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Is Windows 8 an indictment of OS X, Linux, all other Desktop OSes?

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sanctified    1,220

I'm not sure there was ever any real GUI competition, not that I remember anyway.

In think there was. OS/2 was quite something back in the day.

Today I think OS X is a really good OS that keeps being mocked due to Apple's arrogance.

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Gerowen    1,233

Actually, Windows 8 aside, being able to fit 90% of the market is one of the great accomplishments of Windows over the years. Perhaps, despite this clear stumble, Microsoft is deserving of patience given that those who should be presenting alternatives, have presenting nothing.

If you took 10 normal users, any level of computer literacy, and put them in front of 2 desktops, one running OpenOffice, the other running Office 2013 or 2010.

How many do you think would choose to use the desktop running OpenOffice?

Probably none, because the only thing they've ever been exposed to is Microsoft Office, so the frustration of trying to re-learn new software would hinder their ability to use OpenOffice/LibreOffice, StarOffice, iWork, or anything other than Microsoft Office. It would be kind of like what's happening to a lot of people when they try Windows 8 for the first time and realize there's no Start button, no taskbar, no system tray, etc. when the computer first starts up. They start paying for 3rd party applications to bring the functionality they want back to their newer OS.

The whole point of my first post is that there is good products out there that come from companies other than Microsoft. I'm not saying Windows is bad, I'm just saying there are decent alternatives available that never get any publicity because for whatever reason, the companies that are successful such as Canonical and Redhat, for some reason don't take the time to invest in marketing very much, at least from what I've seen.

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MorganX    1,044

In think there was. OS/2 was quite something back in the day.

Today I think OS X is a really good OS that keeps being mocked due to Apple's arrogance.

Keep in mind Microsoft co-developed OS/2 and OS/2 3.0 went on to become Windows NT Workstation. They didn't destroy OS/2, in fact, IBM created the "intentional leak." IMO. To grow market share they included full CDs of OS/2 that was easily cractivated to grow market share. Didn't work. It just didn't have the apps or hardware/driver support. It got destroyed by Windows 3.0. On Merit.

The only shady thing about that was MS may have used monies from IBM that was supposed to go into developing OS/2 to develop on it's own, in parallel, Windows 3.0. They were infighting the whole time so ...

Apple has no desire to be the market leader in PCs, only the profit leader. Their ecosystem and business mode support that. I would love to see Apple give up OS X, make only iOS devices and PC hardware that runs Windows natively. I'd buy a 27" aluminum iMac running Windows 8 natively with or without touchscreen in a heartbeat.

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DeadEndAccount    508

Disclaimer; I am Mac user who owns an iMac, MacBook Pro, iPhone and Airport Extreme - I'm all Mac'ed out.

1) Do not confuse a few angry geeks as a litmus test for the success or failure of a product. Are there issues with Windows 8? sure, but I see no on denying it other than advocates asking for at least some perspective rather than hyperbolising the known issues that exist.

2) Do you even know what 'indictment' means? it makes no sense to say that Windows is an indictment of OS X or Linux - an indictment of what? of how good Windows 7 is? how people are willing to stick with an older version of Windows than move to OS X or Linux?

3) How is iOS stagnant? to use such an argument would be to say that Windows 7 is stagnant but funny enough when it was released no one was making that claim given that the majority of the changes were under the hood with little visible changes on the surface - just as in the case of what is happening with iOS. Most people I know don't care about innovation for the sake of innovation but the delivery of a quality product that allows them to get things done and to call iOS seems to be more a whine by fanboys who simply want change for the sake of it and it does arrive, such as Windows 8, they whine that the change is 'too much' and 'shouldn't have changed that drastically'.

What Windows 8 needs are more native applications but more importantly for Microsoft to actually lay out a coherent road map into the future - not speculation or guesses but an actual road map as to where WinRT (Windows Run Time) and associated API's are going to take Windows. Is the desktop going to exist in the future - if so is it legacy support that'll be stuck in a time warp or are we going to see the ability to create desktop applications using WinRT? Developers need to know these questions and more importantly Microsoft need to realise the limitations of the ModernUI - sorry but all the 'you need to re-think your application' is a load crap as it doesn't matter what angle you look at it from the idea of having a complex applications like Photoshop in ModernUI is just plain stupid. ModernUI is great for touch screen based scenarios such as tablets and phones where I can see a stripped down version of Office running for those who want to edit files on the go or view files but beyond that the full application should be delivered in traditional desktop GUI with the core being based on WinRT and the GUI itself using XAML so that there a single back end with a context sensitive front end that detects whether you're in tablet or desktop mode.

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MorganX    1,044

Probably none, because the only thing they've ever been exposed to is Microsoft Office, so the frustration of trying to re-learn new software would hinder their ability to use OpenOffice/LibreOffice, StarOffice, iWork, or anything other than Microsoft Office.

Not sure if I agree re-learning is the issue. I think many would play around quite a while with iWork. In fact, for a while I thought Keynote was better than PowerPoint and more usable. Numbers and Pages are great and for education and small business, I'd have to say better choices. Of course, when you get to hardware, the OS, and platform preferences, I think ultimately Windows wins out.

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MorganX    1,044

1) Do not confuse a few angry geeks as a litmus test for the success or failure of a product. Are there issues with Windows 8? sure, but I see no on denying it other than advocates asking for at least some perspective rather than hyperbolising the known issues that exist.

How many geeks did you count? I'll take that as an opinion and perspective.

2) Do you even know what 'indictment' means? of how good Windows 7 is?

In this case, strong disapproval. Of how good Windows 7 is, or how bad alternatives are.

3) How is iOS stagnant?

The UI. Though I'm personally back on an iPhone 5, I find my self longing for much of the usability of WP8. Yet my need for the apps is greater than the ease of use and niceties of the WP8 UI.

>>What Windows 8 needs are more native applications<<

>>Microsoft need to realise the limitations of the ModernUI - sorry but all the 'you need to re-think your application' is a load crap<<

100% agreement on both. And is MS' willingness to go with that attitude not an indictment of the competition, or lack thereof?

>>doesn't matter what angle you look at it from the idea of having a complex applications like Photoshop in ModernUI is just plain stupid.<<

I think I still agree with that. But with more granular Snap views in Blue, given that Photoshop menus take up a good deal of the screen, why couldn't those menus go in a 1/4" snap view, with the canvas having the remainder of the screen? I think it is unlikely, but not impossible for it to work. I think MS is going to back off on the full-screen thing, if not with more granular snap views, with Modern UI windowing.

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vcfan    2,338

give me a break vcfan. You're a blatant zealot with a complete unwillingness to hear or discuss civilly anything other than anything Microsoft/Windows is nirvana. Anything remotely negative or unflattering about Windows or Microsoft is misinformation or a grand conspiracy theme.

im always willing to discuss anything,even negative things about Microsoft, or windows, IF ITS NOT A COMPLETE BASELESS OUTRIGHT LIE.

You claim all these major Modern UI apps but list NONE. When those do, they list OneNote MX, and Twitter or IRC tapplets. Those are not Major applications. Office, Photoshop, Visio, Major full blown games, etc. are major applications not tapplets.

what the hell is a tapplet? if you're talking about major tablet apps or games available on other platforms, a lot of those are available in the windows store. if you mean full blown pc applications and full blown pc games adjusted for touch , then those mostly don't exist on other platforms either, BUT windows 8 is able to run these, either on traditional PCs or on tablets,which no one else can do. Microsoft office apps though are touch friendly,and run on windows rt too. can you tell me who has major applications like Microsoft office, full photoshop, visio, full blown games(not mobile variants of full pc/console games)? notice I listed the ones you are using in your argument? lets see what you come up with. im dying to know.

100 million licenses is de facto based on the fact that it is the current shipping version of Windows. The number of OEM statements lamenting the lackluster impact Windows 8 has had is more than enough to justify the comment.

hilarious. I knew you were full of it. first it was lackluster sales, now its lackluster impact? the facts are sales are the same as sales of windows 7. you know, the fastest selling version of windows as called by Microsoft. and PC sales doesn't necessarily mean windows 8 sales. Microsoft had cheap and aggressive upgrades to windows 8. PC sales also don't include ultrabooks and windows tablets. You're also forgetting the fact that windows revenues never declined,even with such low upgrade pricing. I'd gladly take all these facts over what some disgruntled OEM might say.

Contribute something to the perspective, or do me a favor and just go the **** away and microbate in and all over your own thread.

you provided fabrications that you used for the basis of your thread. im calling you out on it. defend your statements with real facts, and not lies that allow your conscience to be pleased.

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MorganX    1,044

you provided fabrications that you used for the basis of your thread.

Actually the basis for this thread is the 8 million downloads of Start Menu replacements, in your zealous mind you look for an un-provable statistic, that 100 million in sales cannot still be lackluster. I consider that most of the sales are OEM and will continue to grow, to still be lackluster given they hype, it's goals, and the lack of impact it is having on its markets. You base your disjointed fan boyish raving on that figure I suppose.

You must be unaware that MS cut Windows 8 pricing to OEMs to boost sales. That is the result of lackluster sales.

>>the facts are sales are the same as sales of windows 7. you know, the fastest selling version of windows as called by Microsoft.<<

So is it? Or is it just called that by Microsoft? Then you should open a thread stating that windows 8 is the fastest selling version of Windows or at least equal to it. I'll come visit it. Your only interest in ANY thread is to argue how wonderful everything Windows 8 is, and it's all a misunderstanding, conspiracy, or misinterpretation of sales data.

>>what the hell is a tapplet? if you're talking about major tablet apps or games available on other platforms, a lot of those are available in the windows store. if you mean full blown pc applications and full blown pc games adjusted for touch , then those mostly don't exist on other platforms either, BUT windows 8 is able to run these, either on traditional PCs or on tablets,which no one else can do. Microsoft office apps though are touch friendly,and run on windows rt too. can you tell me who has major applications like Microsoft office, full photoshop, visio, full blown games(not mobile variants of full pc/console games)? notice I listed the ones you are using in your argument? lets see what you come up with. im dying to know.<<

The fact that you confirm exactly what I said in your rabid fanboy fashion, i.e. you are correct, major applications do not exist for the modern UI. Then go on the fanboy rant/rave about pc consoles and so they're not on other platform etc. You cannot see past your own fanboy zealotry. You actually reinsforce the perspective of the topic. Because no alternatives exist, Microsoft has time to fix areas that are lacking with the Modern UI.

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vcfan    2,338

Actually the basis for this thread is the 8 million downloads of Start Menu replacements, in your zealous mind you look for an un-provable statistic, that 100 million in sales cannot still be lackluster. I consider that most of the sales are OEM and will continue to grow, to still be lackluster given they hype, it's goals, and the lack of impact it is having on its markets. You base your disjointed fan boyish raving on that figure I suppose.

cant provide evidence to support lie, so resorts to name calling. its a fact that 100 million windows 8 licenses are sold, and statistics back up this usage.

http://gs.statcounte...y-201316-201318

this shows current installed base

mac osx 7.23%

win8 5.29%

ipad 3.84

android tablets 1.19%

unless of course, the userbase of all these other platforms is lackluster. you crack me up.

You must be unaware that MS cut Windows 8 pricing to OEM to boost sales. That is the result of lackluster sales.

maybe you missed the part where in the report it was said the reason for the price cuts to OEMs was to help compete with smaller and cheaper devices. this was given in the report, yet you're stating that its the result of something completely different.

The fact that you confirm exactly what I said in your rabid fanboy fashion, i.e. you are correct, major applications do not exist for the modern UI. Then go on the fanboy rant/rave about pc consoles and so they're not on other platform etc. You cannot see past your own fanboy zealotry. You actually reinsforce the perspective of the topic. Because no alternatives exist, Microsoft has time to fix areas that are lacking with the Modern UI.

major applications sounded like top apps to me. and this has nothing to do with Microsoft fixing something. heavy projects require a ton of time to re write and re engineer for touch. this isn't a flaw,especially when other platforms don't have this,and windows 8 still runs these anyways. youre out to lunch on this one.

like I said earlier, posting deliberate misinformation should have threads closed. I still have not received any evidence regarding your claims, and instead you went off with name calling because you have none. I will continue to call you out on said fabrications.

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MorganX    1,044

>> its a fact that 100 million windows 8 licenses are sold, and statistics back up this usage.<<

Now I'm beginning to question your basic intelligence. I never denied that 100 million were not sold and suggested they will continue to grow. I said they were lackluster.

>>mac osx 7.23%

win8 5.29%

ipad 3.84

android tablets 1.19%

unless of course, the userbase of all these other platforms is lackluster. you crack me up.<<

Two of those aren't even desktop OS' which his what my post is about, so since that is all that have to compare, yes, those are lackluster. Only Windows 8. Considering you're comparing them to the current desktop OS for the OS that is on 90% of the World's desktops, it is even more lackluster.

>>maybe you missed the part where in the report it was said the reason for the price cuts to OEMs was to help compete with smaller and cheaper devices. <<

I didn't mention a specific report. Was there only one? There were multiple price cuts.

>>major applications sounded like top apps to me. and this has nothing to do with Microsoft fixing something. heavy projects require a ton of time to re write and re engineer for touch.<<

What does "top apps" sound like?

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vcfan    2,338

Now I'm beginning to question your basic intelligence. I never denied that 100 million were not sold and suggested they will continue to grow. I said they were lackluster.

nice backpedalling. so now you believe the 100 million, but its still lackluster. thanks for the laughs.

Two of those aren't even desktop OS' which his what my post is about, so since that is all that have to compare, yes, those are lackluster. Only Windows 8. Considering you're comparing them to the current desktop OS for the OS that is on 90% of the World's desktops, it is even more lackluster.

oh boy,didnt think it would be this funny.

I didn't mention a specific report. Was there only one? There were multiple price cuts.

sure there were . the earth is also flat.

What does "top apps" sound like? You are just a fanboy idiot and now ignored.

oh no im ignored because you cant defend your words. hilarious. next time don't write lies or else you will just embarrass yourself like you just did.

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jakem1    1,610

It's pretty clear that only an insignificant minority of Windows 8 users are using Start Menu replacements. Trying to draw conclusions from that is meaningless.

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vhane    94

No, it's not an indictment of the competition. People who are dissatisfied with Windows 8 are not happy because it's not what they are used to, i.e. previous versions of Windows.

OS X, Linux and the other alternatives are not trying to be like Windows.

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dvb2000    623

The recent revelation that Start Menu replacements have been downloaded over 8 million times, and the majority of those a paid $5 app is an incredibly high number. If a new desktop OS sold 8 million copies it would be considered a success in a market completely dominated by Microsoft and Windows.

Just goes to show how much Sinofsky & his team lied to get metro up as the default platform on Win 8. According to them, Microsoft's "telemetry" told them no one was using the start button!

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Dot Matrix    7,430

Just goes to show how much Sinofsky & his team lied to get metro up as the default platform on Win 8. According to them, Microsoft's "telemetry" told them no one was using the start button!

So you have access to that telemetry to know that for a fact? Metro is default for other reasons as well as the fact that the menu was a deprecated mess.

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Growled    3,880

http://gs.statcounte...y-201316-201318

this shows current installed base

mac osx 7.23%

win8 5.29%

ipad 3.84

android tablets 1.19%

This doesn't line up with what other sites are posting. They give Windows 8 a 3.82% share.

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xendrome    5,418

The recent revelation that Start Menu replacements have been downloaded over 8 million times, and the majority of those a paid $5 app is an incredibly high number. If a new desktop OS sold 8 million copies it would be considered a success in a market completely dominated by Microsoft and Windows.

Windows 8 clearly has flaws in the Modern UI, significant (non-TAPplet applications are non-existent) and it will be almost a year before Microsoft begins to fix flaws and answer critics demands for improvement.

Yet despite no buzz, lackluster sales, no major applications or games, pitiful Windows RT sales, users have no option other than to wait for Blue or stay with Windows 7.

I assume by "non-TAPplet applications" you mean "non-tablet"? Last time I checked there are probably a billion non-tablet apps out there that run on Windows 8.

100 million copies shipped is lackluster? No major applications? You can run any application you want, :huh: :pinch:

Just goes to show how much Sinofsky & his team lied to get metro up as the default platform on Win 8. According to them, Microsoft's "telemetry" told them no one was using the start button!

Start button functionality is still in Windows 8. You are confusing the Start Button with Start Menu, then comparing the Start button to the Modern UI start screen. Get your terms straight first.

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DeadEndAccount    508

Please for the love of Pete - learn how to properly quote - there is a quote function for just this purpose because right now my eyes are bleeding from the horrible formatting and laying out of your reply.

1) Do not confuse a few angry geeks as a litmus test for the success or failure of a product. Are there issues with Windows 8? sure, but I see no on denying it other than advocates asking for at least some perspective rather than hyperbolising the known issues that exist.

How many geeks did you count? I'll take that as an opinion and perspective.

I didn't count but my perspective is based on the angry replies on this forum and how they don't represent 'mainstream users'. A echo chamber ala circlejerk doesn't represent reality no matter how loud and riotous the participants maybe.

2) Do you even know what 'indictment' means? of how good Windows 7 is?

In this case, strong disapproval. Of how good Windows 7 is, or how bad alternatives are.

You never said that, you said the following: "the fact that millions still wait for Windows 8 to be fixed or remain with Windows 7 an indictment of OS X and Linux?"

So what are you saying? the lack of movement to Windows 8 is an indictment of just how bad Windows 8 is reletive to Windows 7? the lack of movement from Windows 7 to OS X or Linux after the release is an indictment of how bad the alternatives are? just a tip - indictment needs more than just the apperance in a sentence to give it context and meaning - you need to link two things together to make the word even appear meaningful.

3) How is iOS stagnant?

The UI. Though I'm personally back on an iPhone 5, I find my self longing for much of the usability of WP8. Yet my need for the apps is greater than the ease of use and niceties of the WP8 UI.

What is wrong the UI? it is workable and it is a unique iOS feel just as Windows Phone 8 has a uniquely Windows Phone 8 look and feel. If you want to talk about stale then you should look no further than Android that requires OEM's to butcher it to high heaven just to purge its built in fugliness.

What Windows 8 needs are more native applications

Microsoft need to realise the limitations of the ModernUI - sorry but all the 'you need to re-think your application' is a load crap

100% agreement on both. And is MS' willingness to go with that attitude not an indictment of the competition, or lack thereof?

Again you're using the word where it makes no sense what so ever - indictment of what? an indictment of Microsoft trying to be different for the sake of different in an attempt to carve out a position in the market? indictment of bad communication? you keep using indictment in a way that I don't think you understand what it actually means.

doesn't matter what angle you look at it from the idea of having a complex applications like Photoshop in ModernUI is just plain stupid.

I think I still agree with that. But with more granular Snap views in Blue, given that Photoshop menus take up a good deal of the screen, why couldn't those menus go in a 1/4" snap view, with the canvas having the remainder of the screen? I think it is unlikely, but not impossible for it to work. I think MS is going to back off on the full-screen thing, if not with more granular snap views, with Modern UI windowing.

How about recognising that people are happy with the status quo and maybe tweaking the idea, rolling out a new API that allows clean separation of processing and presentation as to allow software vendors to have a single back end and 2 front ends (touch and desktop) would be the better course of action. Apple kept with the traditional desktop paradigm because that is what people like and it makes sense to most people - I wish Microsoft would realise that instead of believing that 'touch screens' are the holly grail that'll save Microsoft or the IT industry.

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MorganX    1,044

>>Please for the love of Pete - learn how to properly quote - there is a quote function for just this purpose because right now my eyes are bleeding from the horrible formatting and laying out of your reply.<<

Simply using the quote button to reply to a reply of about 10 quotes, of which about 90% is off-topic is not something I will not do. That will make my eyes bleed.

>> I didn't count but my perspective is based on the angry replies on this forum and how they don't represent 'mainstream users'. A echo chamber ala circlejerk doesn't represent reality no matter how loud and riotous the participants maybe.<<

The issue with online forums, is that everyone believes everyone else is a circlejerk or engaged in circular reasoning, and because they vehemently disagree with them, believe that they do not represent reality. Because in fact, they do not represent the reality for the person that disagrees with their opinion, perspective, or perception.

>>Again you're using the word where it makes no sense what so ever - indictment of what?<<

Read the title, then read the dictionary definition of your choice for the word indictment. Make sure your read all contextual meanings.

>>What is wrong the UI? If you want to talk about stale<<

Me personally, I did not say anything was wrong with it. I said using it, I longed for some of the niceties of WP8 UI. Stale and stagnant are not the same thing.

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MorganX    1,044

that run on Windows 8.

100 million copies shipped is lackluster? No major applications? You can run any application you want, :huh: :pinch:

Interesting. Users who want to remain in the Desktop Environment, and keep the familiarities, are often chided as being resistant to change, living in the dark ages. Yet, the standard answer to the dearth of any full-blown applications built for the Modern UI is, run the millions of Win32 apps in the Desktop Environment.

Interesting.

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adrynalyne    11,839

that's a complete fabrication. sales of windows 8 are not even close to lackluster(100 million in 6 months), and there are a bunch of major apps last time I checked.

threads with deliberate misinformation should be closed.

Windows 7 sold 100 million in the first six months too, 3 years ago.

http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2010/06/04/windows-7-still-going-strong.aspx

100 million isn't as impressive when you consider how many more computer users there are now in 2013.

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PGHammer    1,481

The recent revelation that Start Menu replacements have been downloaded over 8 million times, and the majority of those a paid $5 app is an incredibly high number. If a new desktop OS sold 8 million copies it would be considered a success in a market completely dominated by Microsoft and Windows.

Windows 8 clearly has flaws in the Modern UI, significant (non-TAPplet applications are non-existent) and it will be almost a year before Microsoft begins to fix flaws and answer critics demands for improvement.

Yet despite no buzz, lackluster sales, no major applications or games, pitiful Windows RT sales, users have no option other than to wait for Blue or stay with Windows 7.

Yet do Start Menu replacements show that desktop users ARE willing to purchase an alternative UI. Is the problem therefore then, despite years of opportunity to develop their OSes and applications, the fact that millions still wait for Windows 8 to be fixed or remain with Windows 7 an indictment of OS X and Linux? Open Office, GIMP, lack of gaming support, etc. In the case of OS X what many view as a less productive windowing/multitasking (yes its arguable but we're talking about users who have already chosen Windows) and a closed hardware (read, no clones) environment.

Given the competitions refusal to address the needs of hundreds of millions, perhaps Microsoft deserves a second chance to fix the things that ail Windows 8, and perhaps developers deserve just a little more time to produce meaningful Modern UI apps when the OS makes that more reasonable to do (Blue).

Let's face it, Apple has a golden opportunity to widen it's lead and leave WP8 and Microsoft's pitiful opening tablet initiative in the dust. Yet iOS remains stagnant. The introduction of cheaper iPhones is a perfect time to refresh the UI and add even more capabilities. Yet, nothing. Android is going to more or less stay the same, wide open, and will probably always be ~40% of the market without doing anything particularly great. Though technically the OS just supports a lot of cool stuff.

So, what's your take on this perspective? If Windows 8 isn't all that great, how bad does that make everyone else who cannot capitalize?

You are confusing Windows 8 and WindowsRT, first off. It is RT that is the all-ModernUI all-the-time true niche OS (it has no compatibility, backward or otherwise, with Win32 applications) - Windows 8, on the other hand, is a true superset OS (the lineage for what Windows 8 is starts with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2002, continues through MCE 2005, Vista Ultimate, 7 Ultimate, and now Windows 8). Windows 8, unlike RT, has all the Win32 application compatibility that Windows 7 does *and* can run ModernUI apps, games, etc. Maximum choice, and with the same hardware requirements as Windows 7. If a Win32 application suits you, use it - if a ModernUI app suits you, use that. The choice is up to you - not Microsoft.

Both iOS and even Android have another issue - too many developers writing device-specific software. Android's code-merge (between the smartphone-targeting 2.x and tablet-targeting 3.x) was supposed to fix this - however, the developers either didn't get the memo or they aren't testing their code properly for multiple devices with only an OS in common. I have two Android VMs (BlueStacks and AndroVM), and I can't even maintain a common software pool between them because of application-compatibility issues - how much worse is it for folks with a real Android smartphone and an Android tablet?

If anything, WindowsRT is very much an indictment of Android - unlike Google, Microsoft enforces the policies regarding device-specific hardware in the RT App Store. While Android has more apps, application quality (and the lack of cross-device compatibility in all too many cases) is very much an issue with Android - app count is not everything. App quality does count - and right now, that is something that Android has an issue with.

Windows 8 is, in a way, an indictment of *Apple* - not just OS X or iOS, but the Tim Cook Apple Philosophy. Windows 8 has followed behind Windows 7 in continuing to expand the compatible-hardware pool (which Microsoft has been doing with Windows NT from the beginning), while the OS X hardware pool has largely remained static - all the real hardware action has been with iOS.

However, the biggest indictment Windows 8 hands out is of users - almost all of them, regardless of what OS they use. As much as we keep saying we want things to be different, when a company (be it Microsoft, Apple, Google, or a Linux distribution, desktop environment, game developer, etc) actually dares do so, we cringe, criticize, and basically slamdance the offender until they retreat and regress. We say one thing, but in practice, all too many of us want the opposite. Basically, we sure talk brave for a bunch of anti-change cowards. (Notice that I am not talking specifically about Windows 8 - I've seen it outside of Windows, too.)

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dangel    8

It's pretty clear that only an insignificant minority of Windows 8 users are using Start Menu replacements. Trying to draw conclusions from that is meaningless.

I agree - and it's obvious because it requires a: the users to know they exist and b: to have the proficiency to install/set them up. I deal with people all the time who buy a PC and just use it 'as is' and I develop software for people who do the same. CBA syndrome on the top (Can't Be Arsed) amazes me at time - people will put up with all sorts of things for YEARS rather than spend 15 minutes improving their daily working/play life. Not everybody enjoys playing with PCs - they are white goods to most to get onto FB or get a job done. It's this latter category that pushes some people back onto 7 or discounting 8 entirely since they see no value in investing the time or money in it. But, the vast majority will get Windows when buying their next PC - the version isn't of interest (heck, stacks of people have Vista machines) - and it's probably more relevant at this point to be talking about the economy/size of the PC sales market since that's yet another factor in the 'success' of Windows (and a significant one since that's easily the vast majority of sales for MS). It's seriously difficult to make comparisons to 7 for me given that OS launched on the back of Vista's significant driver and performance problems (particularly on laptops) and XP's horrific security/billion other problems and in a different economic climate too (dunno about you but my economy's screwed right now).

But back OT - I also agree that a: people aren't really aware of alternatives (OSX isn't visible to the masses - they buy an 'Apple') or that b: they're really not very good. Even for technically proficient people Linux isn't always that appealing (zero interest in it myself) and despite huge improvements in the past decade MS have managed to keep ahead of it by fixing the two serious flaws in Windows a decade ago - namely security and robustness. It's fairly secure (my folks stopped killing their PC when XP was replaced with 7) and it doesn't pile over much at all (due to Vista's driver model in the main). If the costs absorbed in the PC purchase it's irrelevant to the user (like it or not) and so Linux has an uphill battle to say the least. Apple sell on style, at premium price and so that limits their market too (although I'd have to question Apple's commitment to 'PC' at all now since they're shifting iPads and iPhones in the main).

I installed a few start menu programs and didn't really see much point in them so I got rid of them. I like to try new things but it felt like a backward step in some sense and I didn't really need much more than the occasional-it's-not-pinned-anyway-launcher which MS provide a version of anyway - I quite freely agree the Start Screen needs a heap of improvements though.

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dangel    8

However, the biggest indictment Windows 8 hands out is of users - almost all of them, regardless of what OS they use. As much as we keep saying we want things to be different, when a company (be it Microsoft, Apple, Google, or a Linux distribution, desktop environment, game developer, etc) actually dares do so, we cringe, criticize, and basically slamdance the offender until they retreat and regress. We say one thing, but in practice, all too many of us want the opposite. Basically, we sure talk brave for a bunch of anti-change cowards. (Notice that I am not talking specifically about Windows 8 - I've seen it outside of Windows, too.)

...and welcome to my World as a developer. All change is feared and the instant reaction is "put it back!" rather than "well it's not quite there yet - can we improve on it?"

I agree entirely - we'd all be talking about how MS hadn't done anything new in 8 and how it was just a service pack for Windows 7 etc etc. They can't win either way. It'll be interesting to see what Apple do with iOS this year since it's pretty boring now and I think they realise they need to modernise it to keep their perceived leading edge. It's because of that (and functionality being so restrictive) I ended up flogging my iPad 3 and getting a Nexus 10 - really on the back of constantly thinking "why is my android phone so much more flexible?".

I was excited by them (MS) doing something so different in all honesty - but I'm fully aware that isn't a normal reaction and also that their approach is (atm) flawed in many ways.

WindowsRT - I see as a cul de sac - it's there both to remind intel they suck at mobile parts (seems to be working..) and provide something as a stop gap solution to at least 'get them out there'. Given MS want Phone and tablet closer it also makes sense to push people into ARM development since even if intel pull a blinder this year ARM isn't going anywhere for a fair old time yet. The branding of it is seriously confusing to end users though and that's a mess no doubt.

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Dashel    542

Given the competitions refusal to address the needs of hundreds of millions, perhaps Microsoft deserves a second chance to fix the things that ail Windows 8, and perhaps developers deserve just a little more time to produce meaningful Modern UI apps when the OS makes that more reasonable to do (Blue).

Let's face it, Apple has a golden opportunity to widen it's lead and leave WP8 and Microsoft's pitiful opening tablet initiative in the dust. Yet iOS remains stagnant. The introduction of cheaper iPhones is a perfect time to refresh the UI and add even more capabilities. Yet, nothing. Android is going to more or less stay the same, wide open, and will probably always be ~40% of the market without doing anything particularly great. Though technically the OS just supports a lot of cool stuff.

So, what's your take on this perspective? If Windows 8 isn't all that great, how bad does that make everyone else who cannot capitalize?

I find the second half a far more interesting question. I don't think its an indictment as much as its a complete disregard for those needs. Apple and Google are quite content to just prey on the consumer market with blatant disregard, and even contempt, for business needs and the 'old guard'. Not a single one has ever be a serious contender in the marketplace, their life and position has been the change in the marketplace itself (not the devices).

Thus, I really only see one main thrust of this 'Post-PC' world - the average (poor) consumer who wants simple home and amusement apps has only one place to get them, the mobile app stores. MS's position puts them in a unique position to serve both, as long as they don't Derp out and make it the same for both.

Any IT type has surely asked himself what options do I have if MS goes off the rails? The simple answer, we're going off with them because that is still better than the alternatives (if you can keep a straight face while saying that).

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