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HP Brings Back Windows 7 'By Popular Demand' As Buyers Shun Windows 8 513

Posted by timothy
from the classic-coke-stockholm-syndrome dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Gregg Keizer reports at Computerworld that Hewlett-Packard has stuck their finger in Microsoft's eye by launching a new promotion that discounts several consumer PCs by $150 when equipped with Windows 7, saying the four-year-old OS is 'back by popular demand.' 'The reality is that there are a lot of people who still want Windows 7,' says Bob O'Donnel. 'This is a twist, though, and may appeal to those who said, "I do want a new PC, but I thought I couldn't get Windows 7."' The promotion reminded O'Donnell and others of the dark days of Windows Vista, when customers avoided Windows 7's predecessor and instead clamored for the older Windows XP on their new PCs. Then, customers who had heard mostly negative comments about Vista from friends, family and the media, decided they would rather work with the devil they knew rather than the new one they did not. 'It's not a perfect comparison,' says O'Donnell, of equating Windows 8 with Vista, 'but the perception of Windows 8 is negative. I said early on that Windows 8 could clearly be Vista Version 2, and that seems to have happened.' HP has decided that the popularity of Windows 7 is its best chance of encouraging more people to buy new computers in a declining market and is not the first time that HP has spoken out against Microsoft. 'Look at the business model difference between Intel and ARM. Look at the operating systems. In today's world, other than Microsoft there's no one else who charges for an operating system,' said HP executive Sridhar Solur in December, adding that that the next generation of computers could very well not be dominated by Microsoft." Also at SlashCloud.
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HP Brings Back Windows 7 'By Popular Demand' As Buyers Shun Windows 8

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  • by tick-tock-atona (1145909) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @09:56AM (#46023957)

    Windows 8 is designed around a touch-screen interface; one that is a struggle to operate via a keyboard and mouse.

    For entertainment, a touch-screen interface is fine. But, believe it or not, people *still* do *real work* on desktop PCs. And for that use case, Windows 8 is a massive productivity downgrade.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @09:57AM (#46023965)

    Let's call a spade a spade: the touch-screen interface SUCKS on a traditional desktop or laptop PC. It's not a matter of "trying something new". It's a matter of using the right tool for the job, and the touch-screen interface is the WRONG tool for this job. To be fair, the linux touch-screen interfaces don't belong on a PC any more than windows 8. They belong on phones and tablets.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:15AM (#46024135)

    That's it entirely, but you say it like it's something small. That's like saying, "what's to fix on the Pontiac Aztek other than the butt-ugly exterior?" Or, "what's to fix in the New Jersey government other than all the corruption?"

  • by Gr8Apes (679165) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:30AM (#46024295)

    Behind the scenes, Microsoft is likely already fixing what sucks about Windows 8, including bringing the Start Menu back. After the release of next Windows, this little (extremely expensive) Win8 mistake can be swept under the rug just like ME and Vista.

    Microsoft has already spent 2 years working on fixing W8 - you got W8.1.... not much of an improvement. It's not just about the start button. The random reorganization of menu structures forcing new training on users and admins is not considered worthwhile and is probably MS's biggest obstacle to overcome. Had the menu structures stayed the same, upgrading would have been a minor concern (both OS and applications such as Office). Office's changes were so great it was easier to move to another application than deal with the new ribbon Office, much less O360 or whatever the current "you will love the cloud" version is.

  • by 0123456 (636235) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:31AM (#46024305)

    What I genuinely don't understand is - why break backward compatibility? Why not just layer touch on top of the existing UI?

    Microsoft are desperate to get into mobile.
    No-one wants a smart phone with no apps.
    No-one wants to write apps for a smart phone OS with no users.
    Hence Microsoft had to push the smart phone OS onto the desktop so developers might think they'd have a market for their apps.
    Except no-one wants to buy a desktop PC with a smart phone OS.

  • by lagomorpha2 (1376475) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:31AM (#46024307)

    Microsoft still has to figure out how to integrate Metro apps with Windows 9 or customers will complain and they will lose Windows Store revenue.

    Metro isn't just about merging tablet and desktop operating systems. It's also about moving people toward the Windows Store and a Microsoft Account. Skype for desktop allows signing in with a Skype account. Skype for Metro requires either a Microsoft account or merging your Skype account into a Microsoft Account, as do downloading many Metro apps.

    Microsoft is starting to realize that being just a software company in a shrinking market is a bad position to be in. They want to get people stuck in their Microsoft account/Microsoft app store/Bing/Skype/Outlook.com mail/Office 365 subscriptions in order to generate revenue off of people in the long term instead of just the initial sale. The large number of Chromebooks sold in 2013 was likely a wake up call - not only do they come with Google Docs which people are starting to use instead of Microsoft Office, but Microsoft Office actually can't be sold to those customers except for Office Web Apps through a live.com account.

    The types of devices that people are using is changing and Google/Apple/Microsoft all seem like they're trying to offer a total solution to customer needs that makes it difficult to leave one faction without losing your integrated e-mail/office software/messenger/phone/laptop/search ecosystem. Most people here probably don't particularly want those things integrated for various reasons but it does make things useful to the average consumer who prefers to use a touchscreen because a mouse is too difficult to use.

  • by rudy_wayne (414635) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:48AM (#46024559)

    1) Relabel Windows 7 boxes "Windows 9"

    Fixed that for you

    You joke but that's pretty much how it is:

    Windows 98 -- Worked
    windows ME --Sucked
    Windows XP -- Decent
    Windows Vista -- Sucked
    Windows 7 -- Functional Again
    Windows 8 -- Sucks Again

    It seems to take them one generation to flush the problems out of each new release so windows 8 is basically "windows 9 beta"

    Unfortunately, Microsoft has broken the pattern. You can go from XP to Vista to Windows 7 and each one is only a slight change from the previous version. Windows 8 however, is a horrendous piece of shit that changed things that didn't need to be changed, fixed things that didn't need to be fixed and broke anything that wasn't already broken.

    Relabeling Windows 7 as Windows 9 would be the best ting they could do.

  • Re:meanwhile.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by umafuckit (2980809) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:49AM (#46024583)

    Except for RAM, the vast majority of PC users will never fully max out their machine. They won't even get close to what the CPU can do. Even 10 years ago when someone asked me what kind of PC they should buy, I would tell them to buy the oldest machine they can find with twice as much memory as they think they need -- because in my experience, lots of RAM contributes more to the longevity of a machine than loads of CPU.

    This is probably true, but I don't think most people have realised this. Recently, when a colleague's Win 7 laptop started to run slowly she announced that it was time to get a new computer. Most people I know really do seem to believe that when a computer starts running slowly that is indicative of some sort of flaw that can only be repaired by a violent hardware change. It either doesn't occur them that a reinstall of Windows can fix the problem or they don't have the skills/confidence/motivation to perform the operation.

  • by TheLink (130905) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:55AM (#46024667) Journal
    Microsoft should know it is screwing up when many nontech people actually start using 3rd party start menus/shells, HP does this Windows 7 thing and Lenovo bundles an alternative start menu for their Windows 8 machines that one of my bosses actually thought was part of Windows 8!

    In the old days it was only us tech nerds who would use such stuff - everyone else would just make do with what Microsoft gave them and curse what the PC vendors added on.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:57AM (#46024691)

    3) Right click in the bottom left corner, click Shut down or sign out, click Restart

    Translated:

    1. Do arbitrary action in some completely unmarked area of screen to pull up a magic set of options.
    2. No, not that area. Try again.
    3. Gah, you fucking retard, are you even TRYING?
    4. *sigh* It's like you don't even know how to use a computer. What part of "some completely unmarked area of screen" do you NOT understand?
    5. Great. Yeah, nice try, GRANDPA, but that big area marked "Start" isn't going to help you any more like it has for the past nearly two decades. It's like I'm talking to a Neanderthal here...
    6. Oh, hey, here we go again with completely unmarked area C. HELLO??? ANYBODY IN THERE? THAT DIDN'T WORK THE FIRST TIME, DIPSHIT, IT AIN'T GONNA W-
    7. Screw it and either install OS and GUI from people who have taken advantage of this chance to catch up, or purchase tablet whose interface was designed by a company that understands how this is supposed to work.

  • by Jeff Flanagan (2981883) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @11:05AM (#46024811)
    Win 8 is totally fine once you install 3rd party tools like Classic Shell to make it operate like Win 7. We really shouldn't have to do that though. We never should have had a tablet interface appear on our desktop machines in the first place.
  • by MitchDev (2526834) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @11:12AM (#46024903)

    Agreed, drop Metro on the desktop/laptop already.

    For folks that like it, make it a downloadable add-on.

  • by Luckyo (1726890) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @11:40AM (#46025319)

    It:
    1. Fits too much crap on your screen at once disorienting you.
    2. Doesn't function as a logical tree-style menu.
    3. Covers the whole screen.

    So you pretty much reworded all the bad things about it to sorta kinda make them appear to not be horrible. Well done. You will have a good career in either advertising or politics.

  • by epyT-R (613989) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @11:42AM (#46025367)

    The new task manager is nice? Are you kidding? There have to be close to 50 processes running on the machine, so why does it show a blank window in its default view? Terrible. In its more functional views, it wastes desktop real estate with that tons-of-white-space-and-large-font trend that's infecting everything.

  • by Chas (5144) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @11:44AM (#46025399) Homepage Journal

    Pretty much this.

    Win8 has some really concrete improvements under the hood.
    The biggest problem the OS has had was the idiotic decision to force people onto a tablet interface.

  • Re:meanwhile.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @11:54AM (#46025559)

    Most people I know really do seem to believe that when a computer starts running slowly that is indicative of some sort of flaw that can only be repaired by a violent hardware change.

    Actually, many people I know really do seem to believe that when a computer doesn't do what they expect it should that is indicative of some sort of flaw that can only be repaired by a violent hardware change.

    "My email doesn't work anymore! Should I upgrade?" (saved wrong password)
    "I can't find the buttons I used to have! Do I need to upgrade?" (accidentally hid toolbar)
    "I can't hear any sounds on my computer anymore! Do I need a new one?" (volume on mute)

    This is particularly true of older people, who don't really understand anything about how a computer functions. I've heard of someone recently who thought a new computer was necessary just because she wanted to change her email address.

    So, yeah, when you have folks like this, there definitely is a much larger pool of people who would have no idea how to attempt an OS reinstall or how to "clean" their system to speed it up again.

  • by Honclfibr (202246) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @12:08PM (#46025761)

    This promotion actually made me go over and check HPs website out, only to be disappointed that the two laptops offered both had 1366x768 resolution screens. Come on HP. You outfit this Envy laptop with the latest i7 and 12GB of RAM, and then hobble it with such a lousy screen? I don't care what the operating system is, no sale.

  • Despite Metro (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrXym (126579) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @12:35PM (#46026093)
    I think I would still pick 8.1 over Windows 7. Metro does suck but it is tolerable and the OS is otherwise very stable and fast, even more so than Windows 7. Microsoft really fucked up though by treating mouse/keyboard/monitor users like second class citizens in an upgrade to their own operating system.
  • by lagomorpha2 (1376475) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @12:56PM (#46026419)

    "This is the difference between a monopoly and a normal company. A normal company has to make more money by pleasing customers -- higher quality, more features, better overall value proposition, etc. A monopoly will inevitably take the sleazy route of forcing customers to do things they don't want to"

    I'm not sure "monopoly" is the right word but a lot of companies, particularly tech companies seem to go through two distinct phases:
    Phase 1: Expand customer base as quickly as possible by pleasing customers
    Phase 2: Once customer base has reached saturation and growth from new customers is slow, new growth comes from increasing the amount of money that can be made from each customer. This usually involves pissing off the customer base.

    Once a company can no longer grow its customer base at a significant rate it's either 1) become evil or 2) tell the board of directors that you won't increase revenue. Guess which one is the more popular option.

  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @01:05PM (#46026527)
    I read your translation, which quite hits the mark. To me, Windows 8 has two problems:

    1. While earlier Windows versions somehow managed to make the user feel like it was their fault if they couldn't figure out something, Windows 8 makes it look like it is Windows 8's fault. And vehemently so. That's why people hate it.
    2. If you are an experienced Windows 7 user, learning how to use a computer with MacOS X is _easier_ than learning how to use a computer with Windows 8.
  • by CrashNBrn (1143981) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @01:16PM (#46026673)
    "Touch" would be pretty easy to emulate with a mouse - it would actually be better than actual touch.

    If Right-Click turns the mouse pointer to a "Hand" grabber: now moving the mouse left/right is the same as "touching the screen and dragging in a given direction".

    There is absolutely nothing that "touch" brings to the table that can't already be done with the tools we have: mouse, keyboard, and touch-pads/touch-pad mice. It's also only about 3 clicks to change the "Start-Screen" to an Apps-Screen... except its an either/or proposition. All-in-all it makes very little sense that we cannot set hotkeys or toolbar-buttons to actions like bringing up "normal-start-screen" or "apps-only" or "a folder with modern-layout/view."

    After all this time how is it that Microsoft doesn't "get" that customization of the interface is what makes MS different from everyone else.

    Instead we wind up with Windows 8, and Aero -- which many consider as the logical upgrade from the Win2K/98 look, as opposed to the Fisher-Price look of XP -- ripped out by its roots, instead of an option to the flat bland crap appearance of Win8.

    Not only does Win8 go off on it's on tangent in a number of respects, but it does away with concrete tangible concepts that Microsoft has iterated over since Windows 3.

    I'm sure everyone recalls the basic theming ability to choose 2 colors for the title bar, and have it blend. Win 8 takes that concept and shits on it. Text is flat, Title-bar background are bland, flat, shapeless non-dimensional pastel colours. I think if the dev's had of tripped out on acid we would of wound up with something better than the utter-disregard for users in Windows 8.
  • by 0123456 (636235) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @02:50PM (#46027919)

    So? What else do you need to look at while selecting something from a menu?

    You're right. When I open the bookmarks menu in Firefox, everything on my screen should go away and be replaced by a scrolling mass of big tiles. It just makes perfect sense.

    Not everything has to be a tree control.

    You're right. When I look for Photoshop to start it, it makes no sense for it to be under 'Adobe', with InDesign and Premiere. They should all just be scattered at random in a big scrolling mass of tiles.

    WTF? I mean, really, WTF? Aren't /.ers supposed to have an IQ higher than room temperature?

    That why most of us can see what a disaster Window 8 is.

  • by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @03:53PM (#46028601)

    I like Windows 8. Think fear of change is the biggest problem.

    Keep thinking that. I bought my better half a W8 touch screen laptop. So I've had to learn it. And now I sort of know how to get around.

    And great Bolshy Yarblockos, it still sucks. So much of the needed functions that I could easily find in W95 through W7 is hardly discoverable in W8. Virtually everything I want to do, I have to open a browser and do a web search to find out.

    And the advantage? Not one thing. I've just spent 20 minutes figuring out how to do something that used to take me 20 seconds. And for years and years I could do it in 20 seconds. I't not a fear of change, it's changing stupid simple stuff that didn't need changed. It's like putting the shoelaces on the bottom of shoes because it's different.

    Perhaps some folks still get excited about their operating system. I need my operating system to allow me to change configurations, allow me to run programs that allow me to do my real work, and then get the hell out of the way. And nothing else. That is not W8.

  • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @04:27PM (#46029009) Journal

    I had a chance to log in and remotely look at a buddy's Win 8 system.

    The big problem I noticed was all those tiles there that I would never ever use. "Photos, Facebook, Gmail, Other Social Media, Calendar, Contacts, ..." and I can't remember the other 20.

    Holistically it's that all those things are dumped there, vs in the old days I use my desktop space for what *I* want there.

  • by ILongForDarkness (1134931) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @05:13PM (#46029447)

    True. Performance wise it is a nice OS. I mean more of the "compelling reason to upgrade". Vista fell on its face by needing fairly high end systems (particularly graphics), UAC, and lack of drivers. Win 8 has failed because the typical person I run into either doesn't care about the core new feature: modern apps (neutral) or actively want to work around never having to see them (negative). Your computer might run ~5% faster and have 10 less running services on it than win 7 but if you have to see the stupid start screen every time you try to use it you'll just stick with Win 7.

    I suspect by Win 9 timeframe: touch will be much more common place including on desktop hardware (and touchpads), the modern apps interface will be streamlined, and likely MS will have backed off from the modern first approach even more than 8.1 did. All will lead Win 9 to do what Win 7 did for Vista: actually get people to buy new hardware.

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