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Print 121 comment(s) - last by tamalero.. on May 21 at 12:48 PM

Windows 8.1 will feature a start button, more mouse support, and boot-to-desktop, moves away from Metro

Late Apple, Inc. (AAPL) CEO Steven P. Jobs famously said, "People don't know what they want until you show it to them."

But for his perennial rival Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) that formula doesn't seem to be playing out well for Windows 8.  The ambitious redesign has helped steer the PC industry into its worst-ever first-quarter sales percentage drop.  Now some believe Microsoft may be returning to the more traditional Windows look-and-feel that some commentators believe was a path towards a slow death.

A big part of the problem is the complete lack of any kind of official tutorial for the average user when booting up the dramatic operating redesign for the first time.  As a result many customers who have bought Windows 8 devices simply don't understand how to use their devices (to be fair, many features in OS X, such as the application launchers are as complex or more so as Windows 8's at-times-bewildering interfaces).

Windows Blue styles
Windows 8.1 will reportedly somewhat prune back and revamp Metro's role.
[Image Source: The Verge]

Following reports that Microsoft is moving to allow users to boot to desktop and return some semblance of the Start button (albeit one that dumps users into Metro), ZDNet's Windows chief blogger Mary Jo Foley reports that Microsoft is working to remedy another major problem of Windows 8 -- poor mouse support -- with the upcoming Windows 8.1 upgrade.  She says the improvements, which will look to make the interfaces as easy to use with a mouse as with touch, may not make the release preview coming at the end of June but "still could make it into the final product."

In terms of Microsoft's dilemma, she points to a blog post that former Windows President Steven Sinofsky posted early this month.  
 

Sinofsky (left) shows off Microsoft Surface [Image Source: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]

Mr. Sinofsky, who masterminded both the well-received traditional upgrade, Windows 7, and the much-villainized redesign, Windows 8, writes:

If you listen to customers (and vector back to the previous path in some way: undo, product modes, multiple products/SKUs, etc.) you will probably cede the market to the new entrants or at least give them more precious time. If technology product history is any guide, pundits will declare you will be roadkill in fairly short order as you lack a strategic response. There’s a good chance your influential customers will rejoice as they can go back and do what they always did. You will then be left without an answer for what comes next for your declining usage patterns.

If you don’t listen to customers (and stick to your guns) you are going to 'alienate' folks and cede the market to someone who listens. If technology product history is any guide, pundits will declare that your new product is not resonating with the core audience. Pundits will also declare that you are stubborn and not listening to customers.

That "d-mned if you do, d-mned if you don't" dilemma appears to be what Microsoft is facing now.  Ms. Foley belives Microsoft is currently moving towards going back to Option A (returning to its previous path), but she warns that option could prove fatal to the company in the long term.

Still, she optimistically adds, "I believe Microsoft can stay its Metro-centric, touch-centric course with Windows Blue, while still making some changes that will make the OS more usable and comfortable fora bigger pool of users. While it would have been great if Windows 8 debuted this way last October, I say better late than never."

Sources: Learn By Shipping [Steven Sinofsky], ZDNet



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I Like...
By ballist1x on 5/13/2013 10:44:46 AM , Rating: 5
Windows 8. Its nice its fast, it does what i need. When i installed PowerShell.

And except for Metro. When you are a desktop user with multi core cpu and 4-8GB of ram, why would you want to be constrained to view only 1 application at once using this interface?

Give me a desktop with many windows and instances of multiple apps being run concurrently on the same screen at the same time.

For a tablet when you have limited screen space/resolution fine, one app per one screen. When you have more why would you want to constrain youself?




RE: I Like...
By Obujuwami on 5/13/13, Rating: 0
RE: I Like...
By kyuuketsuki on 5/13/2013 11:13:43 AM , Rating: 2
Detection to disable the "tablet features"? Why? *One click* or *one keyboard shortcut* and you're in the desktop environment. What's the issue? What if a desktop user wants to use the touch interface?

I support the changes supposedly being made, but I still find all this whining going on way ridiculous. No one is "forced" to use the Metro interface for anything (except when you're doing an app search, I guess). People will seriously bitch about anything.


RE: I Like...
By chripuck on 5/13/2013 1:30:14 PM , Rating: 5
Because it's more than just that.

The Start Button. Yes, I agree, it's technically still there, but it provides nothing more than 50 pixels of more taskbar space by removing it. It's as much brand recognition as anything and was stupid to remove.

Multiple multi-tasking panes. Why do I have a click top left corner to view recent apps AND a taskbar of recent apps that don't show up in the other recent apps list. It's ridiculous. Yes, I know I can disable it (and I did) and I realize it's meant for tablets, but it's stupid.

Metro apps. Why are there two versions of Skype? Why do metro apps HAVE to run full screen when the OS damn well knows I'm on a 1080p monitor on a full fledged PC? This goes back to the multi-tasking bit above, a metro app should show in the desktop taskbar and the touch multi-tasking should mirror the desktop multi-tasking.

These are just off the top of my head as I uninstalled Win 8 after using it for a month. I loved the faster boot times, I loved the true hybrid sleep (with DLNA it ROCKS), I loved the full screen "Start menu" aka Metro aka Modern. I loved the live tiles. I loved the pinned apps rather than a large list of alphabetical programs. None of this mattered in the end because the usability was so... clunky.


RE: I Like...
By Ralph999 on 5/13/2013 4:24:59 PM , Rating: 5
Let me add to your list:
- They've locked down adjustable elements of the UI. i.e.; colors, text size, fonts etc. Stuff one has been doing for 12 years are now impossible. For instance:
-now the task bar text is now always white and the title bar text is now always black.
-And the display font is always fixed -you can no longer pick your own.
-If you want a green window title bar, you can't also have a gray task bar because colors of are now linked. (And people bitch about Apple lock-down!)

Windows 8 has all the earmarks of a hastily contrived POS. If Blue is anything like it, color me gone.

On a personal note, my girlfriend bought a Win8 laptop a couple weeks ago (she has only ever used Windows.)
She was totally enraged. She said the shutdown methodology alone was just plain ridiculous. She took it back.

Her last comment to me was; "After what I went through, I will never, ever buy a Windows laptop again."

Is this the kind of sentiment Microsoft wants?!?

I simply can't believe they did any substantial end user testing before this monstrosity was shoved out the door.


RE: I Like...
By nikon133 on 5/13/13, Rating: -1
RE: I Like...
By nikon133 on 5/14/13, Rating: -1
RE: I Like...
By BRB29 on 5/14/2013 8:07:32 AM , Rating: 2
lmao the shutdown/sleep/restart option location is whacked. Why is it in settings? I couldn't find it the first time I tried to shut down. Had to google lol.


RE: I Like...
By Wolfpup on 5/14/2013 9:25:11 AM , Rating: 2
I wish they'd do away with the requirement to put Metro programs in the "walled garden", and ALSO add the ability for a single program to be accessible in both desktop AND Metro mode. Then things like you mentioned-Skype, etc., could be viewable both ways with a toggle.

Frankly that's what I was looking for Apple to do with the iPad when there was still some chance it might be x86 based running real OS X, rather th an literally a giant iPod.


RE: I Like...
By BaronMatrix on 5/14/2013 5:44:07 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention that Metro apps DON'T show up in the Sound Mixer...


RE: I Like...
By BRB29 on 5/13/2013 1:48:15 PM , Rating: 5
People are whining about the fact they put a UI made for touch devices into machines that uses a mouse and keyboard.

People are pissed off that the clunky Metro replaces an almost perfect hierarchy system that's called a Start Button.

People are pissed off that Metro takes up the whole screen and the Start Button takes up 1/8 or less and both have equal function(except the annoying active tiles but that's preference)

People are pissed off that they've always organized their files and programs the same way since Win98. Now they have to deal with a bunch of icons and search. I don't need to search if I already have know where everything is in my head.

People are pissed off that such a great OS is destroyed by Microsoft's attempt to get people used to Metro so they can sell more phones.

People are pissed off because they have a bunch more icons and shortcuts on their desktop and task bar just to avoid Metro screen.

People are pissed off that this UI seems to be made to do things one at a time rather than multitasking.

All this points to Metro. Yes, there's plenty of ways around it but why should we deal with it? It was working great before. Instead of improving it, they made it worse.


RE: I Like...
By maugrimtr on 5/14/2013 10:08:20 AM , Rating: 2
Brilliant summary.

quote:
People are pissed off because they have a bunch more icons and shortcuts on their desktop and task bar just to avoid Metro screen.


That's me. A quarter of my desktop is covered by application and folder shortcuts. I can a) double click one of them or b) move mouse to corner, enter search term, search, hope it shows what I want. One of these requires three extra steps...


RE: I Like...
By BifurcatedBoat on 5/14/2013 4:36:17 PM , Rating: 1
Windows 8 User: "I don't know what people are complaining about. It runs. You can get to work with it. I have. The lack of AC isn't that bad, and sure it may have poor acceleration but I haven't gotten into an accident with it yet."

Windows 7 User: "Well OK, but I already own a nice late-model car with none of those problems. Why would I want to switch to a rusty hunk of junk with no AC, that burns oil and has cylinder compression problems?"


RE: I Like...
By tamalero on 5/21/2013 12:48:53 PM , Rating: 2
this this this!

I honestly got sick of repeating the same Windows 8 mistakes just to be bashed by bandwagoners saying "you need to relearn".
relearn what? that a lot of windows 8 is extremely inefficient for REAL power users?


RE: I Like...
By neothe0ne on 5/13/2013 2:01:23 PM , Rating: 1
"No one is "forced" to use the Metro interface for anything (except when you're doing an app search, I guess)"

Just because you haven't encountered any such inconvenience doesn't make it true. Try doing anything useful with Bluetooth in Windows 8, you'll be forced to use Metro.


RE: I Like...
By BRB29 on 5/14/2013 11:16:56 AM , Rating: 1
You are forced to use metro when you want to open a new program. No, i will not clutter my desktop/taskbar with program shortcuts.

There are also 2 version of each many programs. One is the real version and the other is the app version. Please tell me why I ever need the app version made for tablets? It is terrible at multitasking. I used the app version of the browser by accident and thought i was going crazy.


RE: I Like...
By cfaalm on 5/14/2013 3:43:43 PM , Rating: 2
What I find annoying is that the metro/modern version is not the same as the desktop version of say IE, FF or Chrome. I have to use the ole desktop version to do online banking. And closing a metro/modern app should be simpler. Other than that, I'm happy with it.


RE: I Like...
By BaronMatrix on 5/14/2013 5:47:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, it is a pain that you have to hover over the left tile and then click close.. WTF...?


RE: I Like...
By Piiman on 5/18/2013 11:25:09 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is you don't know you have to HOVER over it. What the heck was wrong with the "X" that you could click? Now its hidden and for what reason?


RE: I Like...
By Piiman on 5/18/2013 11:22:21 AM , Rating: 2
Thats Bull. It pops up all the time and to avoid it you really have to add some third party apps and make a real effert to keep it confined to its Metro land.
Besides like many have said its a clunky mess and is basically two OS's tied together. Me tried to jam it down our throats when they should have eased us into to has they developed it over time.

I laugh everytime I see their TV ads where the guys says "Look you can run TWO apps at once!" WOW! HE fails to mention the second app can only be 2 inches wide, LOL, or that in the old Windows you could run as many as you had memory for which is a hell of a lot more than TWO!

Frankly I'm surprised Balmer hasn't been canned.


RE: I Like...
By mdg1019 on 5/13/13, Rating: -1
RE: I Like...
By MrBungle123 on 5/13/2013 11:22:43 AM , Rating: 5
I think you're giving too much credit to MS. Windows 8 was an experiment, if the Metro UI was a massive success they would moved toward dropping the desktop all together. That is why so many that rely on the multitasking capabilities of a computer for their livelihoods are uneasy/put off about the direction MS has been moving...

Its not stupidity its knowing how MS works, they move to something new and let the old rot on the vine, only in this case the new is demonstrably inferior for many tasks that the old did quite well. I would elaborate but I'll leave you and your >2 brain cells to figure it out.


RE: I Like...
By NellyFromMA on 5/13/2013 12:10:32 PM , Rating: 2
One UI is consumer oriented the other is productivity oriented.

No need to feel inferior anyone. They do different things better. That's all.

The two modes need a better marriage somehow and are so dynamically different that I'm not sure can happen as long as metro fully takes the place of the start menu.

I think replacing the start menu with metro altogether might just be a conceptual flaw. There are two conflicting interests and purposes there even though at a base-level there is a common function.

Perhaps the start menu could sync with the metro start screen with an easy toggle?

I see why they would choose not to do this at first: there would jus tbe too many people who would ignore it in their reservist ways.

I personally refused to use the "advanced" start menu that XP introduced until Windows 7 left me with no other choice, and I was fine with it after getting over myself. As a result, jump lists were used way more because people couldn't ignorantly shut it off for the sake of being stuck in their outdated ways.

The start screen, however, needed to be a slam dunk in its functionality overlap with the start menu and it just wasn't.

For home use, it truly does not get in my way what-so-ever. I actually like the start screen when I don't care about productivity.

For business workstation use, however... it just doesn't offer anything but takes things away.

I think we'll see this issue scrutinized for awhile but it will be awhile because Windows straight up just insn't


RE: I Like...
By NellyFromMA on 5/13/2013 12:10:32 PM , Rating: 2
One UI is consumer oriented the other is productivity oriented.

No need to feel inferior anyone. They do different things better. That's all.

The two modes need a better marriage somehow and are so dynamically different that I'm not sure can happen as long as metro fully takes the place of the start menu.

I think replacing the start menu with metro altogether might just be a conceptual flaw. There are two conflicting interests and purposes there even though at a base-level there is a common function.

Perhaps the start menu could sync with the metro start screen with an easy toggle?

I see why they would choose not to do this at first: there would jus tbe too many people who would ignore it in their reservist ways.

I personally refused to use the "advanced" start menu that XP introduced until Windows 7 left me with no other choice, and I was fine with it after getting over myself. As a result, jump lists were used way more because people couldn't ignorantly shut it off for the sake of being stuck in their outdated ways.

The start screen, however, needed to be a slam dunk in its functionality overlap with the start menu and it just wasn't.

For home use, it truly does not get in my way what-so-ever. I actually like the start screen when I don't care about productivity.

For business workstation use, however... it just doesn't offer anything but takes things away.

I think we'll see this issue scrutinized for awhile but it will be awhile because Windows straight up just insn't


RE: I Like...
By NellyFromMA on 5/13/2013 12:14:27 PM , Rating: 2
One UI is consumer oriented the other is productivity oriented.

No need to feel inferior anyone. They do different things better. That's all.

The two modes need a better marriage somehow and are so dynamically different that I'm not sure can happen as long as metro fully takes the place of the start menu.

I think replacing the start menu with metro altogether might just be a conceptual flaw. There are two conflicting interests and purposes there even though at a base-level there is a common function.

Perhaps the start menu could sync with the metro start screen with an easy toggle?

I see why they would choose not to do this at first: there would jus tbe too many people who would ignore it in their reservist ways.

I personally refused to use the "advanced" start menu that XP introduced until Windows 7 left me with no other choice, and I was fine with it after getting over myself. As a result, jump lists were used way more because people couldn't ignorantly shut it off for the sake of being stuck in their outdated ways.

The start screen, however, needed to be a slam dunk in its functionality overlap with the start menu and it just wasn't.

For home use, it truly does not get in my way what-so-ever. I actually like the start screen when I don't care about productivity.

For business workstation use, however... it just doesn't offer anything but takes things away.

I think we'll see this issue scrutinized for awhile but it will be awhile because Windows straight up just isn't going anywhere in the next 5-10 years one way or the other.

Consumer workloads are clearly shifting to the 1 app at a time approach because 9/10 consumers don't need or want anything more.

Why people on here think only there experience is the one that matters never really amazes me other than the fact I thought there were readers here that would a little more technical than average consumers, but instead its just a minority of commenters who just THINK they are.


RE: I Like...
By StanO360 on 5/13/2013 12:17:10 PM , Rating: 1
But let's face it Metro is a UI success on the phone (though at least at this juncture not a sales success)

This would have been hailed as the second coming if it was OSX. In fact, everywhere I go, websites, advertising, software on Android, Metro style is everywhere.

The problem is there are fundamentally two classes of Windows users, those that have taken 10 minutes to understand it and those that haven't. MS is trying to reach the latter, but has displaced the former.


RE: I Like...
By BaronMatrix on 5/14/2013 5:54:43 PM , Rating: 2
Ummm, that's BS... I know how to use Metro perfectly and I still hate it... Not Metro, but the fact that Aero helps me organize my 30 open windows... I like the Tiles for Facebook and Email... I DON'T like that a Metro app doesn't appear in the sound Mixer... I REALLY hate the fact that my USB 3.0 controller isn't supported under Win8 HyperV... There are only like three USB 3.0 controllers...

So I can't use my desktop for Win Phone 8 apps with the emulator...

&&#*#(@(#$)(@)*&#@()*&$*()@&$


RE: I Like...
By Piiman on 5/18/2013 11:36:08 AM , Rating: 2
Bull the two classes or people that have work to do on a PC and want a PC that can have more than ONE window open and, well, people that love a silly Tablet OS on their PC. I know which one you are can you guess which one I am?



RE: I Like...
By invidious on 5/13/2013 12:35:09 PM , Rating: 2
Getting the masses to switch takes a better pitch than "hey it isn't as inconvinient as you think!".

Changing OS is a time and effort invenstment. The short term sacrifices need to be outweighed by longterm benifits. Right now the short term sacrifices are large (at least that is the perception) and the long term benifits are slim. Maybe sp1 or sp2 will change that perception.


RE: I Like...
By Piiman on 5/18/2013 11:30:02 AM , Rating: 1
Its really not that simple and you know it.
Why can't we just boot to the desktop? Why do I even have to see Metro if I'm not goin gto use it? Even after you go to the desktop Metro will still be poking its head up all the time.

MS used to give us OPTIONS and lots of them but they decided to take those away with Win 8 and force us to do it their new way.

I think MS throught they had more lemmings like you that would blindly follow them to Metro land and their new walled garden.


RE: I Like...
By bug77 on 5/13/2013 11:54:54 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, that's one of my favourites: I have a machine capable of resizing a window while showing the movie within it running with hardware acceleration and Microsoft needs to release an update so that I can use a new tile size. That's something that will give Apple (with their walled garden approach) food for thought.


RE: I Like...
By Flunk on 5/13/2013 12:32:19 PM , Rating: 2
A new tile size is on the way, it's one of the new 8.1 features. It will be great because it means my desktop app icons won't have a lot of wasted space on them like they do now.


RE: I Like...
By Mint on 5/13/2013 1:48:42 PM , Rating: 2
I just make all the tiles small by adding more rows, but I can see it being useful to keep some of them large.


RE: I Like...
By DiscoWade on 5/13/2013 12:14:05 PM , Rating: 2
I put Windows 8 on my HTPC. For a while I had trouble with the Ceton CableCard driver, but Ceton has fixed that now. It is great for a HTPC with one problem. Many times, but not every time, when I wake the computer from sleep I have to unplug the USB IR receiver or many important buttons don't work.


RE: I Like...
By BaronMatrix on 5/14/2013 5:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
It's a USB 3.0 problem I believe... That means you probably can't use HyperV...

I've seen that several times trying to see if my Renesas USB would EVER not destroy the system...


RE: I Like...
By tayb on 5/13/2013 12:30:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Give me a desktop with many windows and instances of multiple apps being run concurrently on the same screen at the same time.


You've been given this. It's called "Windows 8." If you don't want to be constrained to a single application in a single window... don't run Metro apps. The desktop is a click or a keyboard command away. Would you like to know how many Metro apps I use on a daily basis? Precisely zero.


RE: I Like...
By Argon18 on 5/13/2013 3:49:48 PM , Rating: 2
Powershell, lmao. Microsoft, always the slow kid on the block, finally gets a useful shell.... something UNIX and Linux have had for *decades*.

And in typically Microsoft fashion, instead of implementing a POSIX compliant shell, they've created a bastard proprietary turd, only compatible with itself. Microsoft is a master of vendor-lockin, doing everything it can to lock its customers into the crippled little Microsoft ecosystem.


RE: I Like...
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 5/13/2013 6:57:12 PM , Rating: 2
The biggest complaint I have with Powershell is they tried to copy Perl which is a flaming piece of shit in the first place. They would have been better off trying to integrate Python or maybe get something closer to C#. Powershell uses .NET just like VB/C#/J#/etc... It just feels like the same recycled garbage that was Perl.


RE: I Like...
By wempa on 5/14/2013 2:36:54 PM , Rating: 2
My group at work has to automate a lot of tasks on both Windows and Linux. It amazes us how crippled the Windows shell is. Doing something as simple as running a command and storing the output in a variable is impossible to do directly. For any non-trivial tasks, we always use Python or Perl on the Windows side.


Their problem
By EnzoFX on 5/13/2013 12:40:43 PM , Rating: 5
Their problem wasn't damned if you do, damned if you don't. Such a cop-out. They didn't have to cater to one or the other, they could have catered to BOTH, the same way other companies do. Considering all they had to do was disable the start screen (or provide the option to) for Desktop users, and give them the option to bring the start button, and disable all that gesture crap. Their problem was that they basically try and FORCE everyone, both user bases into one. That's much worse than catering to one, and ignoring the other.




RE: Their problem
By Solandri on 5/13/2013 2:47:44 PM , Rating: 3
i.e. They tried to leverage their huge desktop Windows market share into bolstering their faltering mobile OS market share.


RE: Their problem
By Makaveli on 5/13/2013 3:20:40 PM , Rating: 5
Totally agreed.

Had microsoft just given the option for:

A. Regular Windows 7 style desktop with Boot to desktop

B. Standard Windows 8 with metro

A simple check box when installing and making this accessible from the control panel after install would have solved all this nonsense.

Somebody really should be in hot water for this since this all could have been avoided.

Give your users a choice very simple how did all these high paying executives not see this.


RE: Their problem
By marvdmartian on 5/14/2013 7:53:28 AM , Rating: 2
Heck, I'd even settle for a rollback option, where, after X amount of time, if you truly hated W8, you could install an equivalent version of W7, under the same license.

Personally, I have no interest in W8, and will not bother with it. Hopefully by the time MS comes out with W9, they'll be more in tune with the wants & needs of their customers.


RE: Their problem
By BaronMatrix on 5/14/2013 6:06:20 PM , Rating: 2
MS is CRAZY sometimes.. Windows RT should be the touch OS while Win 8 is the desktop... They did NT and Win2K that way with Alpha and X86...


RE: Their problem
By Piiman on 5/18/2013 12:18:33 PM , Rating: 2
Easy! It was thier idea.


Windows, Not Panes
By Tuor on 5/13/2013 11:44:13 AM , Rating: 2
When I buy a Windows OS, I expect to see *Windows*, not Panes. IMO, The UI is flawed on a fundamental level and I have no intention of upgrading my OS to it or to anything like it. If Windows Blue is just Win 8 with a Start button, I'm still not upgrading to it. If MS is really that uninterested in maintaining its desktop consumer-base, then they can deal with the repercussions of that decision.




RE: Windows, Not Panes
By Flunk on 5/13/2013 12:35:06 PM , Rating: 3
Really? You clearly don't remember Windows 1.0 :D.


RE: Windows, Not Panes
By Tuor on 5/13/2013 2:38:04 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I don't remember using it. I remember using MSDOS and AmigaDOS, but even though I'm sure I used Win1.0 at some point, I don't remember it at all. :P


RE: Windows, Not Panes
By Belard on 5/15/2013 6:26:36 AM , Rating: 2
There are free add-ons that give Win7 many features that people like in Win8. check out teracopy and better explorer.


W8 in the Enterprise
By wallijonn on 5/13/2013 10:49:52 AM , Rating: 4
The fact is that Enterprise does not want to use any W8 app that necessitates an MS account be generated, as it will necessitate a hole in the firewall. When throughput is everything - available bandwidth - there is no need for news to be flashing on the desktop, sports, trending, Bing and travel to be updated every second, etc., much less be on a desktop in the first place. Watching videos on the job is usually frowned upon as is reading one's personal email - as they all rob bandwidth. Ergo W8 is not for the Eneterprise.




RE: W8 in the Enterprise
By Luticus on 5/13/13, Rating: 0
RE: W8 in the Enterprise
By Trisped on 5/13/2013 2:16:07 PM , Rating: 2
I setup my Windows 8 laptop with three separate user accounts, and not one of them is tied to a Microsoft account or a domain account. It can be a little counter intuitive, but it can be done using the built in account creation options.

I also do not like the news feed on the start screen by default, but as I understand it, Domain Admins can set the default contents of the start menu, allowing users to add these apps back in if they want.

I think more control over the start screen tiles would be nice (so I can indicate if it scrolls images, text, doesn't scroll, etc.) but I think Microsoft left this up to app developers, so I would have to pressure the app developer to better support these options or just not have the app in the main section of my start screen.


RE: W8 in the Enterprise
By Dribble on 5/14/2013 4:52:51 AM , Rating: 2
That's the truth of the shift back. While home users have got win 8, and with a bit of work in win 8.1 might be happy enough, the whole philosophy just won't work for big business. I suspect MS have been told by every corporation they asked that they will never switch to win 8.

Those businesses are worth more then the home users, MS can't ignore them and can't stealth upgrade them by only shipping win 8 on new machines.


Lack of Thorough Tutorial
By Scaredy Retard on 5/13/2013 10:45:36 AM , Rating: 3
Windows 95 was released on August 24th, 1995. Windows 8 was released October 25th, 2012. For seventeen years, consumers got used to and subsequently operated with Windows in the way that was laid out in Windows 95, with tweaks and changes here and there, such as the changed start menu in Windows XP. However, you could easily revert back to classic if you wanted to.

People got used to using and working with Windows in a manner that was first set forth when Clinton was president. People get set in their ways. If you suddenly and abruptly overhaul the entire way the OS is presented, a large segment of the population is not going to be happy. I cannot comment on the OS 9 to X transition and how that was handled and received.

I honestly think that, upon first boot, if Microsoft had presented two options: one for a quick run-through of the changes and one for a far more thorough explanation of the changes, the backlash would not have been nearly as pronounced and Microsoft would not find itself where it is now.

The ability to turn the start button back on would not have hurt, either.




RE: Lack of Thorough Tutorial
By retrospooty on 5/13/2013 10:51:53 AM , Rating: 1
"The ability to turn the start button back on would not have hurt, either"

This is what I keep saying... It was there on the dev preview released a year ago, and by the official product release, they removed it on purpose. Not for any technical reason, just did it to force people down a path. Great for touchscreens, not great for desktops period. If you are going to support both platforms, support both methods. This way no-one is forced to use one that doesn't work well for their personal needs.


RE: Lack of Thorough Tutorial
By Scrogneugneu on 5/13/2013 8:10:41 PM , Rating: 2
My favorite part ?

How Steven Sinofsky and all kept repeating, over and over again, that catchphrase in the Windows 8 beta blog : "No compromise".


RE: Lack of Thorough Tutorial
By Reclaimer77 on 5/13/2013 10:04:35 PM , Rating: 1
This is what a LOT of us have been saying lol. I expect that kind of thing from Apple, but we're not really used to Microsoft telling us how to use Windows as much as they've done with Windows 8.


BS
By Motoman on 5/13/2013 11:44:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
you will probably cede the market to the new entrants or at least give them more precious time.


Windows will never "cede" it's market to anyone. There's vastly too much invested in that platform at all levels, with infinitely too much inertia behind it, to ever lose significant marketshare.

...unless you manage to do something so remakably horrible with it as to make it be unusable. Which is exactly what they did with Windows 8.

The traditional Start menu & desktop is the optimal form. To borrow a term from another article a while ago...it's "done." As in...can't be improved upon. Any deviation from that design must necessarily be a degradation.

So put it back in and stop f%cking with it. The other new features of Win8 are useful. Keep doing stuff like that. Make it boot faster, make it more stable, make it perform better, make it more secure, etc.

But knock it off with the "invention" of new BS solely for the purpose of doing something "new." That doesn't impress people...we can see that the emperor is naked. Square wheels on a new car aren't an "innovation" and they sure as hell aren't an "over-innovation" - they're a stupid f%cking idea, and that's all that can be said about it.




RE: BS
By JediJeb on 5/14/2013 9:51:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Windows will never "cede" it's market to anyone. There's vastly too much invested in that platform at all levels, with infinitely too much inertia behind it, to ever lose significant marketshare.


I imagine there was a time when users of Unix and Fortran thought the same thing :)


RE: BS
By Belard on 5/15/2013 6:42:08 AM , Rating: 1
MS Windows already LOST market share. The way PEOPLE use their phones and tablets and NO longer use a desktop or notebook COUNTS as market share.

MSWindows is down to 24%. Android is in higher use.

I access the internet half the time on a NON-Windows device.
My wife spends most of her internet time on her phone. She uses her notebook for ONLY work and its running LinuxMint.

Windows8 accelerated the WindowsOS problem.

Other than MS-Office and handful of other programs... there isn't any real need for a Microsoft OS powered computer. As more people figure this out, the faster Windows becomes a zombie OS.

In reality, WinPC sales is about 60% of what Win7 did... and its getting worse.


RE: BS
By Motoman on 5/15/2013 10:55:54 AM , Rating: 2
Windows has lost no marketshare in the traditional PC market.

They're misfiring wildly in the tablet and phone markets, but those are net-new market segments that they're simply failing at. They're not losing marketshare there - they never had any.


Jack of all trades UI, master of none
By WinstonSmith on 5/13/2013 10:54:06 AM , Rating: 1
"If you listen to customers (and vector back to the previous path in some way: undo, product modes, multiple products/SKUs, etc.) you will probably cede the market to the new entrants or at least give them more precious time."

Cede the market to new entrants because you listen to your customers!? WHAT "new entrants" seriously threaten you on the desktop? None. So, you must be talking about iOS and Android as the "new" entrants, thereby admitting that Win8 is really intended to fight in the mobile segment. Glad they fired your ignorant a**, Sinofsky.

You waited far to long to enter the mobile market and then tried to make up for it by putting a touchscreen, smartphone/tablet UI on laptops and desktops, the vast majority of them without touchscreens, with the intent of leveraging your dominance on the desktop into users accustomed to the Win8 smartphone/tablet UI, users who might then purchase a Win8 mobile device over an iOS or Android device because they were already familiar with the Win8 UI.

Excerpts from Extremetech:

Windows 8, the fat fruit of more than three years of last-gasp labor to produce an operating system that can ensure Microsoft’s continued relevancy in a touch-oriented world. With PC sales stalled, and smartphones and tablets on target to outsell PCs in the next few years, Windows 8 must succeed.

Microsoft chose the easy way out: It developed a fantastic touch-first interface — the Metro Start screen, WinRT — and slapped it on top of an updated version of Windows 7. You can see the Microsoft boardroom now: “We can have the best of both worlds!” says Steven Sinofsky. “A desktop UI to keep our current customers and stockholders happy, and a tablet UI that will crush Apple and Google.”

As consumers who actually have to interact with this crazy, cross-paradigm hodgepodge of an interface, the utter ludicrousness of this decision is plain to see. For developers and specialists, though, the problem is far worse.

It might have sounded like a good idea in the boardroom, but by shipping an operating system with an identity crisis Microsoft has put itself in an almost untenable position. Barring a miraculous intervention by third-party app developers, Windows 8 looks like it will be a jack of all trades, but master of none. On mobile, iOS and Android’s ecosystems will prevail; on desktop, Windows 7 will be hard to supplant.

In one fell swoop, Microsoft was praying that it could stitch up the mobile and desktop platforms into one neat little package; instead, I fear that Microsoft may have blown it all.




By Trisped on 5/13/2013 2:22:35 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft was in the mobile market for years Apple and Google. As I remember they were the only real competitor to Palm back when PDAs were still new.

Microsoft's problem is not innovation, it is forcing immature innovation on everyone, rather then letting users opt in/out. Windows RT was a good idea, but the constraints applied to it should not have been applied to the x86/x64 versions of the software until all the users were comfortable with it.


By Belard on 5/15/2013 6:34:24 AM , Rating: 2
Yep... I agree. It makes sense, even a year ago.

For almost two years, I ran a Metro WP7 UI on my Android phone... its still there actually, but its a retired phone. When I got a new Android Phone 4.1x, I felt Metro was limiting... and after trying out Windows8, I didn't want to touch another MS product.

I was LOOKING to buy a WP8 phone until I USED Windows8 on the desktop. For months, I thought Win8 Metro would kick ass.. after all, we all typically use a few programs.

Then last April/May, I ran the preview - which had no problems... after 10 minutes, I was not impressed.

I kept trying to use it... YES, I can USE Metro... I don't want to. Its a crappy way of getting things done. I wiped the computer and stuck on LinuxMint, which isn't Windows, but the UI is that of a productive computer... And get this, it boots up just as fast as Windows8.


Real reasons for why PC sales declined
By XZerg on 5/13/2013 12:29:51 PM , Rating: 3
1) Most users have had the performance needed for their usual work for almost a decade. Slap a SSD and that old system gets another massive boost to their decade old system. Heck Tom did an article recently that showed Core 2 Duo CPUs doing just fine at most tasks against the latest and greatest. So why buy a new computer? I have a AMD X2 4600+ running my HTPC and also have a standby computer on Sempron 3100+ 32bit version.

2) Tables/smart phones - a vast majority of the users are consumers of media - emails/multimedia/internet. They bought computers to do this in the past but now they have options, options that do not crash or are harder to understand or configure and are in a small light portable package. Performance needs have plateaued at least 5 years ago. So why get a PC? Would you buy your parents a PC or a tablet who want to just consume media? I didn't.

3) Windows 8 was something that many OEMs were hoping would help generate more sales but it did not and was not entirely Windows 8's fault considering the above two points. The only reason I would blame Windows 8 for the sales decline is that it did not offer any compelling reasons to buy/suggest it over Windows 7. Better touch input support is the only differentiator between it and Windows 7 but there aren't many applications used by most users that benefit from it. It is more like DVD vs Blu-ray debacle as most people didn't see the need/benefit for Blu-ray and have not jumped on to its bandwagon.

imho the only time the PC sales will jump is when there are some compelling differentiators offered by the industry and based on the history either that Touch interface or the current form of it is not compelling enough. Tablets had plenty of compelling reasons and you can see the results, PC world needs to offer more.




By JediJeb on 5/14/2013 9:47:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
? I have a AMD X2 4600+ running my HTPC and also have a standby computer on Sempron 3100+ 32bit version.


I still run my Athlon 2400M with WinXp and it does all I need to do. Have W7 on my laptop and honestly can see no advantage in it over old faithful. The quad core on the laptop does run Registax faster but that is the only thing I use that shows a difference.


By noone55555 on 5/14/2013 3:54:56 PM , Rating: 3
I've found that Stardock's Start8 and ModernMix utilities make Win8 completely usable. These two simple $5 utilities achieve exactly the tweaks Microsoft should pursue for Win8.1, and you can get them today!

Specifically, they
- bring back a Win7-style start menu
- allow boot to desktop
- allow "Modern" apps to run windowed/non-fullscreen and easily multitask alongside any other app

If it were not for these utilities, I too would recommend avoiding Win8.

My biggest Windows beef these days is actually WinRT... I think Microsoft should allow it to become simply "Win8 for ARM" and avoid all the restrictive "only Modern 3rd party apps allowed" BS! It is utterly confusing to the average user to have WinRT and Win8 be so similar but utterly unequal. RT's inability to support ports of popular existing 3rd party desktop apps is going to kill it in the long run. I think we want and need RT to survive and be a serious desktop/laptop contender, as ARM SOC usage encourages continual evolution of traditional computer form factors, as well as keeping pressure on Intel/AMD to compete aggressively.




By Belard on 5/15/2013 6:46:16 AM , Rating: 2
Many of us have been saying that for a year.

Hell, hit the Start button and a METRO interface slides UP would have made a good choice IMHO. Then the mouse wheel would make more sense. Or Metro tiles are on the left side... in which their LIVE function would be... FUNCTIONAL. And quick and instant access to your Metro APPS. And yes, Metro apps should run in a window like other programs.

Then Win8 would have been GOOD.... also, get rid of the ugly flat UI on the desktop. Metro and most apps are plain ugly... sucking up large amount of screen space with little to NO functionality.

I say this, add free tools to make Win7 work kind of like Win8... its easier and cheaper.


I agree
By Trisped on 5/13/2013 2:27:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"I believe Microsoft can stay its Metro-centric, touch-centric course with Windows Blue, while still making some changes that will make the OS more usable and comfortable for a bigger pool of users. While it would have been great if Windows 8 debuted this way last October, I say better late than never."
I agree completely. I am glad that Foley is in charge now, as Sinofsky seemed to be missing some basic understanding about how users use Windows and low friction ways of releasing changes to an OS.




RE: I agree
By 91TTZ on 5/13/2013 6:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
Foley is just a blogger, not a MS employee.


"Told you so..."
By vortmax2 on 5/13/2013 10:53:43 AM , Rating: 3
I bet there's some engineer in Microsoft that's saying: "I told you so" in regards to removing the start button and boot-to-desktop option. Glad to see they're at least providing the options in 8.1.




not much you can do
By ssobol on 5/13/2013 12:12:04 PM , Rating: 1
My quad core PC runs as fast as I need it to. Until the MB or CPU fails (or some program that I HAVE to have comes out) I have no need to improve it's performance. I expect it to last at least another 5 years.

Win XP works fine for me. Plus, I have programs and hardware that won't work with Win 7, so why should I upgrade the OS just to have to buy new versions/different software to accomplish the things I can do now?

I have Win 7 that came on a laptop I bought. There is no apparent advantage to Win 7 over Win XP that I can see from my point of view. For instance, Libraries were touted as one of the improvements of Win 7. But in the way I use my computer, I have found them to be of no particular use.

I find that Win 7 has the about the same number of "quirks" (explorer dying, features working one day and not the next, etc.) as other versions of Windows have.

The OS for a computer is like gasoline for your car. You need to have it to make it work, but you don't have any control of how its made. You put it in and hope it works reasonably well. If you get a bad load of gas, you just hope the next batch will be better, but other than that, there's not much you can do.




RE: not much you can do
By Belard on 5/15/2013 6:49:13 AM , Rating: 2
Win7 is easily better for my hardware... which had XP on them originally. Since going to 7, I only put my PCs to sleep - rather than shutdown.

The video tearing effect isn't in Win7.


By jnemesh on 5/13/2013 12:14:59 PM , Rating: 3
Seriously, EVERY article about Windows 8 generates HUNDREDS if not thousands of posts either deriding it or saying "it's not so bad". THAT, more than anything else, should show the fanboys out there that Windows 8 IS a failure! VISTA didn't even get so much hate, people!

Yes, backtracking poses risks, but if they IGNORE the problem, and keep pushing "Metro" and it's closed ecosystem, MS will go down in flames! Inertia and existing market share will only save you for so long before angry users (like NASA!) decide to bail and go to open source software!




Windows8 is great ...
By Zoelra on 5/14/2013 10:21:42 AM , Rating: 3
as long as you install Start8 .




About time...
By topkill on 5/13/2013 10:43:39 AM , Rating: 2
They can make excuses all they want, but it was a stupid move to force the Start Button off the desktop and not let users have the choice.
It was familiar and lots of users need it to get started. If the other features were better, then the Start button would naturally atrophy, no muss, no fuss. But you can't force that.




Duo - Do Over
By spork53 on 5/13/2013 10:54:14 AM , Rating: 2

If they have the time to force [two] new interfaces into one.

Why couldn't they force a classic and a modern interface in one? I mean one was already written. All then needed was a toggle or a registry key. This isn't Rocket science people.

Why did they blatantly [strip] the OS just before release.

It smells of a hostile "Childish" act.

I'm not so charitable to feel sorry for Microsoft when they are the cause of their own sales problems. All they did for me was waste my time.

An OS should recede into the background and support my application, not jump and twirl and scream its presence right in front of me.. and act like a game.

I have no time for games.

Window 8 is [just wrong headed]




Keep trying!
By karimtemple on 5/13/2013 10:59:44 AM , Rating: 2
I honestly believe they should just keep iterating until they finally get it right.

"Windows 8? No? Windows 9! Heyyy! Oh? No? Windows 10? Windows 11? HEY, they like it! Windows 11, everyone!"




Wait a second . . .
By StanO360 on 5/13/2013 12:18:56 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't buy it for my laptop and two self built systems, but 8 is not a "flop". Is it the unmitigated success of 7? No. But it's not a flop, the same sales analysis is used to derive 8 sales as 7's were.




Bloat/Performance!
By danjw1 on 5/13/2013 1:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
Just improving the interface isn't going to solve the underlying problem. Windows is bloated and not improving on performance. They either need to go to a clean sheet redesign or at least start incremental improvements in this area. One reason they can't sell tablets is that Windows 8 takes up so much flash memory, that the user has no choice but going for more memory. That inflates cost.

Slashdot had a story up the other day about why Microsoft is falling so far behind Linux on performance. Turns out it is a culture issue. No one wants changes in the code they manage because that is too expensive to test and maintain. So they continue to get worse and worse on both bloat and performance. That isn't anyway to make a product that people want to buy.




By Moto7451 on 5/13/2013 2:56:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
...(to be fair, many features in OS X, such as the application launchers are as complex or more so as Windows 8's at-times-bewildering interfaces)


The problem with this comparison is that the complex features/behaviors in OS X are in most cases optional and were introduced over time. If you want to use OS X like you used OS 9, by double clicking on every folder to find things and littering the desktop with program aliases, you can knock yourself out. At the time, people were more annoyed that OS X felt really slow than the fact it worked differently, since in most cases you could use the computer the same way (less the 'Special' menu... ah the good ol' days lol).

Also most of the features we take for granted took many iterations of the OS to show up. 10.2->10.6 is really where most of the fancy launchers, search tools, window organizers, & multi desktop features were introduced. Since then it's really been more about adding iOS style features (which again, you can feel free to ignore).

Meanwhile, with Windows 8 they took away everything familiar. The first time I sat in front of the Win 8 login screen I felt like it was a puzzle (I've never had to "move" a modeless window out of the way with my mouse before being able to log into a computer). All I have to say is "Start Menu"... that topic has been beaten to death. Even the people who hated XP at the time for how it looked, could switch from the integrated start menu to the "old" start menu. That's really the crux of the issues. If you let people determine their own learning curve, most people will gradually be coaxed into using cool new features and will move away from the old clunky behavior the design team hated. I know of no one who is clamoring for the Windows 9x start menu these days because eventually even the yell-y kicky scream-y hold outs switched with the integrated one at some point.




Troll article
By hemmy on 5/13/2013 3:52:06 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously, wtf is this? Microsoft decides to make improvements to the UI based on customer feedback and all of a sudden this means they are admitting W8 is "a flop" and running back to the graces of Windows 7...

The start menu is not coming back, they are simply refining the existing Windows 8 interfaces. Not sure how Mick came to such an absurd conclusion.




Anyone with half a brain...
By masamasa on 5/14/2013 2:54:28 AM , Rating: 2
...saw this coming, except Microsoft. Their dev team is so far out in left field that they can no longer relate to the customer and the Windows 8 UI is proof enough of that. Time to end the monopoly where we constantly have sub-par product rammed down our throats. A tablet interface for a desktop product simply does not work and at the bare minimum, they should have given the consumer a choice based on the application. That much was obvious, but nothing surprises me from Microsoft anymore. It's one bad decision after another.




Is MS ready for Metro?
By w8gaming on 5/14/2013 4:50:13 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft has done a very poor job with Windows 8. The metro interface seriously lack useful features to replace what has been available all long in desktop. Windows 8 does not even have a Metro version of file explorer. Or a built-in Wordpad, or Notepad. Most tools from task manager to disk defragmenter, runs in desktop mode. Heavy weight suite from Microsoft, such as Office, MS Studio, SQL Server Manager etc, runs in desktop mode too. If MS really believe their Metro interface is the future, please spend more time changing them all to Metro or no 3rd party developers will believe MS is really serious about the new interface.




By max_payne on 5/14/2013 9:59:51 AM , Rating: 2
One thing we can all agreed on, it that windows 8 has invigorate the blogging, forum and comments communities. That I'll credit it for, hands down. No one was talking about "boring" windows 7 a year ago.




By BifurcatedBoat on 5/14/2013 4:26:56 PM , Rating: 2
There can be a future involving integrated codebases and features between the two operating systems.

Integrate some sensible parts of Metro - like live tiles - directly into the desktop and start menu. Let Metro apps run in a window on the desktop.

It doesn't really even matter if all works similarly under the hood. Just make separate interfaces that support the way people use each type of device - PC/notebook, tablet/phone, and 10 ft. Three completely different ways to interact, so you have three different interfaces designed around how you use it. It's not that complicated.




Win 8 is not that bad...
By BaronMatrix on 5/14/2013 5:42:38 PM , Rating: 2
It's just cursed by MS' idea that you don't have to release TWO OS'...

They did it with Win 98 and got sued (can you say INTRANET explorer), now they did it with Win8 and screwed the devs...

I tried Win 8 on my 3 monitors and it was a pain... The flat Metro windows on the desktop would hide each other, UNLIKE AERO which puts a shadow on the edge...

Then they released with no HyperV support for one of the ONLY USB controllers (Renesas) which is on EVERY AMD mobo...
And by no support I mean it DESTROYS THE OS... It locks you into a loop that may go on for hours until it finally says, OK, you can go into Safe Mode...

I have Win 8 on a laptop and it's great because I usually don't use more then one window at a time, but my desktop setup is 5760 X 1200 so it BEGS to have too many windows open... Especially with 32GB RAM...

If they bring back Aero, I'll go back to Win8, but I do need them to fix USB 3.0 HyperV support...

WTF...?




mmm mmm
By Fidget on 5/15/2013 10:25:11 AM , Rating: 2
Smell that humble pie cooling on the Windowsill...I hope MS is hungry!




By T2k on 5/17/2013 10:26:03 AM , Rating: 2
...and I'm being very-very-very reserved here.




Where's the Beef?
By random2 on 5/19/2013 3:13:57 PM , Rating: 2
All of this really could have been a non-issue had MS hah the foresight to accommodate ALL of their users by making the start button and boot to desktop a simple little option easily made available to new users of Windows 8. Not making this available is shortsighted, and for Microsoft to foist onto their customers Microsofts vision of what they will like is presumptuous. Nothing disappoints customers more than having their intelligence insulted.

I installed Windows 8 on my laptop, and works perfectly well once used to the ribbon and a few other minor things. But then again, I installed a little piece of software called Classic Start (free download) and it gives me all the functionality of booting to desktop, is quite customizable and includes a start button. Great stuff :)




These Articles are Becoming Ridiculous
By Arsynic on 5/13/13, Rating: -1
RE: These Articles are Becoming Ridiculous
By WinstonSmith on 5/13/2013 10:42:37 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, because you know as much as what the OEMs know, some of whom have been very vocal about why DESKTOP PC sales have declined so greatly.


RE: These Articles are Becoming Ridiculous
By amanojaku on 5/13/2013 11:07:18 AM , Rating: 3
Maybe those OEMs are just looking for an excuse, rather than point the fingers at themselves? Windows 7 can run on anything Windows 8 runs on, so the option to install Windows 7 has been available for the majority of computers.

The fact is, people don't need to replace their computers as often as they used to, thanks to increased reliability and alternative options. Like tablets and smartphones. Who needs a more powerful desktop or heavy laptop when all you do is Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest?

I just ordered my new desktop last week, because my EIGHT YEAR OLD computer finally broke. All it did was Firefox & Notepad++ (web development), MS Office (documentation), VLC, Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube (entertainment). If it weren't for the custom motherboard and case, I wouldn't have had to replace the RAM and CPU. Most of us have hit a performance plateau.


By Luticus on 5/13/2013 11:32:11 AM , Rating: 2
Ditto, the box I built last year will last me 5 to 7 years easy. I might replace the video cards next year depending on the gaming industry but aside from that my twin cpus and 32GB ram will last a long time.

On another note only someone who is very simple minded with think an ipad is an alternative to a PC. Apart from the obvious flaws in that argument there's the fact that the ipad is simplistic. It's a "what you see is what you get" system in that it has no capacity to grow with the user. The way you use the machine on day one is pretty much how you'll be using it later on too. The interface is static and unchanging, things can't be moved and you can't get rid of the grid of icons (barring an upgrade to the new ios they are working which is rumored to change the interface significantly). The point is, I bought a 200 dollar android tablet for my 3 year old son (at the time), and I configured the interface for him so it would be easy to use. Now that he has aged a year and gotten more experience he's able to revamp the interface into something more conducive to his understanding and the functionality he's capable of using. The device will grow with him, which is something forward thinking people consider when they make purchasing decisions.


By Reclaimer77 on 5/13/2013 1:24:04 PM , Rating: 2
I believe with each new Windows OS release, there's been a corresponding surge in new PC sales. This trend goes back many decades.

This is the first time that hasn't happened. So yeah, it's pretty hard to say Windows 8 had nothing to do with it.


By CaedenV on 5/13/2013 1:45:28 PM , Rating: 2
Is it so hard to believe?
I just look at my house. 2 years ago I had my desktop, a small file server, my wife's desktop, an HTPC, 2 netbooks, and a host of single-purpose portable devices.
It was support hell, and so we paired down.

Now my computer is my game/production rig, and it also doubles as the file share for the network. My wife's PC now doubles as the HTPC now that we have a 2nd output on it. And our new phones have replaced our needs for laptops and other portable devices. We went from 6 PCs and a ton of other stuff in the house down to just 2PCs and 2 phones. Much less equipment to support, and everything just works just as well (or better).

And we are not alone in that. You use to need PCs for everything that attached to a network... but now there are capable laptops, tablets, gum-stick sized android devices, and even some phones that have more than enough processing power to replace a home or office PC. And a lot of these devices are $100 or less, how is a PC supposed to compete with that?
On top of that it is hard to justify needing any more processing power than can be provided by a Core2Duo for home and office workloads, and relatively simply upgrades in the GPU or HDD/SSD departments typically bring the performance that is wanted.

They think it is bad now; what happens when the next gen xbox comes out running win8 on it? A fully capable 'gaming PC' that can (if MS chooses to release it) run office or any other x86 software (so long as it is provided via the MS store and not a 3rd party download or media distribution). When the option is a $350 desktop PC vs a $500 or less console that can work as a PC which one will win the value added contest? Which one will provide better customer support? which one will have the 'cool' factor for the masses?
And what happens with next gen phones that have docking capabilities? Ubuntu has already started to show their cards. Windows Phone Blue will supposedly add multi-screen support back in to enable future phones to have HDMI to hook up to a monitor. Many Android devices already support this (though the software titles to replace a desktop are not there yet).

PC sales will continue to decline. I am not saying that win8 helped PC sales (because it didn't), but to say that win8 is the reason for the lack of sales is short sighted. Dell, HP, Acer, Lenovo, and (to a lesser extent) ASUS have all been hocking terrible products with 0 support for YEARS. Alternatives are now on the market, so people are voting with their feet and wallets. Make decent but cheap entry level products. Have some standards. Support your customers. If you can manage to do all of that then you could easily sweep all of what is left of the desktop PC market, but the fact is that the bulk market is going to go away in time, and the ones who survive are going to be the boutiques, or those who make smaller but compelling products.


By nikon133 on 5/14/2013 9:53:58 PM , Rating: 2
Well, Lenovo and Asus did better last quarter than the same quarter last year. I think Samsung also mentioned growth in PC sales, though I am not 100% sure.

But for those two, W8 obviously didn't hurt. I wouldn't go that far to say it helped either, it is just that they did a better effort than the others.


By Chaser on 5/13/2013 10:48:42 AM , Rating: 4
There are several alternatives: Ultrabooks, Chrome book, Nexus tablets but I don't think corporations and home users are quite ready to ditch their PC for a IOS anything.

Unquestionably Windows 8 did not help matters for new PC sales.


RE: These Articles are Becoming Ridiculous
By BRB29 on 5/13/2013 10:56:22 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
The decline of PC sales cannot be entirely pinned on Windows 8


There, I fixed it for you. There's no way you can say Win8 did not affect PC sales when there are obviously millions of users making a big deal about it. A massive amount of people intentionally did not upgrade. Some OEM even give you the option of having Win7 preinstalled instead of Win8. Most businesses are holding back on OS upgrade because of win8.


RE: These Articles are Becoming Ridiculous
By Motoman on 5/13/2013 11:48:05 AM , Rating: 5
I have no problem at all believing that virtually all of the blame is Win8's.

I have met *no one* who doesn't hate Win8. From basic grandma-at-home users to software developers and engineers. No one.

The ONLY place I see anyone come out with some kind of blabber in support of Win8 is on the internet. We have a ridiculously vocal minority of fanbois who can't see that "innovating" a square wheel is just a stupid idea. Granted the hundreds of people I come into contact with in this industry on a regular basis, and granted that 100% of them just roll their eyes the minute Win8 is even mentioned, I can't even fathom what a tiny % of the overall market these fanbois are.


RE: These Articles are Becoming Ridiculous
By DiscoWade on 5/13/2013 12:10:46 PM , Rating: 1
Your anecdotal evidence is proof of what? I will offer you my anecdotal evidence. I have met exactly 1 person who likes Windows 8. I have even been paid to remove Windows 8 despite me not telling the customer I could put Windows 7 on it. She was the exception because most people who call me about Windows 8 are satisfied with it only after I put Classic Shell on. And after I removed Windows 8 for her, she called her friends who I have never met to say that I can remove Windows 8 for them. I used to know 2 people who liked Windows 8. For this other person I showed how to use Windows 8 and she liked it for a few months. A few months later she called me to complain about it. The more she used it, the more she hated "Metro".

What does this prove? Only that there are strong feelings one way or the other.

What makes me really really angry is when people assume that the ones who hate it are the vocal minority or stupid. Tell me this, since apparently I am a "fanboi" who is too stuck on a square wheel: If I am in a vocal minority then why are programs like Classic Shell and Start8 so popular?

I'm afraid you are mistaken. Metro wasn't making a square wheel obsolete. Your statement implies the start menu was flawed. It was not. A better metaphor is Metro is trying to put a screw in with a hammer. Different tools have different purposes. A tablet is not a laptop/desktop. Metro tried to combined tools but forgot the purpose of each tool.

If you like Metro, fine. We each are entitled to our opinion. Please stop assuming I'm stupid or I do not use Windows 8 or I am a "fanboi" because I do not like Metro.


By Mr Perfect on 5/13/2013 1:01:51 PM , Rating: 3
Motoman was calling people who like 8 fanbois, not people who hate it.


By Motoman on 5/13/2013 1:19:04 PM , Rating: 2
...how in the f%ck did you read my post and get the impression that I *like* Win8?

Hi: I'm Motoman. And There is no one on DT that hates Win8 more than me.


By BRB29 on 5/13/2013 1:29:16 PM , Rating: 1
Can't say ALL to blame was win8 simply because there are a good amount of people that found a tablet is better for them when shopping for a laptop.
There are plenty of people who just want to check emails, facebook, online shopping, basic office suite, web surfing...regular light home user stuff. For example, my dad is old and he likes the simplicity of the ipad. He isn't missing anything not having a laptop. I see plenty of people at George Mason University rocking only a tablet + keyboard because it is all they need.


RE: These Articles are Becoming Ridiculous
By bug77 on 5/13/2013 11:06:29 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
iPads are more user-friendly and less costly than purchasing a PC or laptop for low-end computing needs.


My whole PC is probably cheaper than an ipad. And that includes a 3.3GHz quad core and 8GB RAM. A low end PC will be much cheaper than that.


RE: These Articles are Becoming Ridiculous
By amanojaku on 5/13/2013 11:13:29 AM , Rating: 2
True, but there's one thing an iPad (and tablets and smartphones in general) can do that your desktop can't: it can go mobile with ease. This is why desktops and notebooks are experiencing slower sales. This is true for Macbooks, as well.


RE: These Articles are Becoming Ridiculous
By HoosierEngineer5 on 5/13/2013 11:37:41 AM , Rating: 3
... that an iPAD is a toy, and a PC is a tool. If Microsoft would remember that, and develop some software that would make the PC more usable, sales might pick up.


RE: These Articles are Becoming Ridiculous
By MaulBall789 on 5/13/2013 11:55:43 AM , Rating: 2
If you really believe you can't use an iPad as a tool, then you haven't used one at all. You can create documents, spreadsheets, photo albums, edit video... do nearly anything else that any other tablet can do. It's all about the apps you need in the same way your PC is only useful if it has the right applications.


RE: These Articles are Becoming Ridiculous
By w8gaming on 5/14/2013 5:42:20 AM , Rating: 2
A more appropriate description is that iPad is an inferior toy, as well as an inferior tool. For being an inferior toy, it cannot play Starcraft 2, or League of Legends etc. For being an inferior tool, it cannot be used to write new software.


RE: These Articles are Becoming Ridiculous
By MaulBall789 on 5/14/2013 8:27:36 AM , Rating: 2
Ten years ago, what did you use to write new software? What did you use to play Starcraft 1? You're telling me an app can't be developed to have the iPad do either of those things? My 8 year old XP box didn't come with the software to compile C or any other language. It didn't come with Starcraft preinstalled either. I had to buy or otherwise acquire an install of those. But if Blizzard wanted to make an iPad version of Starcraft 2 I'm pretty sure they could and it would play just like the PC version does. I'm also sure there are plenty of programming language compiler apps out there for iPad as well. I'm not saying it's the ideal piece of hardware for developing, but it obviously wasn't meant to be. No tablet design is. Doesn't mean you can't. Just need to install the right software to do so. Same as your PC box.


RE: These Articles are Becoming Ridiculous
By HoosierEngineer5 on 5/14/2013 8:58:36 AM , Rating: 2
As far as I can tell, the iPAD does not come with Ethernet, a keyboard, GPS, FM radio receiver television receiver, expandable memory, a mouse, USB, any removable medium, game port, etc. It does not seem to fit into existing infrastructure very well. With enough effort, you might be able to add all this, but it would be freakisly complex, and possibly unreliable. It almost seems to be an internet-only entertainment consumption device. I can imagine businesses could use it for e'mail, but it seems a bit cumbersome to be really portable.

It plays youtube very well.


RE: These Articles are Becoming Ridiculous
By MaulBall789 on 5/14/2013 4:56:04 PM , Rating: 2
It sounds like you have never used an iPad before. So I'll fill you in.

*No Ethernet-- Does wifi not count? Do other tabs or smartphones have a hardwire RJ-45 input?

*No Keyboard-- Love my little Logitech bluetooth keyboard, works great on both my PC and iPad, but made to hinge directly to the iPad using its built in magnets and blend perfectly.

*No GPS-- neither do most laptops or other tabs, but most smartphones do.

*No FM radio-- I<3Radio app, anyone?

*No TV receiver-- neither does a laptop without a bunch of cablecard extension adapters. No other tabs or smartphones have this function either (that I know of) without a specific app and additional external hardware.

*No Expandable memory-- you got me there

*No Mouse-- Touchscreen? Bluetooth mouse if you really need it.

*No USB-- Via adapter, but yes a pain. Hasn't affected me so far because...

*No Removable medium-- no but you can sync and export docs or files fairly easily over the network to the cloud or your home network. If you have no internet connection you can save them on the iPad itself. Shocking, I know.

*No Game port-- Who the hell needs a game port anymore? Does any other tablet or smartphone have one?

*Doesn't fit into existing infrastructure-- Maybe for you but it fits into my networks with ease.

*Too cumbersome to be portable-- More so than a laptop? Now you are just reaching. If I have a couple of books I would like to read on a plane or a train, an iPad (or any other tablet for that matter) is the way to go. Plus I can get other things done if I wish, whether I have internet or not.

You're trying really hard to discredit something that adds value and convenience to a lot of people's lives. If you like things to remain difficult to help you feel superior to your immediate environment then more power to you. Don't expect anyone else to follow your lead though.


By Belard on 5/15/2013 7:02:23 AM , Rating: 2
Half of m posts on this website and others is with my iPad... even if my Win7 desktop with a 24" display is in the next room or a few feet away.


By Griffinhart on 5/13/2013 11:41:44 AM , Rating: 2
While I agree that they can't be pinned to Windows 8 , It's less because of the iPad and more because of PC's having increased life spans.
We are no longer at needing to replace our computers every 2 or 3 years or be unable to run current software. A 7 year old Core 2 Duo system is very capable of handling Basic computer functions such as browsing the web, Checking email and other low end computing needs.


RE: These Articles are Becoming Ridiculous
By Pessimism on 5/13/2013 11:53:34 AM , Rating: 1
FALSE. Ipads are NOT cheaper than entry level laptops. The cheapest Ipad, the Ipad mini, starts at 329 in Canada where entry level laptops are available at $279 with a much larger and easier to read screen.

Try typing a professional looking letter and printing it on an Ipad. For any sort of productivity task they fall flat on their overpriced faces.


By StanO360 on 5/13/2013 12:23:03 PM , Rating: 2
But I think what we're learning is that very few people do professional tasks or any "task" at all on their computers. For most computers, it's email, FB, browsing, games, IMBD, etc.

With two teenagers, we have a need for two full fledged computers for schoolwork. But a third (we actually do have a third) isn't necessary if I have a tablet or even a smartphone.

But even still, everything is easier on a laptop or even easier still on a desktop with a 24" monitor!


RE: These Articles are Becoming Ridiculous
By MaulBall789 on 5/13/2013 12:26:25 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, iPads are not cheaper than entry level PCs.

But typing a professional looking letter on an iPad is simple with a bluetooth keyboard and most any wp app. Print to wifi printer on whatever paper you want and done.


RE: These Articles are Becoming Ridiculous
By Motoman on 5/13/2013 1:21:19 PM , Rating: 2
So in other words, if you actually want to "do" anything on a tablet, turn it into a laptop.


RE: These Articles are Becoming Ridiculous
By BRB29 on 5/13/2013 2:43:23 PM , Rating: 1
lol people add keyboards, case, memory, mouse, etc... on their tablets to get more functionality. Then they realize a laptop does all that for much less.

I have 2 tablets right now and they are just toys. Have both Ipad2 and Asus Transformer. Even with accessories and all the right app, it is still not even close to a laptop in functionality. It is good for me to take notes in a long lecture because I'm not pissing everyone off with my typing.


By cyberserf on 5/14/2013 4:23:02 AM , Rating: 2
the worst part is how these people can write their letters or do anything meaningful on an 10" screen. I used to use an 14" screen in the 80's. LOL


By MaulBall789 on 5/14/2013 8:41:50 AM , Rating: 2
Buy a version of Office 2013 and see how much more expensive your laptop becomes, unless you're only going to be writing letters in the first month of the free trial period...

Pages for iPad is ten bucks, or wait for a sale and get it for five.

Or you could use Google's free online office suite, whatever it's called now. Works on PC AND iPad.

The unique thing about the tablet design is it doesn't have to always be a laptop. That's the whole point. Easier to carry, easier to read on transportation, better overall form and function for more tasks than just writing a letter. I use it far more than I ever used my laptop. If it doesn't work for you, that's perfectly fine. But you can't say you can't "do" anything with a tablet. I do all the time.


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