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Microsoft Windows Technology

Windows 8 Sales Below Projections 663

Posted by samzenpus
from the cold-cakes dept.
harrymcc writes "With early reports on Windows 8 sales indicating that the new operating system is off to a slow start, it's worth pondering what Microsoft could have done differently. Over at TIME.com, I considered several different scenarios, ranging from one in which it released a much more conventional Windows upgrade to one which would have been much like like the Windows 8 we got — except with the ability to boot directly into the desktop, complete with Start button."
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Windows 8 Sales Below Projections

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  • Re:Idea (Score:4, Informative)

    by hduff (570443) <hoytduffNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday November 19, 2012 @02:35PM (#42030347) Homepage Journal

    How about a Windows 8, Developer Edition? A version that doesn't have Metro, just the basic start menu and trimmed-down version of their operating system specifically designed for software developers and gamers who want power and efficiency, not pretty sliding menus. I would rather my computer's RAM be occupied by the far-odd blocks on Minecraft than a smooth windows frame for some gidget that I never wanted, nor will I ever use.

    We'll just have to wait for eXperience to release TinyWin8. His TinyXP, rev.09 still rocks

  • Re:It wasn't time (Score:5, Informative)

    by spire3661 (1038968) on Monday November 19, 2012 @02:40PM (#42030417) Journal
    What happens when Microsoft breaks your $5 app? I would rather pay more for Windows 7 then be forced to put the Xbox interface on my workstation.
  • Re:It wasn't time (Score:4, Informative)

    by jbonomi (1839286) on Monday November 19, 2012 @02:47PM (#42030517)
    You can search the Windows 8 app store the same way you search in any Windows 8 application. There is a Search charm. I didn't realize this at first either, and it definitely makes more sense on my Lenovo Yoga 13 than on my desktop.
  • Re:It wasn't time (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Monday November 19, 2012 @02:52PM (#42030581) Homepage Journal

    We didn't need another OS. Windows 7 was still alive and well

    "We" don't. Microsoft does. Microsoft sales, does, at least. And inside MS, sales is the only thing that matters. Trust me on this.

    MS recognizes its big dollars on Enterprise License Agreements, (EA). These have many recurring, subscription-like components that contribute discount for customers, that MS likes to describe as the "total EA value".

    A principal incentive in the EA is "Desktop Assurance". That's a sub, where you buy a future-proof, free upgrade to your desktop license count. The rub is this: if there's no significant upgrade to the desktop over several years of window? There's no value in buying desktop assurance! It is cheaper to let DA expire and go 3-4 years, then acquire new licenses when a desktop is actually released.

    This sucks a BIG annually-realised amount out of enterprise accounts, so MS needs a principal release, before 3 years are up. They shovel all kinds of shelfware/perkware from their incubation BU to keep year-to-year value for IT. This was the route for Forefront AV, etc.

    Then? There's the sync of engineering efforts with Server. Win Server needs to fight for its scrappy share against ESXi and against appliance-like Linux application hosts. So they are pushing a release cycle that was tied back to the desktop with Vista.

    Add to this, the OEM revenue that happens when they mint a new version number, and Microsoft really NEEDS a new desktop Windows at a frequency which will drive their uses to Macintosh. ;-)

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday November 19, 2012 @02:53PM (#42030595) Homepage Journal

    Useability expert jacob Nielson trashed its useability. [cnet.com] It sounde like MS doesn't do any testing at all. One thing in the linked article that made me sit up: W8 isn't Windows except in name, it's Window.

    Microsoft says that the new design will increase usability. Many people who used the software, however, have criticized it for a steep learning curve that impacts both novices and experienced PC users.

    Speaking of experienced users, Nielsen said his study revealed that those folks were downright confused by a software called Windows not actually supporting windows.

    "Windows" no longer supports multiple windows on the screen. Win8 does have an option to temporarily show a second area in a small part of the screen, but none of our test users were able to make this work. Also, the main UI restricts users to a single window, so the product ought to be renamed "Microsoft Window."

    That lack of multiple window support forced Nielsen to dub it "one of the worst aspects of Windows 8 for power users."

    In the end, Nielsen believes that Microsoft has focused on tablets with Windows 8 to the detriment of PCs. He argues that while Windows 8 is "weak on tablets," it's "terrible for PCs," adding that "on a regular PC, Windows 8 is Mr. Hyde: a monster that terrorizes poor office workers and strangles their productivity."

    Only Microsoft calls removing features an upgrade... no, wait, Sony has done that, too.

  • Re:GOOD!!!! :) (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19, 2012 @02:54PM (#42030631)
    I'm posting this using Windows 8. The shit is garbage. The Metro screen is fucking stupid, the desktop is fugly, the start menu in Windows 95 walks all over the Metro start junk, and this is supposed to be MS' iPad savior? Ha!
  • Re:It wasn't time (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19, 2012 @02:58PM (#42030661)
  • by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Monday November 19, 2012 @02:58PM (#42030671)

    Only Microsoft calls removing features an upgrade... no, wait, Sony has done that, too.

    So did the Gnome 3 people.

  • Re:It wasn't time (Score:5, Informative)

    by SJHillman (1966756) on Monday November 19, 2012 @02:58PM (#42030673)

    I upgraded to Windows 8 ($40 for Pro, I needed an OS reinstall anyway... worth trying it, worst case is I put 7 back on). It took two weeks to get Chrome to run. It still bluescreens at random intervals, sometimes several times a day (event log is no help in explaining why). I miss having XP mode (although Client Hyper-V is one of its best features so far). So in the end, I'm sticking with Windows 8 but I'm not going to be recommending it to anyone any time soon other than for tablet use and maybe netbooks.

    The biggest design fuck-up in my opinion is that they expanded multi-monitor support, but the Win8 UI is absolutely horrible with multi-tasking (the main purpose of multi-monitor for most people). You can't have Win8 apps on more than one monitor, can't float them in their own little windows, can't launch another one without interfering with the current one. I do like some of the apps, but because I can only use one at a time, and I have to hide it to pull up the Start menu, makes them unusable.

    In the end, I had to add a third-party Start menu replacement that's similar to Win7's and give up on using apps altogether. The stability is somewhat expected of a new OS but still disappointing.

    Not to say Windows 8 doesn't have some nice features - Client Hyper-V being my favorite - but even that has issues. For one, you can't run the Netflix app if you have Hyper-V installed (this may have been fixed since I last tried). Also, you can't import an XP Mode VM into Hyper-V... although you reportedly can import XP Mode into VMWare or Virtual Box without too much of a problem.

    Overall, I can only recommend Windows 8 to people who do no multitasking whatsoever and don't run much more than a browser and email. Congratulations, Microsoft, you've developed the first mainstream OS catering exclusively to elderly grandmothers.

  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:03PM (#42030735)

    I think they're referring to the UI formerly called Metro. You can put two apps side-by-side, but most apps don't work well like that and it's a huge pain in the ass to work with more than one app at a time. If you use a desktop, it's more of a traditional feel and I routinely use a dozen apps at a time like that... just no Metro apps.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:20PM (#42030933)

    As a Linux user for more than a decade, I was forced to purchase a Windows machine for work. That being said, I sort of like the computer after making a few minor modifications:

    #1 Adding a registry key so Windows would use the Blue-Ray that otherwise showed up perfectly in the Device Manager.
    #2 Installation of Classic Shell to get a working menu. http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/
    #3 Killing the touch screen menu that is unable to sort programs by name.
    #4 Removal of all of the useless apps that are just links to Bing.
    #5 Removal of about 1000 registry entries tied to Bing.
    #6 Moving Windows Defender to CPU core 7 so my programs wouldn't intermittantly freeze.
    #7 Disabling useless services like BITS, PnP, & DCOM and only re-enabling them for Windows Updates.
    #8 Downloading every codec and plugin that I need.
    #9 Installation of a second Linux HDD which can be used on the infrequent occasions that I disable UEFI in the BIOS.

    Granted, my TV tuner does not work with Windows, nor does my HD Homerun (but I can hear the audio), nor WebEx recordings for work. But other than that, the clock constantly resetting, lack of Media Player, Flash crashing on restore to original size, and having to roll back to a restore point a few times (in the past month) everything has been smooth sailing. I just don't see why people hate on this OS.

  • Re:It wasn't time (Score:5, Informative)

    by Billly Gates (198444) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:22PM (#42030965) Journal

    Downgrade to Windows 7.

    I believe your pro license has downgrades rights. Go download it from digitalriver and use your OEM key. Your BSOD will go away and you can have your XP mode back and be back in WIndows 7 paradise again and be supported for 10 years. I believe WIndows 8 like vista might only get 6 years of support.

    Windows 7 is well tested, is an industry standard, it is what your apps are designed to use, and works fine so why change?

  • Re:It wasn't time (Score:1, Informative)

    by Gilmoure (18428) on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:05PM (#42031515) Journal

    I like women.

  • Re:It wasn't time (Score:3, Informative)

    by Murdoch5 (1563847) on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:14PM (#42031659)
    Oddly enough it was software written by the best guys in the business: http://www.agilent.ca/labs/ [agilent.ca] . Among the multiple issues was one very annoying problem where Windows 7 couldn't properly communicate with the RS-232 port. We had issues running proper terminal emulators on top of 7 and we could not get the RF software to communicate with any of the GHz oscilloscopes and RF milling machines. So I'm going to say it was Windows 7, XP had none of these issues.
  • Re:It wasn't time (Score:4, Informative)

    by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:17PM (#42031681)
    DVD playback is solved easily with VLC. You should have this anyway.

    As for Media Center, this might interest you: http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/25/3553686/microsoft-free-media-center-upgrade-for-windows-8-pro-users [theverge.com]
  • by Luckyo (1726890) on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:31PM (#42031843)

    FYI, Jacob Nielsen is the #1 name in usability, and has been that for decades now. Most of the improvements that you see in apple products for example are based on implementing his teachings.

    Nielsen is also author of most of the reading that any decent university course on usability will give you.

Real Programmers think better when playing Adventure or Rogue.

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