Yep. That meme about "same thing happening in Windows 95" is complete utter bullcrap. Even the most unintelligent person should be able to see the contradictory nature of stating it because If that meme were true we would have rejected Win95 and stayed with DOS and WinDOS v3.xx. Yet here we are.
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."
"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'm having trouble wrapping my head around the number of people who understand this motivation of Microsoft but fail to realize that by pulling the rug from their customers' feet Microsoft is risking exodus to competing products. Change is not inevitable when your product is a less developed version of what the competition offers. I think Microsoft of the 90s was scared that despite all their work that Windows 95 still might not be convincing over Macintosh and/or the previous interfaces (DOS and/or Windows 3), which while loathed by many was still profitable. This Microsoft is pretending competition doesn't exist, even though it is far more established in the target market.
The story about people willingly using DOS for years is disingenuous. Almost everybody converted instantly because Windows 95 was such an upgrade. They had to because the Internet didn't really work with DOS, and even if the Internet wasn't of interest, Windows 95's ad-hoc networking was still superior to the unaffordable Netware on DOS. The problem was that it took years for new industry-specific software to be written so people were forced to stick with DOS for a keystone program, which ran in a real-mode window within Windows 95-98. People hated this at worst and tolerated it at best. Though Progman.exe and Fileman.exe were still around, no one used them and accepted Explorer as an upgrade over Windows 3.
As you stated, people ran as fast as they could to the new and more stable multithreaded and multitasking paradigm, and the GUI was a tiny part of the transition. There were very few people wedded to the WinDOS ProgMan interface, it had only existed about 5 years in total but aside from us long-timers, most people had perhaps a year or two experience in it tops. Now contrast that to the Start Menu when it was removed by Sinofsky and Jensen Harris, it had a minimum 17-year pedigree already, thus the meme fails yet again on the basis of comparing apples and oranges. And to satisfy those very very few people that might want the Win3x interface, ProgMan was included along with FileMan. This whole notion of resistance to Win95 is nothing more than a Big Lie and is meant to tamp down the real resistance to Windows 8 Playskool Edition. All those things you listed are true, and more. Although we no longer think of Win9x as crashproof compared to NT/2K/XP and later, it was an order of magnitude more stable than any earlier attempts at running multiple programs simultaneously. I still marvel at the thought of successfully running Win95 with 8 MB RAM and on a few hundred MB HDD at 66 MHz. Because of paging, any size programs would run if you had the patience to wait for the disk thrashing. Networking, Printing, WYSIWYG, etc, it all came together at once ( PnP growing pains and other caveats notwithstanding ). Of course no sooner than they had a winner than Microsoft already began unraveling things by mismanaging the code and feature growth by fattening things up in Win98, but I digress.
It really just reinforces what I have long thought, we are not dealing with logical or even rational people here. We are dealing with children who comprise Generation Xbox or Generation ReTard ( you pick ). The question is, can both camps, normal folks and Generation ReTard co-exist under the same roof? I think not. We could in the past because Microsoft provided many different products to satisfy different customers. But then some genius decided that one size fits all, and here we are.
To use yet another auto analogy, it is as if during a trend towards small compact high-mileage cars ( phones and tablets with long battery life ) the automakers decided to forget large transportation rather than scale to accommodate the alleged new trend. There will always be more cars than trucks ... but ... there still will always be trucks. It is as simple as that. And in a nutshell, this highlights Microsoft's craziness. Using cars instead of trucks or school buses ( like Thurrott replacing his workstation with Surface ) is irrational. Making trucks look and operate like cars ( shoehorning Metro and other crap into the desktop ) is equally stoopid. And it's not like Microsoft operates custom assembly lines created for each particular product form factor which need to be physically re-tooled at great expense to switch over. Their product is bits and bytes, and they all live in the same virtual space. The cries of "it's more efficient to unify the code" is complete utter self-serving garbage that only benefits Microsoft, like everything we are hearing from them these days.
Technology is meant to adapt to customer demands, NOT vice versa. When the customer adapts to the technology they are merely slaves to the whims of the company, in this case the monopolist Microsoft. Devolving the already evolved technology down to the lowest common denominator is the worst possible idea of them all.
Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot, 18 March 2013 - 04:38 PM.