. That may be difference enough.

        I presume you are referring to OS X and linux? Not going to happen. Even if Windows 8 was a colossal flop, Windows 7 still exists and people would simply use it instead just like they did with Vista. Microsoft has enough cash to survive Windows 8 failing horribly. The only real alternative that will be considered is Windows 7.

        Apple's PC products are too expensive for businesses and Apple makes little effort to pursue business customers. Furthermore Apple doesn't make $250 PCs - they don't even try to compete at the low end of the market. Their products are nice but they don't try to be everything to everyone and they would go out of business if they tried. OS X is not a threat to Windows dominance.

        As for linux, as much as I like it, linux has no reasonable prospects of becoming a desktop of choice for PCs anytime soon. It certainly isn't going to supplant Windows. It doesn't have access to certain key pieces of software as native applications. (No LibreOffice is not going to seriously challenge Microsoft Office in the near future unfortunately) It has very little support among OEMs and even a horrible failure of Windows 8 would not change that. Windows installed base is too strong to overcome on the PC platform as we know it. Where linux can and does beat Windows is on platforms where Microsoft has no installed base and software ecosystem to overcome. Mobile phones, tablets, servers, etc. Linux does just fine on these. Perhaps in time these other areas will provide enough to be a threat to Microsoft on PCs but I can't see it happening for at least another 10 years.

    • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:23PM (#41029091) Homepage

      I recall the angst surrounding Windows 95. Pretty much everybody had the same idea - it's the end of Microsoft as we know it. On top of that, the world was ending, Carter was a failure, the Russians were winning and we're all gonna die.

      Nothing to see here, move along.

      • Indeed, the Win95 interface was a massive change. However, it pretty quickly showed that it was superior to the old 3.1 design.

        You can call both that and Metro, ahem sorry 'Modern', risks, but risking something with a better product is a far better 'risk' than forcing something from/for tiny screens on to the desktop, simply because 'you want to'.

        When my 'screen' is embedded in my desk, touch will make *some* sense. But when it's sitting out at arms length? Sorry, keyboards and mice are still the s
        • but risking something with a better product is a far better 'risk' than forcing something from/for tiny screens on to the desktop, simply because 'you want to'.

          You're still free to use the familiar desktop. You're still free to use mouse, keyboard, or trackpad and all the available gestures and shortcuts in a metro application. Anyone who develops a metro application is as free as they want to make the UI as mouse or tablet friendly as they care to. You're still even free to install any shell or launcher you want, even those that replicate the functionality of the start menu.

        • by Belial6 (794905)
          Keyboards AND Mice are certainly not the SINGLE best way to interact. Keyboards are one way, mice are a second way. Having a third way to interact does not mean you have to give up the first two. We have found that there are some tasks that work better with the keyboard than the mouse, and others that work better with the mouse than the keyboard. There are other tasks that will work better with a touch interface. I am not sold on Metro, but touch screens on the desktop have already taken too long to ge
          • For 'efficiency' i.e lots of data throughput, the keyboard is still vastly superior to anything else.

            The Mouse is still the most precise and flexible positional device. Trackballs are in the general vicinity but not as good as mice. Trackpads/Thumbsticks are horrid for precision.
            • by Belial6 (794905)
              The keyboard is the best for quantity of data. (Which is not necessarily 'efficiency')

              The Mouse is the best for precision.

              The touch screen is the best for quick, infrequent, imprecise input.

              If I sit down to my desk with a cup of coffee and want to bring up my morning news, reaching out and touching the screen is going to be less effort than sitting down, grabbing the mouse, giving it a little twirl to find the mouse, then clicking on the news link. Just as you find the home row keys before you st
          • by Jerry Atrick (2461566) on Friday August 17, 2012 @06:07PM (#41030647)

            Will we? My arms won't magically stretch an extra couple of inches so I can reach the screen without stretching. It won't get any less tiring holding my arm horizontally either.

            Touch is a solution to problems I simply don't have on the desktop. On a space limited device like a phone touch frees valuable surface for the display but I don't have a space problem on the desktop. Touch on a phone means I don't have to find somewhere to put down an input device where ever I am, my PC has a convenient desk for my keyboard/mouse/joystick/graphics pad.

            Touch works where the benefits of a built in, no space used controller outweigh the downside of a pathetically inprecise pointing device with kludgy multitouch standing in for the many&precise degrees of freedom key+mouse offers.

            Touch on the desktop is this years version of 3D on TV. Someone needs to sell it more than anyone needs to use it.

      • At the risk of whoosing myself....Carter hadn't been president for 14 years and the cold war had been over for 4 in 1995. I hadn't started drinking heavily yet in 95 so I actually remember it. Last week, not so much...
  • by fragfoo (2018548) on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:13PM (#41028905)

    I think it is an educated risk, Windows 7 is well done and robust, and still has a future, much like XP lived all those years. So they are throwing Win 8 to see what happens.

  • Yep (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tridus (79566) on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:14PM (#41028943) Homepage

    It's risky as hell. Not for their PC business, really. Home users will get it because it's what comes on a PC. Corporate users will ignore it just like they ignored Vista.

    The real danger is that by changing so much in the desktop version, users will get confused and annoyed. That kind of reaction taints an entire brand, exactly like how "Vista" became a four-letter word in the PC industry. Nobody wanted to touch it. If Windows 8 has a negative reaction among users due to how much they screwed up the UI formerly known as Metro, that won't stay contained.

    It'll spread to the tablets and phones too. People will see a Windows tablet and immediately think of their last, negative experience with their home PC. Then they'll go buy an iPad.

    That's the real danger. This might be a great tablet OS. But it's a shitty desktop OS, and you won't get people buying Windows tablets if they hate the Windows desktop.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Maybe every other version of MS isn't as good because it's for home users, effectively being a cash cow testing bed for corporations.

      Shit, I think I may be right.

    • Well, it does give a fine chance for microsoft to sell downgrade licenses to W7. Only 499!
    • Re:Yep (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:28PM (#41029185)

      That's the real danger. This might be a great tablet OS. But it's a shitty desktop OS, and you won't get people buying Windows tablets if they hate the Windows desktop.

      That's the risk, sure, but Microsoft is betting the opposite will happen. People aren't buying new desktops as often as they used to, and not many people upgrade Windows. They're banking on the fact that most people will be exposed to Windows 8 for the first time on a tablet, and they will enjoy the experience. At the rate Apple is selling tablets compared to how laptops and desktops are doing, this might not be a wild bet.

      Then when they upgrade their laptop or desktop, metro will be something familiar. There is nothing inherently bad about metro for the majority of home users. It's simple to use, easy to install and find apps, easy to manage settings, secure through using the store and built in AV, compatible with peripherals, and connecting and manage many accounts (email, calendar, facebook, twitter) is baked into the OS, etc. It's really a consumer friendly OS, which is really the problem Slashdot has with it. Because it's not by default catering to the power user, it is automatically dismissed here (although this stance I still don't understand since it's capable of everything Windows 7 was).

    • They've done this before, except the other direction. For years, MS insisted that phones and tablets should run Windows that worked almost exactly like a desktop version (with a pen), because: 1) Windows Everywhere!, and 2) people lived and died on MS apps, and they want the apps to work the same everywhere.

      Compare to WIndows 8, where they're strongly suggesting (I say "strongly suggesting" because there is some backwards compatibility) the converse: desktops should run Windows 8 that works just like phones

    • I don't think so- MS didn't want to delay windows 8 and include 'windows 8 desktop' so they released it as is... windows 9 will have 'windows 8 desktop'
      They get to sell the same thing twice.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      If Windows 8 has a negative reaction among users due to how much they screwed up the UI formerly known as Metro, that won't stay contained.

      That's a good point, but there is something else to think about too. There's a whole bastion of dumb computer users out there. The average /. user isn't a dumb user, well mostly. The majority of us were here when CLI was the only game in town(some were here back in the punch card days), and we had to load programs the old fashioned way, we had to use cfg files, batch files, and get down into the gritty goodness. And heck, some of us still do in our 'nix and bsd boxes.

      Those dumb users though? You know,

  • Other examples (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ichthus (72442) on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:16PM (#41028971) Homepage
    Was New Coke risky?
    Was Gnome 3 risky?
    Was the American version of Iron Chef risky?
    Was a sequel to The Matrix risky? (Actually, it shouldn't have been, but...)

    We'll see how well this plays out.
    • Re:Other examples (Score:4, Insightful)

      by medv4380 (1604309) on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:34PM (#41029277)
      No, Coke makes lots of money off of other things, and always had the chance to go back if it failed.

      No, do they even have a lot of money tied up in Gnome 3?
      No more or less than any other random show. Also pretty cheep to pull off.
      Yes, and the 3rd movie didn't make its money back with the domestic box office thankfully killed the franchise and sparing us a 4th and 5th, or do you think they would have stopped at 3 no matter what?

      Is Windows 8 risky? Yes, because if it fails it could stop the Office Upgrade Cycle that fuels all of the other losses that they incur. Without Office and Windows revenue they couldn't afford the 360 or the other random acquisitions that killed their profits over the last year. A few years of deep red could kill confidence in the Almighty MS and that would be the worst thing that could happen to them.

      • I thought new Coke was a ploy to mask the switch from sugar to HFCS. (I have an uncle who is a very smart man who wholeheartedly believes this).
        • Wow, that's a cool theory. I'd have to check the timing of things, but that would be a brilliant way to switch from sugar to HFCS (curses upon it and its inventors).

        • but snopes.com says that five years before New Coke they were already allowed to replace half the sugar with HFCS, and six months prior to New Coke they could use 100% HFCS instead of sugar.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:16PM (#41028975)
    Like Vista, enterprises will wait. Heck some of them are now deploying Win 7. Win 8 does not offer a lot of enterprise features. For consumers, OEMs will offer Win 7 downgrade rights for desktops and non-touchscreen laptops. I'm sure they are pissed enough about MS competing against them with Surface. MS will count all downgrades as Win 8 installs to inflate their numbers.
    • by flirno (945854)

      Some of them are deploying Windows 7 enterprise and having a really crappy time of it.

    • by afidel (530433) on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:42PM (#41029415)

      The problem is that Windows 8 DOES offer a lot of enterprise features (SMB 3, Powershell 3, Windows to go, fast boot, secure boot, among others) but most shops will forgo those due to the horror of trying to spring "Modern UI" on their users.

    • by Locutus (9039)
      Microsoft didn't allow the downgrades from Vista without cost and many consumers didn't want to pay the extra price to get an old OS. I doubt it'll work unless the downgrade is free and already on the system.

      LoB
      • The added cost is only if the user switched certain versions say from Vista basic/Home as part of the downgrade. Read for yourself [microsoft.com] from MS themselves. If the user got Vista Ultimate, they got downgrade rights. However many OEMs I remember strongly urging consumers (or were forced by consumers) to offer XP.
  • by geekoid (135745)

    and please don't make headlines that are a Yes or No question.

    It's not risky because of there isn't enough uptake do to the start interface, they will release a patch for the PC. It's like playing 21, hitting on 12, and if a 10 comes up you get to change your bet....checkmate.

  • Collecting "protection money" and locking competitors out at boot level - not so risky.
  • Marketing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jbeaupre (752124) on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:29PM (#41029197)

    It won't be a total flop. They'll market the hell out of it. Heck, the IE9 ads are so flashy, you'd think they reinvented the internet and if you don't use IE9, you're SOL.

    If they can do that for IE, imaging what they can do with Win8.

  • by onyxruby (118189) <{onyxruby} {at} {comcast.net}> on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:29PM (#41029207)

    They just best the company that the future of computing is the tablet and not the desktop. They then did everything they could to force the enterprise to stop treating desktops like desktops (no you may /not/ shortcut your way into the desktop) and to start treating them like tablets wither they wanted to or not.

    What do you mean you think you know you to manage tens of thousands of your users better than we do? The enterprise has made very clear they don't want metro forced on them and Microsoft has made very clear they are going to ram it down their throat anyways. It's the biggest corporate bet in the history of business. Who blinks first?

    /I really wish people would quit copy Apple all the bloody time just because they are Apple.

  • If this whole tablet thing actually sticks, instead of being a fad, it might be a good move for Microsoft. I think they could have two OS's - one for desktops (7) and one for tablets (8) - that share a common code base. Apple is doing the same thing with IOS/OSX right now. It also gives MS a chance to do an end run around the hardware makers (DELL, Acer, etc.) and make not only the software but also the hardware. Just like Apple, and Google. Margins on PC's are pathetic but on tablets they seem to be pretty
  • by roc97007 (608802) on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:31PM (#41029245) Journal

    Microsoft's hold on personal computing is slipping, partly due to their own lack of foresight, and they are in danger of being resigned to the role of "legacy personal computing". To get back on top, they have no choice but to do a hail mary pass at this stage.

    I think the main overriding problem is that Microsoft as an organization doesn't know how to do that. They make money by maneuvering, with innovation coming a poor second. Mind you, there are very bright engineers working there, but management has for too many years been the consumer computer equivalent of a water economy (the government that controls the water can rot until it's just a shell, but will not be toppled from within) that they don't know how to act any differently. And so, they try a variation on a past strategy (come out with a product that's more strategic than useful, incidentally screwing their partners in the process) and assume it'll be business as usual. They might be right, but I don't think so.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:32PM (#41029261) Homepage

    The riskiest bet Microsoft ever made was selling IBM an operating system before they actually had one to sell. Imagine what would have happened to the fledgling Microsoft had they failed to come up with the product in time.

  • If Win95, WinMe and Vista are enough evidence, Microsoft never planned to have people upgrading to Win8... that will be left to Win9. Duh.
  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:37PM (#41029333) Homepage

    The problem is that the paradigm isn't shifting to mobile. There's certainly a lot of mobile use being added, but in the corporate world especially the vast majority of computer use is conventional desktops. Tablets and phones don't work well for data entry, or for typing up long documents, or for doing complex spreadsheets with lots of math and data entry. And mobile doesn't seem very compelling when the employee's going to be at his desk anyway.

    Home users on the other hand seem to be adding mobile instead of replacing their desktops. They already have a desktop, and they aren't inclined to throw it out while it's still working. I don't see my artist friends throwing out their big Cintiq graphics tablets for a 10" screen, I don't see college students throwing out keyboards and trying to type long papers on a smartphone, and I don't see my gamer friends abandoning their high-performance gaming machines for a 1GHz system with a 7" screen and no custom keyboard commands because there's no keyboard.

    Mobile and tablets are just as likely to replace the desktop as the desktop PC is to replace the corporate mainframe.

  • by guidryp (702488) on Friday August 17, 2012 @04:41PM (#41029395)

    They have no real tablet share, so they aren't risking losing that.
    They have no real smartphone share, so they aren't risking losing that.
    They own desktop users body and soul, and there are scant real alternatives where users can go even if they hate it. So I don't see much risk here either.

    Worse case, it's another Vista, which they tweak, and continue business as usual.

    Already there is Classic Shell to restore the start menu and solve the main Win8 complaint:
    http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

    Obvious if Win8 was received even worse than Vista, MS could simply issue a patch that does the same and have a soft fallback.

    Bottom line, the fixes are easy, and the desktop users are going anywhere else anyway, so minimal risk.

  • I would say Bill Gates selling (excuse me....licensing) an OS he didn't own to one of the largest tech companies on the planet the riskiest move the company has ever made. Of course they didn't have nearly as much to lose back then so perhaps it's a wash...
  • I'd have to say "Yes." Our entire testing system revolves around virtual machines and VMWare. No install. Not testing. No verification. No support.

  • Microsoft will be supporting four OS revs simultaneously until 2014: XP, Vista, W7, and W8.

    BTW, playing with VS2012 this week. No borders or any visual indication of tabs on tab controls, but the tab controls are still there functioning and a central part of the UI? Microsoft has gone overboard on its "clean UI" bent. Perhaps W9 will settle on the W2K interface -- an ideal balance of chrome and, you know, actual functionality.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 17, 2012 @05:27PM (#41030089)

    Posting Anon because, well, I'm posting this on an rtm Win 8 machine so you guess why.

    The persistent question is "Why did we do this?" It's not faster, not more intuitive, not easier, not really anything more than pretty IF you're using Win 8 on a computer. It is really nice on a small touchscreen device, but that's not the big debate.

    What does Win 8 give me on the desktop versus Win 7?
    Not really anything except for a terribly ugly fullscreen MEGABIG START MENU with icons that update themselves.
    More navigation and less actual work. A lot of extra clicks to find simple crap like control panel settings.
    IE 10, which despite what the terribly annoying ads say is still embarrassingly slow compared to Firefox.
    And wtf if I just want to work some documents? I have to dig thru even more "Libraries" and "Favorites" and "Desktop > User > Libraries" and "Recent Places" that all point to the same folders and confuse the living hell out of novice users. Putting "tiles" on top of this does not help, it makes it worse.

    The straight poop is that "people" (the larger part of the 80/20 pop) do not care about the details of this. They just want to use a browser and email that point to data in the magic cloud, and they want to use word and excel that point to documents they can see/move/copy/delete locally in one or two clicks. Win 7 is a 2- or 3-click UI, so people tend to like it, and get used to the annoyances in trade for being pretty stable. Win 8 is a 4-5-click + dual-personality UI so more likely than not we're f#cked.

    I ask folks over on the Win8 team whether they learned anything from the large userbase hit Ubuntu took when they implemented Unity, an UI similar to the Metro^h^h^h^h^hWin8 UI. Most of them don't even know about it, don't look at OSX, never heard of X11 or Gnome, KDE, etc etc. They have no interest; a lot of this crap was thought up in a vacuum, given cursory userlab testing, and whatever looked shiniest and had the most political oomph internally got shoved into this half-baked mess. Don'tCallItMetroBecauseMetroAGSuedUs? Apparently we have as much due diligence to the name as we gave to much of the UI design.

    Maybe I'm underestimating the number of Win8/Surface tablets we're going to sell, but I'm putting in a sell order...

  • by yoshi_mon (172895) on Friday August 17, 2012 @08:11PM (#41031709)

    My UI evolution: CLI ONLY (and not very user friendly CLI at that) -> Text based menu systems (including the early ASCII dropdown menus and such -> WIMP GUI -> Early mobile devices (non-touchscreen) - > Continued evolution of the WIMP GUI -> Mobile devices w/early touchscreens -> Mobile devices and other devices with modern touchscreens

    Mix in there the fact that that is only a rough approximation of the timeline, countless other types of UIs via games and game platforms, and I'm sure some stuff I'm forgetting and I'm damn sure at this point I know what works for me.

    Win8's UI is not what I want. No amount of marketing, shilling, or any other crap is going to change my mind. They do not know better than me at this point. Further I can see past the crap and know what they are trying to do; force a UI on people that increases their own pockets to put it bluntly/simply.

    Yes, I want a modern good UI on my mobile devices. But no, I do not want and will not accept that type of UI on my desktop/laptop where the WIMP/CLI interface works very well. There may come a day that the WIMP/CLI interface is surpassed by something new. But a smartphone/tablet UI is not it.

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.

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