Is Microsoft hoping for the best but preparing for the worst with Windows 8?

Is Microsoft hoping for the best but preparing for the worst with Windows 8?

Summary: The truth is that this change isn't really all that big of a deal.

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Interesting question from today's mailbag:

I noticed the other day that Microsoft has extended the support period of Windows Vista and Windows 7 to 10 years. Is this an indication that Microsoft hoping for the best with Windows 8, but at the same time preparing for the worst?

Good question!

On the face of it, it does indeed seem like Microsoft is preparing for Windows Vista and Windows 7 to be around for a long time, and it is putting the groundwork in place for people to be using these platforms until 2017 and 2020 respectively.

Maybe Microsoft thinks that Windows 8 will be a flop and that people will want to stick with the OS that they already have?

But the truth is that this change isn't really a very big deal.

Prior to this change in policy, consumer operating systems were supported for five years after their GA (General Availability, or release) date, and business operating systems are supported for 10 years (the last five years called 'extended support'). So, essentially what Microsoft is doing here is basically streamlining support and offering consumers the same level of support and protection that business users already receive. That makes a lot of sense really considering that it's mostly the same codebase and supporting both consumer and business versions doesn't add much in the way of workload.

What I felt was more interesting about this change in policy wasn't the change of policy itself, but the fact that Microsoft chose to do it silently. I thought that spoke more than the actual change itself (in that Microsoft didn't really want it publicized).

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Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

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  • It's a good thing

    Too much change for the sake of change. Windows 7 was a great follow-up to XP (I left out Vista on purpose). I don't expect a lot of clamoring for Windows 8.
    happyharry_z
    • Win7 is the new Xp

      I'll live with it for years to come. I will test the Win8, but will be very hard to convince me to move from 7 to 8. This SO is insanely good. Why I would do that?
      Nevellin
  • RE: But the truth is that this change isn???t really a very big deal.

    It's a big deal to many consumers and small businesses that are currently running Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium or Ultimate on their PCs. These Vista editions were scheduled to be EOL'd this coming April, 2012. Now those with Vista consumer editions won't be forced to upgrade to Windows 7 via either an OS upgrade on their existing PCs or by purchasing new PCs and can hang onto their money. This economy has many individuals, families and small businesses backs against the wall.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • You don't understand the rules of blogging

      1 - If Microsoft is set to release something new, you look for any reason to write that what they are going to release will fail.

      2 - If Apple is set to release something new, you look for any reason to praise what they are going to release.

      3 - If the new product is based on Ubuntu, then praise it and proclaim it a success while neglecting to mention that none of their previously hyped products has ever been successful.

      4 - For all other Linux based products, let your emotions take over and write touchy-feely phrases that proclaim your love of "freedom and openness". You will write a lot of words but say very little.
      otaddy
      • The Truth...

        Has been said. Close topic.
        Nevellin
      • Understanding

        You are so right! All of this Micr0$uck$ bashing has got to stop. When all these fools realize what they are missing with the LoseDoze Operating System (O/S) - installing the internet and browsing the web and point and click and cut and paste and multitasking and all of the things that are so insanely DIFFICULT if not outright IMPOSSIBLE to do with any other O/S - they will WANT it. They will DEMAND it.
        HackerJ
    • Why would anybody hold on to Vista

      I couldn't run away from that POS fast enough.
      ScorpioBlack
    • If Microsoft really cared about Vista users...

      If Microsoft really cared about Vista users they would give them a free upgrade to 7 as an apology. (My opinion.)
      mlashinsky@...
  • Adrian [FUD-spewing] Kingsley-Hughes

    [b]Article Title:[/b] [i]"Is Microsoft hoping for the best but preparing for the worst with Windows 8?"[/i]

    [b]But half-way down, the truth appears:[/b] [i]"But the truth is that this change isn???t really a very big deal."[/i]

    LOL. Do you get paid per line, or are you just shamelessly fear-mongering?
    marlin_s
    • Adrian[FUD-spewing} Kingsley-Hughes isn't related to Loverock Davidson

      I'm sure Adrian will be mifed at being compared to Loverock Davidson......maybe you should try again.........
      Over and Out
  • Silence

    Microsoft's PR department is most likely all hands on deck for the CP launch.

    Personally, I don't think they have anything to worry about with Windows 8, so far the only hatred seems to come from the usual crowd. Most seem open to giving it a go before judging, but if you really think about it, what are the only things that have changed?

    The Start Menu is now an interactive Start Screen, with its own set of apps... That's it! Well, unless you count the Ribbon in Explorer, other than that, it's still pretty much Windows 7 underneath.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • So why move up to 8?

      If I'm a desktop user what's my motive if I'm running 7? Oh, metro UI!!!

      Sorry, it doesn't impress me at all.
      SamWilkinson
      • Then continue

        With using 7. No one says you have to upgrade.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • And storage spaces, cloud roamed settings, better performance, and like 400

        more things. But since you're unimpressed please by all means sti this one out and spare us the drivel when W8 topics are discussed.
        Johnny Vegas
      • What does...

        impress you, exactly?
        kstap
      • We've heard all that dribble before, @Johnny Vegas

        [i]yawn[/i]
        ScorpioBlack
      • One of the oldest quotes in the tech world

        Heh. This is one of the oldest quotes in the tech world.

        "I'm happy with my Apple II! Why do I need an IBM PC or Mac?"

        "My Atari 800 has great sound and graphics, why do I need this GUI thing? Seems like a toy to me."

        "Networking seems a bit passe when you've got floppy drives."

        "This bizarre newfangled 'mouse' thing seems silly. Who needs that when you've got the arrow keys?"

        And so on.
        brianrmiller
    • So what line should we be using at ZDnet?

      1) New features offer exceptional value and will drive revenue. Changes will have adoption costs.

      2) Changes are insignificant, business as usual. MS is charging for a minor update?

      I have trouble keeping up. It appears the UI changes are significant and MS hopes will drive demand in a stagnant PC market.
      Richard Flude
  • I don't think it's going to have that big an impact

    Windows 7 had much more fanfare and publicity than this did because Vista was such a dog and left such a bad taste in the mouths of users....

    What's Windows 8 but just a lame attempt at answering the question "What's Microsoft's challenge to iPad/Android tablets?"...Windows 7 is a success, there's really no need for an upgrade yet. New PCs and MSDN free downloads will be most of the people on it...Windows 7 is still being adopted by the enterprise....you think people are going to just jump to Windows 8?

    We've got 50%+ on Windows 7
    Around 40% on Windows XP
    The rest on something else...

    I find it funny that Ballmer has laughed at every mobile innovation in the last ten years or so but everyone keeps on riding his coat tails when he realizes he screwed up and rushes to compete, and fails every time.

    It'll get voted down but it's true.
    SamWilkinson
    • How is Windows 8 a "failure"?

      You said it yourself, 40% of users are still using Windows XP. That's 40% potential market share right there. Microsoft is a valid competitor, and while you may not use their services, they by all means have not "failed".
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion