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Can Microsoft Afford To Lose With Windows 8?

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the having-lots-of-cash-helps dept.

Microsoft 630

snydeq writes with the opinion that Microsoft can afford Windows 8 failing on the desktop. From the article: "Windows 8 is an experiment that may well fail, but Microsoft will cull invaluable feedback for Windows 9 in the process, long before Windows 7 runs out of gas, writes InfoWorld's Serdar Yegulalp. 'Can Microsoft really afford to alienate one of its biggest market segments for a whole product cycle? In a word: Yes. In fact, doing something this risky might well be vital to Microsoft's survival,' Yegulalp writes. 'Microsoft needs to gamble, and right now might well be the best time for the company to do it. The company needs to learn from its mistakes as quickly and nimbly as they can — and then turn around and make Windows 9 exceed all of our expectations.'" Microsoft has managed to weather several OS flops (Windows Me anyone?) thanks to their domination of the market, but with Android gadgets and iPhones becoming pervasive can they pull it off again?

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Cycles (5, Insightful)

Vahokif (1292866) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337175)

This has happened before, and it will happen again.

Re:Cycles (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337193)

I agree, Windows 7 is a really good OS. I have somewhat warmed up for OSX, but in general, Win7 does it all too.

For Microsoft it's best they take changes. Now is good time for them, as Win7 is out and maturing. Couple those tablet and computer interfaces and let the system get more use. Vista sucked because driver makers weren't ready with new drivers. Win8 is going to suck in the beginning because the usual apps aren't ready. But it will get there, sooner or later, and Microsoft will own all PC + Console + Smart phones + Tablets industries.

Re:Cycles (5, Insightful)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337295)

Whatever....we just need a decent file system. The data is getting out of control. Hundreds of thousands of files everywhere, and that is just on my home PC. We need full-blown customizable meta-tagging (with default templates for certain types of files) on data with easy search methods. We also need an easy way to force network users to to fill in certain meta-data (with logging and reporting) or no savey.

Re:Cycles (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337219)

Yes, this is their MO. They make a whole ton of breaking changes every-other-generation, and then make a decent product for the next generation. My parents' computers over the last 15 years or so: Windows 95, Windows ME, Windows Vista (the unstable versions). The good versions have been Windows 98, Windows XP, Windows 7. Windows 8 is on track to be terrible.

Re:Cycles (5, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337429)

Don't forget Windows 2000, which many preferred over XP because of its stability and lack of bells and whistles bogging it down.
It may not have been a big consumer hit, because there never were any cheaper "home" versions. But it was a big hit for businesses and power users.

Nor NT4, which was a workhorse for a long time.

I'd include Windows 3.11 too, which, crappy as it was, didn't have the stability problems of 95, and was thus used well beyond its EOL.

Re:Cycles (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337527)

We had Windows ME, XP and 2000 machines running side by side in 2002. The 2000 machine was by far the fastest and most stable in spite of having slightly slower hardware. The XP machine was a distant last (this was pre-SP1). XP was a huge flop when it first came out and had many of the same issues Vista had years later. We eventually replaced it with ME on the one machine because it was so bad. Once a few service packs were under its belt and hardware improved a bit, XP because the (mostly) stable, usable OS it is today. Even now, Windows 7 runs better on many of my older machines than XP SP3.

Windows 98 remains one of my best OS experiences to date. I still run a 98 machine at home (90MHz Pentium, 24MB RAM, 512MB HDD) for older games. It's incredibly snappy, which is likely the result of 1) only having enough space for one or two games installed at a time and 2) no Internet connection.

Are bad Microsoft versions deliberate? (3, Interesting)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337449)

The summary says, "Microsoft has managed to weather several OS flops (Windows Me anyone?)"

In my opinion, those are not "flops". Microsoft apparently deliberately releases bad versions to make more money. I understand that it was discovered during the Vista court case [jmbm.com] that a Microsoft top manager said the Vista was not ready for release, but Vista was released anyway. (I could not find a reference to the exact language.)

Microsoft released bad versions in the DOS days, also. In all cases of which I am aware, there was no free replacement. Buyers of bad versions were expected to pay again.

Re:Are bad Microsoft versions deliberate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337613)

The impact of the bad dos versions weren't particularly large back then because the OS wasn't nearly so user interface/in your face dominating the way the OS is today. Even less so for many home users who had floppy based systems.

Re:Cycles (1)

talexb (223672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337563)

Mod parent up.

I used Windows 95 (a step up from 3.11, but took a while to mature) and Windows 98 (fantastic) before I moved to Linux. My parents and friends continued on the bandwagon with Windows ME (disaster), Windows XP (pretty damn good) and Windows Vista (crap). I now have a Windows 7/Debian dual boot system, and it works quite well.

I remember Microsoft just about killed themselves getting Windows 95 done, in reaction to OS/2's stronger than expected showing. They just about had to release something in order to quiet the market down. Early versions were indeed rough, but after 18 months it was much better; who knows what might have happened if they'd waiting that long -- OS/2 might have grabbed significantly more market share.

Windows Vista was the next generation XP .. but missing several of the significant features that ended up going into Windows 7.

If Windows 8 is also going to be used as a mobile platform, it might get some extra testing that will find the Oh, It Broke Out In The Field mistakes. It could be that Microsoft has finally learned their lesson, and won't release according to some Marketdroid's schedule, but rather when the product is cooked and ready for release .. but history suggests otherwise.

Re:Cycles (3, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337293)

It doesn't mean they can survive.

There are more mobile phones being sold today than laptops and PCs combined.

So no, this isn't a time they can afford to be continuing to a: lose marketshare for another 3 years and B: lose even more marketshare at the same time.

Re:Cycles (3, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337561)

There's more napkins being sold than mobile phones too, doesn't mean napkins are going to replace phones. I believe smartphones still account for less than half of the mobile phone market, not to mention numerous people buy Tracfones to take on vacation so they can leave their $300 smartphone at home. Likewise, there's a ton of things PCs and laptops can do that phones never will unless they can project a large enough image to replace a monitor and have an interface half as versatile as the mouse and keyboard system. Phones also need to be replaced far more often due to accidental and intentional damage. People think twice about throwing their PC at the wall because they're pissed not because of the cost, but because of the size. Same reason fewer laptops get sent through the washing machine.

Re:Cycles (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337301)

The risk for Microsoft isnt' directly in the desktop market - they can easily afford to have Windows 8 not taken up and rely on Windows 9. There risk lies in lack of takeup on the desktop leading to the OS being perceived as a failure and that 'ailure status attaching to the mobile offerings too. If everyone sees Windows 8 as another Vista then they won't want it on their phones or tablets, even if it's objectively good for those. And if they fail to get market share in phones and tablets then they face a longer term risk of Apple/Google/whoever managing to extend further into the desktop market off of the back of their mobile offerings.

Re:Cycles (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337303)

I think this will be quite different this go-around.

I think the next Microsoft failure will seal their fate. There are lots of factors at play which Microsoft is not presently able to compete against. The love of Android and iOS are two of them, but web technologies which depend on advanced features found in the "standards compliant" browsers out there (I know MSIE 9 is quite compliant, but many people can't even use it for various reasons... not available on XP and large programs like Documentum does not support MSIE 9 yet) are creating UI elements which promise application portability to all manner of devices out there.

While the rest of the world is moving on into newer, more interesting things, Microsoft keeps guard on its 20+ year old Win32. They keep screaming "developers developers..." but they are also suffering because of those same developers and their highly inconsistent quality, standards compliance and stability. Time and time again, Microsoft has had the opportunity to remake itself and have decided against it in favor of keeping those who cling to the old ways happy.

Windows 8 will be soundly rejected but more than that, the common people will be more aware of Microsoft's failure and doubt them. I have heard people say numerous times that they don't want a Windows phone because they don't want a phone that crashes or is insecure. And these are from 'common people.' And these same people are looking elsewhere.

Worse, it is being discussed all over that people in business want to use their own personal devices for work. This doesn't always go over well with IT or many businesses out there, but the desire isn't going away and people want what they want and don't want what they don't like... Windows in this case. With all the push to alternatives, Microsoft failing to push out its own alternative to itself will prove to be its end.

Re:Cycles (1, Interesting)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337461)

Having the world switch from Windows to another OS en masse will be as problematic as switching from oil/gas to another fuel source.

Re:Cycles (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337625)

You say that like it's a bad thing. Disruption is essential for innovation, innovation is what makes things better for everyone in the long run.

Re:Cycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337603)

I use Android, and I know a lot of people who do as well. I don't think any of them "love" it. It merely provides features that are not available in iOS and is overall, serviceable. Android leaves much to be desired.

Re:Cycles (3, Insightful)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337489)

Windows N+1 is usually an improvement over Windows N. But what really makes people buy N+1?
- the Windows label?
- the "N+1" difference over "N"?
The answer is, still, in 2012, because people prefer a "cheaper" solution (over Mac), an easy no question purchase, a "standard comp that resembles the one I use in my company" as it has been the case for 20+ years. Tons of PCs are sold daily, and guess what? The latest Windows (besides Vista maybe) comes with it. So, when the time for Windows N+1 has come, N+1 sells well...
Most of people are not rushing to get N+1 over N. They renew their PC to improve the hard. And N+1, automatically, magically, traditionally, and, above all, commercially, comes in it.
When most of big companies start to stop (!) renewing their Microsoft contracts / purchasing PCs (almost) blindly, the (N+1)/N ratio will start to weight a lot more.

Android and IO (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337179)

If anybody has been watching the news, they KNOW that Android and IOS are under constant attack. Loads of BS about both. No doubt most of that is coming from the MS FUD machine.

Will Win 8 succeed? Zero chance. What MS is doing is trying to buy time until they finally gets something right. But they have had only several OK OS: Dos 6, Win 3.1 and XP. Otherwise, MS had been a zero that uses illegal and/or unethical means to compete.

Re:Android and IO (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337241)

Until today, I was never able to decide whichever lowlife I hate most: Unsubstantiated Anti-MS trolls, insane Apple fanboys or shallow opensource haters. Thank you for helping me to decide.

Re:Android and IO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337305)

So you basically hate haters?

Its how microsoft works (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337181)

Windows 95 - Stable
98 - Bluescreening POS
2000 - stable as a rock
ME - less said about it the better
XP - Good enough that MS is having a tough time getting people to part with it
Vista - Disaster at launch, heard its better post SP1 but thats too late
  7 - Quite good
  8 - likely to be rejected by enterprises for a kiddish interface unless the UI changes

Re:Its how microsoft works (1, Insightful)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337201)

You've got it wrong.

Win 9x (95/95 OSR2/98/98SE/ME) was overall a steaming pile of dung.

WinNT (NT3.51/NT4/2k/XP/etc) have all been pretty decent compared to 9x (although they've made quite a few questionable design decisions along the way).

As for the recent UI changes, all par for the course with MS, they seem to always change something and their fanboys/shills will dismiss complaints with "well, we did a biased usage test and concluded that this was the best solution so STFU". Eventually everyone gets used to it and the world moves on.

Win95 wasn't that bad (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337333)

"Win 9x (95/95 OSR2/98/98SE/ME) was overall a steaming pile of dung."

Win 95 was pretty good for its time as far as MIcrosoft goes. Believe me, if you'd had to use Win 3.1 for any length of time you'd have worshipped that Win95 CD when it showed up. Ok , compared to any unix OS or even OS/2 it was shit, but compared to what MS did before it was a step change.

Re:Win95 wasn't that bad (1)

fwarren (579763) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337427)

CD? As I recall I loaded it from a set of floppies.

Hard Core Old School all the way.

Re:Win95 wasn't that bad (1)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337477)

3.1 was on floppies. 95 may have came on floppies but I've only seen it on CD. I still have a copy or two laying around.

Re:Its how microsoft works (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337415)

I never got quite used to the Vista/Win/ UI, when it comes to launching apps and selecting files/browsing filesystem. I *can* use Vista/Win7 (I have a netbook with Win7), but I do not enjoy it one bit.

Re:Its how microsoft works (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337441)

Win98SE was the best of the bunch. Hardly a pile of dung.

2K was the best of the NT platform. XP did good at merging the two but was a steaming pile of dung.

Win7 is pretty good.

Re:Its how microsoft works (2)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337531)

You've got it wrong.

Win 9x (95/95 OSR2/98/98SE/ME) was overall a steaming pile of dung.

There speaks someone too young to remember Windows 3.x. Compared to DOS/Windows 3.1x, Win9x was an absolute dream. Before Windows 95 there was no such thing as plug'n'play hardware. Certainly most of the people now building and upgrading PCs would not be doing it if things were the way they used to be because you had to know about IRQs, DMA and hardware memory addresses, what was already in use in the machine and how to manually configure system files to use the hardware. You were also limited to how much you could put in a machine because there was no such thing as IRQ sharing.

Re:Its how microsoft works (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337215)

Windows 95 - Stable

Ah hahahahahaha... no wait it's still there ... HAHAHAHAHAHAHA man... whew. that's a good one.

Whatever you're smokin it's good stuff.

I remember using Win95 and 98. then I switched to Linux when 98 was new. then it was like "wow it's gone a whole two weeks without a BSOD or a reboot". then after a while that felt normal.

Re:Its how microsoft works (1)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337601)

I remember using Win95 and 98. then I switched to Linux when 98 was new. then it was like "wow it's gone a whole two weeks without a BSOD or a reboot". then after a while that felt normal.

Of course you were....

Re:Its how microsoft works (4, Informative)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337327)

Windows 95 - Stable
98 - Bluescreening POS

Wow really, what planet were you on? '95 (3.95) was hardly better than 3.11 on Dos 5+. It was not until '95OSR2 (4.0?) running on a mass market OEM system (DELL, HP, COMPAQ, etc) with mature drivers that it got solid. Windows 98 (4.10.98) was also pretty solid on decent hardware. You could run into problems with old (stuff with older VXD type drivers targeted at Windows '95) junk; which is what anyone upgrading a Win 95 machine had because manufactures never supported their own hardware beyond the initial release in the PC world at that time.

Late Adopter waiting: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337183)

I'm one of those late adopters as far as the New Windows goes, I tend to stay behind the edge to see whats a head of me. I could say that NOW I could move to Windows 7 and be pretty comfy for years, windows 8 might be "the next step" for a lot, but I'm actually looking at windows 9 for the "real deal".

Re:Late Adopter waiting: (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337623)

I used to be like that. Although we had an XP box in 2002, I never made the switch from using ME on my personal machine until 2005. Windows 7 was the complete opposite - I got it through work several months before the retail launch. The fact that Windows 7 is the first MS OS since 98 to run well on "average to older" hardware is a major contributing factor. Let games be the one to require a huge jump in hardware capabilities, operating systems should not require 1+ GB RAM when a lot of people are still using 512MB.

Windows evolves (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337195)

Microsoft are marketing experts. There will always be the masses that are suseptible to the hype of marketing... that's what it's designed for. You can see as the names are totally emotional and illogical (XP, Vista, 7 now 8). With each version it's just another version of Windows NT... Of course they need to fix a few things that don't work too well (or at all), and also add features for the geeks. But the main thing is to make it look new and 'trendy'.

Re:Windows evolves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337351)

There will always be the masses that are suseptible to the hype of marketing... that's what it's designed for.

No that's what public schools are designed for. If they didn't spend 8+ hours a day (plus any extra-cirricular activities) at school they might learn something subversive like critical thinking.

They've pushed the Trendy boat out too far now (4, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337391)

So far in fact that its its being swamped by the waves of derision. I can't believe anyone at MS seriously believes that whats a good UI for a handheld keyboard free tablet with touch interface is a good UI for a desktop corporate PC with a mouse. Sure, the old XP/7 style UI can be used but why should you have to dig around for it, why isn't it the default and why should app developers have to decide whether to develop for Metro or "Legacy" Windows? Sorry , this makes no sense - MS have seriously fscked up this time. I'm sure under the covers that Win8 is a very professional OS , but the Metro GUI is going to kill it in MS's cash cow sector - ie corporate unless they sort the mess out now. Many corps are only now considering Win7, there isn't a cat in hells chance of them considering Win8 with a Metro interface.

Re:They've pushed the Trendy boat out too far now (5, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337575)

They're trying to copy Apple's use of a partial mobile UI in places on Lion and Mountain Lion. The big difference is that Apple realized most of their core users wouldn't want to use a Mobile style UI most of the time, so they basically made it a thing that you could do, but not the default. Even then a lot of people don't really see the point. I can't say that I've ever used Mission Control, and I'm honestly a bit miffed that they sacrificed my virtual desktops to put it in. Still, it's not much of annoyance (beyond the loss of virtual desktops) that's it's there, since I don't have to use it. Microsoft went the step further (and I think the step to far) of making Metro the default UI. Worse, you can't every really entirely get a "classic" UI. You can run the desktop as an app, but from what I've seen it almost feels like a virtual machine or remote desktop deal. You almost feel like you're not running on the local hardware.

They go out of their way to show you that you're "supposed" to be using Metro. The idea seems pretty insane to me.

Re:They've pushed the Trendy boat out too far now (3, Interesting)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337609)

Unfortunately, they are just copying Apple. Again. Launchpad on OS X Lion is ridiculous and stupid. Apple seems to have fallen for their own hype regarding iOS, viewing it as the best thing since, well, anything. All the new gestures are nice, but they are slowly turning OS X into iOS for the desktop. It's really scary and disturbing. They made such a big deal with the original iPhone release about designing apps for a handheld, and now they are taking those same apps and moving them to the desktop. So, not only is MS copying Apple again, but they are copying the bad ideas too!

Re:Windows evolves (3, Insightful)

beanpoppa (1305757) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337451)

And how would you name OS's? If the best criticism you can come up with is the name, then they are doing something right. To the contrary, I think MS is horrible at marketing. They haven't had a good marketing campaign since the debut of Windows 95.

As for each version being just another version of Windows NT- what else would you expect it to be? Just like every release of MacOS before OS X was a new version of MacOS Classic, and every release of OS X is a new version of 10.0.That doesn't diminish the fact that new, and sometimes innovative features aren't added.

Re:Windows evolves (3, Insightful)

fwarren (579763) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337493)

Marketing experts? Bill Gates in a mall eating a f*cking churro and wiggling his butt walking though the parking lot?

What they have are the OEMs. They can't load OS X on a computer. Do you see anyone being successful loading Linpus Linux? Even the "Mighty Ubuntu" has no real traction. OEMs have to play Microsofts game and load whatever version of WIndows comes along.

Home users will pirate what ever version of windows works for them. Even if they have to pay a friend to load it onto their system.

Big Businesses will get a license and run whatever version of Windows run the applications they use.

Small Business will just complain.

Then everyone will get used to the crappy version whenever they have to deal with it and wait for Microsoft's next version which will "hopefully" fix the mistakes.

Windows ME? (5, Insightful)

rbowen (112459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337199)

I read every day about how Apple has won and everyone had an android phone, but in the real world, the people who say "what's slashdot?" also don't remember Windows ME or Microsoft Bob. And a computer is a Windows machine and you write Word docs, and you "make a PowerPoint" for a presentation.

Sure, people complain about Windows, but macs are just too weird and, after all, it's just a tool.

At least in this school district, they've trained another generation who thinks that computer == Windows.

Re:Windows ME? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337233)

t in the real world, the people who say "what's slashdot?" also don't remember Windows ME or Microsoft Bob.

They might not remember ME but a lot of them remember Vista.

Um, they do it every other version... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337211)

Win98SE? WinME? Vista? I just threw up a little in my mouth

Re:Um, they do it every other version... (1)

beanpoppa (1305757) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337465)

Actually, Win98 was the dog. Win98SE was the odd version that righted the ship, before WinME sunk it.

Do you have a choice ? (5, Insightful)

freshlimesoda (2497490) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337217)

Irrespective of wether you use Windows or not, thousands of Windows PCs around the world are sold everyday by multiple vendors backed by hardware / software warranties. What happens if Windows 8 fails ? Nothing. Windows 7 will cascade the failure until next product refresh. Tablet or PC, is not a question faced by CIOs for 90% of their workforce still. The fact in case that Windows 8 works great, if happens true, is immaterial!

Re:Do you have a choice ? (1)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337371)

I'd mod you up if I had mod points.

The only thing that would hinder Windows 8 in this aspect, is if it is buggy as hell, massively more resource hungry, or incompatible with Windows 7 hardware drivers. If it doesn't suffer from any of these issues (which from what I've seen so far, it doesn't) then OEMs will be happy to ship it on new PCs and it will sell just fine. Metro is not obtrusive enough to stop it selling for those who don't like it, and for those who do like it, it will be a good selling point.

Having said that, we are entering an era where it's becoming less important for a unified OS across platforms, even for big business. Apple have demonstrated that with iOS devices and Mac, as have Google with Android. If there were more 'polished' alternatives to Windows for PCs, we could finally see the start of MS losing it's dominance.

Call me dumb as rocks, but (4, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337221)

instead of releasing a version people don't want and "culling valuable feedback", why release what people don't want in the first place?

Who's asking for this stuff?

Don't people actually do, you know, work with their computers? Invoices, reports, letters to vendors and customers, research, etc.? Also dev, CNC, CRM, CMS, movie/pic editing, and more.

Who is it that stares at their start menu/screen/whatever all day and gush with wonderment? People with work to do open their programs in the morning and ... work.

On the other hand, I have to grudgingly admint (as a Linux fan) MS really has something going with Sharepoint and OneNote. Cool stuff in the window environment/OS? Not so much.

Re:Call me dumb as rocks, but (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337377)

Yea everything should look like KDE2 and GNOME right?

How about this instead (1)

voss (52565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337463)

Everyone who owns Windows 7 get windows 8 for free. Then Microsoft can get all the valuable feedback it wants without making us pay to be their guinea pigs.

Re:Call me dumb as rocks, but (2)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337497)

I believe the thought process runs something along the lines of: "People sure love tablets and smartphones"->"Tablets and smartphones are all (effectively) single-tasking, fullscreen, self-contained apps with none of the advanced functionality of a desktop OS"->"We should do the same things for our desktop OS so people will love it too"

The section that appears to be missing is the "What about all of us poor bastards who use our computers for work, rather than Facebook and might need more than one window open?" I know Windows 8 still has the desktop, but it's clearly intended to be on its way out with Metro as the "future". I for one do not like the idea of future desktops being "app-only".

They alienated a major sector before (4, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337225)

Windows Vista alienated many corporates, who went straight from XP to Windows 7. The same will probably happen with Windows 8.

Re:They alienated a major sector before (1)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337257)

Many companies (including the one I work for) have a policy that they don't upgrade to every version, but skip one. So going from XP to Win 7 was just part of that policy.

Re:They alienated a major sector before (1)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337373)

Windows Vista alienated many corporates, who went straight from XP to Windows 7.

So when Microsoft alienates their customers, they retaliate by switching from a Microsoft product to another Microsoft product. Yeah, that'll show 'em!

Re:They alienated a major sector before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337393)

Corporations would have no reason to choose windows 7 over windows 8 for new machines.

Re:They alienated a major sector before (5, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337511)

I don't know, Windows 8 is one hell of an interface shift from Windows 7; if you think you had trouble with users getting lost when you switched to Office 2007 with the Ribbon, just wait until you take away their start menu and their desktop.

Re:They alienated a major sector before (1)

nstlgc (945418) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337403)

If they went to Windows 7, can you really say they were alienated?

is this a viable business stratagy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337227)

Is it worth it for Microsoft to alternate between a solid OS and a crappy one?

Win98(good) -> WinME(crap) ->WinXP(good) -> Vista(crap)

Re:is this a viable business stratagy? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337321)

Win98(good) -> WinME(crap) ->WinXP(good) -> Vista(oh dear Lord, what on earth is going on? This is dire - What's it doing to the HDD? Yes I do want to run that? *click* I'm sure, Yes. What's this Linux I've been reading about? )
Stuff like that. I've not had to do any business admin for Vista. Have I been lucky?

Re:is this a viable business stratagy? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337523)

People always leave out W2k for some reason. W2k was really good.
As to Windows 8 yes microsoft can survive Windows 8 on the desktop market. What will hurt is the fact that desktops and notebooks are becoming less important as mobile is becoming more important. WP7 is a fizzle. It isn't bad but but it is not popular and is not better than IOS or Android at this time.
Microsoft and Nokia are betting that the Nokia 900 will be a smash hit. The problem is that I just don't see it happening. I could be wrong but Nokia and Microsoft are just not on many peoples radar here in the US in the mobile market. Nokia is in a better position in the EU and in some emerging markets but Microsoft sure is not.
Yes Windows 8 will not kill Microsoft on the desktop. People will keep Windows 7 and they may fix it with Windows 9
Windows 8 has a good chance of killing Microsoft in the mobile market.

Re:is this a viable business stratagy? (1)

dokc (1562391) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337479)

Is it worth it for Microsoft to alternate between a solid OS and a crappy one?

Win98(good) -> WinME(crap) ->WinXP(good) -> Vista(crap)

They don't need to alternate, they can always go with:

Windows Vista Revisits... (1)

CSHARP123 (904951) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337229)

I have installed the consumer preview. I cannot stand the Metro interface with Mouse and Keyboard. My colleague has it on a tablet and it seems to work fine with fingers. This is similar to Vista when all the tech bloggers had bad reviews on it and still MS made billions on it. Same thing happens, by Windows 9, they will have users adopted to this UI or tweaked it like they did in Windows7.

Re:Windows Vista Revisits... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337473)

Windows Vista was a different story. At that time there wasn't a viable 64-bit consumer operating system from Microsoft. Vendors were looking from something, anything that was 64 bit. Also Windows XP was getting quite old, and the vendors wanted something new to sell, so they pushed it. This time around, Windows 7 is still pretty shiny and new, and there aren't any new hardware features in Windows 8, except save for the touch screen interface. Maybe that's it though. Maybe with Windows 8, all the screens will start to become touch screens. I hope not though, Nothing beats keyabaord and mouse for efficient input.

Re:Windows Vista Revisits... (1)

jesseck (942036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337521)

Same thing happens, by Windows 9, they will have users adopted to this UI or tweaked it like they did in Windows7.

I had a problem with the UI when Windows 95 was released- I wanted the "old" 3.1 interface back. By Windows 98, I had no choice- I couldn't get a 3.1 computer anymore, and had to learn the new UI. I am now used to the Windows 7 UI, and I'll probably push back against going to Windows 8 because of the UI. However, by Windows 9, I won't have a choice.

Nobody of value uses tablets. Don't focus there. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337231)

I'm surprised that many in the industry don't see tablets for what they generally are: a useless niche device surrounded by endless media hype.

Apple's success with smart phones and tablets is very misleading. Execs and managers see high sales numbers for these devices from Apple, and think that there's some sort of real demand, driven by utility. That just isn't the case when dealing with Apple, however. People generally buy Apple devices for reasons of vanity, not utility. Apple peddles a religion more than it peddles technology. Certain foolish people will spend huge amounts of money on anything Apple cranks out.

This is exactly why basically every other attempt to get into the tablet market has failed, or at best has not been a complete disaster. Samsung, HP, and RIM, among others, are excellent evidence of this. They went into the tablet market thinking they were selling technology. They suffered from comparatively few sales, because very few people actually need or even just want tablets for any useful purpose.

Tablets are much like Ruby on Rails. Yes, there's some small technological element. But the hype isn't about the technology. It's about the semi-religious culture infecting the people who hype and use the technology. In the case of the iPad, it's about owning devices with the right logo. In the case of Ruby on Rails, it's about buzzwords. It's not surprising that so many of the staunchest Rails advocates are also Apple users. They're a perfect match of hype, ignorance, and a false sense of superiority.

In fact, it's doubtful that any other company or project can actually compete in such a situation. There are only so many fanatics to go around, and these fanatics are very reluctant to not follow the chosen path. The moment they start to deviate, they become individuals, and thus lose much of the comfort that comes from being part of the Apple or the Rails cultures. That's why I suspect there can only be, at most, one hype-driven, quasi-religious consumer base for vanity technologies. They inherently have to be a monopoly.

Re:Nobody of value uses tablets. Don't focus there (4, Insightful)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337583)

I'm surprised that many in the industry don't see tablets for what they generally are: a useless niche device surrounded by endless media hype.

Agreed, they have no user file-system, no world-class 4G wireless, and less space than a nomad, and that's why they're selling tens of millions a quarter....

http://www.statista.com/statistics/165489/global-sales-of-apple-ipad-by-quarter-since-2010/ [statista.com]

Tablets are much like Ruby on Rails...In the case of the iPad, it's about owning devices with the right logo. In the case of Ruby on Rails, it's about buzzwords...They're a perfect match of hype, ignorance, and a false sense of superiority.

The only ignorance and false sense of superiority I've encountered about rails was from haters who have never used it. Have you? It's just a web framework, maybe one of the better ones, maybe not, but it has become the focus of ire perhaps because people are so insecure in their technological choices they feel the need to look down on a web framework (WTF?). Rails is useful for some sites (I have used it on some myself), and other languages like PHP or Java have their place as well depending on specific requirements and code available in libraries etc. Buzzwords don't come into it, nor do logos, at least in my case, and I've never met anyone who made their choices based on such things. If any widely used web language deserves to be panned, it's PHP for its awful, messy API, though they have cleaned up their act recently. Rails is pretty middle of the road, and it's just a web framework.

As to the iPad, it's a pretty good device, for what it is, and frankly it covers 100% of the computing usage pattern of most people I know (web, email, games) - yes it doesn't cover the needs of everyone, but that's ok, if it is popular it's not going to cause your computer to be confiscated or to spontaneously combust - you can continue to live in a world where the iPad is popular, and feel no pain, so long as you can manage to tolerate the thought that others might have different needs to you. Can't think why anyone would buy something purely because it has a logo on it - I bought an iPad because it is a good tablet, and I wanted a tablet to read the web and mail on, that's it, and it is has served admirably for that purpose.

In fact, it's doubtful that any other company or project can actually compete in such a situation.

Bullshit. Android has been doing pretty well, in spite of fragmentation and several mis-steps by Google like Google Play. The only people who think like a cult are those who feel they must oppose everything Apple or everything Rails without question or thought. If you want to criticise Apple, criticise their predatory business practices, their monopoly on the marketplace, their banning scripting from the store, their blatant ripping off of other developers, but don't try to criticise a device which is best of class, and really popular, as somehow doing well because it has a logo or people are enlisted in a cult! People are buying the iPad in their millions because it is good, and they find it useful. Deal.

"Feedback for Windows 9" (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337239)

Have you seen the consumer preview? M$ has screwed the pooch so badly with W8 that even now they're talking about how W9 will fix its problems...even before it has even been released.

Windows development cycle.. (1)

morningLightM (2574177) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337243)

This is the normal Windows development cycle, no? But seriously, Microsoft are quite rightly worried about their lack of influence in the arena of slick 'cool' operating systems and so they're trying to build a new OS that does both the desktop and the smart phone. As a developer I worry that they're going to end up with something that's no good for either. If they do, they'll probably take a step back with 9, and maybe 8 will end up being seen as nothing more than a concept product.

Full Speed Ahead (1)

fwarren (579763) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337611)

Windows 9 will not be a step back from 8.

Here are the facts
1. PCs are not going away. Heavy duty document and photo editing needs a real PC, not a tablet or smartphone.
2. OEMs are only selling winodws. So windows 8, 9, and 10 will all have a home...on the next new Computer you buy.
3. The Metro Interface allows Microsoft to get in on the "App Store" action. All software being sold through their own store and them taking part of the profit is to strong of force for them to ignore.

Call it doubling down on stupid if you want. Microsoft is just like Apple in this. Give them both one or two OS revisions and all software will be sold through their app store and only pirates or big corps with special needs will sideload apps.

Sure they can (4, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337251)

Of course MS can afford a product cycle that isn't hugely popular. Their biggest competition for Windows 8 is Windows 7, which gets the job done for most people. Vista sucked in large part because people were quite happy with windows XP and didn't really want anything else.

Where they can't really afford to flop is in mobile. But they seem to have the right general idea, one core OS for both desktop and mobile (making cross platform development and use much easier), and then something that is unique from iPhone/Android. Whether it gets market traction or not who knows, but they seem to have some generally good ideas. Their desktop... meh. People can stick with windows 7 for a year or two longer while they figure out what the most important things to change from 8 are.

The other thing is that many of us on /. may not quite grasp how normal people use computers, and how much simpler something like live tiles could be. How many computers do you see that have a desktop full of icons, people who can't manage simple things like bookmarks etc.

And as I say, it's not like MS has any meaningful competition in the desktop space right now. Arguably there is a surge in mac uptake among young people especially, that poses some potential longer term risks, but then Apple without the reality distortion bubble is going to have a much harder time in the long run too, so that provides some longer term advantages. Probably it'll even out in the end.

Re:Sure they can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337421)

I, for one, have years of experience working in a major firm of this trade, a PhD in the field from a major institution, AND "a desktop full of icons". (In fact, and I'm not proud of this: more icons that fit on the window...)

Yes, I'm a pig but that doesn't make me less efficient than the next guy so keep your judgemental obsessive compulsiveness out of my desktop, thank you.

Wrong question (0, Troll)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337253)

Microsoft should have been dead and buried for very long. OS/2, Linux and Mac OS X in the desktop/high end laptops, Android/Linux in the low end ones/netbooks, iOS/Android/other linux based ones in the mobile arena. And still, providing inferior, insecure, expensive and not so intuitive to use "solutions" has thrived and expanded. So, while the factors that made it successful remains (i.e. NOT the quality of their products) it will keep going.

Re:Wrong question (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337361)

Wow, hate much? Did M$ touch you in your no-no area?

How about you try that again with actual facts and not just a list of "I love these OSes so everything else sucks!"

Re:Wrong question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337435)

OS/2? Are you having a laugh? You forgot to mention RISC OS, AmigaOS, BeOS and countless other dead software.

As long as you need Windows to run Windows software there will be a market for Windows (and please don't WINE on about how you can run *some* Windows software on Linux).

We can do this, people! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337513)

Bingo. "Will Windows 8 succeed? Can Microsoft catch up in mobile? Will people accept Metro?" Forget that! Folks, Microsoft has never been weaker, and it's an awesome time to keep 'em reeling. Don't buy Windows 8 or Windows anything. Accept the reality that MS Office is *not* necessary for productivity (or arguably, even compatible with productivity). Get something other than an Xbox. Let Android, iOS, Blackberry, and up-and-coming competitors duke it out in mobile while Windows withers away.

We have an unprecedented opportunity to finally cauterize the oozing canker that is Microsoft, and to watch as unimagined new companies and innovations spring up in its place.

But alas. Saying "Come on, everyone, let's rid the industry of this blight!" will have all the effect of pleading "Let's stop global warming!" or "Let's put an end to war!". It ain't gonna happen. : /

Credibility? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337265)

The question isn't if Microsoft can afford it. They certainly have enough capital to amortize yet another product flop.

Rather, the question would be can Microsoft's customer keep trusting in a company that comes up with an experimental release every 3 years and a working one every 6 (but which still has the same API rupture).

Time will tell...

Desktops != Mobile (2)

Monoman (8745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337267)

MS was able to afford mistakes in the desktop market because they were pretty much a monopoly. They had a huge user base that would just wait. The customers had no real alternative.

MS is not in the same situation with the mobile market. They are not a monopoly, they do not have a significant market share, and it is a different market.

Only time will tell if MS makes the right or wrong choices to win back some of the mobile market share.

note: I deliberately avoided the whole topic of the mobile and desktop OS markets merging.

Yes they can, but only this time... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337275)

Because it's only practical for tablets and phones to be used for monitoring and reading related tasks.

When it comes to actually creating things though, whether that is code, office documents or anything else, there is no substitute for a desktop or notebook PC.

Sure, you "can" use a tablet to do these things, but it's far more awkward and is far less productive.

Macs, are an alternative, however they are prohibitively expensive and that is the reason why they won't really challenge Microsoft.

Linux, although in principle the perfect system, still suffers from a lack of software from 3rd parties that is essential for office and production work (I'm talking outside of Open/Libre Office).

While Macs are getting more and more support and ports due to its rising popularity, Linux isn't getting the same.

However, the real danger for Microsoft, is HTML5 and (*cringes*) The Cloud. These things are platform independent and don't need Windows specifically to run.

Product of focus groups (3, Insightful)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337281)

Years and years of Microsoft going "what does the consumer want" has lead to this. Uncomplicated. Pretty. Microsoft needs to take a page from apple--step back and objectively ask "would I enjoy using this piece of shit?". Ask their tech support "would you enjoy troubleshooting this piece of shit?". That would be some constructive feedback.

If they were capable of learning (0)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337311)

wouldn't that imply they would learn not to make the same mistake again and again?

I personally think that Bob, 95/98 smart floppy, ME, Vista are MS constantly trying to make one desktop that suits all BEFORE the user carefully configures a bland default desktop to their needs.

If you go to a fine restaurant, you eat whatever you are served. It sounds odd but a 3 star chef is presumed to know better then you what tastes good. At Burger King, you decide, since it is presumed the people at BK have NO idea what tastes good.

Take my android tablet, it is has a image slideshow widget. Nice enough but it is so designed that I have to select each image by hand. My collection I wouldn't mind to much if my mum would see (she knew I was a sick twisted little twerp) is several thousand images... why can't I select an entire folder with all sub folders? There are of course other alternatives but some miss the simple option to exclude images that don't fit in the current screen orientation, or can't handle it if the extension is in all caps or jpeg instead of jpg.

It sounds so simple but it is god damn fucking hard to give the user simple yet fully functional apps that work well together on a single screen. How many cores does your CPU widget support? Soon we will have over a dozen... you basic dial widget will get rather crowded.

Standard windows gave you the basics and if you wanted more, you went out and got it. That these companies that supply for instance window blinds are not giants, shows that most never went out. Maybe they didn't want it?

Google activates an ungodly amount of Android phones each day... FIND the ONE app in the android store, free or otherwise, that has been downloaded by MORE then HALF the activations of a single day... You might be able to find one but my point is that a lot of people don't seem to download very much. Maybe the basic phone is good enough? Maybe people are not that interested in doing more?

Windows 8, metro is active desktop and widgets all over again. If it failed the first time, why should it succeed now? How many here have customized their google custom page? Or their ISP portal page?

I think 8 will be another Vista if MS and the world is unlucky (because it means IE will remain a block for the web) and a ME or even a Bob if MS is unlucky.

The only people I have seen excited about Windows 8 are MS Phone users... and we all know how well that has been selling. If new coke was being advertised by piss drinkers, it wouldn't make me to happy about the future of new coke.

The most simple thing might be that computers right now work well enough. Even if Metro isn't a disaster, why should I upgrade?

PCs vs. Gadgets (2)

HumanEmulator (1062440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337339)

Microsoft has managed to weather several OS flops (Windows Me anyone?) thanks to their domination of the market, but with Android gadgets and iPhones becoming pervasive can they pull it off again?

In a world where gadgets replace personal computers does Windows 8 or 9 even matter? Wouldn't Windows Phone be the relevant operating system? It's not like if Windows 9 is suddenly amazing, people are going to start shoving laptops in their pockets.

CULL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337345)

"Microsoft will cull invaluable feedback for Windows 9"

Cull? Don't they mean "gain"?

Although, I wouldn't be surprised if they did 'cull' the feedback, since they aren't going to listen to any dissent anyway.

Wha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337359)


Survival? oO

Are we on the same planet?

yes they can afford it and much more.

A good gamble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337383)

Some question why Microsoft became so successful when there were so many better products out there. The short answer is that Microsoft products, while weak, had a range of features so that people could get what they needed done by only talking to Microsoft and a couple of other vendors. That is, Windows was good enough and once you add in the mindshare that came from DOS dominance, they were unbeatable.

This gamble with Windows 8 could be a good one. It is possible, _possible_, that Windows 8 is a killer mobile product. I see enough business people trying to live entirely with an iPad and struggling. They want to take notes in meetings and look up contacts and check reference material, but I see them express frustration as to getting those things done. iPad is great, but if Windows 8 allows you to easily switch between two worlds, business people might adopt Win8 tablets en masse. Apple could have a hard time responding to this as that is not what iOS does at the moment. That doesn't mean that could not respond, but Microsoft could get some of tablet marketshare like this.

Nah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337395)

Everything that runs SSH and has a keyboard succeeds.


And that is why I don't care if it is Windows95 or 8 or Linux or BeOS or AmigaOS... or just shit... if the shit runs SSH and has a keyboard.. it is alright..

I heard the Unity Desktop team wants to remove SSH from Linux to enhance the Linux Desktop experience. And you know what? I am not even mad! :D

Microsoft just do not get it (1)

pl0sql (1122901) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337397)

What I really want to know is what kind of drugs the people making decisions at Microsoft are on.

OK, so tablets and smart phones have taken off in the last decade, so develop some corresponding high quality tablet and smart phone software/OS's, or build around a stable core kernel. Hell, while you're at it you could even create a whole ecosystem that encompasses all of these platforms (App Store, anyone?) - you could even bring Xbox into the fold!

Microsoft has created a smartphone OS, OK, that is good and I'm sure with time it may have gained traction, but trying to tablet-ize Windows, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING MICROSOFT?! Create a high quality tablet OS or extend from Windows Phone, improve on Windows 7 for Windows 8, but DO NOT try to turn Windows into a tablet OS, it will not work and will alienate a lot of people.

It has been said many times before, but a PC is not a tablet and a tablet is not a phone, a PC is definitely not an Xbox. Microsoft, please can you just concentrate on writing high quality software which is appropriate to the corresponding platform.

As to the original question, why does Microsoft even need to take a risk - they surely should be able to tell from initial feedback that this whole concept is DOA and they should reverse course already

In other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337405)

Win 8 will be a public beta for Win9, just as Vista was a Beta for Win7. This is not news, it is SOP for Microsoft.

What's incredible about this is that Microsoft manage to convince people to pay full price for the privilege of beta-testing their crappy half-baked even-numbered OSes. I think they need to skip a generation so that the even ones become good and the odd ones bad, thus aligning them with the Star Trek movies.

Posted AC for obvious reasons.

Its about leveraging their monopoly (1)

Jerry Atrick (2461566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337485)

Remember, this is all about forcing their way into the tablet market, by leveraging their desktop monopoly. That monopoly is safe, manufacturers will supply PCs with Win8 when Microsoft tells them to whatever happens, the majority will continue dumbly consuming media on their laptops without even noticing the OS is now dumbed down. And in Microsofts dreams they'll pick a tablet running the same disneyfied UI as their desktop or laptop.

So yes, Microsoft can afford to screw over the desktop. That's the nature of a monopoly and most of their users really don't need a fully usable PC anyway.

Will it succeed in buying tablet share? IMHO too little, too late. All the tablet OSes are so dumbed down there's no compelling reason to pick one over another. If the choice is using the same OS as your PC or your phone there's no obvious winner there, I doubt Microsoft will drive many choices this way. If WP7 had a decent market share maybe that would be different, like Win8 it was too late to market to succeed.

In the long term, if Metro actually succeeds it can only make competition like Chrome look viable to users on the desktop. I can see a future where Win9 has to differentiate itself from Chrome and Android on the desktop by reverting back to classic windows. But by then the mass market will find that an alien concept. Microsoft was going to lose control sometime, this abuse of monopoly just brings it a little earlier.

No, I don't live in Seattle (2)

Air-conditioned cowh (552882) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337491)

I wonder if Windows 8 will actually default to the correct time zone _after_ I've already told it what country I am in. I was amazed to find that Windows 7 still, after all these years, didn't when I was setting up my new laptop last week.

Windows failures (1)

Ham_belony (820906) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337515)

What load of crap! Windows 3.0 failed but following windows 3.11 was a success, Windows 95 failed but Windows 98 was a success, Windows ME failed Windows 2000 turned out to be a widely used OS, Windows XP started out failing for the most part but after 3 Service packs is still an OS that is widely used in business (already 10yrs in use), Windows Vista failed but Windows 7 looks promising but still lacks stability (This is why business stick with XP), Windows 8 might well be the version that will be used to be stabilized as a general replacement for XP. Microsoft really doesn't miss a cycle, they rather abaddon one more quickly. Both Vista and 7 are missed opportunities for microsoft.

No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337539)

Given what Windows 8 currently looks like, they can have my Windows 7 when they rip it from my cold, dead hands. (Just like they did with XP.)

85% Market share, trying/failing to be like iSteve (1)

netsavior (627338) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337541)

Ah microsoft... when you have an 85% (or 70 or 95 depending on whose clicks you believe) market share, you don't compete with the 12% runner up by releasing some cute toy. You do it by releasing more of what you are already doing to win. If windows 7 works for someone, nothing else will. If windows 8 works for them, ANYTHING else will (from an interface perspective, it is the worst, despite buggy workarounds to make it act like a pc)... do you see the problem? If people wanted something cute and narrow purpose they would buy a mac/pod/pad.

I don't really understand the drive to make computing more *fun* or whatever the fuck that irritating waste of time Metro is supposed to be. All that boring expensive stuff, yeah that is what pays the Bill/bills... Keep doing that.

My Guess is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39337549)

They cannot afford to lose with Windows 8 because the desktop market will be dry in about 5 years. The majority of people that use desktops use them for Email, Facebook, Web browsing, Youtube, etc...all of which tablets can do, and more conveniently. Eventually desktop sales will be mostly limited to the tinkerers and gamers, which is a very small percentage.

As companies develop MMORPG's for consoles, more gamers will move off the PC, drying the market even more.

They may still have business PC sales for a while, but the old trend I think is fading. Before, people wanted the same OS they use at work to be on their PC at home because that is what they are familiar with. Now I think people are more familiar with android/ios and are going to be wanting those operating systems at work because that is what they know best.

Microsoft can't afford to lose in the tablet market because that looks to be what the standard for personal computing is going to.

Afford to win (1)

halfkoreanamerican (2566687) | more than 2 years ago | (#39337607)

Sure they can afford to lose, but why don't they just try to win to begin with? If you do enough research it's easier to get people on board and find out if it will be a good idea. Hire the Chic-fil-a marketing team, they'll make it happen. Do something different. If you know it will flop because it's an experiment then treat it like one and don't charge for it. Try to get people to give meaningful feedback about why it sucks instead of: "This is the worst OS ever, period."
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