Windows 8 shocker

Started May 7, 2013 | Discussions
malch
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Windows 8 shocker
May 7, 2013

"Microsoft is preparing to reverse course over key elements of its Windows 8 operating system, marking one of the most prominent admissions of failure for a new mass-market consumer product since Coca-Cola’s New Coke fiasco nearly 30 years ago."

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/330c8b8e-b66b-11e2-93ba-00144feabdc0.html

DonA2
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Re: Windows 8 shocker
In reply to malch, May 8, 2013

It will be a bit of a wait-and-see deal.  To be fair they were looking down the road when virtually all internet service will be transportable.  I believe they got the message that we are still living in todays world and that includes PCs with mouse and keyboard.  Not effecting me but it is nice to see them eating some humble pie.

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malch
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Re: Windows 8 shocker
In reply to DonA2, May 8, 2013

DonA2 wrote:

Not effecting me but it is nice to see them eating some humble pie.

What staggers me is the simple fact that this was all so predictable. And what has come to pass was actually predicted with considerable accuracy by multiple members of this forum.

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Doug R
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Re: Windows 8 shocker
In reply to malch, May 8, 2013

So you'll be able to go strait to the desktop and have a start button, but the start button will just take you to the metro start page. Is this good enough to save Windows 8?

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malch
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Re: Windows 8 shocker
In reply to Doug R, May 8, 2013

Doug R wrote:

So you'll be able to go strait to the desktop and have a start button, but the start button will just take you to the metro start page. Is this good enough to save Windows 8?

Windows isn't going to go away in the desktop world. The real question is... can Windows gain any real traction in the mobile market. Saddling the Windows brand with the "New Coke" associations is clearly not going to help. On the other hand, the Coca Cola company has survived as a significantly strong player in its market!

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kelpdiver
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Re: Windows 8 shocker
In reply to malch, May 8, 2013

malch wrote:

DonA2 wrote:

Not effecting me but it is nice to see them eating some humble pie.

What staggers me is the simple fact that this was all so predictable. And what has come to pass was actually predicted with considerable accuracy by multiple members of this forum.

If I were a large shareholder, I'd be calling for Steve's head, since he's not executing well across the product line.

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Eric Carlson
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Re: Windows 8 shocker
In reply to malch, May 8, 2013

malch wrote:

... Coca-Cola’s New Coke fiasco nearly 30 years ago."

The real shocker here for me is that the New Coke fiasco is nearly 30 years old.

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M35G35
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Re: Windows 8 shocker
In reply to kelpdiver, May 8, 2013

It is hard to call for someone's head when they are making billions of dollars. Because a few don't like the layout of W8 doesn't mean he isn't executing. I am not a Ballmer fan at all, he blew the phone and tablet market big time.

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Abrak
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Re: Windows 8 shocker
In reply to M35G35, May 8, 2013

To me the real shocker of Windows 8 is not the UI. It did take me a week to get used to but now I actually like it.

The real shocker is the Windows store which was the idea behind the new interface. There simply isnt a usable app in the whole store. The premium paid apps are made up mostly of junkware - say apps like VLCC player (no relation to VLC player) or Windows media player (no relation to Microsoft).

The free apps simply dont work in many cases and have the absolute minimum functionality. For instance, the 'live tile' might give you an interesting story to look at but when you click on it, it simply takes you to a whole raft of stories rather than the story you are interested in.

The games seem to be the most popular apps but they are generally just phone apps that have been ported to the desktop.

I suspect that Microsoft will have to junk the whole store and start again.

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kelpdiver
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Re: Windows 8 shocker
In reply to M35G35, May 8, 2013

M35G35 wrote:

It is hard to call for someone's head when they are making billions of dollars. Because a few don't like the layout of W8 doesn't mean he isn't executing. I am not a Ballmer fan at all, he blew the phone and tablet market big time.

You forgot the billions lost by Bing.   And the (stuffed) sales figures for Win 8 show it's more than a few people.  Hell, he should be fired just for allowing the Surface TV ads to air.

Given the free cash flow of Windows and Office, and it's monopoly like status, MS should be killing it, just like Apple did with their cash.  Instead it's lumbering on.   Yahoo is making billions too, you know, despite having hit the proverbial iceberg years ago.

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Simon Garrett
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If true it's a good step, but Microsoft has other UI problems
In reply to malch, May 8, 2013

As malch says, it was entirely predictable and was predicted.  As Tim Cook of Apple said (before the W8 launch) in the FT article malch cited:

"Windows 8 would be like combining a toaster and a fridge – something that, while technically possible, was probably not going to be pleasing to the user."

Win 8 has some good stuff, and if users can banish Metro entirely from a desktop or laptop if they choose then I'd definitely go for it over W7.

But MS has taken a number of poor steps in UI recently.  The ribbon interface, though visually pretty-pretty, is not well thought out.  The UI changes completely as you change the size of the window.  Icons change or disappear.  A function that was on a ribbon suddenly disappears if the window is made a weeny bit smaller.  Placing functions on different tabs is often illogical.  What I hear is that users find it harder to locate functions than with menus, which don't seemingly randomly change in appearance.

In several applications (Office 2013, Visual Studio...), Microsoft has idiotically gone over to USING ALL CAPS IN THE UI.  NOW WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT WHEN EVERY UI EXPERT ON THE PLANET WOULD TELL THEM THAT IT'S A VERY BAD IDEA AND REDUCES READABILITY?

Metro uses large, blobby icons in primary colours.  Hey, we used to do that in the 1980s because we had low-res 16 colour displays and couldn't do any better, not because anyone thought it was a good idea.  Not all retro is good.

MS used to have a large team of world-respected UI experts - have they fired them all, or do we have opinionated people in the design teams that think they know better?

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Glenn Haley
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Re: Windows 8 shocker
In reply to malch, May 8, 2013

If they have a special "intro" price I'll try it, otherwise I'll stick with 7.

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Archer66
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Re: Windows 8 shocker
In reply to Glenn Haley, May 8, 2013

Glenn Haley wrote:

If they have a special "intro" price I'll try it, otherwise I'll stick with 7.

You are late, it ended months ago.

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Glenn Haley
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Re: Windows 8 shocker
In reply to Archer66, May 8, 2013

I'm talking about the OP's edition, not the existing Win 8 which I did not order.

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digitalshooter
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In reply to malch, May 8, 2013
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dmartin92
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one thing that one has to admit
In reply to malch, May 8, 2013

I don't like Windows 8, and I have serious doubts about the strategy that Microsoft used to introduce it to the marketplace. The UI, everything.

Everything, I don't like it.

But one thing that one has to admit, it's not like it's just another version of Windows with a little asterisk next to it in the chart, and a footnote below that reads:

* also runs on tablet devices

It's for tablets, and everybody knows that. That point isn't just a small footnote in some chart.

Now that they've made their point, if they can just step back, maybe they can move forward, not just on desktops, but on tablets too.

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Re: If true it's a good step, but Microsoft has other UI problems
In reply to Simon Garrett, May 8, 2013

Simon Garrett wrote:

As malch says, it was entirely predictable and was predicted.  As Tim Cook of Apple said (before the W8 launch) in the FT article malch cited:

"Windows 8 would be like combining a toaster and a fridge – something that, while technically possible, was probably not going to be pleasing to the user."

Win 8 has some good stuff, and if users can banish Metro entirely from a desktop or laptop if they choose then I'd definitely go for it over W7.

But MS has taken a number of poor steps in UI recently.  The ribbon interface, though visually pretty-pretty, is not well thought out.  The UI changes completely as you change the size of the window.  Icons change or disappear.  A function that was on a ribbon suddenly disappears if the window is made a weeny bit smaller.  Placing functions on different tabs is often illogical.  What I hear is that users find it harder to locate functions than with menus, which don't seemingly randomly change in appearance.

In several applications (Office 2013, Visual Studio...), Microsoft has idiotically gone over to USING ALL CAPS IN THE UI.  NOW WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT WHEN EVERY UI EXPERT ON THE PLANET WOULD TELL THEM THAT IT'S A VERY BAD IDEA AND REDUCES READABILITY?

Metro uses large, blobby icons in primary colours.  Hey, we used to do that in the 1980s because we had low-res 16 colour displays and couldn't do any better, not because anyone thought it was a good idea.  Not all retro is good.

MS used to have a large team of world-respected UI experts - have they fired them all, or do we have opinionated people in the design teams that think they know better?

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Simon

Well, if you ask for my opinion, I would say, metro UI is actually better than anything MS has brought to the table in the past. What they failed to anticipate is the amount of resistance from those people who have used Windows in the past and have been reluctant to see even slight changes to the interface: a reluctance mainly at an emotional level.

As per Cook's comment: I don't understand why we need to think whatever Tim Cook (or whoever Apple's CEO is) says has something to do with truth. His statement is more a political statement of a rival than a 'deep observation of a UI theorist'. If he for one cared about a proper UI, he should have banned Apple from the whole absurdity of using iTunes and 'synching' as a method of communication between computer and iphone (I could never grasp of it even after three years of using iPhone). But of course, what Apple didn't care about was an intuitive working UI but instead, forcing masses into using iTunes that is a clear move in creating and expanding an Apple's monopoly on media accessibility. Metro is MS's response to Apple on the same goal: if you want to watch a video or picture or listen to a music, it has to be through our applications and ideally through our online store so that all media consumers become our subsidiary and permanent payers: what a huge amount of profit for us if we receive a percentage for every application someone decides to install on their device (bought through our store) or, for the music they want to listen and, the video they want to watch, etc.. This is the bitter irony: the bad failure of the vast majority of Win 8 critics to see where the actual problem or threat is lying.

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Re: one thing that one has to admit
In reply to dmartin92, May 8, 2013

Your mistake is obviously thinking that everybody sees things the same way you see: your mistake is actually greater than MS's mistake.

dmartin92 wrote:

I don't like Windows 8, and I have serious doubts about the strategy that Microsoft used to introduce it to the marketplace. The UI, everything.

Everything, I don't like it.

But one thing that one has to admit, it's not like it's just another version of Windows with a little asterisk next to it in the chart, and a footnote below that reads:

* also runs on tablet devices

It's for tablets, and everybody knows that. That point isn't just a small footnote in some chart.

Now that they've made their point, if they can just step back, maybe they can move forward, not just on desktops, but on tablets too.

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Simon Garrett
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Re: If true it's a good step, but Microsoft has other UI problems
In reply to raminolta, May 9, 2013

raminolta wrote:

Simon Garrett wrote:

As malch says, it was entirely predictable and was predicted.  As Tim Cook of Apple said (before the W8 launch) in the FT article malch cited:

"Windows 8 would be like combining a toaster and a fridge – something that, while technically possible, was probably not going to be pleasing to the user."

Win 8 has some good stuff, and if users can banish Metro entirely from a desktop or laptop if they choose then I'd definitely go for it over W7.

But MS has taken a number of poor steps in UI recently.  The ribbon interface, though visually pretty-pretty, is not well thought out.  The UI changes completely as you change the size of the window.  Icons change or disappear.  A function that was on a ribbon suddenly disappears if the window is made a weeny bit smaller.  Placing functions on different tabs is often illogical.  What I hear is that users find it harder to locate functions than with menus, which don't seemingly randomly change in appearance.

In several applications (Office 2013, Visual Studio...), Microsoft has idiotically gone over to USING ALL CAPS IN THE UI.  NOW WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT WHEN EVERY UI EXPERT ON THE PLANET WOULD TELL THEM THAT IT'S A VERY BAD IDEA AND REDUCES READABILITY?

Metro uses large, blobby icons in primary colours.  Hey, we used to do that in the 1980s because we had low-res 16 colour displays and couldn't do any better, not because anyone thought it was a good idea.  Not all retro is good.

MS used to have a large team of world-respected UI experts - have they fired them all, or do we have opinionated people in the design teams that think they know better?

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Simon

Well, if you ask for my opinion, I would say, metro UI is actually better than anything MS has brought to the table in the past. What they failed to anticipate is the amount of resistance from those people who have used Windows in the past and have been reluctant to see even slight changes to the interface: a reluctance mainly at an emotional level.

As per Cook's comment: I don't understand why we need to think whatever Tim Cook (or whoever Apple's CEO is) says has something to do with truth. His statement is more a political statement of a rival than a 'deep observation of a UI theorist'. If he for one cared about a proper UI, he should have banned Apple from the whole absurdity of using iTunes and 'synching' as a method of communication between computer and iphone (I could never grasp of it even after three years of using iPhone). But of course, what Apple didn't care about was an intuitive working UI but instead, forcing masses into using iTunes that is a clear move in creating and expanding an Apple's monopoly on media accessibility. Metro is MS's response to Apple on the same goal: if you want to watch a video or picture or listen to a music, it has to be through our applications and ideally through our online store so that all media consumers become our subsidiary and permanent payers: what a huge amount of profit for us if we receive a percentage for every application someone decides to install on their device (bought through our store) or, for the music they want to listen and, the video they want to watch, etc.. This is the bitter irony: the bad failure of the vast majority of Win 8 critics to see where the actual problem or threat is lying.

I agree with much of your analysis, but not with your conclusions!

There's a great deal of evidence, notwithstanding your preferences, that a large proportion of desktop and laptop users don't like Metro.  They may be "emotional", they may be reluctant, they may be resistant to change, but customers don't have to justify their likes and dislikes.

Tim Cook has an axe to grind, of course.  So do you.  So do I.  But his comments on Metro, biassed or not, chime with those of many critics of W8, which is why malch quoted the article, and why I quoted the specific comment. You may like Metro, but I don't believe a UI designed for bit fat fingers on a small screen works well on a larger screen with keyboard and pointing device.  It throws away the advantage of a high-res screen and high-res pointing device.  Nor is there any compelling logic to suggest the same UI benefits users.  Users cope pretty well with different, appropriate UIs in different contexts.  Even "emotional" users.

However, this isn't about users and user benefit.  I quite agree that Metro is MS's response to Apple's app store and ipad/iphone UI.  But they'll quite possibly fail even on tablets and phones as Android is likely to make a walled-garden for software difficult to sustain.  It offers nothing to users or 3rd-party developers.  And MS are even more likely to fail with Metro on laptops and desktops, as Metro is not a good UI for this context (IMHO, and in the opinion of most users, it would seem).

Hence my opening comment.  Microsoft's failure to persuade these "emotional" users to like Metro was predictable and predicted.

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digital ed
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Re: Windows 8 shocker
In reply to Abrak, May 9, 2013

Abrak wrote:

To me the real shocker of Windows 8 is not the UI. It did take me a week to get used to but now I actually like it.

The real shocker is the Windows store which was the idea behind the new interface. There simply isnt a usable app in the whole store. The premium paid apps are made up mostly of junkware - say apps like VLCC player (no relation to VLC player) or Windows media player (no relation to Microsoft).

The free apps simply dont work in many cases and have the absolute minimum functionality. For instance, the 'live tile' might give you an interesting story to look at but when you click on it, it simply takes you to a whole raft of stories rather than the story you are interested in.

The games seem to be the most popular apps but they are generally just phone apps that have been ported to the desktop.

I suspect that Microsoft will have to junk the whole store and start again.

Used with knowledge Win 8 Pro is ultra reliable. I have seldom looked in the MS App Store and have installed many of the same programs I have in my Win 7 Ultimate desktops for photo PP. Should have mentioned, I have the Surface Pro 128 plus keyboard with the Classic Shell installed. Also, I seldom use the touch features only a track ball or the MS Wedge Mouse which is quite nice. I am happy with Win 8.

Have installed on my Surface Pro Adobe PS CS6 with Bridge CS6, LR4, DXO Optics Pro 8, MS Outlook, Helicon Focus/Remote, ControlMyNikon, Reikan FoCal, Topaz and NIK plugins, and Open Office. Still have room for more. While traveling store D800 pictures on external USB 3 1TB HD.

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