Yes, it can be saved
No, it can't be saved
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
Best Argument: Yes, it can be saved
Audience Favored: Yes, it can be saved (54%)
'I’m not dead yet!'
My worthy opponent has only two arguments, which he repeats in every answer.
First, Windows 8 PCs aren’t selling. Second, the “Metro UI” is awful.
The current slump in PC sales is not a verdict on Windows. It’s the economy, Steven. In Q4, Apple said Mac sales declined roughly 22 percent. Is the MacBook Air dead? Hardly.
My opponent cites Gartner’s projections but ignores their more recent numbers: 1.7 billion Windows devices of all types will be sold in the next five years, including 250 million Ultramobiles - the kind of hybrid device that Windows 8 was designed for. Not dead yet.
Critics of the Windows 8 UI are loud, but there’s strong evidence that people really like it. If the missing Start menu bothers you, try Start8, which my opponent admits has been downloaded 3 million times. Fixed.
Six years ago, my opponent called Windows Vista “the walking dead.” Sound familiar? But the Aero interface he loves so much debuted in Vista and matured in Windows 7.
Windows 8 is solid at its core, and Microsoft today is far more disciplined than in the Vista era. With some usability tweaks and some hot hardware, it will survive to torment Mr. Vaughan-Nichols for years.
Causes of Windows 8 Death
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
The subject, Windows 8, is a not quite seven month-old operating system. According to witnesses , it was born with a congenital defect called "Metro." This fatal flaw, combined with other factors, such as partner poisoning, led to its premature death.
I said at the start that this wasn't a debate, it was an autopsy and I've seen no reason to shift my position. My worthy opponent has been trying to recast Windows 8 from being a stand-alone product to be taken on its own merits to being only part of an evolutionary chain leading to the sure-to-be-much-better Windows 8.1, aka Blue. Balderdash!
I've been hammering on Windows 8's market numbers, which are far worse than Vista's pathetic numbers, because while most issues in operating system discussions can be a matter of opinion the simple sad truth is that Windows 8 has failed to find an audience. With all the advantages of essentially owning the desktop market, with having years to roll Windows 8 out, Microsoft was still unable to talk users into using it.
I'm reminded of the baseball New York Yankees or football's Manchester United in their worst years when they'd spend more than anyone else in their sports, and still fail miserably. You can talk all you want about how the next season, or the next version, will be better. That's fine. But, just by doing that alone, you admit that today's team, today's product has failed.
Maybe Blue, this next evolutionary step, will be better. We don't know. But Windows 8.0? It can't be saved because it's already dead and there's no emergency room that can shock it back to life.
Bloodsport and a good show
This debate was arguably our most entertaining one yet. It captured the bloodsport that is the Windows 8 debate.
Ed Bott had a strong argument with many nuances to note. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols had two tricks---the UI stinks, and tablets and smartphones trump PCs---and they were damn good tricks.
Personally, I think Microsoft is going to need Windows 9 to put Windows 8 behind it. But I had to put aside the crowd's comments, the vote and my personal bias to judge the arguments on the page. On that front, I have to give the argument to Ed, but found Steven's Metro happy rebuttal blistering and comical at times.
Overall, hats off to both for a good show. Ed gets the win.