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Microsoft Windows Technology

Windows 8 Sales Below Projections 663

harrymcc writes "With early reports on Windows 8 sales indicating that the new operating system is off to a slow start, it's worth pondering what Microsoft could have done differently. Over at, I considered several different scenarios, ranging from one in which it released a much more conventional Windows upgrade to one which would have been much like like the Windows 8 we got — except with the ability to boot directly into the desktop, complete with Start button."
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Windows 8 Sales Below Projections

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  • by Dan667 ( 564390 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:23PM (#42030197)
    that is pretty telling of what they should have done differently.
    • by vinehair ( 1937606 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:51PM (#42030567)
      They did not fire the woman mostly responsible for the Metro UI. Guess again.
    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:53PM (#42030595) Homepage Journal

      Useability expert jacob Nielson trashed its useability. [] It sounde like MS doesn't do any testing at all. One thing in the linked article that made me sit up: W8 isn't Windows except in name, it's Window.

      Microsoft says that the new design will increase usability. Many people who used the software, however, have criticized it for a steep learning curve that impacts both novices and experienced PC users.

      Speaking of experienced users, Nielsen said his study revealed that those folks were downright confused by a software called Windows not actually supporting windows.

      "Windows" no longer supports multiple windows on the screen. Win8 does have an option to temporarily show a second area in a small part of the screen, but none of our test users were able to make this work. Also, the main UI restricts users to a single window, so the product ought to be renamed "Microsoft Window."

      That lack of multiple window support forced Nielsen to dub it "one of the worst aspects of Windows 8 for power users."

      In the end, Nielsen believes that Microsoft has focused on tablets with Windows 8 to the detriment of PCs. He argues that while Windows 8 is "weak on tablets," it's "terrible for PCs," adding that "on a regular PC, Windows 8 is Mr. Hyde: a monster that terrorizes poor office workers and strangles their productivity."

      Only Microsoft calls removing features an upgrade... no, wait, Sony has done that, too.

      • by RabidReindeer ( 2625839 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:58PM (#42030671)

        Only Microsoft calls removing features an upgrade... no, wait, Sony has done that, too.

        So did the Gnome 3 people.

        • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @05:29PM (#42031825)

          You're being modded as off-topic, but you're right, and relevant. All the 'designers' are pushing for dumbing down the desktop with no thought to those that actually need to use the more advanced features to actually do more than browse FaceBook. The Unity/Gnome-Shell changes are a perfect example (and I even find Gnome-Shell mostly usable). I wish they'd picked a better time to screw around with an exception Gnome 2 interface ... they could likely have grabbed more marketshare from Microsoft. As it is, it makes it hard to recommend Ubuntu to a new user for the same reasons that it's hard to recommend Windows 8.

      • Yeah, only MS... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Ecuador ( 740021 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:21PM (#42030937) Homepage

        Only Microsoft calls removing features an upgrade... no, wait, Sony has done that, too.

        Yeah, right. Apple does that more often.
        Going from Lion to Mountain Lion made my 3-monitor system almost unusable (due to the particular needs of my setup, which worked fine with Snow Leopard and Lion). I had to buy an app (TotalSpaces) that restores functionality removed by the Mountain Lion "update".
        In fact, when I heard what MS was doing with Windows 8, my first response was "Those idiots think they are Apple?". Apple can pull crap like that off because people will just buy the "latest Apple". For Microsoft the best case is for people to buy something new if it can do more (otherwise they will sit with their trusted Win XP, Office 2k3 etc).

  • It wasn't time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Murdoch5 ( 1563847 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:25PM (#42030211)
    We didn't need another OS. Windows 7 was still alive and well, by releasing Windows 8 they only confused / distracted the current user base. I can't even count how many people have asked me what is special about Windows 8, besides the horrible new desktop I honestly can't really saying anything. No one is ready to upgrade from 7 to 8, if they waited another year or two then the outcome would be different, they haven't given people the chance to want something new.
    • Re:It wasn't time (Score:4, Interesting)

      by craigminah ( 1885846 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:30PM (#42030279)
      I bought Windows 8 only because I could upgrade from Windows Vista 32-bit Business for $39. Windows 8 is very good and they made some nice improvements (e.g. Task Manager, file copy operations, IE10, Windows Defender, etc.). Plus, it's pretty quick for Windows in a VM. First thing I did was install Start8 to regain Windows 7-style Start menu and bypass Metro screen at login. I think the Windows AppStore is a POS (can't search, WTF) and Metro/Charms are a disaster on a desktop. SP1 will hopefully allow the user to disable Metro and reenable the start menu at which point sales will pick up.

      BTW, I'm a Mac and Linux user so I want to dislike Windows 8 but it's solid other than the previously mentioned issues which are easily circumvented (for $5).
      • Re:It wasn't time (Score:5, Informative)

        by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:40PM (#42030417) Journal
        What happens when Microsoft breaks your $5 app? I would rather pay more for Windows 7 then be forced to put the Xbox interface on my workstation.
      • Re:It wasn't time (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Missing.Matter ( 1845576 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:47PM (#42030513)

        I think the Windows AppStore is a POS (can't search, WTF) and Metro/Charms are a disaster on a desktop.

        Your hate for charms has caused you to miss their (quite useful in my opinion) purpose. The charms are specific to the app you're in. Thus to search the Windows Store, use the search charm. See how it defaults to the windows store app (you can also search any app from any other app)? Likewise, the settings charm while in the Windows Store reveals settings for the Windows Store app.

        • Re:It wasn't time (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:07PM (#42030787)

          Jeez, did have a contest to find the worst UI concepts possible? An app's functionality belongs in the app, not off in some "charm" somewhere (which charm is it in? Scavenger hunt time!)

        • Re:It wasn't time (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:12PM (#42030841)

          So 'charms' are menu heading or toolbar buttons, just less useable and obvious.

          • A toolbar that only appears when you touch or mouseover that part of the screen, or hit the appropriate hotkey, is a very sensible design choice when you have a small screen. It's not a sensible design choice when you have a big monitor or even a 13 inch laptop display.

            But I think it's clear what Microsoft is trying to do - they're trying to make one style of graphical interface everywhere. I'm sure they know it's going to annoy and alienate millions of users, including people that are otherwise Micro
      • Re:It wasn't time (Score:4, Informative)

        by jbonomi ( 1839286 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:47PM (#42030517)
        You can search the Windows 8 app store the same way you search in any Windows 8 application. There is a Search charm. I didn't realize this at first either, and it definitely makes more sense on my Lenovo Yoga 13 than on my desktop.
      • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

        Classic Shell [] does more than Start8, including the automatically log-in to Desktop trick, and it's free and open source.

        There was a comparison article on c|net or somewhere of different "Start Menu" utilities on Windows 8, and Classic Shell actually used the least memory compared to other free and shareware software by a good margin. Unfortunately it doesn't support virtual machines, or the developers wont provide support for installs on VM's at least the article author found.

    • Exactly. If and when Metro apps become a "must have", only then will 8 offer anything compelling over 7.

    • by Adriax ( 746043 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:45PM (#42030481)

      Microsoft: "What's that Money? Time to make everyone buy windows again so you can have more friends? Of course, anything for you Money."

      They would have gone the "$50 patch every 3 months" route, but Apple has too many patents covering "Process for Regularly Milking Low-Intelligence Mammals, Using A Computer".

    • Re:It wasn't time (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:52PM (#42030581) Homepage Journal

      We didn't need another OS. Windows 7 was still alive and well

      "We" don't. Microsoft does. Microsoft sales, does, at least. And inside MS, sales is the only thing that matters. Trust me on this.

      MS recognizes its big dollars on Enterprise License Agreements, (EA). These have many recurring, subscription-like components that contribute discount for customers, that MS likes to describe as the "total EA value".

      A principal incentive in the EA is "Desktop Assurance". That's a sub, where you buy a future-proof, free upgrade to your desktop license count. The rub is this: if there's no significant upgrade to the desktop over several years of window? There's no value in buying desktop assurance! It is cheaper to let DA expire and go 3-4 years, then acquire new licenses when a desktop is actually released.

      This sucks a BIG annually-realised amount out of enterprise accounts, so MS needs a principal release, before 3 years are up. They shovel all kinds of shelfware/perkware from their incubation BU to keep year-to-year value for IT. This was the route for Forefront AV, etc.

      Then? There's the sync of engineering efforts with Server. Win Server needs to fight for its scrappy share against ESXi and against appliance-like Linux application hosts. So they are pushing a release cycle that was tied back to the desktop with Vista.

      Add to this, the OEM revenue that happens when they mint a new version number, and Microsoft really NEEDS a new desktop Windows at a frequency which will drive their uses to Macintosh. ;-)

    • Re:It wasn't time (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:53PM (#42030607) Homepage

      I don't think that's the big problem, personally. What, were they supposed to wait another 5 years?

      I got my Windows 8 upgrade for $15 or something like that, and it has improvements that make that worthwhile. Performance is a little better. The way it handles file copying is much better. I like the UI design a lot better. Little things, but it all adds up to be worth $50 or so, in my opinion.

      But all that is overshadowed by Metro. It may be a good UI for tablets, but it's not good for desktops. I had hoped it'd be good for a media center computer, but it seems to me like you still need a keyboard/mouse or a touchscreen to use it effectively.

      It's almost like someone within Microsoft is trying to sabotage the company by forcing Metro on the desktop.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Bryansix ( 761547 )

        ... but it seems to me like you still need a keyboard/mouse or a touchscreen to use it effectively...

        This just in! You need an input device in order to use a computer! More at 10!

    • Re:It wasn't time (Score:5, Informative)

      by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:58PM (#42030673)

      I upgraded to Windows 8 ($40 for Pro, I needed an OS reinstall anyway... worth trying it, worst case is I put 7 back on). It took two weeks to get Chrome to run. It still bluescreens at random intervals, sometimes several times a day (event log is no help in explaining why). I miss having XP mode (although Client Hyper-V is one of its best features so far). So in the end, I'm sticking with Windows 8 but I'm not going to be recommending it to anyone any time soon other than for tablet use and maybe netbooks.

      The biggest design fuck-up in my opinion is that they expanded multi-monitor support, but the Win8 UI is absolutely horrible with multi-tasking (the main purpose of multi-monitor for most people). You can't have Win8 apps on more than one monitor, can't float them in their own little windows, can't launch another one without interfering with the current one. I do like some of the apps, but because I can only use one at a time, and I have to hide it to pull up the Start menu, makes them unusable.

      In the end, I had to add a third-party Start menu replacement that's similar to Win7's and give up on using apps altogether. The stability is somewhat expected of a new OS but still disappointing.

      Not to say Windows 8 doesn't have some nice features - Client Hyper-V being my favorite - but even that has issues. For one, you can't run the Netflix app if you have Hyper-V installed (this may have been fixed since I last tried). Also, you can't import an XP Mode VM into Hyper-V... although you reportedly can import XP Mode into VMWare or Virtual Box without too much of a problem.

      Overall, I can only recommend Windows 8 to people who do no multitasking whatsoever and don't run much more than a browser and email. Congratulations, Microsoft, you've developed the first mainstream OS catering exclusively to elderly grandmothers.

    • by mlts ( 1038732 ) *

      I like the Metro app idea because the apps are running in a greatly restricted user context. However, it would be nice to run them windowed, with the buttons and such scalable, or at least a scale of 1x, 2x, etc.

      As for security features, one reason I keep with the latest version of Windows is that security is improved. Even Vista is significantly more secure than XP, W7 is somewhat of an improvement over Vista, and W8 mainly has evolutionary features (such as encrypting just used data in BitLocker, so I c

    • Re:It wasn't time (Score:5, Insightful)

      by localman57 ( 1340533 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:01PM (#42030725)

      We didn't need another OS. Windows 7 was still alive and well

      Microsoft knows this. In fact, I think they're counting on it.

      what is special about Windows 8, .

      What's special is that they're trying to unify (to the degree possible) their product across phones, tablets, and the PC.

      I think Microsoft learned an interesting lesson from the XP/Vista/7 cycle. Vista was fucked up, in a big big way. Did it cost them sales? Some, mostly from people who would have upgraded their software. But this is a small piece of the pie. Most OS sales are pre-installs. And, even with vista out, Microsoft kept selling XP licenses (later via downgrade rights).

      MS can't come out and say it, but I really don't think they give a shit if enthusiasts upgrade or not. Same with the enterprise market. You don't see Balmer out there throwing chairs, yelling "PLEASE! PLEASE DON"T BUY OUR WINDOWS 7 LICENSES!" As long as you're buying something of theirs, he's a happy chimp.

      They're pushing 8 out to people via new PC sales, primarily in the consumer market. But what they really needed, and delivered, was something that works decently from a UI perspective on a phone, and on a tablet. That's what's driving this. And eventually the PC will follow. Or, people will keep buying Windows 7 licenses for the next five years. MS gets paid either way.

      • Re:It wasn't time (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:10PM (#42030823)

        What's special is that they're trying to unify (to the degree possible) their product across phones, tablets, and the PC.

        I get that. The problem is that they're trying to unify these things *beyond* the degree possible, or at least practical.

      • What's special is that they're trying to unify (to the degree possible) their product across phones, tablets, and the PC.

        We get that, but:

        a) Nobody asked them to

        b) They went all out for a product which nobody actually owns yet and in the process created something that none of their existing customers would touch with a 10 foot bargepole.

        How difficult would it have been tom make a nicer Windows 7 where you can press the Windows key to go to the metro interface if you want to?

    • Re:It wasn't time (Score:5, Interesting)

      by erp_consultant ( 2614861 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:06PM (#42030769)

      The OS and MS Office are about all they have left. It's a bold move to try and stay relevant in an age of tablet computers (that don't run Windows) and smartphones (most of which don't run Windows either). Yes, they still have a solid foothold in the corporate space with Windows and Exchange and Sharepoint but in the consumer space it's slipping and slipping badly.

      Just watch what happens on Black Friday...iPads and Android devices will be flying off the shelves. Windows 8 will be gathering dust. The sad part is that Windows 8 could have been ok but, once again, MS is too late to the party. Apple and Google are firmly intrenched in the smartphone/tablet space with Microsoft left to fight over crumbs.

      For many people their impression of Windows comes from using that shitty, three year old, locked down desktop PC at work. They want something new and cool for personal use and MS is far down the list.

      The fact that Ballmer is still CEO is baffling to me. By the time he is done he might go down as the worst CEO ever. No amount of chair throwing will help him now. And the "developers, developers, developers" have left the building.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:20PM (#42030933)

      As a Linux user for more than a decade, I was forced to purchase a Windows machine for work. That being said, I sort of like the computer after making a few minor modifications:

      #1 Adding a registry key so Windows would use the Blue-Ray that otherwise showed up perfectly in the Device Manager.
      #2 Installation of Classic Shell to get a working menu.
      #3 Killing the touch screen menu that is unable to sort programs by name.
      #4 Removal of all of the useless apps that are just links to Bing.
      #5 Removal of about 1000 registry entries tied to Bing.
      #6 Moving Windows Defender to CPU core 7 so my programs wouldn't intermittantly freeze.
      #7 Disabling useless services like BITS, PnP, & DCOM and only re-enabling them for Windows Updates.
      #8 Downloading every codec and plugin that I need.
      #9 Installation of a second Linux HDD which can be used on the infrequent occasions that I disable UEFI in the BIOS.

      Granted, my TV tuner does not work with Windows, nor does my HD Homerun (but I can hear the audio), nor WebEx recordings for work. But other than that, the clock constantly resetting, lack of Media Player, Flash crashing on restore to original size, and having to roll back to a restore point a few times (in the past month) everything has been smooth sailing. I just don't see why people hate on this OS.

  • Idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sparticus789 ( 2625955 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:25PM (#42030213) Journal

    How about a Windows 8, Developer Edition? A version that doesn't have Metro, just the basic start menu and trimmed-down version of their operating system specifically designed for software developers and gamers who want power and efficiency, not pretty sliding menus. I would rather my computer's RAM be occupied by the far-odd blocks on Minecraft than a smooth windows frame for some gidget that I never wanted, nor will I ever use.

    • Re:Idea (Score:4, Informative)

      by hduff ( 570443 ) <<hoytduff> <at> <>> on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:35PM (#42030347) Homepage Journal

      How about a Windows 8, Developer Edition? A version that doesn't have Metro, just the basic start menu and trimmed-down version of their operating system specifically designed for software developers and gamers who want power and efficiency, not pretty sliding menus. I would rather my computer's RAM be occupied by the far-odd blocks on Minecraft than a smooth windows frame for some gidget that I never wanted, nor will I ever use.

      We'll just have to wait for eXperience to release TinyWin8. His TinyXP, rev.09 still rocks

    • Re:Idea (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:43PM (#42030461) Homepage

      I like the idea, except that it's not just developers and gamers who would prefer the start menu. They should have kept Metro as an optional install for tablets and touchscreen-enabled desktops. It's not about whether you want your RAM used up for pretty sliding menus, it's about whether those pretty sliding menus are an appropriate design for the way the computer is being used.

      Metro is inappropriate for a desktop computer. If you get rid of Metro, than Windows 8 is a nice little upgrade to Windows 7.

      • Re:Idea (Score:4, Insightful)

        by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:48PM (#42030539)

        But they have to push users into Metro if they're going to get developers to build the Metro apps they need to become a competitive phone and tablet supplier.

        This is why they'll fight tooth and nail to not give back the Start menu. It's all about the Metro apps.

  • by Thud457 ( 234763 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:25PM (#42030221) Homepage Journal
    obviously sales of Surface are cannibalizing Windows 8 sales.

  • Ballmer's Law (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RearNakedChoke ( 1102093 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:30PM (#42030273)
    Windows, every other iteration. XP good, Vista bad, 7 good, 8 bad. 9 ??? They have a special knack for stumbling on something good and then massively screwing it up the next go around.
  • by CannonballHead ( 842625 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:30PM (#42030281)
    I don't have much of a reason to switch to Windows 8. I understand there are a few performance benefits and a couple of nifty tie-ins, maybe an app or two, and the new Start screen which isn't *that* bad. But Windows 7 is working just fine. Why upgrade?
    • by cpm99352 ( 939350 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @05:10PM (#42031591)
      I guess I'm a dinosaur, because I only upgraded to XP last year, and the only reason I did that was to install Visual Studio 2010, which was the first VS to not run under Windows 2000. About the only benefit of moving to XP was better security - I could finally create a non-admin user and still be able to use SQL & Visual Studio productively.

      I see zero reason to upgrade to Windows 7, let alone 8.
  • Happens every time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:31PM (#42030291)

    Why do we have these same news reports every time MS releases a new operating system?

    The truth is that Windows 7 (and even Windows XP) is more than sufficient for most users. For that matter, a ChromeBook is sufficient for "most" users that really need only a web browser. I work in IT during the day and do some software development so I use a computer and applications heavily at work, but when I'm home, a Chromebook would do pretty much anything I need a computer for. I'm not into gaming and haven't purchased software for my home laptop in years - I've bought a lot more apps for my phone than for my laptop. Even if I were interested in gaming, I'd probably use a game console so I could play on my TV.

    Additionally, most users don't ever want to upgrade their operating system - they'll wait until they buy a new computer since that's generally necessary to take full advantage of the new OS anyway.

    As long as MS maintains its OEM channel, then Win8 will be a slow steady success. Though they really need Win8 RT to be successful since the PC buying trend seems to be shifting to tablets.

  • Too much "meh" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by evil_aaronm ( 671521 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:31PM (#42030295)
    Seriously: what new "gotta have" features justifies the hassle and cost of going from Win7 to Win8? Any "quantum leaps" in Win8, or just more minor tweaks?
  • by pablo_max ( 626328 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:37PM (#42030371)

    I have to say that i did buy Win8 Pro since it was so cheap and I didnt want to continue using a questionably legit copy of Win7. Do I love it? No. But, I dont hate it either.
    Actually, for my windows is NOT the issue. I WANT to buy by wife a new ultrabook, but damned if I cant find one that is either A. has a ridiculously low resolution or B. has 4GB of RAM soldered to the Fing main board! Who that F wants that???
    I was doing to buy the Yoga 13 with windows 8. Good resolution, removable RAM and SSD, BUT sold out of months ahead. The there is the Dell XPS 12, Nope, Cant add RAM, not SDcard slot either.
    Basically, the laptops out there right now are complete crap. Yeah sure, I could buy a massive 17 incher and get a good screen, but my wife has zero interest in something big.
    People more and more want something thin, fast and light.
    Microsoft is correct. It IS the OEMs fault for producing complete and utter shit which people dont want to buy.
    Face it, most folks care what it looks like, not which OS it has.

    • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:44PM (#42030473) Journal
      "my wife has zero interest in something big."........
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Or Windows 7 and even XP work fine. Why change what is not broken? If their circa 2005 laptop still works with XP why waste money in this economic uncertainity when the fiscal cliff could hit, Greece could default, and your health premiums are up to $600 a month!!

      10 years ago when people paid $80 a month for health insurance and wages were rising and you could get rich just investing stocks and flipping homes then perhaps people would give a shit about their computers more. Now it is a burden and an expense

  • Suggestion (Score:5, Funny)

    by fuzznutz ( 789413 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:38PM (#42030387)
    More commercials
    • No kidding. My daughter asked me about the Surface awhile back. I explained that there are two versions, and the one generally available runs Windows RT, which is on a different processor and isn't compatible with the apps she currently uses. Besides the Windows 7 slate we already have is essentially the same thing, so before we spend a bunch of money, it'd be a good idea to upgrade the slate to 8 Pro (which is surprisingly cheap to do) and see how that goes.

      I asked her, why the interest? She said, "the

  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:39PM (#42030399) Journal

    "booting directly into the desktop"

    That's the one. Anyone want to bet that will be a feature of service pack 1?

    That said, I will be buying a Windows 8 Pro upgrade, but only to try to breathe life into a Windows 7 slate that is currently shelfware. Special case, not really indicative of the general public.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:40PM (#42030409) Homepage

    Whose projections are these? Actual industry ones, or Microsoft claiming they'd sell a billion units in the first week?

    Many of us predicted Win 8 would be something most people skip as they've already gotten Win 7 and aren't interested in it.

    From what I've seen of it, and the reviews I've read ... Win 8 sounds more like something many people will try to avoid. Some of the reviews I'm seeing basically make it sound like the new UI is bordering on useless, but I've not yet had a chance to play with a Win 8 machine myself.

  • by Ziggitz ( 2637281 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:41PM (#42030435)

    There is a major difference between upgrading from windows 7 to 8 ass there was from xp to vista or xp to windows 7. XP came about before things like wireless G was ubiquitous. It didn't handle a lot of web frameworks very well and it was frequently populated with applications that look far shinier than it did. Combine that with the large time gap between OSes, most people were running XP on laptops with external pci wireless cards or no wireless at all and they were seeing friends, family, and coworkers with sleeker, faster, easier to use laptops that just worked with any wireless network they were in range of and actually like similar in quality aesthetically with all of the applications people were running on it.

    Nobody has a problem with their current version of windows 7 where they're thinking "If only I had a new windows 8 laptop this would be so much faster/easier/less frustrating etc". In fact, the processing power required to complete most tasks your average lay windows user does has pretty much stagnated over the past five years. Screen resolutions are virtually unchanged for most; Web browsing, email and productivity apps are pretty much at a stand still processing wise. The biggest changes in leaps and bounds have been internet bandwidth and the ability for network cards to process internet bandwidth has never been a bottleneck. This is why tablets are starting to takeover for lay computer users, because the stagnation in processor requirements have allowed smaller form factor hardware to catch up.

    All in all, for most user upgrading doesn't mean a shiny new toy, it means work learning a new interface. Combine that with cost and the fact that it offers no solutions to problems or limitations they are currently having with windows 7 means nobody really wants it.

  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:45PM (#42030495) Journal

    ... when even Windows-fan-boi site, the anti slashdot [] talks about how WIndows 8 is failing and what went wrong afterwards.

    Basically, Sinofsky made the decision to drop the start button in a meeting with Balmer saying it was a must if users were to get used to Metro. They must get immersed so Windows 8 phones can sell more etc.

    Here is a little business 101 lesson. Your customers decide which UI you use and how you design your product. Not the other way around! Every company that told customers this is what you will do and how you will like it do poorly or go under. No one listens to them and MBAs feel it is their job to convert customers and tell them what to do.

    They feel to acknowledge the customer can just walk out the door and take his or her business elsewhere.

    So they fired Sinsosky and that is a good thing. Sad, as he did a great job for Windows 7 but they did not do any QA or UI usability testing with METRO. Just get it out FAST!! and it was was rushed. Customers hate change and Windows 7 works just fine thank you very much.

    After numbers come it the problem will only get worse. Lets hope they do not something really stupid like get rid of the desktop entirely and just be a tablet company now. They lost focus on their core strengths which is another business 101 lesson you never do. They are not a consumer gadget entertainment company and they killed their number one product and money to get there. Wow! Balmer should be fired next too

  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:54PM (#42030627) Homepage Journal

    Even Jakob Nielsen says that Windows 8 usability is "dissapointing []". People should not be jumping to buy it, at least if they are rational. Maybe with new devices and computers if it comes forced in they will get it, but the upgrade, specially for traditional desktops, won't get them something easier to use (for the same tasks they were used to).

    It could be a golden opportunity for both alternative Windows desktops environments/addons (i.e. Stardock) and Linux (both for traditional desktops and the new touch enabled ones if i.e. KDE plasma active delivers a good experience).

  • by linebackn ( 131821 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:00PM (#42030705)

    It is no surprise that sales are in the gutter. I fully expect this to hurt PC sales in general.

    The Windows 8 user interface is a horrid toy. And with the economy looking as if it will be even further down the toilet next year, who is going to waste money on a desktop touch screen monitor so they can have the privileged of holding out their aching arms for hours on end and covering it with fingerprints?

    It seem like Microsoft is trying to kill of their own market. I'm fairly sure that Microsoft and pals were behind the media parroting "The PC is dead" in order to increase sales of their unwanted tablets. Well, with Windows 8 nobody wants their PCs either.

  • by Grayhand ( 2610049 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:05PM (#42030763)
    It's the same dance they run into every other cycle. People were anxious to swap out Vista because it sucked. Windows 7 is fairly stable so why go through upgrade hell for a potentially less stable system that doesn't have anything new that you need? Microsoft has to face the fact that there may be a limited future in the OS market. Most of the new "features" to me feel like bloat and actually cause problems with what I need to do with a computer. Apple in a sense has a superior approach since the OS is created to support the hardware not the other way around. Apple potentially could stop upgrading their OS and switch to an update system without having a major affect on sales. Microsoft is invested in a 20 or 30 year old system that is no longer relevant.
  • Upgrade cycle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fermion ( 181285 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:13PM (#42030851) Homepage Journal
    Most of us don't want an aggressive upgrade cycle. We want an OS that works, and then minor upgrades. MS, OTOH, needs to push product, justify the existence of the MSCE army, and the training costs associated with it.

    Windows started as reaction to Mac OS. As such it was crap until Windows 3.11 workgroups in the early 90's. We dealt with Windows, but it was a kludge.

    There was a lot of happiness with 3.11, and much happiness with WIndows 95. It was 32 bit and was really the first modern OS that MS had.

    But then Windows 98 killed the streak MS was having, along with using IE to integrate the various products instead of creating a consistent undercarriage. NT was a mish mash at first, but by the time WIndows 98 came out it was a superior product, which meant MS was in the current situation of pushing inferior OS to users that perfectly happy with, for them, the superior NT. That was me.

    Windows 2000 and XP, the sucessor of NT, finally made the Windows platform whole again, but then MS started getting into the infinite SKU look within a product, and really messed us up again. But really for a long time XP was it.

    But Apple was getting aggressive again, and MS got jittery and made Vista, which no one would leave XP for. I finally upgraded from XP to Windows 7, which I must admit was a adult and rational product. It runs nice.

    So here we are again, with Windows 8. Evidently a innovative product, but for me, someone who uses Windows only to do certain technical work, am I going to care enough to upgrade, especially since I have to pay full price since I run as virtual. Absolutely not. In fact, I recently bought some PCs for some other people and was consistently told that sales were up as people desperately wanted W7 machines.

    It is the upgrade cycle. We get used to working in an OS, then MS every couple years expects us to change our habits to satisfy their needs for sales. It did not happen in the 90's and it s not going to happen now. When MS just develops good software, they are fantastic company. But when they are trying be overly creative or reacting to Apple, they produce crap.

  • by dtjohnson ( 102237 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:14PM (#42030871)

    Normally, when a business offers a 'new and improved' product as an 'upgrade,' the product has been improved sufficiently to make the consumer want to purchase it. However, in the case of Windows 8, the changes are all to help Microsoft supposedly improve its competitive position by moving a more powerful Windows to mobile devices. The main reason that Microsoft gives their customers to purchase "Windows 8" as an upgrade is: 'We will not support you if you don't buy it.' For people purchasing a new computer, there's no real choice as those computers will come with Windows 8 and so that's likely to be most of their sales to date. And then, of course, Microsoft also offers "Windows 8" for buyers of mobile devices...a completely different market segment. For those buyers, the main Microsoft sales pitch is 'buy a new device with Win 8 and it will run your old Windows apps such as Office' and give you a powerful Windows desktop on your mobile device.' In that situation, Microsoft is answering a question that no one is asking. All of Microsoft's problems come from one simple thing. Microsoft has not put themselves in their customer's shoes and asked 'what do our customer's want and how can we make our customer's lives better with our products?' Unfortunately for Microsoft, unless you have a monopoly or a state-owned economy, that is the driver for all business.

  • by WGFCrafty ( 1062506 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:38PM (#42031131)
    Seems to me this is a brilliant strategy just like New Coke. Not only can they see how far they can push customers, they will revert back to the old UI with a choice to use metro or not, and then be able to claim they listen to customers!

    It didn't matter that in blind taste tests more people preferred New Coke, same here. (I am not claiming Windows 8 is better liked or the opposite just the strategy)
  • by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @05:05PM (#42031513)
    This OS doesn't solve any problems for me. Windows 3 was better than DOS, then I lept at 95 because it plugged so many holes in 3.1.1, the same with 98 and the 98's to follow. Then I went to 2000 because, as a developer, it was so much better and ME just sucked. 2000 was the first time I didn't have to reboot every 2 hours. But then I stuck with 2000 until just way too many applications wouldn't work. So begrudgingly I switched to XP. Then I switched to Mac. Yet if XP had been tweaked a bit to be properly 64bit I couldn't really see any reason to upgrade beyond that; vista and Windows 7 just didn't call out to me. I am not saying that windows 7 sucked but I wonder if the effort that went into Vista and Windows 7 had gone into making XP better if that would not have been just as good. So I look at my VM of Windows XP and then I read about windows 8 and wonder what killer feature 8 will have that hasn't just be arbitrarily denied to XP. My plan is to keep XP in a VM for web page testing and to soon get 8 into a VM so that I can use whatever useless version of IE it has for more testing.

    The only thing that Windows does to me is cause me to write: if($browser.msie){do stupid code;}

    If Microsoft wants me back then they have to solve some problem that I have. But as a developer they only want me to solve their problems. They want me to use coding tools that will require my customers to buy Office and various server products. In the early days Microsoft put out tools that were directly aimed at me and my problems. Visual Basic allowed me to code stuff for Windows in a flash. Coding for windows was hard using crap products like Borland C++. Then they came out with Visual Studio and poof I could code windows using MFC which simplified the whole process. But then MFC started getting more and more supportive of MS products. Then came .net. Again it was the answer to Java and solve many problems. But then by .net 2.5 it was all about integrating various MS products into my projects.

    If MS wants to win me back they need to buy something like Trolltech's QT and make it so that I can program for Windows/Android/iPhone with equal ease. MS would then get splashed by all the applications that could be ported in a snap.

    MS has completely turned me off when I reinstalled Windows on a laptop using the legitimate Dell supplied DVD and serial. I use the code and bloop "This product is not Genuine." Nice.
  • by gestalt_n_pepper ( 991155 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:37PM (#42032711)

    From those *thousands* of people on the forums were screaming "Don't take away the start button" and "make the metro interface optional," and hundred of other sensible rational suggestions, we told you so.

    Someone, or some group, deep in the heart of Microsoft chose to ignore them all.

    If they haven't been fired yet, they *should* be fired. Immediately. For incompetence AND being arrogant asses. This crap impacts the lives, businesses and productivity of millions of people. This is not a "House" episode. You get no points for being clever and obnoxious. Hopefully, all you get is shitcanned while some poor set of humbler, and more experienced SOBs go in and try and figure out a way to clean up your blundering mess.

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."