JorgeA

Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

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It’s Time to Bring Back NT. Windows NT meant something. It still can ( Thurrott 2013-03-11 )

Paul "The Desktop Must Die" Thurrott in his trademark bipolar fashion is once again testing the waters of sanity, sticking his foot in and sloshing it around, but not yet ready to jump in. To be clear, he is using NT in the generic sense, not the specific enterprise server Windows 3 and mostly 4 versions that were quietly perfected behind the scenes while Win9x was in the consumer spotlight. Many of his commenters cannot quite understand his use of NT as a term for top shelf, practically bug free design of a pure operating system though, so he is forced to explain this over and over in the comments.

In some ways Paul has essentially come around to my own way of thinking now ( Post #1811 ) of the traditional delineation of Server, Client and Workstation. He must be beginning to realize that his many columns have had no influence turning us all into loyal mSheep and so he continues to offer modest half-hearted suggestions to turn around the ongoing Metro fiasco.

Predictably some of his commenters who are even bigger MicroZealots than he is, are irredeemably obstinate when they perceive back-peddaling that threatens their new toy ...

Well, as I said earlier, it's very obvious that Thurrott actually dislikes Windows 8 and changes direction abruptly when his bribes gets delivered.

This article is quite lol-worthy:

http://winsupersite.com/windows-8/15-million-surface-sales-good-or-bad-0

That said, the Bloomberg report is mostly bad news. The publication cites analysts who expect Microsoft to sell only 600,000 tablets in the current quarter, down from a previous prediction of 1.4 million. (I assume that’s RT devices, however, given that Microsoft has already sold 400,000 Pro devices in just 30 days.) This while the larger tablet market is racing to heady sales.

If there’s any solace for Microsoft, it’s that traditional PC sales continue to dominate those of tablets and will do so for several years. And Windows’s market share of the combined PC/tablet market will continue for the foreseeable future: Using IDC numbers for both PCs and tablets, PC/device makers will ship a combined 320 million Windows-powered PCs and devices in 2013 compared with 93 million Android devices and 88 million iPads. By 2017, Windows unit sales are expected grow to about 380 million units, compared with about 161 million Android devices and 152 million iPads.

If PCs are still that important, why was it needed to taint them with W8? The irony-meter explodes here. PCs are suddenly Microsoft's saving grace? The very customers Microsoft openly despises nowadays?

Quote from comments:

Actually, Paul did imply that 1.1 million sales is not bad at all. What IS bad, however, is the fact that we are talking about 1.1 million out of a shipment of 1.9 million distributed to punters. That means 0.8 million rejects, which IS bad.

Ouch if true.. Remember all the rumors about high return rates?

Edited by Formfiller
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Oh my God, comments from Thurrott:

http://winsupersite.com/windows-8/it-s-time-bring-back-nt

Yawn. Yes, it is the future. Microsoft has been telling us that, not me.

What I'm saying is we live in the present. There are 1.3 billion PCs in use. And Metro is not suitable for any of them.

Thanks for trying to find some contradiction that doesn't exist.

Yep, made for the future. We live in the present. It's unclear how often I need to repeat that.

More to the point, when Windows 8 first shipped, there were no new devices on which to test it. I've now used many of them. And I prefer regular PCs. Not everyone will. But not everyone is a writer and needs that kind of thing. Cars didn't replace trucks. They live side by side.

I wonder when he will join this forum?

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Well, as I said earlier, it's very obvious that Thurrott actually dislikes Windows 8 and changes direction abruptly when his bribes gets delivered.

You also correctly predicted the ability of MetroTards to change stripes when convenient :thumbup ( see Post #2188 ) ...

  • More details about the new StarDock program mentioned by MagicAndre1981 above ( Post #2175 ). This thing solves one big problem, putting those stupid apps into proper windows where they should have been all along. If you read the comments you might be surprised that many of the MicroZealots and MetroTards are interested in this program! Actually, one of the posters here, FormFiller accurately predicted this phenomenon above when he said they 'will turn on a dime' in these situations despite their mountains of previous comments attacking these things. Good call. ( Check out the pair of uber-MetroTard comments at the Thurrott article by "ScubaDog2008" for a glimpse into the troubled mind of a Microsoft enabler who makes Thurrott look like an Android Droid! :lol: ).

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To be clear, he is using NT in the generic sense, not the specific enterprise server Windows 3 and mostly 4 versions that were quietly perfected behind the scenes while Win9x was in the consumer spotlight. Many of his commenters cannot quite understand his use of NT as a term for top shelf, practically bug free design of a pure operating system though, so he is forced to explain this over and over in the comments.

What Microsoft has forgotten is that the kind of grassroots support seen during the NT 3.x-2000 days is basically required to move tech products at a large scale. The underground proliferation of NT helped immensely to legitimize XP. The release was botched both by OEMs, for underspeccing PCs, and Microsoft, for making XP take significantly more (at the time) resources than Windows 2000, which itself required significantly more resources than Windows 98. Still, nearly everyone in the tech sphere recognized NT as the future as far back as 1996 when NT 4 workstation was released. It was acknowledged that consumer hardware wasn't there yet and that NT lacked the hardware diversity of 9x but that in a few years 9x would be scrapped. Windows 2000 was supposed to be the unifying release but the 9x software compatibility guts weren't finished in time. In retrospect, this compatibility was rarely used. The end result was pushing back the 9x -> NT transition by about two years but it still happened because tech people "believed" in the product and recommended its use. The only people disagreeing were ABMers (anything but Microsoft) who were willfully ignorant about what NT offered. These people, to this day, insist that Windows is an application shell on top of a 16-bit DOS kernel.

Edited by HalloweenDocument12
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The only people disagreeing were ABMers (anything but Microsoft) who were willfully ignorant about what NT offered. These people, to this day, insist that Windows is an application shell on top of a 16-bit DOS kernel.

I come from the opposite angle, the end-user side. I have to admit, I was dubious about the whole Windows idea for a long time. My first introduction to an operating system was PC-DOS 1.1, and my first word processor was WordStar. Up until well into the '90s. I simply saw no need to switch to what I viewed as needless bloat on top of DOS. Extended memory? Expanded memory?? What's that??? GUI ewwey!! :) I didn't start using Windows (for Workgroups 3.11) until 1995, and even then it was only because my customers were asking for documents (1) via e-mail and (2) in .DOC (sometimes .RTF) format.

But let it not be said that I am unthinkingly resistant to change. My feelings toward Windows made an about-face almost as soon as I booted up Windows 98 (Standard Edition) for the first time. (Never did try Win95.) Now there we had real, undeniable improvement all around, both in esthetics and in functionality. (The Start Button and Start Menu, which made things so much clearer and easier, helped to turn me. ;) )

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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Here's one of the (IMO) best comments down below the main article:

But I disagree about the removal of aero. I liked aero. Authentic, energetic, reflective, and open is what A-E-R-O actually stands for. I know it's battery consuming, and MS seems to find it "distracting," but it is the style designed for the desktop. The metro style just doesn't feel right on the desktop. Even you, Paul Thurrot, had a mini freakout in the form of an article about the removal of aero. And on the systems that would use NT, they will be most likely plugged in, and aero will not be a problem.

In the meantime, I will use this:

Note the plug for MSFN!

I wonder when he will join this forum?

LOL

He does seem to do 180-degree turns often and unpredictably.

--JorgeA

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Here's one of the (IMO) best comments down below the main article:

[...]

One of the commenters a few above that one is really stuck on stupid ...

if you go on statcounters website,and you check out operating system share,you would see that;

http://gs.statcounter.com/#os-ww-monthly-201202-201303

Windows 8 3.62%

ios 4.11%

Another month and windows 8 will overtake ios user base that was built in 5 years,from media players to phones to tablets.

So what this genius is doing is once again looking at Apple as his phantom competitor, no doubt green with envy. Nevermind the fact that Microsoft is simply milking its unethical monopoly of 90+% of 1.3 billion or more prisoners. Nevermind the fact that Windows 8 only actual competitor, Windows 7 has all but been removed from as an option while Vista, XP and everything else were long ago yanked from contention. iOS comes only installed on completely different devices that people must intentionally purchase. Like OS X it is not available as an option on anything for sale, let alone on anything where a customer can select it over Windows. Classic apples and oranges. But that is the Microsoft way.

It is exactly like someone at the Post Office crowing that they have a larger user base than UPS or Fedex.

Microsoft has played this game of lying about sales for so long that it is ingrained in the brains of these bozos. I have to hand it to them really. Like the pea shell game, they had almost everybody looking at Apple as an anti-trust foil while they built an iron-fisted OEM back-channel monopoly. This particular MicroZealot is but one example of it.

I wish that Apple would now let their Mac OS loose into the wild either free for a small fee as an alternative OS. All they need to do is undercut the Microsoft tax and OEMs will begin offering systems with an actual 2nd choice. That will teach Microsoft a lesson for making believe they are competing with Apple and nurturing this crowd of fanboys that eagerly swallow it all.

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One of the commenters a few above that one is really stuck on stupid ...

if you go on statcounters website,and you check out operating system share,you would see that;

http://gs.statcounter.com/#os-ww-monthly-201202-201303

Windows 8 3.62%

ios 4.11%

Another month and windows 8 will overtake ios user base that was built in 5 years,from media players to phones to tablets.

So what this genius is doing is once again looking at Apple as his phantom competitor, no doubt green with envy. Nevermind the fact that Microsoft is simply milking its unethical monopoly of 90+% of 1.3 billion or more prisoners. Nevermind the fact that Windows 8 only actual competitor, Windows 7 has all but been removed from as an option while Vista, XP and everything else were long ago yanked from contention. iOS comes only installed on completely different devices that people must intentionally purchase. Like OS X it is not available as an option on anything for sale, let alone on anything where a customer can select it over Windows. Classic apples and oranges. But that is the Microsoft way.

It is exactly like someone at the Post Office crowing that they have a larger user base than UPS or Fedex.

Microsoft has played this game of lying about sales for so long that it is ingrained in the brains of these bozos. I have to hand it to them really. Like the pea shell game, they had almost everybody looking at Apple as an anti-trust foil while they built an iron-fisted OEM back-channel monopoly. This particular MicroZealot is but one example of it.

I wish that Apple would now let their Mac OS loose into the wild either free for a small fee as an alternative OS. All they need to do is undercut the Microsoft tax and OEMs will begin offering systems with an actual 2nd choice. That will teach Microsoft a lesson for making believe they are competing with Apple and nurturing this crowd of fanboys that eagerly swallow it all.

We may not have to think about that for very long, as Microsoft is flirting with failure in the phone and tablet markets where it did choose a straight-up competition with Apple. By sheer coincidence, my Internet travels last night led me to the following two-year-old quote from Ed Bott:

if Windows 8 flops on phones and tablets, Microsofts future is very dim indeed.

Once it becomes clear that customers aren't welcoming the Metro proposition, there will be nothing better for Microsoft to do than to cut their losses and start repairing their relationship with longtime loyal users by fixing Windows 8. The fix would of course entail offering choice -- choice in having a native Start Button/Menu, choice in booting straight to the Desktop, choice in having a full-blown Aero that makes use of the advanced graphical capabilities of most modern (and I don't mean Modern) computers. Metro could become another obscure Windows feature that's known by few and used by fewer, like Windows Media Center or the Management Console. (I say this as one who uses the former every day and who makes the statement to an audience that's well acquainted with the latter. :ph34r: But I think the point still stands. :) )

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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Excellent analysis over at Engadget:

Microsoft is singing the right tune with some wrong notes

Two reasons for slow Windows 8 PC sales come readily to mind. First, touch-enabled laptops running the new OS are more expensive than non-touch versions, giving consumers a reverse incentive to adopt a new screen experience which is clearly designed for touch. Second, PC sales have been slowing across the board, quarter by quarter, as consumer dollars shift to slabs and phones.

The only misstep in the article is touting the figure of 60 million Windows 8 licenses sold as a positive sign. We know the problems with that. But there's a lot more good stuff:

Windows 8 and Surface together represent a prodigious bet to round out an eco-branding ploy which hits all major product categories with a consistent look and feel. It is the insistence of that last point, the Metro interface everywhere, that is unnecessary and harmful.

The important question isn't whether consumers will adopt Windows 8; the question is whether Microsoft needs consumers to adopt a computer OS that looks like Windows Phone handsets and Surface tablets. Does a desktop OS need to provide interface continuity with the organism's mobile extensions? Apple, the ecosystem champ since it first brought iTunes to market, doesn't build that way. The functional Windows 8 operating system isn't the chief retail problem. The Metro interface, the blue-tiled placard of a new Microsoft, so different, so strangely touchy and so clearly emblematic of mobile functioning, is what is driving product confusion and refusal to engage.

Removing the Start button in Windows 8 is Microsoft's first misjudgment. The second is refusing to allow booting to the familiar desktop, which would be a friendly and inviting OS customization.

Microsoft has underestimated how tiny usage obstacles loom large in the consumer experience. The company clearly doesn't want users to avoid Metro. Why not? Why, in fact, shouldn't Microsoft and its retail partners emphasize the desktop interface alternative as a point of reassurance? Is there anything in business more valuable than 92 percent of the market fiercely committed to your core product? Microsoft is marketing like a bully, as if the consumer message were, "We know your technology future better than you do. So you must adopt our vision of it."

Forcing loyal users through a usage quirk at every boot, just to arrive at the starting point that millions of people have loved for years, is wishful thinking at best, user hostility at worst -- and self-damaging in either event.

--JorgeA

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Here's one of the (IMO) best comments down below the main article:

[...]

One of the commenters a few above that one is really stuck on stupid ...

if you go on statcounters website,and you check out operating system share,you would see that;

http://gs.statcounter.com/#os-ww-monthly-201202-201303

Windows 8 3.62%

ios 4.11%

Another month and windows 8 will overtake ios user base that was built in 5 years,from media players to phones to tablets.

So what this genius is doing is once again looking at Apple as his phantom competitor, no doubt green with envy. Nevermind the fact that Microsoft is simply milking its unethical monopoly of 90+% of 1.3 billion or more prisoners. Nevermind the fact that Windows 8 only actual competitor, Windows 7 has all but been removed from as an option while Vista, XP and everything else were long ago yanked from contention. iOS comes only installed on completely different devices that people must intentionally purchase. Like OS X it is not available as an option on anything for sale, let alone on anything where a customer can select it over Windows. Classic apples and oranges. But that is the Microsoft way.

It is exactly like someone at the Post Office crowing that they have a larger user base than UPS or Fedex.

Well, the primary way to access the internet is - despite all the tablet hype - still the Windows PC/laptop. I had no doubts that W8 would overtake Android and IOS in terms of web-marketshare, thanks to its sales on the PC. The real question was whether it could overtake XP/W7 (or even Vista) in reasonable time. And it looks as if Vista had a far better performance. Microsoft's primary goal with Windows 8 though (getting a piece of the tablet market) is in a pretty lousy state. Netapplications counts RT devices as well (under the "Windows 8 touch" category) and that one doesn't even make a dent in the IOS/Android marketshare. I don't know for sure, but I think that metro browsers on x86 based devices are in the "touch" category as well, making W8's stats even more lousy.

There is a really nice doublethink with the 8tards here. They shouted that Microsoft had no other choice with W8 than p***ing its desktop users off, since that market is heading to dinosaur-valley anyway, so fck them. Yet they use the PC/laptop based statistics to claim victory over IOS. Lovely bunch!

Edited by Formfiller
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Here's an excellent analysis of Windows 8 and what it means for Microsoft's future. While it ultimately falls against the new OS, it does so in a cool, clinical manner and it's not exclusively negative -- factors which actually help to increase the impact of his conclusions.

A couple of core passages:

Because of its problems, Windows 8 isn't fun to use, at least for me. Whatever sense of joy I get from the cool new graphics is outweighed by a feeling that my productivity is being reduced. Think of the best new app or website you've ever discovered; the feeling you got the first time you understood the power of Twitter or you created a presentation and it came out looking great. That feeling of empowerment and excitement is critical to getting people started with a new technology. But Windows 8 makes makes me feel limited and cramped. It isn't a launch pad, it's a cage.
I think Microsoft is scared that it might be permanently closed out of the new markets, so it wants to force people onto Metro before that happens. I believe that's really why it eliminated the Start menu. If Start is still there, Windows users could live for years without learning much about Metro. But with Start gone, Windows users will have to use bits of Metro now, and Microsoft believes they'll naturally embrace it once they've been forced to use it.

Here's what Microsoft itself said in a blog post about the Windows 8 interface (link):

"Fundamentally, we believe in people and their ability to adapt and move forward. Throughout the history of computing, people have again and again adapted to new paradigms and interaction methods."

I always get scared when a designer talks about the inevitability of people accepting a change. It's like you're counting on some mystical law of nature to cause a migration, rather than enticing people to move by giving them something that works better than what they have today. That's how the DOS to Windows transition worked -- people could (and did) continue to live in DOS for years until they learned how much more they could get done with Windows. But Microsoft has decided to force the issue. Then it rationalizes the decision with bromides like "we believe in people" and "the DOS users complained a lot too and look how that turned out."

All in all, well worth the read.

--JorgeA

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And now for a lighter touch (so to speak...):

--JorgeA

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"Fundamentally, we believe in people and their ability to adapt and move forward. Throughout the history of computing, people have again and again adapted to new paradigms and interaction methods."

A message to the good MS guys:

Sure, the whole problem is that you need to turn 180 degrees in order to look forward, the NCI represents "backwards", I will re-iterate how you will soon be calling the desktop and start menu "legacy interface" with the intent of somehow give some more dignity to the NCI , but effectively undermining the value of what you provided all these years and that proved to be successful:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com./jonathan.deboynepollard/FGA/legacy-is-not-a-pejorative.html

Among the above quotes, I particularly like the definition by Peter Langston:

legacy (adj) — A pejorative term used in the computer industry meaning "it works"

jaclaz

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And then there's this classic, which for sure has been posted in here (doesn't embed for some reason and doesn't link unless it's youtu.be):

Yes, I remember seeing that around here somewhere. It's VERY good. Worth posting back up here every few months, for the sake of new thread readers. :)

--JorgeA

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"Fundamentally, we believe in people and their ability to adapt and move forward. Throughout the history of computing, people have again and again adapted to new paradigms and interaction methods."

A message to the good MS guys:

Sure, the whole problem is that you need to turn 180 degrees in order to look forward, the NCI represents "backwards", I will re-iterate how you will soon be calling the desktop and start menu "legacy interface" with the intent of somehow give some more dignity to the NCI , but effectively undermining the value of what you provided all these years and that proved to be successful:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com./jonathan.deboynepollard/FGA/legacy-is-not-a-pejorative.html

Among the above quotes, I particularly like the definition by Peter Langston:

legacy (adj) — A pejorative term used in the computer industry meaning "it works"

jaclaz

:lol: How true!

--JorgeA

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