Windows 8: A bad bet

Windows 8: A bad bet

Summary: Have you really looked at Metro? I have. I see a flop.

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Given my choice of desktops, I'm running Linux, but over the years Windows has gone from being a bad joke of a desktop operating systems--Windows ME and Vista--to being a reasonably good choice-Windows XP SP3 and Windows 7. But Windows 8? What the heck is Microsoft thinking?

After looking at Metro, Windows 8's default interface, for the last month, all I see a lame, reactionary response to iPad and Android. In a broader sense, it's Microsoft's response to the move away from the desktop to smartphones and tablets.

Great Debate: Is Microsoft's next operating system headed in the right direction?

Microsoft has made it clear that while there will be room for the Windows 7's Aero style interface, in Windows 8, Microsoft really wants everyone working with the Metro interface and applications. When I look at Metro, I see gaudy colors, boxy designs, applications that can either run as a small tile or as full screen with no way to re-size or move windows. Where have I seen this before... Wait, I know! Windows 1.0!

No, I'm not kidding. Let's take a look at Windows 1.0:

Windows 1.0

Windows 1.0

And, now let's look at Windows 8's Metro

Windows 8 Metro

Windows 8 Metro

Twenty-five plus years of user-interface development and this, this, is what we get!? Scary isn't it?

If you want an interesting take on a universal interface, take a look at Ubuntu's Unity desktop. Metro? It's klutzy and even people who love Windows admit that "the jury's still out on the touch/no touch question."

But, even if Metro was just a touch tablet interface I doubt that would find many users. Google's Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich and Apple's iOS 5 already have better, more usable interfaces, and they'll have years more to improve before Windows 8 actually arrives. This isn't just my opinion. Look at the market. Metro is already Windows Phone 7.x's interface and that OS has a tiny fraction of the smartphone market.

Besides, bread and butter Windows users already know the Windows interface. Metro is Not the Windows interface. Heck, Mac OS X Lion and Mint Linux 11's GNOME 2.28 both look and feel more like Windows 7 than Windows 8 Metro does. Fortunately, you can use a more Windows' like interface, but Microsoft really seems to want everyone to move to Metro.

Windows developers can't love Metro either. They've spend years mastering .NET, Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), etc. etc. and now they have to learn WinRT and Jupiter/XAML? That's bad enough, but since you'll need to rewrite your app. for the more traditional Windows-style desktop your work load just doubled.

Metro is going to be a pain for both users and developers. It seems to me that with Metro, Microsoft is headed toward another Vista-sized fiasco.

Microsoft can't afford that kind of disaster. This isn't the 90s or the 2000s. Today, users buy tablets and smartphones. According to IDC, tablets alone in 2011 will equal 17% of the PC market's sales. At the same time, tablet sales are growing explosively PCs sales are barely moving upward. If Windows 8 is a failure, Windows users won't wait around for the next version the way they did for Windows 7, they'll just continue to switch over from conventional PCs to Android and iOS devices.

Microsoft may never lose the PC market, but with Windows 8 and Metro they may never have a chance to win the growing, broader computing market of PCs, smartphones and tablets.

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Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Tablets

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171 comments
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  • RE: Windows 8: A bad bet

    With Ed Bott steamrolling SJVN with multiple 100+ comments blogs, he had to do something !!! :D
    1773
    • RE: Windows 8: A bad bet

      @1773 <br><br>I agree that Ed Bott is winning the race to the bottom. But he's doing it by calling people fanatics and lying about their views. Sure-fire way to generate comments.

      As far as Windows 8: I couldn't care less.





      :)
      none none
      • Agreed.

        @none none
        I have only two (related) concerns with Windows 8 - being able to buy a desktop PC without it, or being able to install an OS of my choice after I erase it.

        Metro is someone else's problem.
        Zogg
      • Zogg: I already told you how to become a billionaire

        Just offer a dual boot Windows 8 / Linux PC.

        You'll sell hundreds of millions.
        toddybottom
      • I couldn't possibly steal your idea.

        @toddybottom
        Be my guest.
        Zogg
      • I think it is a terrible idea

        I think the worldwide demand for a dual boot Windows 8 / Linux PC is less than 100.

        But you seem to think there are far more. Put your money where your mouth is. Invest in your new business idea. Unless you have no confidence in what you are saying.
        toddybottom
      • Go away, toddybottom

        @toddybottom
        I'm bored with your childish distortions and misrepresentations already.
        Zogg
      • Won't put your money where your mouth is?

        I didn't think so.
        toddybottom
      • Sales figures tell the story

        @none none <br>There are clearly far more people who couldn't care less about Ubuntu than there are people who couldn't care less about Windows.
        toddybottom
      • RE: Windows 8: A bad bet

        @toddybottom

        [i]I think the worldwide demand for a dual boot Windows 8 / Linux PC is less than 100.[/i]

        Which is why you're not to be taken seriously.




        :)
        none none
    • Another &quot;honest&quot; Windows related opinion from SJVN?

      @1773
      Yeah, I know - I had to laugh at that too! Of course the ol' "unity is a great UI' had to thrown in there, too ;)

      SJVN is just upset that his predictions of Android being the go to OS for tablets didn't pan out, I guess he has to misdirect where ever he can. :D
      William Farrell
    • RE: Windows 8: A bad bet

      @1773
      That's sadly true, some people get the views by writing good articles, others need to troll to get some attention.
      Martijn2
    • RE: Windows 8: A bad bet

      @1773
      +1
      LoverockDavidson_-24231404894599612871915491754222
    • RE: Windows 8: A bad bet

      @1773
      Like it or not, Ms has a long history of making every second version of Windows a "dog". REcently, Vista was a dog and W7 a success. The real question here is whether MS can break that history with W8 or whether W8 will be the next horrid OS thrust upon the masses.
      Wakemewhentrollsgone
      • RE: Windows 8: A bad bet

        @Habiloso wrote:
        "Ms has a long history of making every second version of Windows a "dog"

        Really? How about Windows NT 4 -> Windows 2000 -> Windows XP? Are you suggesting that Windows 2000 was a "dog"?
        Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Reaping what we sow

      Dumbed down country -> Fisher-Price user interface
      ALISON SMOCK
  • RE: Windows 8: A bad bet

    @THavoc

    Because MS is trying to get a piece of the tablet pie before it is all gone. They have seen Apple making buckets of money on these. I am not sure if i would go with the word fad but i do think the tablet crazy will die down in the near future ipad2 sales show this. These are consumption devices movies,meetings (enterprise use) etc. i have owned an ipad but found i was going back to my laptop for any real internet browsing etc. There are a few things tablets are nice for but 500 is not worth what i do with them.
    MLHACK
    • RE: Windows 8: A bad bet

      @MLHACK
      No, I'm not saying they are a fad. I hear on here quite often: 'It's a passing fad', 'Cant do real work on them', etc. If this were true, I really don't think MS would commit a 5-6 year development cycle on something like this.
      THavoc
    • RE: Windows 8: A bad bet

      @THavoc

      And how many years did this same company spend on Windows Vista? Granted, they will be able to pull some of the new technologies forward if this flops, just like they did with Vista
      bean520
  • RE: Windows 8: A bad bet

    @THavoc
    The tablet form factor is not a fad, just the semi-useless software that they run. MS is trying to fix this.
    kstap