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Microsoft Blames PC Makers For Windows Failure 913

Posted by timothy
from the touch-makes-life-more-bearable dept.
rtfa-troll writes "The Register tells us that Microsoft has begun squabbling with PC manufacturers over the reasons behind the failure of Windows 8. Microsoft is 'frustrated with major OEMs who didn't build nearly enough touch systems.' PC manufacturers have hit back, saying that they 'would have been saddled with the costs of a huge pile of unsold units,' claiming that customers actually avoided higher-end touch products which were available and instead bought lower-end, cheaper laptops while 'Microsoft is not blaming itself for' the failure of its own touch device, the Surface RT. The PC manufacturers' claims that touch is the problem seem to be backed by reviews, and some educational rants from users and opinions from user interface design experts. However, Microsoft sees this differently. Microsoft is planning to strike back at the PC vendors in February with Surface Pro; with a shorter battery life and much heavier than a normal tablet, this is being seen as a direct competitor to traditional laptops. By using its desktop operating system franchise as a lever, Microsoft will be able to enter the lower-specification end of the laptop market with a cost advantage which make make life difficult for former partners such as HP and Dell. We've discussed previously how some PC manufactures such as Dell have failed in generational change whilst others have diversified to survive market changes; Samsung with Android and the (still) bestselling Chromebook. ASUS with their successful Nexus tablets. We also discussed the ergonomic problems which are claimed to make touch screens unsuitable for PC use."
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Microsoft Blames PC Makers For Windows Failure

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  • Former partners? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @09:30AM (#42706763) Homepage Journal

    Last I checked Dell and HP are both very much still MS partners. This is more akin to a lover's spat than a breakup.

  • by asicsolutions (1481269) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @09:37AM (#42706789) Journal

    My ten year old daughter was in tears because she couldn't figure out her new windows 8 laptop.
    Now the laptop was underpowered, but it couldn't play DVDs out of the box and she couldn't figure out how to run her software on it thanks to the removal of the start button. Also, Toshiba added its bonus software which seemed to take over the whole computer periodically since pop ups now take the whole screen.
    I was frustrated trying to use it until I found a start menu hack and added it back.

    I installed VLC so she can play DVDs and she has a start menu and now is very happy. Perhaps MS shouldn't have tried to do too much too soon?

  • by Rakhar (2731433) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @09:42AM (#42706803)
    Yes, it feels like soon they'll devolve to blaming the consumers for daring to not consume their products. "This would have been a success if only more consumers jumped on board!" No shit, Sherlock. They took a chance in going in a new direction, and the lost the bet. Now they're just trying to use their size to muscle the change in anyway instead of backtracking, because that would be admitting failure.
  • by gweihir (88907) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @09:44AM (#42706809)

    The hallmark of those truly incompetent. To be found on the very left side in the diagram showing the distribution for the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    How MS could mess this up so badly is quite astonishing. The only reasonable explanation is really, really bad leadership.

  • by peragrin (659227) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @09:51AM (#42706847)

    I hope this isn't the end for Ballmer, He is doing a great job running Microsoft into the ground

    Creating new markets isn't bad. It is truly the only way to grow.

    However while you can use touch for everything. Making it the default interface is the bad part.
    Having a fairly consistent interface across platforms isn't a horrible idea.

    Desktop should have touch as an user Interface OPTION. I can see uses for touch on the desktop just not all the time.

  • by drolli (522659) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @09:53AM (#42706863) Journal

    Windows 7 is stable, usable, and a sufficient progress over windows XP. WIndows XP dominated the last 10 years, and my prediction is that 7 will dominate on PCs in businesses the next 10 years. The company where i work has finished the Tests and adoption of windows 7 last year and is now rolling it out as the new standard system. And no - i dont belive that they will consider Windows 8. Reducating the employees to the Ribbon interface in office was already something they liked so little that they have their own solution for adding the old menus temporarily.

    There is no visible advantage of touch in the office, and that is where MS truely domiates. The idea of touch-pcs is somthing which MS dreams about since at least the mid - 90s. Then they had an epic fail, now they hope they can ride in the waves of the ipad and android.

  • by skeib (630324) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @09:54AM (#42706867) Homepage

    You have obviously never used multiple windows at once. At work, I have two 24" screens and regularly have lots of open windows at once. If even one of the programs I use are a "metro" program, I am not able to use regular windows programs at the same time. This problem will only get worse with time, and is a showstopper for me.

    Windows 8 is the solution to Microsofts problems, not the users' problems. That kind of disrespect for your customers never pays off.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 27, 2013 @09:58AM (#42706875)

    1.) Bad Economic Times, 2.) Everyone has a fast system already (mostly - so NO NEED TO "RE-BUY" (especially in economic hard times)), & 3.) Trying to put a smartphone interface onto a device folks are 18++ yrs. or so used to using with the Win9x shell, alienating them.

    * Were I to speculate WHY Windows 8 hasn't done well? It's those 3 things, with HEAVY EMPHASIS on #3... especially THAT one!

    That's ME, practically the "poster child for 'Windows fanboy @ /.'", which makes me a minority player around here actually, but @ least I can be honest & state WHY I don't & WON'T use Windows 8!

    Does it have good things in it? Yes, beneath the 'covers', ala:

    ---

    1.) Self-Terminating Services (which I've been doing for decades now since Windows NT 3.51, albeit manually)

    2.) Heap "chunk randomization"

    ---

    However - that interface? Stinks... pointless on a PC Desktop or Laptop even imo!

    Microsoft's coding time would've been BETTER SPENT producing Service Pack #2 for Windows 7 instead of just issuing hundreds of patches!

    (Which SP#2 won't be produced, due to MS WASTING TIME ON BUILDING A SMARTPHONE INTERFACE ON A PC DESKTOP - without the option during install to use the 'classic desktop shell' we've all become accustomed to over decades now!)

    APK

    P.S.=> Mr. Ballmer - Face it: You screwed up, own up to it, & move on... you'd be best-served doing that much, rather than railing against facts & attempting to "argue with the numbers" passing the buck/placing the blame on others, projecting your own faults onto them, when it's YOU & YOUR DECISIONS that are part of the problem!

    ... apk

  • by smash (1351) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @09:59AM (#42706893) Homepage Journal
    Try introducing it to 4 people who know what they're doing and see how you go. It's a crippled piece of shit.
  • by smash (1351) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @10:01AM (#42706901) Homepage Journal
    Because is broke search. Because the start screen breaks workflow. Because it has 2 horribly disjointed user interfaces.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 27, 2013 @10:02AM (#42706907)

    ...and trying to shove some unwanted, huge, expensive thing down America's throat (just like Obamacare) when America does not want it, and it changes everything to be a worse quality of experience, and costs way too much, and will ruin what everyone is already accustomed too. It's big, intrusive, and nobody still knows exactly "what's in it" yet, even after it's passed.... probably has secret "blue screen of death" panels in it too

  • by jones_supa (887896) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @10:09AM (#42706937)

    It's just so painful to flip back and forth between the classic desktop and Modern UI.

    Also, the integration is half-baked: you have two Control Panels, two places to pin apps (taskbar and start screen), two Internet Explorers, and it ships with a mishmash of desktop/modern apps. It just feels more like running two virtual machines instead of one OS.

    The live tiles are a fun toy to watch social media, that's all there is for me.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Sunday January 27, 2013 @10:12AM (#42706953) Homepage Journal

    apps are always full screen, which is usually what you want

    Even if it's what you want, it isn't what I want, or what people who use a computer to do actual work [slashdot.org] want. I bought a 1920x1080 pixel monitor for my desktop PC so that I could view two 960px wide windows side by side using the Snap feature of Windows 7. Even my laptop with its 1024x600 pixel screen is wide enough for two 80-column windows (a source code editor and an output terminal).

  • by ericloewe (2129490) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @10:13AM (#42706955)

    That's nice, but there's a problem:

    Metro is being shoved in our faces, even on the desktop. Metro apps are supposed to be the new de facto standard for Windows.

    Yet, it seems that nobody ever thought about keeping the desktop working as it always did, but better. No, they needed gratuitous changes, like removing the start button (Why? It's still there, serves a similar purpose and doesn't bother anyone), replacing the network pop-ups with a metro panel, moving the power options to the same stupid metro panel...

    Metro isn't the problem. The fact that it bleeds into the desktop is.

  • by linebackn (131821) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @10:23AM (#42706997)

    If you have big investments in Microsoft or Microsoft products, you should be worried. The inability to recognize their failure means they will keep trying to ram themselves in to the ground.

    This reminds me so much of the 98 Internet Explorer "Integration" fiasco. You WILL install it and you WILL use it regardless if you want it or not. The only reason they did it was to crush their competitor. But eventually they realized that even this was a mistake and somewhat backed down from it.

    They even canned Microsoft BOB fairly quickly, and you don't see much of Clippy any more either.

    But if they really don't realize they made a mistake here, then you will see no improvements in Windows 9/10/11 etc and further product degradation in to an even worse mess of useless crap.

  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @10:27AM (#42707017)

    It's simple really. Consumers are moving towards tablet like devices. Businesses are sticking with traditional desktop/laptop. Windows 8 targets tablet like devices, which could be good for consumers, but that isn't where most desktop/laptop sales are occuring, which is the business market. Desktop/laptop sales in the consumer market are are very price conscious. Desktop/laptop sales in the business market are directed at productivity, which equate to lowering costs of duing business.

    Windows 8 may be the next best thing since sliced bread as a technology (although I doubt that). However, it appears that it misses the mark in both the consumer and business markets for traditional desktop/laptop computing. Maybe Microsoft needs to go back and take a Marketing 101 course or two, because Microsoft has nobody to blame but themself. The hardware manufacturers are producing what the market will buy. It is simple supply and demand and there isn't a lot of demand for Windows 8.

  • by transporter_ii (986545) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @10:28AM (#42707019) Homepage

    It is, however, one of the shittiest business products it has ever made. There are people still trying to do work with real PCs. I'm happy they have a good consumer product, finally. But the business world and the consumer world have different needs. For the love of everything holy, WHY CAN'T THEY BRING OUT TWO PRODUCT LINES, ONE FOR BUSINESS AND ONE FOR CONSUMERS.

  • by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @10:30AM (#42707035)

    This reminds me a lot of another group of people who have recently been claiming their failures on the need to "educate" their target audience. And fail to realize that, for better or worse, their respective audiences feel that they have all the "education" they need.

    Sometimes, when you Build It, they Don't Come. Sometimes you can't get a "great idea" to trickle down if you ram it with a plunger. Sometimes, in short, it's worth considering a different approach, rather than simply doubling down.

    It would be ironic if the Year of the Linux Desktop finally arrived courtesy - not of improvements in Linux - but because Microsoft pushed its primary drug dealers, er, hardware manufacturers, into the waiting arms of the Penguin. Fortunately for the folks in Redmond, whatever disease this is seems to be widespread these days, as Linux has developed its own ways to fend of new arrivals in the form of Unity and Gnome3.

  • Waste of money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by linebackn (131821) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @10:35AM (#42707055)

    > Touch is a nice extra, but as the main input for a system that needs to be productive it doesn't justify the costs.

    And that is the big problem with touch. It is a waste of money. Why should I spend extra on a desktop monitor or laptop that has touch? I have no use for it, and it does not help get work done any faster/easier. It even gets nasty when finger prints are all over it! It looks cool? So what? The economy is still in the shitter and most people have to watch every dollar they spend.

  • by zifn4b (1040588) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @10:40AM (#42707083)

    I think Microsoft is trying to create a market of PCs that act like tablets, when that market doesn't really exist. If people wanted touch screens, they could get them today. Most users either want a tablet or a traditional computer. The users who want both usually want them as separate devices.

    I don't think that last bit is necessarily true. I would buy a laptop with a touch screen built-in but I'm certainly not going to pay a premium price for it. I think consumers like me are looking at it like "that's cool but it isn't worth the price." Give it to me for free and more discounted and I may adopt it.

    The other thing is Windows 8 pretty much kicked the mouse/keyboard user in the balls when there are a plethora of tasks that can be done with a mouse and keyboard but not realistically with a touch screen. Maybe I could do some graphic design with a stylus but who does that with the screen tilted up? Graphic tablets are different.

    In a nut shell, Microsoft doesn't understand the market, doesn't understand its customers and doesn't understand its partners. That is why they are failing to capitalize.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Sunday January 27, 2013 @10:42AM (#42707093) Homepage Journal

    Calling viewing works created by others "consumption" makes me think of tuberculosis [wikipedia.org]. Anyway:

    Consider three kinds of users: people who only view works, hobbyists who create works, and professionals who create works for a living. A dichotomy between devices for viewing works created by others and devices for creating works makes it harder for people to start creating for at least three reasons:

    Having to re-buy
    If a viewer device is not suitable for creating, then someone who wants to step up from viewing to creating will have to buy a separate device.
    Lack of economies of scale
    Because fewer people will be buying devices capable of creating, they won't be able to take advantage of the intense price competition in viewer devices, causing a general-purpose device to climb far out of the price range of a Christmas present or something on which to spend an income tax refund.
    Gatekeepers
    Finally, once the sticker shock has scared away most hobbyists, certain gatekeeper entities will gain control over who is and isn't allowed to possess a device for creating. This gatekeeping has been seen since the mid-1980s in the video game market, with a dichotomy between "retail consoles" for home use and "devkits" for use only by professionals who have already proven their "relevant video game industry experience" and "financial stability" by moving to Austin, Boston, or Seattle for an apprenticeship of several years. Initially, this was needed to reassure brick-and-mortar retailers of the value of inventory and shelf space in the wake of a 1984 recession in the North American video game market, but as I wrote elsewhere [slashdot.org], the constraints of retail aren't so important since the fourth quarter of 2006.

    Each of these three hurdles deters people from creating as a hobby in the first place, which tends to turn people into "sheep that passively graze on what others make available to them," as free software advocate Richard Stallman put it when he decried the word "consumer" [gnu.org].

    [Devices for creating works] usually need a full complement of input devices, a full keyboard, a good mouse, larger the screen it is better. But [viewing them] does not need all these user input devices. Oftentimes, a tap, a touch, a click is all that is required to passively consume content. Ch+ , Ch-, Vol+ and Vol- buttons cover 99% of the usage in a TV remote!

    If a viewer device isn't artificially restricted, it's a doddle to upgrade the latter into the former by buying a $15 keyboard and a $15 mouse. But if market-segmenting cryptography is in play, people who want to step up from viewing to creating might not be able to afford dropping $700 on a Mac.

    Microsoft first missed the boat in creating a simpler device for [viewing].

    Then what's the Xbox 360 console? In countries where the law allows, Microsoft even established a public "Indie Games" route to market using the XNA framework so that anyone with a $300 PC can create games for the platform.

  • by kurt555gs (309278) <kurt555gs@AUDENovi.com minus poet> on Sunday January 27, 2013 @10:53AM (#42707145) Homepage

    Ford blamed dealers for poor Edsel sales.

  • by Twinbee (767046) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @10:56AM (#42707163) Homepage

    Microsoft has *got* to come out with a "business edition"

    I agree with everything else, but sorry, the last thing we want is fragmentation like in Linux land. As bad as Windows is, at least it's somewhat unified.

  • Re:Dear Microsoft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by obarthelemy (160321) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @11:00AM (#42707183)

    It's not even a "nice extra". It's a pain: breaks the flow, leaves smudges on the screen, requires learning yet another way to handle a PC.

    It's a step backwards that MS is trying to force on desktop users in the hope that training users to the MS version of Touch will give MS an opportunity to recover from their big fail in tablets and smartphones.

  • The biggest issue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DigitalSorceress (156609) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @11:02AM (#42707197)

    The biggest issue for me is the whole "full screen only" apps and the context switching issues in Win8... and the waste of screen real estate.

    Sorry, that got a bit "Spanish Inquisition" there...

    Seriously though: whenever I 'let a coworker drive" my pc, they always go to full screen on each program - and since I run multiple 1920x1200 screens, it just drives me BONKERS to see that much screen wastage.

    When I need to go to theirs, its amazing how many folks run their stuff in full screen - I don't know how they manage... it just doesn't work for me.

    Doing developer support means that I often have 3 or 4 copies of visual studio running at once and am switching between them (customer's solution open in one and two or three boilerplates or other projects where I've solved similar problems for others open and copying/pasting or comparing things between them) along with a text editor and maybe two or three different browsers (esp. if I'm testing a web app) all the while with email and IM and phone queue management apps sitting on the side where I can see if they need attention.

    I'm sure Win8 is ok on a touch device or something, but the abysmal handling of context switching is a deal breaker for me on a desktop. Windows 2000 pretty much had the perfect (for me) UI except for a couple of the nice convenience features of Win7 like a New Folder button in explorer by default (Oh how I love thee), and the search built right in.

    I've found taht taking Win7, shrinking the icons a bit, installing UltraMon and using Classic Shell and turning off all that Aero stuff gives me a perfect (for my needs) UI. And I don't mind that it takes a little time to get set up initially. What I care for is that I can hammer it into a great UI for the way I work, MS seems to be taking a "use it our way" mentality with Win8 which is just a giant deal breaker for me. I'm hoping that they'll come to their senses with Win9 and that Win8 is just MS Bob 3.0 (2.0 being Windows ME)

    Hell, I prefer VISTA to Windows 8... seriously that should show how bad 8 is right there.

  • by linebackn (131821) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @11:03AM (#42707207)

    My ten year old daughter was in tears because she couldn't figure out her new windows 8 laptop. Perhaps MS shouldn't have tried to do too much too soon?

    Sounds like you've got a PEBKAC problem ...

    I'm sorry, I read your story as a failure on behalf of microsoft to communicate instructions, and a failure on behalf of toshiba to sell you a high quality, low price laptop.

    Maybe there is some way for microsoft to provide a "how to" video the first time the computer turns on, and for toshiba to subsidize the price of the laptop with easily uninstalled software.

    Well, I read the story as a failure on behalf of Microsoft to provide a user interface that operated in a way that someone wanted, needed, and was used to.

    Having instructions with your new square-wheeled car isn't going make it more pleasant to use or more useful. And people DO NOT just magically adapt to doing something new, especially when the new way is worse.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @11:04AM (#42707209) Homepage

    Sorry, but this smells badly of strategic vision and the others are being asked "How?" not "To do, or not to do?"

    Engineering: "Can we make touch-enabled laptops?" "Yes, but..." "Just figure out how."
    Design: "Can we put a touch-friendly UI design on Windows?" "Yes, but..." "Just figure out how."
    Marketing: "Can we market hybrids and detachables?" "Yes, but..." "Just figure out how."

    And as usual when it sells like crap, blame the implementation. I think Microsoft has it backwards, by forcing everyone to use a tablet interface people will go "Well, if my laptop is going to act like a tablet, why don't I use a real tablet?" rather than "Ooh, my laptop looks like a tablet now so I don't need to get a tablet." but again, these are typical executive decision made up on high.

  • by xiando (770382) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @11:20AM (#42707277) Homepage Journal

    Unity and Gnome3.

    It is good that GNU/Linux users have numerous choices. I use XFCE4 myself. KDE is a great alternative for those who like more bloat. And some even claim to like Gnome3 and it may be that they are in fact happy Gnome3 users and not just Gnome3 developers desperately trying to defend their mobile phone desktop.

  • by faedle (114018) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @11:22AM (#42707289) Homepage Journal

    no HP printer drivers clogging up your screen..

    I hate to tell you this, but obnoxious printer drivers exist on Macs as well. Don't get me started on the Kodak AIO driver I had to drop to a Terminal window to finally extricate from my system.. which I only installed because I needed to print something to a relative's printer like a total of three times.

  • by wiredlogic (135348) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @11:22AM (#42707293)

    MS has been trying to create pen/touch systems for 20 years. There were pen computing versions of Win 3.1, 95, then CE, then XP tablet.

    Their current issue is the problem of iOS and Android eating their lunch on casual consumptive computing activities. In the long run this spells death to the traditional Windows environment. They know very well that they can't succeed by creating a purpose built tablet system because the key to success (as it has been all along) is the application ecosystem needed for the OS to thrive.

    By shoehorning Metro onto every PC they have grafted a touch capable interface onto their existing market segment. This kick-starts the user base, providing an incentive for developers to create applications that can be directly applied to portable devices with little to no modification. That means that Win 8 ends up as an odd duck but it is probably the best strategy for them to move forward.

  • by Imbrondir (2367812) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @11:24AM (#42707305)

    IE fiasco? Are you talking about the same "fiasco" where IE ended up with around 95% marketshare? Sounds like a raging success to me. Where they might've learned that heavy handing stuff down consumers throats are something MS are big enough to do. It's good to see that they can't always do that.

  • The problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OldSport (2677879) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @11:26AM (#42707321)

    ...is that Microsoft has tried to cram two operating systems, which are used for very different applications, into a single OS. If they had just made Windows Metro or something for touchscreen devices and left Windows 7 alone, we would not be having this conversation right now. If Apple has done one thing right, it's that they have for the most part kept iOS and OS X separate.

    My wife has a Windows RT tablet made by Asus, and if you stay within the Metro interface, it really is a pleasure to use. As soon as you go to make some changes to settings, or try to use Microsoft Word, you go into the traditional desktop and with a touchscreen that's a nightmare. Likewise if you try to navigate Metro with a pointing device – it just feels weird.

    Everybody heralding the death of the desktop and the takeover of tablets has definitely jumped the gun, and Microsoft's attempt to shoehorn us all into their one-size-fits-all view of computing has without a doubt been a failure. They should have made a dedicated touchscreen operating system and forgotten about Surface or at least kept it simple.

  • Re:Waste of money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by t0rkm3 (666910) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @11:29AM (#42707335)

    Yes, I would love to be able to buy a laptop without a trackpad or a touchscreen. I disable the trackpad immediately upon boot on ASUS and HP laptops currently, if I could buy them without it would save me space and money. If I want a mouse, I will attach a little portable or use a bluetooth mouse.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @11:29AM (#42707343) Homepage

    The downgrade rights are only valid for as long as Win7 is still being sold, which is "up to" 2 years after the release of Win8 so October next year at the latest and after that you need volume licenses.

  • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @11:38AM (#42707383)

    If I had to guess, I'd say OS X is probably better positioned right now to benefit fom Microsofts missteps. I'm seeing a larger corporate uptake of Mac and iOS. I also think Mac as a line is hitting hat magic saturation point where individuals and corporations will consider adoption. Even our own IT shop, which is notoriously pro MS just penned a support contract with Apple. Surprising, as previously, support for Apple hardware was via 3rd party and was best effort or typically addressed through MS for things like ActiveSync issues (MS would escalate issues to Apple when Apple was at fault). I'm seeing nothing on the Linux front.

    On that related note, are other IT shops as averse to open source as ours seems to be? This has always puzzled me in my current company. We use server applications (Apache, etc.) but almost never any desktop apps. When I ask, I'm told that support and IP are always concerns. I can somewhat see this stance (spent a large amount of time and resources deploying some desktop app only to lose it due to litigation against the developer) but is a corporation really at risk in these cases as far as ongoing support if the app is in limbo? Can they be forced to stop using an app, or be unable to get support if the developer loses a lawsuit?

  • by linebackn (131821) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @11:50AM (#42707449)

    Please don't use the word "Modern". It's an intentional trick to sow confusion, akin to "Office Open XML" when their biggest competitor was OpenOffice. We need a proper name, and with the lack of something official, "Metro" is the best candidate (as it was official).

    Worse yet, the name "Modern UI" is downright insulting to anyone who knowns anything about user interfaces. Full screen applications? One application at a time? Just like the good old DOS days of the 1980s! And even back then people were trying like crazy to escape that with character based multi-taskers like TopView/DESQview or GUIs like Visi On, the original Mac/Lisa, GEM, Amiga, and a little program from Microsoft called "Windows".

  • Re:Dear Microsoft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scottbomb (1290580) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @11:59AM (#42707519) Journal

    THIS.

    And even if it didn't smudge up my screen, I still don't want to touch my screen. The ergonomics are just not there. Touch is good for very small screens, like on my Android phone. Not large ones. I bought a 23" monitor for my main PC and the last thing I want to do is have to touch any part of it to operate the machine. I'm typing this on a Thinkpad with a 14" screen and even that is too big for touch.

  • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @12:04PM (#42707551)

    Metro is the solution that Microsoft wants you to have - the desktop is "legacy" now, and might even be phased out in future versions of windows if they can - a bit like XPMode in Windows7.

    the reason is that they see the rise of tablets and needed to get a piece of that action, PC sales are flat or falling, no-one really wants to upgrade W7 as it works as well as you'd want it to (barring a few tweaks here and there).

    No, Microsoft needed to split with the past APIs (.NET, win32, COM, etc) and build a single one to replace them all. They needed to get a tablet interface. They needed to get a 30%-cut app store. They needed to get us all to upgrade (again).

    So yes, Microsoft sees the desktop as the problem.

  • by Seedy2 (126078) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @12:06PM (#42707563)

    They don't WANT to understand, that's too hard, they want to dictate. They still don't grasp that they will get busted every time they go down monopoly way.

  • by nabsltd (1313397) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @12:23PM (#42707669)

    The system is identical to Windows 7 only the boring "Start Menu" has been replaced by the "Start Screen" with "Live tiles". It's turned one of the drab features into something cool.

    People trying to do real work don't need "cool".

    They need fast, functional, and familiar.

  • Re:Waste of money (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 27, 2013 @12:40PM (#42707799)
    Tap to click is an abomination, and should be turned off immediately.
  • by Zontar The Mindless (9002) <plasticfish,info&gmail,com> on Sunday January 27, 2013 @12:46PM (#42707837)

    As the father of a 10-y-o daughter of my own, I humbly invite you to go fuck yourself.

  • by linebackn (131821) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @01:03PM (#42708007)

    People, by your use, must be absolute morons.

    Try supporting an office full of average, run of the mill, people sometime and your perspective might change. "People" are not you or me. Even if they are experts in some other area, the majority of them will need training for any major computer related change. Most of them are afraid to change even the most simple settings because they think they might break something or might get in to trouble. And in some environments many settings are often locked down anyway.

    And just because you don't mind doing something a harder way (or even if it happens to work better for you) doesn't mean that it is OK to force that way on to everyone else.

  • by toddestan (632714) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @01:28PM (#42708239)

    They could ditch the propriety garbage and use standard connectors too.

  • by NotBorg (829820) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @01:40PM (#42708355)

    My 16 year old daughter took to it like a duck to water

    Oh fuck no! HELLL FUCK NO!!!!!

    Linux advocates have been using the argument that their their kids and grannies take to a new OS just fine. That argument was NEVER good enough for the Windows fan base. I'll be damned if a fucking Windows fan thinks he can use it on me!!! You leave me no choice but to retort with the same response you gave Linux users all these years:

    Face it, Windows 8 is just not ready for the consumer market.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @01:59PM (#42708471) Journal

    They're trying to make a new market because they've so abysmally failed at getting a toehold in the mobile market.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @02:07PM (#42708547) Journal
    Too late for that. There are already help pages [about.com] to help consumers figure out which version of Windows 8 to get. Even worse, the different versions aren't all compatible with each other (Windows RT).

    Of course, most people will just get whatever comes installed on their computer, so it's simple.
  • by mark_reh (2015546) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @03:01PM (#42708915) Journal

    It's a little hard to believe that the company that has kept the worst browser in existence alive through 10 generations of crap is ready to throw in the towel on Win 8 only a few months after its release.

    They'll just have to do what they've done in the past- load Win 7 up with so many "updates" that break it, or cause reboots every 20 minutes, that people will switch to Win 8 in desperation.

  • Re:Waste of money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tycoex (1832784) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @03:12PM (#42708981)

    Not if you use a trackball, which works incredibly well with a laptop in my experience :)

  • by mr_mischief (456295) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @03:38PM (#42709173) Journal

    If you think Linux is too fragmented, you should really read up on the Unix Wars.

  • Re:Dear Microsoft (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sepodati (746220) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @04:19PM (#42709439) Homepage

    On a desktop, I agree. On a laptop, I think sometimes it'd be easier to just stab at the screen rather than playing around with the trackpad or nipple, though. Assuming there's no mouse.

  • by DarwinSurvivor (1752106) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @05:01PM (#42709731)
    Keep in mind that every device sold with Windows 8 that immediately get "downgraded" to windows 7 is still counted as a windows 8 sale to Microsoft.
  • by Creepy (93888) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @06:25PM (#42710393) Journal

    My two bits are, after running the 8 betas and using a surface tablet is if you have a tablet with it or even a desktop with touch, it isn't too bad. If you don't have touch, it is a horrible interface paradigm and you need to tweak it to make even the basics usable (not extensive tweaking or anything, but I would go nuts to use it on a non-touch surface as designed).

    What kills me is touch surfaces on laptops are insanely expensive, and start around $500 for 780p, and you are still at 780p in the $1000 range. At about $1100, you can find one with touch, 1080p... and Intel dedicated graphics. Somewhere around $1300 start the touch with dedicated graphics. Meanwhile, dedicated 1080p laptops with dedicated graphics start at around $500. Even some tablets have higher resolution and dedicated graphics better than the Intel GMA 4000 (but yes, Intel, you're finally not completely crap). Conclusion? The touch interface has too little bang for the buck at this time, and progress in LCD panels for computers is WAY behind phones (worse resolution, much higher price).

    My niece really wants a touch screen laptop with DVD drive. She doesn't care about graphics resolution or hardware. Cheapest I found? $750 with an i5 and 780p graphics. The identical laptop configuration sans touch? $350. Is touch worth $400? Even throwing in intangibles (I don't know the RAM CAS, for instance), does touch add $300 in value? $200? I don't think I could justify more than $100 (and I've seen USB aftermarket for that for TV screens).

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Sunday January 27, 2013 @08:42PM (#42711345) Journal

    Oh you can bet your last dollar they are ALL talking to Google right now about ChromeOS and Android. There is not a SINGLE positive indicator with Windows 8, even with a $40 price tag copies have not sold for shit, PCs with Win 8 haven't sold for shit, yet will Ballmer listen? Nope because he thinks you can slap a paint job on a Pinto and make it into a Porsche and it WILL NEVER EVER WORK. PC buyers buy on price, did he forget his little "redhead goes shopping" ad they had for Win 7?

    And as one of the usability experts in TFA said so damned perfectly PCs are a content CREATION as well as consumption device but Win 8 is strictly designed for consumption which people can do just as well on their phones or tablets. But this goes back to Ballmer's delusion because he doesn't understand that nobody gives a shit about Windows and its certainly not a brand that anybody is gonna pay top dollar for, it sure as hell isn't gonna make you feel all warm and fuzzy because you have...Windows. No its the programs stupid! The ONLY reason people use Windows is because of the bazillion X86 programs they have they want to run, year after year of Windows software that people DO care about, but which Windows 8 makes a royal PITA to use if it'll even run at all...sigh.

    If the board don't stop hitting the crack pipe and wake the fuck up and fire Ballmer's fat ass they ain't gonna have to worry about what PCs the OEMs sell because their software? won't be on it, and can you blame 'em? MSFT under Ballmer is making their own hardware (like somebody we know) to sell in their own stores (I could point out what a ripoff this is, but who hasn't figured this out yet?) so every. single. dime. that the OEMs give MSFT is gonna be used to try to put them out of business...would YOU give a shit what MSFT wanted if you were an OEM?

    Any retailer will tell you Windows has a "sweet spot" of $350-$650 and THAT IS IT. You can't sell touchscreens at that price and make a cent, not with MSFT gouging on licenses and putting out a royal stinkbomb of an OS. And now Ballmer thinks they are gonna clean up with a tablet that is twice as heavy and bulky as an iPad, is gonna sound like an F15 taking off, have shitty battery life, and oh yeah costs MORE than the newest iPad by several hundred?

    The OEMs are right, all they would get if they cranked out high end touchscreen laptops is another warehouse full of unsold gear that is worth less every day, they could put them right next to those piles of Ultrabooks Intel convinced them would sell like hotcakes. WinPro tablet is gonna bomb HARD, it'll sell to a few business niches but not enough to make it a profitable line, and this can just be added to the 40+ billion Ballmer has shat down the drain over the past 6 years on failed ventures. Everybody talked about Elop being a mole but if I didn't know better I'd swear Ballmer was working for Google because he couldn't destroy MSFT any quicker if he took a flamethrower to the thing.

  • Re:Dear Microsoft (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jedidiah (1196) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @11:20PM (#42712217) Homepage

    It doesn't matter what nonsense that you try to come up with to make touch sound better. It simply lacks precision or control.

    It really is the Fisher Price of interfaces.

  • by smash (1351) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @11:49PM (#42712397) Homepage Journal
    Additionally... third party unsupported freeware to make the OS functional? Yeah, i'm sure that's going to fly in the enterprise...
  • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Monday January 28, 2013 @02:18AM (#42713025)

    My two bits are, after running the 8 betas and using a surface tablet is if you have a tablet with it or even a desktop with touch, it isn't too bad.

    You know what else isnt too bad? Chronic acne. Doesnt mean that youre happy when you find out you have it.

    Microsoft has this horrible problem that they desperately want to be hip, and they will never be hip. Every time they try, it is a catastrophic failure. Want some hillarious / awkward examples?
    How about Microsoft showing how you could throw a super hip Win7 launch party [youtube.com]
    Or Microsoft's attempts at relevant advertising with Seinfeld [youtube.com]
    Or their venerable MS-DOS 5 commercial [youtube.com]

    Someone name me a time that microsoft has actually succeeded in generating anything resembling "buzz"?

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