Windows 8: A success or another Vista?


I am on record as being a fan of Windows 8 and I reject many of the criticisms aimed at the new operating system as downright misinformation. It would appear however, that I am a member of an underwhelming minority. It’s no secret that adoption rates for Windows 8 have been slow, very slow. To verify that common perception, one need look no further than the current breakdown of desktop operating system market share as provided by the well respected NetMarketShare.com.

Windows Operating System market share February 28th 2013:

Windows 7 44.55%
Windows XP 38.99%
Windows Vista 5.17%
Windows 8 2.67%

Kinda rams it home, does it not?

Windows 8-smallAs the late and great Julius Sumner Miller would say… ”Why is it so?”. It’s difficult to define exactly why users have not taken to Windows 8 en masse; all the negative talk from certain so called ‘experts’ hasn’t helped, but I don’t believe that would constitute a major deterrent. The old ‘devil you know’ syndrome would also likely be a contributing factor but again, on a somewhat minor scale. Here’s what I think; vast numbers of users are working on the “if it ain’t broke, it don’t need fixing” credo. To a certain extent, Microsoft has shot itself in the foot by making Windows 7 just too darn good! I believe we are witnessing the emergence of a Windows 7 loyalty brigade, in much the same way as diehard XP users are determined to hang on to that old and venerable operating system until it is finally rendered virtually unusable due to lack of support from essential software.

While I am generally a proponent of ‘leaving well enough alone’, there can sometimes be a problem with that approach… it doesn’t always make allowances for progress. Whether we like it or not; mobile devices, cloud computing, and all aspects of this burgeoning technology are undeniably the way of the future. We are heading inexorably toward a take anywhere/access anytime computing paradigm. If one needs further proof of the massive shift in emphasis, one need look no further than the resources Mozilla has invested in its ‘Boot to Gecko’ mobile operating system. Or indeed, the fact that Canonical (developer of the Ubuntu Linux distro) has been, and still is, working hard on Ubuntu for mobile devices; tablets, smartphones and Android.


As far as Microsoft is concerned, the scenario is pretty fundamental; at best, it could be described as fiscally irresponsible to ignore the trend – realistically, doing so could lead the Redmond giant into financial disaster. Sooner or later, the aging desktop fraternity is going to be replaced by the up and coming new generation of mobile users… it’s as inevitable as death and taxes. Moving to a Windows 8/Metro style operating system was (is) imperative for the future survival of the Windows franchise, it’s as simple as that.

Parallels can certainly be drawn between Vista and Windows 8; both represented a radical departure from the norm, both received their fair share of criticism, and neither exactly set the world on fire in terms of early adoption. I am pretty sure Microsoft would be well aware that mistakes have been made, the company didn’t get where it is today by not recognizing its own flaws nor by making silly decisions. However, Redmond would be looking at Windows 8 as merely the first step in the revolution, and if the parallels with Vista are indeed set to continue, we can expect to see a new (or, more accurately, revamped) Windows iteration before the end of this year. And, I fully expect Windows 9 (codenamed “Blue”) will be to Windows 8 what Windows 7 was to Vista.

My prediction: Microsoft’s new direction for Windows will eventually succeed, it’s just a matter of time. How much time, however, is open to conjecture.

A weird and wonderful personal experience with Windows 8 activation

windows 8 activationAs a postscript to this story, I have a personal anecdote to relate which I believe clearly demonstrates just how desperate Microsoft is to see Windows 8 succeed. Approximately 8 weeks ago I upgraded my lovely wife’s aging Vista system to Windows 8 Pro. In true Murphy’s Law fashion, 6 weeks into Windows 8 and the machine died, requiring new motherboard, CPU, and PSU. Now, we are all well aware of Microsoft’s strict policy regarding OEM, new hardware and activation… in fact, I experienced it first hand in similar circumstances with an XP machine some years back. Microsoft’s response at the time pretty much amounted to… tough bikkies!


So, armed with nothing but the truth and a pessimistic outlook, I contacted Microsoft hoping to re-activate and thus save the cost of purchasing a fresh license. Imagine my surprise then when the very nice Microsoft man simply re-activated the operating system without even asking for any sort of explanation. No mention of the whys or wherefores, just punch in some numbers and voila… activation! Isn’t it great to have a little win every now and then. 🙂

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About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

40 Comments

  1. Well Jim, it’s truly sad that there is so much bad press about Windows 8. Apart from the lack of the START, which can be easily corrected using third parties (M$ slap yourself silly for being so stupid and NOT including that simple patch), Windows 8 can look and feel like previous o/s versions, but it’s faster, safer, and the learning curve is tiny (and this from a die hard XP fan).

    IE10 is also better, bundled together with Eight. I was given a sweetheart deal, Eight for $45 (tax-in), for only one computer, so I figured it’s time to see for myself if it’s good or not. It was d/l online, installed right over my XP, and with only a few misunderstandings (you need to reinstall all your programs – including security – since Eight comes with it’s own), a few reboots later and I was in tablet hell, till I got the START running.

    So yes, I’m singing the praises of Eight, as it’s clearly stable rock solid, with two months running, Mindblower!

    • Hey MB – You have left your beloved XP and gone over to Windows 8?? I am shocked. 🙂

      Seriously, I’m really pleased to hear that you are enjoying Windows 8. And yes, as Dave said, you are spot on!!

      Cheers mate… Jim

      (PS: I’ll catch up with you on the TV shows soon)

      • Jim, I just upgraded one computer to Windows 8 PRO, for just $45.00 (taxes in). A real steal, as a limited time offer from Arvato Digital Services. I have not seen such a low price anywhere. My other computers are doing fine with XP. 🙂

        Just reading what others are still saying about Eight, and no wonder there is a ridiculous amount of confusion about what the tablet aspect of Eight is causing. M$ should be publicly flogged for not including a tiny patch which would bring the START button back to life. This is the biggest stumbling block, and it easily fixable from third party vendors. There is a slight learning curve, but I’m pleasantly (hard to say this about M$) delighted with the advances I’ve witnessed in Eight. Mind you, I’m speaking coming from XP, so I’m unaware if some subtle changes were introduced in Vista or Seven. The Task Bar, the Copy/Move, the windows updates, the Control Panel options are some areas where I’ve noticed good changes. Just hope the price will be lower than the over $100 I currently see, when XP expires, Mindblower!

  2. Jim, another thought to consider.
    I think many of us have upgraded in the past only to have programs not work or have to spend additional money to upgrade to a version that worked with the new operating system. Switching could cost you a lot more than just the new operating system
    As you said Jim, just leave well enough alone. Wait until it’s time for a new computer.

    • Absolutely Randy.

      If users are happy with their current operating system and everything is running along smoothly, why would they want or need to upgrade. And, unlike Vista, Windows 7 is a very good OS, so upgrades are bound to be on the slow side.

      Appreciate your input.
      Jim

  3. Well put – if we are happy with Windows 7 then there is nothing compelling enough to cause us to change. In my opinion MS could have avoided the bad press about the UI change being forced on users by simply putting in a UI choice wizard during set-up – does the user want all the new buttons etc or does the user want the Win 7 style interface? By providing an easy choice (without hacks or add-ons) then the negative press would have been diminished. The next part of the saga will be whether the next version of Windows offers enough extra features to upgrade – maybe more cup-holders, reversing camera and iPod connectivity?

  4. The next version of Windows codenamed ‘Blue’ should be out sometime this year if the reports can be believed. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft moves forward with it. There will always be the diehards who just dont want to move forward just as there will always be the tech chasers who do. Most people have their own views and most people assume they could run Microsoft better than Ballmer, the trouble is its just one persons view which is usually to model the next operating system to suit thier taste.

  5. “… all the negative talk from certain so called ‘experts’ hasn’t helped, but I don’t believe that would constitute a major deterrent.”

    I think you’re seriously underestimating the impact of bad press. I consider myself an early adopter when it comes to technology of all sorts, but one of the main reasons why I didn’t go for Win 8 was the almost universal barrage of complaints and criticism from a wide array of bloggers and experts that preceded its launch. These were in many cases people with direct links to Microsoft, PC evangelists who had no motivation to bash Win 8 (quite the opposite), so their negative talk was very credible and persuasive.

    The other factor that influenced me (apart from being happy with Win 7) was that it was clear that Win 8 was designed for tablets, touchscreens and convergence, three things I have no interest in at all. Like almost all PC users, I don’t have a touchscreen (and don’t want one) and, while Win 8 looks like it would be great on a phone, I’m running Android 4.1 on a Samsung Galaxy SII and absolutely loving that, so not about to defect to a Windows phone. Likewise, I suspect that very few people will genuinely need 98 of the 100 new functions offered by the Galaxy S4.

    Experts are constantly banging on about the death of the PC, and the industry is obsessed with convergence but, while I love technology, I don’t want to replace all of my equipment with a smartphone or tablet. I enjoy having a camera, a very large hi-fi system, a home cinema with projector and a powerful desktop PC. I would never dream of watching a film on a 4-inch screen, and I have half a dozen social media accounts, not one of which I allow to synch with anything else.

    I am clearly not the typical customer modern computer companies envisage, but I very much doubt that I’m alone in my attitudes and, given how much I spend on technology, they might do well not to forget about us.

    • I do agree Simon. But the negative talk would not have had anywhere near the impact had Windows 7 not been such a reliable and well thought of operating system. The main ingredient here is the fact that many users are very happy with Windows 7, ergo lack motivation. Also, I believe much of the negative talk has been coming from people with very little (or no) practical experience working with Windows 8. I predicate that opinion on my own experience, that many of the complaints/negatives are very easily overcome via Windows 8’s own built-in settings/options. I do not have any official credentials or affiliations and I find it difficult to believe that anyone with any computer savvy could not similarly easily overcome those perceived negatives… it’s a typical case of “it’s easy when you know how”.

      Cheers… Jim

  6. I can appreciate the win 8 tile/touch aspect given the convergence theory…but it’s just not for me. I want my smartphone and pc to be isolated tools; one for security and two because I’m 64 and don’t have the eyesight or finger dexterity I used to have in my salad days. I don’t do social networking at all because I’m just not interested in switch boarding with other people as a habitual activity and I am of the opinion that it’s healthy to unplug and actually meet face to face with friends.
    I think you’re dead on about win 7 being such a great OS that it’s hindering adoption of win 8 by many. What bugs me most though about win 8 is the limitations of the apps and being forced to accept the metro UI as the default. I agree with Grant’s comment about having a choice of which UI to pick during the setup. Sometimes I just don’t know what MS is thinking when they do dumb stuff like lack of the start button. What was the point?

  7. The main problem I see with Windows 8 is the Metro interface. It isn’t that Metro is bad or that it can’t be useful on tablets or even laptops, it is just on a desktop computer most people don’t want to have the default UI limited to one program taking up your entire large screen monitor. It is even worse for dual monitors (though perhaps I’ve missed something) since the Metro interface only really uses the main monitor. Metro is largely more of an inconvenience than a benefit unless you have a touchscreen — as others have mentioned, it should be a user choice.

    Granted, it isn’t hard to jump out of the Metro UI to the desktop but it is an additional step (or workaround, if you want to set up the desktop as the main UI) to perform and there are still Windows functions/features that are tied to Metro. Metro, on a desktop, feels gimmicky. To me it seems like Microsoft is trying to adapt people to using their mobile interface in order to help sales of their tablets and smartphones and don’t care about what their users want or how it effects them. Personally, Metro on my PC feels a lot like previous Microsoft “hits” that people hated if preinstalled, such as Clippy or Bob.

  8. I am an older,68, computer user on limited income,,and hence, limited bandwidth. I do Facebook to contact family and friends thousands of miles away. I am an avid News Junky and love to “Search”. I use Short Cuts, Pins, and Bookmarks to navigate. Windows 7 Pro does all of this just fine. Why would I switch to a system made for Tablet users? I can see me swinging my arms across the screen and knocking my coffee cup onto the floor. I will many times eat while I compute. Hands covered with oily residue from a burger will not look good on my touch screen. I think that I will wait to see what “Blue” is all about.

  9. Well, Jim, Windows 8 truly sucks. Let’s revert from a truly useful desktop with 16 million colors and oodles of icons to a 16 (or whatever crippled abortion it is) primary colored children’s building block piece of crap that isn’t customizable enough for anybody. Are you a power user? How do you like all your keyboard shortcuts gone? Ctrl-z, ctrl-x, ctrl-c, ctrl-v? History. No more multitasking! Wanna drop info from one window to another? Why would you EVER want to do that? Used to programs with menu bars and icons to tell you what their capabilities are? Subscribe to the old “if you have to crack a manual to use it, it’s a badly designed program? Welcome to the 1990’s world of DOS programs that stared at you and dared you to do something stupid. Only unlike then, everything a normal person would do is stupid. Click the mouse? YOU FOOL! You should be reaching 36” across your desktop and putting fingerprints all over the screen like a sensible person. Include me out. Win 8 will never grace any desktop I ever own. Study Ubuntu Linux for hints on how to introduce new interface without nuking everything everyone ever learned about how a computer works. Microsoft works for me. It’s fired.

    • Wow Steve, that’s a pretty strong reaction, although eloquently put. I totally respect your opinion mate even if I do not happen to entirely agree. I guess I must not be a “power user”. 🙂

      Thanks for your input,
      Cheers… Jim

      • You know, it’s interesting the differences in approach between Microsoft and Canonical. Windows 8 tries to force you into the always full screen, no prompts, keep those colors down to non-gradient 16 or so children’s primary colors, if you don’t know how to use the program you can’t find out, there are no visual clues. Basically, your fabulous computer now has the abilities and limitations of a cell phone.

        Canonical did the “your computer is just a retarded cell phone” thing too. But they did not force you into a brand new crippled paradigm. They, in fact kept windowing, menu bars, button bars, multi-tasking, drag and drop, didn’t trash all the keyboard shortcuts for global functions…..if you want to use legacy programs, fine, it will run them fine. Canonical received lots of flak from power users who accused them of dumbing down the interface until it just didn’t work too well. THEY listened, and Unity now is something I can live with. It certainly is more flexible and intuitive than the operating system formerly known as Metro.

        Gnome 3 also has chosen to give alternatives, not straitjackets. They have not gone the cell phone route, while keeping the button type interface. They make it clear that you continue to use a computer by using elegant, 3D buttons with transparency, nice touch animations……you definitely get the feel that you are using a sophisticated computer, not a cell phone.

        Microsoft would do well to study Unity, Gnome 3 and KDE to figure out just where they jumped the shark with Win 8. If they stay on the course they’ve plotted, Vista will look wonderful in comparison with Windows 8. Microsoft could well go the way of Lotus and Borland to become a company that is mostly of historical interest. It can happen very quickly. They have a lot of work to do.

  10. Steve, I multi-task using Windows 8 every day! The keyboard shortcuts still work for me. Admittedly I think the Start screen is a waste of time but with my Start menu on the desktop re-activated, I don’t have any problems with it. Change, and one as drastic from Se7en to Windows 8, is never easy in the beginning but I think it’s something we have to accept.

  11. I am home all day, mostly every day, with my desktop computer. I will have Windows XP forever. When my old PC died, I struggled with a new PC that had Windows 7 on it for a week before I wiped 7 off and put XP back. All of my old beloved programs did not work on Windows 7. Having said that, I may put Windows 7 on another hard drive and have a dual-boot XP/7 system. That is where the bucks stop with me. I will never have Windows 8, 9, Blue, or whatever. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Windows made the mistake of making Windows XP, that is why Vista was not a success. If I had my choice between a Windows 8 Machine and a Windows Vista PC, I would choose Vista. I don’t want that touch screen, no keyboard and mouse supporting, cloud computing, glorified smart phone crap. You have to buy all your apps from the Microsoft Store, no thanks. By the way, I will never have a smart phone either, or squint at a tiny touch screen; my cell phone only makes voice calls, and is only taken with me when I go out. It is used as it is supposed to be used, for emergencies and urgent matters only.

    • Edward, as the saying goes, “Never say never”. I’ve already proved that in other aspects of my life.

      Don’t know how old you are but certainly you won’t be able to hold on to Windows XP or Windows 7 for another 10, 20, or 30 years. We all have to change at some time, even if its only by force.

  12. I wanted tp switch to Windows 8, but when I found out that a lot of my (purchased) software would not be accepted, I decided to pass and stay on Windows 7.

  13. I upgraded my wife’s computer from 32bit win 7 to 32bit win 8. I run 64bit win 7 on my computer. Win 8 is very stable and not that hard to learn.
    I put the windows shell classic on the win 8, so my wife could have a start button. I have no problem running older programs on win 8.

  14. Blue may be the answer to my hopes. Windows 8? No. I greatly dislike foistware, and the Metro interface is exactly that. It should be an option, not something you *must* see when you first turn on the computer. The fact that 3rd party programmers saw the way the wind was blowing and had programs to put a start button back on the desktop and bypass Metro *before* 8 was released to manufacturers should have been a clue to MS.

    Historically, it’s been a rule that every other operating system MS has launched has been an abortion. The sales figures prove that 8 is no exception. I sincerely hope that Blue will be the remedy like 7 was for Vista. Maybe MS will wise up and put a start button back in like they should have had in the first place.

    By the way, your contention that cloud computing is the wave of the future, and OSes that require connection to the internet are cool? Sorry, gotta disagree with that categorically. If my computer or device won’t work without an internet connection, I won’t buy it. Contrary to what people may think, there aren’t internet hotspots on every street corner, and I’m not going to leech off some home user’s connection to steal access. If my device can’t run on its own initiative, it’s only going to be useful as an extremely expensive paperweight.

    Same with mobile devices taking over the world. I see them as a useful way of carrying internet access with me without the aching shoulders a full sized notebook can leave you. Are they going to drive desktops and notebooks into extinction? No way. For one thing, I’d *never* be able to type this message I’m writing now on a mobile device, and no office would ever give up the word processing power of a desktop or notebook either. Same goes for hardcore gamers. You think a guy or girl who loves playing 3D MMORGs will want a 10″ or (shudder) 7″ screen? Or to try playing on a smart phone? Seriously?

      • Hi, Jim,

        Just throwing in my two cents’ worth. I’ve been using, fixing, and building computers since the early 80s. Started out with MS-DOS 3.1 and have gone pretty much through all MS OSes since (I did skip NT3.x and Vista).

        I have stated this on other fora: Windows 8 can be a great tablet or phone OS, but I can never see it working for most people on the desktop. And speaking of “smartphone sales outstripped PC sales for the first time”…smartphones and tablets are more or less disposable devices, likely to be replaced at end of contract or when some glitzy new toy hits the market. Also, rather than spend $600+ on one desktop the kids can fight over, we get them each an iPod or cheap tablet. How often does the average user replace their PC? My personal computers are about 5 years old in tech terms and I am a heavy user if not a true “power user”. They do everything I need, maybe not as quickly as new machines, but for a couple hundred dollars I can bring them a few years closer to mainstream. Some friends are still using 500MHz PCs with 64MB RAM and Windows 98 because it is all they need.

        Now, let’s talk smartphones and tablets. Since 2009 I have owned three smartphones and two tablets. Why? Because they are disposable. In many cases battery replacement is factory only, and the cost is nearly that of a new device. With a desktop, you replace a couple of parts and your PC is newer. Almost endlessly upgradeable.

        Back to Windows 8. If W8 gave a choice so that there was a simple choice between “tablet” mode and “desktop” mode, I might be tempted. As it is, I am sticking with Windows XP on one computer and Linux on the other three. I am also dubious about cloud computing. I wouldn’t trust my friends to keep my data safe–why on earth would I trust Google, Microsoft, Amazon, or any other company? And what about mobile internet? Weather and directions mainly. I am not joined at the hip to my mobile devices as so many others seem to be. They are conveniences to me, not necessities. Don’t forget that the overwhelming majority of users are NOT enterprise users.

        For those of you who LIKE Windows 8, fine. Enjoy it. I’ll pass, and unless “Blue” shows me something very tempting, I will likely pass on “all things Microsoft” when XP finally gives up the ghost.

        • Hi Iman,

          Whether or not smartphones and tablets are disposable is irrelevant mate, at least in the context of this discussion. I am not saying I approve of MS’s decision to produce a Window8/Metro style OS, in fact I am on record as stating that I do not like the trend at all. However, as far as MS and its shareholders are concerned, I believe it was an essential step. And the part about sales and market share comparisons is merely to indicate part of the reasoning behind MS’s motivation.

          As for… ” you can’t see it working for most people on the desktop”… all I can say is that it works fine for me. People seem to think that the Metro side of Windows 8 interferes somehow with the desktop experience… as far as I am concerned, that is definitely not the case. Once Windows 8 is setup properly, it is very similar to Windows 7, only faster and more responsive.

          Would I have installed Win8 had it not been necessary for my work? Honestly, no. I am very happy with Win7 and couldn’t see the need. On the other hand,my lovely wife is into social media and games, plus to say she is not terribly computer savvy would be a huge understatement. Once I had seen Win8 in action, the decision to upgrade her machine was a no brainer. For her, Win8 offers many advantages as well as being simpler for her to understand and use… horses for courses!

  15. Put me in the group that will wait (at least a year) before I consider upgrading to windows 8. Windows 7 works fine for me and it would make little sense to upgrade to an operating system with many unknowns. Newer is not necessarily better, just different or maybe even worse. I have discovered that there is a premium paid by those who go first, better to wait and see what happens!

  16. What ever happened to the good ol’ user’s manual? Most if not all, of the complaints with 8 could be handled by better information from Microsoft. A step by step installation guide giving the various choices and what they do. It would take a little longer to install but would have everything set the way the user wants it from the start. You want Metro? Install it. You want a Start Button? Install it. And so on and so forth.

    Now, it may be that many people are too lazy to read it. It should at least be an option for the rest. Go to a two choice installation, Normal and Custom. With the Custom involving answering 1000 questions, give or take, it will take much longer to install, but it will be installed the way the user wants it.

    One thing for certain, someone will complain………….but maybe not as much.

    • Aw, c’mon Alan… where would the fun be in that. 🙂

      Seriously, it’s not bad idea at all… especially for a first release which is a bit of a radical departure from the norm.

  17. I have windows 7 running on my baseunit and laptop. My brother has windows 8 on his laptop. My employer has a couple of thousand machines (desktops and baseunits) mostly running windows XP (XP3). Only now are they beginning to migrate to Windows 7.

    Truthfully I suspect the majority of users of windows 8 are those early adopters or those buying new PC’s.

    My employer is huge and I really expect it is a good indicator of other large corporations and so if they are anything to go by, it will be Windows 12 or 13 before it sees anything like significant uptake anywhere except within a consumer setting.

    Enough said.

    • Corporate adoption generally (and historically) lags way behind. I do not believe MS would be unduly concerned with that aspect. MS would realize that many companies are still employing XP and the next logical step would be Windows 7, not Windows 8. It’s the general consumer market that Win8 is designed to target, in an attempt to make up ground lost to Apple, Android, etc.

  18. Well, count me on the “pro-Win8” side of the argument, and I utterly agree that so many of the vitriolic video rants and other nonsense that “welcomed” it to the world were from the “I like Apple ’cause its COOL, man!” nerdlings and not real, typical users (not to mention people who never use MS operating systems anyhow, so who cares?) As for conversion rates, maybe Win-7 to Win-8 is a hard sell and a slow slog, but I’m speaking as one of those XP die-hards who resisted Vista and just figured “why bother?” with Win-7, but when my venerable highpowered XP machine started showing sclerotic symptoms of impending demise, I not only jumped to 8, I bit the bullet for a seriously expensive huge touchscreen experience (The Dell all-in-one 27″ monster with the highest specs version) and I just plain LOVE this beast AND 8. And MY adaptation traumas in the first weeks were not so much about figuring out Metro but about learning the Win-7 file system which was a more radical departure from XP’s than anything in Metro on a pure day-to-day use basis. Are there a few quirks I don’t like? Sure. Do I download oodles of free apps and then eliminate some? You bet. I’m astounded at how many BAD and I mean REALLY bad clock, weather, and calendar apps there are out there–I can’t keep track of how many I had to try to find some I could live with. And I’m still finding tricks to fix compatibility issues (For example, just today I learned why flash seems to crash in Chrome a lot–the inbred version has some issues with 8 that are fixed by disabling it and downloading the stand-alone Flash instead) but that’s part of the shake-down cruise on any new upgrade of any system, isnt’ it? Or maybe the complainers just don’t have the long memory and experience I have–I actually punched cards, used CP/M machines, and have been through everything since including the birth of the ‘net…which did not, contrary to today’s instant genius punks’ imaginations, spring full-blown from the head of the Zeus’s of Cyber-Olympus but had a bunch of rough patches and stuff in its infancy, too. Finally, as to employers and companies making the switch to new hardware and thus to Win-8 from older XP and 7 machines….we are in a recession, folks. The news this week is full of stories on both sides of the question of whether Blackberry is finding success with their new toy among companies with thousands of the old sets in use who are too wait-and-see broke to jump in OR have been experimenting with Iphones and Androids as they got better while RIM fiddled and delayed. That’s how technology works. The “next big thing” is new, expensive, scary for some, hated by many….and then somehow we wonder how we lived without it and why anyone has anything else. I’m glad I made the move…and btw, I’m about to buy a Win-8 touch laptop for on the road and a second one of these monsters for my wife. So I guess I like it, huh?

  19. Actually, Jim, I’ve found that the problem is that Microsoft has it backwards. They want to achieve unity by reducing your computer to the truncated capabilities of a cell phone. That’s a tough sell to power users. I bought a computer to have sophisticated capabilities and don’t really care too much about how simple everything is. I realize that is a personal problem, but I have lots of company.

    Canonical has a better idea. Instead of reducing the abilities of computers, why not INCREASE the abilities of cell phones? As a matter of fact, if you just spring for a high end cell phone, why have a computer at all? Your cell phone IS a computer. All it needs is an external monitor, keyboard and mouse. Pop it into a nifty docking station that can include hard drives and other nifty items you miss, and suddenly your cell phone IS your computer, running Ubuntu Linux, of course.

    Canonical has identified a problem, high end cell phone manufacturers trying to justify the reasonableness of buying their multi-core hardware. A partnership could sell a lot of them, especially if they can sell the idea of saving the cost of a desktop machine and transferring part of that expense to a better cell phone. Looks like a marriage made in heaven to me.

    Jim, I bet you know all about it but here’s Canonical’s webpage on Ubuntu for Android Devices, http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/android. Folks, watch the video. It’s compelling and a much better approach than Microsoft is taking. Instead of crippling computers and making them cell phones, why not improve the cell phone so it can take over the desktop?

    Microsoft is deciding whether to live or die right now. Looks like with Windows Blue they’re doubling down on the “die” strategy. I wish them well. We don’t depend on Microsoft. Microsoft depends on us. I hate to see them go.

    • Hi Steve – Firstly, I do not class myself as a “power user”, maybe an advanced user, certainly an habitual user. What I am not understanding is the argument that Win8 has somehow diminished the power of the desktop. I am running Win7 and Win8 in a dual boot system and, outside of the revamping of the Start menu, for the life of me I can’t see any major differences or reduced functionality… but, as I said, I am certainly no power user.

      And I hate to state the obvious Steve but the power user fraternity would constitute a very small percentage of the overall market. I am not saying that makes power users any less important, or that they should receive any less consideration but, from a marketing/financial point of view is does bear relevance.

      Jim, I bet you know all about it but here’s Canonical’s webpage on Ubuntu for Android Devices

      Yes Steve. In fact, I made reference to it in this very article… about half way through, I even included a link to the page. You must have missed it. 🙂

  20. I bought my wife a samsung laptop with Windows 8 pre-loaded and have come to regret it.

    First, Metro on a laptop is not fun and benefits nought from the touch-friendly interface. It adds no useful functionality as far as I can see, either. The on-screen cues and clues for what to do next in most metro apps are just not there, so it only seems to work well with low complexity programs. Like I said — no fun.

    That wasn’t the worst of it, though. We have faced constant frustrating bugs — apps which just sit there with the wheel turning, Metro frequently losing internet connection — and no no error message, no useful help, no nothing. I have never in my life taken a computer in to have it looked at, as I have always found useful help and assistance, error messages, and other clues to what needs to be done. With Windows 8, my ability to problem solve was absolutely stymied. $100 later, still not happy.

    The latest news is that Wiondows 8 actually contributed to sinking PC sales. I am not surprised. this feels like a step backward rather than an improvement. First experiences of a new product should never be this bad.

    I had no problems with Vista by the way. This was a much worse experience.

    Alan

    • Hi Alan – Sorry to hear of your problems with the Windows 8 laptop… a very frustrating experience. I recently helped a good friend choose a new Window 8 laptop, and set it all up for her… she is tickled pink. Are you connecting the laptop via cable or wi-fi? I ask because wi-fi is more probable and the connection issues sound to be more likely attributable to a weak or inconsistent wi-fi signal than anything else. Which would point to your router more so than Windows 8 or the laptop. Have you successfully run other wi-fi enabled devices as a means of comparison?

      Cheers… Jim