back to article Microsoft picks October 26 for Windows 8 launch

Mark October 26th down in your diary: that's the day Microsoft has chosen to release Windows 8 into the wild. Windows leader Steve Sinofsky revealed the release date at Microsoft's annual sales meeting today and Redmond quickly emitted an organic, engaging, and convincingly human blog post with the news and the image below to …

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  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Buy your put options

    101 days is ample time to generate enough FUD, badwill and rumors through word of mouth for this to be an instant flop. I'm going to bring this down like I brought down Vista (well, maybe it wasn't just me).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Apple

      Apple announce release of new iPhone will be on 27 October and the release of iOS 6 on the 25 October.

      Thus Microsoft will be so severely eclipsed that no one will realise they have released anything.

      1. Steve Evans

        @AC 06:42

        Looks like they've been following Government policy and burying bad news on busy news days.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Buy your put options

      OK, so you had a lucky shot with Vista (Hey, thanks!) but I'm afraid that, where the FUD, badwill and rumors game is concerned, Microsoft have wiped the floor with far better men than you and I --- and will continue to do so.

      But don't let me put you off trying :)

  3. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    101 is obviously code ... for something

    The simplest explanation is that 101 in binary is 5 decimal, which is a tacit acceptance that windows "8" is actually two steps backward and in no way an advance on Windows 7.

    (sure as every second Star Trek movie is shit, ...)

    1. wowfood

      Re: 101 is obviously code ... for something

      I think you'll find it's actually a reference to 101 dalmations. With Microsoft playing the part of Cruella Deville,

      1. Chika
        Coat

        Re: 101 is obviously code ... for something

        Or possibly it's a nod to those that might consider putting the whole Mtro experience into a certain Room...

    2. stephajn
      Thumb Up

      Re: 101 is obviously code ... for something

      "(sure as every second Star Trek movie is shit, ...)"

      That's too funny....because I was JUST commenting on that very idea to a coworker of mine when I showed her this story. Correct me if I am wrong...but I think the general acceptance of the Windows client operating system and it's quality goes something like this? (Starting with Windows 3.0)

      Windows 3.0 - CRAP

      Windows 3.1x - Better

      Windows 95 - CRAP

      Windows 98 - Better

      Windows ME - CRAP (Even Microsoft really wants to put that one behind them....)

      Windows XP - Better

      Windows Vista - CRAP

      Windows 7 - Better

      Windows 8 - A whole new world of CRAP reimagined

    3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  4. Gary F
    Facepalm

    Ready for a sales flop then, MS?

    Maybe Win8 is designed to boost sales of Win7 with fear that the better OS will be made unavailable after a short while?

    Did you know it's trendy to have a preference for the previous release? At long last, I'm one of the cool guys! ;-)

    Fast forward summer 2013 when Microsoft release SP1 for Win8 which includes the option to enable the traditional START menu. Why do we have to wait? You know you've got it wrong already, Microsoft!

    1. Spoonsinger
      Happy

      Re: Why do we have to wait?

      Classic Shell provides the old menu styles and also can do a straight to normal desktop thing for Windows 8.

      (http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why do we have to wait?

        You still have to resort to a silly batch file attached to the startup task to get rid of the original silly kiddies tile page. And you still see it for a couple of secs: well that's on my netbook, probably less on a faster PC.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why do we have to wait?

          Too many 'sillies' Sorry, forgot to edit. But then the tiled stuff is SILLY. And SO crude.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ready for a sales flop then, MS?

      Windows 8 is so contentious that people seem to have largely forgotten the UEFI issue that will create huge issues for OSS. Microsoft has Windows 7 to fall back on which I hear is quite a good Windows release.

      Microsoft has a large enough userbase that they can afford to put out a bad OS/UI to get most users/businesses onto the release previous and force through UEFI (a done deal on new hardware) while people don't notice as they are too worried about being stuck with Win 8/Metro.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ready for a sales flop then, MS?

        @Privacy: UEFI's secure boot will not create any problems for OSS/FOSS because if it couldn't be switched off, you'd not be able to install any previous versions of Windows, which is critical to hardware manufacturers and MS alike.

        That, and MS require that it can be switched off in their "It works with Windows 8" certification.

        Like it or not, BIOS has had its time and UEFI has been coming for a long time now, it's been on Intel Macs and Itanium machines since day one because BIOS is 25 years old, it's served us well, but now it needs to be put out to pasture.

        1. boltar Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Ready for a sales flop then, MS?

          "Like it or not, BIOS has had its time "

          No it hasn't. If anything we need something even simpler than the BIOS, not some over complicated pseudo OS like UEFI. All the ROM code has to do is allow you to change some boot and hardware settings then boot the OS.

          Thats it.

          Nothing more!

          I don't need built in drivers because I don't want the OS to use them. If drivers need updating I'll update the OS drivers , I DO NOT want to have to reflash the fecking firmware!

          I don't need a "boot policy manager". If there are any user policies required I'll set them up in the OS thanks.

          I don't need a "shell" to execute EFI applications. If I want to run an app I'll do it within the OS.

          If I wanted an OS built into ROM then I'll get an old 8 bit micro out of the cupboard and play with the built in BASIC. In the meantime Intel can take UEFI and shove it when the keyboard LEDs don't shine.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ready for a sales flop then, MS?

            "...All the ROM code has to do is allow you to change some boot and hardware settings then boot the OS...."

            Yes, it's really that simple. I'm sure that the engineers at Intel, Apple, IBM, HP, Dell, MS, etc. etc. are all wrong and someone on the Internet who can't string a coherent argument based on anything other than what he wants, is correct.

            1. boltar Silver badge
              WTF?

              Re: Ready for a sales flop then, MS?

              "Yes, it's really that simple."

              Yes , it is actually. They've been managing it for 40 years.

    3. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Ready for a sales flop then, MS?

      Wait - what?

      They really want people to pay for this?

  5. DJGM
    Megaphone

    The 11 year Hitch . . .

    That launch date is one day later than it ought to be. Why, you ask ... ?

    The full public retail launch date of Windows XP was on Thursday 25th October 2001.

    It would make sense for Windows 8 full launch to be on Thursday 25th October 2012.

    Two of the most important major release versions of Windows released exactly 11 years apart.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The 11 year Hitch . . .

      Two of the most important major release versions of Windows released exactly 11 years apart?

      what, ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaa

      Major (domestic) releases

      Win95

      Win98SE (at a push)

      WinXP

      Win7

      1. divx

        Re: The 11 year Hitch . . .

        Win 95 -> Win 8

        These are the major releases, win8 is completely different from any other OS, but haters gunna hate

  6. Homer 1
    Meh

    101 days until...

    ...Windows Doomsday.

    That's my impulsive response, anyway.

    In reality, this "launch" will pass without very many people even noticing, much less caring - more so even than the infamously lame Windows 7 Launch Party®. The nearest thing to any actual "excitement" will come months later, when Vole is forced to concede that Tiles® 8 is an abysmal flop, along with the equally fugly and unintuitive Orifice 2013.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 101 days until...

      Is this the same as the wonderfully retro 80's wallpaper iOS? So basic even those without a brain can use it and as fugly as its user base.

    2. IronSteve

      Re: 101 days until...

      Surely Orifice is a more suitable alias for Open Office....

      1. Euripides Pants
        Coat

        Re: 101 days until...

        Only if it's an Open Orifice....

      2. IronSteve

        Re: 101 days until...

        ...tough crowd :(

      3. Homer 1
        Windows

        Re: 101 days until...

        Actually, Mr. Iron, the word (in this context) was originally coined in reference to a piece of (albeit white-hat) hackers' software called Back Orifice, which is "a word play on Microsoft BackOffice Server", and "its purpose was to demonstrate the lack of security in Microsoft's operating system Windows 98".

        TBH, not much has changed in the last 14 years (except on the surface, and even then not exactly for the better).

  7. Tristan Young
    Thumb Down

    Windows 8 Metro, it's really just Vista reincarnate

    Just when I thought Microsoft had learned a lot of really, REALLY important lessons after the whole Windows Vista fiasco, Microsoft shows the world that it has a very, VERY short memory, and likes to make REALLY BAD mistakes over and over again.

    Boycott Windows 8, and show Microsoft that the user still holds the key to Microsoft's success.

    Metro, may as well call it Malware.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: Windows 8 Metro, it's really just Vista reincarnate

      Vista wasn't this bad.

      MetroUI is a total and utter disaster, Microsoft have put the need to sell up all new apps above users needs from an operating system.

      I won't be putting Windows 8 on any of our 1000 or so desktops, and any new hardware that comes with it, will be downgraded to Windows 7.

      The longer Microsoft continue with their new Microsoft Bob, the longer they will lose marketshare.

    2. Paul Anderson
      Happy

      Re: Windows 8 Metro, it's really just Vista reincarnate

      Ok Tristan. How exactly is Win8 'Vista incarnate'. Let's look at the whole Vista fiasco. First of all, it was not a commercial flop as it deployed to millions of PCs and I still know people who are running it. It was, however, an engineering cockup, with a architecture, driver model and security which caused no end of problems with hardware compatibility. Then there was the slowdown due to countless background tasks. So good riddance Vista. But hang on, what has this got to do with Win8 ? Vista's UI elements, such as Aero Glass, the new task switcher, etc., proved very popular. Win8's UI elements (i.e., Metro) have been subjected to a lot of criticism (not from me), but even the Preview (beta) releases of Win8 have proved surprisingly stable and fast. So much so, in fact, that I would consider Win8 Release Preview faster and more reliable than Vista ever was, and it's still not the release build.

      Is it possible you're just hopping on the Luddite, Win8 bashing bandwagon ? ;-)

      1. Chika

        Re: Windows 8 Metro, it's really just Vista reincarnate

        Actually, the problem here was in the analogy. Vista was a poor move as, apart from anything else, it was incomplete. If anything, Windows 7 is everything that Vista should have been and then some, and the comparison between W8 and Vista doesn't really stand up.

        The comparison between W8 and Bob, however, has a lot more weight. Bob was an attempt to change the front end to work with a specific demographic but seriously miscalculated the uptake based on an oversimplified, even patronising, design. Go look up the various sites on the subject to see examples. Microsoft are trying to cut their overheads by setting up a single OS and setting the front end to the lowest common denominator without considering what this is likely to mean to other users.

        Of course, this hasn't stopped third parties already looking at ways to get around all this. I've already tried ViStart and Stardock's outpourings, each with advantages and disadvantages at this point, and I suspect that this will continue to develop if Microsoft insist that the Metro front end and the bastardisation of the Windows 7 GUI underneath is to become the norm, but I suspect that while this might (and only might) be a good replacement for some of the small device systems that MS has put out, it has serious flaws for laptop and desktop users that may see the OS condemned to the same fate as old Bob. That would be a shame because there is promise otherwise.

  8. Robert E A Harvey
    Linux

    October 26th is PENGUIN DAY!

    1. Ole Juul

      History

      Actually, it's dangerously close to Halloween.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or looking at it another way

      October 26th is Linux on the desktop day.

      err...

  9. Silverburn
    Windows

    October 26th. Sorry MS - busy that day. I've an intensive nose picking session planned, and its going to be far more satisfying than enduring Metro on a non-touch PC.

  10. Phoenix50
    Thumb Up

    Can't wait - really looking forward to it!

    And no, I'm being quite serious.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nurse! —He's got out of bed again.

    2. B4PJS
      Thumb Up

      Yup, looking forward to it as well. Really liking Office 2013 too. Now they just need to announce WP8 release date and I am set for my winter spending spree :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Someone's escaped from the asylum! You naughty boy you.

  11. Medium Dave
    Pint

    Time to dig out...

    ..."101 Uses for a Dead Cat", and see how many can be applied to a crap OS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      101 uses for a dead OS...

      ... 1) Artistic wall mural.

      1. Glyn 2

        Re: 101 uses for a dead OS...

        Unartistic wall mural

  12. Freakyfeet

    Fantastic

    Can I install it on my HP Touchpad ?

    Oh

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    Hands up...

    All those who are going to spend the night on the street, queuing up to buy as soon as the shops open...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hands up...

      I see that as a positive! Its users are not as stupid as to Q on a street, which is the EMPITOME of TRAGIC.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Room 101

    As that's clearly where Windows 8 will end up.

    The fact it's locked down so you can't install any other browser, and can't install any other OS (as it forces the use of EFI rather than BIOS) means even hardware manufacturers will feel the pinch.

    1. Miek
      Linux

      Re: Room 101

      I installed Chrome on it when I gave it a test. What's your point AC?

      Not defending it or anything.

    2. nematoad Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Room 101

      "The fact it's locked down so you can't install any other browser".

      Oh and how likely is that given the mess MS are in with the EU over its "technical error" in removing the browser ballot screen on new Windows PCs?

      Not very, in my opinion.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Room 101

      "....and can't install any other OS (as it forces the use of EFI rather than BIOS) means even hardware manufacturers will feel the pinch."

      Can you install rival OS on an Apple?

      1. magnetik
        WTF?

        Re: Room 101

        "Can you install rival OS on an Apple?"

        Of course you can, where have you been the last six years?

      2. Wensleydale Cheese

        Re: Room 101

        @Obviously!

        "Can you install rival OS on an Apple?"

        Yep. Via Bootcamp or if you really want to you can zap Apple^s OS X and put Windows 7 or Linux on it.

        1. Silverburn
          Stop

          Re: Room 101

          Actually, you can't zap the OSX partition. OSX needs to stay.

          But you can set OSX partition to something tiny, and the default boot partition to the bootcamped one.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Room 101

      Did you think about that before you vomited it onto your keyboard?

      If Win8 required UEFI rather than BIOS, do you think that, maybe, they may reduce their install base somewhat?

      Also, if MS prevent the installation of other browsers, maybe they'd get into anti-trust suits again?

      Critical thinking is dead, it seems.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Room 101

      http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/09/22/protecting-the-pre-os-environment-with-uefi.aspx

      written by the Beast itself, so you may want to adjust seasoning to reflect your own prejudices taste.

  15. Levente Szileszky
    FAIL

    Beginning of the end...

    ...of this big, impotent behemoth as we know it today ie the rule of clueless, half-idiotic, pigheaded, arrogant old farts like Ballmer and his ilks (Sinofski, Belfiore etc) is surely coming to an end in a couple of years, thanks God.

    W8 will a *bigger* flop than Vista was, it's quite obvious - all one has to do is go online and read the hatred this tacky-broken utter junk called Metro provoked.

    Time to disappear, you clueless bald, fat, angry troll and take your shills with you; it's time for the young and smart to take over and get this obese, slow-moving, impotent behemoth up to speed again.

    1. Silverburn

      Re: Beginning of the end...

      "Calm down dear..."

      I wouldn't be too negative - people like you cast the same negative 'it's-certain-to-fail' doom on the ipad, and look what happened to that.

      It'll sell, no doubt about that. Will it change the computing world, and catapult MS back to the top of the "must have" heap? God no. The unrelenting slow slide in fortunes will continue unabated.

  16. Godwhacker
    FAIL

    Oh God

    Nobody wants this.

    1. Keith 72

      Re: Oh God

      I'll find the Storage Spaces functionality very useful.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh God

      "Nobody wants this."

      I do, but then I use Linux and do enjoy a bit of Schadenfreude.

  17. streeeeetch

    Heaven or Hate

    I wonder is there's a hidden meaning here Windows 7 (Windows Heaven)... Windows 8 (Windows Hate).

    We'll have to wait and see.

  18. Keith 72
    WTF?

    What's with all the Vista comparisons?

    Vista sucked because of excessive minimum requirements, poor performance and compatibility problems with peripherals because they'd rushed it to market without adequately preparing the ecosystem. Windows 8 is not going to have those problems. It's got a new user interface. Oooh. Get over it. You can either embrace it and possibly like it, or you can take a couple of easy painless steps to work around it and move on.

    1. Silverburn

      Re: What's with all the Vista comparisons?

      Windows 7 & 8 still have the same crazy hardware requirements - it's just that those hardware requirements are easily and cheaply available now, and the stuff you buy off the shelf easily exceeds it.

      This is not a virtue on MS - it's just the pace of hardware development overtook the minimum requires. And even then, MS are just taking a more "liberal" view on what minimum means. To have an actual real-life useable and unlaggy machine still needs pretty significant hardware.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's with all the Vista comparisons?

      I agree, it's unfair to compare Vista with Win8.

      Doing that is a serious insult to Vista.

      I'm using Vista, on a 4-year old PC (assembled in 2008). Vista is Win7 without a fancier taskbar. All other changes are minuscule and cosmetic. Vista = Win7, more or less.

      When properly patched up, (Windows Vista SP2+ all Windows Update patches), Vista is a competent and stable OS.

      Windows 8 will fail because it is by design a schizophrenic OS, trying to force the desktop user into utilizing a touch-centric UI. Horizontal scrolling and lockscreen? That's madness.

      And on the battle of touch-centric devices, Windows (and Windows Phone) 8 devices will fail, simply because Android and Apple have dominated too much and there isn't room for a third major player.

      If you have MSFT stocks, it's best if you let go of them now.

      Better luck with Windows 9 (coming in 2014?), Microsoft..

      1. Chris Parsons Bronze badge

        Re: What's with all the Vista comparisons?

        Absolutely, Vista, fully-patched, is just fine - as long as it has a reasonable amount of memory.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "101 days will be required to develop a credible explanation for just how Metro, Windows 8's oft-pondered new interface, will improve the computing experience."

    Were still waiting for Apple to explain how MAC OS improves the computing experience!

    If you’re still banging on about Apple, you need to start "thinking differently" and stop following the crowd.

    I will evaluate the OS on its strengths and reserve judgement, unlike the commentards here, who are oh so clever they already know how Win8 will work, etc.....

    And at least Redmond are moving forward, not stuck with the same OLD interface on OSX/iOS (good old 80's wallpaper).

    I'm not advocating it, but I will not prejudge. Suppose that makes me a considered consumer and not a follower. (Not that 1/2 of these commentards could comprehend the concept)

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      I think you'll find...

      ... that a lot (or at least some) of people with negative comments about Win8 have tried the betas, so it's not that they are 'so clever they already know' -- they have some foundation for their current opinions.

    2. HandleOfGod
      Meh

      At last, a bit of considered opinion amongst all the frothing at the mouth and predictions of doom.

      I was listening to a report on the Today program this morning (which was mostly about Nokia but dealt with Microsoft) which described the previews of Windows 8 as a very exciting development and well received. Could they really be talking about the same thing I read about day in day out on Reg message boards?

      It never ceases to amaze me the extent to which techies are utterly divorced from the reality of man-in-the-street usage of IT, irrespective of whether that is as consumers in the home or end users in the workplace. A more focused "if it doesn't suit my particular needs then it's rubbish and will fail" you will never see.

      The reason Microsoft has been as successful as it has is because it understood early on that the world was not run by techies and targeted its output accordingly. Apple have taken this approach, refined it and targeted a higher end of the market with what is (at basic level) the same approach. Joe Public doesn't care if Apple are stifling innovation because they sue Samsung etc every time they sneeze, most of my users don't even know what OS they have on their computers or on their phones (home or work). It's of no interest to them - they just want to be able to get to Google / Facebook or whatever. If Windows 8 ships on as OEM on new desktops and Joe Public can still find Google and Facebook then he won't care a jot.

      I will reserve judgment on Windows 8 until I have actually spent some time using it. If it doesn't work EXACTLY the same way that I work now I might actually think about changing how I work to work better with the new system (just like I did when moving from XP to 7). If one thing has surprised me here, it's not that people are damning Microsoft for doing something differently than before it's the extent to which technically knowledgeable people are sounding just as change averse as their non-technical fellows.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Handleofgod

        Yes, I heard Today as well and it was quite refreshing to hear someone - who obviously knew what he was talking about and could not be accused of being an MS Shill - talking up Win8. As for:

        "It never ceases to amaze me the extent to which techies are utterly divorced from the reality of man-in-the-street usage of IT, irrespective of whether that is as consumers in the home or end users in the workplace"

        I think you have it bang on.

      2. Rabbit80
        FAIL

        RE: HandleOfGod

        Here's a question for you.. Have you tried to remotely log in to a Win8 machine yet?

        If, like me you run a high resolution monitor and you attempt to log into a Win8 PC thats connected via an ADSL connection with a 512Kb upload, it is IMPOSSIBLE to use. When it is windowed, Win8's hot corners are impossible to hit and over a remote connection, the start screen with all its glitzy icons is so slow it is completely unusable. Things like the charms bar are simply inaccessible. At least with ANY previous version of Windows, you can turn all the fancy effects off.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @HandleOfGod

        "At last, a bit of considered opinion amongst all the frothing at the mouth and predictions of doom."

        What? An Anti-Apple, Microsoft-Lovin' troller = considered opinion?

        Surely you jest?

      4. Glyn 2
        Devil

        hmm

        Having spent the day showing common ordinary people to use W7 after finally moving from XP, which isn't that big a UI leap, I think that the shift to Metro will be very disruptive. Glad I don't work for PC world, geeksquad or any other home user servicing company. They'll be inundated.

  20. Steve Coburn

    Doomsday

    Is this maybe what the Myans' predicted?

  21. Techs UK
    Go

    A brilliant consumer experience in Windows

    Hey, this is going to be great for Windows, and non techies. discovering and finding apps, with or without touch, chromeless gui options.

    Brilliant - first thing i normally do is maximize and application windows anyway.

    the video/music/game experience will be cool.

    we'll be able to put some good stuff together for the management to live in metro gui's, etc. this is great. well done microsoft - you had to do it - no choice. Windows would be dead for sure if you didn't do this.

    And, yes, I have used W8 it a lot.

    1. Cucumber C Face
      Unhappy

      Re: A brilliant consumer experience in Windows

      Techs UK

      Are you a car driver?

      The basic user interface for automobiles coalesced fairly early - drivers from the 1930's or even earlier would have little difficulty adapting to the controls and instrumentation of a modern automobile.

      Similarly a near optimum desktop computer UI paradigm was set in the 1980s by Apple.

      The UI paradigm for tablets is different - arguably Apple nailed it first again - but it's nothing like the optimum 'power' desktop design!

      Say when skateboards came along, car manufacturers had mandated that automobiles could henceforth only be steered using your feet and brakes applied by leaning backwards and clenching your buttocks?

      Perhaps if you want to be have the option to drive your car with a flaky interface and it suits you - then brilliant. However why are UI designers (and it's not just MS) abandoning the rest of us?

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        FAIL

        Re: A brilliant consumer experience in Windows

        Oops. Some sort of award required for the analogy FAIL there.

        The first mass-produced car, the Ford Model T, set the standard. The fact that at one time 50% of the entire world's cars were Model T's says it all here. In that car, the three pedals are one to switch gear ratios, one to engage reverse and a transmission brake. There is no clutch. Two levers operate the parking brake / neutral selector and the high/low ratio axle. The throttle is operated vis a lever on a quadrant attached to the steering column.

        So in actual fact that car UI you are so fond of has undergone a major change. More than once. Go back a bit further and you find tiller steering control with hand operated brakes become rather more common than other mechanisms. Move on a bit and we get automatic transmissions (one fewer pedal), a wealth of parking brake options (hand operated with a variety of detents and positions, foot operated and now switch operated), automated chokeing / enrichment, also ignition advance / retard and more switchgear variations than you can shake a stick at.

        Your bloke from the '30s would be rather puzzled by a modern car. How's it supposed to be started without a choke, an advance/retard lever and a starter button to press once you've turned it on with the key? Hang on, starter buttons are making a comeback, so he might be lucky on that one. Then again, if it were an auto he'd be a bit stuffed (Aha! "D" means "Forwards"...........???????).

      2. HandleOfGod

        Re: A brilliant consumer experience in Windows

        I'm not sure that's a valid comparison though. The layout of the "user interface" of a car is based in a mechanical 3D environment and is largely related to the physiology of the human user in a seated position facing forward with feet and arms outstretched. This pretty much dictated the starting point of where things need to go.

        This simply is not the case with computers. The OS is basically just a flat rectangle in front of the user, the specific layout of things on that rectangle and how you switch between them is not governed by the physiological givens of the human form. The creators of the interface therefore have a lot more freedom to move things around and try different ways of working. Obviously physical interaction with the device is governed by the human form but again the constraints are much less specific than they are for driving a vehicle.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A brilliant consumer experience in Windows

        "...a near optimum desktop computer UI paradigm was set in the 1980s by Apple..."

        Yeah, when was the last time you used an Apple Lisa or original Mac? I've got one, it's not as good as you remember, some of the concepts were good, but these are all built on organic development going back much further than you may imagine. Most early Apple software had to be run in full screen because of the pitiful screen resolution, and the OS while nice, was a glorified task switcher, which could occasionally overlay windows.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A brilliant consumer experience in Windows

          Who says he's talking about the Apple Lisa or original Mac?

          Try 'just' a little later and you'll be spot-on. About this time Microsoft decided to copy enough of the UI to make their OS run quite nicely.

          I'm not sure which machines you were using - but I was using nice high-resolution greyscale screens a few years before the 90s with tons of windows all over the place.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reality Check

    I have just spent a couple of hours doing regular checks on a customers Windows 2000 servers.

    I dont think I need to worry about Windows 8 yet.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm going to slay a Dalmatian a day in preparation for the big day.

  24. John H Woods Silver badge
    Joke

    I hope it's fast...

    you wouldn't want to release software called W8 and have people complaining of ... err...

  25. Wize

    I'm thinking of buying a new PC

    With the likes of PC World and other suppliers holding a stock of pre-installed machines, I expect the W7 machines price to drop a bit. May hold off till nearer the time and hope for a bargain.

    1. richard 7

      Re: I'm thinking of buying a new PC

      Or you could stop lining the pockets of these companies whi will inevitably sell you crap that wont outlast its warranty and get a decent PC from an Indie that will last. Just a thought.

      For my ten penneth worth. My monitors are on a vesa bracket about 2' from me, so yeah, really suited to using metro and touch. Thats not a disconnect with reality thats just a fact.

    2. Keith 72

      Re: I'm thinking of buying a new PC

      They'll probably just offer a free upgrade to Win8, so I shouldn't imagine it'll be a window of opportunity to get a bargain.

  26. jamie m

    Windows 8 does work for users

    I've been following W8 since the first preview release. I'd got frustrated at the change in UI and the user experience when installing it on my PC's. Just like many of the commenters here I'd been prepared to write it off and continue with W7.

    Two things have changed my mind.

    1) Installing W8 on a Samsung Slate. It doesn't really matter that the install and set up process was almost as painless as installing OS X, but the user experience of W8 on a touch device just works. The metro interface is easy to use for tablet type tasks and there is still the ability to access non-metro applications. I expect that software producers will over time re-target those apps that are appropriate to the metro interface further improving my use of the tablet.

    2) I loaned my tablet and a keyboard to a very non-technical friend and after just a couple of minutes walking them through the screen they took to it with no problems. They didn't care about loosing the start menu, they were already comfortable with the idea of scrolling through pages of icons from their smart phone. When using the tablet they had a seamless transition between keyboard, mouse and touch screen and didn't have a bad word to say about it.

    As a technically competent person I am getting on with learning how to get the most out of Metro. The step seems much smaller than going from NT to XP.

    My "typical user" seems much less resistant to change than I expected and sees W8 as a fusion of their smart phone and PC.

    1. Jason Hall

      Re: Windows 8 does work for users

      Erm... a UI designed to be used on tablets/touch-screens being nice to use on a touch-screen?

      Nooooooo - you don't say?

      The problem most of us here have with it is THAT WE AREN'T GOING TO BE USING IT ON TOUCH SCREENS!

      (Sorry for the shouting. I just thought you needed to start listening).

      If Microsoft have managed to produce a nice interface for using it with touch screens, then great. Brilliant. It'll be a nice change of pace for them to get something right first time.

      Metro is not a good interface for a machine which does not have a touch interface. It's that simple.

      If the average user gets confused and cross from the change from Xp to Vista/7, or completely lost when changing to the ribbon in Office then they are going to have an absolute ball-ache of a time with Win 8.

      1. Wensleydale Cheese
        WTF?

        Re: Windows 8 does work for users

        @Jason Hall

        "The problem most of us here have with it is THAT WE AREN'T GOING TO BE USING IT ON TOUCH SCREENS!"

        I fired up the preview version of Server 2012 the other day. When I loaded a CD I got the expected first time around Autorun dialogue (isn't it time they dropped that?).

        That dialogue suggested that I "Tap here" to get more information.

        WTF, a touch screen on a server?

        P..S. Yes, I know the recommendation is to run Server 2012 in a headless configuration, but I've gpt to find my way around the whole thing if I'm going to support it.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Remember Windows ME ? How about Vista?

    ME was the ugly child in-between Win98 and WinXP, as Vista was between WinXP and Windows7

    I can't help thinking the same fate awaits Windows 8.

    We're still seeing a significant market share for windows XP - mostly in business.

    Windows 7 is a worthy successor - and currently (depending who you believe) enjoying about 50% market share.

    We all know what Windows 8 is about - it's microsofts "late to the party" attempt to turn around the disaster they've had with mobile/touch devices and interfaces.

    They are forcing it into the Desktop paradigm where I'm fairly certain, it'll get a resounding thumbs-down by IT across the planet - many of whom are still to upgrade to Windows 7.

    That leaves it with tablets, phones, touch screen laptops and the poor individuals who purchase new desktop PC's with it installed.

    Microsoft are so far behind the curve on mobile, they haven't a hope in hell of catching up.

    There's nothing cool about Microsoft, there never was.

    If your not cool, your not going to appeal to the market that uses touch interface mobile devices, regardless of how good your product is.

    Windows 8 is DOA.

  28. William Hinshaw
    Devil

    A new Best Seller 101 ways to kill Metro aka Bob 2

    The new download from Steam complete with animation and sound effects of Metro (aka Bob 2) dieing some most horrible deaths while at the same time removing and replacing the interface with one of the older themes. Have lots of different entertaining ways to kill the Bob 2 interface with extreme prejudiced.

    OH and have the email addresses of those responsible for this travesty available so that you can e-mail them just n what ways you have killed the Metro interface so far and just how much you hate it.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hurry! Go get more copies of Windows 7!

    About 3 months left now. They will be collectible items.

    Before you know it, Windows 7 will be phased out, and you'll only see the maddening Metro tiles at tech retail stores.

  30. plrndl
    Linux

    Diary

    Could be a good day to short M$ shares.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Happy as I am, thanks..

    Years ago, I worked for a company that did stuff for the MOD and when we went to Windows 2000 from NT they still insisted all electronic media was readable by Windows 3.1, which they had locked down the way THEY wanted. I wonder if they have got NT secure enough yet? (Anon, for obvious reasons)

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