A result of negative user feedback for Windows 8?

Started Mar 28, 2013 | Discussions
Archer66
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Re: I'm investigating the possibility that Linux might be an answer. . .
In reply to Sean Nelson, Mar 31, 2013

Sean Nelson wrote:

The problem is that not every computer is a mobile device, and systems with large screens and a keyboard for bulk text entry are horrible to use with a touch interface.   Windows 8 is trying its best to ignore that market, much to the chagrin of its users.

To my knowledge Win 8 supports keyboards, might be wrong tho.

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Glen Barrington
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Please explain how a touch based UI will benefit. . .
In reply to Archer66, Mar 31, 2013

Serious photo editing.  The simple truth is there are THOUSANDS of applications optimised for keyboard and mouse, and a handful of apps designed for touch.  and NONE of them are anywhere close to Photoshop or Lightroom in terms of complexity and power.

True, over time, some software publishers will adapt their software titles if they can.  But the same goes for Mac And Linux.  The titles serving those operating systems are as likely to get better as PC apps are likely to get a touchy/feely UI upgrade.

Another hard truth, we are at the crossroads of a new paradigm for personal computing.  Blindly doing what Microsoft tells you to do is as risky as rejecting their marching orders.  Personally it seems to me that moving to Linux on my existing PC or staying with the mac, is the least expensive option to take.  It allows me to keep the keyboard/mouse UI, as well as remaining optimised for the Google and Firefox "browser as an OS" option.

It seems a reasonable precaution in light of the apparent feud between MS and Google regarding MS Exchange support.  I suspect the feud will get worse before it gets better.

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9237909/Microsoft_confirms_it_s_shut_off_Windows_8_Google_Apps_calendar_sync

At this point, none of us is psychic enough to tell us what the future will be.  Since hardware is a major purchase cost for home users, a move to Linux on your existing hardware platform seems a reasonable precaution if your current version of Windows isn't working for you at this time as Linux generally performs better on a given hardware platform than Windows.  It's certainly worth investigating.  After all, the penalty for moving to Linux and then back to windows is VERY small.

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Jim Cockfield
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Re: I'm investigating the possibility that Linux might be an answer. . .
In reply to Glen Barrington, Mar 31, 2013

Glen Barrington wrote:

I'm still running dual boot with Win 7 and Unbutu Linux, still looking for glitches.  Unbutu was pretty easy to install, and as the foundation for a digital darkroom, I'd say, so far, it seems like a do-able option, though not perfect.

I've looked at Raw Therapee as a replacement for Lightroom and I'd say it's almost there.  The raw development is pretty good but I'm less thrilled with its functions as a photo management tool...

I'd look at Corel AfterShot Pro as a replacement for Lightroom.  A native linux version is available   I have it installed in both Windows 7 and Linux and it works great.

You can download a trial version that works for 30 days.  Just use the .deb files for your Ubuntu install.

Then, if you decide you like it, buy it and plug in the license key you get (no reinstall needed to make it a registered copy).

http://www.corel.com/corel/product/index.jsp?pid=prod4670071

BTW, the same license key will work in both your Windows and Linux installs.  That was a feature of Bibble Pro (the Pro version allowed you to install it on more than one OS with the same license, and Corel maintained that ability after they purchased Bibble labs a while back and relaunched the product as AfterShot Pro).

Here's a pretty good webinar that goes into many of it's features.  You'll see more advanced tasks like using edit layers and regions about 30 minutes into it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i633ZBya9Fc

I'd suggest watching it to get a better idea of what AfterShot Pro is capable of, since it can take a while to feel your way through all of it's features, and it would give you a better idea of what to look for to improve image management and editing workflow using it.

Gimp. . . is usable.  I still don't like its UI.  As near as I can tell, it appears to be the only editor aimed at the 'serious' photographer, but the need for a different editor will be minimized if a decent  workflow product appears.  Raw Therapee could turn into one with a little additional developmental effort I think, and there is anther I've heard some good things about called "DarkTable", I believe.  I haven't explored that product yet.

I've got lots of different graphics apps for linux installed.   But, I really don't have any need for a more full featured editing product, as the tweaks I an make in AfterShot Pro serve my needs just fine.

Also yet to explore is WINE, a windows emulator.

Do you know what WINE stands for?   Wine Is Not an Emulator.

Basically, it's libraries are designed to replace the native Windows libraries; and in some cases, programs will run faster in Wine than they do in Windows.   More often, the opposite is true though.    Not everything will run in Wine (for example, you may have issues with the newest versions of some products).  But, many things will run in WINE.    If you've got a legal copy of Windows, there are ways to use some of the actual Windows libraries in Wine, too.

In any event, I'd use products like PlayOnLinux to help out in that area; as it can do things like maintain separate virtual copies of Wine installs, each with their own libaries and Wine version, with settings optimized for a given software app, and can install some of the libraries some programs may need automatically.   Get it here:

http://www.playonlinux.com/en/

Or, just install Windows in a Virtual Machine using something like VirtualBox or VMPlayer (both free).   That way, you don't need to reboot to run Windows apps that work better in Windows than they do in Wine (since you'd be running an actual copy of Windows inside of a Virtual Machine that way).

Personally, I don't bother.  If I need Windows for anything, I just reboot into my Windows partition.   But, I very rarely need it and use Linux > 99% of the time.  I mostly keep it installed for testing of camera manufacturers' software.  Otherwise, I'd just remove it and free up the space that Windows is wasting.

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skyglider
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Re: It is the only and fair game to customer
In reply to CameraCarl, Mar 31, 2013

CameraCarl wrote:

Skyglider, you indirectly support my frustration with Windows 8. You say all you have to do is the six different things below once you spend thousands of dollars on a computer to make it work like Windows 7 used to.

  • Install the free Classic Shell.
  • Set Classic Shell to boot directly into the desktop.
  • Set Classic Shell to disable active corners. (to stop Win8 popups)
  • Don't run any Win8 apps at all. (since they will pop you back to Win8's UI)
  • Install apps designed for Win7 and below and use them.
  • replace Win8's wireless driver with the Dell wireless driver to get full speed.

Too bad I can't just buy a Windows 7 machine and skip all the hassle.

Hi CameraCarl,

The "free" Classic Shell is a very small app so it's download and install times are very fast.  It defaults to booting directly into the desktop as I recall but the setting can be changed to boot directly into the Win8 UI if desired.  Making the setting to disable active corners will take about 30 seconds since it's easy to find.  Really not much of a hassle at all.

Personally, if I needed a Windows OS for a computer and had a chance to buy Win7 or Win8 for the same price, I would choose Win8 and take the 5 minutes to install the Classic Shell.  Win8 with the Classic Shell works like Win7 but it boots faster, shuts down faster and loads frequently used applications faster than Win7.

My friend's new Dell tower is running Win8 with the Classic Shell, and Firefox and Thunderbird load like lightning after boot up every morning, and she DOESN'T have a SSD.  All of her old software that worked on her WinXP tower and her Win7 laptop loaded and work perfectly in Win8. But she did have to buy a new inkjet printer since her "OLD" inkjet printer only had WinXP drivers and would not work on Win8.  She was actually happy to do that since she needed a scanner and copier anyway so she bought an all-in-one printer/scanner/copier/fax unit.

Every old software that I run on my Win7 tower and Vista laptop runs perfectly on Win8 when I converted Vista to Win8 on the laptop.

BUT I WILL ABANDON MICROSOFT IF Win9 REMOVES THE DESKTOP.  I REFUSE TO USE A COMPUTER WITH ONLY THE Win8 "METRO" USER INTERFACE.  SO FAR THE FRIENDS I'VE TALKED TO FEEL THE SAME WAY.

Sky

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Sean Nelson
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Re: I'm investigating the possibility that Linux might be an answer. . .
In reply to Archer66, Mar 31, 2013

Archer66 wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

The problem is that not every computer is a mobile device, and systems with large screens and a keyboard for bulk text entry are horrible to use with a touch interface.   Windows 8 is trying its best to ignore that market, much to the chagrin of its users.

To my knowledge Win 8 supports keyboards, might be wrong tho.

It's not that they don't support keyboards, it's that they're trying to cajole you into using an interface that's optimized for a touch device rather than for a keyboard and mouse.   Not a problem for mobile users, but very annoying for those who have desktop computers.

Glen Barrington wrote:

Serious photo editing.  The simple truth is there are THOUSANDS of applications optimised for keyboard and mouse, and a handful of apps designed for touch.  and NONE of them are anywhere close to Photoshop or Lightroom in terms of complexity and power.

If you're a graphics professional then a large, desktop-monitor-sized drawing tablet laid horizontally on a table on which you can directly manipulate the image by touch might actually be a lot better and more intuitive to use than a vertical monitor and mouse.   I'm not totally convinced that arm fatigue wouldn't make you want to use a mouse anyway, but I'm certainly willing to believe that some graphics artists might prefer it.

But that kind of setup doesn't work as well if you do a lot of keyboarding.  There are enough users who rely on a keyboard to deserve an interface that works well with it and a mouse.  If Microsoft throws enough obstacles in their way then they'll be tempted to go elsewhere.

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Leon Obers
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Re: It is the only and fair game to customer
In reply to skyglider, Mar 31, 2013

skyglider wrote:

My friend's new Dell tower is running Win8 with the Classic Shell, and Firefox and Thunderbird load like lightning after boot up every morning, and she DOESN'T have a SSD.  All of her old software that worked on her WinXP tower and her Win7 laptop loaded and work perfectly in Win8. But she did have to buy a new inkjet printer since her "OLD" inkjet printer only had WinXP drivers and would not work on Win8.

Maybe, with some inside information, there is a possibility that it could be running those old XP software. I even got hardware/software running, that is about 10 years old, and the latest support is from 2007. So years before Win8 even exist.  See this.

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malch
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Re: It is the only and fair game to customer
In reply to Archer66, Mar 31, 2013

Archer66 wrote:

Install the free Classic Shell.
  • Set Classic Shell to boot directly into the desktop.
  • Set Classic Shell to disable active corners. (to stop Win8 popups)
  • Don't run any Win8 apps at all. (since they will pop you back to Win8's UI)
  • Install apps designed for Win7 and below and use them.
  • replace Win8's wireless driver with the Dell wireless driver to get full speed.

Too bad I can't just buy a Windows 7 machine and skip all the hassle.

Of course you could be also be standing on your head and close your eyes to make it little more difficult.

Or just run Windows 7 which pretty much does all I want.

I simply don't want or need a touch interface on my computer. I already have one on my smartphone and frankly, that isn't very useful either. All I use it for are:

* Telephone/address book
* Making phone calls (yeah, I'm that old)
* Checking email
* Web browser

Sure I have 70 other apps that I never use. Hundreds of songs that I never listen to (on the phone, 'cause they're also on my computer and car system). And thousands of photos that I don't look at ('cause they're so much nicer on my 24 inch monitor and 46 inch HDTV).

But my Win 7 system allows me to do tons of real work -- even make a living.

If you love Windows 8 because it does what youwant, I'm very happy for you. I'd just ask you to understand that some of us have needs that are well served by the Win 7 interface and poorly served by the Win 8 UI. We wish that MS could have preserved the old interface that they spent 20 years developing as an option for those who found it useful while offering Metro as an option for those who wanted a honking big iPhone

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Sean Nelson
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Re: It is the only and fair game to customer
In reply to malch, Apr 1, 2013

malch wrote:

We wish that MS could have preserved the old interface that they spent 20 years developing as an option for those who found it useful while offering Metro as an option for those who wanted a honking big iPhone

To be fair, they have (mostly) preserved the old interface.   The real issue is that they're making you work to get at it.

It seems pretty unlikely to me that Microsoft will actually abandon the traditional desktop UI, at least for the next couple of releases, because they actually do have a very strong record of preserving backward compatibility for older applications - and there are a vast number of applications that depend on the classic interface.

But a decade from now...   ...who knows?   Microsoft did abandon support for 16-bit applications with Windows 7, so once enough time goes by anything is possible.   I think the real determiner will be the market - how many apps will be converted to Metro and how many of the ones that aren't will people still be running 10 years from now...

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Glen Barrington
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Re: I'm investigating the possibility that Linux might be an answer. . .
In reply to Jim Cockfield, Apr 1, 2013

I've been pretty impressed with DigiKam so far.

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CAcreeks
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Glen - more answers about Linux
In reply to Glen Barrington, Apr 1, 2013

Glen Barrington wrote:

Ubuntu Linux, seems like a do-able option, though not perfect.

Yes, absolutely. Once you get accustomed to a Linux desktop, I feel you will prefer it to Windows (any style).

I've looked at Raw Therapee as a replacement for Lightroom and I'd say it's almost there.  The raw development is pretty good...

More demosaicing options than LR, anyway. I do not have a Raw capable camera, so I cannot comment.

I'm less thrilled with its functions as a photo management tool.

Digikam, as you mentioned. Also I like Corel Aftershot as a photo management tool. I really appreciate the way it leaves the original as-is and places an edit file in the same directory. Use of a normal filesystem is a huge win IMO.

AFAIK, Aftershot is exactly the same on Linux and Windows.

I have yet to do any evaluation as a presentation product...

Nothing that I've seen is as good as PowerPoint.

Gimp. . . is usable.  I still don't like its UI.

I like the UI, but Gimp 2.8 changed a bunch of menus around for no apparent reason, like Adobe used to do in Photoshop. Maybe Adobe still does that, but I have not upgraded since CS2.

I've heard some good things about "DarkTable", I believe.

Also DigiKam. Not sure which is better. With Corel Aftershot you might not need either.

At this point Microsoft seems almost suicidal to me.

Blue is more of the same-old-same-old that I really want to avoid. The thing I hate most about the Windows ecosystem is sudden mandatory upgrades that do absolutely nothing to improve my user experience or security. Blue is like a constant upgrade nightmare, based on what MSFT themselves have said.

I can't believe the major photo software vendors aren't at least investigating the possibility of producing Linux versions of their poplular titles, if for no other options than to hedge their bets.

Adobe Lightroom on Linux would be interesting. But as Steve Jobs said, Adobe has gotten lazy, so I doubt they have a project going at the moment.

Linux presents many difficulties for software vendors: at least two window systems (Gnome and KDE), two package installers (DEB and RPM) and minor differences in where to place stuff on each distro.

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MikeFromMesa
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Oh yes it is.
In reply to skyglider, Apr 1, 2013
  • MS Word was not better than Word Perfect.

I very strongly disagree.

I have no particular love for Windows 8 (which is installed on my laptop) but I have to disagree here. I have bought Word Perfect and it is nothing like the quality of Word. Word is much, much better.

I have been a long time user of Word Perfect back to the time when it was the big gorilla on the computer. It used to be very, very good but a series of bad business decisions years ago seemed to have changed it beyond recognition. To be brief, Word Perfect today is (IMO) little better than a software paperweight.

I bought Word Perfect to process Word documents. It did a terrible job. It is OK if all you are doing is creating a new WP document and you keep that document in its WP format, but if you try to actually use it to read Word documents you are going to have trouble. I certainly have. I have had enough trouble that I stopped using it about a year ago. Stopped using it completely. I did not even install it on my laptop when I upgraded from W7 to W8.

Word, on the other hand, is a pretty good word processor and I have had almost no trouble with it. It is not my first choice (that is Open Office) but to suggest that Word Perfect is anything like the quality of Word is just wrong.

Again, IMO.

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Glen Barrington
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By presentation, I meant Printing, slideshows, web pages, etc.
In reply to CAcreeks, Apr 1, 2013

The photo community needs to come up with some terms for categorizing software functionality into logical groups, I guess.

I've been a bit negligent on testing this area out, just haven't been able to squeeze the time for it.

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Jim Cockfield
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speed, workflow, etc.
In reply to Glen Barrington, Apr 2, 2013

Glen Barrington wrote:

I've been pretty impressed with DigiKam so far.

I've been using digiKam (and showFoto which is the editing component without the album management stuff included) it for years, watching it mature more and more over time.

Sure, for a free image management app with lots of features (and make sure to install the kipi-plugins package to get a lot more features in apps like digiKam, Gwenview, showFoto, etc.), it's terrific.

BTW, make sure to install Gwenview, too (as it's great for fast browsing of folders full of jpeg files, and can use some of the same plugins that digiKam can use (again, make sure to install the kipi-plugins package).  Also, make sure that showFoto is installed (it gives you the same editing ability as digiKam).

But, digiKam and showFoto are  slow as molasses compared to a product like AfterShot Pro (which is *very* fast compared to almost any other image management/raw conversion app).

So, if you value your time, spend the $59 that Corel wants for AfterShot Pro right now (it's on sale at that price).

Keep in mind that Bibble Labs charged $199 for Bibble Pro (and they offered a standard version with fewer features), and IMO, it was well worth the $199 they asked for it.

After Corel purchased Bibble Labs, they dropped the standard version of Bibble, and only offer the Pro version (relaunched as Corel AfterShot Pro), at a retail price of $99 (and you can buy it at the sale price of only $59.99 right now).  That's a huge bargain for a product that capable.

Again, as mentioned in my last post about it, you can also use the same license key under both Linux and Windows.   So, you can have it installed in both operating systems on the same PC (and point it to the same shared catalogs, etc., regardless of the OS you boot into).

I've spent time using both Lightroom and AfterShot Pro, and frankly I prefer AfterShot Pro, thanks to features like being able to edit raw files (non destructive editing) without importing them to a catalog first, as it works both ways, with better speed and more features if you do import them first; edit layers and regions, etc.

If you're not working with a lot of images, I guess digiKam can work (as it is a very full featured product).

But, if you want a product that saves you tons of time, I'd strongly suggest installing Corel AfterShot Pro.  Just download both the Windows and Linux versions (and the .deb files work fine in Debian or Ubuntu based distros), and test drive it.   It's *extremely* fast.   Again, take some time to watch the webinar I linked to in my last post to get a better idea of what it's capable of.      This one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i633ZBya9Fc

More here (but I'd watch that longer one first, as it delves into a lot more about the product and would help you to understand what to look for when test driving it):

http://www.corel.com/corel/pages/index.jsp?pgid=12800011&storeKey=us&languageCode=en

BTW, if you have any stability issues, just go into AfterShot Pro preferences and disable GPU acceleration.  The latest version uses OpenCL to speed up time even more via your video card.  But, it's very fast without that feature enabled (GPU acceleration is a brand new feature and they're still working out a few kinks).   I'm using an Nvidia GT 440 with the latest drivers from Nvidia, and I have not had any problems with it. But, some users have some odd quirks. and disabling GPU acceleration has solved them.

Even without GPU Acceleration enabled, it "runs circles" around most any other product for processing/conversion speed (building thumbnail previews, editing, exporting to other formats, etc.).  It's *very* fast.

I rarely spend money for software anymore, as there are so many open source options available (and I've got lots of image editing/management/viewer apps installed in both Windows and Linux).  But, in the case of AfterShot Pro, IMO, it's well worth the money over the free alternatives, as you can probably justify the cost in one weekend's time savings alone it's so much faster than the available open source alternatives (or other commercial alternatives for that matter), whether you're using Windows or Linux to run it.

Again, you can download a trial version and test drive it for 30 days.  If you don't like it, don't buy it. 

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skyglider
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Re: Oh yes it is.
In reply to MikeFromMesa, Apr 2, 2013

MikeFromMesa wrote:

  • MS Word was not better than Word Perfect.

I very strongly disagree.

I have no particular love for Windows 8 (which is installed on my laptop) but I have to disagree here. I have bought Word Perfect and it is nothing like the quality of Word. Word is much, much better.

I have been a long time user of Word Perfect back to the time when it was the big gorilla on the computer. It used to be very, very good but a series of bad business decisions years ago seemed to have changed it beyond recognition. To be brief, Word Perfect today is (IMO) little better than a software paperweight.

I bought Word Perfect to process Word documents. It did a terrible job. It is OK if all you are doing is creating a new WP document and you keep that document in its WP format, but if you try to actually use it to read Word documents you are going to have trouble. I certainly have. I have had enough trouble that I stopped using it about a year ago. Stopped using it completely. I did not even install it on my laptop when I upgraded from W7 to W8.

Word, on the other hand, is a pretty good word processor and I have had almost no trouble with it. It is not my first choice (that is Open Office) but to suggest that Word Perfect is anything like the quality of Word is just wrong.

Again, IMO.

Not sure if we are referring to the same time frame.  What I meant is that Word Perfect was the word processor of choice in most businesses when MS Word was not yet released.  But the overwhelming majority of businesses were using IBM compatible PCs running the MS OS.

Then when MS released Word, it was not better than Word Perfect to the extent to have the business users who already were familiar with Word Perfect make the switch.  But because they were using the MS OS and wanted compatibility to exchange documents with each other, they migrated to MS Word.  I know that's how it was in our office (a nationwide US company).

So my point of reference was when Word was first introduced.  Not later on or now.  If you still disagree, then I respect your opinion.

Sky

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MikeFromMesa
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Re: Oh yes it is.
In reply to skyglider, Apr 2, 2013

skyglider wrote:

Not sure if we are referring to the same time frame.

I understood you to be saying that Word Perfect was as good as Word now and I completely disagree with that statement. Now, Word is a much better product than Word Perfect.

What I meant is that Word Perfect was the word processor of choice in most businesses when MS Word was not yet released.  But the overwhelming majority of businesses were using IBM compatible PCs running the MS OS.

Back in those days WP was a very fine word processor and controlled most of the market. I knew software engineers who went to work at WP in those days to be in on the cutting edge of that market and many of the rest of us (including myself) thought they were doing the right thing.

But, as they say, that was then and this is now.

So my point of reference was when Word was first introduced.  Not later on or now.  If you still disagree, then I respect your opinion.

No. I misunderstood what you were saying. Back then WP was better than Word. it has always seemed a little sad to me that WP lost that edge.

Sorry for the confusion.

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Archer66
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Re: Oh yes it is.
In reply to skyglider, Apr 2, 2013

skyglider wrote:

Not sure if we are referring to the same time frame.  What I meant is that Word Perfect was the word processor of choice in most businesses when MS Word was not yet released.  But the overwhelming majority of businesses were using IBM compatible PCs running the MS OS.

Then when MS released Word, it was not better than Word Perfect to the extent to have the business users who already were familiar with Word Perfect make the switch.

Actually it was first Windows version of Word that won the battle. Wordperfect didnt release Windows version until much later and at that point it was too little too late.

Lotus also failed to provide Windows version of their spreadsheet in time betting the wrong horse ( OS/2 ).

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skyglider
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Re: Oh yes it is.
In reply to Archer66, Apr 2, 2013

Archer66 wrote:

skyglider wrote:

Not sure if we are referring to the same time frame.  What I meant is that Word Perfect was the word processor of choice in most businesses when MS Word was not yet released.  But the overwhelming majority of businesses were using IBM compatible PCs running the MS OS.

Then when MS released Word, it was not better than Word Perfect to the extent to have the business users who already were familiar with Word Perfect make the switch.

Actually it was first Windows version of Word that won the battle. Wordperfect didnt release Windows version until much later and at that point it was too little too late.

Lotus also failed to provide Windows version of their spreadsheet in time betting the wrong horse ( OS/2 ).

Word Perfect was the dominant word processor.  If MS did not own the Windows OS, there would not have been the incentive for users to switch over to MS Word.  It was "BECAUSE" of the Windows OS that users were prompted to shift to MS Word. Which is my point.

IOW, the huge base of software for Windows exists because Windows was/is the dominant personal computer OS.  If folks migrate away from windows because MS removes the desktop from future versions of windows, then the incentive to write software for windows will decline as the windows user base declines.  So the MS store revenues will decrease anyway.

I think MS would fair better if they keep the Win7 desktop UI in future versions of Windows (including the desktop start menu) while also providing the alternative Metro UI.  If Metro really is that good, folks will migrate from the Win7 UI to the Metro UI naturally.  NO FORCING REQUIRED!

(For the purists, I do realize that the Win8 UI is no longer officially referred to as "Metro".  It's just easier to refer to it as Metro in discussions.)

Best regards,
Sky

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