back to article Windows 8: Microsoft will declare victory, but will anyone believe it?

If you’re having a hard time getting excited about Windows 8, you’re not alone. While Microsoft has steadily ramped up expectations and extolled the new operating system’s virtues for much of the last year, few of the software company’s traditional manufacturing partners and channel solution providers are seeing much …


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  1. Turtle

    On the other hand...

    Here is a link to study by Roland showing *very* significant gains in audio performance:

    "Summary and Analysis: The results of the benchmarks were surprisingly good! Windows 8 performed better than Windows 7 across the board in all categories, and in many cases with fairly dramatic performance gains."

    Anyone involved either as a professional or a serious amateur is going to have to look carefully at Win 8 and decide if the gains available in performance are worth the discomfort of the its Metro/Classic split personality.

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: On the other hand...

      As far as I'm aware, most people use Macs for music production. Will Windows 8 be good enough to encourage them to switch to Windows? I doubt it.

      1. Turtle

        Re: On the other hand...

        "As far as I'm aware, most people use Macs for music production."

        In my experience, this is not true. And I know many people, both professional musicians and studio owners, who switched from Mac to WIndows. I can not think of anyone whom I know personally who has gone from Windows to Mac.

        "Will Windows 8 be good enough to encourage them to switch to Windows? I doubt it."

        And you are basing this opinion on what?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: On the other hand...

          As a professional musician my experience is that maybe 1 in 10 people I come across in the business use PCs with the rest preferring Macs. I personally know many people who have switched from PC to Mac to avoid problems with third party hardware where they'd rather just be getting on making music than sitting down trying to get the right ASIO driver to run with their particular config. I don't know anyone who has switched platform the other way.

          But that's anecdotal evidence for you - we'll all see something different depending on our circumstances. ;)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: On the other hand...

            "I personally know many people who have switched from PC to Mac to avoid problems with third party hardware where they'd rather just be getting on making music than sitting down trying to get the right ASIO driver to run with their particular config."

            Do you even know what you are talking about? Judging by that sentence, you don't no idea at all. Unless you're talking about people who switched from Win 98.

            1. Snake Silver badge
              Thumb Down

              Re: On the other hand...

              " "I personally know many people who have switched from PC to Mac to avoid problems with third party hardware where they'd rather just be getting on making music than sitting down trying to get the right ASIO driver to run with their particular config."

              Do you even know what you are talking about? Judging by that sentence, you don't no idea at all. Unless you're talking about people who switched from Win 98."


              YES, he apparently knows EXACTLY of what he speaks, and the problem is more modern than Win98. I had the [dis]pleasure of trying to set up, for an in-law, ProTools on Vista a bit under 2 years ago.

              Yeeeeah. Right. Worked absolutely perfectly [/sarcasm]

              Avid's response? 'We know not all functions work, but that's the system as it stands. I works fine on a Mac.'

  2. tonysmith

    I think we should wait and see. I think people will get use to it and the thought of having a tablet that can run full windows apps when needed and just be a tablet the rest of the time is appealing enough imo to drive sales.

    All the best to them. I hope it works out for them because it will help encourage everyone else (Apple & Google) to up their game in the same way Apple sticking iOS on tablets forced everyone else to wake up.

    I think people tend to get in to "there is only one way of doing things, and everything else will fail" - much like when iPad came out.

  3. Graham Wilson

    And the band played...

    "Windows 8: Microsoft will declare victory, but will anyone believe it?"

    ...And the band played "Believe it if you like" and it rained bullshit all day!

  4. DrXym Silver badge

    Who wants to upgrade to Windows 8?

    I can't think of many good reasons to upgrade a traditional form factor desktop or laptop to Windows 8. Yes you might get some improvements in startup time and other areas, but at the detriment of having a UI designed for mouse and keyboard replaced with one designed for touch screen.

    It's a retrograde experience and I expect Microsoft know it as well as anybody else. They chose to make a beeline for tablet land and pay lip service to other form factors. I'm sure they'll beef up the mouse / keyboard experience in a service pack or in a quick turnaround of Windows 9. But that's cold comfort for manufacturers and end users in the short term. They may as well stick with Windows 7 for the time being.

    1. Big_Ted

      Re: Who wants to upgrade to Windows 8?

      Why do people keep on about the no longer called Metro start screen.

      I switch on my windows 8 PC and its the only time I see it......

      I open programs from shortcuts or pinned icons on the start bar and work on it all day without the need to return to it.

      The Ribbon thingy was a bigger more intrusive change to my normal work methods etc....

      The only way I will see the start screen otherwise is the extremely occation I need to use control panel and even then its windows button, type cont and hit enter......

      Its faster starting and shuting down plus faster feeling if not actualy when in desktop mode.

      I look forward to the full release in a few days as will install stright away.

      I will however leave windows 7 on my laptop for android work etc just in case......

      1. Tikkabhuna

        Re: Who wants to upgrade to Windows 8?

        If you right click on the bottom left you can get a list including the Control Panel.

        Personally I don't mind the new start screen. I appreciate the live tiles. This version of windows is the first time I've ever synced my calendar to it as the live tiles show my next meeting.

      2. Tim Cowley

        Re: Who wants to upgrade to Windows 8?

        you should use windowskey + 'x' , it'll get you there faster

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who wants to upgrade to Windows 8?

      "cold comfort for manufacturers and end users in the short term. They may as well stick with Windows 7 for the time being."

      It wouldn't be a complete surprise if that's what they wanted to do.

      What would be a surprise would be if they actually *did* that - the manufacturers and retailers and everyone in between would likely lose big chunks of their "marketing support" and other kickbacks from MS.

      There's a reason adverts used to say "PC World recommends Windows Vista Ultimate" or whatever. And it wasn't because it was good. It was because putting it in the ad paid a good part of PC World (or whoever) marketing costs.

  5. wowfood

    The two release rule

    Microsoft seem to love proving this "two release rule" right. This may not actually be correct, I skipped NT, 98 and ME / 2000.

    95 good

    NT bad

    98 good

    ME bad

    XP good

    Vista Bad

    7 Good

    8 Bad

    9 ???

    I wouldn't have minded windows 8, if it actually felt like a new OS. But it just feels like 7 with a new interface stapled on the front, and a bit of optimization in the rear. Much like 7 was just a massive bugfix on Vista.

    1. Admiral Grace Hopper Silver badge

      Re: The two release rule

      Which version of NT? 3.51 and 4 were very different beasts, more so under the hood than in terms of the interface. I started to question Microsoft's thinking when they moved the GDI into RIng 0 at the move from NT3.51 to NT4. I would have said that NT3.51 was generally a good thing while NT4 was where MS showed fallibility more worrying than their more usual and understandable fumblings when doing things for the first time (Windows 1&2, Access 2, IE etc.)

    2. Big_Ted

      Re: The two release rule

      XP was in fact BAD until the SP1 update sorted out loads of problems.

      Vista wasn't as bad as most make out once you disabled Aero etc etc, it was after all windows 7 with a few extras that people hated, plus the first of the current line that didn't work with a lot of kit as the device manufacturers didn't bother updating their drivers to force you to buy new printers etc.

      You also missed out 3.1 which was a great improovemment over earlier versions.

      1. Keep Refrigerated

        Re: The two release rule

        As much as people falsely berate Linux for lack of driver support, Vista pretty much demonstrated what Windows would be if hardware vendors shunned it (which they did).

        It goes to show really, you only get to see the true strength of an OS when it hasn't got major arm-twisting backed support that MS enjoyed the luxury of for so long.

        I'd love to see however, manufacturers deciding they can't compete with cheap consumer licenses and start releasing their kit without an OS. Won't happen I know, but I can dream.

  6. pctechxp

    Turning its back on system builders?

    MS has seen the success Apple has had when it controls both the hardware and software and has had quite a bit of success itself (after the Red Ring of Death issue) with the Xbox 360 console and Xbox Live service.

    It thinks at least it can repeat this success in the tablet space and take 100% revenue, cutting out the system builders and maybe offering a subscription model to finance the device and ongoing service charges, this is probably why they are offering direct discounts and not doing this through the channel, they'd much rather people buy a Surface.

    Many readers will say 'I'll just switch to Linux' but the problem is Linux DOES NOT drive hardware innovation, like it or not standards are still dominated by the demands placed by Microsoft software on hardware.

    I don't want to see the demise of the desktop but If MS succeeds in what it is trying to do I see a lot of small system builders going out of business and the big companies relegated to selling printers and hosted services,

    Sad but true.

    1. Richard Plinston

      Re: Turning its back on system builders?

      > If MS succeeds in what it is trying to do I see a lot of small system builders going out of business and the big companies relegated to selling printers and hosted services,

      If MS succeeds in the 'devices and services' market by taking significant amounts of revenue from the OEMs and retailers, as they seem to want to do, then the OEMs and retailers will turn to selling something else, such as 'Dell Linux' or 'Android + Ubuntu' phone/transformer combo, or ChromeBooks. Maybe even WebOS or Playbooks.

  7. Avatar of They


    Interesting article but I can't help feel annoyed by "Early reviews of Windows 8 are promising. Testers and analysts say the operating system is stable, functional and innovative."

    I have used it for a few days, innovative? It's windows 7 with a stapled on front.

    Stable? Well everything takes up two different installs and to shut down you have to go to the side of the screen where a menu appears, press another button to get the shutdown area and then click on shut down. Hardly time saving. (I know they don't expect you to shut down, but as it is still windows, rebooting is not only required for updates, it is also reccommended to free up memory and system state. Mine has been stable but my colleague had to do a complete rebuild after it flatlined, so stability is a mixed bag.

    Promising? Steam as the biggest online gaming company said negative things about it's future windows 8 plans so that is comforting for my main use of a windows machine. And most reviews have just said the silly icons "metro" is irrelevant, you either ignore (in which case why bother with it) or you infrequently use it. (so why have it?)

    As a work user no company is realistically going to replace things for touch screens (not in a call centre anyway) so a work around to remove it will be needed and then you are back with windows 7, only including a 3rd party app to give you the start button (now available on stardock). So what is the point of 8?

    If you could install it without all the rubbish on a none tablet it might make sense, but you can and it is called Windows 7.

  8. Nya

    Please excuse the rant...

    The problem stems from analysts, who've convinced everyone the problems we face in the channel is all down to tablet and smart phone sales "stealing" users from our normal sales areas on desktops and laptops. The snag with this wonderful look at sales figures doesn't actually show the reasons for it. Talk to the clients and learn why they aren't buying and it's a whole different reason than what the analysts and the manufacturers (especially Microsoft in this case) believe it to be.

    After speaking to many of them myself (and I doubt this is just a luck that they all think the same just about, and it's some odd geographic anomaly. The real reason is the current hardware they have in the office, which has been solid for the last 5 years or more, "is fast enough". Hardware 5 years ago with the Core2 Duo and the like reached a performance level with Windows XP and Windows 7 to do everything the normal business user wanted. Look at the clients, they batter away in Office and Sage pretty much, with specialist bits of software which was written when Visual Basic was new, but the licenses cost that much they aren't ever going to replace it. Hardware now is only ever replaced when a seat fails, or new seats are needed. The upgrade cycle doesn't exist any more as bloated software isn't an issue any more.

    Sales with tablets and phones are increasing yes. But these are devices being used for display, or light data gathering which goes back to the main office machines. The grunt work is all done back in the office by the minions while the tablets are out looking glitzy showing off the work done on the 5 year old desktops. They aren't going to replace a classic office machine...not for a very long time and not unless the capability of them improves a lot.

    Back on topic to Windows 8. What's going to happen is it's going to sell with huge fan fair and success up till the New Year. Microsoft and the OEM's will be quiet happy and everyone will breath a sigh of relief. The New Year will hit and the big OEM's (HP, Dell and the like) will get hit by massive numbers of returns after users find it utterly unusable on the notebook's and desktops which they bought. Retailers will refuse to sell it on anything but a tablet, and the OEM's will by Q2 selling all machines using downgrade rights used and shipping with Windows 7 already installed. Microsoft by now will be in panic mode since it was "totally unexpected", and all the belief in the analysts which keeps on telling them it wasn't anything to do with them. By end Q3, maybe early Q4 Service Pack 1 will be out, and will give users finally the option to enable classical desktop or Metro (I refuse to rename it no matter how much tat), and Sinofsky will be leaving MS to "work on personal projects elsewhere", or possibly a "family reason".

    I would love to be wrong. Sadly though, it is all fitting awfully into place though :( As for Channel sales? we're screwed! Support and selling other things is where we have to go. Backing Android mostly as it has the choice of devices and open walled selling system we can earn a living off.

    1. DJV Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Please excuse the rant...

      Excellent rant - upvoted!

    2. pixl97


      I agree, around the time the core2duo came out and many mainboards when to solid caps, the average desktop computer was fast enough for the average person. I'm running a 4 year old Duo that I've stuck the Win8 enterprise evaluation just so I'd know what the poor souls were talking about when they called me. It does everything I need at this time and don't have any need to replace it with something faster that I wouldn't use to full potential.

    3. Paul Shirley

      Re: Please excuse the rant...

      Tablets are also rapidly approaching 'good enough' status. Inevitably they are taking some of the replacement market as old PCs physically die (and often unrepairable thanks to planned obsolescence). That proportion can only grow. It's a double hit for the trad PC market - long product life and an eroding like for like replacement market.

    4. The Godfather
      Thumb Up

      Re: Please excuse the rant...

      No messing rant and pretty much as most sane people see it...

    5. John Sanders

      Re: Please excuse the rant...


      Perfect, summarizes what I have been thinking for a long time.

      Mate there is a beer with your name on it if we ever met.

    6. t20racerman

      Re: Please excuse the rant...

      Spot on.

      I'm reading this post on my old Compaq laptop, bought in 2004. I replaced the hard drive a few years back when I installed Linux (PCLinuxOS rocks!) and the hardware is still coping fine with the latest PCLinuxOS 2012 version. Yup, a bit slow at times if running several things at once, and the mouse pad is erratic, but why upgrade? I bought a Xoom tablet for playing with, and found that after that, I rarely used my laptop unless I had some serious work to do. Similarly I recently bought a Galaxy S111 phone, and find that I now use that for almost everything as it is SO good for internet use and my Xoom now spends days without being booted up.....

      At work I have to use the supplied PCs, and at home I have a dual booting desktop that runs PCLinuxOS, but also Windows if I want to use photoshop. That Desktop was a 'scrap' one thrown away at work! I fitted 3G of RAM and a decent graphics card and it now does everything I could ever want on it, including heavy duty photoshop work.

      None of the hadware in my house, other than my phone and tablet, are newer than 5 years old. All work superbly. The only problem I've ever found with old hardware is that if it runs Windows which gets horrendously slow and bloated after a few years. Wipe that and use Linux and the hardware suddenly seems brand new again.

      The need for continual hardware upgrade "to keep up" has passed. Now, the limiting factor seems to be broadband speed, and that isn't anything to do with either the OS or the hardware. The only exception is gaming - and if you are into gaming, buy a gaming console!

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please excuse the rant...

      Not a rant. Perfectly sensible objective analsysis.

      Are you in charge of where you work? If not, do those in charge listen to you? 'Cos they should.

      The one thing I would make explicit, which you left not quite said, is that sensible businesses now realise that IT spend has to be justified just like any other spend. Which leaves many IT departments looking a bit, well, knackered.

      My sympathies to those who will inevitably be caught in the collateral damage resulting from their management's incompetence, but this had to come sooner or later.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The biggest positives...

    When people highlight the positive aspects of Windows 8 they usually end up focusing on how it's actually just like Windows 7 and how you can avoid all the new stuff and not really notice it, except once, when your PC starts up, which is a rare occasion.

    They'll then say how much better it is because it boots faster... You know, for that one rare occasion you start it up instead of hibernating it.

    All Windows 8 is doing is piling additional guff on top of what would otherwise have made a good service pack to Windows 7, that you can (partially) avoid it does not make it better than Windows 7.

    The arguments amount to "We've improved the park by letting dogs **** everywhere to keep dog owners happy, don't worry tho, you can navigate around it without getting your shoes too dirty"

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's usable, really

    Just install a small open source program called "classic start menu" (and get a decent picture for the new start button, maybe, and you're back to classic Windows start menu, and won't see the Metro side of things unless you press shift + windows key. And it is perfectly usable as a business machine. Plus, the interface seems smoother, which might be due to the fact that it has to run on lower spec machines (tablets --> monochrome, non transparent interface.

    1. CaptainHook

      Re: It's usable, really

      "Just install a small open source program called "classic start menu""


      It's useable, really, so long as you install 3rd Party Applications which bypass what was meant to be the main selling point of the OS over Win7.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's usable, really

        Yes, that's the whole point, if you have to have Win8 on a machine (because at one point, that's all you will get anyway), you can get around what's annoying.

        Doesn't anyone remember the times where setting up a PC meant installing Winzip, ACDsee, Winrar, Neoplanet or Netscape, maybe some WindowsBlinds if you wished to alter the looks, plus a bunch of other stuff just to get the basic functionnalities you needed? Now it is the opposite. All that is in Windows, but also a lot more that you don't want ot see. The solution? Get rid of it.

        Unless you wish to be using 2 versions of the same internet navigator that don't talk ot each other on the same machine, there is no other way around it.

        And yes, it should be in a Service Pack, but really, I'd expect a commercial company to try and sell new stuff from time to time. Or would you rather pay for every service pack?

        Get real people. Yes, Metro on regular PCs is a horrible idea, but it is there, like it or not, and if Microsoft doesn't sell stuff, they won't bring anything new on the market. And if you don't like it, just install Linux, and stop complaining. But that one will bring other challenges as well, and there too, you might have ot alter the way the shell works.

  11. James Gosling

    I've just bought Windows 7...

    So I won't be in any hurry to move to 8. Have to say as a user of other OS's like Linux and IOS I wouldn't be surprised if I never install Windows 8.

    Windows 8 and their new tablets are probably going to be make or break for Microsoft. I may be wrong, but I can't see their current strategy working.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've just bought Windows 7...

      In terms of PCs, I'm sticking to Win 7 and waiting to see what Win 9 brings. Win8 is not going on anything other than a Windows development test box here. But then I'll also continue to shun Linux for my favourite BSD flavour, so I'm probably in the minority on most things :)

  12. Charles Manning

    Start Me Up Lyrics


    gonna blow my top


    make a grown man cry


    my lips go green


    Yup, sounds like Windows...

  13. jim 45


    All this breathless foretelling of doom reminds me of the Y2K crisis which of course turned into the biggest 'never mind' in history. I installed Win8, learned my way around it in 5 minutes of fiddling, and liked it just fine after that. Most people will figure it out in a lot less time than they've already spent reading about how confused they're going to be. It will look cool in stores, and a lot more appealing than the typical PC of today.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: apocalypse

      " the Y2K crisis which of course turned into the biggest 'never mind' in history."

      Lots of people did lots of work over extended periods of time to make sure it turned into a big nevermind on the day. If they hadn't done that, some stuff would have broken, some perhaps disastrously so.

      In some companies, corporate lawyers nearly turned it from a success to a disaster - the techies quite happily saying "this will work, even though it's obsolete" and then in November the lawyers say "replace it, we have no piece of paper saying it is Y2K safe, therefore there is nobody we can sue. Don't worry about not having time to properly test the replacement in the remaining 40 days."

      I know people who took their own special precautions for the big day because they knew that if anything did go wrong, even an ordinary routine fault, the corporate response in some places would have been to call the Y2K lawyers rather than the usual engineers on callout. And that wouldn't have provided a timely fix for anything.

      Go back to your kindergarten. Come out once you've grown up.

    2. kissingthecarpet

      Re: apocalypse

      5 minutes to familiarise yourself with Windows 8 from no knowledge of how it worked would be impressive.

      If it was true

  14. calwell


    I think this is all very interesting.. when you look at how Microsoft ascended to monopolistic heights, it has much to do with The Channel and OEM manufacturers. But, today, a lowly Systems integrator faces suppliers on a different playing field than just 10 years ago.

    That being said, even people being forced to take Windows 8 will have to stop bitching for a few minutes and use it. They may actually like it. They may not. I think Microsoft is contending not with a technical problem here, it's confusion.. I expanded on at my blog:

    Will Microsoft call the product a success? Absolutely. But, public perception is a curious thing.

  15. P. Lee Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    "Wait and see"

    Its the polite version of, "We're still in the last upgrade cycle and I've got no money to spend on more of your products, no matter how good or bad they are."

  16. k9gardner

    wrong word

    In saying the market "short shifts Microsoft’s potential," I suspect what you mean to say is short SHRIFTS.

    1. kissingthecarpet

      Re: another wrong word

      Its "fanfare" rather than "fan fair"

      Great post though

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