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Windows 8.1 May Restore Boot-To-Desktop, Start Button

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the back-by-popular-demand dept.

Windows 628

New submitter geekoid writes "According to media reports about leaked Windows 8.1 code, the next incarnation of Microsoft's flagship operating system will have an option to boot directly to the desktop. People have discovered 'references to a "CanSuppressStartScreen" option in early builds of the Windows 8.1 registry.' There is also speculation that Microsoft will be re-implementing the Start button, though the claims come from nebulous 'sources,' rather than the leaked code. In light of recent reporting about the general distaste and design flaws of Windows 8's user interface, will Microsoft's updates be dynamic enough to stop the current Windows exodus?"

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Too little too late (4, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#43464957)

The real problem is that the innovator who really stole all their ideas from other people, has failed to realize that their own User Interface has become a mature technology, as familiar to most people as "gas on the right, brake on the left" in a car.

Re:Too little too late (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465091)

But what about all those European cars with the gas on the left and brake on the right so they can drive on the other side of the road?

Re:Too little too late (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465165)

Even in cars with steering wheel on the right, gas is still right and brake left.

Re:Too little too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465187)

Fail.

LHD cars have gas and bake pedals in the same position as RHD cars.

Re:Too little too late (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465365)

Wrong!
They are over/under.

Re:Too little too late (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465201)

The pedal orientation is not switched in RHD cars.

Re:Too little too late (4, Insightful)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465253)

I can't tell whether you're an incredibly subtle troll or you're just dumb.

Re:Too little too late (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465501)

OP's obviously never driven in Europe before, while not the smartest post ever, yours is even dumber and adds less value by a factor of about 100x.

Also 3 people pointed this out the mistake before you commented so it's probable you didn't have a fuckin clue either.

AC Strikes Again!

Or Too Much for Too Long (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465111)

Ballmer in charge, that is.

I am not sure how much store to put in it, but there is a theory that Microsoft's OS releases are flip-fopping between a "Consumer" OS (Vista, 8) and a "Corporate" OS (2000, 7). If there is any truth in that, then there is slim hope for Microsoft's future. I simply can't see Corporate's wanting to adopt Windows 8. i work for a large commercial company with thousands of MS desktops (though we're aggresively replacing workstations with VDI) and there is no way we would move to Win8 from Win 7.

I predict unopened copies of Win7 changing hands for large sums of money on ebay...

Re:Too little too late (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465143)

The real problem is that the innovator who really stole all their ideas from other people...

Yes, that's right, all Open Source products represent "true innovation" which germinated from a perfect vacuum... For example Linux was Torvaldâ(TM)s original idea that he had in a dream, completely original.

Re:Too little too late (5, Insightful)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465293)

Windows predates Linux. The actual 'theft' would be from Xerox PARC, Apple and others who predate Windows.

But the ideas aren't stolen. They were freely available for everyone to use because they were developed before we reached the level of intellectual property idiocy that allows rounded corners and other moronically simple design elements to be patented and copyrighted.

Re:Too little too late (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465495)

The first Windows operating system was released in 1993. Linux was released in 1991. I'm not aware of anything for Linux to crib from Win16 or DOS.

</pointlessnitpick>

Aside from that, I agree completely.

Re:Too little too late (4, Funny)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465207)

The real problem is that the innovator who really stole all their ideas from other people, has failed to realize that their own User Interface has become a mature technology, as familiar to most people as "gas on the right, brake on the left" in a car.

Haven't thought about that, but you're right. And when you change gas and brake controls to gestures on the glass, you see a lot of people frantically cleaning their windshield as they head towards the cliff. "Not dome light! Brake! Brake!!!"

Re:Too little too late (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465225)

The real problem is that the innovator who really stole all their ideas from other people, has failed to realize that their own User Interface has become a mature technology, as familiar to most people as "gas on the right, brake on the left" in a car.

That's just because you're too primitive and non-fashionable enough to realize the true beauty and wonder* of putting the gas above your head and splitting the brake into three pedals, a button, two switches, and voice control. Oh, and Facebook integration.

*: Note I did not say "functionality".

Re:Too little too late (5, Insightful)

millertym (1946872) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465275)

I agree - and really their greatest folly with Windows 8 adoption was with trying to create a single UI for all platforms. That just doesn't make sense from a user standpoint at all. Phones are going to have different UI needs than tablets. Tablets are going to have different UI needs than PCs. Each specific family of hardware needs a UI created for use on that particular hardware type, due to each hardware type having it's own nuances in user input. I don't know why their designers thought otherwise.

Re:Too little too late (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465493)

With Balmer in charge, the answer is really "developers developers developers". They imagined "write once run anywhere(that's a MS device)" would appeal to UI developers. The reality is that devs don't want to write code for a platform that users don't want to use, and the "old" windows paradigms were more natural to code for in addition to having legacy support.

Re:Too little too late (5, Funny)

A10Mechanic (1056868) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465315)

I fail to believe that Windows 8 has a gas pedal. It just has brakes on the left and right.

Re:Too little too late (2)

sa1lnr (669048) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465331)

FYI, the clutch is on the left here. :)

Re:Too little too late (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465349)

I don't get why people have such a hard time comprehending this:

Win 8 is Microsoft's entry into the mobile market, not the PC market, they ported it to the PC market... well to make money. They had to enter the mobile market to stay competitive, everything else was secondary.

You're right though, their taskbar and start button have become a standard for users, and take away the standard and you're going to have a long line of people complaining. Perhaps where Microsoft may have tripped up is confusing the mobile UXD with a desktop one.

Re:Too little too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465417)

Windows 8 was not "ported" to the PC.

Re:Too little too late (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465353)

But what about the children?
(and their damn smart phone addictions) /snark :)

Re:Too little too late (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465421)

No the real problem is that there isn't a real problem. Yes, 8 was another Vista/Me experience but writers and commentators keep tying this back to the "global PC market collapse" which may or may not be due to Windows 8 as the story guys. The subby wasn't much better with his "exodus" comment, the simple fact is Windows 8 isn't bad by any means from a UI stand point if, ya know, you actually use it. It's start up time and performance on computers is at least on par with 7 and to me feels a little more spry. The real issue is that PC hardware has been good enough for years, my 07/08 Dell laptop died a couple weeks ago, and surprise surpise I'm on an 07 Vaio to tide me over until I purchase and guess what? It works for everything but games and Adobe Lightroom (which is still 'passable'). Keeping that in mind this 'collapse' may very well be happening as far as new PC sales go, but it has no merit when it comes to PC usage. Show me a person that has truly gone mobile and left the PC behind and I'll show you someone desperate for clicks. No all that is happening is that people are buying other devices while their PC keeps on plugging along year after year and the sheer amount of hyperbole and linkbaiting surrounding this issue is absolutely ridiculous.

No (2, Informative)

Stargoat (658863) | about a year and a half ago | (#43464965)

Microsoft cannot stop the exodus. And it is only going to speed up once smart phone docking stations become ubiquitous.

My smart phone has almost as much horsepower as my PC. There's no reason in the world why I should not be able to hook up my IBM Model M, a mouse, and a couple of large monitors to it for the purposes of media creation. Once this happens commonly, it's all over for Microsoft.

Re:No (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465031)

Wow, you have a crappy PC.

Re:No (1, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465373)

Or just a sufficient PC... A modern smartphone has a gigahertz processor, a gigabyte of RAM and for plain 2D it can do a full desktop no problem. The question is do you really have a horsepower problem or do you have an interface problem? Yes, if you're doing 300 DPI poster layouts you'll need more but a lot of people today do "media creation" that'll be a part of a 2MP web page, they just need to be able to see it up close and manipulate it. Also note that a docked cell phone can run at whatever speed the cooling solution can handle, it's no longer limited to energy saving modes to keep it working all day. If most smart phones were x86 I think it'd already have happened, but the only two who can produce x86 chips don't want to kill the PC market.

Re:No (1, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465425)

Or just a sufficient PC... A modern smartphone has a gigahertz processor, a gigabyte of RAM and for plain 2D it can do a full desktop no problem.

Uh...if sufficient you mean a PC from 2001, then I guess so.

Re:No (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465043)

Your smartphone has almost as much power as your PC? May I ask how old your PC is?

I see smart phones being able to replace the PC for most "average" users, but to state they are almost as powerful as a PC is a pretty bold statement. Even the lowest end consumer PCs today are much more powerful than any smartphone. The question is- Do most users need that power?

Re:No (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465367)

Yea, in terms of light web browsing and made some word processing a phone could work; but no way can it replace a full PC, even if you had the power the OS versioning is so fragmented and SW can be so outdated or unsupported it'd be nigh impossible.

Re:No (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465071)

Microsoft cannot stop the exodus. And it is only going to speed up once smart phone docking stations become ubiquitous.

My smart phone has almost as much horsepower as my PC.

Unless your PC is extremely crappy, then it really doesn't.

There's no reason in the world why I should not be able to hook up my IBM Model M, a mouse, and a couple of large monitors to it for the purposes of media creation. Once this happens commonly, it's all over for Microsoft.

Sure. I bet you'll have no problem pumping out enough pixels for a 7680x1600 display (or even 2560x1600, with a single monitor) to play games on or create and render video content on. Why, I bet that's just around the corner.

Of course, then what desktops can do by that point will be far greater than they are now and the standard will have shifted.

Your $200 pocket phone can do a lot of things that it couldn't do a decade ago, but it will always trail behind what is possible with more dedicated hardware and is a very long time off from being able to do everything you need to a satisfactory degree such that you don't need any other form of computing. It can't even compete with a standalone digital camera, yet (unless your needs are very minimal -- just for snapping pictures of your drunk idiot friends at a frat party or something).

That said, I have no doubt that Microsoft would be willing to just dump the whole market and dedicate themselves to mobile, because -- by sheer numbers -- that's going to end up more profitable the same way it's more profitable to make a mediocre show that ten million people watch than an award-winning highly revered show that only four million people watch.

Re:No (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465309)

Your $200 pocket phone can do a lot of things that it couldn't do a decade ago

A $200 pocket phone can do a lot of things a full desktop PC couldn't do a decade ago.

it will always trail behind what is possible with more dedicated hardware

If commodity hardware does everything I need, why do I care what is possible with dedicated hardware?

It can't even compete with a standalone digital camera, yet (unless your needs are very minimal -- just for snapping pictures of your drunk idiot friends at a frat party or something).

Most people have very minimal needs.

Re:No (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465335)

Smart phones have more graphics power than an intel chipset sadly. Maybe the newest are fine but if you have a crappy GMA 915 or even the 2000 with an ATOM it will be inferior to my 2 year old Galaxy S 1!

I think you underestimate how cheap the OEMs are when it comes to just satisfying the cpu mhz speed and ram but including bottom of the line components for everything. Most do not run dedicated graphics and the embedded is 10 years obsolete on 70% of all new pcs.

A smartphone is a top of the line PC from 10 years ago. My Galaxy s1 is very similiar to my Windows2000 machine back then with 512 megs of ram, 700 mhz pentium III processor, and geforce2MX graphics.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465453)

It can't even compete with a standalone digital camera, yet (unless your needs are very minimal -- just for snapping pictures of your drunk idiot friends at a frat party or something).

Interestingly, that is one of the worst uses for a camera-phone. Low-light levels in the frat party and a moving hand due to drunkenness all bode for some really awful pictures. Where my iPhone camera shines best is snapping pictures in well-lit outdoors situations. Point-and-shoots are still required for getting a half-way decent picture during a night of drunk debauchery. On the other hand my parents find their iPhones great for family photos outdoors.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465155)

Is that a PC in your pocket or are you happy to see me?

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465193)

Microsoft cannot stop the exodus. And it is only going to speed up once smart phone docking stations become ubiquitous.

My smart phone has almost as much horsepower as my PC. There's no reason in the world why I should not be able to hook up my IBM Model M, a mouse, and a couple of large monitors to it for the purposes of media creation. Once this happens commonly, it's all over for Microsoft.

I would like to see some clear evidence that your phone has "almost as much horsepower as my PC." I'm calling full on bullshit on that idea. Show me a smart phone that can replace my computer, perform the work I use a computer for, and not lose all power in about 5 mins, and I'll think about it being nearly as powerful as my shitty old 2006 gateway laptop with a core 2 duo and 2 g RAM. Also PC is not equal to Microsoft. FOR FUCKS SAKE PC MEANS PERSONAL COMPUTER!!!! My horrible Mac desktop is a PC as is my gateway, and my linux system76 laptop, and only one of those runs a Microsoft OS. If what you are talking about ALL computers are in trouble, not just Microsoft. Sure Apple has a head start in the phone arena, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have to worry about it's laptops.

Reality is for a large group of people smart phones and tablets simply DO NOT work for our needs. I am a molecular biologist that needs to crunch some pretty nasty algorithims quite often. I need more than a smart phone. Hell, I often need more than a laptop and have to connect the the universities cluster or submit work to a third party cluser to get work done.

Re:No (1)

Paperweight (865007) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465227)

"If only my phone had a PS/2 port..."

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465397)

Microsoft cannot stop the exodus. And it is only going to speed up once smart phone docking stations become ubiquitous.

My smart phone has almost as much horsepower as my PC. There's no reason in the world why I should not be able to hook up my IBM Model M, a mouse, and a couple of large monitors to it for the purposes of media creation. Once this happens commonly, it's all over for Microsoft.

Then you have a really, really shitty pc considering you can buy a pc for the cost of a smart phone that is a hell of a lot more powerful than any smart phone on the market.

Tell you what, you get a big boy computer and then tell me it doesn't matter anymore.

It isn't about horespower... (1)

Junta (36770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465437)

It's about UI design. For the same reasons that metro is frustrating on a desktop, so too would Android or IOS as they are currently designed today. The multitasking paradigm in the mobile phones is tolerated, but most everyone sees the downsides of implicit app management causing an app to 'close' when you really thought of it as a task switch. The ability to reconstruct state from stored data on switch away perfectly varies app to app from perfect to not implemented at all.

Their focus groups got it wrong for windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43464967)

Color me shocked.

Big square uniformly-shaded buttons. (1, Funny)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#43464985)

Now if we can just stop the trend of dumbed down web sites composed of big square buttons with uniform shading.

Re:Big square uniformly-shaded buttons. (1)

mikael (484) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465121)

Just about every user interface has some kind of texturing or subtle shadowing (even 1980's DOS games has some kind of texture like marble for their score panels). If Microsoft had done some themes like industrial/technical (rotating lights, yellow/black lines), urban (grafitti/sidewalk/neon lights style), cyberpunk (varnished wood/copper), they would have made the user interface much more interesting with minimum effort. Or at least allowed people to customize the theme.

Seriously, are MS devs really using Win8? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43464997)

I can't believe that developers at Microsoft are really using Win8 + Metro on regular desktops, or do they?

Re:Seriously, are MS devs really using Win8? (3, Informative)

GodInHell (258915) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465167)

I don't know about the devs at MS, but I got used to it pretty quickly. My new laptop came with Win8 -- which I committed to using for 2 weeks before I spent money on a Win7 license. At first I hated the stock interface, but I got over it. The desktop is a desktop -- I can still load software off the task bar by pinning a link there. The only time I see metro is when I need to load something other than the core 4-6 tools I use (Firefox, Word, Excel, IE and Publisher) ... so mostly when I want to run steam or wow.

For everything else, just hit start and start typing what you're looking for -- it pops up.

Now -- I don't think it's "better" than the start button (which did all of that without a full-screen interface that blocks my view of open docs, etc) but it's not all that bad.

The trade off is that the rest of the OS makes a bit more sense -- the interface is cleaner (less clutter around the window edge), file and print sharing is more stream-lined, etc. I have no idea what the charm bar is for, I think it should go away. But overall -- it's a standard windows experience - slightly annoying but it gets the job done. I have to go back and forth from Win7 (at work and on my desktop at home) and Win8 on my laptop -- not really enough of a difference to notice 9 times out of 10.

Re:Seriously, are MS devs really using Win8? (2, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465451)

I actually think MS greatly improved the start menu with the new start screen. The problem lies mostly that people hate the Metro that came with it, but everything else is great.

For starters, nested folders are gone. In All Apps, shortcuts are grouped based on a single folder, and everything is in one view. The stupid Company Name > Program Name > Program hierarchy is gone.

MS has been telling companies to stop adding Uninstall links and other garbage (link to your website? Put it in your app, not in the start menu) to the start menu for a while but no one listens of course. MS has solved this problem by allowing you to remove shortcuts from the start screen, but still leaving them available in All Apps.

Windows 7 (5, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465005)

Suggestion to MS: just put the Windows 7 UI back on. Oh, and while you're at it, tweak Office to honor the UI theme instead of implementing it's own.

Re:Windows 7 (5, Informative)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465161)

Dunno about you, but I'm in no hurry to update Office, so whether the latest version forces the new gui is not important.

Incidentally, I confirmed last weekend that Office 2000 works on Windows 8. I'm good.

Re:Windows 7 (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465363)

At this date I only send documents that are .docx or .xlsx MS OpenXML. Good luck with that and hope you are not sending out resumes with that format. A hint. that table that looks fine will look like crap and be misformatted in my Word 2010 viewer. I will throw it out and go to another candidate.

Re:Windows 7 (3, Informative)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465443)

At this date I only send documents that are .docx or .xlsx MS OpenXML. Good luck with that and hope you are not sending out resumes with that format. A hint. that table that looks fine will look like crap and be misformatted in my Word 2010 viewer. I will throw it out and go to another candidate.

Apparently you've never heard of the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack. Google it; it's a free download.

A hint: Don't send out resumes in docx format unless you're trying to get a job as an MCSE. Use pdf.

Re:Windows 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465183)

I think they'll need a bigger clue stick than going bust to get that message.

Re:Windows 7 (1)

Jezisheck (2558157) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465191)

I like it's UI. Except for that missing Start button. got great app for that and I'm fine. And Office is fine too. Really nice looking.

Re:Windows 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465211)

Better yet - simply put Windows 7 into a subscription mode - $50/year and MS will put all their O/S people into doing nothing but bug/security fixes for Windows 7.

I would much rather pay $50/year to get a platform that would (a) not require me to ditch my existing hardware/software and (b) have an active debugging project in place. I know that corporations would jump on this in a heartbeat as churning the OS makes life very difficult for corporations trying to run IT departments (witness the refusal to migrate off Windows XP to Windows 7 because Windows 7 would have forced hardware/software replacement as well as re-training of staff).

Er...what exodus? (4, Informative)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465011)

>> will Microsoft's updates be dynamic enough to stop the current Windows exodus?

Er...what exodus? Within the Windows community, people are just opting to stay with Windows 7 rather than go to Windows 8. Same thing happened with XP/Vista...

Re:Er...what exodus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465113)

That's only true if you choose to completely disregard tablet sales as personal computing devices.

Re:Er...what exodus? (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465137)

I think what is meant by "exodus" in this context is failure to jump on the next version as soon as its available. I think "continued exodus" might mean that of the last six major releases, at least three have been overlooked in significant numbers. That's a lot of money that Microsoft did not receive. (What's wrong with you people??)

Re:Er...what exodus? (1)

Threni (635302) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465221)

> Er...what exodus?

Haven't you been paying attention? No-one's buying Windows PCs any more!

http://parislemon.com/post/47719786064/the-year-of-windows [parislemon.com]

Microsoft are going to have to wring as much money out of their corporate muppet cash cow over the next 18 months because after that they're fucked.

Re:Er...what exodus? (0, Redundant)

black3d (1648913) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465411)

Or Linux PCs or Apple PCs.. The sales on all PCs is down, and the articles of the last few days blaming Windows 8 are simply FUD. Windows 7 is still available for sale, and will be available to OEMs to the next few years even after retail sales stop.

The reason PC sales are down is down to two quite simple reasons -

1) Tablet buying is way up. More people are choosing tablets as their second PCs rather than PCs. Most people still have PCs in their house, but often a tablet is preferred as the entertainment machine as it's portable, people can take it to bed with them (ie, great for lazy people, and people are getting lazier every year ;)), it's relatively cheap, and it can do most of what normal people do. The thing is, most tablets do NOT run Windows - they run a dedicated smart-phone/tablet OS such as iOS or Android (or one of a few other varieties). As such, these not counted as PCs in anyone's stats.

2) PCs are much, much better than they used to be. The component manufacturer's are kinda to blame here. As Moore's Law trudges on, PCs have now become more powerful than the average user requires. You know, the ones reading email and using Facebook, not the ones rendering 3D scenes. The processing bottleneck in a new PC is generally the user's brain response time. In the early 2000s, for example, I would be buying a new PC every year, to keep the PC up with my usage needs. By 2006 or so, that was down to every couple of years, and maybe some component upgrades. Now, a new PC can last me 4-5 years with no component upgrades besides maybe adding some extra hard drive space. People are buying less PCs because they don't need to buy them as often.

And likewise speaking of components, MTBF figures are up much higher than they used to be. Hard drives no longer magically crash the days after the warranty expiration. They genuinely last years. I'm running some HDDs I've had for 8 years through 3 machines. Now, when an HDD does die, we nerds replace the HDD and restore from backup (right? Right!). Average Joes buy a new PC. Couple failures occurring less often, with tablets replacing PCs as secondary (and sometimes even primary) machines, and you understand why PC sales are down.

There's no Windows exodus. We all knew at some time we'd reach a tipping point where tablet sales (well into the hundreds of millions, crossing a billion this year, devices) would start to reduce PC sales. There's not even a PC "exodus". Just as many people use PCs as did 5 years ago. Millions more in fact. It's simply that less people have bought NEW PCs.

Re:Er...what exodus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465455)

I don't think you understand the meaning of the word "exodus".

Or anything about computers.

You're a dick.

Re:Er...what exodus? (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465357)

Within the Windows community, people are just opting to stay with Windows 7 rather than go to Windows 8. Same thing happened with XP/Vista...

And 98/ME...

It's becoming SOP to just skip every second iteration.

There is no Windows exodus. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465015)

We've had tons of articles that have outlined the change in technology but we still have to deal with outright falicies like this? Wow. Just wow.
 
This place is becoming more like a tabloid everyday. May as well put articles that speculate of the location of Jimmy Hoffa and Noah's Ark too.

Don't get people's love of the Start Menu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465021)

There are some problems with Windows 8 but removing the start menu wasn't one of them. The start menu was terrible. You can still hit Windows Key and search just like you could with Windows 7. That's what's important. If anything, the full screen start menu is better.

Re:Don't get people's love of the Start Menu (5, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465139)

Oh yeah search is a GREAT way to find that program I use every six months that lets me put some of my pictures together to create a collage for those posters I make twice a year. I think it was called "Blue Pixie". /s
Except that it was called "Green Pyxel" and started with an executable named "grnpxlUI.exe".

Re:Don't get people's love of the Start Menu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465217)

The Start menu could do its thing without blocking my view of the rest of the screen and whatever windows I have there. A entire start screen is an intrusive and unnecessary context switch for the user.

8.2 will boot directly to a blue screen (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465033)

oh, wait that was 7 ....

save it for the next paid iteration (1)

rjejr (921275) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465039)

Windows 8 is already doomed like Me and Vista, they should save this for Winfows 9 or Horizon or Durango or whatever the next 1 will be called. Its too late, the damage has been done.

Re:save it for the next paid iteration (4, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465173)

Canyonero!

Windows is not disappearing anytime soon (5, Insightful)

ZeroPly (881915) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465051)

From an enterprise viewpoint this looks very different. Right now I am in the middle of our Windows XP to Windows 7 migration. We skipped Vista entirely - when users asked for it, we told them "we don't have the time".

Same thing all over again. It's great that your aunt has a new smartphone that does everything, and she thinks that's the wave of the future. But I have legacy code, ODBC connections, custom written drivers, and automated patching to worry about. Not to even mention bare metal imaging, inventory agents, or the thousands of lines of old batch files that glue things together. About 90% of the enterprise IT guys have told Microsoft "we'll wait for the next bus". What they're doing right now is putting together the next bus. I'm certainly in no hurry, it will be 2014 before we even think of how we're going to implement Win8.

I can cruise on Win7 until 2017. Microsoft is still getting our software assurance money if we upgrade or stay with WinXP. No one's in any hurry right now.

Re:Windows is not disappearing anytime soon (2)

theurge14 (820596) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465273)

An interesting "full circle" given the history of the PC that the main reason given now for keeping it around is that is corporate inertia.

Re:Windows is not disappearing anytime soon (5, Interesting)

ZeroPly (881915) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465473)

This is not strictly true. The reason for keeping it around is that people like me get to leave at 5pm and do things besides messing with computers.

When we get a new PC in, it takes all of 20 minutes for us to load on a custom image with our network specific settings. Maybe another 15 minutes for Office, Adobe Pro, antivirus, and all the utilities that are installed by default. Applications like Photoshop or AutoCAD might take 10 minutes each. All this is fully automated, an 8th grader would be able to do it once we showed them how the management tools work. And it's over a 1G Ethernet link, so it's fast.

Contrast that to when we get a new iPad in. No PXE booting, no easy configuration through the network. No management tools that are worth a tin shit. I have to physically enter all that information in. Can't even swap in a replicated hard drive since it can't be taken apart. Loading from a USB stick? Hahah... No we have to go through the "cloud" for everything.

This isn't inertia. This is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I do this for a living and have to stay late when things change. Chasing the new shiny from Apple isn't as important to me as getting home in time to get a motorcycle ride in. When the CIO asks me about Windows 8, I just say "let's wait for a start button".

Re:Windows is not disappearing anytime soon (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465413)

Windows will be disappearing.

After 2019 Windows 7 will be EOL. The corps have 2 choices then. Switch to futuristic tablets with bluetooth docking stations for keyboards and mice and host all their legacy IE 6 and win32 apps in a virtualized cloud/server somewhere and use a terminal program? Or continue the complexity with a nasty tablet interface? Businesses in 10 years will pick the later.

Employees will be trained in Android and iOS by then on their own. Same argument existed for the mainframe and VMS too when the PC was new. Look what happened after the products appeared to be stable and enterprise ready? Yes tablets will be enterprise ready then. No active directory needed. That is for the cloud only running legacy products. Just turn them on and fire your I.T. department and save money. DONE.

Statistics are showing this in small business switching to the cloud already. all that legacy odbc is something a cloud providoer can do in a 3rd world country. Look at the trend and not just the present. Windows is a legacy product yes, but that is all it is. It will fade and be treated as such once Windows 7 is EOL.

Re:Windows is not disappearing anytime soon (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465449)

... I meant businesses will pick the former. Doh

If you are stuck running applets use a tablet with a bluetooth monitor and keyboard doc rather than a bulky non touch PC screen running a tablet OS. The laptop will be the new tablet and you can take it on the go out of the office. Clouds are part of the progression to this and we see it already. How many corps still use Exchange? Sure about 2/3 do, but 1/3 is hosted on outlook.com as an example.

Might be cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465055)

Because of the simple fact that they never made the interface seamless between touch and mouse use, hiding it almost entirely would be great.

If only they actually spent time making it work with a mouse. It would have been trivial to make work just as well as a touchscreen, if not better.
I regularly switch between touch and mouse for drawing, touch for quick planning and general look, mouse for the absolute precise parts with mouse set to lowest setting. (setup with a hotkey on capslock to slow the mouse down, works very well)
I wrote very simple programs and scripts to make working with the touch using a stylus just as easy as with keyboard and mouse, and likewise made some of the same changes with the mouse to make quick navigation and control schemes that can be used with it, even adding interface overlays to some programs for quick access to certain features quickly.
One common thing I have added to a lot of stuff is straight up cut, copy and paste buttons, undo, redo. Image of one example here [minus.com] .
Pretty basic, looks horrible, but it works. I will likely tidy it up one day when I can be bothered, and make icons instead of text. But I have no real care for doing so.

Now I might actually care about getting a new Windows again.
I thought I would have to wait for Windows 9, but with the whole OS shake-up they are going through, who knows what will happen.
Good luck to them.

bFago8z (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465059)

GNAA (GAY NIGGER [goat.cx]

Microsoft has learnt a very good lesson. (1)

bogaboga (793279) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465065)

the next incarnation of Microsoft's flagship operating system will have an option to boot directly to the desktop.

The lessson appears to be that much as you can force a horse to the well, you can't force it to drink.

Question is: Hasn't this lesson come rather late?

Re:Microsoft has learnt a very good lesson. (3, Informative)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465085)

Especially when the water is foul.

exodus? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465081)

> will Microsoft's updates be dynamic enough to stop the current Windows exodus?

...or will 8.1 only be adopted by people who purchased or otherwise had Win8 thrust upon them?

Sources? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465103)

These "sources" (which TFS says are nebulous) are making stuff up. We've seen that it allows us to dock 4 metro windows on a 2560x1440 display, 3 on a 1920x1080 display, etc. Not enough to fix it. Who wants full screen / half screen non-overlapped windows on an actual computer? On a tablet - sure, that is par for the course. But on a real computer it is an artificial limitation and is just very annoying. The problem Microsoft faces here is that they cannot give ground on this. They have to stay the course. Why? Because they want to sell some tablets so they don't become completely irrelevant. But, they have no real market share in tablets and their are two mature market leaders already there in this space with iPads and Androids. These competitors have app ecosystems with hundreds of thousands of apps. Who would be stupid enough to write a metro style app for an MS tablet if they couldn't also sell it / give it to Windows desktop users? Nobody. So Microsoft needs to have the silly metro on the desktop even though it makes no sense at all there - so that they can convince people to build apps for their tablet. Good luck to them - I think they are screwed.

Great! (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465147)

I can get to the desktop/IE faster than ever now so I can download Windows 7.

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465319)

It would be very foolish to downgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 7 once this minor issue with 8 is corrected.

A bet too far (5, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465223)

The problem is that Microsoft didn't bet their company on their attempts to force a paradigm shift in how people interact with and use Windows. They bet the entire desktop computer industry along with them. By way of point on how bad things are Windows Vista wasn't released at Christmas like Windows 8 was and Windows Vista saw much higher deployment rates (not sales rates) than Windows 8 has for the same months after release. The net result was an almost epic level collapse of the industry that followed with a record drop in PC sales, however all of the offered excuses fall flat when you look at them with a touch of logic:

The economy. It's actually better now than it has been for the last several years and unemployment has been starting to decrease.
Tablets. Tablets started becoming popular a few years ago, the slump in PC sales is directly timed with the release of Windows 8.
People already having a computer. Since the Mhz wars petered out a several years back speed has had a little to do with new computer sales. Again, nothing new here.
Smart Phones. Smart Phones started taking off en mass about 3-4 years ago and there is nothing particularly expansive related to the last 6 months there.

The bottom line is that Microsoft started causing severe economic damage to the PC industry with their attempt to force a UI change on the market. If they hurt the industry enough, the industry while feel compelled to look for alternatives to Microsoft to distribute their products. Microsoft knows that this can and has happened with smart phones and tablets and industry simply couldn't take any more pain without risk of simply no longer being dependent on Microsoft.

The secondary reason is that the enterprise market has made adamantly clear that they absolutely will not deploy Windows 8 until the start button and boot to desktop interface issues are resolved. Microsoft saw enterprises stick it to them with XP for a decade and realizes that enterprise is not about to put up with another Vista experience. Microsoft has to make these changes, or they risk losing their distribution chain to their competition.

paradigm shift (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465375)

You had me until "paradigm shift", and then I just sort of wandered away.

Re:paradigm shift (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465439)

Oh, I understand, those words are rarely used properly and almost always used as management speak. In this case I rather deliberately used them as a tweak on Microsoft management.

Re:A bet too far (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465377)

Great article. I know people will disagree with some of the analysis, but personally, I think you called it.

But this.....

> The secondary reason is that the enterprise market has made adamantly clear that they absolutely will not deploy Windows 8 until the start button and boot to desktop interface issues are resolved. Microsoft saw enterprises stick it to them with XP for a decade and realizes that enterprise is not about to put up with another Vista experience. Microsoft has to make these changes, or they risk losing their distribution chain to their competition.

....worries me. Because if Microsoft sees this as an Enterprise-only issue, they may restore the old interface to *only* Enterprise copies of Win8. And yes, this could be done, relatively simply, by making the feature hinge on the node belonging to an Active Directory domain.

Why would they do it this way? Because there is less lost face in accommodating the demands of the Enterprise sector whilst continuing to double down on the new GUI with the Consumer sector. (I could see Ballmer needing to do this. And throwing chairs until it's done.) The official argument could be "Although our Enterprise customers may have legacy needs, it's important that our non-Enterprise customers maintain a consistent interface across multiple types of devices to avoid user confusion."

As a consumer, I wouldn't pick up 8.1 until I was certain the desktop/start option was back to stay for all users.

Re:A bet too far (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465481)

I'm sorry, but you are a tool.

It's not Microsoft's fault that the computer that I bought 5 years ago is just as good today as it was back then. Gone are the days of upgrades yearly to play the newest title. If anything, consoles killed the PC market. And when am I going to see all the great things that PC manufacturers can make? I mean, why am I still looking at a rectangular box with crap in it. Speeds have increased, but PC's haven't gotten 'better' for a long time. Industry didn't move away from WinMo 6.5 because Microsoft messed it up, they moved because someone did it better, Apple, and then someone GAVE the os away. Hard to compete with free, and Apple, well, it really is a good product (iOS, not the OSX) and deserves to be tops, but it is now old, so I expect them to change the UI soon too...

The enterprise isn't waiting for the start button. The enterprise in already in the middle of their cycle to Win 7. Even if the entire planet loved Win 8, it would not be touched by the enterprise. The enterprise is slow to move. Systems have to be vetted, things have to still work. It takes time to do all of that. That is why major corps aren't jumping, not because of the UI. You really think corporate users have ANY control over what IT does? Really? You HAVE to be new...

Have you used Win 8? For more than a week? I see the start page only when I boot. My desktop tile is top left, so after I log in I hit enter, drop to a desktop, and work like I always have. (graphic design, dev, support, fun, ETC) Not much has changed there. A simple 5 minute class would show you how to get around. You not liking Win 8 has more to do with YOU than Win 8.

Now, get the fuck off my lawn, you hack.

Classic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465229)

Classic!

Microsoft don't know where to focus there product (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465235)

The thing is that microsoft programers don't know their target. They don't know how to offer the correct flavor for each kind of user.

The company were I work mostly deal with programming and text processing on windows and mac. How they suppose we are going to transit to Win 8? There's no way to do that.

We are not working on touch enviroments and most of the social network are blocked so the workers don't get too distractive.

If this huge corporation install windows 8, they are going to switch to a defunc and not usefull product. So, they are just going to wait until they have a better answer.

Like they skipped vista.

Better yet: Boot to Ballmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465247)

*nm*

Microsoft really shot themselves in the foot here (5, Interesting)

Faizdog (243703) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465251)

In the last 6 months I've bought 2 computers, a desktop and a laptop. And both times I went well out of my way to avoid Win8.

Now I consider myself at least slightly more computer savvy than the average individual, and when I went to Best Buy to play around with Windows 8 (since I'd heard it was different) the 20 minute trial I gave it was VERY FRUSTRATING. I managed to figure things out a bit, and I had no doubt with some time and internet searching I could figure the rest out, but I had no desire to!!

I didn't want to spend time figuring it out! It just pissed me off. I needed a desktop very urgently, and was planning on buying a new computer and buying a copy of Win7 online and just wiping off Win8.

(Side Note: Basic economic supply and demand, Pro Edition of Win8 cost ~$60, Home Edition of Win7 online cost ~$150. Hmmmmmm)

I got lucky because the guy working at Best Buy said they had a desktop at 25% off only because it had Win7. Looked at the tech specs, was good, just what I wanted and left happy, getting a discount to get what I wanted.

A few months later I needed a laptop (was travelling a lot). I deliberately went to the Lenovo and Dell business line sections to search since the machines for business users still have Win7 (ended up getting a ThinkPad).

Now, I paid the MS Win tax regardless both times. I wanted a Windows machine. But Win 8 so frustrated me that I went out of my way to avoid it, when it would've been simpler to just buy a machine with it. I was ready to spend more online to buy Win7 and overwrite the default installation.

I can't be the only one that's done this recently.

Microsoft will not learn (3, Insightful)

ravenswood1000 (543817) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465267)

Microsoft will never learn no matter how much thier customer base screams and will alway assume they are doing things correctly and everyone else is wrong. Yes, they need to settle in on windows 7 and give up for a bit becase they can't do it right. Wouldn't hurt to fire some guy by the name of Ballmar either.

Windows exodus? Really? (3, Insightful)

sshirley (518356) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465287)

I know that we Slashdotters would love to believe there is a Windows exodus because of Windows 8. But in reality, that will never happen. Are you saying that Grandma or Joe Blow, as pissed off as they are with the Win8 UI, are going to switch to Linux? Most "average" people might have heard the name but have no idea what it is. And forget about learning to use it. Mac OS have a better chance at getting people to jump ship. To most people "Windows" is synonymous with "Computer". They don't know there are other OS's out there. People will be pissed off and not buy more more Microsoft products. People will vote with their dollars, not their choice of OS.

Not enough (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465311)

Microsoft is going to need to do a bit more than what can be accomplished by bundling Start8 with Windows (it supports both boot-to-desktop and a perfectly simulated start menu). To be sure, if Windows 8.1 was nothing more than the functionality of Win8 and Start8 combined, they'd be better off, but that's not quite all there is to it.

I can't help it (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465327)

It's far too early to start celebrating (and not very accurate to boot), but in my head it's the song:

Ding dong the Metro's gone!
The Metro's gone!
The Metro's gone!
Ding dong the stupid Metro's gone!

What "Windows Exodus" (0)

halfdan the black (638018) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465355)

There is no such thing as a Windows Exodus, just a bunch of windows users bitching that OMG, OMG, SOMETHING IS DIFFERENT!!! Like with every Windows version, there will lots of bitching and complaining, then eventually, they will be good little Windows users and simply accept whatever Microsoft tells them to use.

Re:What "Windows Exodus" (0)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465427)

There is no such thing as a Windows Exodus, just a bunch of windows users bitching that OMG, OMG, SOMETHING IS DIFFERENT!!!

Like with every Windows version, there will lots of bitching and complaining, then eventually, they will be good little Windows users and simply accept whatever Microsoft tells them to use.

Stop talking reality. We're in a dream world here in this online arena thingy.

Golden years, gold, whop whop whop (2)

Bob_Who (926234) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465371)

Last night they loved you
Opening doors and pulling some strings, angel
Come get up my baby

Bowie sang it best, You're better off opening doors than closing Windows.

What Microsoft didn't get (4, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465379)

Your customer's knowledge of your interface is a monetizable asset. Changing interfaces without a very compelling reason doesn't just inconvenience customers, it affects the bottom line.

This principal works the same for Bob's whiz-dang word processor as it does for an operating system UI. The easiest interface to use is ALWAYS the one you already know.

Bottom line? If you don't have to change it, don't.

Apple gets it. Apple has been using this fact since the Lisa hit the shelves in the 80s and continues to use it in phones, pads, etc.

Who said there is a Windows Exodus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465391)

Our company ecently bought numerous Windows 8 machines. The Metro thing is optional.

What exodus? (1)

kzagor (84672) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465447)

I am starting to believe that I am leaving in an alternative universe. Most people (~90%) doesn't have a pc with some version of windows in their homes?

"boot to desktop" wont be enough. (1)

linebackn (131821) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465475)

I wouldn't count on this change until the final gold images are pressed and on store shelves. And even if it is there, expect it to be some hidden registry key that only exists for "legacy" users and the whispers will suggest that it will "go away" at some unspecified time.

Furthermore, both the Windows 8 metro and desktop have many other things wrong with them that Microsoft is not likely to fix. Even if you start up in a desktop, what happens when some accessory you used is now only available metro-ized and pops up full screen covering all your work?

Microsoft have gone too far down this road now, they can't fix things without doing a complete 180. And I don't think I have ever seen Microsoft do that before.

Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43465483)

Was the 800lb Gorilla.. it should have just evolved Win7 instead of what it did.. a good overhaul of Win7 would have been worth the money, maintained their dominance and etc.... They just tried to be Apple and failed.. they have never been apple and that's what gave them market dominance long-term... apple will be just like it was 20 years ago.. another fad after a time.

Proposed solution (3, Interesting)

Horshu (2754893) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465503)

Let Explorer run Metro apps (non-maximized, with chrome), and let Metro run Explorer apps (maximized, chromeless). Then let user choose the mode, default being based on form factor but overridable by user.

I have an idea! (0)

bio_end_io_t (2771123) | about a year and a half ago | (#43465509)

Wouldn't it be nice if there were a whole bunch of third-party desktop environments from which to choose? That way, if you don't like one, you can use a different one, or use more than one, instead of waiting for the next release, all the while hoping that MSFT changes the desktop environment to be better suited to you personally. While they're at it, they can shrink their OS size to be less than tens of GB, get rid of the registry, and separate user space from kernel space! Oh! oh! and while they're at it, they could add support for other filesystems, like ext3/4 and zfs!

If only there were an OS that had all this...
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