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  (Source: AP)
But Ballmer says improvements, including a new Surface and a new Metro Start Button, will win customers back

At a quarterly all-hands type meeting, Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) boisterous and ebullient CEO Steve Ballmer was more sedate than usual.  While he raved about the upcoming next generation Surface tablet -- which was garnering rave reviews internally -- he also reportedly owned up to an unpleasant fact that Windows 8 isn't selling well.

The news -- which was pretty much a known fact to analysts and tech enthusiasts already -- came shortly after Microsoft's major leadership shakeup, in which it put the people in charge of Windows 8 (Julie Larson-Green, Tami Reller) in charge of key leadership positions over the entire company.

Revenue for the Windows unit dropped 55 percent (-$1.3B USD) in the second calendar quarter of the year (Microsoft's fiscal Q4 2013).  After beating street expectations the previous quarter, Microsoft saw its efforts unravel badly with sales of both Windows and the embattled first generation Surface sinking to Vista-like levels of market apathy.

Steve Ballmer
Windows 8 is turning into a nightmare for CEO Steve Ballmer. [Image Source: AP]

Microsoft and Mr. Ballmer came under fire from some of their major partners.  Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) blamed Microsoft for drooping PC (and by proxy semiconductor component) sales.  Jun Dong-soo, head of the memory chip unit who sells DRAM and NAND to PC makers, called Windows 8 "less competitive" and complained, "[It is] no better than the previous Windows Vista platform."

Those are pretty harsh words coming from a major partner.

At the meeting Mr. Ballmer tried to convince employees that the free Windows 8.1 update would make up for the flop of its predecessor.  He pointed to the return of a "Start Button" (although it's not the Start Button you used to know) and the use of telemetry data to improve weak spots in Windows 8 as critical keys to the turnaround.  He also discussed increasing spending on professional services (consulting), although the leaks from the meeting made it unclear whether Microsoft is looking to recruit outside consultation for itself or make money off providing it to others.

Windows 8.1 Preview
Ballmer thinks a new Metro Start Button will thrill Windows fans back to the ranks.
In the second calendar quarter Google Inc. (GOOG) ChromeBooks gained major ground on Windows PCs, establishing a beachhead of approximately 4-5 percent of total personal computer sales, and a quarter of <$300 USD personal computer sales.  Some OEMs such as Samsung and Acer, Inc. (TPE:2357) (another prominent critics of Windows 8) have turned to Chromebook offerings, and may be eyeing dumping Microsoft entirely, shoudl consumers continue embracing Google's offerings and rejecting Microsoft's.

Microsoft can take some solace in that Apple, Inc. (AAPL) saw sales of its Mac computers miss expectations, leaving Google the only clear winner in the PC market for the quarter.

Source: NeoWin

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MS just doesn't get it...
By Riusaki on 7/25/2013 3:16:44 PM , Rating: 4
I've followed MS since the days of Windows 95 and man how the mighty have fallen.

Microsoft needs to stop trying to reinvent the wheel and just do what they do best: Make a dominant OS. Who cares if Windows functions the same way as it did 15 years ago? People like it and most importantly IT WORKS! Stop trying to be Apple. Stop trying to innovate things that you know will do more harm just for the sake of innovation.

The way things are looking, Windows 7 will be the last Microsoft OS I use unless they admit W8 was a failure and bring it back to in line with how 7 is.

And don't get me started on the Xbox One. Let me just say that I have retired my 360 for PC Gaming.

Microsoft just please stop and think for once. Something they haven't done in a long time.

P.S. Fire Ballmer too.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By amanojaku on 7/25/2013 3:22:15 PM , Rating: 5
If you stop using Windows, then what OS are you planning on using for PC gaming? Linux and OS X's gaming libraries don't even compare to Windows. I know people love Steam, but it's limited, too.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By karimtemple on 7/25/2013 3:46:20 PM , Rating: 5
Steam is on Linux. OpenGL is improving and increasing in use. CryEngine 3 is being ported to Linux.

Windows is being backed into a corner. It's not looking good at all.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By UnauthorisedAccess on 7/25/2013 7:23:39 PM , Rating: 3
Regarding Steam on Linux, of my collection of 40+ steam games, 20 come up as Linux installable (you need to run steam on Linux, it'll only show you what you can install).

Pretty much all the valve stuff and indie titles though. Linux compatibility IS something that I was looking at during the steam sales though big name games are all still Windows (and sometimes Windows+Mac) only.

As soon as I can get off my requirement of needing Windows for gaming, it'll like in a VM inside my favourite Linux distro. Note that I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By ResStellarum on 7/25/2013 7:42:49 PM , Rating: 3
As soon as I can get off my requirement of needing Windows for gaming, it'll like in a VM inside my favourite Linux distro. Note that I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.

Once GNU/Linux steam boxes get going the major titles will flock to the platform, and then desktop Linux will automatically get the content.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By StevoLincolnite on 7/25/13, Rating: -1
RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By NAVAIR on 7/26/13, Rating: -1
By StevoLincolnite on 7/26/2013 7:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not worried about being voted down, this website is more of a popularity contest when it comes to rating people anyway.

I.E. "Not worth Reading and Worth Reading" more or less means "I Disagree and I Agree" to some.

WINE though has surprisingly good compatibility with allot of Winows games, it's not perfect, but I doubt anyone who walks into Linux expects it to be.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By Darkk on 7/26/2013 1:20:17 AM , Rating: 2
As we all know Windows 8 is another Vista. Maybe Windows 9 they will get it right.

Meanwhile, I will be moving towards Linux as my primary desktop and looking into using Wine or commercial product called CrossOver.

Over time we will see more and more native Linux games and apps to the point we won't need anything windows emulated.

Linux is great as a server platform but some headaches are starting to happen with the desktop. I see new desktop environments coming around such as Gnome 3, XFCE, KDE and few others. For awhile I was using Gnome 2 and it was great. Then came around Gnome 3 which is a huge change. While it works but just not the same as Gnome 3. Lucky there is Linux Mint that is based on forked version of Gnome 2.

As you can see there are alot of customization you can do with Linux but issue is desktop there is no real set standard like Windows. So some programs may or may not work right for a particular desktop environment.

So it's a bit of a headache for Linux programmers. This fragmentation needs to stop.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By FITCamaro on 7/28/2013 10:25:29 PM , Rating: 3
Vista was unpopular because it was slow. Windows 8 definitely is not. People just don't like change. There are Mac guys at my office that love Windows 8. Just classic Windows users don't like the changes.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By marvdmartian on 7/29/2013 9:37:20 AM , Rating: 2
I think you're close, on your statement. But it should have been "people don't like RADICAL change". And that, most definitely, is what Windows 8 was, in a big way.

Vista wasn't so much slow, as it was a memory hog....which most OEM's didn't realize at first, and which MS didn't help either, by issuing extraordinarily low "minimum specs" for that OS. That's why you saw computer companies, like Compaq, putting out PC's with 1.3 GHz cpu's and 512mb of PC-133 ram, with Vista on them (and yes, I did have to work on one of those).

Windows 8 is a radical change from what people have known in the past, it was set up primarily to be used on touch screen computers (even though most PC's and laptops didn't offer those, when it first came out), and was geared more toward tablet and phone use....but was shoved down everyone's throat by MS, as they forced OEM's to put it on all their new products (as they have every other new version of Windows that has come out).

Thanks, but I'll stick with Windows 7, for the forseeable future.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By maugrimtr on 7/30/2013 10:16:24 AM , Rating: 1
Steam is also on Mac OS...

Game companies primarily target PCs as a fact of life. PCs have a large market share. If Macs and Linux take more dominant positions than GPU makers will follow suit with better drivers. That's the catch. CPUs are the same everywhere now so only the GPUs drivers and OS interfaces hold up gaming.

Also, a lot of Kickstarter games are targeting Linux, Mac and PC with engines capable of multiple platform support.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By Paj on 8/2/2013 9:02:58 AM , Rating: 2
Linux is great for technically minded people. But for your average parent or small business useruser, it would be a bewildering option for them. There are too many distros, too much CLI, and not enough software.

This is the market that Linux needs to capture if it to have any chance of becoming dominant over Windows, and it's a long, long way from reaching that state.

MS has made missteps before - Windows ME was a terrible OS. Apple has also made many terrible products in the past. Windows isnt going anywhere soon.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By ResStellarum on 7/25/2013 7:52:59 PM , Rating: 3
If you stop using Windows, then what OS are you planning on using for PC gaming?

Most games these days are targeting the OpenGL API's. All of mobile (Android/iOS), OS X, GNU/Linux, and many others. There's really no reason to develop exclusively for Windows / DirectX any more.

Steam on OSX / Linux is getting better and better, and once the steambox type devices get going, all games will target Linux and OpenGL by default.

Microsoft is in real trouble. Everyone's abandoning their platform at light speed.

Just look at the new Ubuntu Edge phone. That beast is a phone and a desktop PC all in one.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By ie5x on 7/26/2013 4:52:33 AM , Rating: 5
I think he intends to stick with Windows 7.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/25/2013 3:33:45 PM , Rating: 3

Microsoft was so clearly on the right path with Windows 7. It was the most dominating OS they've ever had. Almost flawless in what people want and need in a desktop OS. For personal use AND work.

Microsoft is a company and as such, I see nothing wrong with trying to make more profits. But Windows 8 was such a horrible attempt to monetize an OS Apple-style, that there's no way it should have been released as-is.

Touch UI's and App Stores and what-not are all fine and good. But they don't belong on a desktop Windows OS. There's a reason why the iPhone runs iOS and not OSX, or visa versa.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By Riusaki on 7/25/13, Rating: 0
RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By NAVAIR on 7/26/2013 12:42:27 PM , Rating: 2
iOS and OSX are a GUI on Darwin on Unix much like KDE and Gnome on Linux. The guts are still the same.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By kleinma on 7/25/13, Rating: -1
RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By inighthawki on 7/25/2013 4:09:15 PM , Rating: 2
I want to see metro apps behave just like desktop apps. There should be nothing special about the window that each is displayed in except metro apps should be "capable" of going fullscreen, as opposed to "always" being fullscreen.

The other change I would love to see is for the new UI interface code to allow resource themes other than metro. The composition and graphics available in metro apps is far beyond what is available in GDI on the desktop, but even in a window, these apps would look odd and out of place with their metroish theme. The user should be able to add user controls such as buttons, check boxes, and lists that appear indistinguishable from desktop controls, but all run on top of the new and improved code.

I should be able to make an GUI based app entirely in win32 and one based on XAML and have the two appear identical side by side.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By domboy on 7/26/2013 8:28:38 AM , Rating: 2
I agree... my biggest problem with modern ui is that not everything should be a full screen app. It's even more apparent the larger the screen. Snap might be an ok way to have two apps running on a small screen, but again, it's not a good replacement for windows. Update WinRT to be able to run on the desktop. Make more tweaks or options to make the desktop more touch friendly or perhaps a create touch mode you can toggle like they do with Office 2013/RT.

While we're at it, unlock the desktop on ARM devices. That is such a backwards and frustrating decision. As nice a device as the Surface RT is, I won't recommend it to anyone just because of this.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By piroroadkill on 7/26/2013 10:24:10 AM , Rating: 2
What you want is Stardock's ModernMix.

It exists. Microsoft can give you the product you and everyone else wants.

Stardock already did it, with Start8 and ModernMix.

However, Microsoft simply doesn't give a single shit. They're trying to be Apple, which was always "my way or the highway".

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By acer905 on 7/26/2013 12:48:07 PM , Rating: 2
One system I can see would be to have a gesture-like method to scale the "size" of the metro app. A two-finger pinch zooms in and out on the app, why not have a three-finger pinch stretch the size of the app. Then just use the Win7 system of remembering the size of an app the last time it was closed so that it opens the same size. And, let the same gesture control Win32 programs as well.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By robinthakur on 7/29/2013 6:47:45 AM , Rating: 2
I think that (one of) the big problem with Windows 8 is that you have apps which behave differently on desktop, compared to the modern interface. Having two versions of IE, Lync etc is really dumb and difficult to explain to end users, what the difference is and why it matters. iPad doesn't have two versions of Safari. If I have my full screen MS Lync running at the same time as my desktop app Lync, the results aren't pretty.

There are also apps which could never hope to run as full screen full touch apps, like Visual Studio, and I do think that touch screen apps need to be considered differently in terms of their design, so hmm, Microsoft have pushed themselves down a very tricky road here...When I'm using a touch screen Windows 8 tablet and am in desktop mode, its all a bit painful to use: the keyboard doesn't pop up whenever you need to use it, and some webpages and apps just don't work correctly (like Chrome).

I don't see why it is isn't possible to just have profiles saying what sort of device you are using, like in Media Centre setup and Windows just gets customised for your install. That would be a one size fits all approach which works and would seem to keep a lot of people happy! Windows 8 contains lots of cool technology like Hyper-V on the desktop and the improved copying, global search etc. so it is a real shame that it is the Modern UI which has sunk the ship and stopped people appreciating the hard work which has obviously gone into it!

On a slightly selfish note, I hope MS does not go down because my business is SharePoint, and there is the risk that people will start to turn away from Microsoft entirely. I already find that what would have been laughable options 5 years ago such as Google enterprise apps and OSX/iOS in the workplace are taken seriously now, simply because MS have shown such poor judgement of late in some of their most highly publicised products, and people had managed for so long in an increasingly mobile device-centric business world without access to MS Office or Windows, that it has got them thinking. On the server end, MS is clearly moving towards the Cloud services model for most of its products rather than on premise, and there, MS Azure is having to complete heavily with Google and Amazon. It's going to be interesting...

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By JPForums on 7/26/2013 8:00:04 AM , Rating: 2
It is funny how many posts I've read that criticize Microsoft for trying to be like Apple, and then go on to use Apple as an example of the way it should be done. At least your points make some sense.

I do disagree on one account, though. While Windows 7 was and still is the best desktop OS for both personal and professional use, there is an increasing number of people leaning towards convergence devices that Windows 7 is ill suited to handle. Many people who buy a tablet start questioning their need for a desktop/laptop computer. I've even seen a few dump their desktop/laptop only to buy another several months down the road, when they realize that traditional tablets aren't well suited for productive use. While I don't think everyone will end up there, I do think convergence devices will occupy a not-so-insignificant portion of the market once they are executed well enough.

I still think an auto mode switcher that gives you a traditional desktop environment while docked and a tablet environment while on the go would be ideal. Obviously, I'd want access to either at any given time, but the ability to choose which interface I default to in any given situation would make things much simpler.

Also, I see no reason why applications should be divided by metro and non-metro. This is an arbitrary distinction that only serves to get in the way of the seamless crossover that a convergence device is trying to accomplish.

In short, Windows 7 is great for today's computing environment, but not necessarily for tomorrow's. Windows 8 is a forward looking OS, but still leaves some things to be desired, especially in today's computing environment.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By Moishe on 7/26/2013 5:04:29 PM , Rating: 2
You're right.

on the other hand, new profit streams usually come from risk... so it makes sense that they'd try something new.

They should have made a new mobile OS that would be good for tablets, and a new desktop OS that had all of the underlying performance improvements of Win 8 but still had the basic usability in the Win 7 design.

I hate to say it, but it seems a bit like flailing. Apple seems to really think things through before making a move. Apple seems to focus on one or two areas and then try to blow everyone else out of the water in those areas. I usually don't agree with Apple's concept of what is the most important, but at least they usually execute pretty well.

Microsoft needs to understand what makes Windows the dominant OS and enhance the whole experience without breaking the core reasons people use it. MS needs to stop and understand what they own and think about how to blow everyone else out of the water in a particular area. Maybe they did this with Win8.. but if they did, they're idiots because as well as metro works on a tablet, it blows on a desktop. They've made one set of customers happy at the expense of another set. That's just stupid.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By someguy743 on 7/25/2013 4:30:59 PM , Rating: 2
I think that Windows 8 is just fine ..... but only after you install "Start8" by Stardock on it and get the settings just the way you want them. Hopefully the new Windows 8.1 is not going to mess up "Start8".

I have it working pretty much like my old Windows 7 now. I use the Modern UI sometimes too. You might even start to like Modern UI after you mess around with it for awhile. It's like my "secondary Windows desktop" in order to use apps like on my smartphone.

90% of the time I'm using the good ole Windows 7 style desktop with this multi-desktop software called "Dexpot". It works fine for me. I use 7 different desktops for different types of work ... or play. It's the same way I have different projects sitting on different side desks and tables in my office at work.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By retrospooty on 7/25/2013 4:44:09 PM , Rating: 2
"I think that Windows 8 is just fine ..... but only after you install "Start8" by Stardock on it and get the settings just the way you want them. Hopefully the new Windows 8.1 is not going to mess up "Start8"."

Get classic shell... Its better than start8 and free.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By cditty on 7/25/2013 5:18:41 PM , Rating: 3
I disagree. Classic Shell updates too often and gets in the way. Start8 just works.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By retrospooty on 7/25/2013 5:45:14 PM , Rating: 2
I dunno. I have never seen it not work, nor have I had a single issue with it, updates or otherwise.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By ResStellarum on 7/25/2013 8:09:07 PM , Rating: 5
Using classic shell here too. Works like a charm, and the only thing that makes Windows 8 bearable.

When a third party addon is required to make an OS usable, there's a serious problem.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By JPForums on 7/26/2013 7:27:07 AM , Rating: 2
You know, Microsoft could easily monetize the start menu and make people happy at the same time. They could simply create an official Microsoft start menu and release it at a low price. I'm willing to wager that the people that really want it will be happy enough just to get it that they won't mind the charge. People that don't care, won't buy it. People who already bought third party software could just stick with it unless they had a compelling reason to switch. Of course, it would go over better if Microsoft released it as part of a suite that includes official multi-desktop support, and other niceties.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By tayb on 7/25/2013 6:10:38 PM , Rating: 1
Windows 8 is a great OS. In almost every way it is superior to Windows 7. It's faster, has more features that people want, boots faster, just in general is a superior OS.

The mistake Microsoft made is they tried to make an OS that would work well on a tablet and with a keyboard mouse. Instead of having separate UIs that a user could switch between they tried to meet in the middle and come up with a single interface that would work for both. No such interface exists or will ever exist. There is nothing that can be designed that works well with a mouse and with a finger. It's a failed idea from the start.

The fix for Windows 8 is simple. Separate the UIs and allow detection of input method and automatic or manual switching. In the desktop you don't see Metro and in Metro you don't see the desktop... unless you want to. If you have a Surface Pro and you dock it... Desktop. If you undock it... Metro. Simple

There are tons of improvements in Windows 8 that I love and if Microsoft would stop being so stupid they could actually gain market share and get more developer support. With Haswell the Surface Pro could be a really awesome device... if they let it.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By wacawaca on 7/26/2013 3:31:22 PM , Rating: 2
I wish this was the way it worked, i mean seriously i have seen it suggested many times, why does Microsoft not listen to the people that use the software, why don't they browse the comments section about their software to see what people want, I am sure that the one simple change as you stated would make most if not all happy. And then they can start adding different things to the different GUI's maybe add something to the touch interface that would be a waste in the mouse interface, and visa verse. Come on Microsoft stop being anal and start listening to some of the great and clever ideas like the one above.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By damianrobertjones on 7/25/13, Rating: 0
By TakinYourPoints on 7/25/2013 9:23:09 PM , Rating: 5
Yes, they need to stop trying to invent the wheel. :)

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By Tony Swash on 7/25/13, Rating: -1
RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By retrospooty on 7/25/2013 6:57:31 PM , Rating: 3
But... based on web traffic Windows IS the dominant OS by a massive longshot. Windows gets over 80% and all others combined are sharing less than 20%.

I am confused ??? I thought web traffic was the measure of a platforms success? I am sure I have seen you mention that at least a couple dozen times... :P

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By Tony Swash on 7/26/13, Rating: -1
RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By retrospooty on 7/26/2013 7:27:28 PM , Rating: 2
BS Tony. Complete and utter BS.

You might as well come out and say "information is only important when it proves my points. When it proves your points it isn't relevant"

That is just pure bassackwards fanboy logic failure... MS is still the worlds most dominant OS by a long shot. Web traffic beats all other plartforms, including mac, ios, android, linux and all others combined by a 5 to 1 margin. The whole world runs off it. When the day comes where they can make a Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod without the entire factory and supply chain running off Windows then call me.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By drycrust3 on 7/27/2013 5:40:00 PM , Rating: 1
MS is still the worlds most dominant OS by a long shot.

If you look carefully at that graph, you will notice a trend that almost every commentor has either stated or hinted at: desktop operating systems are declining, mobile OSes are rising. The two desktop operating systems on the graph, "Windows" and "Mac", both declined over the time period covered. Not once, in the entire time frame, did the percentage of users of either of those OSes exceed the value they started with. On the other hand, Android and iOS both improved over the time frame.
The next point is "Windows" covers quite a range of operating systems, it could meaning anything from Windows 98 through to Windows 8. The fact is "Windows XP" (37%) is currently the second placed desktop OS, with Windows 7 (44%) being first. The importance of this is that 37% of users are using an OS that is famous for its insecurity and will soon not be supported by the manufacturer.
Since these are people where, at the very least, XP is adequate, and quite likely the hardware is also adequate, when they are forced to upgrade they will be looking for something that is a bit cheap that covers the basics such as browse the internet, read some newspapers and blogs, do some emails, stuff which doesn't require a high powered computer running the latest Windows OS. They are perfect targets for Android, iOS, and e-readers like Kindle.
Notice something there? None of those aren't made by Microsoft. Sure, Microsoft gets there cut, but that misses another important point: every time Microsoft get a patent licence fee that is a sale they didn't get, and that is a lost customer.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By retrospooty on 7/27/2013 10:39:39 PM , Rating: 2
Its not news or a surprise that windows is on a slow and steady decline. That changes the facts how exactly?

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By drycrust3 on 7/28/2013 12:41:17 PM , Rating: 2
The change is that the world has changed. The Microsoft that got to be number 1 isn't the Microsoft of today, and that is what Tony was talking about.
When Microsoft became Number 1 it was because they saw that a windows environment was the way to go and worked really hard to make better software than anyone else that worked in the windows environment OS they created.
Now, the management has changed from a company that sees the future and runs towards it, to one that wants to try and hold onto the past.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By retrospooty on 7/28/2013 4:56:00 PM , Rating: 2
I agree microsoft has made a lot of bad moves lately. They are declining. But they are still number one by a huge margin. It's going to take a long long time before that changes. The entire business world still runs on Microsoft. Like I said call me when they can make a single Mac iPod iPhone or iPad without the entire process running on PC. If anyone can do it Apple can, and they are not even close. The massive infrastructure just doesn't exist anywhere outside of Microsoft. there is Unix, Linux, and several companies that all do their own tiny little piece but no one else does the whole package. No one else has even started to attempt to think about making a try at it.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By TakinYourPoints on 7/25/2013 9:17:44 PM , Rating: 2
At least Apple has the good sense to completely segment their mobile and desktop operating systems. Other things like the OS X Menu Bar have gone mostly unchanged for almost 30 years. There's no reason for it to change, and the restart/shut down menus are where they should be, not hidden behind some charms BS. They design logically for the target hardware.

If something works, keep it. I have Windows 8 on a partition on my laptop and I still have zero desire to install it on my main PC desktop.

I don't know why Microsoft is trying to cram mobile and desktop together. What's happening now is the reverse of when they put a Start Menu on Windows Mobile and Pocket PC. That was also a terrible idea and the platform crashed and burned as well.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By retrospooty on 7/25/2013 11:47:20 PM , Rating: 2
"I don't know why Microsoft is trying to cram mobile and desktop together. What's happening now is the reverse of when they put a Start Menu on Windows Mobile and Pocket PC. That was also a terrible idea and the platform crashed and burned as well"

LOL , I totally forgot about that aweful UI from Winmobiles earlier days... It makes it even funnier. Its OK to make mistakes, everyone and every company does, but to fail to learn from them shows really poor leadership. It totally reminds me of Rimm and Palm.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By stimudent on 7/26/2013 10:27:06 AM , Rating: 1
Microsoft might want to bring back Windows ME for the PC and laptop segment. It might actually improve sales ;P

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By Strunf on 7/28/2013 1:26:52 PM , Rating: 2
Hell even Apple hasn't changed much the GUI of OS X.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By FITCamaro on 7/28/2013 10:24:24 PM , Rating: 2
There's a reason why Apple is still on OSX. Well other than that they don't have to innovate for their fanboys to keep buying. What they have works.

I like the backend changes in Windows 8 (other than getting rid of the true backup tool in exchange for a crappy snapshot tool). But yeah I don't need the front end. They could have just added that to Windows 7 for tablets and left the PC interface alone. I get that they see that touchscreen tablets are the computers of the future. But they jumped too soon.

No way!
By 91TTZ on 7/25/2013 3:07:47 PM , Rating: 5
This isn't happening!

I was told that Windows 8 is flying off the shelves... I was told that the people who don't like it are just afraid of change... I was told that people that talk bad about it are just a very vocal minority... I was told that Windows 8 is going to capitalize on the mobile revolution and that it's the perfect device for convergence.

Why is Ballmer saying this?

RE: No way!
By kmmatney on 7/25/13, Rating: 0
RE: No way!
By dgingerich on 7/25/13, Rating: 0
RE: No way!
By karimtemple on 7/25/2013 3:49:01 PM , Rating: 2
LOL! You need to start a Sarcasm Font petition. You need it.

RE: No way!
By retrospooty on 7/25/2013 4:45:45 PM , Rating: 3
Ya... a "sarcasm font"... Now there is a real useful addition. ;)

RE: No way!
By CaedenV on 7/25/2013 4:06:53 PM , Rating: 2
I have used Win8 from the DP days, and after CP it was actually quite usable. Admittedly it did not make a whole lot of sense to me until I used it on a touch screen device, but after that I was very easily able to translate everything in a way that makes sense on keys and mice.

But the new UI is not the real issue here, because it works just fine. Usability is not even a huge issue here, because that too works just fine. The issue is that for all of the 'new' that win8 brings to the table, it does not bring much in the way of new usability. I do a lot of file transferring and make much use of the ability to manage several file transfers, and I love that I can naively run ISOs now instead of buggy emulators, but these are not 'revolutionary' changes in usefulness. If it was not for the $40 entry fee, and the ability to upgrade from 7 Home to 8 Pro then there really would not have been a compelling reason for me to upgrade.
Win8.1 is a nice step up in the realm of making Metro more user friendly and has customization options... but other than for system settings I pretty much never look at metro, so it is a moot point. Metro has no 'killer apps' for office and productivity work, and even if they did then the desktop versions would be more useful already. The whole point of metro is to introduce the new store front and gain a new income stream... and that is a perfectly good thing for MS to do! If it came between buying software from some random store online vs buying something via the Windows Store I would obviously trust the Windows store to keep my CC information safe, and trust that they have done some work at making sure there is no real malware in whatever I am buying. Having a store front is a very good thing! But, the only way to make metro apps useful is to have a windowed option on the desktop, or to sell desktop software via the metro store. Outside of that people are simply not going to make much use out of it.

And even that does not address the issue of win8 bringing any extra usefulness over win7. Give us better networking options, or some sort of 'home cloud' services for our music/picture/movie collections. Give us more inter-connectivity between our windows products (xbox, WP, PCs, tablets, etc.). Just give us something that simplifies our lives and helps people do what they want to do.

At the end of the day Win8 is a great rebranding of Microsoft which is something that was becoming an increasing issue, so it is good that they did it. But people buy things to use them, not simply because they look similar. Give people a clear reason to upgrade and they will do it.

RE: No way!
By kmmatney on 7/26/2013 11:55:21 AM , Rating: 2
Overall I do like Windows 8, and would personally buy it over Windows 7 if they are the same price. But it took a fair amount of work to get it to be usable on my work computer. I still haven't figured out how to completely get rid of the charms panel, although there are reg tweaks to make it less intrusive. I did try to use the start window (turned off the option to skip it), but it just doesn't work for me, and I now have gotten into the habit of just hitting the desktop icon.

It does look like it might be quite useful on a tablet, but on a desktop I'd like the Apps to have an option to be windowed, and an option to easily close an App. For nw, I've just removed every Metro App, as they are worth the disk space.

RE: No way!
By 91TTZ on 7/27/2013 7:45:37 PM , Rating: 2
At the end of the day Win8 is a great rebranding of Microsoft which is something that was becoming an increasing issue, so it is good that they did it.

I think that Windows 8 and Surface were a horrible rebrading of Microsoft. Both products are failures. Microsoft should have stuck to its core competencies. This rebranding is like MySpace's rebranding, or Blackberry's rebranding- bold attempts, but failed attempts. A rebranding is a risk- if your brand is already popular you don't want it to become synonymous with failure. You don't want a New Coke.

RE: No way!
By ie5x on 7/26/13, Rating: 0
No, it won't...
By SAN-Man on 7/25/2013 1:44:31 PM , Rating: 5
I still have to rely on third party applications to provide functionality that Windows 7 has out of the box.

I'm going to skip Windows 8 altogether.

RE: No, it won't...
By Argon18 on 7/25/2013 3:14:54 PM , Rating: 3
50 Million other people share the same sentiment. Pass.

RE: No, it won't...
By kmmatney on 7/25/2013 3:57:10 PM , Rating: 3
One thing they did add back to Windows 8 was the "up" arrow in windows explorer. Windows XP had it but it was removed in Windows 7/Vista. At least they put it back in for Windows 8.

RE: No, it won't...
By acer905 on 7/26/2013 12:52:07 PM , Rating: 2
Aside from a text-based (somewhat fly-out) list of shortcuts to programs found in the "Programs" folder(s) of your c drive, what functionality are you missing with Win8?

RE: No, it won't...
By Strunf on 7/28/2013 1:40:56 PM , Rating: 2
How about the taskbar? sure it's present on the desktop mode but then if you are supposed to be on desktop mode all the time then why the hell Metro at all?

How about the fact you can run 2 applications and see both windows at the same time, sure you can do with win 8 in desktop mode...

The point is there's no reason for metro to even exist it doesn't bring anything useful... it's just an annoyance.

*!*! Sandwich
By Reclaimer77 on 7/25/2013 3:25:34 PM , Rating: 5
Gotta love this style of management lmao!

"Hey guys, this shit sandwich I forced you to foist onto our customers isn't doing good enough! Make it do more gooderer!!!"

Windows 8 doesn't fail in it's implementation. It's flaws are conceptual. And you can't fix something that's core concept is broken.

And a touchscreen UI for the mouse/keyboard desktop PC environment IS a completely broken concept. No matter what anyone says.

RE: *!*! Sandwich
By inighthawki on 7/25/2013 3:48:01 PM , Rating: 2
8.1 Seemed to focus a lot on the shortcomings of metro, so let's hope the next round focuses on the shortcomings that now exist in the desktop. Microsoft needs to understand that their power users help drive sales of their OS. When they don't like it they're typically the ones running around yelling and screaming and telling everyone it sucks.

RE: *!*! Sandwich
By retrospooty on 7/25/2013 4:40:28 PM , Rating: 2
"And a touchscreen UI for the mouse/keyboard desktop PC environment IS a completely broken concept. No matter what anyone says."

It is broken, but they can fix that easy... They took the start menu out between the dev preview and official release. Just put it the f#$k back baldy!

RE: *!*! Sandwich
By YearOfTheDingo on 7/25/2013 6:02:17 PM , Rating: 3
The conceptual flaw is that people don't actually want all that distraction on the desktop computer. If I sit down at a desk, I'm trying to work. That's often the reason people buy tablets--to separate the time-wasting stuff from the serious stuff. Microsoft is missing the point completely. The problem is information overload and not the absence of yet another way to check Facebook.

Sad but true
By sluze on 7/25/2013 7:00:14 PM , Rating: 1
Had MS released Win8 and told everyone that the Metro UI was a redesign of the 'desktop' (which in reality it is) and that the 'start' button had moved (which is basically what the 'all programs' button is). They could have had a 'classic' button in settings and consumers would have understood what they were doing.

Calling it a 'Start Screen' was insane and completely untrue. Now they are adding a start button that brings you to the screen you already hate?!? Ballmer drank the kool-aid a long time ago but thinking that a trick start button will solve Win8's misery is crazy even for him.

The simple fact that Ballmer put the idiots that made Win8 in charge of even more shows you just how bad things are at MS. Useless touch interfaces, poor menus, complete disregard for intuitive design, pissed off customers - yep lets promote the people that made all that wonderful stuff happen.

MS has completely forgotten what made them great and worse believes that Apple of all companies is what they should be imitating. Its like Ballmer took the 'I'm a Mac, I'm a PC' commercials to heart...guess what if you want to get shit done you don't call the Mac kid you call the old boy with experience that knows what he is doing. MS has become that 40 year old in the club that doesn't realize the girls aren't laughing with him they are laughing at him.

Its sad but its true.

RE: Sad but true
By Cape Consultant on 7/25/2013 11:11:51 PM , Rating: 4
We agree! I gave up teaching people Windows becasue I REFUSE to say, "Now click the "Charms Bar" " WTF were they thinking?

It is like putting a helicoptor rotor on a car. No one knows how to fly it and no one wanted it to begin with.

And like you say, a crippled "Start" Button that is not really a start button in anything but name only is INSANE. I mean actually certifiably INSANE. Bill, where are you?

Do whatever you want with tablet and phone. Plenty of room for innovation there. But NO ONE wanted a new desktop paradigm. NO ONE!

I use WIn8 in Parallels because I like it with Start8. But when I mess up and accidentally click something that brings up that mess of a "Metro" interface, I throw up a little bit in my mouth.

I hate everything about Metro. And I will NEVER EVER buy an app. Ever. A pathetic attempt to be Apple. An APP for my desktop? Ouch.

RE: Sad but true
By retrospooty on 7/25/2013 11:55:16 PM , Rating: 4
"Do whatever you want with tablet and phone. Plenty of room for innovation there. But NO ONE wanted a new desktop paradigm. NO ONE!"

so totally true... Windows 7 was more universally accepted and loved then any other MS OS in history, it was simply amazing. They finally got it right, so what's the answer to finally getting it right? Change everything! And you are absolutely right, no one asked for it ... no one.

now Windows 8 is selling like crap, most of the world hates it and the leadership that allowed it to happen is pushing people to make it sell better, but they won't put back the one thing everyone wants. piss poor leadership

Cost for 8.1
By SeeManRun on 7/25/2013 5:01:07 PM , Rating: 2
Do we know the cost of 8.1 yet? If they do the $40 for 8.1 just to spur some sales I might try it. But for over $100 I will stick with 7.0.

RE: Cost for 8.1
By datdamonfoo on 7/26/2013 10:20:36 AM , Rating: 2
Yah, it's a free upgrade.

RE: Cost for 8.1
By xdrol on 7/26/2013 1:28:50 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 8.1 = Windows 8 SP1. It's an incremental update.

Windows 8...
By XZerg on 7/25/13, Rating: 0
RE: Windows 8...
By name99 on 7/25/2013 7:56:48 PM , Rating: 4
"These are some very complex and very demanding endeavors to take on in a single OS that is so widely used"

Uhh, and who ASKED for all these endeavors to be run by the same OS?
There is one common thread to all the Win8 hatred --- an understanding by users that the job to be done by a tablet is different from the job to be done by a desktop PC.

You can scream all you like about what a great job MS is doing uniting desktop and laptop, but that won't change the fact that MS is uniting two products people DO NOT WANT TO BE UNITED. The bottom line is that MS has only one plan going forward --- to force Windows onto everything, regardless of how little sense it makes.

And it isn't going to end. What's the MS plan as wearable computing becomes the next big thing? To force some crippled and painful to use version of Metro onto smart watches and smart glasses?

RE: Windows 8...
By systemBuilder on 7/26/2013 11:49:40 PM , Rating: 2
Lol, I can see Ballmer trying to shove the "Windows-9 Watchtro" GUI down all the workstation users' throats. Fat chance ...

My mommy thinks I'm the most handsome boy ever!
By rountad on 7/25/2013 5:31:17 PM , Rating: 3
While he raved about the upcoming next generation Surface tablet -- which was garnering rave reviews internally


Let's wait for the sales numbers after it actually goes on sale. MS is missing on three cylinders these days...

By spread on 7/26/2013 8:33:59 PM , Rating: 2
While he raved about the upcoming next generation Surface tablet -- which was garnering rave reviews internally

Yes sir Mr. Ballmer of course I think this tablet is great Mr. Ballmer, you are so handsome and smart Mr. Ballmer.

Please don't throw a chair at me.

Here's what I want...
By HoosierEngineer5 on 7/25/2013 4:32:46 PM , Rating: 2
Why can't the touchscreen interface sit on top of Windows 7? I don't want a new OS if I don't need one. OK, if Microsoft needed to gut the OS in order to make touchscreens work, I can see them asking for a bunch of money (how long until they get that OS finished, anyway?). Drop the price of W7 $20 and charge $20 for the touchscreen applique (or bundle them). I can add it any time I feel the need. W7 is still there, happy as a clam.

If ANY OS ran all the programs I needed, Microsoft has no competitive advantage. They need to work on finding some serious uses for PCs other than running office, browsing the web, and playing games if they want to remain essential.

RE: Here's what I want...
By Piiman on 7/27/2013 1:16:27 PM , Rating: 2
or just have Win 8 install for Desktop (without the metro UI) or tablet.
MS used to be all about options but no more it seems

Denial is not just a river in Egypt
By rountad on 7/25/2013 5:36:58 PM , Rating: 3
he also reportedly owned up to an unpleasant fact that Windows 8 isn't selling well. The news -- which was pretty much a known fact to analysts and tech enthusiasts already -- came shortly after Microsoft's major leadership shakeup, in which it put the people in charge of Windows 8 (Julie Larson-Green, Tami Reller) in charge of key leadership positions over the entire company.

Lip service.

The people who headed this disaster are being given MORE responsibility.

By Scrogneugneu on 7/25/2013 9:30:49 PM , Rating: 1
The real mind behind Windows 8 is Steven Sinofsky, who "left" the company shortly after the launch.

By YearOfTheDingo on 7/25/2013 3:28:36 PM , Rating: 3
How hard is it to understand? People want their desktop computer to behave like a desktop computer. Who came up with this stupid idea of putting a tablet interface on a desktop computer? We are actually seeing the same thing in the Linux world. Mageia has become a top distro after Ubuntu tries to push braindead UI onto its userbase.

Stop this madness already. Bring back the Start Menu. Free Mars.

By Cape Consultant on 7/25/2013 10:33:02 PM , Rating: 3
out of the boardroom. It so totally screwed all current users of Win7 which was finally starting to come into being the very best OS out there bar none. But Ballmer should be drawn and quartered for letting that horse out of the barn. It's UI is hideous.

They totally F***ed their entire user base in one fell swoop. I mean could they not see that? Are they idiots?

Start8 saved the day for hardcore users like myself. I would not touch Win8 without that little gem of a software.

And they could not even admit like men that they screwed up and put back a real start button. Nope, they had to sissy out and put back some garbled piece of crap. I love MS, but guess what? Nobody will by 8.1 either. Bye bye Ballmer.

They could have taken the OS world by stom so easily by enhancing Win7. Oh well.

By systemBuilder on 7/26/2013 11:43:17 PM , Rating: 1
Windows 7 is good, but it's not a blazing improvement on Windows-XP.

When my laptop comes out of sleep half the time Windows 7 turns off the 802.11. And, it's so difficult to see when it's been turned off in software, that it's faster to run the molasses "diagnostic" system to turn on the 802.11.

Under Windows 7, it can take 5-10 mins to come out of sleep with an encrypted disk drive ....

The notification area (the idea that the taskbar should pop upwards and remain there with no indication of what's wrong, when some driver needs scratching) comes straight from hell!!

File search in Windows 7 sucks. It sucks bigtime. They had to break something that worked!!!

Windows 7 is not awesome. Not one bit awesome, frankly. We still use XP exclusively at our house. I use Windows 7 because my employer forces me to.

People who think that Windows 7 is awesome have been assimilated ...

By Strunf on 7/28/2013 1:44:20 PM , Rating: 2
File search does suck... I have windows 7 and it's a very nice improvement over windows XP, faster boot up and what not.

I just came here...
By kwrzesien on 7/25/2013 3:42:36 PM , Rating: 2
I just came here for the pictures of Balmer. In fact that's pretty much why I check out all of the M$/Windows articles, because there sure isn't any technology coming from them that interests me. I just can't get enough of him acting like an A$$, and then remembering he is the CEO of a top (tech) company.

Dont read too much into the low Mac sales....
By TEAMSWITCHER on 7/25/13, Rating: 0
Both ?!
By Avjguy on 7/25/2013 6:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
It's too bad Microsoft hadn't just developed W8 as alternative OS to W7. I have not bought a laptop because I simply don't prefer W8. W7 is still well supported, but perhaps a W9 (odd numbers for desktop, even numbers for portables?) should be developed based on W7 and let W8 live for the portables. GM didn't stop making sedan's when they started to make trucks or SUV's. Wouldn't it be OK for a massive company like Microsoft to make more than one (OS) product at the same time. Why fight the customers, you already own BOTH products. Why don't you sell them what they want, instead of what you want to sell them!

Lost their way
By Nephelai on 7/26/2013 12:48:09 AM , Rating: 2
The whole business model is far from their core expertise and very adhoc. They persist in trying to downward integrate themselves and are doing a horrid job of it.

The tablet version of W8 is just awkward - it takes me more actions and more time to do the same things in w8 that I do on my Android or Ios tablets. That's a fact.

Fix the awkwardness.

What is he smoking ?
By jmarchel on 7/26/2013 11:56:25 AM , Rating: 2
Balmer either thinks his customers are bunch of idiots or he simply is so isolated from their customers that he doesn't get it. Start button is not what users asked for. Users asked for complete removal of any trace of Metro and return of the classic start menu. Majority of Windows users do not dream of Windows mobile and don't care if Microsoft has or hasn't have mobile OS. We are buying Android or Apple devices because they are the current market leaders, they are cool, they have all the apps and in case of Android they are cheap. We do not care about Surface. We want however our full fledged PC to behave properly with keyboard and mouse. Therefore we hate Windows 8 and no amount of updates to Metro will help. And hate is correct word here. This is why we react on anything Metro with allergy and this is why we refuse to buy into it. We want Metro out completely from PC.

Regarding mobile devices Blamer should forget his greed. If you want to propose closed system where only you have control of what application runs on it, then you simply forgot how you won the PC market in the first place and you always are going to be a looser. The mobile system is sold by apps. Restricting who can write apps for your OS in a situation where you are figthing uphill battle against established duopoly of Androind and iOS is plain stupidity. Even fully open system would have hard time winning. Closed system is a predictable flop.

By wacawaca on 7/26/2013 3:24:49 PM , Rating: 2
Well i for one am disapointed with Microsoft, they are trying to sell a pc tablet not a normal tablet so it is different to the competition, but they are not making this clear enough to people.
I for one can see the future, bookmark this comment... Google will eventually use android as an OS on laptops. It is i am sure not in the realms of imposibility that they will create and enviroment where all the windows based software programs can run and where windows drivers can be used.

Once Google have managed to do this and cleaned up the OS a lot they could be direct competition for MS.

Damn Android is so easy to use and so full of features i can see myself using it exclusively for my laptop.

That is if they realise that people don't want to live in the cloud all the time, and most people would rather save all their content to their internal hard drives and backup on external ones. Seriously Microsoft could have a problem if they allow people to move from windows as they probably will not get them back, especially as Android would run extremely fast on even older laptops that are too old to run even windows 7.

By IntelUser2000 on 7/28/2013 1:56:12 AM , Rating: 2
"You can't integrate touch-optimized UI with a mouse/keyboard optimized one"


Think of this for an OS:

-You have a Windows 7 Desktop and Start Menu, but with icons that can be individually changed in size
-You have what I would call it a "OS-Tab", where you can see multiple categories of icons. Think of how its in Android. And it'll be customizable, by being able to change the names of the Tabs and ability to add more Tabs. Look at this picture!:

-You can 1-finger swipe from left or right to switch between tabs WITHIN an application(eg. web browsers), or 2-finger swipe to switch between FULL applications(say between IE and Control Panel
-Add a freaking "App Store" icon in the Start Menu!
-Ability to go to "Classic" mode

Think about it. ZERO interference between touch and mouse optimized interfaces. Mouse users have a new way to navigate, and touch users can do real multi-tasking.

Here's my idea for what Windows 8 SHOULD HAVE BEEN:

Work From Home
By jimmorris on 7/28/2013 8:32:23 AM , Rating: 2
I freelance over the internet and earn about 80-85$ an hour. I was without a job for 7 months but last month my paycheck with big fat bonus was $15000 just working on my computer from my home for 5-6 hours. Here's what i have been doing----->

Guess I am the minority
By SamMaster on 7/29/2013 7:57:20 AM , Rating: 2
I guess I am the minority in liking windows 8. I don't mind "windows+D" for the desktop or "windows, type" for applications and whatnot. But again, I guess I am the minority, and while I understand people not liking it, I do not understand how people can be so passionate about their hatred. Its a freakin' piece of software for crying out loud!

The fact is that most people do not like change. We enjoy sitting in our spot in the sofa, in OUR chair, we like our gizmos around our desks a specific way, we like our coffee with whatever in it, we like the same interface familiarity since the win95 days.

People complained about XP's interface when it came out, people complained about Vista's interface when it came out (people got used to it by windows 7), and windows 8 brings the biggest change, hence forth more people complain about it.

Again, I understand the dislike of it, and if you want and can skip it, go for it. But why the passion for a soulless amalgam of 1s and 0s created by a soulless corporate entity whose goal is profit?

By overlandpark4me on 8/9/2013 1:31:44 PM , Rating: 2
Get rid of Ballmer too

Windows 8... Microsoft?
By Demonhitman on 7/25/2013 3:10:43 PM , Rating: 1
Windows 8 is great but so is Windows 7. Why upgrade Microsoft?

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