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Operating Systems Windows Microsoft Upgrades

New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One? 251

Posted by timothy
from the double-insulated dept.
snydeq (1272828) writes "Nobody seems to know for sure whether 'Threshold' and 'Windows 9' will be one and the same or separate operating systems, reports Woody Leonhard in his roundup of insights on Microsoft's forthcoming OS plans, expected September 30. 'Many people think the terms are synonymous, but longtime Chinese leaker Faikee continues to maintain that they are two separate products, possibly headed in different directions. Neowin Senior Editor and Columnist Brad Sams appears to have access to the most recent test builds, possibly on a daily basis. He doesn't talk about details, but the items he's let drop on the Neowin forum leave an interesting trail of crumbs.' Either way, the next iteration of Windows will have a lot to say about the kind of Microsoft to expect as Satya Nadella cements his leadership over the flagship OS."
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New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @09:16AM (#47756389)

    i couldn't care less

  • Not worth it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @09:16AM (#47756391)

    Until MS forces OEMs to sell a clean copy of Windows with zero third-party crapware, I won't even consider it. I've been a Linux user since 1998, and since then, have seen no compelling reason to part with my money. Fact is, when you buy a new Windows PC, it's largely unusable what with all the Kaptalistic crapware and bloat already bringing the system down below peak performance. This is a black eye for the Windows brand.

  • by DrXym (126579) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @09:23AM (#47756477)
    Just a mini metro which launches from the start button and serves a similar role as the old start menus. i.e. something which doesn't cause the user to have a brain fart when their entire screen is hidden and replaced with a massive launcher. Let the user customize it and have access to all apps and control panel etc. That and remove the distinction between metro apps and classic apps on the desktop. Let them both live there. Outside of these issues Windows 8.1 is pretty stable and fast really.
  • Counterproductive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Somebody Is Using My (985418) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @09:31AM (#47756559) Homepage

    Microsoft's rush to introduce a new OS every other year or so is a terrible strategy. While I understand the desire to bury the Windows 8 name, that is the only advantage and I'm not sure it is enough to counterbalance the disadvantages.

    Microsoft seems to think they need to release a new OS to stay competitive. The thing is, people (with the exception of techies) do not BUY operating systems. They take what is on their computer, be it Windows98 or Windows8. Generally, people do not care about operating systems. Their care that their applications will run, and that their workflow will not be disrupted by a new GUI. Neither of these can be assured if Microsoft keeps pumping out new versions of their OS every few years.

    Microsoft has a mistaken belief that they need to reinvent themselves every few years, that it is the chrome that sells their product. They are wrong. It is the 20+ years of backwards compatibility that maintains their dominance on the desktop. Their current strategy is directly threatening their core strength. It may not bring them yearly growth, but when you already have 90% control of the desktop, there really isn't that much to grow into anymore.

    Of course, the market /is/ changing. Desktops are no longer the sole computing devices in use by the general public; tablets and smartphones are directly threatening that hegemony. Frequent changes to the core software of the desktop, however, is not going to revitalize the desktop market, however; it will only fragment and weaken it. If sales are declining, it is not because the OS is at fault but because people are buying fewer new computers overall. Microsoft should branch out into new markets with WinRT and WinPhone, sure, but do not do so by cannibalizing their main market.

    Microsoft needs to focus on its core strength and not rush new versions to market in vain hopes of recapturing the glory days of the early 2000s. Incremental upgrades, not complete reinventions are the name of the game. Neither end-users nor businesses are clamoring for a Windows 9. Upgrade Windows8 to a usable state (e.g., kill Metro) and then keep it up to date with further upgrades throughout its lifetime. If they keep selling that for ten years they will do fine. Only release a new version of the OS when it is actually necessitated by the technology, not by marketing.

    Microsoft, give us a Windows8SE, then live off the OEM sales for five or ten years. Take the time to create a new, stable and well-tested version of Windows instead of rushing into the next Vista or Metro. The users will appreciate having a platform that is not subject to upheaval every other year.

  • Re:Already? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by armanox (826486) <asherewindknight@yahoo.com> on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @09:38AM (#47756621) Homepage Journal

    More like Microsoft keeping to a release schedule? Vista and Office 2007 were way off track, but they've been pretty constant since then.

  • by ErichTheRed (39327) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @09:42AM (#47756657)

    Our company has a Premier Support account manager at Microsoft, and I can't even get a straight answer out of him, so either the communications are really screwed up about this or they're being very tight-lipped.

    I'm guessing that this is part of their new "no frozen releases" cloud-enabled release cycle. It's no secret that Microsoft wants people off the on-premises software because they want to collect recurring revenue. Constantly rolling in new features is going to be the way they get customers used to the idea. Apple does it with iOS, and most people (consumers) are comfortable with constantly-changing software. Businesses are a whole different story.

    I still am trying to figure out how Microsoft is going to support enterprise customers with the constant release of patches plus feature changes. (August's Internet Explorer patch broke Java on enterprise desktops, and while it's a good idea for consumers who never update the bug-ridden JRE, it makes for a lot of headaches. There is no end to crappy IE-only, JRE 1.4-only, hastily thrown together "enterprise" Java applets.) Speaking as an end user computing person, targeting master images around SP1 of an OS release has been a pretty good standard. Service Packs or at least Update Rollups have been a convenient point to stop the integration work at, make all the desktop apps hang together, and concentrate on regression testing of patches. Without these big milestones anymore, it's going to get harder to roll out a stable platform for people.

    Microsoft's in an interesting spot. They could just ignore business customers and force everyone onto the cloud, which I doubt they'll do right away. I also doubt they'll have the courage to backtrack and give people back all the features in Windows 7. However small it is, they now have a whole App Store ecosystem to support, and it's apparently going to be even more important since they're merging Windows and Windows Phone. Whatever happens, I'm sure someone has said that Windows 9 is going to have to be a huge hit with both the desktop and the tablet crowd. 8.1 is now usable with keyboard and mouse...hopefully Windows 9 will allow desktop-only users to not have to switch between Metro and desktop to do things like use the control panel. I hear the Charms thing is going away-- that's a huge help for desktop users. I think if Microsoft actually listened to customers, then they'll be in a good spot. Traditional desktop users don't want change as drastic as the 7-to-8 transition -- you have to introduce stuff like this slowly. Everyone hated the Ribbon in Office 2007, and some people still do, but most people are used to it now.

    I think my #1 feature request would be to put Aero Glass back into the OS, plus better theme support in general. The 2D Windows 2.x look is really awful if you're not on a tablet. The OS under the hood is actually quite good...unfortunately performance and stability enhancements don't sell licenses.

  • Re:Not worth it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CastrTroy (595695) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @09:46AM (#47756701) Homepage
    The problem is defining what "third-party crapware" means. Windows doesn't come with the ability to play DVDs, because of licensing costs. So some OEMs throw in a program to play DVDs because it's easier than dealing with customers who complain that they just bought a computer with a DVD drive that can't play DVDs.

    If you want a machine without an OS, you are free to buy one. It's not as though MS doesn't sell copies of Windows to install on computers that you assemble yourself.

    Not to mention that MS has done a lot of rectify the situation. With the last Windows 7 laptop I bough, the Product Key included was an actual Windows Product key that would work with any copy of Windows 7. It didn't need a special OEM disk that was available only from the manufacturer. This is much better than the old way where you'd end up with an OEM product key that was essentially useless, because you could only use it with a special CD you got from the OEM which would automatically install all the third party software anyway.
  • by fallen1 (230220) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @09:51AM (#47756769) Homepage

    I've been in the computer and IT industry in some form for over 20 years. I've seen a lot of changes come and go -- some I've embraced, some I've just dealt with, some I've beat my skull on a wall wondering WTF?!?!

    Windows 8 was, in all ways, a very What The Fuck?!?! product. Microsoft did it so that they could increase their revenue stream and lock-in potential - not so they could increase the user experience. There is no situation in this world which you shove a phone/tablet interface onto a desktop or laptop computer with touchscreen penetration rates in those markets of, what?, 2 or 3%? It was bad idea from the beginning and it is still a bad idea now. When most users resort to third party software to give them back the interface that WORKS on desktop/laptop environments and/or adoption of the new operating system is only because users are being given no other choice, then the system was badly designed.

    Fortune 1000/500/100 companies are NOT adopting Windows 8.x. Why in the hell would they want the lost productivity from a user being forced to learn a new interface that is not user friendly or conducive to a work environment? They don't. Which is one major reason Dell and HP both started offering Windows 7 Pro installed on Windows 8.x Pro downgraded systems for business.

    Stardock is making money, even at $4.99 a pop, for Start8 as a replacement for Windows 8.x sorta-not-really-a-start menu. That says a lot about the state of Windows 8.x adoption and usability.

    Even smaller companies that I deal with or have consulted for avoid Windows 8.x and use Windows 7. I've dealt with some hard-headed people who ask why it is cheaper to buy Windows 8 than 7 or "Why aren't we using the latest version?" and so on -- until I sit a laptop in front of them with a standard, out-of-the-box Windows 8.x configuration on it and tell them "Please turn the laptop off without using the power switch." Then I ask them if they could turn their Windows 7 laptops off right out of the box. You guessed it, they said YES, they could turn it off with no problems and I point out the lost productivity from their users needing to be trained on how the access everything and learning how to use the new interface(s). They always purchase Windows 7 systems. By the way, this puts LESS money in my pocket as a consultant because my company would be the ones training them to use Windows 8.x.

    Windows 9, if Microsoft has ANY sense left in their Corporate brain, will go back to Windows 7 start menu functionality and leave the Metro interface for phones and tablets. Give desktop and laptop users the interface that works and that doesn't require retraining everyone. Individual user and most small-to-medium businesses I deal with are tired of vendor lock-in. Learn from your mistakes Microsoft.

  • Re:Not worth it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @10:05AM (#47756899)

    You actually trust that uninstalling the crapware leaves a clean slate?!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @10:08AM (#47756927)

    At work we're sticking with Windows 7 for as long as it will be supported. I work at an academic institution with many desktop users trying to simply use Office Word and spreadsheets and browsers. That's it.

    Windows 8 was a non-starter - all new machines got rolled back to Windows 7 after about 10 minutes of howling about the interface by the users.

    Windows 9 might be wonderful, but because of the experiences with Vista and Win8, Microsoft's announcements of a new operating system on the horizon is now a cause of stress and anxiety by most users. Instead of wondering about all of the cool new features that may be coming, most of the users clench their butts and wonder what basic GUI tasks that are easy and invisible now will become mind-boggling convoluted in the next OS that is jammed up their asses.

    Windows 7 does everything we need it to now with a minimum of bullshit. Most of our users do not need or want new GUI features, thanks. MS can (and should) do anything it likes under the hood to improve the stability and speed of future OS, but don't break the interface!

    If Windows 9 is essentially the Windows XP/7 interface with under the hood improvements (apparently there are many good improvements buried under the Windows 8 GUI shitpile, so I have heard), then MS has a chance of drawing back a lot of users it alienated when Win7 EOL rolls around.

    It is going to take a few EOL cycles for MS to build back its user confidence *IF* it decides that it really gives a damn about providing a stable user experience. If not...well, nobody, not even MS, is going to be happy in 2020.

     

  • Re:Not worth it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Richard_at_work (517087) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .ecirpdrahcir.> on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @10:14AM (#47756955)

    And yet one of the things "fought for" by OEMs during the antitrust battles was more freedom to do shit with OEM installs.

    So which would you prefer - more freedom for OEMs, or more freedom for MS to restrict OEMs?

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