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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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  • Smart Choice. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pmowry911 (309717) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @09:59AM (#46023987)

    My daughter is going to College in the fall. She is by no means tech savvy. But she was choosing a Cromebook with local storage instead of anything win8. And she likes a windows phone.

  • by BobMcD (601576) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:00AM (#46024001)

    What I genuinely don't understand is - why break backward compatibility?

    Why not just layer touch on top of the existing UI?

    Then everybody wins.

    For example, there could be two ways to reboot your PC:

    1) Pull the side-window thing over, go to Settings, then Power, then Reboot
    2) Click Start, click the Arrow beside Shutdown, then click Reboot

    One is better for touch (supposedly) and the other is what you're already used to doing.

    Does anyone know why this wasn't the method they went with?

  • by jones_supa (887896) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:00AM (#46024007)

    adding that that the next generation of computers could very well not be dominated by Microsoft

    People make now these revolutionary statements, but they will forget fast. 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. But something which Microsoft knows best is keeping their foothold of running Windows on every PC. I bet Ballmer and Myerson are just spinning around in their office chairs laughing and saying "no, Mr. HP, you will be running Windows".

  • Hmmm ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:06AM (#46024051) Homepage

    1) Why would you buy a PC from HP? The amount of crapware on the laptop we got for my wife several years ago was downright pathetic -- what should have been a fast machine was dog slow because HP has embedded dozens of things little more useful than Clippy ("I see you are near a wireless network, the HP Network assistant is here to help"). The sheer amount of garbage rendered the machine unusable without hours of disabling stuff. (In fairness, the mother in law's Toshiba had the same problems, because vendor builds suck.)

    2) Will Microsoft even allow this? I should think they'd be saying "nope, you can't sell those any more".

    3) Wow, Windows 8 much be a turd if people are going back to a four-year old OS. Someone missed the mark by a long shot.

    4) "adding that that the next generation of computers could very well not be dominated by Microsoft." From the numbers, it would appear that Android is well on its way to dominating the next generation of computers, even if people here don't think tablets are actually computers. Microsoft is no longer competing with Apple and Linux, they're competing with Google.

  • by faedle (114018) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:14AM (#46024127) Homepage Journal

    While I agree that Microsoft will likely never "go away", to a large degree the statement that "the next generation .. will not be dominated by Microsoft" has already come true. The vast majority of new "screens" that people are viewing content on, surfing the Internet on, and generally "using" in their day-to-day life are smartphones and tablets. And Microsoft is being pummeled by Android and Apple. People are looking at what they used to buy laptops for and deciding "hey, I can do 90% of this with an iPad/GalaxyTab, and the 10% that I need to use a keyboard for my old laptop works just fine."

    Behind the scenes HP (and the other manufacturers) would respond to Microsoft by saying "look, Samsung is killing us. Apple is killing us. Let us sell Windows 7 or our next new product is a laptop that runs Android."

  • by CdBee (742846) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:14AM (#46024129)
    I hope that means a proper menu with expanding options off it - not the 'fuck you' compromise in Windows 8.1 where a 'start button' brings up the supershitty touch interface
  • Re:meanwhile.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:18AM (#46024161) Homepage

    Actually, if the sales numbers are to be believed, people just aren't buying new PCs at all.

    Pretty much exactly this.

    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.

    Nowadays, I think gamers and people doing heavy-duty work are the only people who need to be upgrading regularly.

    The latest and greatest is often not all that great, and the differences between the old and the new are incremental.

    For many many people, the PC they've had for several years now works just fine and doesn't need to be upgraded. For many more, a tablet will cover 90% of their needs 90% of the time (and, yes, that's a completely contrived statistic).

    Microsoft made crap tons of money over the years by people being on the upgrade treadmill and getting the latest version of Office. And that is no longer a compelling reason for most people -- I know I use more .doc files than I do .docx files, and I'm not sure I could name a single feature in the latest Office which is any different than the previous version.

    And, quite randomly since they mention Vista -- my main PC is a machine I bought in '09 with 8GB of RAM and 4 CPU cores running Vista, and with many TB of disk space. Having thrown a lot of resources at it, I've actually enjoyed Vista. On small machines it was a resource hog, but if you gave it lots of resources, it was actually pretty good in my experience.

  • by bondsbw (888959) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:28AM (#46024269)

    In today's world, other than Microsoft there's no one else who charges for an operating system.

    Apple keeps all hardware in-house. They certainly do charge for the OS, they just build it into the price of the full system.

    Google is an advertising company. They don't seem to care much about anything except getting people to use their services to display their ads. If that means working on an OS they don't charge for, so be it.

    So Microsoft is the only one of these three whose business model is primarily software. And, as it turns out, Microsoft is becoming a devices-and-services company in order to more effectively compete with the above two... but only a fool (or a hater) would assume that such a large company can or should make that full transition overnight.

  • by ILongForDarkness (1134931) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:34AM (#46024347)

    win 8 = win 9 beta: sort of like Vista was win 7 rushed edition.

    I actually don't mind 8.1 with desktop enabled as the login. I installed classic shell and haven't seen the start menu (or needed to) since. The new task manager is nice sort of a middle ground between process explorer and the classic task manager. The file transfer dialog progress indicator is nice too. Just little polishes on top of what Win 7 has. Nothing worthy of going out of your way to upgrade but I wouldn't go out of my way to downgrade either.

  • by realityimpaired (1668397) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:48AM (#46024571)

    Vista didn't actually suck all that much if you used it for enough time... the real problem with Vista* was that it took a while for the prefetch service to learn which applications you used most frequently. Once it got a handle on what you liked to do with the system, it was actually fairly zippy. During the first couple of weeks with Vista, however, it was horrible. SP1 improved this, but it was still an unpleasant experience for its first few weeks.

    * -- that's aside from the obvious bits about driver incompatibility and the fact that they dropped an OS with a 1GB minimum RAM requirement (2GB for 64-bit) in an era when it was normal to see systems with 512MB.

  • by scorp1us (235526) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @11:11AM (#46024885) Journal

    Before you label this as another "year of linux on the desktop!" post, hear me out

    I have a retired neighbor that knows nothing of computers, but being retired he needs something to do all day. So with Vista, he uses the internet to connect to his car club and use email with his car club friends. He also uses websites with a fair degree of competency. He is so unsure of himself though, that he asks me hoe for help on a fairly regular basis with questions like "What happened to the little man?" (MSN sys tray icon, discontinued in 2013, replaced with Skype, and yes, that was another question) and "Where'd my icon go?" and plenty of other questions regarding the changing behavior of websites. He's got a very static view of things.A friend of his was also a victim of a virus that stole his banking into, so he was very concerned about that.

    So when he asked me what laptop to get, and being on fixed income, his needs were simple, and I didn't want to have to field questions about Windows 8, which would have been a nightmare. Dual mode? Charms Bar? Yeah right.

    So I set him up with Linux Mint 15 (Cinnamon) on a bargain laptop from Newegg that came with W8 on it. I pre-configured automatic updates for everything except applications (security and stability) and set the theme to the XP theme (He had previously used XP) very literally and let him have it. I got one question from him since. How to install solitaire. Stupid me, I forgot to show him the Software Center. Its installed now. I check in with him from time to time and he got a MyFi for it, and his girlfriend (also not very computer savvy, but better than him) configured the MyFi, and I never heard a peep. He's had it about 4 months now and only that one question. Not a complaint and no little men have disappeared.

    Year of Linux on the desktop? No, but for him it is.

  • by JohnFen (1641097) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @03:39PM (#46028457)

    The Start Screen is, simply, the worst possible UI design I could think up while keeping it still technically usable.

    Fitting more shortcuts on the screen at once isn't a good thing. It just increases the clutter.

    Drilling through folders is a good thing. It lets you keep less frequently used stuff out of the way, but still easy to find when you need to find it. (And don't say you can just start typing the name of the program you want instead of drilling down. I don't know the name of every program I rarely use, so I'll still be hunting, but in a more difficult way.)

    Take advantage of the whole screen is a bad thing. It breaks my mental continuity and flow every single time. I don't want to switch completely away from the desktop to perform an operation on the desktop. That makes no sense at all.

    The Start Screen is 1/3 of what makes me hate Windows 8 (which I've been using daily for over a year now). Another third is the "hot areas" you hover your mouse over, and the last third is those damned charms.

    The problems with Windwos 8 are all centered around trying to make it both a desktop and a tablet interface. Those two are very, very different use cases and trying to cover them both in a single UI is guaranteed to make that UI suck in one case or the other (or both).

  • by rsborg (111459) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @03:44PM (#46028509) Homepage

    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/ 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 account.

    See, the difference between Microsoft and Google or Apple, is that people gladly and willingly signed up [1] for Google logins and AppleIDs because the products are simply that much better than the competition. The complaints are largely dwarfed out by by happy (or at least non-complaining) users.

    Microsoft's position for Win8 is completely compromised by Metro being a BAD idea on desktops. Had they executed this better, they could have delivered something that kept the goodness of Win7, but slowly put pressure on App devs (ie, sexy new interface/foundation classes only avaialble for WinStore release) to move. Even Apple with all their skill at app stores couldn't force all the Mac App dev to happen in the Store (and Mac devs were very interested).

    Just like a driver asleep at the wheel waking up to see a cliff oncoming (that was visible for miles had they been awake), and veering wildly to avoid falling off.. Microsoft is trying to force the situation, and losing it by over-compensating.

    [1] note: the whole strongarming of G+ onto the existing Google products is more Microsoft-ish - I wonder if that's due to all the ex-softies that joined Google?

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.