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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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  • 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.
  • 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 [jmbm.com] 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.
  • Re:Cycles (Score:2, Interesting)

    by i_ate_god ( 899684 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:49AM (#39337461)

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

  • 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!

  • Re:Cycles (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ZiakII ( 829432 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @09:10AM (#39337659)
    No, they're using iPads with bluetooth keyboards.

    No, they are not. Do the people who post this actually believe this stuff?

    I knew someone at work who had the grand idea to go spouting about how the iPad was revolutionize how he worked. He bought the Bluetooth keyboard got a nice case and a screen and a docking station. In 3 weeks he was back to using a laptop with Windows 7 with Office.
  • Re:Cycles (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> 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 WinFS...wow. 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: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: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.

  • 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.

  • Re:Cycles (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zootie ( 190797 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @09:42AM (#39338031)

    Win32s API [wikipedia.org] and the Windows compatibility layer in OS/2 [wikipedia.org] were a serious threat to MS dominance at the time. They offered app developers a measure of compatibility with the present (OS/2 and NT) and the yet unreleased Win95, and it could have stopped MS in its tracks to get Windows to 32 bits. If Win95 would have taken longer, it would have made sense for more apps to migrate over to OS/2 Warp (or to Win32s and run on all 3 operating systems).

    What MS lacks right now is an unifying development environment that spawns both form factors. Many Windows apps never migrated to WinMo (and WinPhone) because the API was too crippled and it was too difficult. And now the .Net framework hasn't taken the place of the full Win API for most commercial development and it is becoming too fragmented and it is too confusing what is supported on which platform. With Win8, MS is looking to reset all the versions of the framework into a single version: WinRT. With it, it might finally achieve some compatibility across mobile and desktop, so it is easier for developers to target both platforms (even if with different binaries, most of the WinRT code will run on both types of environments with just a recompile). This might make it more palatable for existing apps to migrate to .Net or all the way to WinRT in the near future (especially if there is .Net framework that is backwards compatible that allows WinRT apps to run on Win7 and WIn2008, but that's a bit far as speculations go).

  • Re:Cycles (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SpryGuy ( 206254 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @11:08AM (#39338955)

    To this day, you're the ONLY one I see or hear complaining about this.

    You could not PAY me enough to go back to XP. Every time I have to, it's like trying to work with stone knives and bear-skins, and type while wearing mittens. It's awful.

    Windows 7 is a great OS, and I'm vastly more productive with it than I ever was with Windows XP.

    You know you can create saved searches, right? So you don't have to keep searching over and over again... I think the reason you're beating your head against the wall so much is because you refuse to stop using Win7 like it's XP, and start using it like it's, you know, Win7.

    Windows 7 GAINED a lot more than it lost, by a LONG shot. You cannot justify a statement to the contrary. You're weird search requiremens to the contrary...

    (never mind, if you're so annoyed, there are only about a hundred 3rd party solutions... but apparently you'd rather keep bitching and whining rather than actually being productive...)

  • Re:Cycles (Score:4, Interesting)

    by clodney ( 778910 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @01:19PM (#39340649)

    Once upon a time some Motorola rep convinced our management that PowerPC was going to be the next big thing, and we did some development using NT4 running on PowerPC chips. This would have been mid-90s if memory serves. May have even been NT 3.51.

    The project never went anywhere, but not because of any instability in the OS. Don't recall any BSOD or strange crashes. But the amount of software available for a PowerPC/NT combo was extremely limited.

The Macintosh is Xerox technology at its best.