You will decide whether Windows 8 is a success or a failure

You will decide whether Windows 8 is a success or a failure

Summary: What do YOU think of Windows 8 so far? Take our poll.

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There's a lot of debate lately as to whether Windows 8 will be a flop, a success, or just some in between. Here at ZDNet we've got a lot of thoughts on the matter. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols offered up five reasons why he thinks Windows 8 will be dead on arrival. I countered with my own set of five reasons why I think Windows 8 won't be a flop, and then David Gewirtz joined in, telling us why Windows 8 matters for real work, and so will Windows 9.

As you can see, opinions are divided, even by pundits. But the success and failure of Windows 8 won't be decided by pundits, it'll be decided by people like you, folks who buy PCs at home, for a small office, or for a large enterprise. That's how the success or failure of Windows 8 will be decided; not on websites, blogs, or forums.

I also think that it's rather premature to be declaring Windows 8 dead based on how little information we have about the platform. We have the developer preview (which is now quite long in the tooth) and we have a bunch of blog posts from the Building Windows 8 blog. Between those two resources there's a lot of information to digest, but we still don't have a beta or consumer preview or whatever Microsoft will call what it releases next.

From what I've seen so far I see two key, maybe even killer, features present in the new operating system:

I also see risks, specifically relating to tablet pricing, system requirements, the possible increased cost of Windows 8 systems, Microsoft making big UI changes like dumping the Start button, and the heavy focus (not to mention ambiguity) Microsoft is placing on Metro UI and touch.

So, I'm interested in hearing from you. Based on what you've seen of Windows 8 so far, what do you think of Microsoft's next operating system? Do you think that it will be a success or a failure?

[poll id="753"]

If you could expand on your thoughts in the TalkBack section, I'd love to read what you think of Microsoft's new OS and how you see things panning out.

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Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

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Talkback

70 comments
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  • It is too early

    The development preview was decent enough, but not ready for prime time. They have some work to do. We will be able to judge better by the end of the month.
    Michael Alan Goff
  • RE: You will decide whether Windows 8 is a success or a failure

    Once the consumer preview is available the picture will be a little clearer, but I am leaning toward success.
    clcrockett
  • RE: You will decide whether Windows 8 is a success or a failure

    Please define a success ?? Even if it is a piece of crap, it will be the only OS available on NON Apple Computers, so it is going to sell, and if it really is a piece of crap then Microsoft will sell a downgrade license to Win 7 and make more money.
    mrlinux
    • I totally agree with you

      @mrlinux
      "Please define a success ??"

      It is so predictable that the people who predicted that their favorite products are going to be successful and the people who predicted that their most hated products are going to be failures, are the ones who after the fact get to make up the definition of the criteria that guarantee they were correct with their predictions.

      Also interesting to see how the same person will come up with wildly different definitions of success based on the company behind the product. The Apple fanboi thinks Apple TV is a success because it broke even and shipped a million units last quarter. That same fanboi will think Vista was a failure however because it made billions and shipped hundreds of millions of units.
      toddybottom_z
      • RE: You will decide whether Windows 8 is a success or a failure

        @toddybottom_z

        Exactly! Windows 8 is a new operating system for a new world!

        I have friends who see no good reason to upgrade from XP and, for themselves, they are not wrong. I VMd the 7 beta and loved it and bought 7 as soon as it was available. Its a fabulous OS that had a few quirks that Microsoft is continuing to fix.

        I VMd Windows 8 and found it to be nice but very different. The Metro UI is the first step in Microsoft's creating a new OS for a 'new mobile world' full of tablets, netbooks, smartphones, etc. If they hadn't made the change then all the MS 'haters' would be criticizing them for not keeping up with the changes in platforms.

        People are resistant to any change - see XP hanger-ons - and 8 will be no different than Vista or 7 in that some will hang on to the old for some period of time before they upgrade their hardware and the accompanying OS.

        James@Santa Barbara
        James-SantaBarbara
      • J Hartsock. You are dead on. Thank you sir!

        No matter what MS does, their frantic haters will spin it as a failure. As you said, if win8 was just enhancements to win7 with same UI, they would have laughed how MS was out of touch with today's technology.
        If you are a Windows user or a fan of the product, you can take comfort in knowing that much attention is only given to the super stars, by the Wannabes who are only showing their envious nature.
        It's really kind of funny, yet a little sad too.
        xuniL_z
  • I think you are being naive, Adrian

    Windows Vista was sunk primarily because of pundits' frontal attacks and FUD campaigns. MS allowed that to happen because they didn't have all the ducks in row for launch (3rd party driver vendors - especially nVidia - offered sub-standard and crash-happy drivers). But it the bad rep created by pundits stuck.<br><br>That is exactly what SJVN tried to do again with Windows 7. And what a lot of MS detractors try again and again. First it was "Stick to XP". Now it becomes "stick to Windows 7". It is a transparent attempt at preempting a success.<br><br>And your fellow blogger SJVN is the most transparent of the bunch.
    honeymonster
    • RE: You will decide whether Windows 8 is a success or a failure

      @honeymonster

      Uhh, no. Lack of quality drivers is what sunk Vista before it went out the gate. Microsoft didn't release it to OEMs and hardware companies to get drivers for it in time for the public release.
      benched42
      • RE: You will decide whether Windows 8 is a success or a failure

        @benched42 You realize that's exactly what he said, right?
        Aerowind
      • You're kidding right?

        @benched42

        The development time for drivers in Windows Vista was still longer than it was for Windows 7.

        Many companies just didn't want to update their drivers though, and instead thought that the long development time (they did reset it in 2004 due to failures in implementing Longhorn features) was enough excuse to market new hardware products for Windows Vista support instead. Remember that Windows pushes a lot of the computer hardware upgrade cycle.
        Joe_Raby
    • You forgot to mention the magical Vista capable fiasco

      However, fairly succinct, somewhat useful.

      You also forgot one other thing, the humanoid in the street would take more notice of commentary on a football team's prospects than anything a tech pundit would ever say, good, bad or whatever.
      ego.sum.stig
    • RE: You will decide whether Windows 8 is a success or a failure

      @honeymonster

      I would not worry to much about SJVN's predictions, his track record demonstrates a complete lack of IT knowledge.

      His bias against MS makes me think he applied for a job at Microsoft and was rejected.
      powellwi
    • Vista failed to be successful because

      @honeymonster .. it introduced a new driver model, and it was a long time before there were many drivers around. Thus hardware support was patchy. Windows 8, I believe, uses the existing Windows 7 driver model, so will come onto a market with good hardware support.
      tony@...
  • I believe that Win8 will be a failure on the Desktop

    What seems to be missing in all the opinions, is the costs involved. XP is still out there at just under 50%. As these systems fail due to age of hardware, they are being replaced with Win7 systems. All those customized apps for those systems have probably have been rewritten for Win7 and IE8 or 9.

    Microsoft has stated that any hardware that runs Win8 must be Win8 certified. All these organizations that have Win7 already installed, will not dump all this hardware and replace these systems with new hardware.

    All the current applications will need to be rewritten for Metro interface and be repurchased for these new Win8 systems. The jury is still out on whether the new security boot feature will even allow any other legacy Windows applications or OS to run, except for Win8. Add the costs for labor to replace those systems, rewrite again all the customized apps so that they run on Win8, training, etc...and those costs will be just too prohibited to justify Win8 on any desktop.

    As stated in articles from other trade magazines, businesses have be quoted that Win8 for the desktop, is DOA for the reasons listed above. Many of them still have XP systems and are just getting those replaced.

    No, I don't think it looks very promising for Win8, especially on the desktop. Certified hardware and the Metro UI will be the big failures for Win8.
    linux for me
    • Are you sure about this?

      @linux for me
      "Microsoft has stated that any hardware that runs Win8 must be Win8 certified."

      I've heard that tablets will have to fulfill certain hardware requirements but nothing about desktops. I've also never heard that Windows 8 will not run on uncertified systems. I've only heard that if you want your system be marketed as Windows 8 certified, it must have certain hardware like secure boot enabled. However, nothing stops anyone from selling uncertified systems or installing Windows 8 on uncertified systems. Companies will not have to get rid of all their hardware if they want to move to Windows 8, at least from what I've read.

      If you have links to what you are talking about, please share them. I suspect they don't say what you are really hoping they say.
      toddybottom_z
      • RE: You will decide whether Windows 8 is a success or a failure

        @toddybottom_z Large enterprizes care a lot about vendor support. If MS says Win 8 needs certified hardware and we don't listen, we don't get support. Our on-site MS rep will shrug and tell us he can't help. So no, we won't do something that is not explicitly supported.
        JoeFoerster
      • RE: You will decide whether Windows 8 is a success or a failure

        "If MS says Win 8 needs certified hardware and we don't listen, we don't get support."

        Do you have any links to support your statement that Microsoft is going to, for the first time ever, withdraw Windows support from an enterprise if they run a version of Windows on hardware that was not certified for that version of Windows when it was sold? That would be an amazing piece of information because this would signify a huge shift in Microsoft's support policy. If this is true, we need to know about it so we can make a stink and get Microsoft to cancel this proposed change in its support policy. Microsoft currently offers full support for Windows 7 even if it is running on hardware that does not have a Windows 7 Certified sticker on it so you'll pardon me if I don't simply take your word for it that this change in their support policy is coming. Do you have any links to support your claim?
        toddybottom_z
      • RE: You will decide whether Windows 8 is a success or a failure

        @toddybottom_z

        Support will be given by Microsoft IF a pc meets the minumum requirements, these are exactly the same as for Windows 7. Linux for me seems to be mixing things up here. He also does on the application front, any native app that now runs on Windows 7 will also run on Windows 8.
        How any application running on win32 al of a sudden needs to be rewritten voor metro is complete nonsense, win32 is still present in Windows 8, and even on arm, all that is needed is a recompile to arm, as it seems the desktop and win32 might be present on arm devices as well.
        sjaak327
    • RE: You will decide whether Windows 8 is a success or a failure

      @linux for me

      "What seems to be missing in all the opinions, is the costs involved. XP is still out there at just under 50%. As these systems fail due to age of hardware, they are being replaced with Win7 systems."

      A growing # of those systems are being replaced with Macs. Witness Apple's increasing marketshare for OS X and the slow declining of Windows machines.

      Not a huge deal right now but inertia may keep the trend going - it's been going on for years now already.
      itguy10
      • RE: You will decide whether Windows 8 is a success or a failure

        @itguy10

        At the rate this increase has been going on in say the last 5 years, we might even see osx being bigger then Windows somewhere in the next century ! Allthough I assume the chance of that ever happening is next to zero, anyone who supports comouting in the enterprise knows why, the absence of tools to centrally manage these machines. The slowly and marginally increasing marketshare for osx (highly off topic by the way, this is about Windows 8) doesn't come from the enterprise.
        sjaak327