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Last post Author Topic: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster  (Read 21218 times)

mouser

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I could not resist posting an extended quote from this article on the Windows 8 disaster and the possible road back for Microsoft:

Quote
After watching Windows Vista get mismanaged and then slapped around by Apple, it tapped Steven Sinofsky to reimagine Windows. It's fair to say that this man shares many of the same character traits—and flaws—that defined Steve Jobs. He was belligerent and one-sided, didn't work well with others, had no qualms about tossing out features and technologies that didn't originate with his group, and had absolutely zero respect for customer feedback. Here, finally, was a guy who could push through a Steve Jobs-style, singular product vision.

And he did. Sadly, the result was Windows 8.

The reason this happened is that while Sinofsky had the maniacal power and force of will of a Steve Jobs, he lacked Jobs' best gift: An innate understanding of good design. Windows 8 is not well-designed. It's a mess. But Windows 8 is a bigger problem than that. Windows 8 is a disaster in every sense of the word.

This is not open to debate, is not part of some cute imaginary world where everyone's opinion is equally valid or whatever. Windows 8 is a disaster. Period.

While some Windows backers took a wait-and-see approach and openly criticized me for being honest about this, I had found out from internal sources immediately that the product was doomed from the get-go, feared and ignored by customers, partners and other groups in Microsoft alike. Windows 8 was such a disaster that Steven Sinofsky was ejected from the company and his team of lieutenants was removed from Windows in a cyclone of change that triggered a reorganization of the entire company. Even Sinofsky's benefactor, Microsoft's then-CEO Steve Ballmer, was removed from office. Why did all this happen? Because together, these people set the company and Windows back by years and have perhaps destroyed what was once the most successful software franchise of all time.

why-windows-why.jpg

Article: http://winsupersite....ck-happening-windows
From: http://www.osnews.co...appening_to_Windows_

rgdot

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2014, 08:59:56 AM »
"Destroyed" ;D

It is still the mainstream form of computing and will be for a long time. Macs still, yes still, occupy a small section of where most people go to buy computers and most people don't associate the Apple store with computers but with "gadgets".

mouser

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2014, 09:04:34 AM »
I think one interesting thing about this article is the recommendations at the end:

Quote
I always accepted the messy bits of Windows in the past because the system addressed such a large audience. But given the way things are going, Windows should evolve into a system that is laser targeted to the customers who will in fact continue using it regularly. That's mostly business users, but even when you look at the consumers who will use Windows, that usage is almost entirely productivity related. Windows should focus on that. On getting work done. On an audience of doers. Job one should be productivity.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2014, 09:45:52 AM »

To add to some melodrama:
Way back in 2004 I built a system on XP with a buddy with the specific intent to ride out these shenanigans into the next "safe harbor". We put a few bucks into quality parts, and except for OS crankiness that annoys Skwire, Mission Accomplished.

I could have bailed at Win 7, but I have held on.

We then saw 1-2 (depending how MS counts them for support rules purposes) Win 8 and 8.1 releases. Yuck. But then they changed CEOs, and that new guy is supposed to know his nuts and bolts and not be a mere marketing hack. What if he went "back to basics" and stripped the 23% of cruft in the Windows code and made a lean mean copy of Win9?

That would be the completion of my decade-long goal.


Innuendo

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2014, 10:50:31 AM »
I just had a lengthy email debate about this very article. I won't re-post my entire reply as it was very long, but Windows 8 was not a disaster. It presented a different way of doing things that people who had been used to doing things a certain way for nearly 30 years had trouble adjusting to the new way. People complained that Microsoft moved too far away from a work-flow that was suited to a desktop and Microsoft listened. The release of Windows 8.1 came out which addressed a lot of these complaints and most of the criticisms have melted away.

Come next month, Microsoft is going to be releasing Windows 8.1 Update 1 which offers even more goodies for desktop users (I'm running the leaked version right now & it's pretty nice).

Why do people take this Thurrott fellow seriously? Why is it that when a new Microsoft operating system is about to be released, he has nothing bad to say about it? Well, that's because any criticism would hurt his book sales, that's why. However, tech book sales are not like normal books. They wane over time as the market is saturated and people start looking towards the next version of the program or operating system. This is when tech writers have to drum up business if they want cash to keep flowing into their pockets. Best way to do that is to get traffic to your site to surge so you can get some of that ad revenue.

Hmm...what would cause a spike in traffic? Another article on how good Windows is? Or perhaps doing a 180 and try to incite some rage from the user base? Then these users will email their friends and post in forums to get more people over to the site to view ads. I wouldn't care, but it irritates me that people fall for this every single time. Yes, he's done the exact same thing with previous versions of Windows. About a year after the OS has released and sales are down, he tries to spark interest in his site again by raging against the Windows OS du jour.

Innuendo

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2014, 10:56:59 AM »
We then saw 1-2 (depending how MS counts them for support rules purposes) Win 8 and 8.1 releases. Yuck.

Have you actually used Windows 8 and 8.1 or have you just seen it in stores and articles on the internet? Windows 8.1 is a joy to use and if Metro is your concern, Microsoft has made it so that 90% of the time you'll never see it or notice that it's there. Windows 8.1 Update 1 is going to make that even better.

There was a time when I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but I wouldn't want to have to go back to Windows 7. Touch UI-oriented content aside, Windows 8 & 8.1 are more efficient and even quicker in some situations than Windows 7.

Quote
What if he went "back to basics" and stripped the 23% of cruft in the Windows code and made a lean mean copy of Win9?

Never going to happen. People want feature-rich operating systems these days that are very versatile and robust. Only way we'd be able to get the features we all demand in an OS that was also 'lean and mean' is if it was programmed in Assembler. I think the only person who knows Assembler who isn't dead or in a retirement home is Steve Gibson & with his, umm...eccentricities I don't think I'd want him designing my OS. :)

wraith808

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2014, 11:17:38 AM »
I just had a lengthy email debate about this very article. I won't re-post my entire reply as it was very long, but Windows 8 was not a disaster. It presented a different way of doing things that people who had been used to doing things a certain way for nearly 30 years had trouble adjusting to the new way. People complained that Microsoft moved too far away from a work-flow that was suited to a desktop and Microsoft listened. The release of Windows 8.1 came out which addressed a lot of these complaints and most of the criticisms have melted away.

Come next month, Microsoft is going to be releasing Windows 8.1 Update 1 which offers even more goodies for desktop users (I'm running the leaked version right now & it's pretty nice).

Why do people take this Thurrott fellow seriously? Why is it that when a new Microsoft operating system is about to be released, he has nothing bad to say about it? Well, that's because any criticism would hurt his book sales, that's why. However, tech book sales are not like normal books. They wane over time as the market is saturated and people start looking towards the next version of the program or operating system. This is when tech writers have to drum up business if they want cash to keep flowing into their pockets. Best way to do that is to get traffic to your site to surge so you can get some of that ad revenue.

Hmm...what would cause a spike in traffic? Another article on how good Windows is? Or perhaps doing a 180 and try to incite some rage from the user base? Then these users will email their friends and post in forums to get more people over to the site to view ads. I wouldn't care, but it irritates me that people fall for this every single time. Yes, he's done the exact same thing with previous versions of Windows. About a year after the OS has released and sales are down, he tries to spark interest in his site again by raging against the Windows OS du jour.

This.  The real place that windows 8 was a disaster?  Marketing and forcing things on people.  The same way that Vista was a disaster.  The OS in and of itself isn't that much different from windows 7- it's a few key decisions that they made for people (based on what focus groups, I'll always wonder) and a desire to push into tablets.  That interface isn't even really good for tablets, truth be told.  But that's not the sum total of the OS.

I'm very skeptical of someone when they put this in what amounts to an opinion piece:

Quote
This is not open to debate, is not part of some cute imaginary world where everyone's opinion is equally valid or whatever. Windows 8 is a disaster. Period.

What does that mean?  I don't want to address anyone that doesn't have the same opinion about this point.  This has now become a soapbox, and anyone that disagrees is wrong.

tomos

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2014, 01:07:27 PM »
This.  The real place that windows 8 was a disaster?  Marketing and forcing things on people.  The same way that Vista was a disaster.  The OS in and of itself isn't that much different from windows 7- it's a few key decisions that they made for people (based on what focus groups, I'll always wonder) and a desire to push into tablets.

^ and this.
Unfortunately those few key decisions often make for very unhappy users (still on 8 here, going to wait for the 8.1.1 before 'upgrading').
Tom

40hz

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2014, 01:25:35 PM »
IMHO the place where Win 8 was a disaster was with its public relations - which could best be summarized as Microsoft (through the lens of Mr. Sinofsky) thinking the time had finally come when Redmond could tell it's customer base that the new law of the land was "our way or the highway."

And that unique variety of hubris came from a belief that Microsoft was well liked - or at least sufficiently feared - that Microsoft (like Apple) could now get away with it.

That would have been bad enough. But then Microsoft doubled down on it with two pieces of technology to ram it home. The first was SecureBoot, their proprietary and totally unnecessary 'fix' to UEFI that served no real purpose other than to hamper alternative OS deployments. The second was Metro, forerunner of a hoped-for 'walled garden' future where Microsoft could control - and collect tariffs - on its entire ecosystem like Apple currently does with their i-Whatever product lines.

Both were mistakes that were quickly seen for the power grabs they were by anyone whose knowledge and uses for a computer extended beyond collecting LOL cats, schmoozing on Facebook, and browsing the web.

Unfortunately, Microsoft then doubled-down again and told their professional IT constituency to get with the program or plan on getting a new job. Because corporate end-users (so Sinofsky said) would DEMAND the Windows 8 "experience." And if IT didn't provide it to them, Windows 8 would make it possible for the end-user to do an end run around IT.

That was the threat heard 'round the world. And it put Sinofsky, Microsoft, and Win 8 on virtually ever IT manager's shit list.

Now Microsoft is starting to realize a few key things:

  • Microsoft is not Apple and therefore can't behave like Apple
  • Microsoft's customers don't love Microsoft itself or Microsoft products
  • Microsoft's customers don't like, see the need for, or want Metro
  • Microsoft can forget about setting up a walled-garden or lock-in app store
  • Computer manufacturers don't like being threatened or dictated to
  • Corporate customers (and their IT managers) don't like being threatened or dictated to
  • The BSD/Linux/FOSS community is not going to sit quietly by while Microsoft attempts to make installation of anybody else's software difficult or impossible for the average end-user
  • Like it or not - the START menu is here to stay - and is not negotiable

Notice something funny? None of the above realizations really revolve around the technology. And that's because the Windows 8 OS - stripped of all the nonsense - is a perfectly fine OS. Yup! It is. It's extremely stable and smooth. Once you scrub all the cruft off it.

So I think Thurrott completely missed the boat in his analysis. (But he wouldn't be Paul Thurrott if he didn't would he?)

No...there's no disaster looming for Microsoft. Windows 8 is fine. It's just the additional crap they've loaded it up with that's the problem. All they'd need to do is:

  • Back off on SecureBoot
  • Go back to a traditional desktop metaphor and ditch Metro once and for all
  • Stop thinking they can dictate at will

And they will...eventually. But it's gonna take some time. Because admitting you're wrong has never been one of Microsoft's strong suits.
 8)
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 01:09:06 PM by 40hz »

tomos

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2014, 01:57:00 PM »
I dont see anything wrong with having Metro there, it's just as you say, getting it shoved down your throat when you just want to be productive on a desktop - that's not a pleasant experience.
It *could* be like getting two OS's for the price of one. *Allowing* us to use it, would have been better advertising for it than the way it did happen. All they need to do imo is separate the two worlds, then leave us with the option, which to use and when. They're not that far away from that ideal - even in basic 8.

Be interesting to see where they do go with it now though...
Tom

MilesAhead

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2014, 02:04:24 PM »
@40hz I'd add to your list that developers don't like coping with Owner
Draw code just to have controls look normal on Glass only to have the rug pulled out with Windows 8.

Windows 8 seems pretty stable.  But I think Dos with the TurboVision character mode UI looked better than the Windows 8 Desktop programs.  It looks like somebody bleached the window components.  Really lame.

I also notice an obsession with forcing things to be run with elevated privileges.  Just because a program is installed under Program Files it cannot modify files in its own folder without either being run as administrator and/or the user taking ownership.  It's just silly.


mwb1100

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2014, 02:06:21 PM »
Where I think Win8 has fail is in the marketplace.  I'll be the first to admit that I haven't used Windows 8.1.  I tried out Windows 8 early on, but was unimpressed and found the new interface to be clunky and unfamiliar, so I went back to Win7.

I'll be the first to admit that this doesn't really mean anything except that I might not be willing to put in enough effort to give a better system a chance.  However, no one I know uses Win8.  My wife has never asked me if she should move to Win8.  No one in my office is using Win8.  No one has told me  that to solve a problem I'm having, I should move to Win8.x.

There's just no compelling reason to move. Some of that might be because it's difficult to come up with a reason to ditch a very good Win7. But I think that if MS had used the resources that they allocated to forcing a poor tablet-style interface onto the non-tablet desktop that they might have been able to come up with something that would give a good reason to move beyond Win7.

Instead they wasted those resources on a UI paradigm that no one wants on a desktop system.  Sure, Win 8.1 and beyond might not try to force Metro down our throats as much anymore, but Win 7 doesn't either. And you need to provide something more than that to give me and everyone else a reason to move to something beyond Win7.

MilesAhead

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2014, 02:12:08 PM »
@tomos it may not be noticeable with ordinary desktop programs but there seems to be a chink in the linkage when performing desktop window action taken for granted on XP to W7.  My guess is that Metro is the fly in the ointment.  Hotkey/Window class/clipboard code just seems to be much less reliable.  It's hard to define.  That makes me suspect there are lots of intermittent quirks that will be difficult to diagnose and adjust.

Maybe I'm just too pesimistic but it seems we just started catching up to the Vista/W7 differences and the house of cards gets knocked over again.   :mad:

Jibz

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2014, 02:15:23 PM »
I don't know, perhaps John Gruber has a point in saying that Windows 8 comes from their desire to try to have the same interface on all devices in the hope that that interface will be Windows. But phones and desktop computers are not the same, and are not used for the same things, so the same interface will not work.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2014, 04:04:04 PM »
We then saw 1-2 (depending how MS counts them for support rules purposes) Win 8 and 8.1 releases. Yuck.

Have you actually used Windows 8 and 8.1...

Nope. Not used them. According to my design theory specs, I wanna see what that ex-engineer new CEO cooks up for Win 9 or even 9.1.

That skips Vista, 7 (tempting), 8, 8.1, and I'm banking hard that 9.1 might be the new Go To OS for Microsoft.

That's my path.


40hz

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2014, 08:07:11 PM »
That's my path.

@Tao - you could just save time and load Win7 today and be done with it.

Seriously, how much more does anybody really need an OS to do that isn't already being handled (quite well) by Windows 7. Or Linux Mint 16 too for that matter - if you don't need specific Windows apps.

Mint is my goto productivity environment. And I also keep a Win 7 environment for those times when my own needs dictate it must be used. That's my current path. Get something that works today - that will still be supported for the reasonably foreseeable future - and not waste time trying to second guess what Microsoft will eventually do. First, because the thrill is gone. And secondly, because that way madness lies.

And I have dreams to bring into existence ere I sleep! ;D

Gonsalves_TheLightOfALateNight.png

 ;) 8)


Stoic Joker

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2014, 07:56:45 AM »
I've always rather liked Paul Thurrott, I'm not an avid reader...but I do like his style of presenting the new features list. As far as his "inaccuracies" *Shrug* I tend to assume that anyone in the press is completely full of shit and form my opinion on an average of everybody's input...and then weigh it against my own experience.

From a consumer perception stand point, Windows 8 is truly an epic class train wreck. I've seen people's reactions first hand. The expression of horror on their faces - as if I was using a shrunken dead baby head for a key fob - when I pull out a Windows phone. Or while spec'ing a new machine inquire as to what OS (8?)they would like to use.

I actually did worry a bit, but didn't hesitate to flatten Win7 and install Win8 on the new workstation I just got here at the office. I'm also not having any trouble using it. There are a few things that aren't where I expect/remember them to be, but search works just fine.

rgdot

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2014, 08:06:21 AM »
Look at it this way. Think Android phones but for Windows .... Desktop is rooted and metro is stock  :P

Josh

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2014, 10:36:30 AM »
I...My wife and I must stand alone as two people who thoroughly enjoys Windows 8.1...

Curt

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2014, 10:46:57 AM »
... no one I know uses Win8.  My wife has never asked me if she should move to Win8.  No one in my office is using Win8.  No one has told me  that to solve a problem I'm having, I should move to Win8.x. There's just no compelling reason to move. ...

^well spoken. I have the Win 8 Pro installer & key, but am running Win 7, because I was not really given any reason to upgrade.

wraith808

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2014, 10:56:10 AM »
I...My wife and I must stand alone as two people who thoroughly enjoys Windows 8.1...

My son loves it.  He has W7 on his school computer, and w8 on his laptop... he's never on his school computer anymore and gets around it it very adroitly with no help from me, I might add.  I think it's a matter of what you're used to.  And MS tried to force it on people- and some just didn't want to go.  They could have avoided the whole debacle by having an option to boot to the desktop, and use the classic start menu.  They've done it before... when they introduced the wider start menu we have now, you could change it to classic.

40hz

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2014, 10:58:50 AM »
I actually did worry a bit, but didn't hesitate to flatten Win7 and install Win8 on the new workstation I just got here at the office. I'm also not having any trouble using it. There are a few things that aren't where I expect/remember them to be, but search works just fine.

Yup! Once I started using <search> and stopped worrying about it, Win8 was fine for day to day use. Same went for W2k12 server. Search was the key to the kingdom. Maybe it's not ideal - from my perspective. But certainly doable.

40hz

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2014, 11:01:10 AM »
I...My wife and I must stand alone as two people who thoroughly enjoys Windows 8.1...

You may just be right! ;D :P

Josh

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2014, 11:06:07 AM »
Personally, this reminds of when Windows XP first hit the streets and everybody swore up and down that it was a terrible, no-good OS with a horrible "kindergarten GUI". Look at it now, we can't get rid of the friggin OS. I, for one, enjoy the metro start screen (although I boot to desktop). The start screen is actually fairly intuitive and allows me to hide unnecessary clutter caused by menu after menu of new program folders. Heck, I never used the all programs menu in vista/7 with the type to search feature.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 11:26:12 AM by Josh »

TaoPhoenix

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2014, 11:36:23 AM »
...
@Tao - you could just save time and load Win7 today and be done with it.

Seriously, how much more does anybody really need an OS to do that isn't already being handled (quite well) by Windows 7. Or Linux Mint 16 too for that matter - if you don't need specific Windows apps.

Mint is my goto productivity environment. And I also keep a Win 7 environment for those times when my own needs dictate it must be used. That's my current path. Get something that works today - that will still be supported for the reasonably foreseeable future - and not waste time trying to second guess what Microsoft will eventually do. First, because the thrill is gone. And secondly, because that way madness lies.

Hmm, a couple of points here -
First, I do indeed need Windows apps, everything from DC stuff here to MyInfo and more.

But part of it all was conceptual. Win 7 will "always be there" as an option. But first, I recall seeing MS's new support policy being about "only supporting two editions back". So if they follow that aggressively, then we'll see the same drop in support for Win 7 in a couple of years that we now see for XP.

But also I really do want to see what they officially decide for Win 9 from the conceptual point. Metro/etc is "baked" pretty hard into Win 8. And Win 9 will be the first new edition of Windows with that new CEO at the helm, without Steve Ballmer or Steve Sinofsky. And it will indeed be the close of that ten year plan when I built my project machine to purposely wait out the intervening years' worth of bad decisions by MS. So maybe the "thrill" is gone but I really do feel that Win 9 will be important as "the Post Win-8 World".

Meanwhile Paul Thurott is a Microsoft "Apologist", so when he decides to say something against MS, it usually means other people have been saying it first. Meanwhile his conclusion that Win 9 should "focus on productivity" is a lot of what I was saying elsewhere above about "lean and mean".
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 12:28:15 PM by TaoPhoenix »