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

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

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.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Laptop or Tablet - Which Do You Prefer?
September 20, 2016, 6:32 AM
Update: Samsung Exchange Program Now in Progress
September 20, 2016, 5:30 AM
Smartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki