Windows 8.1 Did Microsoft miss their last chance?


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Lord Method Man

I find it funny that people think a new CEO is going to somehow drastically change the direction Windows is going.  Whoever the new boss is modern ui and modern apps are here to stay.

 

It's a reasonable assumption considering that the overwhelmingly negative response the public has to the Metro UI has led to Windows 8's failure is one of the factors that pushed Ballmer out. That doesn't mean it will happen though.

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DarkyDan

I still think there is nothing wrong with Windows 8.  

 

If the Metro app is good enough, all users will give it a go.  Now you have Metro 50/50 split you have have half your screen with a desktop app and half with a Metro app if you wanted to.

 

All the old apps work that worked on Win7.  There is (subjectively) no reason to whinge.

 

8.1 is just another smoothing of the experience.

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Ian W

While there are some nice things about Windows 8, and that there's no denying Windows 8.1 offers improvements over its predecessor, I don't feel that what is offered is compelling enough to upgrade from Windows 7.

Why? Most improvements in 8.1 are corrections to previous mistakes that should not have been made. For example, Windows 8.1 reinstates unified search results; a feature omitted from Windows 8.

At the same time, where 8.1 offers genuinely new options for customization, they are limited in their scope:

  • Windows 8.1 provides larger tile sizes, but not all applications can take advantage of them.
  • Windows 8.1 includes an option to disable hot corners, but only upper corners can be disabled.
  • Windows 8.1 offers more colorization options / patterns and the ability to use the desktop wallpaper as the Start screen background; images other than the desktop wallpaper are not allowed.
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neo1911

I can't believe how people can be happy looking at a huge 2 digit number showing weather which occupies their whole 21" monitor. 90% of modern apps would be so much better if they could minimize on desktop taskbar. Why do we need 2 types of multi tasking? Is it that hard to implement unified way to multi task? This is the major reason I am unable to adapt to modern apps even after 1 year of day to day use.

 

Even Apple knows this usability issue and hence their desktop OS behaves LIKE a desktop OS. 

 

MICROSOFT IF YOU ARE READING THIS THREAD, UNDERSTAND THIS:

1. DESKTOP OS HAS TO BE A DESKTOP OS

2. MOBILE OS CAN ALSO BE A TABLET OS BUT SHOULD NEVER TRY TO BE A DESKTOP OS AND VICE VERSA.

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George P

I don't buy that argument really, the Xbox one drm was an overwhelming negative response, Win8s new UI never reached that level or got close unless all you frequent are tech site as a gauge of the majority of consumers.  Something that doesn't match at all actually.  If anything windows 8 was more a Sinfosky ego trip than a Ballmer mistake.  Ballmer stepped in, canned him, changed the windows division boss and made changes for desktop users.  If Sinofsky was still in charge you'd never have seen the boot to desktop option in 8.1.

 

The same happened with the XB1 and the DRM debacle.  One thing i'll blame Ballmer for is originally giving Sinofsky and the Xbox team too much freedom to do what they wanted.  Now heads rolled and changes happened and I bet they came right from Ballmer himself.

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londan

Microsoft have not missed the boat. They may actually end up in the perfect position to save it.

The current tablet market is starting to stabilise. I don't think this is because everyone has one, I think this is because people are looking to invest their money in the best value option. Windows 8 on paper is a failure, but Windows is a brand that stretches far back. Ironically the errors of Vista will compel people to view 8.1 in a Windows 7 light. Previously unthinkable for Windows prior to Vista.

If you are holding an Android 4.0 tablet that cost ?80 you are holding inferior hardware but a potentially compelling user experience (that is the tablet) and you ma be well advised that Windows is trustworthy operating system and that you can infer from your poor experience that you will receive a better one from the experts.

Whatever you believe about Google, they are the amateurs when it comes to OS design.

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londan

The recent response to the foursquare app is testament to this. Personally I think the Bing news app is amazing. If there was was a killer this can be considered it. I'm loathe to suggest recreating this for iOS and Android but it utilized the interface so well that it's a showcase that deserves to be out there.

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MorganX

I don't buy that argument really, the Xbox one drm was an overwhelming negative response, Win8s new UI never reached that level or got close unless all you frequent are tech site as a gauge of the majority of consumers.  Something that doesn't match at all actually.  If anything windows 8 was more a Sinfosky ego trip than a Ballmer mistake.  Ballmer stepped in, canned him, changed the windows division boss and made changes for desktop users.  If Sinofsky was still in charge you'd never have seen the boot to desktop option in 8.1.

 

The same happened with the XB1 and the DRM debacle.  One thing i'll blame Ballmer for is originally giving Sinofsky and the Xbox team too much freedom to do what they wanted.  Now heads rolled and changes happened and I bet they came right from Ballmer himself.

 

Sinofsky's boneheaded design approvals and ignoring existing desktop users wants, needs, & desires, the clear lack of integration with Windows Phone 8, and the poor state of the apps were a Sinofsky ego trip. Windows 8 itself the vision is OK, just poorly executed due to the aforementioned. And yes, while he let Sinofsky get out of control, Ballmer deserves credit for leading the change and correcting mistakes.

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MorganX

The recent response to the foursquare app is testament to this. Personally I think the Bing news app is amazing. If there was was a killer this can be considered it. I'm loathe to suggest recreating this for iOS and Android but it utilized the interface so well that it's a showcase that deserves to be out there.

 I also agree what Windows 8.1 is in good position. The Desktop is not dead, but desktop apps are dominated by Microsoft, Adobe et. al. There's no new software being produced that is easily accessible to the growth market that uses phones and tables. The ModernUI, if the app is designed well can provide new innovative desktop apps accessible to these users on the desktop or table and providing added usability to both as well. Once the developers learn the new environment and how to properly design for it.

 

It's telling that the 8.1 Alarms app is really a showcase of how to design a simple, functional, landscape oriented ModernUI app. I think there's a larger learning curve that we realize but once they get there, it should be a fun time.

Having said that, I can't wait for Abe's Odyssey New & Tasty which will be a Win32 app, ;)

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+warwagon

using 8.1 on my Acer w500

 

1) When you tap a text box on the desktop side on a tablet that ONLY has a virtual keyboard it still requires you to press the keyboard icon in the bottom right

2) Still no option to select your time zone during install / setup (retarded!) . I'm still coming across, Windows 8 computer that are MONTHS old, that are still set on Pacific time.

3) Doesn't automatically put Metro apps on the start screen, I knew they were going to do this for regular windows which plastered the start screen with worthless ugly icons, but I Thought they would still auto add apps from the store.

4) Once activated with your windows 8 key, I couldn't find anyway to close the window when it says 'Thanks, you're all done" had to just swip down to kill it. But then when I went back to PC settings it was still there. Had to restart just to get rid of that box so I could access PC settings.

5) Trying to run an app that requires Dotnet 2.0 / 3.5 and it says cannot connect to download. Blah, Why does it even have to do this, With Windows 7 it just worked, no downloading or anything!

 

Yesterday I talked to 3 people about Windows 8. 2 of them had it for a while, and I think they really wanted to swear, but they where able to hold back. I hooked them up with start 8 and they are much happier.

 

The other person had to upgrade because for some reason (which was news to me) Office 2013 dropped support for Vista. I knew they dropped support for XP but I had no idea it won't install on vista. So they upgraded to windows 8. When his girlfriend saw windows 8 she said "oh god".

 

Now people might think I just post the people who hate windows 8, so I will tell you about ONE person who has been using it for a while, and I asked him what he thought about it, and he said "It's not that bad".

 

There we go, that's the one person who said something good about it, at least the only one I can remember.. :laugh:

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neufuse

Does this have to come up every release of windows since windows 3.1?...... every freaking time "Did MS miss the boat?" "Is this the final straw for MS?" "How MS screwed up this time" etc etc etc

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neo1911

^^ Yes obviously

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PGHammer

MorganX, it is entirely due to things like that that there is still a place for fuller-featured (as in desktop) applications (such as Outlook) - ModernUI doesn't roadblock the installation (or use) of Outlook - in fact, Outlook (and the rest of Office) has an icon(s) on the second page of the StartScreen (where it has not had a desktop shortcut since Outlook 2000 unless the user created one).  To get to page two of your StartScreen (no mousing OR charms) =WinKey+down-arrow.  I now actually CAN use ModernUI Mail for everything, as my ISP (Comcast) has shifted to using IMAP4 as the default; however, I still think that Outlook is the better IMAP4 client of the two (because of an earlier face-off between the two with my Google Gmail account, which has been IMAP4-as-default since nearly the beginning - I didn't make that switch; Google did).  It's still a matter of choice, and that choice is still up to us as users - why is having options such a scary thing?

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PGHammer

He is likely thinking of Windows PowerShell (which has been included with Windows since XP/2003).  Documentation of WPS and the scripts it supports is great - on the server side; however, documentation for desktop users and usage is not merely hit-or-miss, it's mostly miss.  I'm waiting for a book on WPS that doesn't give such short shrift to the desktop as past WPS books - even from Microsoft Press! - have to date.

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cropcircles

Few days ago, I installed Windows 8.1 RTM like a starved tech child. I also managed to activate it with my previous upgrade key. All fine and dandy. 

 

All I see is a fake Start button, few customizations of themes and some better reorganization of newer control panel.

 

But 90% desktop users request goes ignored. That is Modern apps on Desktop Taskbar. Ability to freely resize them to my liking. Have a better multi tasking that has been familiar to me since time immemorial.

 

As a result I have still not been able to adapt to modern apps. I don't use them as desktop based apps are so much superior with better multi tasking.

 

Windows Image based system recovery has been removed from GUI. Now I have to pass some obscure DOS based commands. To me Microsoft is fixing what ain't broken. 

 

I also did not like the blatantly desperate attempt to display "you can download apps from our app store" in biggest font possible at post install. 

 

All this makes me feel that Microsoft is getting more and more arrogant and then they backtrack due to public backlash. 

 

Fun fact: Windows Blue RTM has yellow as default wallpaper.

 

Feel free to chip in your thoughts about Windows 8.1

Is Microsoft loosing it?

Thank You !  I'm a bit confused on the market MS is trying to appeal too. At first it appeared it was the changing of the guard, from desktop/laptops point and click to tablet and phone touch screens. It doesn't appear MS has been successful with the exception of making anybody who buys new computers at BestBuy and other outlets forced in having Windows 8 pre-installed. A foiled attempt at challenging Android and Apple in the marketplace is failing. Whats really sad is the loss of revenue MS has/will lose in selling Windows 8 to businesses. It's not going to happen. Us old timers will continue to use our desktops and laptops and use Windows 7. It all could have been avoided if MS would of advertised and presented to the public Windows 8 as being a variant, or different flavor, geared towards the touchscreen user on tablets and wireless phones, and not a primary upgrade to Windows 7 and traditional home and business users. "Fail"

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Shiranui

Few days ago, I installed Windows 8.1 RTM like a starved tech child. I also managed to activate it with my previous upgrade key. All fine and dandy. 

 

All I see is a fake Start button, few customizations of themes and some better reorganization of newer control panel.

 

But 90% desktop users request goes ignored. That is Modern apps on Desktop Taskbar. Ability to freely resize them to my liking. Have a better multi tasking that has been familiar to me since time immemorial.

 

As a result I have still not been able to adapt to modern apps. I don't use them as desktop based apps are so much superior with better multi tasking.

 

Windows Image based system recovery has been removed from GUI. Now I have to pass some obscure DOS based commands. To me Microsoft is fixing what ain't broken. 

 

I also did not like the blatantly desperate attempt to display "you can download apps from our app store" in biggest font possible at post install. 

 

All this makes me feel that Microsoft is getting more and more arrogant and then they backtrack due to public backlash. 

 

Fun fact: Windows Blue RTM has yellow as default wallpaper.

 

Feel free to chip in your thoughts about Windows 8.1

Is Microsoft loosing it?

I stopped at "loosing"....

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Noir Angel

They addressed few of the actual complaints. In my experience dealing with members of the public, in fact, everything that peed them off about 8 was still present in 8.1, thankfully StartIsBack has been adapted to work on 8.1

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sanctified

It doesn't work like the old useless menu button so fake nerds call it fake 

 

I just want to say I'm impressed at how personal this is for you.

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