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HP Brings Back Windows 7 'By Popular Demand' As Buyers Shun Windows 8

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the classic-coke-stockholm-syndrome dept.

Windows 513

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Gregg Keizer reports at Computerworld that Hewlett-Packard has stuck their finger in Microsoft's eye by launching a new promotion that discounts several consumer PCs by $150 when equipped with Windows 7, saying the four-year-old OS is 'back by popular demand.' 'The reality is that there are a lot of people who still want Windows 7,' says Bob O'Donnel. 'This is a twist, though, and may appeal to those who said, "I do want a new PC, but I thought I couldn't get Windows 7."' The promotion reminded O'Donnell and others of the dark days of Windows Vista, when customers avoided Windows 7's predecessor and instead clamored for the older Windows XP on their new PCs. Then, customers who had heard mostly negative comments about Vista from friends, family and the media, decided they would rather work with the devil they knew rather than the new one they did not. 'It's not a perfect comparison,' says O'Donnell, of equating Windows 8 with Vista, 'but the perception of Windows 8 is negative. I said early on that Windows 8 could clearly be Vista Version 2, and that seems to have happened.' HP has decided that the popularity of Windows 7 is its best chance of encouraging more people to buy new computers in a declining market and is not the first time that HP has spoken out against Microsoft. 'Look at the business model difference between Intel and ARM. Look at the operating systems. In today's world, other than Microsoft there's no one else who charges for an operating system,' said HP executive Sridhar Solur in December, adding that that the next generation of computers could very well not be dominated by Microsoft." Also at SlashCloud.

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New MS business plan (5, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | about 9 months ago | (#46023901)

1) Relabel Windows 7 boxes "Windows 8 Desktop Edition"
2) Raise prices
3) Profit

Re:New MS business plan (5, Funny)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | about 9 months ago | (#46023921)

1) Relabel Windows 7 boxes "Windows 9"

Fixed that for you

Re:New MS business plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024065)

And windows 8 as windows 10

Re:New MS business plan (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024083)

And Windows XP as Windows 11.

Re:New MS business plan (2)

gnupun (752725) | about 9 months ago | (#46024281)

This would sell the most

Re:New MS business plan (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 9 months ago | (#46024519)

And Windows XP as Windows 11.

Ha! Spinal Tap reference! Imagine Steve Ballmer dancing around an 18" Stonehenge.

Re:New MS business plan (5, Informative)

Wycliffe (116160) | about 9 months ago | (#46024207)

1) Relabel Windows 7 boxes "Windows 9"

Fixed that for you

You joke but that's pretty much how it is:

Windows 98 -- Worked
windows ME --Sucked
Windows XP -- Decent
Windows Vista -- Sucked
Windows 7 -- Functional Again
Windows 8 -- Sucks Again

It seems to take them one generation to flush the problems out of each new release so windows 8 is basically "windows 9 beta"

Re:New MS business plan (3, Interesting)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 9 months ago | (#46024347)

win 8 = win 9 beta: sort of like Vista was win 7 rushed edition.

I actually don't mind 8.1 with desktop enabled as the login. I installed classic shell and haven't seen the start menu (or needed to) since. The new task manager is nice sort of a middle ground between process explorer and the classic task manager. The file transfer dialog progress indicator is nice too. Just little polishes on top of what Win 7 has. Nothing worthy of going out of your way to upgrade but I wouldn't go out of my way to downgrade either.

Re:New MS business plan (3, Interesting)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 9 months ago | (#46024571)

Vista didn't actually suck all that much if you used it for enough time... the real problem with Vista* was that it took a while for the prefetch service to learn which applications you used most frequently. Once it got a handle on what you liked to do with the system, it was actually fairly zippy. During the first couple of weeks with Vista, however, it was horrible. SP1 improved this, but it was still an unpleasant experience for its first few weeks.

* -- that's aside from the obvious bits about driver incompatibility and the fact that they dropped an OS with a 1GB minimum RAM requirement (2GB for 64-bit) in an era when it was normal to see systems with 512MB.

Re:New MS business plan (5, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 9 months ago | (#46024559)

1) Relabel Windows 7 boxes "Windows 9"

Fixed that for you

You joke but that's pretty much how it is:

Windows 98 -- Worked
windows ME --Sucked
Windows XP -- Decent
Windows Vista -- Sucked
Windows 7 -- Functional Again
Windows 8 -- Sucks Again

It seems to take them one generation to flush the problems out of each new release so windows 8 is basically "windows 9 beta"

Unfortunately, Microsoft has broken the pattern. You can go from XP to Vista to Windows 7 and each one is only a slight change from the previous version. Windows 8 however, is a horrendous piece of shit that changed things that didn't need to be changed, fixed things that didn't need to be fixed and broke anything that wasn't already broken.

Relabeling Windows 7 as Windows 9 would be the best ting they could do.

Re:New MS business plan (5, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#46024563)

Windows NT - doesn't fit the pattern so people ignore it
Windows 2000 - doesn't fit the pattern so people ignore it

Re:New MS business plan (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 9 months ago | (#46024639)

Windows 98, Not so good.
Windows ME, Broke the drivers
Windows 2000, A good OS that does it jobs, Based on NT Kernel.
Windows XP, Worked and was decent, however early in the game it got attacked by hackers like there was no tomorrow.
Vista, It actually worked well... However the UI was too protective.
Windows 7, A much improved
Windows 8, Works just as well as windows 7... However too many people have and cant stand that fact that it is different.

95, XP, Vista, and Windows 8 offered significant change to the UI, and people have a hard time with change.
XP success was it longevity and Microsoft's failure to make a new OS in a decade.

The real failure is that HP isn't making their hardware to take advantage of windows 8, they are just making improved Windows 7 boxes.

Re:New MS business plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024735)

You missed Windows 2000.

Re:New MS business plan (4, Insightful)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 9 months ago | (#46024307)

Microsoft still has to figure out how to integrate Metro apps with Windows 9 or customers will complain and they will lose Windows Store revenue.

Metro isn't just about merging tablet and desktop operating systems. It's also about moving people toward the Windows Store and a Microsoft Account. Skype for desktop allows signing in with a Skype account. Skype for Metro requires either a Microsoft account or merging your Skype account into a Microsoft Account, as do downloading many Metro apps.

Microsoft is starting to realize that being just a software company in a shrinking market is a bad position to be in. They want to get people stuck in their Microsoft account/Microsoft app store/Bing/Skype/Outlook.com mail/Office 365 subscriptions in order to generate revenue off of people in the long term instead of just the initial sale. The large number of Chromebooks sold in 2013 was likely a wake up call - not only do they come with Google Docs which people are starting to use instead of Microsoft Office, but Microsoft Office actually can't be sold to those customers except for Office Web Apps through a live.com account.

The types of devices that people are using is changing and Google/Apple/Microsoft all seem like they're trying to offer a total solution to customer needs that makes it difficult to leave one faction without losing your integrated e-mail/office software/messenger/phone/laptop/search ecosystem. Most people here probably don't particularly want those things integrated for various reasons but it does make things useful to the average consumer who prefers to use a touchscreen because a mouse is too difficult to use.

Re:New MS business plan (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 9 months ago | (#46024081)

Isn't that the rumored Windows 9, coming soon?

Re:New MS business plan (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about 9 months ago | (#46024317)

Yeah, but it looks like Microsoft didn't learn their lesson and are still pushing their "Your computer is just a big smartphone/tablet!" Metro garbage still...

Re:New MS business plan (4, Informative)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 9 months ago | (#46024405)

Supposedly Windows 9 will stick to desktop mode when it's installed on a desktop and run Metro apps in a windows instead of going to Metro mode. I suppose if we're to expect an invasion of dockable tablets this compromise is acceptable.

If docked: disable Metro mode and open Metro apps in a normal window in desktop mode
If in tablet mode: run metro apps full screen

Re:New MS business plan (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 9 months ago | (#46024635)

...open Metro apps in a normal window in desktop mode

A "nuke it from orbit" entry on a restored start menu that makes the Metro window disappear in a mushroom cloud would be fun.

Re:New MS business plan (3, Interesting)

bondsbw (888959) | about 9 months ago | (#46024269)

In today's world, other than Microsoft there's no one else who charges for an operating system.

Apple keeps all hardware in-house. They certainly do charge for the OS, they just build it into the price of the full system.

Google is an advertising company. They don't seem to care much about anything except getting people to use their services to display their ads. If that means working on an OS they don't charge for, so be it.

So Microsoft is the only one of these three whose business model is primarily software. And, as it turns out, Microsoft is becoming a devices-and-services company in order to more effectively compete with the above two... but only a fool (or a hater) would assume that such a large company can or should make that full transition overnight.

Re:New MS business plan (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 9 months ago | (#46024425)

Windows 8 is a very good operating system in terms of stability and speed. It's the UI that throws most people off. And I think that's really because many, or most, of the devices it's being sold on don't have touch. Windows 8.1 is actually a really nice interface if you have a tablet or a notebook with a touch screen. I use it on my old notebook, because I was able to get a cheap license when they first released it. I'll admit it has some problems, almost all relating to the fact that the UI was really designed around touch, and my old laptop has no touch ability. But really it's not that big of a problem, because 95% of the time, I'm just in in desktop mode using a browser or Visual Studio, and I rarely see the start screen. The transition to the start screen is also fast enough that I can hit start, type the name of the program I want to run, and open that program just like I did in Windows 7. It wouldn't really matter what the screen looked like, and there's actually some advantages to using the whole screen to show the possible programs that match my search string.

Re:New MS business plan (4, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | about 9 months ago | (#46024667)

Microsoft should know it is screwing up when many nontech people actually start using 3rd party start menus/shells, HP does this Windows 7 thing and Lenovo bundles an alternative start menu for their Windows 8 machines that one of my bosses actually thought was part of Windows 8!

In the old days it was only us tech nerds who would use such stuff - everyone else would just make do with what Microsoft gave them and curse what the PC vendors added on.

Re:New MS business plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024723)

> Windows 8.1 is actually a really nice interface if you have a tablet or a notebook with a touch screen.

OK, I'll give you the ebenfit of the doubt on tablets, but why in the world would anyone want a laptop with a touchscreen? Why would I want to be poking and prodding my greasy fingers at the screen and obscuring my vision with my hands and arms when there's a perfectly good keyboard & nipplemouse available? My hands are already on the (ergonomically placed) keyboard, why would I want to move them up to the screen and back all the time? Have you never heard the phrase "gorilla arms"? Also, I can just imagine jabbing at the screen, and my sleeve brushing the touchpad causing the mouse to move so that my touch doesn't do what I wanted it to. Utterly stupid.

Basically, Microsoft saw that Apple was making a killing with trendy new touch this and touch that (back in about 2008) and decided to copy them, and just threw touch at everything they could with no thought whatsoever about when it is and isn't appropriate. Of course, being microsoft, they are late to the party.

I encountered a touchscreen monitor the other day at a customer's office. I was trying to teach the customer how to use our website, and pointing at various things on the screen as the customer worked the mouse & keyboard. Of course, every time my finger got anywhere near the screen, the stupid OS interpreted it as clicks or mouse movements and opened/ closed windows, switched focus, and generally produced confusing results. Once I figured out what was going on I had to continue the lesson with my hands behind my back; not very helpful. As far as I can tell, the customer never actually uses the touch capabilities of the monitor.

HP is a sad, sad company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46023907)

I'm surprised HP doesn't apply an OS X look-a-like theme to Windows 7 to make it look "original, unique and innovative".

Re:HP is a sad, sad company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024033)

They would have to pay Dell royalties for this idea:
http://www.delldock.com/ [delldock.com]

HP has the pull to get MS to fix windows by 8.2/9 (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 9 months ago | (#46023941)

HP has the pull to get MS to fix windows by 8.2/9 or maybe and this is a long shot get mac os X on there hardware.

Re:HP has the pull to get MS to fix windows by 8.2 (3, Informative)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 9 months ago | (#46023969)

Read Paul T's column on Win Supersite. Windows 9 is going to have a start menu for desktop-centric uses.

Re:HP has the pull to get MS to fix windows by 8.2 (5, Interesting)

CdBee (742846) | about 9 months ago | (#46024129)

I hope that means a proper menu with expanding options off it - not the 'fuck you' compromise in Windows 8.1 where a 'start button' brings up the supershitty touch interface

Re:HP has the pull to get MS to fix windows by 8.2 (1)

jitterman (987991) | about 9 months ago | (#46024485)

This, soooo much.

Re:HP has the pull to get MS to fix windows by 8.2 (2, Funny)

Merk42 (1906718) | about 9 months ago | (#46024733)

What is wrong with the Start Screen vs Start Menu?
The Start Screen can:

  • Fit more shortcuts on screen at once
  • No drilling through folders
  • Takes advantage of the whole screen (when do you ever need to see the active application and the start menu at the same time?).

Re:HP has the pull to get MS to fix windows by 8.2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024743)

This is Microsoft. The answer is "fuck you". Now, what is the question? We shall watch smugly and with amusement as those shut-ins who refuse to leave Windows struggle with their operating system.

Re:HP has the pull to get MS to fix windows by 8.2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46023991)

I think Mocrosoft should put a launcher at the bottom of the screen; have a program called "Fetcher" gets you to your programs, documents, and file system; and call it 'OS MS'.

Re:HP has the pull to get MS to fix windows by 8.2 (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 9 months ago | (#46024063)

What's to fix other than the stupid metro interface?

Re:HP has the pull to get MS to fix windows by 8.2 (4, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 9 months ago | (#46024135)

That's it entirely, but you say it like it's something small. That's like saying, "what's to fix on the Pontiac Aztek other than the butt-ugly exterior?" Or, "what's to fix in the New Jersey government other than all the corruption?"

Re:HP has the pull to get MS to fix windows by 8.2 (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 9 months ago | (#46024215)

New Jersey? I say we nuke the site from orbit its the only way to be sure :)

Re:HP has the pull to get MS to fix windows by 8.2 (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 9 months ago | (#46024257)

If you do that, you'll have to nuke the entire US to be fair. NJ's main fault is that it isn't quite as good at hiding its corruption as many other states. This whole country is hopelessly corrupt.

lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46023945)

that is all.

meanwhile..... (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 9 months ago | (#46023953)

Any non-business is just dealing with the Start Screen or installed Classic Shell.

Re:meanwhile.... (2)

faedle (114018) | about 9 months ago | (#46024085)

Actually, if the sales numbers are to be believed, people just aren't buying new PCs at all.

Re:meanwhile.... (5, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 months ago | (#46024161)

Actually, if the sales numbers are to be believed, people just aren't buying new PCs at all.

Pretty much exactly this.

Except for RAM, the vast majority of PC users will never fully max out their machine. They won't even get close to what the CPU can do. Even 10 years ago when someone asked me what kind of PC they should buy, I would tell them to buy the oldest machine they can find with twice as much memory as they think they need -- because in my experience, lots of RAM contributes more to the longevity of a machine than loads of CPU.

Nowadays, I think gamers and people doing heavy-duty work are the only people who need to be upgrading regularly.

The latest and greatest is often not all that great, and the differences between the old and the new are incremental.

For many many people, the PC they've had for several years now works just fine and doesn't need to be upgraded. For many more, a tablet will cover 90% of their needs 90% of the time (and, yes, that's a completely contrived statistic).

Microsoft made crap tons of money over the years by people being on the upgrade treadmill and getting the latest version of Office. And that is no longer a compelling reason for most people -- I know I use more .doc files than I do .docx files, and I'm not sure I could name a single feature in the latest Office which is any different than the previous version.

And, quite randomly since they mention Vista -- my main PC is a machine I bought in '09 with 8GB of RAM and 4 CPU cores running Vista, and with many TB of disk space. Having thrown a lot of resources at it, I've actually enjoyed Vista. On small machines it was a resource hog, but if you gave it lots of resources, it was actually pretty good in my experience.

Re:meanwhile.... (4, Insightful)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 9 months ago | (#46024583)

Except for RAM, the vast majority of PC users will never fully max out their machine. They won't even get close to what the CPU can do. Even 10 years ago when someone asked me what kind of PC they should buy, I would tell them to buy the oldest machine they can find with twice as much memory as they think they need -- because in my experience, lots of RAM contributes more to the longevity of a machine than loads of CPU.

This is probably true, but I don't think most people have realised this. Recently, when a colleague's Win 7 laptop started to run slowly she announced that it was time to get a new computer. Most people I know really do seem to believe that when a computer starts running slowly that is indicative of some sort of flaw that can only be repaired by a violent hardware change. It either doesn't occur them that a reinstall of Windows can fix the problem or they don't have the skills/confidence/motivation to perform the operation.

Re:meanwhile.... (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 9 months ago | (#46024283)

Actually, if the sales numbers are to be believed, people just aren't buying new PCs at all.

Well, if you ignore the nearly one million PCs sold every day last quarter.

Touch-screen desktop PCs are a fad (5, Insightful)

tick-tock-atona (1145909) | about 9 months ago | (#46023957)

Windows 8 is designed around a touch-screen interface; one that is a struggle to operate via a keyboard and mouse.

For entertainment, a touch-screen interface is fine. But, believe it or not, people *still* do *real work* on desktop PCs. And for that use case, Windows 8 is a massive productivity downgrade.

Re:Touch-screen desktop PCs are a fad (1)

synapse7 (1075571) | about 9 months ago | (#46023981)

Half of the OS, at best, is designed around touch-screen interface.

Re:Touch-screen desktop PCs are a fad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024657)

Half of the OS, at best, is designed around touch-screen interface.

Which is still far too much.

Re:Touch-screen desktop PCs are a fad (5, Interesting)

BobMcD (601576) | about 9 months ago | (#46024001)

What I genuinely don't understand is - why break backward compatibility?

Why not just layer touch on top of the existing UI?

Then everybody wins.

For example, there could be two ways to reboot your PC:

1) Pull the side-window thing over, go to Settings, then Power, then Reboot
or
2) Click Start, click the Arrow beside Shutdown, then click Reboot

One is better for touch (supposedly) and the other is what you're already used to doing.

Does anyone know why this wasn't the method they went with?

sscutchen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024089)

Touch UIs need a larger target than mouse UIs. This is why Office went to that awfult ribbon. Destroyed productivity, but made Office Touch and Office Mouse the same.

Re:Touch-screen desktop PCs are a fad (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 9 months ago | (#46024099)

Why are you forced to say "Siri" or "O.K. Google" to activate voice recognition?

O.K. - maybe you're not forced, but it is certainly not easy to get past the default configurations...

Re:Touch-screen desktop PCs are a fad (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 months ago | (#46024237)

Well, you're also not forced to use voice recognition.

And, as to why, I assume they spent a lot of time making sure the voice engine could be certain to know when you are talking to it and tested the recognition under lots of situations for those specific phrases. That, and marketing wants to be sure the brand is out there in the wild.

Presumably if you wanted to train it to respond to "Hey Asshole", it might take a little longer to be sure it's actually going to know you meant it, and the company might not be overly fond of your choice.

Re:Touch-screen desktop PCs are a fad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024139)

Because then no one would use the touch portion and stick with the desktop portion --> No one would get used to the touch interface --> No one would buy Windows Phone or Surface or Xbox becuase it "looks like their used to on their desktop".

Re:Touch-screen desktop PCs are a fad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024249)

Simple answer: Microsoft has some blithering idiots working for them....

Re:Touch-screen desktop PCs are a fad (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 9 months ago | (#46024305)

What I genuinely don't understand is - why break backward compatibility? Why not just layer touch on top of the existing UI?

Microsoft are desperate to get into mobile.
No-one wants a smart phone with no apps.
No-one wants to write apps for a smart phone OS with no users.
Hence Microsoft had to push the smart phone OS onto the desktop so developers might think they'd have a market for their apps.
Except no-one wants to buy a desktop PC with a smart phone OS.

Re:Touch-screen desktop PCs are a fad (1)

Sky Cry (872584) | about 9 months ago | (#46024327)

3) Right click in the bottom left corner, click Shut down or sign out, click Restart

There are some really nice improvements over Windows 7 - the new options should be advertised more, though.

Re:Touch-screen desktop PCs are a fad (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024691)

3) Right click in the bottom left corner, click Shut down or sign out, click Restart

Translated:

1. Do arbitrary action in some completely unmarked area of screen to pull up a magic set of options.
2. No, not that area. Try again.
3. Gah, you fucking retard, are you even TRYING?
4. *sigh* It's like you don't even know how to use a computer. What part of "some completely unmarked area of screen" do you NOT understand?
5. Great. Yeah, nice try, GRANDPA, but that big area marked "Start" isn't going to help you any more like it has for the past nearly two decades. It's like I'm talking to a Neanderthal here...
6. Oh, hey, here we go again with completely unmarked area C. HELLO??? ANYBODY IN THERE? THAT DIDN'T WORK THE FIRST TIME, DIPSHIT, IT AIN'T GONNA W-
7. Screw it and either install OS and GUI from people who have taken advantage of this chance to catch up, or purchase tablet whose interface was designed by a company that understands how this is supposed to work.

Re:Touch-screen desktop PCs are a fad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024699)

Because fuck you, that's why.

Re:Touch-screen desktop PCs are a fad (1)

paavo512 (2866903) | about 9 months ago | (#46024741)

For example, there could be two ways to reboot your PC:

1) Pull the side-window thing over, go to Settings, then Power, then Reboot

2) Click Start, click the Arrow beside Shutdown, then click Reboot

Why so complicated? I press:

3) [Windows] [Right-arrow] [Space]

This used to be Windows-U-something, but OK.

Re:Touch-screen desktop PCs are a fad (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 9 months ago | (#46024093)

My only complaint is the the Metro interface doesn't have a concept of a sub menu so everything's dumped on the main menu.

Struggle? Try merely inconvenient. (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 9 months ago | (#46024323)

I have a W8 convertible (Sony Flip, fwiw), and the touch screen part of W8 isn't what makes it suck, it's the apps and the keyboard implementation. There are no fullscreen/touch browsers other than IE, and if you have any other browser set to default IE won't come up in touch mode. And even if you do decide to use it, it turns off all/most extensions. WTF? And the keyboard - which doesn't include an alt key by default - doesn't come up automatically or provide any auto-correct or heuristic input help in anything but IE and MS Office, as if MS put those functions into the apps instead of the keyboard function. Whomever did their usability study must have done it in a sterile environment.

As for actual operation when in laptop mode - yes, the Metro interface is bulky for regular operations, but it's more of an annoyance than an actual hindrance. Like all the modern ribbon interfaces the new fullscreen trades finger-accessibility and pretty graphics for efficiency in the form of extra clicks and mouse movement to start programs.

No I won't get used to it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46023965)

Let's call a spade a spade: the touch-screen interface SUCKS on a traditional desktop or laptop PC. It's not a matter of "trying something new". It's a matter of using the right tool for the job, and the touch-screen interface is the WRONG tool for this job. To be fair, the linux touch-screen interfaces don't belong on a PC any more than windows 8. They belong on phones and tablets.

What is the difference? (1)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 9 months ago | (#46023967)

'Look at the business model difference between Intel and ARM

TFA didn't clarify what he meant by this. Maybe he meant the business models in the different realms, rather than the companies themselves?

Upgrade path? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46023975)

Is HP providing an easy upgrade path from 8 to 7?

Re:Upgrade path? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024319)

Is HP providing an easy upgrade path from 8 to 7?

I don't believe it's an upgrade for existing W8 systems. They are just offering Windows 7 as an OS choice on new computers again.

Well durr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46023983)

See what happens when you try to put an OS that best works on a mobile phone on a desktop?

momkind new clear options never left (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46023985)

like an old fashioned love song

Smart Choice. (4, Interesting)

pmowry911 (309717) | about 9 months ago | (#46023987)

My daughter is going to College in the fall. She is by no means tech savvy. But she was choosing a Cromebook with local storage instead of anything win8. And she likes a windows phone.

It will never go away (5, Interesting)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#46024007)

adding that that the next generation of computers could very well not be dominated by Microsoft

People make now these revolutionary statements, but they will forget fast. Behind the scenes, Microsoft is likely already fixing what sucks about Windows 8, including bringing the Start Menu back. After the release of next Windows, this little (extremely expensive) Win8 mistake can be swept under the rug just like ME and Vista. But something which Microsoft knows best is keeping their foothold of running Windows on every PC. I bet Ballmer and Myerson are just spinning around in their office chairs laughing and saying "no, Mr. HP, you will be running Windows".

Re:It will never go away (4, Interesting)

faedle (114018) | about 9 months ago | (#46024127)

While I agree that Microsoft will likely never "go away", to a large degree the statement that "the next generation .. will not be dominated by Microsoft" has already come true. The vast majority of new "screens" that people are viewing content on, surfing the Internet on, and generally "using" in their day-to-day life are smartphones and tablets. And Microsoft is being pummeled by Android and Apple. People are looking at what they used to buy laptops for and deciding "hey, I can do 90% of this with an iPad/GalaxyTab, and the 10% that I need to use a keyboard for my old laptop works just fine."

Behind the scenes HP (and the other manufacturers) would respond to Microsoft by saying "look, Samsung is killing us. Apple is killing us. Let us sell Windows 7 or our next new product is a laptop that runs Android."

Re:It will never go away (2)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 9 months ago | (#46024191)

The current slow take up of Win8 has more to do with Moores Law running out. Previously companies would replace computers once they were 4 years old (Varies with the company obviously) because the new PC would be over twice as fast. Now that PC performance has stopped noticeably improving companies are waiting for PC's to break and then replacing them. So now all the PC manufacturers are feeling the pinch except those who've got fingers in the mobile phone/tablet market.

Re:It will never go away (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 9 months ago | (#46024329)

The current slow take up of Win8 has more to do with Moores Law running out.

No,. it's due to Joe Sixpack going to their local computer store, looking at the screen of a Window 8 PC and going 'WTF is this crap? Where's Windows?' and going home.

Business is far less impacted because they can just install Windows 7 instead. And they probably upgrade once the old PCs have been written off against their taxes, not when they wear out.

Re:It will never go away (1)

careysub (976506) | about 9 months ago | (#46024419)

It is quite true that the End of Moore's Law (sort of) is making the desktop market shaky. But all the more reason to not take a mallet and give one of its remaining legs (user familiarity) a nasty gratuitous whack and force the market down farther and faster. It will be interesting to see if the sales curve improves after the Windows 9 release.

Re:It will never go away (3, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 9 months ago | (#46024295)

Behind the scenes, Microsoft is likely already fixing what sucks about Windows 8, including bringing the Start Menu back. After the release of next Windows, this little (extremely expensive) Win8 mistake can be swept under the rug just like ME and Vista.

Microsoft has already spent 2 years working on fixing W8 - you got W8.1.... not much of an improvement. It's not just about the start button. The random reorganization of menu structures forcing new training on users and admins is not considered worthwhile and is probably MS's biggest obstacle to overcome. Had the menu structures stayed the same, upgrading would have been a minor concern (both OS and applications such as Office). Office's changes were so great it was easier to move to another application than deal with the new ribbon Office, much less O360 or whatever the current "you will love the cloud" version is.

Re:It will never go away (1)

LVSlushdat (854194) | about 9 months ago | (#46024455)

An interesting thought experiment.. suppose a large computer vendor, say Dell, was to *really* stick its finger in Microsofts eye and basically say "ALL of our computers will run Linux, both laptops, desktops, and servers.. Windows will be an added cost extra." .. Say a nice lightweight display manager and Ubuntu (L/XUbuntu) on the desktops/laptops, with a theme that closely mimics Windows, and CentOS on all of their servers/workstations. IF somebody just absolutely HAS to have Windows, Dell essentially puts a retail Windows 7 (or 8) on it and charges up the wazoo for it.. They would certainly HAVE to do Windows *that* way as Microsoft would have a stroke, and remove any OEM pricing.. BUT.. Since Dell is now essentially owned by Micheal Dell, he could do that, without the stockholders going for his scalp. Dell has made a lot of moves in the Linux direction, this would certainly be right up their alley..

Dell still offers Windows 7 (4, Informative)

pklong (323451) | about 9 months ago | (#46024029)

You can still buy pre-installed Windows 7 on a Dell (business section).

If Microsoft are determined to shoot themselves in the foot, by failing to let people have what they want then so be it.

Philip

Re:Dell still offers Windows 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024193)

You can still buy pre-installed Windows 7 on a Dell (business section).
If Microsoft are determined to shoot themselves in the foot, by failing to let people have what they want then so be it.

Windows 7 is an MS product. They get paid no matter what. People who pay for Win7 will probably line up to buy Win9, so maybe this is a brilliant marketing strategy.

Re:Dell still offers Windows 7 (3, Informative)

Shavano (2541114) | about 9 months ago | (#46024445)

No they won't. They want Windows 7 for two reasons:
1. It's easier to use on a desktop.
2. It's always expensive and troublesome to upgrade operating systems and always results in some applications that just don't work right or don't work at all under the new OS. Continuing to use Windows 7 as long as possible defers that expense, or in some cases eliminates it.

This is also the reason why few businesses switch from Windows to Linux even though Linux is free and less troublesome for malware. A Windows upgrade is very expensive, but going to Linux company-wide is a major retooling. (As opposed to putting in Linux machines in a few places where they are highly confident that they will work, which just makes sense from a business POV.) My company has Windows, OS X, at least two brands of Linux and FreeBSD systems all working different tasks.

Does it matter? No (0)

mveloso (325617) | about 9 months ago | (#46024047)

It doesn't really matter if a PC sells with Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 9. The market is melting away, and it's not because they're buying Macs or other PC maker's machines.

Hmmm ... (5, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 months ago | (#46024051)

1) Why would you buy a PC from HP? The amount of crapware on the laptop we got for my wife several years ago was downright pathetic -- what should have been a fast machine was dog slow because HP has embedded dozens of things little more useful than Clippy ("I see you are near a wireless network, the HP Network assistant is here to help"). The sheer amount of garbage rendered the machine unusable without hours of disabling stuff. (In fairness, the mother in law's Toshiba had the same problems, because vendor builds suck.)

2) Will Microsoft even allow this? I should think they'd be saying "nope, you can't sell those any more".

3) Wow, Windows 8 much be a turd if people are going back to a four-year old OS. Someone missed the mark by a long shot.

4) "adding that that the next generation of computers could very well not be dominated by Microsoft." From the numbers, it would appear that Android is well on its way to dominating the next generation of computers, even if people here don't think tablets are actually computers. Microsoft is no longer competing with Apple and Linux, they're competing with Google.

Re:Hmmm ... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 9 months ago | (#46024157)

1) Okay, just a question about your wife having to cope with crapware and you posting on slashdot: Is there any reason why you didn't say "Honey, gimme a day, I'll fix that for you" and install from scratch without all the crapware? Me? I got wife the highest end iMac I could get back in the day. Best decision ever..

2) Possible, but from back in the Vista days, they preferred to say nothing and get the sales.

3) Yes

4) Yes

Re:Hmmm ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 months ago | (#46024389)

Okay, just a question about your wife having to cope with crapware and you posting on slashdot: Is there any reason why you didn't say "Honey, gimme a day, I'll fix that for you" and install from scratch without all the crapware?

Because I have about as much interest in doing that for my wife as I do my mother, and I'm well passed the point of considering installing an OS to be an enjoyable thing to be doing. So I mostly refuse to be tech support for people.

It was just as easy to go through and delete/disable the crapware as it was to re-install from scratch.

Because I could periodically shut down the computer and walk away from it.

Re:Hmmm ... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 9 months ago | (#46024515)

Ok, fair point. That's where you step in and make sure she buys superior products instead. That way you're not tech support for people any more.

Re:Hmmm ... (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 9 months ago | (#46024421)

2) MS doesn't care one way or another. I know with MSDN and business level agreements you are entitled to the latest (and all preceding) versions. OEM licenses are problem the same. As long as they get their ~$40 they probably don't care.

Re:Hmmm ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024163)

Unless it is in their supplier agreement, Microsoft cant really tell them that they cannot sell their existing inventory.

Microsoft can refuse to supply them with any new licenses or boxed copies though.

Re:Hmmm ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024183)

For those of us in the real world, when HP mentions computers we understand that they're talking about desktops. That's why we're discussing Windows 7 here too.

Don't go out of your way to look like an ass and you won't get called out for being an ass.

Re:Hmmm ... (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 9 months ago | (#46024209)

Wow, Windows 8 must be a turd

. . . and it's a turd with a "touch" interface . . . so you have to "touch" that turd.to use it.

Re:Hmmm ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024213)

3) Wow, Windows 8 much be a turd if people are going back to a four-year old OS. Someone missed the mark by a long shot.

There are a lot of people who will hate Windows 8 just because it is the new thing from MS. Which is a shame, because the real complaints of why the turd stinks is being drowned out by the complaints of whose ass it came out of.

Windows 8 is actually a competent touch environment on a device like the Surface Pro, and once their app library matures I'll have no complaints there. But forcing the common (touch) platform for desktop environments is a tragedy. By now I've used it enough that I've figured out how to do almost everything that I was able to do with 7, but even basic operation is a chore if you don't have a touchscreen in your lap. Using one of the 3rd party start menu replacements helps a lot of the symptoms, but it doesn't cleanse the taint.

Re:Hmmm ... (1)

tick-tock-atona (1145909) | about 9 months ago | (#46024245)

HP Business PCs come with FreeDOS as an OS option (i.e. Windows-tax free).

Yes, their Consumer lines are garbage.

Re:Hmmm ... (1)

Teresita (982888) | about 9 months ago | (#46024371)

Why would you buy a PC from HP? The amount of crapware on the laptop we got for my wife several years ago was downright pathetic...

1. Buy a Win8x box.
2. Execute the free "Downgrade" to Win7, which won't run the 8x crapware, because in HP's own words, "Windows 7 will not be supported on these new platforms, and no drivers, apps, or Windows 7 content will be available through HP."
3. ????
4. Profit

Re:Hmmm ... (2)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about 9 months ago | (#46024431)

It's been about 8-9 years since I last bought a PC in a store rather than built my own, and the one I bought was HP. Why? They used really good quality parts. And the crapware they put on wasn't any worse than anybody else's, at least back then. Plus they used standard parts which was great, because it meant that you could buy off the shelf stuff to upgrade the PC and it would work instead of being locked into that evil world of having to buy parts only from the manufacturer because they used customized parts and connectors everywhere.

Maybe you don't remember, but Vista was such a turd that all the major PC manufacturers started selling XP boxes as an option instead of Vista, well after Vista had been planned to be the only option available. HP and other manufacturers forced Microsoft to grudgingly support this at the time. So yeah, most of us have seen this movie before.

Lots of industry insiders say that the vast majority of Microsoft's revenue comes from Office and Windows and that both are in an inevitable decline and will shrink every year. Microsoft spent years in reaction mode, watching where the industry went and getting to the party late, claiming that they were always there, they were, uh, just in the back talking to somebody else, but yeah, there were at the party since it started, sure. It worked well for them as they just hopped on the bandwagon on most trends and let somebody else take the risk to see if anybody wanted it before they committed to it, but that proved to be a failure when mobile devices succeeded and their puny attempts to enter the markets failed. Even when they finally got on the tablet bandwagon, their original price point was absurd and nobody would pay it. In the past, just like Intel, they've just rolled the dice without any real thought to whether what they were doing made sense or not, as it was easier to just throw money at the mistakes and move on than to think carefully about whether they should be doing what they were doing. PCs last years and only gamers have a compelling reason to upgrade every 1-2 years. So now people are keeping old PCs because they still work and asking "Why do I need to pay $150 (or whatever) for a new version of Windows?". Microsoft depended on PCs being eclipsed every few years to the point that users felt compelled to upgrade and that hasn't been the case for years, so the reason to get a new version of Windows vanished with it. And when that new version of Windows sucks as bad as Win 8 does, nobody is going to want it. A surprising number of people are finding that things like iPads and Chromebooks meet their simplistic "computing" needs very well and they don't really need to buy a new PC and pay for Win 8 just to send email and watch YouTube.

Serves Microsoft Right (2)

voxelman (236068) | about 9 months ago | (#46024057)

Windows 8 showed total disregard for the installed Windows 7 user base and is a travesty just like the stupid ribbon that was forced on upgrading Office users. Microsoft (ie Balmer) should have its nuts crushed. What a bunch of idiots.

Re:Serves Microsoft Right (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 9 months ago | (#46024187)

Even more idiotic are all the people that continue to buy MS products after all this. Yeah, it's pretty dumb when a company pisses off its customers by trying to force something on them they don't want. But it's much more stupid when customers keep buying their crap. This is what you get for making yourself reliant on a single source.

Only MS charges for the OS? Right... (1)

Megol (3135005) | about 9 months ago | (#46024095)

The costs for OS development is just added to other items instead - but one still pays for the OS! That even includes most uses of Linux (think about it).

Now all we need.. (1)

scsirob (246572) | about 9 months ago | (#46024097)

.. is Windows-XP back. Also by popular demand.
How's that migration coming along for you??

HP is to blame here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024171)

I've been dealing with a driver compatibility issue for an HP laptop for the last week since a windows driver update black screened 8.1, rendering the machine worthless. After restoring to factory Win7 Home image, re-installing 8, all drivers, and HP's "support assistant" the notable message from HP is "STOP: BEFORE UPGRADING TO WINDOWS 8.1, READ THIS" ...at which point they warn that 8.1 may cause various issues with their hardware, giving the reason for such a warning as a simple "THIS MACHINE HAS NOT BEEN TESTED WITH WINDOWS 8.1"

After several hours on the phone with Microsoft support, they then directed me to HP where i'm sure i'll be ready to ship this thing straight back to them by today's end, just judging by their first two support email responses.

TL; DR: HP is doing more harm than good by refusing to adopt and properly support Windows 8, and while Microsoft has a chunk of blame for releasing an OS that is too far left of what its customers expect, I've seen nothing but great things from Windows 8 and moreso 8.1 [while it still worked]

transition (1)

Fluffy the Destroyer (3459643) | about 9 months ago | (#46024293)

By not making a smooth transition, you open yourself to new problems and probably a wall of hesitation and strong defence. For example, making the new version of DirectX only available to new versions of Windows 8 and same thing with Windows 7 when xp was available was just plain wrong especially for developpers and gamers alike.

Let's face it, a big portion of pc users are gamers which are very important for the pc industry. I rather have a smooth transition than forcing me to use Windows 8 at a certain point. While its true that I don't see a neccessity to get Windows 8 for now its starting to show that certain apps and games are Windows 8 only or so imcompatible that Windows 8 might be the solution

Re:transition (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 9 months ago | (#46024437)

Let's face it, a big portion of pc users are gamers which are very important for the pc industry

Really? For every hardware-junkie-gamer, there are at least 10 office drones working on Core2Duo class machines with 4GB RAM and Intel graphics. Let me guess: you're a gamer and see the world from that perspective?

I'm not a gamer, I work in corporate IT. I need to keep the drones happy.

It appears MS doesn't the elephant in the room (1)

monkaru (927718) | about 9 months ago | (#46024395)

The consumer market is migrating away from the desktop to mobile devices enmass while business clients couldn't give a rats ass about some GUI eye candy. The Metro interface seems to prove, to me at least, that Microsoft has lost its way. If MS doesn't quickly segregate it's development to "consumer" (devices) and "business" (desktops) the next five years are going to be brutal for their bottom line.

what ?? (1)

Fluffy the Destroyer (3459643) | about 9 months ago | (#46024465)

but how can you shun Windows 8 while its the only windows OS available in stores pre-installed ? MS do force customers to use Windows 8 when they buy a pc since they come pre-installed with Win8. Unless they take some refurbished pc or laptop with Win7

too bad it's HP (3, Informative)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 9 months ago | (#46024469)

So someone brought back Windows 7 and it just happens to be the one with the lowest quality laptops with the highest failure rate since numbers were kept. They also are in the bottom 3 worst rated support quality. So to me, this is absolutely nothing. By the way, if you want a computer that doesn't suck, my shop has sold about 20 toshiba laptops from Toshiba Direct. They still have some systems with Windows 7 Home Premium that are built at the factory to order for around $400 with free shipping. They're quite nice too and fully featured. Why is there no "Toshiba brings back Windows 7" headline? Because they never actually stopped shipping it in the first place.

Really its all about the desktop (1)

jdkc4d (659944) | about 9 months ago | (#46024481)

I guess someone at Microsoft believed the hype about it being all about tablets, and tablet OS's. They keep saying crap like PC's are dead....blah blah blah. They still sold more PC's in the last quarter than all of the ipads that have been sold in total ever. I still go into work everyday and sit down at a PC. Not a tablet...not some weird ass touch screen thing, a normal windows computer...running windows 8. Thats right...I'm using 8...well 8.1. But here's the thing, there is no way in hell I would push out a Win8 image to my users right now. Everything is in a different place. Why is there a metro control panel that does only some things, but you have to go to the real control panel to do others? UG One OS to rule them all isn't paying off so well for Microsoft. I haven't heard anything about Windows phone in a while. Windows 8 is still being treated as the evil stepchild. I am hoping 9 takes us back to a place where computers have an OD, and devices have an OS. It's time. Let's get it done. And once that's done, we need to take a look at this OS release cycle, I think this is the root of the problem. We aren't updating, we are overhauling everything. We are trying to come up with crazy ass ideas to replace the wheel that already works. Let's get back to basics.

Win8 win 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024567)

I'm not sure why people dislike windows 8 so much if you have any idea how to configure a windows operating system. The ONLY thing different once you change the default programs with certain ext is the start menu. In that case, just learn to type what the hell you're looking for and push enter.

Few people really need a new PC (1)

chuckugly (2030942) | about 9 months ago | (#46024581)

I'm pretty convinced that most of the cause of slow PC sales comes from the fact that people just really don't need a faster newer PC every few years anymore. Couple that with people buying tablets and I doubt Windows 8 has much to do with it. Not nothing, but not as much as some people want to believe. Once I bit the bullet and installed 8 once, I started installing it everywhere, because after a few hours of becoming used to it ... it's better. I don't use "Modern" apps, they don't work for me on a desktop, but 8.1 is better than 7 in every way for me.
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