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Windows 8 Sales Below Projections

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the cold-cakes dept.

Microsoft 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 TIME.com, 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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663 comments

GOOD!!!! :) (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030195)

Hopefully only about 10 people will buy it.

Re:GOOD!!!! :) (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030631)

I'm posting this using Windows 8. The shit is garbage. The Metro screen is fucking stupid, the desktop is fugly, the start menu in Windows 95 walks all over the Metro start junk, and this is supposed to be MS' iPad savior? Ha!

microsoft looks to have fired to architect of win8 (5, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030197)

that is pretty telling of what they should have done differently.

Re:microsoft looks to have fired to architect of w (5, Interesting)

vinehair (1937606) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030567)

They did not fire the woman mostly responsible for the Metro UI. Guess again.

Re:microsoft looks to have fired to architect of w (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030709)

Typical Microsoft. Leave a job half done. Metro UI is pure garbage. No wonder windows phones collect dust on store shelves worldwide.

Re:microsoft looks to have fired to architect of w (5, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030595)

Useability expert jacob Nielson trashed its useability. [cnet.com] 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.

Re:microsoft looks to have fired to architect of w (1, Insightful)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030657)

Apparently Jacob Nielson is an idiot. My windows8 has three windows open right now. I'm not a shill, but Windows 8 is just windows 7 with live tiles added.

Re:microsoft looks to have fired to architect of w (5, Informative)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030671)

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

So did the Gnome 3 people.

Re:microsoft looks to have fired to architect of w (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030723)

Um... it seems like Mr. Nielson didn't do any testing of Windows 8 either. Windows 8 is the only tablet OS that actually supports multiple windows open at a time, and on the desktop it's the same as it's always been.

It wasn't time (5, Insightful)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#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 (3, Interesting)

craigminah (1885846) | about a year and a half ago | (#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 (5, Informative)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030417)

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 (3, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030479)

Stardock would release a new update in no time. They're not exactly new to this kind of stuff, what with WindowBlinds and other such products.

Re:It wasn't time (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030575)

Stardock is run by a huge cunt who will say and do anything for money (Brad Wardell):

http://kotaku.com/5940401/pc-gaming-studio-said-she-ruined-their-game-but-only-after-she-sued-the-boss-for-sexual-harassment

You shouldn't be giving these people money.

Re:It wasn't time (3, Interesting)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year and a half ago | (#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 (4, Informative)

jbonomi (1839286) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:It wasn't time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030525)

The new task manager is just dumb. What I'm usually looking for is more hidden now, and it cannot remember which tab it was last closed on.

Re:It wasn't time (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030289)

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

Re:It wasn't time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030439)

I'm really digging Windows 8 now that I've had it for a while. Syncs up to my Nokia 920 without thinking about it, and the user experience is cool. I like that the Windows button gets me to the Metro screen and then I have all the live tiles there. It's pretty slick. My only complaint so far is that UPS shipping doesn't work with Quickbooks 2012.

Re:It wasn't time (1)

Clockwurk (577966) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030459)

Basically, Windows 7 is great and there aren't super compelling features or changes that warrant an upgrade, yet. If Windows 7 sucked like Vista or ME, then there would have been more of a drive to upgrade.

It doesn't really matter though. New computers are being bought and sold all the time and the transition to 8 will continue. It certainly isn't an upgrade that has people running out to buy boxed copies, but when people decide its time for a new computer, they'll make the switch.

Re:It wasn't time (-1, Troll)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030643)

Win 7 is a resource-sucking pile of goat clusters.

Everytime I am forced back to a Win desktop - XP or 7 - I'm astounded people put up with it!

I have been on Linux of various flavors and OSX for so long, I forgot about the Stockholm syndrome of Microsoft's captive audience.

Re:It wasn't time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030467)

Can we get an Amen Brother. Good summary.

MS is actually /lucky/ they've released this into a tanked economy so they can point a finger somewhere else.

This isn't 1995 anymore. The desktop isn't the exciting new toy-ride people want to get on. It's a side-show. A confusing re-decoration isn't going to drive in the crowds to change that.

Win7 did great because people were desperate to find a good retail replacement for their malware-plugged old XP boxes. Win8 just has nothing like that going for it. They should have just made a Win7.5 this time round; refinements and improvements to 7 for new-box purchasers, and put real dev investment elsewhere.

Re:It wasn't time (4, Funny)

Adriax (746043) | about a year and a half ago | (#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 (5, Informative)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030581)

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 (4, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030607)

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:It wasn't time (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030623)

They needed something worthwhile in the tablet space sooner rather than later.

Windows 8 was their miserable attempt at that. And the thing is, it has some good ideas, even live tiles is actually a good concept once you play with it a little. But everything else... not so much.

I agree, they'd have been better to wait, but well, like the people predicting better sales and being disappointed, they were all drinking the microsoft kool-aid.

3 things are good though 7 doesn't have (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030633)

HEAP Protection via "Guard Pages", as well as "Chunk Randomization" -> http://news.softpedia.com/news/Chris-Valasek-The-Windows-8-Heap-Manager-Is-the-Most-Secure-to-Date-282466.shtml [softpedia.com]

Pus lastly for performance' sake, "Self-Terminating Services"

(However, this last one can be compensated for by doing it yourself manually if/when you don't need them in former builds of Windows NT-based OS').

APK

P.S.=> IF they left an option in it during install, so that I could have a std. desktop (meaning classical Win9x style we've all used for, oh, what? 1994-present??) plus those features?

Then, yea - I'd have bought a 64-bit copy perhaps.

The metro interface may make sense on smartphones/tablets whatever, but not on a PC desktop OS - it is still way, Way, WAY NOT "touch" in the huge majroity & will continue to be!

In fact - Heh, & it makes me laugh is, MANY PEOPLE, @ least that I've seen (I can name off a handful right off the bat from friends of mine), that if you put your fingers anywhere NEAR their screen, they absolutely "FreAk"... lol!

(Well, you know, they don't like it).

Yes - I've seen it, I am not that way though (I just use Windex & a paper towel, lol) but my point is, a lot of folks have like, phobias about touching their PC monitor screen - how will "touch" ever make it with them? It won't & would even 'cut them out' possibly...

... apk

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

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:It wasn't time (2)

mlts (1038732) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030701)

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 can have an empty disk encrypted and ready for use without having to have everything read/rewritten.)

Having MSE part of the OS is a good thing except for the hosts file bit. It means that non zero days have a more often chance of getting detected and removed, as opposed to the monthly run of MSRT.

OS-wise, for all but the UI, it is an upgrade.

On the server side, Windows Server 2012 is nice upgrade from the 2008 version. Having the ability to deduplicate is nice, and the new ReFS filesystem is decent. It isn't ZFS, but the added CRC checking is a good thing, and hopefully MS will add support for deduplication and other items to it.

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

localman57 (1340533) | about a year and a half ago | (#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 (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030729)

How else are they going to appease their shareholders? They've saturated the market and they're not growing in the mobile or gaming markets unless someone else exists.

Idea (4, Interesting)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030213)

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 (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030331)

Maybe something like "Press Windows key to go to the metro interface".

Would that have been so difficult?

Re:Idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030429)

If you press Window +R on Win8, you get the desktop - sucks that it's not the run menu.

Re:Idea (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030339)

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.

My impression is that developers are one of the target audiences for 'Metro'. After all, who else will produce the apps to go in the Microsoft Store, and ensure that the future is made of starkly colored squares? Letting them off the hook would just make it easier to keep shipping completely normal looking software that is Win7 compatible. Then were will progress be?

Re:Idea (5, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030363)

As a developer, I feel the job of the OS is to launch applications and then get out of the way. This is something Windows 8 fails at.

Re:Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030573)

Actually Win8 gets completely out of the way when you launch an app. They run in full screen after all. :)

I feel at home with everything running in full screen. When running Linux my window manager of choice is ion3, a tiling WM. I run most stuff full screen, each application in its own workspace. Of course this doesn't work for everybody else, and providing the choice probably is something that Win8 does fail at.

Re:Idea (2)

wiggles (30088) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030589)

As a gamer, I completely concur.

As an office drone, though, I need some of the more advanced stuff.

Re:Idea (3, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030485)

My impression is that developers are one of the target audiences for 'Metro'. After all, who else will produce the apps to go in the Microsoft Store, and ensure that the future is made of starkly colored squares? Letting them off the hook would just make it easier to keep shipping completely normal looking software that is Win7 compatible. Then were will progress be?

Well, no doubt that's what MS wants, but as the sales figures and negative reviews from power users indicate, it's not working. So what will happen is that most developers and power users will stay on Win7, and developers will keep writing their software for the traditional Windows API.

Re:Idea (3, Informative)

hduff (570443) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030347)

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 (1)

acid_andy (534219) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030443)

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.

I like your thinking, but Microsoft want developers to code apps for Metro, so how would they test them if Metro wasn't included? They could have a sort of trimmed down test environment or even an emulator but I can't see them doing something like that either.

Re:Idea (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030551)

Hopefully Windows 8 SP 1 will come with an option to turn Metro on/off. As long as it doesn't involve direct registry modification, I could live that. If I want to make a Metro app, I can turn it on. If I want to play Hell Kitty Island Adventure with 300 FPS, I want to be able to turn it off.

Re:Idea (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030461)

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 (1)

nine-times (778537) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030523)

Actually, just to add on to this, they should have made Metro an optional install for tablets, touchscreens, and media centers. They should have made sure that the Metro UI was easily navigated by a remote control or game controller.

Re:Idea (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030557)

Again, if Metro is only available on a tiny user base of tablets and other touchscreen devices, no sane company is going to waste time and effort developing for it. They had to push it on desktop users or their entire business plan would fall apart.

Re:Idea (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

this is my surprized face (4, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030221)

obviously sales of Surface are cannibalizing Windows 8 sales.

bazinga!

Re:this is my surprized face (2)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030683)

obviously sales of Surface are cannibalizing Windows 8 sales. bazinga!

Isn't that like saying Edsel sales are cannibalizing Mustang sales?

Pirated stats (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030229)

I kinda figured sales would be low, this is the first version of Windows I haven't even bothered to pirate.

Re:Pirated stats (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030303)

To me it seems like Windows Media Center Edition which was just XP for people that had tv tuner card and cable near their computer. If you did have tuner card it is just XP. Windows 8 it's just Win7 for touchscreens. If you don't have a giant touchscreen what is the point really?

Having the option... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030237)

... to boot directly to desktop and a w7 style start menu for desktop users would have made w8 a no-brainer upgrade for me, and I'm sure a lot of other windows users.

Minus 2 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030241)

I bought Windows 8 Pro Upgrades for both my laptop and desktop. I hated it so much I went back to Windows 7 after a week. Some people seem rabidly fond of Windows 8, the new interface and all its new features. There are a few improvements, but I really can't stand the desktop interface and the "Metro" start menu. I literally breathed a sigh of relief when I got Windows 7 back on here and got to use my compact non-full-screen start menu again. I wish I could return them now; if not for the money, but to send a message. "Windows 8 is this year's Windows Vista! It's broke and only fanboys like it!"

Re:Minus 2 (1)

unique_parrot (1964434) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030345)

Plus Minus 1
Went back to win 7 aswell. Classic Shell is nice but not a 100% replacement (for me).
I liked the win 8 copy dialog, which i got for win 7 with terracopy.
The task manager was nice too.
Being unable to run the market apps in a window, the awful get-everthing-into-the-cloud mentality... Maybe I should be start saving for a mac :)

The Consumer Speaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030253)

I've been reading a lot of positive Windows 8 press of late. Much of it is positive, so much so that I've grown suspicious of it. Now here's a real life data point to consider.

Boot directly to desktop? (0)

Assmasher (456699) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030267)

How hard is it to press the "Desktop" tile when it boots up? LOL...

I'm quite happy with my OSX/Win7/OpenSUSE setup, but I had to test a Windows 8 Touch Screen (Dell Inspiron something or other) and I'll be honest, I thought I would HATE Windows 8 tiles, but they're actually pretty cool once you invest the 5 minutes to figure out how to do all the stuff you used to do in Windows 7.

My Windows 8 test machine has a 'Desktop' tile that takes me straight to desktop.

I agree it would be nice, for the sake of completeness, to totally bypass tiles, but if I was Micro$oft I wouldn't either. People need to move forward, otherwise keep using Windows 7.

Re:Boot directly to desktop? (5, Interesting)

hduff (570443) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030369)

I agree it would be nice, for the sake of completeness, to totally bypass tiles, but if I was Micro$oft I wouldn't either. People need to move forward, otherwise keep using Windows 7.

This same strategy has worked well for GNOME.

Re:Boot directly to desktop? (5, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030449)

Dont you get that the entire purpose of Metro is to force advertising into those tiles...

Re:Boot directly to desktop? (2)

Assmasher (456699) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030591)

"force advertising"? Do you, perhaps, mean 'offer the ability to advertise'? The same way that desktop gadgets "force advertising" on you? ;)

It's a Touch Screen OS put in an OS that is meant to bridge the two paradigms (non-touch/touch PCs and tablets.) That's all.

Re:Boot directly to desktop? (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030507)

The problem is that "moving forward" is forward only for a select few definitions of forward. Tiles are nice on tablets, on phones, on consoles, heck even on touch-enabled laptops, but not on desktop PCs.

Re:Boot directly to desktop? (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030625)

You probably mean, "not on non-touch screen desktop PCs" as I have an Inspiron Touch Screen in my office for testing and the tile interface is very cool. As a developer it's not really for me, but my wife and kids are going to love using it.

Ballmer's Law (3, Insightful)

RearNakedChoke (1102093) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Because Windows 7 Works? (4, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | about a year and a half ago | (#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?

Re:Because Windows 7 Works? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030451)

Windows 7 is the first OS I've really liked from Microsoft since Windows 2000. Add the fact I just finished upgrading my network to all Win 7 I have no reason to upgrade and no plans to do so until the end of life cycle for win 7.

Win 8 is not supported by any of my software vendors yet so I could not upgrade if I wanted to.

Re:Because Windows 7 Works? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030703)

They're already preventing Win7 from getting the latest updates that are included in Win8. For example, the next DX isn't available on Win7 and isn't planned to be. Basically, they're end-of-life'ing the system well before the EOL date. I find it annoying. Like you and other commentators have mentioned, there doesn't seem to be a valid reason to upgrade. Microsoft realizes that too, so they are trying to create reasons by deprecating Win7 early.

Happens every time (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Happens every time (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030407)

As long as MS maintains its OEM channel, then Win8 will be a slow steady success..

Like Vista and ME, you mean?

Re:Happens every time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030659)

Your tone (as I'm reading it anyway) seems to suggest that Vista wasn't a slow and steady success, but indeed it was. Vista ultimately gained about 24% of the OS market before Windows 7 was released, and was still climbing until that day. I believe until just recently it held more market share than every version of OSX combined. This, despite being the most reviled OS from Microsoft ever, possibly including Windows ME.

We're about 3 weeks out from the Windows 8 launch and already it has over 1% market share according to Hitslink. In 2 weeks it will have more market share than every version of Linux combined. Soon thereafter it will surpass Vista and all of OSX. Then XP. It's just a matter of time. It may never surpass Windows 7, but by then Windows 9 will be out and that will be released on the "Good Version" cycle of the "every other OS from MS is good" meme.

Sinofsky's Folly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030293)

"I sat in the car, and had no idea where to put the keys," he said. "Then, I saw a big glowing button that said, 'Start.' That's all it took to figure it out. Let's call the old car, Car XP, and the new one Car 8," Sinofsky smirked. A few seconds later, Sinofsky's heart sank as he realized that in his very own car analogy, the newer, improved car had had a Start button added to it rather than the other way around.

Too much "meh" (3, Insightful)

evil_aaronm (671521) | about a year and a half ago | (#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?

Re:Too much "meh" (4, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030343)

Seriously: what new "gotta have" features justifies the hassle and cost of going from Win7 to Win8?

It lets you run tablet apps on your desktop machine. Who could not want that? Particularly when there are so many tablet apps for Windows.

Re:Too much "meh" (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030487)

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?

Charmed, I'm sure.

What does this mean? (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030311)

Maybe that hardware sales are down also? How many people actually 'upgrade' without buying a new computer?

must be really bad! (1)

polyp2000 (444682) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030317)

Since everybody predicted it was going to be a flop - clearly its worse than anyone could possibly have imagined!

Windows XP reissue needed (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030319)

Why ditch the best Windows version ever? Should have kept it alive with service packs. The UI thing, dialogs, cursors, menus, layouts, fonts... keep it intact.

Re:Windows XP reissue needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030453)

XP always comes up in Windows articles and people mostly praise it, but what exactly makes it so great? I don't remember it being a huge improvement over Windows 2000 to begin with.

Re:Windows XP reissue needed (0)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030499)

I don't remember it being a huge improvement over Windows 2000 to begin with.

I presume you're joking, because probably 99% of XP users who upgraded to it came from 95/98/ME. XP wasn't a huge improvement in UI over the Windows 9x series, but many of us had run into insoluble problems on 9x which XP eliminated (such as not running well, or at all, with much more than 512MB of RAM).

Re:Windows XP reissue needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030639)

I never really had a problem with the UI in the 9x series, and tend to use classical windows layout in XP. The one thing I like about XP is that it rarely ever had a complete crash on me like the 9x series would do fairly often. I think I might have had 1 or 2 blue screens in XP since 2004. Other crash types typically never took the OS down with it like it use to.

That was good enough for me.

Re:Windows XP reissue needed (2)

acid_andy (534219) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030571)

Why ditch the best Windows version ever? Should have kept it alive with service packs. The UI thing, dialogs, cursors, menus, layouts, fonts... keep it intact.

Yeah and Find Files named X containing Y was a breeze and actually worked. I wish they'd put that interface back in Windows 7. I swear I've performed searches where it fails to find any results and I know files exist containing the search string, even though it's set to look everywhere. I end up resorting to findstr. I can't believe they thought it was a good idea to cripple such basic functionality. Anyone know what the search is like on Windows 8?

Optional windowed mode for Metro apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030321)

Forcing fullscreen on what used to be control panel/admin tools interfaces is a real dealbreaker for my workflow.

Forced fullscreen seems more a 'accessibility options' tool for people who have to use touch interfaces, more than something that should be default for all users.

Is Windows really the issue? (2)

pablo_max (626328) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Is Windows really the issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030415)

Yeah sure, I could buy a massive 17 incher... but my wife has zero interest in something big.

That's what she said?

booting directly into the desktop (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030399)

"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.

Whose projections? (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030409)

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.

What is pushing users to upgrade? (4, Insightful)

Ziggitz (2637281) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:What is pushing users to upgrade? (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030641)

Windows 8 is a performance upgrade.

I'm a gamer, I bought it purely for that reason.

I downloaded a free app that gave me back the start menu, and voila, faster windows 7. Which is all I really wanted.

You know its pretty bad (5, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030495)

... when even Windows-fan-boi site Neowin.net, the anti slashdot [neowin.net] 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

Boot to One or The Other, Maintain Affinity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030621)

Really, Win 8 should boot to Gangnam-sytle UI on a tablet and a Desktop when not a tablet. How hard could that be to implement? It should also retain affinity to one after booting. If you want to jump to Gangnam-sytle UI, it should be a right click option or task bar item to switch. If you're in the Gangnam-style UI, you should stay there until something doesn't work (IE 10 and plug-ins?) at which point, it should jump you to the desktop with whatever you were doing in the other interface still in session. Maybe MS will get this done in SP1?

Usability (2)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42030627)

Even Jakob Nielsen says that Windows 8 usability is "dissapointing [useit.com] ". 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).

No one wants you Windows 8! (2)

linebackn (131821) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Windows 8/Metro is just a bait and switch. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030713)

The first thing they could have done differently was not completely hijack your start menu!

Sure, you can still install applications on a system, but you will either have to embrace Metro or teach your users to navigate to the program using explorer and possibly pin it to their task bar. I personally hate the metro interface. There's no reason my start menu needs to consume the entirety of my monitor nor is there any reason I need to give every single application on my system it's own personal piece of real estate so that it may yell at me and (and this is the real reason folks) ADVERTISE TO ME. Seriously, the metro interface is Microsoft's solution to bait and switch people into using an OS that they have 100% control over application distribution plus it's a marketing platform in which applications can market to you even if you are not actively using it. How, or why, anyone finds this useful is beyond me.

This is precisely the reason why I started choosing my PS3 over the 360 in situations where either system could be used. The 360's dashboard is riddled with advertisements, even if you're a paying user.

No thank you. Windows 7 is a great OS and I've no problems with it.

I wonder why they still name it windows (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42030715)

What I find hilarious is that the Modern UI has no windows at all, it's all full screen apps that you cannot multitask with. The whole idea of the window is gone.

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