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What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster

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We then saw 1-2 (depending how MS counts them for support rules purposes) Win 8 and 8.1 releases. Yuck.-TaoPhoenix (February 16, 2014, 09:45 AM)
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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.

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?
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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. :)

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 (February 16, 2014, 10:50 AM)
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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:

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.

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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.

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.
-wraith808 (February 16, 2014, 11:17 AM)
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^ 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').

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.

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...


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