Editorial

Microsoft's Customer Relationship Status: It's Complicated.

By now I’m sure many of you have downloaded the Windows 8.1 preview. You've reflected on the changes, and the direction that Microsoft is taking. Fresh from their humiliation at E3 with the Xbox One fiasco, Microsoft is in many ways a company at war with itself.

We have the technologists who are pushing to get tech fresh out of research into the real world. They are rapidly turning these projects into commercially viable propositions.  The rub is, however, that many of these projects are so ahead of their time at this point; their commercial viability at the point Microsoft introduces them is questionable at best. Marry these researchers to stats guys who using data gathered from the CEIP (Customer Experience Improvement Program) use this data who in turn formulate UI concepts and it’s a recipe for disaster.

The Start screen and interface paradigm itself were a product of this Sinofsky style rationale. The Mark Twain attributed Disraeli method of “lies, damned lies and statistics” has never been fruitful in product development. Microsoft Windows 8 was no exception; thus Sinofsky’s retreat to academia where this scientific method belongs.

As a result of this debacle, OEMs such as Dell and HP are then left playing catch-up which leads to weird form factors such as the XPS 18, a system that can’t decide if it’s a desktop or a huge tablet big enough to have been brought down from Mount Sinai. Microsoft’s OEM partners are in many ways trying to reinvent the wheel as they attempt to refine what the PC is in 2013. 

I know many of you will call “fan boy!” on this but you’ll notice that Apple didn’t make the same mistake. They didn’t try to turn the Mac into a tablet; they brought out a separate device, the iPad.  Microsoft however, is suffering on 2 fronts; it doesn’t have the same control of the hardware development like its Cupertino competitor does, it’s dependent on the OEMs. Its attempt to duplicate this model with the Microsoft Surface has been luke warm at best with the supply chain, marketing and issues with the devices reliability and battery life. Secondly, it’s trying to clean up Sinofsky’s mess with the Start screen that has scared off businesses on the desktop, and on notebooks. I’ve seen this first hand working with clients here in my own IT consultancy business in Aberdeen.

Windows 8.1 is attempting to mitigate the issues with Windows 8 but I’m afraid it may be too little, too late for the software giant. Many of the great “under-the-hood” improvements such as Workplace Join and NFC printer support may end up being lost with what is still the fundamental issue that there needs to be separate SKUs for tablets and traditional form factors.  Microsoft seem to have briefly lost touch with the fact that a significant majority of people still use keyboards and mice. Even with a growing tablet market. They've broken one of the golden rules of UI design. "Keep It Simple Stupid". As many devs no doubt will attest, it doesn't matter what your software can do if users can't seamlessly interact with it, it's as useful as a chocolate fire-guard.

Whilst Microsoft attempts to get its house in order, we still have to choose between a modern operating system with Dissociative Identity Disorder and the 4 year old Windows 7.  I’d love to hear from the Windows Server 2012 R2 team to discover why they think that a Start screen is necessary on a server that in no way can be confused with a tablet. I don’t think I’ve seen many access consoles in data centres with touch screens. Have you?

Many years ago in our galaxy, and not very far far away, Microsoft had a similar experience with Windows 3.0. It had been released to similar marmite like feedback back in 1990; forcing the company to further refine it in 1992 with Windows 3.1 and Windows 3.11. Microsoft claimed in an advertisement at the time “Now you can use the incredible power of Windows 3.0 to goof off.” Here we are 23 years later, and Windows is once again goofing off with Windows 8.

If they don’t split their SKUs between tablet and the desktop, and fast - they might have to change their relationship status with their customers from “It’s complicated” to “Divorced from reality”.

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My mom just moved to Windows 8 because she got a free laptop from work. I'm having an incredibly hard time explaining why there are two completely different sets of apps that work totally different from each other within the same OS.

.Neo said,
My mom just moved to Windows 8 because she got a free laptop from work. I'm having an incredibly hard time explaining why there are two completely different sets of apps that work totally different from each other within the same OS.

Then, it's your fault. The reasons were already fully explained in several articles at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8 and several others.

SirPeterPan said,
Then, it's your fault. The reasons were already fully explained in several articles at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8 and several others.

Yes, of course it's my fault. Microsoft clearly did everything right and in a sensible way. Having two completely different sets of apps within the same OS makes total sense and is totally desirable. Hence the reason why Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets took the market by storm. Clearly the vast majority of consumers agree with Microsoft. /s

.Neo said,

Yes, of course it's my fault. Microsoft clearly did everything right and in a sensible way. Having two completely different sets of apps within the same OS makes total sense and is totally desirable. Hence the reason why Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets took the market by storm. Clearly the vast majority of consumers agree with Microsoft. /s

I can understand sarcasm, thank you very much & I don't think all majorities are necessarily right all the time.

The start menu is more efficient (takes less or the same # of steps to do things), contains more features for accessing, organizing and managing shortcuts, has more shortcuts for easily accessing other parts of your computer such as network, devices, control panel, shutdown/restart, etc., better search (although search is apparently improved in 8.1), nested folder support, has true context menu functionality, and doesn't break workflow by covering up the entire screen when you want to launch something.

All management of shortcuts can be done within the start menu itself. With the start screen you need to open the actual folder in explorer (which is still ironically called the Start Menu folder in Win 8) even just to rename a shortcut or access shortcut properties.

The claim that the start screen is functionally the same as the start menu is false. Name calling and blaming your customers is a poor argument and a terrible business strategy.

Win 7 also has Advanced Appearance Settings, better "open with" dialogue and other dialogue boxes that have reduced functionality in Win 8, no forced edge shortcuts like the charms bar, boot to desktop, start button, etc. Some of those are being addressed in 8.1 but not all.

If you claim Win 8 has the same functionality or efficiency as Win 7 you are either lying or misinformed.

startscreennope said,
If you claim Win 8 has the same functionality or efficiency as Win 7 you are either lying or misinformed.

Windows 8 certainly hasn't "the same" - it has much more functionality and efficiency than Win 7.

It's somewhat ironic that some of Microsoft's products are so successful that they can't change them. They can't change their products (even for the better) because the customers are so rabid.

With All due respect to neowin I strongly disagree with this article, although windows 8 was truly a mess, windows 8.1 is completely usable and productive even with mice and keyboard. With changes in start menu search context improvement, multiple app docking and resizable docks i don't see anything goes againts usability with mice and keyboard. Its just it takes time for people to get used to it. Plus convertible pc and tablet with pen option is exactly everyone needs on business and consumer side. One device that you can bring everywhere. On meeying, on desk and travel

Does windows 8.1 still have ...

The start screen : CHECK!
Hidden charms bar: CHECK
No Start menu: CHECK
Shutdown under settings / or a right click : CHECK

Nope still a mess.

Edited by warwagon, Jul 1 2013, 4:18am :

Out of all of my customers NONE of them have ever said they LOVE or LIKE windows 8. Every once in a while i'll find someone who says "it's ok". The rest use the word HATE. I'm not pulling this out my ass. It's all true.

Edited by warwagon, Jun 30 2013, 5:40pm :

warwagon said,
Out of all of my customers NONE of them have ever said they LOVE or LIKE windows 8. Every once in a while i'll find someone who says "it's ok". The rest use the word HATE. I'm not pulling this out my ass. It's all true.

Windows 8 is a mess. 8.1 is a different story. Plus most peoplre reject changes. Specially if they used to use a software for 10 years

Your right customers are on average pretty apathetic about the whole thing, that didn't stop them moaning about it in a pre-project UAT though when one of my customers considered deploying it.

"How do i shut it down?"

"Wheres my desktop?"

"Wheres my outlook?"

"What happened to all my icons i had?"

"Wheres my start button?'

I could go on.

Windows 8 has a lot of evolving to do. The problem is that MS threw the baby out with the bathwater and all the refinements that had been made went out the window. A lot of people think i'm a Windows 8 hater, I'm not. I just believe that they've made a convoluted mess that should have built upon the progress made in Windows 7, which removing the start menu excepting they did on the desktop side. All that was ruined however by tacking on un-necessary fluff that is Metro.

Edited by RossDundas, Jun 30 2013, 6:18pm :

I'm pleased to see that my article has spawned some healthy debate and I thank everyone for commenting.

I do see that some people have gotten a little heated and I thought it best to explain my original intent with the article.

I run an IT consultancy in Aberdeen Scotland, which as one commenter noted isn't exactly a tech hub but is home to some of the largest oil firms in the world. For an American equivalent I believe Houston in Texas is probably the nearest in terms of an analogy. You can imagine therefore the size of some of the firms I'm talking about like, total, shell, BP, Chevron, Nexen and so on. None of them have any plans to roll out windows 8 even on solely tablets. They're all rolling out Windows 7. Why? mainly becaus of the reasons stated above, it's a training and use ability nightmare for joe user and the start screen although a good idea isn't working for joe user who lives in Microsoft Outlook not Metro mail.

The article is based on the feedback I have received first hand from my customers which are companies large and small and Microsofts main customer base. So in hindsight perhaps I should have stressed this in the article. Lets be clear on this Microsoft's key customers are those that purchase volume licenses for thousands of PCs not the one guy with a PC who can easily roll with the changes.

So yes for the one guy and his PC yeah by all means if Windows 8 floats your boat then go for it. I'd love to hear from the MCSEs amount you though who have planned and deployed Windows 8 in their environment. Any takers?

I for one enjoyed your article. I have been saying the same thing but it falls on deaf ears around here. On my side, I deal with the government and their contractors and they to cannot fathom the utter mistake Microsoft has made with Windows 8. In the end, money talks and Microsoft will have no choice but to bow down to their big money makers.

JHBrown said,
I for one enjoyed your article. I have been saying the same thing but it falls on deaf ears around here. On my side, I deal with the government and their contractors and they to cannot fathom the utter mistake Microsoft has made with Windows 8. In the end, money talks and Microsoft will have no choice but to bow down to their big money makers.

Bow down and do what? They're not going to relent on the Start Screen, or they would have done so by now. There's no reason to divide Windows when the market is pressing towards device unity.

RossDundas said,
...Why? mainly becaus of the reasons stated above, it's a training and use ability nightmare for joe user and the start screen although a good idea isn't working for joe user who lives in Microsoft Outlook not Metro mail...

How do they know this if they haven't deployed or even planned to deploy the OS?

Also I'm not a fan of the Start Screen when I'm working either but I'd hardly call it a nightmare.

How can training/usability for Windows 8 be so different to 7 when basically the only change is Start Menu vs. Start Screen? Are you saying that these companies feel their employees are so dull that they'll need considerably more training to learn to use the consumer-friendly Start Screen?

It seems to me like all this hate started in the media and the IT industry and has just spread to those that don't know any better and/or haven't actually used the OS. People with limited computer skills are terrified that their systems will become unusable with the slightest change, so when IT pros tell them that Windows 8 will sap their productivity and they read the same on the internet, they get spooked.

Patrick Danielson said,
You know, sometimes I don't want a Doritos shell for my taco. Microsoft stole that from us by taking away the start button.

The Start Button never went away.

Is Microsoft going to service the casual consumer or service businesses and serious consumers? One OS is not going to work equally well for both areas. Windows-8 is a great illustration. It appears that Microsoft has made a major shift and is going for the casual consumer market (and also directly compete with Apple) and "abandon" the rest of the market (for which it was, repeat was, servicing quite well). How long will Microsoft rely on XP, Vista, and Windows-7 to carry them?

TsarNikky said,
Is Microsoft going to service the casual consumer or service businesses and serious consumers? One OS is not going to work equally well for both areas. Windows-8 is a great illustration. It appears that Microsoft has made a major shift and is going for the casual consumer market (and also directly compete with Apple) and "abandon" the rest of the market (for which it was, repeat was, servicing quite well). How long will Microsoft rely on XP, Vista, and Windows-7 to carry them?
Exactly my friend. I predict changes are coming in the future. The die hard Windows 8 fans will be p i s s e d.

Nice article. Unfortunately a lot of fanboys above seem to be butt hurt. They can't apparently tolerate anything that goes against their flop OS.

yowanvista said,
Nice article. Unfortunately a lot of fanboys above seem to be butt hurt. They can't apparently tolerate anything that goes against their flop OS.
Agree. Good article.

I've seen this first hand working with clients here in my own IT consultancy business in Aberdeen.

Some real movers and shakers in the tech industry.

I would like to invite all the die hard Windows 8 fans to really examine this situation outside of the Neowin world. I can really speak on this issue because I deal with thousands of government and civil clients every week. The reality guys is that Millions of people really hate Windows 8. Millions have "accepted" it because they had to buy a computer or laptop from Best Buy. Why is it so hard to accept that Microsoft may have goofed up a little on this issue. Stop being so close minded because you love Windows 8 and you have a small community here of a few thousand that can give you moral support on the issue. I believe that in future versions of Windows, Microsoft will be forced to appeal to the masses. It's inevitable! What are the die hard fans gonna do then? Go back to the Vanilla version of Windows 8?

On a separate note, I'm seeing comments about how the MacBook sucks because of its lack of a touchscreen. I was at a Starbucks last month and a gentleman caught my attention with his ASUS touchscreen Windows 8 laptop. His screen was smeared with fingerprints and he looked very uncomfortable going between touch and keyboard. Touch on the laptop is not very ergonomic. This guy just made me chuckle because it looked as though his wrist was hurting along with his back. So please remind why touch screen on a laptop is so cool?

P.S. I love the Windows Surface and Windows Phone 8 interface. In the 90's when most here were in diapers, I almost got a Windows tattoo.

Edited by JHBrown, Jun 29 2013, 9:01pm :

This is ridiculous. You can position a 14" laptop in very different ways, and some of these ways allow a very comfortable usage of the touchscreen (if it actually has one).

JHBrown said,
...I can really speak on this issue because I deal with thousands of government and civil clients every week. The reality guys is that Millions of people really hate Windows 8...

I'm by no means a "die hard Windows 8 fan" but I'd like to know WHY all of these people hate Windows 8. I just don't get it. Did they actually deploy it in their workplaces and it's not working for them? Or is it just that they've been hearing how bad it is so they "hate" it now?

I'm not trolling by the way I'm genuinely interested.

Macs are outdated, they don't come with touchscreens and the OS isn't optimized for touch. Microsoft is on the right direction, optimizing for touch and other inputs, I like the variety of options of software and hardware that Windows 8 allows. the traditional software and modern ones, plus all the other improvements, and all the form factors. And, I'm not afraid of them failing, they keep showing Strong and positive financial results .

SirPeterPan said,
Macs are outdated, they don't come with touchscreens and the OS isn't optimized for touch. Microsoft is on the right direction, optimizing for touch and other inputs, I like the variety of options of software and hardware that Windows 8 allows. the traditional software and modern ones, plus all the other improvements, and all the form factors. And, I'm not afraid of them failing, they keep showing Strong and positive financial results .
Macs are outdated because of no touch screen? LMAO!

SirPeterPan said,

Yes they are! "LMAO"

So my Sager laptop with a GTX 780m, i7 4800, 512GB SSD, 16GB of ram, and a 1920x1080 display, is outdated. Guess what it has no touch screen and is one the best built laptops currently available. Get a grip dude. Non touch screen does not make a laptop outdated. You sound like an immature teenager.

JHBrown said,
So my Sager laptop with a GTX 780m, i7 4800, 512GB SSD, 16GB of ram, and a 1920x1080 display, is outdated. Guess what it has no touch screen and is one the best built laptops currently available. Get a grip dude. Non touch screen does not make a laptop outdated. You sound like an immature teenager.

Eh, I wouldn't waste too much time on him. There's always something that makes the Mac platform outdated. Before touchscreens started hitting the market, the Mac was out dated just because.

omgben said,

Eh, I wouldn't waste too much time on him. There's always something that makes the Mac platform outdated. Before touchscreens started hitting the market, the Mac was out dated just because.

Thanks for the heads up. His posts lack any substance.

JHBrown said,
So my Sager laptop with a GTX 780m, i7 4800, 512GB SSD, 16GB of ram, and a 1920x1080 display, is outdated. Guess what it has no touch screen and is one the best built laptops currently available. Get a grip dude. Non touch screen does not make a laptop outdated. You sound like an immature teenager.

Yes, without touchscreen, your laptop is outdated, no matter how good it performs in other tasks.

JHBrown said,
Thanks for the heads up. His posts lack any substance.

Your posts lack substance, as they don't address the issue that started the discussion.

JHBrown said,
So my Sager laptop with a GTX 780m, i7 4800, 512GB SSD, 16GB of ram, and a 1920x1080 display, is outdated. Guess what it has no touch screen and is one the best built laptops currently available. Get a grip dude. Non touch screen does not make a laptop outdated. You sound like an immature teenager.

I dont care about touch screen nor the highest hardware graphic power. Mac is outdated because it doesn't have enough for developers to play with. Objective C is horrible and outdatd looking programming language as opposed to c# that has a new generation almost every year. Support for robotics and cool sdks like kinect on windows. Support for different devices and tablets on single platform. Xbox and many more.

Windows is a multi tasking desktop operating system, it is called Windows because everything is in separate Windows!

But to change that drastically and to tell all developers if you want us to sell your apps then you better start developing full screen, yeh right, the developers like me responded, we better start developing for the browser!

Microsoft then wanted us to develop for their browser, no thank you, we already seen what happened to Windows "it is my way of the highway", thank you, the highway has many other cars.

They pushed people like me to study Html5, CSS3, and Ecma5 for about 2 years, by a super slow WPF, and incomplete SilverLight, and now full screen WPF/Html5 ???????

Google, Apple, FireFox, and others have full UI language, Chrome and Safari are a full application environment by itself, you can write a web server as a Chrome service in JavaScript that runs on Linux, Windows, ChromeOS, and Mac with zero lines of code modified.
https://github.com/GoogleChrom...mples/tree/master/webserver

Large empires demolished from the mistakes of a few, I guess history is on the making.

Edited by john.smith_2084, Jun 29 2013, 5:22pm :

Back 10 years ago, having programs in "windows" was an important aspect to multi-tasking. Funny but you can still do it in Windows 8 and not just on the desktop. Win 8.1 is bringing improved multi-tasking to the Modern interface as well.
MS knows they have to move on or fade away. Staying stuck in the true "windows" design would mean stagnation and eventually becoming irrelevant.

Man, besides the battery life, that XPS 18 is awesome. I'm in the market for a portable AIO, to just use about the house. My kids can use it, and I can lug it into the kitchen to watch TV when cooking. I was watching the major E3 presentations the other day on my Surface whilst making dinner and cleaning the kitchen, but a larger screen would've been awesome.
Your fault for not seeing ussage scenarios!

I think these new portable AIO are awesome. You can use it as a classic desktop and as a Surface-style table top PC. Great choice for a shared family computer.

I just don't understand how anyone could be happy with the limited choice in form factors you get from Macs.

Avatar Roku said,
I think these new portable AIO are awesome. You can use it as a classic desktop and as a Surface-style table top PC. Great choice for a shared family computer.

I just don't understand how anyone could be happy with the limited choice in form factors you get from Macs.


Just a matter of preferences.... I prefer a classic desktop, others prefer AIO devices. Simple as that

Fritzly said,

Just a matter of preferences.... I prefer a classic desktop, others prefer AIO devices. Simple as that

Absolutely, but the article implies that this form factor is some sort of negative outcome of Microsoft's bungling of Windows 8. As though greater variety in hardware from OEMs is a bad thing. It's entirely perplexing.

i had always felt good of microsoft and would have considered myself a fan of there products, windows and xbox, but i can honestly say i like them a lot less since windows 8.
i loved windows 7 and xbox, xbox 360, zune and 3 months ago if you asked me i would of told you i would of brought the next xbox. Not now.
sadly what appealed to me originally i just don't see any more.
i look to the other tech companies now like apple and google

IMHO, the tablet market is just fading and MS (again) is arriving late to the party.

MS would have succeeded years ago but, right now, Android and IOS are well positioned.

Some people could say that WP/RT is pretty, ugly, amazing, boring or whatever, sadly those comments are subjective, however features are objective and WP/RT lacks of several key features at least for tablet. The same happens with Internet Explorer, IE is fast (subjective) however, it lacks of features that the competitors added years ago.

So, what MS needs is speed of adaptation.

Edited by Brony, Jun 29 2013, 3:03pm :

Brony said,
IMHO, the tablet market is just fading and MS (again) is arriving late to the party.

MS would have succeeded years ago but, right now, Android and IOS are well positioned.

Tablet market is fading? Where?

Most people that already own a tablet, they will not spend in a new tablet.
During the 2013, the tablet market will start decelerating.

Edited by Brony, Jun 30 2013, 2:49pm :

Brony said,
Most people that already own a tablet, they will not spend in a new tablet.
During the 2013, the tablet market will start decelerating.

Riiiight. Because new tablets won't be coming to market?

Where to even begin. Ok, that's it. I'm making a video tutorial series to show just how damned easy/simple it is to use a mouse and keyboard with Windows 8. It is NOT rocket science. You simply change the way you do a few things. It's just mind boggling really. I hate calling anyone stupid but geez, inability to adapt? I know there's the adage of "if it aint broke don't fix it!" The thing is, it was broken, in a sense. The future is an OS that can be used with any form factor. All touch? Fine. Only mouse/keyboard? You're fine too! I speak from experience because I use it on my desktop. In fact I've never once used Win8 on a touch device. Shock and horror!

The bottom line is that at least MS is listening and attempting to meet in the middle with 8.1. It isn't "too little, too late". MS did the right thing by releasing 8 when it did. It has 7 to fall back on while they polish up 8. The start menu is never coming back at least by default. I could see enabling it but it's just unnecessary at the end of the day. I don't miss it a bit. Then again, that's my opinion I suppose.

This article is at least 6 months too late. You won't get a rise out of people anymore. The hate wagon has parked itself based on commentary I've been seeing online. 8.1 seems to be very well received by alot of those who complained,and the only ones who still want to make it an issue are apple fans,go figure.

Enron said,

Well apparently nothing pleases you, as every comment you post is something hateful of MS.

Some fanboys says : w 8.1 is a REVOLUTION but, for a normal people that own windows 8, windows 8.1 promises... well, nothing special.

OM, what a crap of editorial again.

I'm so happy at least MS has some kind of vision.
do you really think there will be the current distinction between phones, tablets, desktops,notebooks, etc forever?!?! do you think the macos/ios approach is the better one?! no touch on,laptops, desktops, etc...

The main core mistake with this article is that it suffers from the same instant gratification most people expect in these modern times. Life doesn't work that way buddy. Ask a farmer, who doesn't expect instant crops after planting seeds: it takes weeks, months to get a crop, and even then, if you're preparing the land for bigger changes, it takes several seasons of crops to get what you were planning.

Software is no different. I laugh everytime somebody suggests that one or less than one year is enough to evaluate Win8 success in the market. HA, dream on. We won't be able to evaluate how the Win8 branch of new software paradigms is sinking into people's minds for at least 3/4 years. Win8 isn't the culmination of the old paradigm like Win7 was, it's - as the article correctly points out - the Win3x of the new paradigm. That means, we are in a new 30 year cycle and while Win8, 8.1, 8.2 and maybe eben 8.3 will improve things, we probably won't see a big explosion in the new paradigm until Win9. Remember it took until Win95 to actually explode the old paradigm's market.

Good things come to those who are patient.

Trolling indeed!
I struggled so to find the value in this "piece", the insight, the bit that gave me something to think about THEN... I looked at the biography of the writer and didn't get further than the bio pic. This is all you get from the APPL (which @ $396 is close to the 52 week low of $385) club these days, battling to see the future. MSFT (@ $34 is close to the 52 week high of $35) on the other hand heading into the future with innovation and product releases. Opinions on the new and innovative are welcome, trolling..... not so much.

I respect that you believe this to be trolling but this is based on my experience in working with users and handling support calls. I work on the front lines of IT and yes the pic is a bit out of date :-) Everyone is entitled to their opinion, i just ask that you respect mine.

Thanks

Ross

GASkinner said,
Trolling indeed!
I struggled so to find the value in this "piece", the insight, the bit that gave me something to think about THEN... I looked at the biography of the writer and didn't get further than the bio pic. This is all you get from the APPL (which @ $396 is close to the 52 week low of $385) club these days, battling to see the future. MSFT (@ $34 is close to the 52 week high of $35) on the other hand heading into the future with innovation and product releases. Opinions on the new and innovative are welcome, trolling..... not so much.

The point about the pic was more to do with you clinging onto your Apple than anything else. In some ways it is symbolic of the way a lot of Apple users view their Macs.
Also I fundamentally disagree with the view that pc's and tablets are and should remain distinct from each other. The hybrid form factor works, having a touch screen on a laptop works at every level. This innovation will continue despite any of the Apple fan club's views. In years to come it will be become evident and the focus of software will continue. Hopefully Apple will join the club and lead some of this much needed innovation.

I still don't understand People stating you can't use Windows 8 with keyboard and mouse. I use it on my desktop PC just as well as on my Surface and Windows 8 notebook. And I love how I have the same interface on every device, synced to whatever degree I want.
Of course, it was a drastical change and you need to be careful with those but you can't satisfy people who are afraid of change. These annoyingly loud people just avert progress and that's the real problem IMO. If you don't like it, stick to Windows 7 or switch to apple's ecosystem where progress is creeping in more subtly, I guess. But don't force start buttons on me that I don't want and you won't use anyway because you'll never be satisfied until Windows 8 is Windows 7 again.

srslykev said,
I still don't understand People stating you can't use Windows 8 with keyboard and mouse. I use it on my desktop PC just as well as on my Surface and Windows 8 notebook. And I love how I have the same interface on every device, synced to whatever degree I want.
Of course, it was a drastical change and you need to be careful with those but you can't satisfy people who are afraid of change. These annoyingly loud people just avert progress and that's the real problem IMO. If you don't like it, stick to Windows 7 or switch to apple's ecosystem where progress is creeping in more subtly, I guess. But don't force start buttons on me that I don't want and you won't use anyway because you'll never be satisfied until Windows 8 is Windows 7 again.

Not all changes are good changes. And what you call progress might not be progress. Is that so hard to understand?

If people don't like Windows 8, you say they have no right to say so? They should just stick to Windows 7 and be quiet?

You don't want to have forced start button on you? How about people that didn't want a forced removal of the start button?

The retardedness in most of your sentences is mind boggling.

IN other words, if it changes, you'll hate it, but if it doesn't change, you'll dismiss it. That is, indeed, pretty much the prevalent opinion of change - ANY change - with regard to tech. If Microsoft changes anything in Windows, we say "Screw this; I'm going to Android!" - which is not only fragmented, but actually fragmented as badly as when there was still 2.x and 3.x - look at the state of apps on Android 4.x today - how many won't even run on a tablet, but WILL run on a phone (and I'm talking ICS or Jellybean - common OS)? That is just plain crazy (worse, it's a technical violation of Google's own policy regarding apps, games, etc. distributed via the Google Play Store) - why is Google (and more importantly, Google's development community) allowed to pull that sort of crap? It's obvious to anyone that runs Android VMs (let alone does development) - it's why I have, despite how good actual Android tablets can run, utterly balked at buying one - why should I when the apps I *really* want (and especially the GAMES I want to play) won't run on an Android tablet because it's NOT a phone? Device lock-in (or lock-out) is as pervasive on Android as ever - no thanks. iOS does the same sort of thing (and so do iOS developers) - hence my passing on iPads. With WindowsRT, there is no lock-out - what can run on a WindowsRT device can run on ANY WindowsRT device. Even better, there is commonality between RT and 8/8.1 - I'm not relearning how to get around the hardware due to MUI mismatches. (And that is despite my Windows 8.1 desktop NOT supporting touch.)

OK, even if I'm running the risk of talking retarded bull**** here (in your unhumble opinion at least). I didn't say you were stupid not liking change. It is a rather radical change and I - coming from WP7 - wasn't as shocked about the new interface as others might have been. But certain complaints (like the start button itself - old menu, I understand) are simply ridiculous. And it's simply MS's way of adapting to the new formfactors and touch: instead of creating a new (iOS-like) version of Windows for tablets, they created an ecosystem that runs amongst all platforms. To me, that is a great idea and even if there are quite a few problems accompanied by this change, I still love it. And considering all the other products released today, what product is really finished when it goes RTM? That doesn't exist anymore (not even at 'it just works'-Apple) so if you try a new system you need to expect flaws here and there and wait until they're fixed. But at least, they are. And since you have free choice: yeah, you should stick to Windows 7 or other platforms and be quiet if you can't adapt. Nagging around won't change the way windows is heading, it's just annoying to people who welcome the change.

If Microsoft splits the SKU into 'Metro' and 'Classic' no one will buy metro and pc sales will continue to die as apple and android tablets take over. We have seen this with HP/Plam, RIM, and even the crunchpad thing. If you are not Apple and you release a tablet with an all new operating system it WILL NOT SELL. No sales means no apps, which means apple wins. That is why metro inside every PC is a good idea.

Last quarter I think I read PC's sold something like 330 million units. In a year or so the vast majority of them will be win8, every win8 pc has metro, devs see that and can't avoid the gold mine so we get tons of apps. That is how I think Microsoft sees it.

But I will admit, they screwed up BIG TIME by not making metro optional from the beginning for desktop users. Win 8.1 should have been win 8.0 then all the hate would never have happened. A company as big as Microsoft should not make these kinds of stupid decisions.

I know this is an editorial and I know the tagline for neowin is or used to be unprofessional news.

But seriously... THIS is the kind of people writing our news, and ths is the kind of crap they're allowed to officially post n the site under the guise of "editorials".

just because it's an editorial doesn't mean you can write any kind of crap you want.

Editorials are opinion pieces. Just because you disagree doesn't make the editorial "crap".

I think there are some fair points in here, especially if you look at things from the point of view of the end consumer who doesn't know of Microsoft's "end game".

I think the person who wrote this wanted to come off as sounding intelligent, but something went wrong along the way.

HawkMan said,
I know this is an editorial and I know the tagline for neowin is or used to be unprofessional news.

But seriously... THIS is the kind of people writing our news, and ths is the kind of crap they're allowed to officially post n the site under the guise of "editorials".

just because it's an editorial doesn't mean you can write any kind of crap you want.


This!

Enron said,
I think the person who wrote this wanted to come off as sounding intelligent, but something went wrong along the way.

He sounds like one of those idiot analysts you read on BGR. I'm surprised he didn't mention to sell off Bing, and tell Nokia to dump Windows Phone.

This is embarrassing even by Neowin's standards. Maybe the new community rules should apply to the "writers" as well.

Fourjays said,
Editorials are opinion pieces. Just because you disagree doesn't make the editorial "crap".

I think there are some fair points in here, especially if you look at things from the point of view of the end consumer who doesn't know of Microsoft's "end game".

editorials are opinions pieces yes. But you still have to write a sensible and intelligent article of it. read editiroials in any "professional" news source or magazine and you'll see that they don't let any kind of editorial be published.

Enron said,
I think the person who wrote this wanted to come off as sounding intelligent, but something went wrong along the way.

I got the exact same feeling as I was reading it.

Why do they need to? What is so different about clicking on a tile, than an icon? They don't need to split the SKUs up, there's nothing wrong with Windows 8 on the desktop, and as Windows 8.1 shows, things will advance on.

If you're so hurt over using Modern apps, don't use them. Click to boot straight to the desktop, and move on.

Now, how long before the boss pulls down this article?

Snake89 said,
The main difference between clicking on a tile and a icon is speed in a fast pace workplace. Like try running 6 different programs at once using the start screen, it's much slower then having all your programs right in view in the forum of icons. So longer it takes to switch between programs is loss in time, an time cost money.

If you say just use boot straight to desktop, then why switch away from windows 7?

There's no difference in time when clicking Start, then a tile. Same concept, same amount of clicks.

Snake89 said,
The main difference between clicking on a tile and a icon is speed in a fast pace workplace. Like try running 6 different programs at once using the start screen, it's much slower then having all your programs right in view in the forum of icons. So longer it takes to switch between programs is loss in time, an time cost money.

If you say just use boot straight to desktop, then why switch away from windows 7?

If it's so fast pace, then shouldn't you pin all the frequent programs to the taskbar like it is on Windows 7?

Dot Matrix said,

There's no difference in time when clicking Start, then a tile. Same concept, same amount of clicks.


Visibility/usability is completely different. The 4 or 5 windows I have open that I am working on (in desktop mode of course), I almost 99% of the time would NOT want this huge oversized icon grid to block all of my work. For what. So I can click a ugly tile that is matte color behind this somewhat ugly icon? Have to 'scroll' to get to my app at the end of 'grid'?

When with my 4 or 5 windows open, I can simply click a little button in the corner and instantly see my instantly accessible menu, over my 5 windows that I can still see perfectly fine. No need to have this big flip window block my work. Just pointless. Then you click a block and it just flips back. Its actually very annoying (for me).

I really feel like its just widgets/gadgets that they decided to 'force'. The start screen is the desktop with bad matte colors and blocks with gadgets. What's the point.

To each is own. Thank God for 3rd-party smart people that know others still want the normal start menu (not all to even make money, aka pokki is free ). I also agree with the article some, they should have put TABLET on this. Then just made Windows 7.1 with updated 'under-the-hood' refinements like 8 has, but obv. without the metro.

KevinN206 said,

If it's so fast pace, then shouldn't you pin all the frequent programs to the taskbar like it is on Windows 7?

There, you proved the start screen is pointless in that respect then. Glad you proved that point yourself. "Just pin apps to start bar, no need for the useless start screen."

It's complicated because on one hand, consumers SAY they want new and exciting, but, on the other, they pretty much INSIST on a baby-steps approach to incorporating those changes into existing products. Heck - just look at how LITTLE Android has changed since Froyo (2.2) - which was from the *phone* branch of the Android OS core; worse, despite both phones and tablets being Android-powered, how many common apps are there actually between the two formfactors? If anything, iOS is just as bad - how many apps are only for either iPhone/iPod touch, or even just for iPad? Windows (aside from RT or Phone) is pretty much unique in that there is little nicheification across the platform - even the Embedded flavors can run the same software the desktop or portable versions can (and vice-versa). And there is, in fact, cross-application development across Windows/RT/Phone, and even with XB360 and XB-ONE added to the mix. Yet neither Google OR Apple are called out on their not even hewing to their OWN standards as far as app compatibility across each OS - while Microsoft is. What in Ned is fair about that?

PGHammer said,
It's complicated because on one hand, consumers SAY they want new and exciting, but, on the other, they pretty much INSIST on a baby-steps approach to incorporating those changes into existing products.

I think most people accept even major changes after a short period, if they can immediately see the benefits. I know I was like it with the Libraries feature which was a fairly big shift from the old fixed directories. At first I was like "what the!?" and after a few days of messing with it I was like "wow, this makes accessing my second drive easier" (and now they're apparently planning to remove it in favour of the "junk" folders again... hmph).

The difficulty for Windows 8 is I don't think they've proven it is an advantage yet. It hasn't to me, and from what I know of 8.1 it could very easily drive me back to Windows 7 or another platform. I think it is similar for many other people too., although the exact reasons will vary from person to person.

The key word there is immediate - the only way folks will se immediate benefits is if the product does NOT come from Microsoft, apparently - with a Microsoft product, they want backward-compatibility. Remember, Google doesn't do a truly desktop OS - Chromebooks are browser-based, and are otherwise less than even Android. Apple's iOS? It's more closed than even OS X (which was, after all, planned to be a closed OS from the get-go, despite the BSD-based underpinnings). Even more telling, neither OS has even true within-platform broad app compatibility (despite both Apple and Google supposedly having *standards* for it) The most open OS, at least to me, is the one that runs on the broadest gamut of hardware, along with the applications thereof -and that OS is neither Android OR iOS.

I use win 8 since its preview, not secodary use it is in my laptop, my desktop and well I have a wp8. You might say I'm a winfan, but I'm a very critic person.

Since the adoption of Win8 I havent spent much time in the metro enviroment, I haven't found any app that makes me go over that part of the OS, beside Xbox Music, but I have found that the OS is much more responsive than Win 7, energy efficient and the folders have the ribbon which I like.

So we might say kill the start screen leave Win8 with the desktop changes and thats it right?

Well I was partially convinced about that until my grandmother told me her laptop had died, so I panicked, I had to buy a new PC for a Senior.... She is used to the Ipad so, but she doesnt like it for her everyday use which is Facebook, skype, farmville, some games, email, google, recipes, youtube and new sites.

While searching for laptops, I decided the best option for someone like her is a touch device the system invites yous graphically to touch the screen. Then I saw the XPS 18" the thing is exactly what she needed a portable device with touch screen and a mouse and keyboard for desktop ease of use.

Let me tell you I was scared to even turn it un and present the new windows 8 to her, because I knew what it meant to me (countless hours trying to explain how things work) I decided the best was to pin everything she uses and download some solitaire games, word games and leave it all in the start screen... Then I saw the beauty of windows 8 she took the huge tablet and started it using right away, she only called me when an app from dell tried to update and she freaked out.

So I can use win8 everyday and dont bother with the start screen, but she uses the start screen and doesnt bother with the desktop, she extremely happy with how the windows 8 works, she can see the skydrive pictures, use facebook and google, play silly little games like in the ipad, she has been even painting some sick stuff with the tablet....

For us the start screen until now is almost useless, but for different kind of user is a easier and better proposition of how computers should be.

The following phrase in the article above:
The Start screen and interface paradigm itself... being a "debacle" sums it up so well. When is Microsoft going to "man-up" and acknowledge their big mistake, apologize to their users, and then fix the mess? The longer they wait the worse it gets. As for their feeble attempts at a "fix" with Windows-8.1, consider it weak and unacceptable.

The start screen and NUI is not going away. The Windows Store is the future of Windows. Tablets are going to outsell all other PC form factors. The improvements you should be expecting are things like Bing voice control and search integrated into the OS and available to apps as an API.

Windows 8 was the beginning of a new platform interface that will continue to evolve over the next decade with a new OS update each year like Mac OS X did in the previous decade. They're not "fixing" they're evolving. Microsoft isn't trying to save the desktop PC, they're trying to evolve it with portable touch-enabled AiO and an app platform that is ready for the tablet PC revolution.

If Microsoft if choosing the abandon, or at least alienate, the business community (who are keyboard/mice oriented) that is there choice to make. The "tap-n-scratch" UI just isn't business oriented. Hint: try entering the text needed for a multiple page report on a touch-centric device. Oh...you have a Type cover? Good luck with that. Oh...you have added a wireless full-size keyboard? You now have a two-piece laptop (at best) or a very compact desktop. It all comes down to how one uses their PC--games/play or work.

TsarNikky said,
If Microsoft if choosing the abandon, or at least alienate, the business community (who are keyboard/mice oriented) that is there choice to make. The "tap-n-scratch" UI just isn't business oriented. Hint: try entering the text needed for a multiple page report on a touch-centric device. Oh...you have a Type cover? Good luck with that. Oh...you have added a wireless full-size keyboard? You now have a two-piece laptop (at best) or a very compact desktop. It all comes down to how one uses their PC--games/play or work.

So much stupid in this reply. If you're gonna need to write a multi page report, why are you limited to only using a Surface? How does the interface prohibit that?

None of what you said makes any sense, but I congratulate you for trying

Many people just flat out don't like drastic changes whether it's a product or life. However, windows 8.1 isn't really a flop just because majority of people didn't adopt it yet. The new start screen is indeed faster and easier to access the app once you get use to it

In fact, they allow user to have the same wallpaper in the modern and classic environment in windows 8.1 that remove the distraction of feeling like constantly entering a different room when switching to metro and directly boot into desktop.

I hope microsoft will give user the option to have aero glass back and dreamscene. Maybe this is two of the strongest reason why people still stuck in windows 7 like me

I like how in the article he talks about how Apple didn't make the mistake that MS did, yet Apple stock is plummeting (stock value cut in half in 1 year) and Mac OS continues to sell like crap next to Windows. Windows 8 has already sold more copies than all versions of Mac OS X combined and Microsoft stock is at a 5-10 year high.

He says that people are going to call him an Apple fanboy, but when all metric indications are that Apple management is currently failing and you're saying they're not making mistakes what other conclusion can be reached?

Apple stock plummeted because it was wildly overvalued, and of course Windows sells more: It has the $300 Walmart craptop market cornered.

Oh, and Windows 8 is "selling well" because Microsoft convinced all their OEMs to ship new hardware with it installed instead of Windows 7. Not because customers wanted it.

Can I just say opposite of everything he just said? I stopped buying MacBooks because they don't have touch screens. I think the XPS18 is brilliant and I'm glad to see so many All-in-Ones going this route. My only complaint about the XPS18 is that it's not bigger. We all dreamed of having large Surface tables in our homes just a few years ago and now we have it via these portable AiO PCs.

The HP Envy X2 is a brilliant polished product. If HP throws a Haswell in that slim design it will be my next PC. I haven't liked an HP PC in almost a decade.

How is Win8.1 too little too late? They've sold almost 150M copies of Win8 already. Why does there need to be two separate operating systems? If all you want is a traditional desktop then use the boot to desktop option and all apps view instead of live tiles. I use both interfaces and I love hybrid devices. The thought of buying a computer that doesn't have a touch screen regardless of form factor is so idiotic it is laughable to me.

I think this editorial has no merit whatsoever. Windows 8 was a great foundation. Windows 8.1 is a major improvement only because of the intelligently designed foundation built with Windows 8. They turned around a massive improvement in a little more than half a year. Touch screen PCs are going to start getting very cheap this year and start replacing all the outdated old non-touch PCs. With each passing year more PCs will be ready for Windows 8 and Windows 8 will continue to improve every year with 8.2, 8.3, 8.4...

Avatar Roku said,
I stopped buying MacBooks because they don't have touch screens.

The thought of buying a computer that doesn't have a touch screen regardless of form factor is so idiotic it is laughable to me.

Whatever you wrote is laughable for most of us.