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Microsoft Windows

Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes. 1009

Nerval's Lobster writes "A little over a year after Microsoft released Windows 8, and a mere three months after it pushed out a major update with Windows 8.1, rumors abound that Windows 9 is already on its way. According to Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows, Microsoft will begin discussing the next version of Windows (codenamed 'Threshold,' at least for the moment) at April's BUILD conference. 'Threshold is more important than any specific updates, he wrote. 'Windows 8 is tanking harder than Microsoft is comfortable discussing in public, and the latest release, Windows 8.1, which is a substantial and free upgrade with major improvements over the original release, is in use on less than 25 million PCs at the moment.' Microsoft intends Threshold to clean up at least a portion of Windows 8's mess. Development on the latest operating system will supposedly begin in late April, which means developers who attend BUILD won't have access to an early alpha release—in fact, it could be quite some time before Microsoft locks down any new features, although it might double down on Windows 8's controversial 'Modern' (previously known as 'Metro') design interface. Yet if Thurrott's reporting proves correct, Microsoft isn't abandoning the new Windows interface that earned such a lackluster response—it's betting that the format, once tweaked, will somehow revive the operating system's fortunes. With Ballmer leaving the company and a major reorganization underway, it'll be the next Microsoft CEO's task to make sure that Windows 9 is a hit; in fact, considering that rumored 2015 release date, shepherding the OS could become that executive's first major test."
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Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.

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  • Re:9.1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JMJimmy ( 2036122 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @01:45PM (#45941179)

    100% guaranteed they continue in the metro vein and continue to obscure/drop features/settings and continue to be "dumbfounded" as to why no one wants to buy it.

  • Re:9.1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @01:48PM (#45941219) Homepage Journal

    I'm waiting for 9.1. Don't want to be first in the pool.

    It'll be fine. It's really just going to be re-badged Windows 7.

  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul ( 629286 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @01:48PM (#45941223) Journal

    Write a good clean seperation for the launcher and let app developers go to town, like they do on Android. Let the best one win, and incorperate its fearues as the offical one.

  • Missing the boat (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 13, 2014 @01:50PM (#45941267)

    MS shouldn't create any new versions of Windows O/S. It should take Windows 7 and make it a subscription-based product. Pay $50/year and MS will maintain it in its current form forever. It has everything that it needs to have - all it needs is ongoing support for bug/security fixes. No more churn on hardware. No more churn on software. Just make Windows 7 the new standard so that any investment into hardware/software for Windows 7 is never thrown out and make Windows 7 rock solid. I would happily pay $50/year to have the O/S locked down and put into maintenance mode in perpetuity.

  • Metro (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rataerix ( 2814199 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @01:51PM (#45941283)
    As long as Windows 9 has metro is won't a hit. Microsoft doesn't seem willing to change any major issues people have with 8/8.1, Windows 9 will probably turn out to be is a bunch of little fixs, basically 8.2, but with a huge price tag.
  • Re:Killer app? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @01:52PM (#45941305)
    Proper high-DPI support would be quite important.
  • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @01:55PM (#45941363)

    I've always said that the purposed of Windows 8 was not the interface, it was the introduction of their 'App Store'. They want the same think Apple has with iOS (and to a lesser degree, OSX); they want a cut of all sales and the ability to dictate what can be installed. It will be interesting to see if either the interface or the app store goes away ... I'm betting the interface will go before the app store does. I'd say I hope I'm wrong, but I don't. The more they lock users and development shops out, the more will join Valve on Linux.

  • by secondsun ( 195377 ) <> on Monday January 13, 2014 @01:58PM (#45941429) Journal

    Windows failed to learn a lot of the lessons that iOS and Android could have taught it. It failed to learn the lessons it should have from GNOME 3. It failed to bring the Internet to the desktop in a way which hadn't been tried in Windows since Windows 98.

    Windows 8 finally brought us a managed application repository with automatic updates, monetization features, etc but only for modern UI. The Desktop apps were still their own special snowflakes stuck in "Don't accidentally a toolbar" install and update hell.

    Windows 8 has tight integration with cloud services, but those are limited to only services and features hand picked by Microsoft and (last I checked) has no openness for third parties to integrate in the same way. GNOME 3 on the other hand, has lots of integration with various social and cloud services. Sign into Google for instance and your Google Docs are available in your Docs folder, your contacts show up in your Contacts app, your Google handouts get routed therough Empathy etc. Windows 8 does this for Facebook and Sky Drive but, again, only in the Modern UI.

    Windows 8 Modern apps are firewalled from Windows 8 Desktop apps. Do you have Skype? You have two Skype apps. Do you have a chat client? You have two apps again. The same app on Android can run on everything from a wrist watch to a Television supporting tons of different input paradigms ALMOST natively (the developer has to do some basic UI legwork of course).

    As a consequence of the previous point, lots of services (push notifications, application lifecycle management, etc) are available ONLY in Modern and not on the Desktop. Desktop apps still need to manage their own networking state and messaging. Many of the native applications were rebuilt as Modern full screen apps and their desktop equavalents were removed. The most galling is the Photo Viewer. If you open a picture in Explorer in the Desktop, all your windows go away and the image takes up the full screen.

    In conclusion, Windows 8 problems don't stop at the Start Screen and framing the Start Screen as the biggest and only problem fundamentally misses what Microsoft did very, very wrong. Microsoft did not TRY to bring modern cloud technologies to the desktop. They ported their tablet OS to the desktop and stopped there.

  • Re:9.1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:00PM (#45941461) Homepage

    They should hire me to fix it...

    It's quite simple, really:
    a) If somebody is in "Metro" mode they stay there until they deliberately switch to "desktop".
    b) If somebody is in "desktop" mode, they stay on the desktop until they deliberately switch to "Metro".

    Switching between the two should be an easy gesture, maybe even a special new key on machines with a proper mouse/screen/keyboard.

    (And maybe the "scroll lock" key could work for us Model M diehards - is that really too much to ask? It even means we get a "Metro" warning light on the keyboard as a bonus feature).

    How hard can that be?

  • Re:Vista/7 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Andrio ( 2580551 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:01PM (#45941479)

    Unfortunately, the disaster that is Windows 8 can in no way compare to Vista. Vista's shortcomings primarily came from a sloppy implementation of user-land, a bloated and sluggish system, and poor driver support. The UI was a fine improvement over XP, and most of the issues Vista had were fixed with updates over time.

    With Windows 8, the desktop environment has fundamentally been changed. They created an OS designed around tablets, and then shipped it to desktops and laptops. They're betting the farm that if they introduce their tablet OS on the desktop, people will--in the long run--go with Windows tablets and Windows phones because it's what they'd be used to from their desktop/laptop. In short, MS has been convinced that their salvation lies in leveraging their desktop monopoly to make their tablets/phones more popular.

    Of course, the underestimated how shitty and terrible trying to use a touch interface is an a desktop environment. The end result is that anyone with a clue is avoiding Windows 8 like the plague. They need to go back to classic Windows (Here's a suggestion, name Windows 9 "Windows XP 2" since everyone liked XP), and just acknowledge that the desktop environment will never go away, but it will also not be as ubiquitous as it once was.

  • Re:9.1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tripleevenfall ( 1990004 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:04PM (#45941545)

    Microsoft refuses to acknowledge the one simple truth that could save them:

    No one who chooses to use a PC instead of a tablet wants to see Metro. Ever.

  • by Lawrence_Bird ( 67278 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:07PM (#45941585) Homepage

    Take away all hardware purchased/built prior to 2011. The longevity of hardware purchases is the real culprit. People no longer feel compelled to upgrade their hardware every three years (give or take). Outside of the gaming community and niche video/photo workers, what does the average person do on their pc that one from 2007 can't handle?

  • by bob_super ( 3391281 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:08PM (#45941609)

    That happens to be Microsoft's biggest problem.

    They had a really hard time convincing people that they needed more than XP, and they finally got it right with 7, when a decade did make XP clunky for modern hardware.

    Barring some industry revolution, convincing people that 7 is outdated is going to be near impossible, for at least another 5 years.

    It works, and has all the features that any non-geek needs.

  • Re:9.1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dreamchaser ( 49529 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:17PM (#45941763) Homepage Journal

    'The guy at the store' rarely knows what he is talking about. As him to show you the warranty text and point out where it says installing your own software voids it.

  • Re:9.1 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:19PM (#45941785) Homepage

    Windows NT? Windows 2000?

  • No 's' in Windows. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:21PM (#45941827)

    They should rename it Window 9, and drop the 's'. No more multiple windows. This is the design choice Microsoft has made. They've dropped the feature that made people want to use Windows and force a single Window format on users. They've dropped their namesake feature. It's ridiculous.

  • Re:9.1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bananaquackmoo ( 1204116 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:24PM (#45941881)
    It only takes one person to disprove nobody. Count me in. I like it.
  • Re:Vista/7 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:25PM (#45941897) Journal

    Vista's problems, by and large, were under the hood. It was still the old Windows 95 desktop paradigm with some new bells and whistles. The suckage came from poor driver support and suboptimal systems having "Windows Vista Ready" stickers be stuck on them. We have a bunch of Windows Vista SP2 workstations in our organization, and they work perfectly fine.

    In fact, by and large the suckage of Windows versions has been under the hood. Windows 95 was slaughtered by stability issues, as was ME. The suckage in Windows 8 is of a different variety. For the first time since Windows 95 they've made major alterations to the GUI. Heck, let's be blunt, Metro is an entirely different GUI based on a pretty different paradigm, and switching between the "classic" desktop, which has been with us since Windows 95 and the Metro UI is jarring and incoherent. Worse, once you're in Metro, it's just a gawdawful UI that makes one pine for the days of Windows 3.1. Even if you look to the transition between 3.1 and 95, by and large the Windows 95 GUI is an extrapolation and enlargement of the older Windows 3.1/Presentation Manager model that had been around since OS/2. Metro is just plain alien.

  • Re:9.1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ahabswhale ( 1189519 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:25PM (#45941903)

    Please explain why as I can see absolutely no point to it on the desktop.

  • Re:9.1 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jakeula ( 1427201 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:26PM (#45941915) Homepage
    I know you are modded 'Funny', but I have honestly been wondering the same thing myself. Between Windows 8/8.1 and the Xbox One, it seems like they are intentionally driving away users. Maybe this restructure will help. It seems like Microsoft doesn't really know what it's trying to do, and maybe that is because there is no unified goal for each department. The cause is pure speculation on my part obviously.
  • whatever (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:31PM (#45942001)

    there is absolutely nothing wrong with windows 7.

  • Re: 9.1 (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:33PM (#45942029)

    solution: install linux.

  • by JDG1980 ( 2438906 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:33PM (#45942031)

    Just calling the new release "Windows 9" isn't going to do the trick. They need to listen to what customers, especially power users and enterprise administrators, are saying. Grandma has already moved on to an iPad and she doesn't spend much money anyway; she's a lost cause. Forget about pandering to the lowest common denominator. Stop trying to beat Android and iOS at their own game. Emphasize that Windows is a tool while Android/iOS is a toy. Windows is what people use to get work done. That means a renewed focus on the desktop. Because, let's face it, if you're willing to ditch the desktop and legacy compatibility, you might as well ditch MS altogether.

    Specifically, Microsoft needs to make it possible for desktop users to never see, or interact with, Metro. Yes, I know they want us all with touch screens and buying apps from their app store, but it isn't going to happen. All they are doing is alienating their most important customers. Bring back the real Start Menu so that people who have been using Windows for 10-20 years aren't confused and baffled by the new interface. (Remember that many people who use Windows at work are not technically oriented. Re-training costs money, and IT departments often don't have it to spend.)

    Also fix the little things. These are important. An example: After using Windows since 1995, my eyes are used to seeing the title on the top left side of the window frame. Win8 centers it, for no good reason other than some designer's dubious sense of aesthetics. That completely breaks my eye-tracking and costs a second or two every time I have to look at the title. It doesn't sound like much, but little things add up, and minor issues of fit and finish are often the difference between a successful product and an unsuccessful one.

  • Re:Vista/7 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tridus ( 79566 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:33PM (#45942033) Homepage

    Its amazing how nobody at Microsoft seemed to realize that if they forced Metro on people and people didn't like it, that would harm their phone/tablet sales rather than help them.

    If I hate it on my desktop PC (where it sucks), why would I want it on a tablet?

  • Threshold... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:34PM (#45942043) Journal

    Good name. An even better name: Tipping point.

  • Re:Killer app? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mlts ( 1038732 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:34PM (#45942049)

    What I see that makes Windows 8.1 [1] an upgrade isn't the UI changes. There are some nice under the hood features. The annoying wait for chkdsk to finish is gone, because it can be run while a volume is online to find broken index nodes. BitLocker can be used without a TPM to ask for a password, similar to how TrueCrypt functions on boot. It is easier to blank out a PC completely if handing it to someone else ("reset" option, choose to blank the drives, let it erase and reinstall,) Windows Store apps function in their own jailed space, which helps security, and so on. None of these features are really what a lot of users care about, but with a third party program like Classic Shell, W8 or W8.1 can be made decently usable.

    So, all things being equal, and if Classic Shell does make up for the new UI quirks, moving to W8.1 is a good thing to do just due to the fact that it is coded for more recent threats. This isn't as bad as the XP days where an OS made in 2001 is trying to handle threats in 2014, but using an OS with security designed for more recent threats as opposed to having it strapped on can be the difference between reading about the latest version of Cryptolocker going around versus having to pay the Cryptolocker guys several BitCoins.

    [1]: Well, in my case, Windows Server 2012 R2, just because the server version of wbadmin is one of the best and simple backup utilities out there, and server editions install as little of possible by default, so it tends to have less useless cruft than a client.

  • Re:9.1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:37PM (#45942071) Journal
    I don't mind big/radical changes as long as they clearly are better - e.g. they help me do easy, common and difficult stuff easier and faster.

    Windows 95 was a big change from Windows 3.1. The UI was better (taskbar, start menu, recent documents, SendTo, etc) and it was very popular.

    Windows 8 and 8.1 are NOT better in terms of UI - the changes are mostly change for the sake of change - some things take more steps, others take the same number of steps but are now different steps. Discoverability seems worse now. Some things may be a bit better under the hood but those improvements aren't enough to counterbalance the crappy UI.

    Maybe Microsoft or Apple should start thinking about what sort of UIs would really help augment humans for the next generation Oculus Rift stuff. Imagine being able to have screens as large as you want, and as many of them as you want. You're not limited to 2D but I bet 2D will still be useful - if you're a coder I'm sure 2D will mostly be fine and 3d may not help that much except stuff like exploring different source code versions. Or maybe viewing/adjusting a HTML page in 3D layers for faster debugging. Similar for augmented reality.

    Stuff like thought macros would be nice too. Just associate a distinct thought or thought sequence with an object (picture, video, file, message, person etc) or action - then rethink it again and you can recall that object or perform the action.
  • by RedBear ( 207369 ) <redbear@red b e a r n e> on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:37PM (#45942073) Homepage

    Knowing Microsoft, this is what they're going to do:

    - Remove Right-Click capability
    - Remove all menu bars and hotkeys
    - Require SuperAdmin privileges for everything from resizing a window to shutting down the computer
    - Make MSOffice 100% touch-screen compatible, removing all mouse compatibility
    - Make ribbons 60% bigger
    - Remove ability to save over existing files

    Sounds funny now, but come back in five years and marvel at how prescient and insightful you were.

    These days, every ridiculous internet joke seems to end up coming true in spades in real life.

  • Re:9.1 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:42PM (#45942157) Homepage

    I want to waterboard the idiot at Microsoft that though it was a good idea to rearrange everything in the control panel. That person needs to be waterboarded for 16 hours then left in a small metal box in the hot desert heat for 2 weeks.

  • by mbkennel ( 97636 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:44PM (#45942209)

    Make a desktop interface which is optimized for the desktop and is substantially better than anything that exists now. Look at all the academic research, and take years to adopt and polish it. Demand excellence internally and never believe your own BS.

    Heck, even NextSTEP from 1990 is a better zeroth-order start.

    In a nutshell: work on something truly great for your customers. Not for your delusional marketing requirements or internal power point power plays, e.g. "mobile and tablets are the future, and so we need to privilege their interface everywhere because we want Windows Everywhere."

    Steve Jobs wasn't stupid enough to put a little microscopic Mac on the iPhone. The previous horrifying Windows Mobile 5 made that mistake, a miniature XP with a stylus on the phone. Microsoft still didn't learn!
  • Re:9.1 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:44PM (#45942211)

    It only takes one person to disprove nobody. Count me in. I like it.

    Well, you've disproved nobody.

    That was... anticlimactic.

  • Re:whatever (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:49PM (#45942281)

    You being locked into that is due to a local decision by your administrator, not a fault of Microsoft

    Every MS-related slashdot article has someone bitching about something like this.

  • by bobjr94 ( 1120555 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:49PM (#45942291) Homepage
    One simple check box could have saved the computer industry including Microsoft hundred of millions in lost sales. - Windows 8- boot options: [ ] Metro OR [X] Desktop - Click OK to restart with the new settings
  • by h00manist ( 800926 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:52PM (#45942321) Journal

    Anyone who says they love windows 8 and posts as AC is suspect of being a Microsoft shill.

  • Re:Vista/7 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Drethon ( 1445051 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:53PM (#45942347)
    Like netflix chaning their nice listing format to movie art. It takes me so much longer to find the movie I want by looking at box art rather than scanning title names.
  • You forgot "ME" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:59PM (#45942433) Homepage Journal

    There was Windows "Millennium Edition" and there was also Windows 2000 -- Now, before you say that Win2K wasn't a "consumer" OS, it essentially was because a lot of people Upgraded to 2K not from NT but from Win98. And XP was the first merge of the 2k and "consumer" windows codebases, which is how we wound up with XP Pro, (there was never a Win98 Pro, for example)...

    Anyhow, my point is; you make it seem as if this is all cut and dry, like MS is following a master plan, but the history of Windows releases is a little more complex and convoluted.

  • Re:9.1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crunchygranola ( 1954152 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @02:59PM (#45942439)

    Me, I can't wait until I can get me a touch screen for the desktop and have 3 ways to input -keyboard, mouse and touch. I love that aspect about my Surface Rt-3 ways to input.

    Will you really use a 27" monitor as a touch screen? The fingerprints alone would drive me crazy.

    Touch screen technology has been available for decades. Why do we not see touch screen monitors all over the place?

    Answer: "Gorilla Arm Syndrome".

    It is a lot of work to raise your arm and point at an exact location on the screen (and slow too). After a short time you will be feeling the fatigue building up in your arm, which starts feeling very heavy. Then you will hate your touch screen and go back to using a mouse, touchpad, or keyboard, none of which require you to make large arm movements, or hold up the weight of your arm in front of you.

    Touch screens work on tablets and phones because they are small and in your lap, basically just enlarged glowing touch pads.

  • Re:9.1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by binarylarry ( 1338699 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @03:00PM (#45942459)

    They know that and they don't care.

    They are trying to use their desktop monopoly to muscle into the mobile space (and have failed hilariously).

  • Re:9.1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @03:07PM (#45942547)

    You haven't been listening. Go back and listen to Slashdotters here talk about Unity, or even Gnome 3. Trust me, just because it gets put into the main Linux distros does *not* mean that Slashdotters will love it.

  • Re:9.1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @03:27PM (#45942805)

    "How old are you? Do you remember the alternatives at the time?"

    Workbench 1.2 & 1.3 on Amiga

  • by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @03:32PM (#45942887)

    Metro isn't a bad UI in itself. The problem is how it is currently implemented on the desktop.

    First, of all the default Metro apps, not a single one matches the functionality of their desktop equivalents. That alone is enough to sink it, especially when it took me less than an hour after first installing W8 to find something that I needed the old application for (the Music app lacked workgroup support, and I wanted to play some music stored on my laptop). If your default Metro apps are less functional in a concrete and quantifiable way than the old Desktop apps, then Metro apps in general get a reputation as being underfunctional and dumbed down. It doesn't matter that your Music app works just as well, even better, than the Android music app or the iOS version of iTunes - on the desktop, it's fighting WMP and all the third-party apps like VLC and whatnot.

    Second, you shouldn't have two different means of interaction. We knew this even back in the CLI->GUI transition - DOS prompts, and later the "command prompt", were encapsulated in windows because everything was being done through windows.

    There's two ways this could be done. The simplest, and perhaps the most popular, would be to simply let Metro apps run in a window (or something interacted with like windows). Yes, Metro apps look different than Desktop apps, but who really gives a shit? Counting the windows I have open right now, at least four have their own distinct UI paradigm (Thunderbird, GTalk, Steam and PuTTY), plus several that differ from Windows norms in subtler ways (including Microsoft's own Media Player).

    Or you could double down on Metro's tiling, and make Desktop apps run in Metro tiles instead of in the traditional windows. If you designed it right for the desktop, this could be perfectly fine, maybe even better than the desktop. But you'd have to design it for power users to be able to use, because the casual computer users are slowly switching to tablets or laptops. Don't run things fullscreen unless it's a small enough screen - let us configure layouts we want on each monitor, switching them as needed, and just "drop" apps into the spaces. Add virtual desktop support, so I can emulate having six or twelve or thirty monitors instead of three, and I'd basically have my current work setup, with slightly more space (lack of window borders+UI) and without having to manually set up these layouts.

    In short, having *two* UIs makes users choose between the two to find one they prefer, using the other only if forced to. On the tablet, they went for Metro because it was more tablet-oriented and the only Desktop app of note was Office. On the desktop, we went for the classic UI because its programs worked better and because most of us have enough display real estate that using fullscreen apps for almost anything is wasteful. Instead, go full-on with Metro, but give us variants (I'd go with Phone, Tablet, Laptop and Workstation, each slightly tailored for that device class) so that our *experience* fits what we're using.

    That's really the short version of it - they decided to bundle API, UI and UX, and they failed because those things don't actually have to be bound together.

  • Re:9.1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by real gumby ( 11516 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @03:32PM (#45942901)

    ...attempts to mimic apple's walled garden...

    I am puzzled by this common complaint, that the Mac is a "walled garden" (not talking about iOS). I can write any program (mostly I write posix code in fact), and download any app I like from the web. I am really not sure why the Mac is any more a "walled garden" than Windows is. Arguably less, since things like mail are kept in flat ascii files rather than some proprietary database as does Outlook. Mail speaks ordinary IMAP and POP (and has an adaptation for Gmail's aberrant implementation). The calendar can subscribe to various sources, and apple's in house service exports its data in a standard format. So where's the walled garden?

    This is not an attempt at starting a flame fest, it's a genuine question.

    (I could prefer more support for plug ins (e.g. in itunes) but apple is hardly alone here).

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @03:33PM (#45942937) Homepage

    In a nutshell: work on something truly great for your customers. Not for your delusional marketing requirements or internal power point power plays, e.g. "mobile and tablets are the future, and so we need to privilege their interface everywhere because we want Windows Everywhere."

    This. Windows 8 was driven by powerpoint market analysts, not people who want to do work on computers.

  • Re:9.1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by herve_masson ( 104332 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @03:47PM (#45943137)

    Not sure people choosing to use a tablet want to see metro either....

  • Re:9.1 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jandrese ( 485 ) <> on Monday January 13, 2014 @03:52PM (#45943213) Homepage Journal
    Calling First Contact "great" is stretching the truth a bit. It was watchable, mostly.
  • Re:9.1 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Whorhay ( 1319089 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @03:58PM (#45943297)

    It honestly didn't take me hours to get used to 8 for my normal usage. What sucked was setting everything up. When installing and building the system up you need to do a lot of reboots and fiddle with settings. Doing those specific functions is different than what I was used to under XP. That isn't something that normal users will ever be involved in doing though. So all they really need to know is how to get to the desktop UI and how to power down the system. Now that everything is setup I rarely find myself frustrated with the differences. The only time I see the Metro UI is when I'm searching for something and it flashes up before I start typing the name of what I'm looking for. I would have been perfectly happy with 7 instead of 8, but 8 was cheaper and will likely be supported a little longer, or offer an easy upgrade path.

  • by FellowConspirator ( 882908 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @04:08PM (#45943431)

    Microsoft themselves stated that they're corporate goal is to migrate away from the software business to become a device and service company. This plan means pushing people to the tablet as the delivery mechanism and the proverbial "cloud" as the platform. Microsoft sees the desktop PC as a dead-end and wants to be the one that drives a stake through it's heart - the future is software as a service and thin (razor) clients.

    In that light, the dichotomous UIs of Metro and the Windows desktop make sense in an agenda where they want to slowly deprecate the desktop entirely. Once Office is migrated from the Windows platform to the Microsoft cloud platform, the desktop version of Office will also be deprecated. Users may not want the Microsoft, but, heck, if they do it sufficiently gradually enough, users will acclimate to the new world order.

    I think this is one of the sources of friction between Microsoft and OEMs like HP. The manufacturers business models aren't aligned with Microsoft's objectives. I suppose the reason that a number of those vendors showed Android - Windows hybrid devices at CES wasn't because the vendors though anyone would be particularly interested or that it was a good idea, it was more to demonstrate that computer manufacturers would be just as happy (if not more happy) to jump in with the Android or ChromeOS camp unless Microsoft starts making certain concessions to them.

    I see it going one of two ways: Microsoft succeeds and the Windows PC becomes history and long-time Windows users find themselves software subscribers with dedicated mobile consumption devices, or Microsoft shoots itself in the foot and stumbles about while the rest of the world grabs the Android / ChromeOS ball and runs with it. At this point, I think it's increasingly Google's game to lose rather than Microsoft's game to win.

  • Re:9.1 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gtall ( 79522 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @05:14PM (#45944227)

    Give the poster a break; he heard the term "walled garden" with respect to Apple and knows he hates Apple, so repeating it make him feel good.

  • Re:9.1 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Trouvist ( 958280 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @05:42PM (#45944507)
    I completely agree with you except one problem with your logic. People, for centuries, spent hours a day looking down at their desks before these new-fangled computer monitors let us look levelly.

    Have a good day though, and I love the anti-touchscreen, pro-mouse/keyboard sentiment!
  • by number6x ( 626555 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @05:51PM (#45944597)

    Honestly, I think this argument can be put to rest. The sales figures do not lie.

    While It's nice for you that you are happy with Metro, the interface is not moving computers off the shelves. There are a lot of people who will risk staying with XP, and the security risks that go along with it, rather than switching to Metro.

    Windows fan boy or not, there is no arguing that MS has built a flop. Time to move on. The train has left the station.

    Apple carved out a new frontier in the small touch screen market with the iOS interface. Then Android came along and also did well in the small touch screen interface market. However, both of these OS's left their desktop version (OS/X and Linux whatever) behind. Different modes of interfacing with hardware drove different interfaces.

    People were happy using a traditional desktop on the desktop (Windows was the clear #1 here), and a new interface on their small touch screens. Could you find a few odball users? Sure. For the most part, however, people seem to have no problem using more than one interface. Each interface suited to its environment.

    The idea that everyone wants one interface is a problem that does not exist, and is not looking for a solution.

  • Re:9.1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @10:28PM (#45946929)

    The start screen is ok. But the apps are just stupid. It's like being on a phone with all of those stupid apps but stupid as written by Microsoft instead of Android stupid or iOS stupid. Why would anyone want full screen on all the apps, a giant screen where only about 10% of the space has any useful information? Ie, you pop up the sports app and you do NOT get a list of sports scores presented to you, instead you get about 3 or 4 sports headlines until you start scrolling (scrolling *sideways* that is, very unusual for anyone used to a browser for the last decade and a half). And huge fonts, again stupid on a big screen monitor. Nice looking, nice photos as backgrounds, very smooth looking, but utterly lacking in useful information, like a powerpoint presentation. Full screen calculator, which might actually be useful if it included a history of the calculations, but no, it's a full screen calculator with only extremely basic features and very large fonts.

    Ie, the Bing web site is more useful than Windows 8 Bing app with essentially an identical presentation, because the web site presents more information at once.

    You can get nearly the same result by putting a large magnifying glass in front of a windows phone.

  • is it that hard? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @02:09AM (#45948163)
    Welcome to the year like 3000 BC. What the hell? Give the customer what they want and they'll buy it. I think the Greeks knew that. Hell, let's back it up because I bet Sumerian shop owners knew that. Get rid of that awful interface and release Windows 7 with some fancy new modern features that work. Stop mentioning "Xbox" on corporate desktops, get rid of the mobile-y app store garbage, and give people a normal computer that works like a computer.

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!