Why Win8 will succeed. Or fail.

Started Apr 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
Michael Firstlight
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Windows will succeed - Win 8 is only the preview
In reply to Simon Garrett, Apr 14, 2013

I have three high end systems running side by side, one is an i7 tower running Windows 7 Ultimate, the other two, an i7 tower and a very powerful i5 tablet are running Windows 8 Professional.  All three boot directly into the Windows Classic desktop; I never see Metro on Windows 8 on any of them unless I intentionally switch to it and I have a Start button on all three (I am using Classic Shell - a free add on, 2 minute install, on Windows 8 to get both back.  Anyone that complains that downloading an add on application like Classic Shell must also have a problem with most modern software  - most of which has to be downloaded these days - so don't give me that incredibly lame argument that it is too onerous to download and install a third party app - geeze!

When you take the new Metro user interface and the absence of the classic Windows Start button out of the equation, Windows 8 Pro beats Windows 7 Ultimate in almost every respect.  Is it worth upgrading from Win 7 to Win 8, no. Is is worth downgrading a new machine with Win 8 back to Win 7?  no.  Will Win 8 continue to improve over Win 7 and make Win 7 less and less desirable over time? Absolutely.

Yes. Is Windows 7 better for novice users on the non-touch desktops that are used to the classic Windows user interface? Yes, because those people aren't smart enough to hit a huge tile on the Metro desktop to know to get to the Windows classic desktop - this is the portion of the general population that are basically technically ignorant and also the same people that probably also inbreed.  Then there are those that are just too lazy to hit that tile or install a free utility that makes Metro (a crummy touch interface for a tablet no matter how you look at it) a moot point.

Yes, MS messed up.  All they had to do was sense if a machine has a touch screen and if not, make the classic Windows desktop to default one and bring back the Start button.  What happened is they intentionally ignored early developers strong feedback because they are hellbent on moving customers to a proprietary App store model and annual subscription software - thank Apple for that.  You have to have a little sympathy for MS - they have to do that to compete now or continue to decline in the long run.

The fact is, the most desktop users are not going to jettison Windows because they don't like Metro; they'll get around it once they figure out how to.  MS might issue a Windows 8 service pack or a Win 9 that senses if the machine has a touch screen and make the classic Windows desktop to default one and bring back the Start button for machines without touch screens - maybe, if only because they are hurting some more because of the persistent bad press -  not based on technical merit. Then again, the long term business benefit for MS not yielding and continuing there march towards a App store and annual subscription software model may dwarf the downside of backtracking as much as many of us would like them to do.

Maybe Metro is just fine on a small form factor cell phone, I hear its pretty decent on phones - good, but for desktops and tablets  - even touch-enabled ones, Metro is still the worst graphical user interface for an OS designed for the masses - ever.  It is designed for great grandma and technophobes who gets overwhelmed by the classic Windows user interface at the rest of our expense.

What I'd really like to see MS do is provide several Windows user interfaces that users can choose from as the default.  They can each offer something different for each type and expertise level of users.  I somehow wonder if Windows 8 is simply the foundation for doing exactly that in subsequent versions and what we might be seeing now is not the real user interface design strategy end-game but a necessary ugly step to something far more interesting.

No matter, as much as some might hate MS and want to see their demise, Windows overall will not fail now will it lose significant market share of any on desktops and will gain market share in the non-desktop area - you can take that to the bank.

Windows 9 will be telling.

Regards,
Mike

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