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Microsoft Windows Technology

Can Microsoft Afford To Lose With Windows 8? 630

snydeq writes with the opinion that Microsoft can afford Windows 8 failing on the desktop. From the article: "Windows 8 is an experiment that may well fail, but Microsoft will cull invaluable feedback for Windows 9 in the process, long before Windows 7 runs out of gas, writes InfoWorld's Serdar Yegulalp. 'Can Microsoft really afford to alienate one of its biggest market segments for a whole product cycle? In a word: Yes. In fact, doing something this risky might well be vital to Microsoft's survival,' Yegulalp writes. 'Microsoft needs to gamble, and right now might well be the best time for the company to do it. The company needs to learn from its mistakes as quickly and nimbly as they can — and then turn around and make Windows 9 exceed all of our expectations.'" Microsoft has managed to weather several OS flops (Windows Me anyone?) thanks to their domination of the market, but with Android gadgets and iPhones becoming pervasive can they pull it off again?
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Can Microsoft Afford To Lose With Windows 8?

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  • Cycles (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vahokif ( 1292866 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:11AM (#39337175)
    This has happened before, and it will happen again.
    • Re:Cycles (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:15AM (#39337193)

      I agree, Windows 7 is a really good OS. I have somewhat warmed up for OSX, but in general, Win7 does it all too.

      For Microsoft it's best they take changes. Now is good time for them, as Win7 is out and maturing. Couple those tablet and computer interfaces and let the system get more use. Vista sucked because driver makers weren't ready with new drivers. Win8 is going to suck in the beginning because the usual apps aren't ready. But it will get there, sooner or later, and Microsoft will own all PC + Console + Smart phones + Tablets industries.

      • Re:Cycles (Score:5, Insightful)

        by datavirtue ( 1104259 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:29AM (#39337295)

        Whatever....we just need a decent file system. The data is getting out of control. Hundreds of thousands of files everywhere, and that is just on my home PC. We need full-blown customizable meta-tagging (with default templates for certain types of files) on data with easy search methods. We also need an easy way to force network users to to fill in certain meta-data (with logging and reporting) or no savey.

        • Re:Cycles (Score:5, Interesting)

          by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <> on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @09:12AM (#39337679) Journal

          Preach brother! When i saw the demo of WinFS I was like "Hell yeah! Finally! Woo hoo!" so naturally it got cut. The new search in Win 7 is nice but when you saw what they were going for with Imagine having the OS scan all your videos and note details about them so that you could find any picture or video by just typing in a detail about what's in it. If the OS couldn't make heads or tails or wasn't sure on initial scan it would just ask you some questions and put your answers in the DB, just too damned cool.

          As for TFA? Lets cut through the bullshit, okay? this don't have a damned thing to do with innovating shit, it has to do with MSFT getting bitch slapped across mobile by Google and Apple and they are now trying to throw a Hail Mary that has the stench of fail written all over it. Anybody remember WinMo? anybody remember their stupidity of putting a little teeny tiny desktop on it, complete with start button? well some PHB decided that since that was a failwhale the answer wasn't to keep mobile and desktop separate, you know, like those companies that are smacking the shit out of them? Nope the bright idea is jam the smartphone UI, with its full screen one at a time little fart apps crap and all, jam that shit right onto the desktop, so "Hey they'll get stuck with it and when they learn the WinPhone way they'll buy our ARM phones and tablets!" except of course they WON'T buy MSFT phones and tablets as there is no damned point. People buy Windows to run windows programs which don't run on ARM. MSFT made its bed with Wintel and now they are stuck lying in it. Hell at this point the smarter move would be to release a phone OS called metro that didn't have the words Microsoft or Windows anywhere near it!

          As for why you are seeing articles like this? Its called damage control. it looks like some are actually getting through to some of the PHBs that jamming a smartphone onto a desktop, which is the most lamebrained idea to come out of MSFT since Bob, miiiight not be such a good idea, hence the damage control. they are too far along now to stop without looking like fools so rather than admit they fucked up they are gonna shat it out and then start on win 9 which people will actually buy. Mark my words the OEMs get downgrade rights almost from the start if not the very release day, Wintab tablets will end up on Woot! for touchpad firesale prices, and MSFT will either have to spin off mobile or accept the fact nobody wants windows on ARM. Without Wintel they simply don't have the apps, they don't have the support of the devs, they don't have the network effect of millions of units already in people's hands. in other words they sat on their asses too long and missed the mobile boat.

          • Re:Cycles (Score:4, Informative)

            by higuita ( 129722 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @10:13AM (#39338369) Homepage

            WinFS is the next big thing for the next windows version since windows 95... in each new release they postpone it... its just vaporware, its too slow to be usable

          • When i saw the demo of WinFS I was like "Hell yeah! Finally! Woo hoo!" so naturally it got cut.

            I tought the same by 1991 when I first readed about it. The release was scheduled to 1992, so I guess I'll query this computer's FS to know where it is.

        • Re:Cycles (Score:5, Insightful)

          by shoehornjob ( 1632387 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @09:40AM (#39338017)
          MS certainly made strides on search in vista and extended that into Windows 7. I'm in front line tech support and the search actually works. Instead of walking customers through several steps I just have them search for it. Search brings it right down to their comfort level. A new file system would be nice but I'm usually pretty organized so it's not a big issue.
    • Re:Cycles (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:20AM (#39337219)
      Yes, this is their MO. They make a whole ton of breaking changes every-other-generation, and then make a decent product for the next generation. My parents' computers over the last 15 years or so: Windows 95, Windows ME, Windows Vista (the unstable versions). The good versions have been Windows 98, Windows XP, Windows 7. Windows 8 is on track to be terrible.
      • Re:Cycles (Score:5, Informative)

        by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:45AM (#39337429) Homepage Journal

        Don't forget Windows 2000, which many preferred over XP because of its stability and lack of bells and whistles bogging it down.
        It may not have been a big consumer hit, because there never were any cheaper "home" versions. But it was a big hit for businesses and power users.

        Nor NT4, which was a workhorse for a long time.

        I'd include Windows 3.11 too, which, crappy as it was, didn't have the stability problems of 95, and was thus used well beyond its EOL.

        • We had Windows ME, XP and 2000 machines running side by side in 2002. The 2000 machine was by far the fastest and most stable in spite of having slightly slower hardware. The XP machine was a distant last (this was pre-SP1). XP was a huge flop when it first came out and had many of the same issues Vista had years later. We eventually replaced it with ME on the one machine because it was so bad. Once a few service packs were under its belt and hardware improved a bit, XP because the (mostly) stable, usable O

          • ME was only stable if you had WDM drivers for EVERYTHING IN IT. Otherwise you had this mish-mash of VxD drivers (still bewilderingly supported) and WDM Drivers. Unsurprisingly, mixing models like this made for an unstable PoS operating system. Windows 2000 solved this problem by not supporting VxD drivers at all. Surprise surprise it was way more stable.

            That's why everyone hates on ME. It was buggy and unstable unless you had the perfect driver setup on it. On a business machine, you probably did, si
      • The summary says, "Microsoft has managed to weather several OS flops (Windows Me anyone?)"

        In my opinion, those are not "flops". Microsoft apparently deliberately releases bad versions to make more money. I understand that it was discovered during the Vista court case [] that a Microsoft top manager said the Vista was not ready for release, but Vista was released anyway. (I could not find a reference to the exact language.)

        Microsoft released bad versions in the DOS days, also. In all cases of which I am aware, there was no free replacement. Buyers of bad versions were expected to pay again.
        • Actually that wasn't what Vista capable was about, it was about not slapping Intel in the face. You see the early betas for Vista included support for several older chips by Intel and when they changed their driver model at the last minute it left no way for those Intel chips to qualify as they were "kinda sorta" Dx9, not actually full Dx9. So to keep Intel from getting burned with warehouses full of the shitty chips and from the OEMs getting burnt by their Intel boards and looking elsewhere MSFT basically gimped Vista Basic (in the early builds Basic had a lot more visual features that were omitted like more Aero features) to give Intel a checkbox they and the OEMs could use to say "Sure it runs the new Windows!". what got their asses in a sling was all the ads were nothing but Aero Aero Aero and the courts ruled a reasonable person would think being able to run Vista meant shock! gasp! actually being able to run Vista. who'd have thunk it?

          Let me dispel another myth while I'm here, kay? the whole "Its the death of the PC!" horseshit which is complete and total horseshit, if anything people have more x86 units than ever before...and that's the problem. You see folks have been conditioned to shitcan their smartphones every 2 years when the contract is up, they got drawers full of the damned things, whereas on the x86 PC front its just the opposite. You see for several years now PCs have been more than "good enough" for the tasks folks have for them. hell my mom has a 10 year old hand me down P4, and for the stuff she does, shopping on Amazon, playing her AoE and match 3 games, its frankly overkill. Anybody still using 10 year old smartphones? Hell my boys like to game and I just NOW upgraded them from Pentium Ds to AMD quads because they games finally started to drag, that's 6 years on those units, and did they get trashed? Nope i sold them and both units are running happily one with a checkout girl that uses it to chat and use youtube, the other a neighbor that likes old flight sims. Does anybody think either of those are even gonna stress those 6+ year old Pentium Ds? of course not.

          This is why MSFT is shitting themselves with fear over being left out of mobile and is willing to waste millions upon millions on this disaster trying to force their way into mobile, its because once we got dual cores PCs became "good enough" for the vast majority for the tasks they had. Does anyone think that someone like my GF, that only uses FB, webmail, and Youtube, would actually notice if you switched her 3 year + triple core for a brand new 8 core? Hell the triple spends most of its time twiddling its thumbs. MSFT and the PC OEMs got spoiled during the MHz wars where throwing out your PC every 3 years was the norm because of the huge chip advancements that made that 3 year old PC simply too slow to run the modern programs but once we went to dual cores and everyone started spending more and more time on the web that era was over. A 4 year old triple or quad could easily last you until 2020 and beyond simply because people just aren't stressing the units. Hell I bought a 6 core because they are selling 6 core barebones on Tigerdirect for $289 delivered, but did I NEED it? Nope, my quad was crazy fast and even gaming wasn't stressing it.

          MSFT wants into the ARM race because they see its the new MHz wars but nobody cares about having Windows when it won't run Windows programs. android can undercut them on price (although I still don't see why they are popped for product dumping, as they spend a billion a year only to give the product away. if MSFT or Apple did that they would so be busted) and Apple has the buzz and network effect. MSFT needs to spin off their mobile division or just call the new ARM OS Metro with no Windows or Microsoft name anywhere, but that would make sense. Instead they are gonna shoot themselves in the face trying to shoehorn the smartphone onto the desktop instead of the desktop onto the smartphone like WinMo. if its any consolation MSFT I predict in 5 to 8 years you'll see smartphones end

        • by Kjella ( 173770 )

          In my opinion, those are not "flops". Microsoft apparently deliberately releases bad versions to make more money. I understand that it was discovered during the Vista court case that a Microsoft top manager said the Vista was not ready for release, but Vista was released anyway. (I could not find a reference to the exact language.)

          Yeah, because Microsoft totally made money by not releasing an OS for 5+ years and when they did, release the turd that was plain Vista before any Service Packs. They'd scrapped one round of development, was fumbling the next but I'm guessing the order came down from the top that "Come on guys... we must release something", you'd have to dig pretty deep into the tinfoil to think that was anything like profit-maximizing. Windows XP is their longest supported OS ever, it's still in extended support and will b

    • Re:Cycles (Score:4, Insightful)

      by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:28AM (#39337293) Journal

      It doesn't mean they can survive.

      There are more mobile phones being sold today than laptops and PCs combined.

      So no, this isn't a time they can afford to be continuing to a: lose marketshare for another 3 years and B: lose even more marketshare at the same time.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I don't see many college students typing up their homework on their iPhone.
      • Re:Cycles (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @09:00AM (#39337561)

        There's more napkins being sold than mobile phones too, doesn't mean napkins are going to replace phones. I believe smartphones still account for less than half of the mobile phone market, not to mention numerous people buy Tracfones to take on vacation so they can leave their $300 smartphone at home. Likewise, there's a ton of things PCs and laptops can do that phones never will unless they can project a large enough image to replace a monitor and have an interface half as versatile as the mouse and keyboard system. Phones also need to be replaced far more often due to accidental and intentional damage. People think twice about throwing their PC at the wall because they're pissed not because of the cost, but because of the size. Same reason fewer laptops get sent through the washing machine.

      • Re:Cycles (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Rie Beam ( 632299 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @09:17AM (#39337721) Journal

        People are buying less computers because everyone has a computer and there isn't this arm's race to replace computers every six months to a year. Give it a few years; once cellphone tech has hit a wall, the technology will also finally start hitting laptops and desktops (assuming it already isn't).

        Cellphones are great but even at their best, they're still a portable version of their mature parents. No cellphone is going to ever meet the criteria of having a massive display and a keyboard and still fit in your pocket -- it just isn't physically possible.

    • Re:Cycles (Score:4, Insightful)

      by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:29AM (#39337303) Homepage

      I think this will be quite different this go-around.

      I think the next Microsoft failure will seal their fate. There are lots of factors at play which Microsoft is not presently able to compete against. The love of Android and iOS are two of them, but web technologies which depend on advanced features found in the "standards compliant" browsers out there (I know MSIE 9 is quite compliant, but many people can't even use it for various reasons... not available on XP and large programs like Documentum does not support MSIE 9 yet) are creating UI elements which promise application portability to all manner of devices out there.

      While the rest of the world is moving on into newer, more interesting things, Microsoft keeps guard on its 20+ year old Win32. They keep screaming "developers developers..." but they are also suffering because of those same developers and their highly inconsistent quality, standards compliance and stability. Time and time again, Microsoft has had the opportunity to remake itself and have decided against it in favor of keeping those who cling to the old ways happy.

      Windows 8 will be soundly rejected but more than that, the common people will be more aware of Microsoft's failure and doubt them. I have heard people say numerous times that they don't want a Windows phone because they don't want a phone that crashes or is insecure. And these are from 'common people.' And these same people are looking elsewhere.

      Worse, it is being discussed all over that people in business want to use their own personal devices for work. This doesn't always go over well with IT or many businesses out there, but the desire isn't going away and people want what they want and don't want what they don't like... Windows in this case. With all the push to alternatives, Microsoft failing to push out its own alternative to itself will prove to be its end.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by i_ate_god ( 899684 )

        Having the world switch from Windows to another OS en masse will be as problematic as switching from oil/gas to another fuel source.

      • I have heard people say numerous times that they don't want a Windows phone because they don't want a phone that crashes or is insecure

        So instead they run Android.


      • Re:Cycles (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @09:20AM (#39337765) Journal
        I think Microsoft will survive. The desktop is here to stay (for at least for a decade).

        And the options are:
        a) Windows 8
        b) Windows 7
        c) OS X
        d) Desktop Linux

        Most corporations will skip Windows 8 just like they skipped Vista. As long as Microsoft doesn't go nuts and stop selling Windows 7, people will continue to use Windows 7.

        OS X is great for some people (15-20%?), but so far at least in my office more people prefer Windows 7. To the extent of installing it on their MacBooks! Other people - my friend installed Windows 7 on his Mac too! As for me, I've got a Mac on my desk and I use it mainly via ssh. OS X's GUI doesn't suit my workflow, I'm the sort of person who keeps 30+ windows open at work.

        If your tastes are in line with "Steve Jobs and Team Apple" then OS X is great, wonderful even, otherwise in their opinion "you're holding it wrong" or something.

        In contrast if you don't like the new Windows 7 interface you can go back to "classic mode" (not completely nowadays though).

        Desktop Linux is a sad joke. The things the developers do sometimes make me wonder if they are paid by Microsoft to sabotage Desktop Linux! Vista and Windows 8 would have been great opportunities for Desktop Linux to gain marketshare in the corporate world. But time and time again they keep coming up with stuff that makes Microsoft's crap look good - just look at masses of disappointed people here being "forced" to switch distros. How long did it take for the Desktop Linux "saboteurs" to get even fundamental stuff like sound working? I half expect someone to chime in that it still doesn't work!
    • Re:Cycles (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:52AM (#39337489)
      Windows N+1 is usually an improvement over Windows N. But what really makes people buy N+1?
      - the Windows label?
      - the "N+1" difference over "N"?
      The answer is, still, in 2012, because people prefer a "cheaper" solution (over Mac), an easy no question purchase, a "standard comp that resembles the one I use in my company" as it has been the case for 20+ years. Tons of PCs are sold daily, and guess what? The latest Windows (besides Vista maybe) comes with it. So, when the time for Windows N+1 has come, N+1 sells well...
      Most of people are not rushing to get N+1 over N. They renew their PC to improve the hard. And N+1, automatically, magically, traditionally, and, above all, commercially, comes in it.
      When most of big companies start to stop (!) renewing their Microsoft contracts / purchasing PCs (almost) blindly, the (N+1)/N ratio will start to weight a lot more.
      • There is also the counterpoint, which is when someone buys a PC with Windows Y on it and they revert to Windows X immediately. I did it with every Vista machine I ever bought. I did it with every early 7 machine I bought. If your OS is a terrible failure, people WILL avoid it. You WILL hate the users and programmers alike if your job is to do tech support for those editions. You WILL get terrible reviews, and drive away percentages of customers.

        The real point is that this will have little effect on MS botto

    • Re:Cycles (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Green Salad ( 705185 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @09:26AM (#39337835) Homepage

      With Windows ME, there were few viable (compatible) alternatives, just Win98 and Win2000. That is no longer true and now I see switching.

      When MS-Office switched to the ribbon interface and killed off our productivity, our agency's CIO took a hard look at Google's subscription services for email and Docs for office apps. It took a few years, but now everyone is using g-mail and collaborating under google docs. We're shipping fewer documents around in email and now we're in the habit of just granting permissions to the documents rather then sending them.

      Now that we've used docs and g-mail, I'm realizing how poorly MS-Office apps integrate and how distracting their interfaces can be. When I share a doc, the enterprise-subscription-version of Google docs suggests names based on my organization and g-mail correspondence. Somehow, I just don't see Microsoft doing something that elegantly. I expect to have turn off a bunch of silly defaults and play whack a mole with pop-up animated notifications every few seconds, interrupting my thoughts to tell me another piece of spam has hit my inbox. Would I like to send a return receipt to the spammer right now?

      The point is, there's actually decent competition and it doesn't have to be a similar offering, it just has to frustrate your users less and absorb their existing repository of documents easily. We're very deadline and speed-oriented. 90% of my co-workers don't care about new features, or want a new interface to learn. They just want to get stuff done quickly without a lot of fuss. Google offered that while making email searching much more powerful than the Outlook/Exchange equivalent.

      Our younger-generation workers are already familiar with g-mail and Google docs because it was free. Outlook/Exchange/bing is comparatively complex to the generation that grew up with minimalist Google products.

      To take root, Windows 8 had better be simpler than Android to be productive in and configure. If not, Windows will alienate us as easily as they did with the ribbon interface in introducing us to Google docs and helping us reduce our (Windows) file servers in favor of hosted apps and storage.

      • by Chryana ( 708485 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @12:09PM (#39339659)

        You're saying your company switched to Google Docs because of the new ribbon interface in MS Office? I have no particular like for the new interface, but I mean, Word and Excel contain nearly all the functionality of Google Docs in the first tab of their respective application... I can't access Google Docs right now, so I can't test this, but last I remember, copying and pasting data from a Google spreadsheet to another document was painful. Finally, the interface is sometimes slow enough to be annoying, especially for things like sorts. I do not mean to call you dishonest, but I just don't see how it would be possible to be more productive with the Google Docs interface unless you mean to argue that the lack of options and limited power of the tools available makes someone more productive. There sure are valid options for choosing Google Docs over MS Office, such as versioning out of the box, easy sharing and collaboration features, no need for backups, etc, but increased productivity because of a superior user interface? Not so much (or as least it seems to me).

        • Re:Cycles (Score:4, Insightful)

          by ConceptJunkie ( 24823 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @02:58PM (#39342141) Homepage Journal

          I have to say, the ribbon interface is about the only thing I _don't_ hate about Office, but I only use it when I really have to. Ribbon or not, you couldn't pay me to compose a document in Word. Excel is OK, as long as you don't use it too hard or do any scripting, at which point you will be made aware how remarkably fragile and bug-ridden it is. Access should have been taken out back and killed before it was ever shipped. Outlook has all the disadvantages of bloated Enterprise software, but none of the advantages. I can't even get it to consistently remind me about events in my calendar.

          The main reason why no company is walloping Microsoft up one side and down the other on Office software is that people will only accept alternatives that are as horrendously bloated and overcomplicated with features as the Office apps are. As far as I'm concerned, Microsoft didn't ruin Word, they literally ruined _word processing_ as a concept.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Windows 95 - Stable
    98 - Bluescreening POS
    2000 - stable as a rock
    ME - less said about it the better
    XP - Good enough that MS is having a tough time getting people to part with it
    Vista - Disaster at launch, heard its better post SP1 but thats too late
      7 - Quite good
      8 - likely to be rejected by enterprises for a kiddish interface unless the UI changes

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mikael_j ( 106439 )

      You've got it wrong.

      Win 9x (95/95 OSR2/98/98SE/ME) was overall a steaming pile of dung.

      WinNT (NT3.51/NT4/2k/XP/etc) have all been pretty decent compared to 9x (although they've made quite a few questionable design decisions along the way).

      As for the recent UI changes, all par for the course with MS, they seem to always change something and their fanboys/shills will dismiss complaints with "well, we did a biased usage test and concluded that this was the best solution so STFU". Eventually everyone gets used

      • "Win 9x (95/95 OSR2/98/98SE/ME) was overall a steaming pile of dung."

        Win 95 was pretty good for its time as far as MIcrosoft goes. Believe me, if you'd had to use Win 3.1 for any length of time you'd have worshipped that Win95 CD when it showed up. Ok , compared to any unix OS or even OS/2 it was shit, but compared to what MS did before it was a step change.

      • I never got quite used to the Vista/Win/ UI, when it comes to launching apps and selecting files/browsing filesystem. I *can* use Vista/Win7 (I have a netbook with Win7), but I do not enjoy it one bit.

      • by Ucklak ( 755284 )

        Win98SE was the best of the bunch. Hardly a pile of dung.

        2K was the best of the NT platform. XP did good at merging the two but was a steaming pile of dung.

        Win7 is pretty good.

    • by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:34AM (#39337327) Journal

      Windows 95 - Stable
      98 - Bluescreening POS

      Wow really, what planet were you on? '95 (3.95) was hardly better than 3.11 on Dos 5+. It was not until '95OSR2 (4.0?) running on a mass market OEM system (DELL, HP, COMPAQ, etc) with mature drivers that it got solid. Windows 98 (4.10.98) was also pretty solid on decent hardware. You could run into problems with old (stuff with older VXD type drivers targeted at Windows '95) junk; which is what anyone upgrading a Win 95 machine had because manufactures never supported their own hardware beyond the initial release in the PC world at that time.

    • by jesseck ( 942036 )
      My thoughts exactly.
  • Windows evolves (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:15AM (#39337195)

    Microsoft are marketing experts. There will always be the masses that are suseptible to the hype of marketing... that's what it's designed for. You can see as the names are totally emotional and illogical (XP, Vista, 7 now 8). With each version it's just another version of Windows NT... Of course they need to fix a few things that don't work too well (or at all), and also add features for the geeks. But the main thing is to make it look new and 'trendy'.

    • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:41AM (#39337391) Homepage

      So far in fact that its its being swamped by the waves of derision. I can't believe anyone at MS seriously believes that whats a good UI for a handheld keyboard free tablet with touch interface is a good UI for a desktop corporate PC with a mouse. Sure, the old XP/7 style UI can be used but why should you have to dig around for it, why isn't it the default and why should app developers have to decide whether to develop for Metro or "Legacy" Windows? Sorry , this makes no sense - MS have seriously fscked up this time. I'm sure under the covers that Win8 is a very professional OS , but the Metro GUI is going to kill it in MS's cash cow sector - ie corporate unless they sort the mess out now. Many corps are only now considering Win7, there isn't a cat in hells chance of them considering Win8 with a Metro interface.

      • by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @09:01AM (#39337575) Homepage

        They're trying to copy Apple's use of a partial mobile UI in places on Lion and Mountain Lion. The big difference is that Apple realized most of their core users wouldn't want to use a Mobile style UI most of the time, so they basically made it a thing that you could do, but not the default. Even then a lot of people don't really see the point. I can't say that I've ever used Mission Control, and I'm honestly a bit miffed that they sacrificed my virtual desktops to put it in. Still, it's not much of annoyance (beyond the loss of virtual desktops) that's it's there, since I don't have to use it. Microsoft went the step further (and I think the step to far) of making Metro the default UI. Worse, you can't every really entirely get a "classic" UI. You can run the desktop as an app, but from what I've seen it almost feels like a virtual machine or remote desktop deal. You almost feel like you're not running on the local hardware.

        They go out of their way to show you that you're "supposed" to be using Metro. The idea seems pretty insane to me.

        • I can't say that I've ever used Mission Control, and I'm honestly a bit miffed that they sacrificed my virtual desktops to put it in.

          Using a MacBook with Lion? Four finger swipe from bottom to top. You see three windows at the top? Move your mouse pointer to the upper-right corner. Half a virtual windows will pop out from the side with a plus symbol on it. Click to add as many virtual desktops to your hearts desire.

        • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @12:34PM (#39339983)

          Mission Control lets you control virtual desktops on the Mac. Just click the + button in the top right corner of Mission Control (mouse over that region if you don't see it, which is kinda silly UI) to add new desktops. After that, you can use Mission Control, gestures, or hotkeys to switch between desktops.

          Now, if you had wanted to gripe about Mission Control because it gimped Expose's functionality, that would have been fine, but almost all of Spaces' old functionality (with the notable exception of having a two-dimensional virtual desktop layout) is still in Mission Control.

          The feature I don't like is LaunchPad. I love my iPhone and iPad, but keep the iOS launcher away from the Mac. It feels incredibly cumbersome and out of place.

      • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @09:04AM (#39337609)

        Unfortunately, they are just copying Apple. Again. Launchpad on OS X Lion is ridiculous and stupid. Apple seems to have fallen for their own hype regarding iOS, viewing it as the best thing since, well, anything. All the new gestures are nice, but they are slowly turning OS X into iOS for the desktop. It's really scary and disturbing. They made such a big deal with the original iPhone release about designing apps for a handheld, and now they are taking those same apps and moving them to the desktop. So, not only is MS copying Apple again, but they are copying the bad ideas too!

      • I agree. I am surprised that I had to scroll down so far to find somebody saying this. Microsoft got it wrong when they tried to make the one user interface work across the desktop and phone interfaces with the old Windows Mobile (a tiny start menu on a small screen? Ridiculous!).

        So too will they get it wrong when they zoom a tiny screen's interface up to a 24 inch monitor. Microsoft lost the huge head start they had on smart phones due to this single user-interface folly, and they will lose a lot of the de

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by beanpoppa ( 1305757 )
      And how would you name OS's? If the best criticism you can come up with is the name, then they are doing something right. To the contrary, I think MS is horrible at marketing. They haven't had a good marketing campaign since the debut of Windows 95.

      As for each version being just another version of Windows NT- what else would you expect it to be? Just like every release of MacOS before OS X was a new version of MacOS Classic, and every release of OS X is a new version of 10.0.That doesn't diminish the f
    • Re:Windows evolves (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fwarren ( 579763 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:52AM (#39337493) Homepage

      Marketing experts? Bill Gates in a mall eating a f*cking churro and wiggling his butt walking though the parking lot?

      What they have are the OEMs. They can't load OS X on a computer. Do you see anyone being successful loading Linpus Linux? Even the "Mighty Ubuntu" has no real traction. OEMs have to play Microsofts game and load whatever version of WIndows comes along.

      Home users will pirate what ever version of windows works for them. Even if they have to pay a friend to load it onto their system.

      Big Businesses will get a license and run whatever version of Windows run the applications they use.

      Small Business will just complain.

      Then everyone will get used to the crappy version whenever they have to deal with it and wait for Microsoft's next version which will "hopefully" fix the mistakes.

      • Marketing experts? Bill Gates in a mall eating a f*cking churro and wiggling his butt walking though the parking lot?

        Yes, marketing experts. For a certain market.

        Bill Gates sure does look like the type of fellow who blends right in a bland corporate world, doesn't he? That's what Microsoft products have always been out--tools to get the job done, in a style and presentation that is attractive to mass market corporate types.

    • Re:Windows evolves (Score:4, Insightful)

      by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @09:51AM (#39338139)

      I would say that Microsoft are vendor lock-in experts.

  • Windows ME? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rbowen ( 112459 ) Works for SourceForge on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:17AM (#39337199) Homepage

    I read every day about how Apple has won and everyone had an android phone, but in the real world, the people who say "what's slashdot?" also don't remember Windows ME or Microsoft Bob. And a computer is a Windows machine and you write Word docs, and you "make a PowerPoint" for a presentation.

    Sure, people complain about Windows, but macs are just too weird and, after all, it's just a tool.

    At least in this school district, they've trained another generation who thinks that computer == Windows.

    • Re:Windows ME? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MacGyver2210 ( 1053110 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @09:26AM (#39337829)

      I am thankful they used Windows in my schools when I was younger. Up until middle school, to me a computer was a Mac. My parents and entire family were 100% mac. I think sometime in the mid 90s I got a Performa 66/133 or some such thing with a DOS emulator card in it. A keystroke would boot into DOS. I loved it. I felt like I was using a REAL computer, not to mention programming became a ton easier(woot, QBASIC).

      When I got to my ~8th year of school, I finally got to use a Windows computer on a daily basis. I found all sorts of fun things I could do with it(I can SEE the system files? That's AMAZING!) and ended up getting in trouble all throughout high school for doing things I shouldn't have with them. I got a Titanium PowerBook G4 in HS and ended up selling it to get a PC with about double the specs.

      Had I not had that experience I probably would not have gotten into computers as deeply as I did, and I doubt I would have ever pursued programming in education and career. Macs are fine, if you don't care how they work or what's going on. If you want to get into the internals of a computer, you need to use something else.

  • by freshlimesoda ( 2497490 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:20AM (#39337217)
    Irrespective of wether you use Windows or not, thousands of Windows PCs around the world are sold everyday by multiple vendors backed by hardware / software warranties. What happens if Windows 8 fails ? Nothing. Windows 7 will cascade the failure until next product refresh. Tablet or PC, is not a question faced by CIOs for 90% of their workforce still. The fact in case that Windows 8 works great, if happens true, is immaterial!
    • I'd mod you up if I had mod points.

      The only thing that would hinder Windows 8 in this aspect, is if it is buggy as hell, massively more resource hungry, or incompatible with Windows 7 hardware drivers. If it doesn't suffer from any of these issues (which from what I've seen so far, it doesn't) then OEMs will be happy to ship it on new PCs and it will sell just fine. Metro is not obtrusive enough to stop it selling for those who don't like it, and for those who do like it, it will be a good selling point.
  • by Compaqt ( 1758360 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:20AM (#39337221) Homepage

    instead of releasing a version people don't want and "culling valuable feedback", why release what people don't want in the first place?

    Who's asking for this stuff?

    Don't people actually do, you know, work with their computers? Invoices, reports, letters to vendors and customers, research, etc.? Also dev, CNC, CRM, CMS, movie/pic editing, and more.

    Who is it that stares at their start menu/screen/whatever all day and gush with wonderment? People with work to do open their programs in the morning and ... work.

    On the other hand, I have to grudgingly admint (as a Linux fan) MS really has something going with Sharepoint and OneNote. Cool stuff in the window environment/OS? Not so much.

    • Everyone who owns Windows 7 get windows 8 for free. Then Microsoft can get all the valuable feedback it wants without making us pay to be their guinea pigs.

    • by Spad ( 470073 )

      I believe the thought process runs something along the lines of: "People sure love tablets and smartphones"->"Tablets and smartphones are all (effectively) single-tasking, fullscreen, self-contained apps with none of the advanced functionality of a desktop OS"->"We should do the same things for our desktop OS so people will love it too"

      The section that appears to be missing is the "What about all of us poor bastards who use our computers for work, rather than Facebook and might need more than one wind

    • by shiftless ( 410350 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @09:26AM (#39337823) Homepage

      instead of releasing a version people don't want and "culling valuable feedback", why release what people don't want in the first place?

      Who's asking for this stuff?

      "If I had asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me faster horses." -- Henry Ford

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:20AM (#39337225)
    Windows Vista alienated many corporates, who went straight from XP to Windows 7. The same will probably happen with Windows 8.
  • I have installed the consumer preview. I cannot stand the Metro interface with Mouse and Keyboard. My colleague has it on a tablet and it seems to work fine with fingers. This is similar to Vista when all the tech bloggers had bad reviews on it and still MS made billions on it. Same thing happens, by Windows 9, they will have users adopted to this UI or tweaked it like they did in Windows7.
    • Windows Vista was a different story. At that time there wasn't a viable 64-bit consumer operating system from Microsoft. Vendors were looking from something, anything that was 64 bit. Also Windows XP was getting quite old, and the vendors wanted something new to sell, so they pushed it. This time around, Windows 7 is still pretty shiny and new, and there aren't any new hardware features in Windows 8, except save for the touch screen interface. Maybe that's it though. Maybe with Windows 8, all the screen
    • by jesseck ( 942036 )

      Same thing happens, by Windows 9, they will have users adopted to this UI or tweaked it like they did in Windows7.

      I had a problem with the UI when Windows 95 was released- I wanted the "old" 3.1 interface back. By Windows 98, I had no choice- I couldn't get a 3.1 computer anymore, and had to learn the new UI. I am now used to the Windows 7 UI, and I'll probably push back against going to Windows 8 because of the UI. However, by Windows 9, I won't have a choice.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm surprised that many in the industry don't see tablets for what they generally are: a useless niche device surrounded by endless media hype.

    Apple's success with smart phones and tablets is very misleading. Execs and managers see high sales numbers for these devices from Apple, and think that there's some sort of real demand, driven by utility. That just isn't the case when dealing with Apple, however. People generally buy Apple devices for reasons of vanity, not utility. Apple peddles a religion more tha

    • by Serious Callers Only ( 1022605 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @09:01AM (#39337583)

      I'm surprised that many in the industry don't see tablets for what they generally are: a useless niche device surrounded by endless media hype.

      Agreed, they have no user file-system, no world-class 4G wireless, and less space than a nomad, and that's why they're selling tens of millions a quarter.... []

      Tablets are much like Ruby on Rails...In the case of the iPad, it's about owning devices with the right logo. In the case of Ruby on Rails, it's about buzzwords...They're a perfect match of hype, ignorance, and a false sense of superiority.

      The only ignorance and false sense of superiority I've encountered about rails was from haters who have never used it. Have you? It's just a web framework, maybe one of the better ones, maybe not, but it has become the focus of ire perhaps because people are so insecure in their technological choices they feel the need to look down on a web framework (WTF?). Rails is useful for some sites (I have used it on some myself), and other languages like PHP or Java have their place as well depending on specific requirements and code available in libraries etc. Buzzwords don't come into it, nor do logos, at least in my case, and I've never met anyone who made their choices based on such things. If any widely used web language deserves to be panned, it's PHP for its awful, messy API, though they have cleaned up their act recently. Rails is pretty middle of the road, and it's just a web framework.

      As to the iPad, it's a pretty good device, for what it is, and frankly it covers 100% of the computing usage pattern of most people I know (web, email, games) - yes it doesn't cover the needs of everyone, but that's ok, if it is popular it's not going to cause your computer to be confiscated or to spontaneously combust - you can continue to live in a world where the iPad is popular, and feel no pain, so long as you can manage to tolerate the thought that others might have different needs to you. Can't think why anyone would buy something purely because it has a logo on it - I bought an iPad because it is a good tablet, and I wanted a tablet to read the web and mail on, that's it, and it is has served admirably for that purpose.

      In fact, it's doubtful that any other company or project can actually compete in such a situation.

      Bullshit. Android has been doing pretty well, in spite of fragmentation and several mis-steps by Google like Google Play. The only people who think like a cult are those who feel they must oppose everything Apple or everything Rails without question or thought. If you want to criticise Apple, criticise their predatory business practices, their monopoly on the marketplace, their banning scripting from the store, their blatant ripping off of other developers, but don't try to criticise a device which is best of class, and really popular, as somehow doing well because it has a logo or people are enlisted in a cult! People are buying the iPad in their millions because it is good, and they find it useful. Deal.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:22AM (#39337239)

    Have you seen the consumer preview? M$ has screwed the pooch so badly with W8 that even now they're talking about how W9 will fix its problems...even before it has even been released.

  • Sure they can (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sir_Sri ( 199544 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:23AM (#39337251)

    Of course MS can afford a product cycle that isn't hugely popular. Their biggest competition for Windows 8 is Windows 7, which gets the job done for most people. Vista sucked in large part because people were quite happy with windows XP and didn't really want anything else.

    Where they can't really afford to flop is in mobile. But they seem to have the right general idea, one core OS for both desktop and mobile (making cross platform development and use much easier), and then something that is unique from iPhone/Android. Whether it gets market traction or not who knows, but they seem to have some generally good ideas. Their desktop... meh. People can stick with windows 7 for a year or two longer while they figure out what the most important things to change from 8 are.

    The other thing is that many of us on /. may not quite grasp how normal people use computers, and how much simpler something like live tiles could be. How many computers do you see that have a desktop full of icons, people who can't manage simple things like bookmarks etc.

    And as I say, it's not like MS has any meaningful competition in the desktop space right now. Arguably there is a surge in mac uptake among young people especially, that poses some potential longer term risks, but then Apple without the reality distortion bubble is going to have a much harder time in the long run too, so that provides some longer term advantages. Probably it'll even out in the end.

    • Re:Sure they can (Score:4, Insightful)

      by JustinOpinion ( 1246824 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @09:50AM (#39338127)

      The other thing is that many of us on /. may not quite grasp how normal people use computers, and how much simpler something like live tiles could be. How many computers do you see that have a desktop full of icons, people who can't manage simple things like bookmarks etc.

      I see what you're saying, but I think Windows 8/Metro is a failure in this regard, mainly because Microsoft didn't go "whole hog" with this new design ethos. If you think of an iPad, it really does reduce complexity for the end user, by getting rid of so many of the things that a normal desktop computer does. This is somewhat annoying if you're trying to do something more complicated, but it does indeed simplify the computing experience for many people.

      But in Windows 8, it seems that you have all the usual complexity of the conventional desktop, plus this new Metro thing. So now your average user not only has to manage all the files on the hard-drive, and all the icons on their desktop, and all the windows in the usual desktop/window interface... they additionally have to figure out and manage live tiles. Worse of all, they now have two competing metaphors: desktop windows and live tiles, which sometimes work together, sometimes duplicate functionality, and sometimes are totally distinct ("I remember being able to make this work... but was it a Metro app or a regular desktop app I did it in?").

      One of the most basic principles in UI design is consistency. Being consistent lets users develop muscle memory, simplifies their mental model for the computer, and lets them predict the behavior of new, unfamiliar software. Being a slave to consistency can be bad (and stifle innovation), but conversely if you break consistency you need to have a really good reason: the gain in productivity or power must be sufficient to offset the user confusion. (This is at least one reason that we stick with so many arbitrary conventions in our computers: they may not be the best conventions but by being consistent people can at least learn them.)

      Windows 8/Metro breaks consistency in a major way. Not just in breaking with tradition (which can be justified if the new interface is sufficiently better), but by having internal inconsistency between the two competing UI metaphors. By not being committing to one or the other, MS is making both of them more confusing.

      You may argue that novice users will just stick to the simplicity of Metro, and never be bothered by the complexity of the traditional desktop (which will be available for power users that need it)... but I am unconvinced to say the least. Legacy software will jolt the user back into the desktop. Even novice users have probably used a conventional desktop and will try to get back into it. Metro in general does not appear to reproduce all the functionality of the conventional desktop. So users will now have to flip between the two different modes all the time. In fact some have also argued the opposite: that novice users will stick to the desktop and ignore Metro (or just use it as a fancy app launcher). This still adds needless complexity. Either way, this is a UI disaster.

      It's been said so many times that it's almost pointless to say it again: Metro looks like a very nice UI solution for mobile and tablets. But whoever thought it was the future of desktop computing needs to have their head examined.

  • by Monoman ( 8745 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:25AM (#39337267) Homepage

    MS was able to afford mistakes in the desktop market because they were pretty much a monopoly. They had a huge user base that would just wait. The customers had no real alternative.

    MS is not in the same situation with the mobile market. They are not a monopoly, they do not have a significant market share, and it is a different market.

    Only time will tell if MS makes the right or wrong choices to win back some of the mobile market share.

    note: I deliberately avoided the whole topic of the mobile and desktop OS markets merging.

  • by GeneralTurgidson ( 2464452 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:26AM (#39337281)
    Years and years of Microsoft going "what does the consumer want" has lead to this. Uncomplicated. Pretty. Microsoft needs to take a page from apple--step back and objectively ask "would I enjoy using this piece of shit?". Ask their tech support "would you enjoy troubleshooting this piece of shit?". That would be some constructive feedback.
  • by HumanEmulator ( 1062440 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:35AM (#39337339)

    Microsoft has managed to weather several OS flops (Windows Me anyone?) thanks to their domination of the market, but with Android gadgets and iPhones becoming pervasive can they pull it off again?

    In a world where gadgets replace personal computers does Windows 8 or 9 even matter? Wouldn't Windows Phone be the relevant operating system? It's not like if Windows 9 is suddenly amazing, people are going to start shoving laptops in their pockets.

  • by Air-conditioned cowh ( 552882 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:52AM (#39337491)
    I wonder if Windows 8 will actually default to the correct time zone _after_ I've already told it what country I am in. I was amazed to find that Windows 7 still, after all these years, didn't when I was setting up my new laptop last week.
  • by bertok ( 226922 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @09:23AM (#39337795)

    I figured that I'd just do what I did with Vista, and run the server edition of Windows 8 instead of the consumer edition, so that I can have all the new capabilities without the tablet UI.

    No such luck.

    I ran up the beta and got a few things up and running on it, and it's just mind-blowing to experience how horrendously unusable it is first hand. This is the server edition, mind you, and it had animations, things sliding around, the start menu is gone, and some notification popped up that said something like "tap here to view details". Tap? On a server? Are you kidding me? Everything is a tablet now?

    The strangest thing is that the PowerShell 3 command line is so fantastically good* that I almost don't care that they've fucked up the GUI, but for most people any improvements are going to be swamped by the atrocious user interface.

    They've stuffed up everything. Things like the new Server Manager look pretty, but it does odd things like adding new menu items after a delay. After clicking some item like a server role, at first maybe only three or four menu items would be shown, so you think, ah well, nothing I can do here... and then after two seconds more menu items appear out of nowhere. If you're like me and click fast, you can miss critical things because some idiot decided to lather on the WinRT asynchronous APIs without any thought to the impact on usability. It's one thing if a placeholder changes after a delay, but to keep structure hidden until an arbitrary delay is a huge design flaw. And why the fuck is it asynchronous in the first place, anyway? Why aren't menu items known ahead of time, like you know... in all other software ever made by man?

    Everything has cute tiles now, none of which are big enough to show their text content, so you find yourself having to choose between "Active Direct...", "Active Direct...", or "Active Direct...". It doesn't help that the icons are all cool and Metro and lack distinguishing characteristics.

    I love the nested scrollbars, where the horizontal and vertical scrollbars are attached to two different controls with different sizes, where one of them can be used to scroll the other scrollbar into an invisible location.

    Of course, everybody has covered the idiocy of Microsoft deciding to eliminate the Start menu, but on Windows Server it's particularly bad because there's a vaguely similar looking icon in its place! If you don't click exactly in the corner of the screen, you launch Server Manager instead, which is not a lightweight app, and can take a while to launch even on an SSD. Expect to learn quickly from your mistakes, because you'll be punished for making them. A lot.

    I still haven't figured out how to quickly get a list of all start menu items, without first searching for something and then erasing the search term so that everything matches. I'm sure there's a better way, but it's not obvious to me.

    Some of these things might be a bit nitpicky, but from what I've seen the flaws are pervasive, and it's a bad sign that even the most commonly used GUI screens have glaring usability problems despite having what appears to be final layout and artwork.

    It's one thing to grumble and have to get used to something new and different if it's better, but it's a whole different story when I'm forced to get used to something that is not only objectively worse, but also totally inappropriate for the type of product: "tap here" on Windows Server Datacenter Edition tells you everything you need to know about Microsoft's myopic vision.

    *) While they've added some impressive features [] to PowerShell 3, they've fixed none of the bugs. For example, (Get-ADUser "invalidusername" -EA SilentlyContinue) still throws an exception even though it was told to fail silently. This bug affects a lot of different things and was reported to Microsoft back when PowerShell 2 was still beta! I'm going to whip my crystal ball out and predict that this bug will not get fixed until, lets say, PowerShell 5 Service Pack 2, at which point nobody will care because we'll all be using Apple computers and Google cloud services instead.

  • by netsavior ( 627338 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @09:33AM (#39337931)
    I don't understand why everyone (including MS I guess) thinks tablets will eventually replace PCs. Is it just that I and everyone I know are way more verbose than the average person? Are people really going to tap out blog posts and forum posts and emails (not texts/tweets) on glass horrible excuses for virtual keyboards? really?

    They have an input problem, and I don't see ANY solution that will make them a serious computing option within the next 10 years, barring a docking station that just basically makes them a PC anyway (at which point what is the point?). Voice control may not ever work, much less "soon," glass keyboards seem fine in the store, but if I had to type even this rant on one, I might shoot my tablet instead.

    I have a tablet with a full usb keyboard, and that works, but I mean it isn't even more portable than a laptop at that point.
    • Because most users don't need a Intel or AMD something-or-another x86 machine.

      The real success story here isn't tablets, it's ARM.

      The way that Apple has set the yard stick for the form factor too, having a detachable keyboard and touch as input and a giant honking battery, you have a ridiculously flexible work device. it won't replace the 6 or 8 monitor monsters that IT pros, day traders, and other geeks need, but it will make life easier for nearly everyone else.

  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @10:10AM (#39338357) Homepage Journal

    I cannot believe all these people here posting that the desktop is dead, tablets are the future, and no one is going to use a full blown PC except for hardcore gamers.

    Dudes; wake the f up. In the corporate world, the desktop PC is everywhere. What do you think people in offices are doing all day, surfing facebook? They are not because facebook is blocked by the corporate proxy.

    No, the are running spreadsheets, inputting data, copying data out of custom apps built in-house that speak to gigantic Oracle databases, and pasting that data into word documents, and writing a ton of material to explain that data so that it can be understood by MBA suits who decide what stock they are buying this microsecond.

    All that isn't going to be done on a tablet. Not this decade, at least.

    I need two monitors at 1280 x 1024 to get my work done, and I'm still losing windows under all that clutter. I have to monitor 4 different exchange mailboxes, I have 3 browser windows, a rumba session to the mainframe and several instances of notepad and MS word running. And a CMD/DOS session for FTP, and a window to my share on the SAN.

    I have to run Firefox for external web browsing but IE8 to access the internal intranet, as the apps don't format correctly under firefox.

    Our machines run 24/7 because a night-shift comes in to take our places when we leave for the day.

    If you really think a tablet is going to replace this infrastructure any time soon, I don't think you understand just how entrenched large corporations are in the PC. And it took them decades to get here, we still have old-timers who have worked here since before the PC was a part of the corporate world, and they only know how to use the phone, they don't send emails. Of course, most of the these folks are close to retirement.

    But that means that it took 40 years to get to this point, and I think it's going to take 40 years to move to some other technology that's radically different, like a tablet.

    Microsoft is smoking crack if they think we're all going to smoothly transition to a Tablet OS, even on our desktops, in anything less than 10 years.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.