back to article Oprah Winfrey too late to save Microsoft's Windows 8

Early signs are showing that hopes for the overnight success of Microsoft's Windows 8 are unrealistic, although the tech giant appears to have bet the farm on the brand new operating system with the shiny new interface. Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott has quoted one unnamed company source as saying early sales of Windows 8 PCs …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    upgrading from Vista (and anything/everything before probably) felt like Windows 7 was a life boat

    And it was/is

    Windows 8 feels like a move away from safety

    That was only really going to work if 8 looked and felt like 7 but got reviews it was 'faster, safer, stronger, compatible'

    Microsoft doesn't seem to have used that messaging, they went with 'Look at my new interface' which is almost exactly what people didn't want.

    just my tuppence from out here in the field

    1. hplasm

      Re:Windows 7 was a life boat

      'Surface' is a submarine.

      Dive dive dive.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re:Windows 7 was a life boat

        I disagree, Windows 8 is most certainly a floater, of the brown variety.

      2. Euripides Pants

        Re: Surface is a submarine

        with screen doors.

    2. Bob Vistakin

      From the BBC website, June 1st 2013:

      "It's been 8 months since the disastrous launch of Windows 8, and the long-suffering shareholders have finally had enough. Steve Ballmer the CEO blamed for the companies biggest failure ever, dwarfing even the Vista failure of 2007, has resigned having seen the share price plummet to a third of its value at the start of the year. Not even the hastily constructed "Consumer Desktop" Edition of 3 months ago, where the unfamiliar tiles interface was replaced with the Windows 7 one, plus the return of the start menu, was enough to get any kind of significant sales moving. The dominance of Android on the handset and tablets meant users who had seen and heard all the negative press regarding Windows 8 avoided sales there too, thus compounding the problem. Steve Sinofsky, Head of Android User Experience at Google, said "the writing was on the wall all along. I wish them well, but a significant culture change is needed before any good can emerge now. And they can start by listening to their users."

      1. LinkOfHyrule

        From the Register website, June 1st 2013:

        "Ballmer Ballsup Bitch-Slaps Investors Buttocks"

    3. plrndl

      Because MS refuses to listen to its users, it has never got the insight that guided Apple's boom: for the typical user/consumer, the interface IS the product. Only geeks buy specs and gizmos. WE DO NOT WANT A NEW INTERFACE, and if we did we'd go looking for another product (are you listening at Ubuntu / Gnome / KDE). Ironically only Apple, that great driver of innovation and change has resisted the current lemming-like rush to destroy the desktop that has developed over millions of user-hours.

      Windows 8 is a disaster because, to the typical user it's not “Windows”, ie it doesn't work like Windows has done for everyone who is currently a PC user. It's not because people are Luddites, scared of change etc.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I agree.

      For £30 I would have probably upgraded FROM 7 to 8 if it had the same GUI (but the great changes and improvements in the core features and background programming). Because I do hear it's faster and better in other areas. But I cannot be bothered to change GUI if they paid me for the privileged, let alone at the discount of the windows 8 upgrade.

      The Slates look nice though. However I may not be alone in not having a budget for one. :/

    5. Bigg Phill

      I couldn't agree more.

      Windows 7 is simply too new to warrant replacing and as the hardware advances have slowed considerably compared to 10-15 years ago, why would you want to buy a brand new machine if you replaced your old one less than three years ago?

      Most people upgrade when they have to, not because they want to.

  2. Anonymous Custard

    Windows 8 launch hasn't gone as expected for the world's largest software maker.

    Whereas it's gone exactly as expected by everyone else...

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Windows 8 launch hasn't gone as expected for the world's largest software maker.

      By 'everyone' you mean a tiny minority of people who post on nerdy forums? I doubt my mum has any expectations either way...

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Windows 8 launch hasn't gone as expected for the world's largest software maker.

        Your mum probably has no expectations about the Higgs Boson either, but so what?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Windows 8 launch hasn't gone as expected for the world's largest software maker.

          Your mum probable buys less than one computer every five years ?

      2. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Windows 8 launch hasn't gone as expected for the world's largest software maker.

        Tut tut , JDX, thats a little touchy for someone that also frequents the Nerd Minority, does your mum approve of that ?

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Windows 8 launch hasn't gone as expected for the world's largest software maker.

          I am part of the nerd minority... you missed my point entirely which is that claiming "everyone" had expectations the way you feel personally when you are in a minority group is just bloody stupid/arrogant.

          1. Khaptain Silver badge

            Re: Windows 8 launch hasn't gone as expected for the world's largest software maker.


            I understood your initial position but the minority in this case, the Nerds, can have a major impact on IT in general. They have a Tech Savvy* approach that is often communicated to friends, familly and work mates.

            You are right in the case that most people don't have any expections, most people do not have any interest or expectations in IT at all.

            But,in the context of this thread I think it is safe to assume that "everyone" can be assumed as being "those that have an interest in, for example, new OS's, ie : the Nerdy IT Crowd.

            The general consensus of the Nerds has been very disfavourable for W8, up until now, and there appears to be many that expect, almost desire, W8 to fail....

            *Tech Savvy, this is a bit of a vague term so YYMV. Basically they have more knowledge than the non IT crowd.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: claiming "everyone" had expectations

            More like "everyone else who had expectations" - people who don't know about or have an opinion of the subject being pretty much irrelevant to the discussion, if not to the actual outcome.

          3. Lallabalalla

            Re: Windows 8 launch hasn't gone as expected for the world's largest software maker.

            "Everyone who has an opinion"

            there, fixed it for you.

      3. James Pickett

        Re: Windows 8 launch hasn't gone as expected for the world's largest software maker.

        An elderly lady acquaintance of mine is looking a new PC, but volunteered that she didn't want one with 'that Windows 8'. She'd seen it in PC World and instinctively didn't like it. Since PCW were unable to sell her anything different, they lost a sale there and then.

  3. RISC OS

    The kind of people who care....

    ....what opera thinks are the kind of people who probably couldn't afford the hardware to run windows 8 well, or who care about operarting systems, most probablay still call starting internet explorer "starting the internet".

    Plus the advert for surface sucks... do MS really think people who watch opera can walk around their estates with a laptop and not get mugged? Or that they won't get bottled and called gay boy for dancinga round a computer outside?

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: The kind of people who care....

      I think you mean Oprah, but Opera is equally irrelevant to society and IT purchasing.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge

        Re: The kind of people who care....

        > I think you mean Oprah, but Opera is equally irrelevant to society and IT purchasing

        It has similarities with Windows 8 as well. It's overly complicated, too showy and hardly anyone understands it.

    2. frank ly

      @RISC OS Re: The kind of people who care....

      You try mugging the Valkyries for their laptops and see what happens to you.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a catchy enough tune?

    That Rolling Stones song used for Windows 95 still pops into my head today.

    And in my head I can see the woman doing her silly little dance on the Windows 8 advert, but I can't hear the tune....

    1. Richard 81

      Re: Not a catchy enough tune?

      Isn't it about wanting to be a jack of all trades?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not a catchy enough tune?

      The tune on the new advert is definitely catchy, I certainly find it easy to recall. As for the Stone's tune from 95, was it some run of the mill blues riff played on a slightly out of tune guitar by any chance...? Classic Stones!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: Not a catchy enough tune?

        "Start me up" probably one of the most successful IT advertising campaigns.

        They could use the 2nd line - "You make a grown man cry"

        Still better than that "wub wub wub" noise they used to advertise IE (by using avengers, Aston Martin and that dinosaur eat the thing on the string game).

        1. Khaptain Silver badge

          Re: Not a catchy enough tune?

          <quote>Still better than that "wub wub wub" noise they used to advertise IE (by using avengers, Aston Martin and that dinosaur eat the thing on the string game).</quoute>

          I must admit to having never seen that publicity but your description in wonderfull. I can't help but try and imagine how they managed to fit Wub, Wub , Wub, an Aston Martin, an Avenger and a Dinosaur on a string into the same 30 second slot....... in order to publicise Internet Explorer.

          Conjures up some strange images

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not a catchy enough tune?

      > And in my head I can see the woman doing her silly little dance on the Windows 8 advert

      I found the Win8 advert incredibly creepy; it reminded me of Aphex Twin's Come to Daddy video for some reason.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: Reminded me of Aphex Twin's video

        I'd like to thank Aphex for graphically illustrating the junky experience for us all ...

    4. Chika

      Re: Not a catchy enough tune?

      Yes. I remember the parody version. "It's Windows 95! It's sucking up my drive!"

    5. plrndl

      Don't "Start Me Up"

      Remember the chorus of that song: "You make a grown man cry".

  5. JDX Gold badge

    Nobody buys an OS for Xmas

    There is a massive distinction between Windows8 and Surface. The former is a desktop OS - people don't rush out to buy an OS or a new PC with a new OS.

    As for Surface, MS basically said it is a prototype or proof of concept rather than a mainstream product. We need to wait for other manufacturers to release their take on it.

    On the other hand, the phones are released (right?) and sound pretty nice but is anyone buying them?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nobody buys an OS for Xmas

      I don't think you were trying to be condescending but:

      Surface... We need to wait for other manufacturers to release their take on it.

      It's not like Microsoft invented the convertible. If anyone should be given credit for developing and pushing that it should be Asus and their products are out on the market right now. They don't appear to be flying off the shelves either.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MS basically said it is a prototype or proof of concept

      I'm pretty sure they said it was setting a good example for the usual manufacturers to follow.

    3. Vic

      Re: Nobody buys an OS for Xmas

      > people don't rush out to buy an OS

      My friend's husband bought her a copy of Windows 7 one Christmas.

      He's now her ex-husband. But I'm sure that's unrelated.


  6. shifty_powers

    actually quite a good os underneath...

    I have just bought a new laptop, and had to make the choice between one that had a better processor and bigger hard drive, and windows 7, and one that had much better build quality and a better screen but slower processor and graphics, along with windows 8. I went with the one that was a better build quality for a number of reasons, although I was very reticent about windows 8. Now, I have to say that Metro is an abomination. It is an unsuable mess without a touchscreen and annoying inconsistent, dropping you back to the desktop at annoying times. However, once I got the start bar back, (currently using, I actually found the underlying os and traditional desktop to be very good. I think it actually performs better than windows 7, boots faster, is more stable and I actually haven't missed aero to be honest.

    The problem that Microsoft have of course, is that the vast majority of buyers won't have any knowledge of this and will be completely put off by the mess that is metro....

    1. Graeme Hayes

      Re: actually quite a good os underneath...

      It can be as good as it wants to be "under the bonnet" but everyone, me included, will use (or not) based on what the surface (sic!) looks like...........

      1. shifty_powers

        Re: actually quite a good os underneath...

        Well I agree mostly, as I said at the end of my post. That is what I think is a shame; most start bar replacements will boot you into the desktop, bypassing metro almost entirely. When you do this Windows 8 is actually a good os in my opinion. Although I agree that the charms can be a pain, but I have kind of got used to them to be honest and pretty much ignore them.

        Would I blame people for sticking with Windows 7 though? Certainly not, as I do not think the hassle of replacing the start bar and bypassing metro is worth it; there is not enough improvements over Windows 7 underneath to make it worth it for most people. Which makes metro all the more frustrating as there is clearly a very good, streamlined os struggling to get out! (Windows 8 feels much more streamlined than Windows 7, which for me is a good thing. Not saying that Windows 7 is bloated, just that I prefer to install the programmes I want and not have a load of crap i don't need....)

    2. Piro Silver badge

      Re: actually quite a good os underneath...

      One of the problems I found is that if you disable all hot corners (as any sensible person would, they're a total mess), moving your mouse into the very top right to close a window doesn't work. But with the stupid charms bar on, it does work - a hack by microsoft no doubt to detect a full screen window and pass the close click through, as well as showing the aforementioned stupid charms bar.

      Basically, long story short, a nice task manager and copy dialogue aren't enough. I tried to like Windows 8, but in the end I still think Windows 7 is a better overall package out of the box.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So long, Mr. Ballmer

    Sorry it didn't work fnarr.

    1. Fihart

      Re: So long, Mr. Ballmer

      Henceforth known as the late 8allmer.

  8. Graeme Hayes
    Thumb Down

    Windows 8

    As an IT professional (?) with over 20 years experience, I can safely say that Windows 8 is the singularly most hideous piece of software I have ever used !!

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: Windows 8

      I guess you've never used EMC Networker then :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows 8

        .. or Lotus Notes

        1. AndrueC Silver badge

          Re: Windows 8

          > or Lotus Notes

          I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 8

      or OSX

      (runs and hides)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 8

      Or the cluster fuck that is Unity

    4. Admiral Grace Hopper

      Re: Windows 8

      You never used Boldon James E-Mail.

      1. Ben Holmes

        Re: Windows 8

        "You never used Boldon James E-Mail"

        I have. Still do, much to my detriment. If you were in any doubt, it's still a sack of shit.

        1. Admiral Grace Hopper

          Re: Boldon James E-Mail

          @Ben Holmes

          I can't lie to you about your chances, but you have my sympathies.

      2. The Baron

        Re: Windows 8

        ...or iTunes.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 8

      Yes, yes. I've called the Hyperbole Police and they'll be right with you...

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 8

      ...or iTunes on Windows

  9. fishman

    Microsoft Math

    You are going to see new PCs coming out with Win7 on them and having a free upgrade to Win8. And Microsoft will count them as Windows 8 sales.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft Math

      No different to all corporate PC sales. My employer (80,000 employees) buys Thinkpads that came with Vista, then Win 7 installed, and will shortly come with Win 8. And our IT department then wipe them and put on XP.

      MS will have claimed every one of the sales as being of the latest OS, but (as with all things Microsoft) wishing things so doesn't make them true.

      1. nematoad Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft Math

        "MS will have claimed every one of the sales as being of the latest OS"

        Yes and they will be right.

        Unless that is MS have started to give the O/S away for free.


        Didn't think so.

        It's a sale 'cos they got paid for it.

        Whether it stays on the machine is irrelevant.

        I don't suppose MS minds anyone buying an O/S from them twice.

  10. Winkypop Silver badge

    Oprah Winfrey to endorse Windows 8

    Fuck me drunk!

    Oprah Winfrey will happily endorse any kind of magic-woo-fairypowder.

    Credibility; neither she nor Win 8 has it.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Redmond has produced a turkey this Xmas"

    Turkeys are very useful esp. at Xmas - Windows 8 on the other hand...

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: "Redmond has produced a turkey this Xmas"

      I would be less disturbed is you had said turkeys can be tasty, instead of "very useful".

  12. Blarkon

    Read Thurrott's twitter stream

    I know that Gavin from Cuptertino isn't all about getting his facts straight - but Thurrott is on the record as saying that his comments have been taken completely out of context.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh well

    I guess MS can take heart from the fact that people are even less inspired by Google's Chrome OS.

    Then again, if Google were to stick Android in a laptop, and support multiple windows, they could very well have a surprise hit on their hands.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    I'm Sorry But I like Windows 8

    My wife has just got a new laptop with windows 8 installed and we just don't see what the issue is with the new interface, you can get to the traditional desktop in seconds and the metro part isn't difficult to use.

    Yes, some of the settings have been hidden away but the vast majority of people just want a computer to work and have no reason to poke around in the OS. I had more of an issue when Microsoft changed the look of Office with 2007, that took ages to get used to.

    I've installed it on my windows 7 PC and it is definitely running faster and at £24.99 for an upgrade is a bargain, the upgrade doesn't even check for genuineness of the existing operating system.

    1. Pristine Audio
      Thumb Up

      Re: I'm Sorry But I like Windows 8

      "you can get to the traditional desktop in seconds"

      You can get to the traditional desktop by a single press of the Windows key on the keyboard. And back again. In a very small fraction of a second...

      I like Win8 too, BTW. I also like the fact I've been able to upgrade several XP machines to Win 8 Pro 32-bit or 64-bit for less than €30 each before Microsoft stops supporting XP.

      I wonder how many online upgrade sales Microsoft has had? It's not all about new PCs and tablets, surely - but to read articles like this you'd think that was the sole measure of the success or otherwise of the OS. Anyone going through the upgrade procedure from Windows 7 (or other) is likely to be immediately impressed with the simple matter of what feels like a major hardware upgrade - for me it was worth it for that alone to begin with.

      Each to their own - but we now have 6 of our 8 PCs on Windows 8 and everything's running very smoothly. (Of the others, one's a netbook with a screen resolution too low for Metro last time I checked, the other is the wife's laptop, and I'm not going anywhere near that!)

  15. b166er

    Windows 8 = Windows 7 + vastly improved GUI for the majority of users.

    (somewhat sorry if this upsets all you techies, but as one myself, I prefer to also be a realist (I also don't miss the start button, didn't use it much anyway))

    I guess people have other things to spend their money on at the moment (food, rent etc). I hear sales of most things are disappointing and below expectations.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      windows 8 on a laptop doesn't work unless you have a touchscreen

      i've tried it and it is shite; why did Asus sell my brother a laptop with a touch-screen based interface without a touch-screen??

      (and we thought NOKIA would go bust first..... could a reverse take-over of MS be in the offing?)

  16. Robert Grant

    Oh well

    MS won't be too unhappy, because people are still busy upgrading to Windows 7. That'll probably fund Windows 8 and 9 development for a while :)

  17. David Lawrence

    First impressions were not great

    Last week I went to a friend's house to install a new router and to re-build a home network consisting of multiple PCs, an Xbox, an FTP Server, two NAS boxes and a few other bits and pieces. One laptop had Windows 8 on it. I was not impressed. I couldn't make head or tail of the cartoon interface and when I made that go away (with some wierd mouse swipe to the upper right corner of the screen) I found a desktop with no START button!!!! Getting into the Control Panel, tweaking Network Settings, trying to view other devices on the Network.... all turned from something easy to do into something that was really hard. I admit I was fumbling my way around, running searches to find the utilities and wizards I needed. I got there in the end but I for one won't be buying, nor will I be recommending it to all the people who acll on me for unofficial technical support!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: First impressions were not great

      Yes it is really hard even if you know what you are looking for, using your network settings as an example

      Ignore your mouse, look at your keyboard and press N, now press E, then T followed by W

      Oh look, all the relevant sections containing the word network are there for me to pick from, how dare microsoft make finding things so difficult.

      What you mean is you couldn't be arsed to find out anything at all about something you hadn't seen before and because you couldn't work it out it is a problem with the software. If you know what you are looking for Windows 8 makes it very easy to find.

      1. Matt_payne666
        Thumb Up

        Re: First impressions were not great

        well said, the search is very good...

        and as for the metro start? well, how about have some of your applications stuck to the task bar, some accessed from a context menu and the rest hidden in folders, accessed from the file explorer... OSX relies on spotlight more than win8 relies on search...

        Yes, Win8 is so much more complex than other solutions!!

      2. Mystic Megabyte

        Re: First impressions were not great

        "Ignore your mouse, look at your keyboard and press N, now press E, then T followed by W"

        I think you'll find that it was an Ubuntu box you were looking at :)

        1. moonface
          Thumb Down

          Re: First impressions were not great

          I have only had a quick go on it and hated it. Probably because I am a lazy ass who slouches back and expects to do everything using a mouse click. Leaning forward to the keyboard to (Alt-F4) close a running application, is a right pain.

          Not having a touch screen, I couldn't believe the amount of double key stroke shortcuts it requires. God knows how any disabled users will get on with it. Next time I use one I might actually have a look at the Accessibility options.

    2. Mark Allread

      Re: First impressions were not great

      As another commenter has explained, the problem was that you expected it to work exactly the same as Windows 7 and when you found that it didn't, you decided it was difficult to use.

      1. Dom 1

        Re: First impressions were not great

        I think the point is this: From Win 95 to Win 7, if you had used one, you could use any version of Windows. My Mother-in-Law happily found Solitare within 50 seconds of using Win 7 for the first time. That is now almost impossible with TIFKAM.

        What M$ should have done is give us the choice at install - TIFKAM or the "Classic" desktop. Win 8 is faster than 7, but the alien environment will put a lot of people off. Look at Server 2012 - what the hell is a touch screen interface doing on a Server OS (or indeed a desktop)? Unless, you are after running Exchange 2010 (oops, sorry - not officially supported by Server 2012) or SQL on a tablet?

        What where you thinking M$?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: First impressions were not great

          The average user will spend a minute and a half to five minutes, tops, gaining their first impression of Win8... and typically on a friend's machine that is already logged in. No manuals... no tutorials.

          The problem here is not that things have changed, but that they appear to have changed in a way that is un-intuitive for the average user without aid. You can yell about that and blame the user all you want, but there is no changing human nature.

          They will expend shockingly little effort to adapt when there is no significant benefit for adapting, and if it's mostly the same otherwise they'll stay in their comfy old chair (in this case Win7) instead of moving across the room to the new one. That's assuming there is a choice... if forced you can be sure to expect howling and gnashing of teeth that it requires more than a <ridiculously low level of effort> to adapt.

          Not saying it's right or wrong... just that it is.

    3. EvilGav 1

      Re: First impressions were not great

      So switching from clicking Start -> Control Panel to Windows key + q -> Control Panel was too difficult?

      Oh of course, the new OS you didn't bother to find anything out about was at fault here, not the "tech" person who went with "it's different, therefore it's bad/wrong".

      How do you cope if they use Linux server with command line input only!!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: First impressions were not great

      To get to the desktop form the Metro interface, you click on the large (double width) button, which has the desktop wallpaper as its background. The button is labeled "Desktop", by default, IIRC, it's in the bottom left of the tile array when you first start/logon.

      To get to the control panel, you locate the button labeled "Control Panel", or you could go to the desktop and right click-properties (or is it personalise) on the desktop, you can then browse up and down the control panel hierarchy.

      If you really want the control panel you could have it as a desktop icon, or in my computer, which can also be on the desktop.

      The interface is different, it doesn't mean it's better or worse per se. Change is not a bad word, I realise that lots of people are now thinking that this is change for the sake of change and doesn't need to be done, but they said that about Win 95's interface. Now a lot of people are going to be saying that Win 95 was different, but that wasn't the case at the time. I think that once all the dust has settled, people will come to like the new interface, particularly casual computer users or office workers. For the techies, there is also the far improved command line as well.

      1. Pristine Audio

        Re: First impressions were not great

        "To get to the desktop form the Metro interface, you click on the large (double width) button, which has the desktop wallpaper as its background. The button is labeled "Desktop", by default, IIRC, it's in the bottom left of the tile array when you first start/logon."

        Or press the Windows key on your keyboard...

    5. Fihart

      Re: First impressions were not great @David Lawrence

      The downvoters are being unfair. Your reaction to 8 is similar to my first encounters with Macs. The difference is that 8 is called Windows -- it's not a different product from a rival company.

      The thing that has sold Microsoft products to the corporates is backwards compatibility -- and that includes staff not being bewildered by the latest iteration of Windows.

  18. Paul Leigh

    Having tried win7 & win8 side by side

    Win 8 definitley gets my vote, it's massively quicker on the same hardware (I had two identical laptops for a while). Sure the tiles takes some getting used to but I found it much quicker overall.

    Don't see where all the hatred comes from really.

    1. Richard Jones 1

      Re: Having tried win7 & win8 side by side

      Yes it is quicker even on hardware that MS later decided to block.

      Sadly the stupid kiddie blocks never appeared to have any useful function at all (I do not want to know the weather the other side of the world and ONLY the other side of the world) and the blank screen of the desktop had room to host the short cuts to things that I did use.

      Without the play pit 'start thing that is no longer Metro' it would have been an interesting punt even though it played badly with some network hardware (BSODs anyone?) the speed might just have been something to welcome but after several weeks of effort I opted for the easy life with 7. But £25 for the OS software and god only knows how much to replace every printer and scanner interface device, sorry I'll pass.

      Perhaps it is an age thing and I am just too old to want those kiddie blocks stuffing up my machines and disabling functions and equipment that I need.

      1. Pristine Audio

        Re: Having tried win7 & win8 side by side

        "I do not want to know the weather the other side of the world and ONLY the other side of the world"

        So you never considered setting the location on the weather app?

        Sounds a bit like rejecting an otherwise nice new car because you could only find a map of Australia in it, rather than an A-Z of London...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Having tried win7 & win8 side by side @Pristine Audio

          Looks like you've caused a few red faces there :)

  19. RISC OS

    It's thanksgiving in the US of A right now

    And I believe they like to have a turkey... so maybe sales of Windows 8 will pick up this "holiday season" ;)

  20. Buzzword

    Missing the Christmas season?!

    "Most PC makers are expected to unveil their machines at January's CES."

    Are they deliberately being stupid?

    1. Richard Jones 1

      Re: Missing the Christmas season?!

      No optimistic, they are expecting Windows 9 in good time for the New Year.

      1. JT_3K

        Re: Missing the Christmas season?!

        What's the plan for that, W8 with Metro ripped out and a variation on the "Start" bar?

    2. Ted Treen

      Re: Missing the Christmas season?!

      It would appear so...

      1. Ted Treen

        Re: Missing the Christmas season?!

        One "thumbs down" for agreeing that a major PC show in January isn't the best idea for capitalising on Christmas sales?

        Sometimes I REALLY wonder about the mentality of some commenters...

  21. Mark Allread

    Never before have I seen haters like this

    Windows 8 is pretty good. I use it on a tablet, I use it on my desktop. I like it. But I'm just amazed by how much ill-informed hate there is for Windows 8 and the rush to slag it off in articles that often show a lack of experience. Then there's all the hate in the comments too. It's crazy.

    1. Antoinette Lacroix

      Re: Never before have I seen haters like this

      Never mind.

      These are the ppl who'll post how excellent it was, once the next version of Windows is out. Some call themselves "techies" or "nerds" . . but can't even distinguish between a GUI and an OS.

      NEW RULE . . as Bill Maher would have put it::

      If you can't write assembly code and don't build your own boxes, you're NOT a technical user.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thumbs down on Win8 and SurfaceRT

    Tried both, and they both stink badly.

    I don't want a cartoon Mobile phone OS on my PC, I don't want to rebuy Metro apps.

    Sticking with Android for phones and tablets and Windows 7 for desktop.

  23. Bod

    Quotes from unammed sources

    "has quoted one unnamed company "

    *One* quote from an *unnamed* company. Strikes that one as utterly irrelevant then as a source.

    Not denying that Win 8 may not be doing well, but that one is worthless information.

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. Anonymous Coward

    I have Win 8 on my laptop. If you pin apps to the taskbar, it's pretty much like using Win 7, as you rarely go to the start screen. So it's not a big deal.

    But this makes the start screen pretty pointless - I don't want jiggling tiles there flashing me news updates when I've gone there looking to launch open office or whatever.

    The problem with live tiles is that on a phone your lock/start screen is probably what's visible most of the time. The phone is in your pocket, you pick it up, glance at it to see if any updates, then put it back. Live tiles probably work well there. But on a PC, you're spending your time on the desktop, so that is the only useful place to have live tiles. I said from the start, for Win 8 they should have had 'metro' running as the widget bar, it might be more useful there and could be tucked aside by those who didn't want it. They've messed up badly shoehorning it into the OS in such a major way, and they've doubly messed up by not letting you revert to the 'classic' windows interface.

    I've got use to Win 8, it's fast, stable, reliable and has some nice new features but that doesn't make the decision to force this new interface on people any less of a stupid arrogant decision.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jumping the Shark

    From a consumer perspective, Windows, and by extension, Microsoft, have now jumped the shark. Simple as that.

    Sure, Microsoft still have the Xbox 360, which is much fun for the kids, but how many people (grown ups) are going to build an ecosystem around a 7 year old games console? Particularly when they already have iDevices and Droids in their pocket, or lying around the living room.

    Microsoft have simply moved too late, and massively under-delivered.

    Offering a single UI that spans the desktop, tablet and phone was a huge ask, but one they probably shouldn't have attempted as I'm not sure anyone really wants Metro (or whatever its called) on their mouse-driven desktop. Metro is instant alienation of those who are quite happy with their current hardware keyboard and mouse driven PC, and who struggle to get their head around the concept of a largely touch-centric desktop, when their screen doesn't support touch... it's a horrible compromise and one that wasn't worth making. As, indeed, Apple have not attempted, and for very good reason. Unlike Microsoft, Apple eschew compromises whenever possible.

    As such, Windows 7 is probably the last Microsoft desktop OS I'll be installing and using at home. Not sure what will replace it, but it certainly won't be Windows 8 or what ever comes after it. Chances are it will be something Unix/Linux based, and maybe (hopefully) I won't even need a desktop in a couple more years, I'll just drop my multi-core ARM (or less likely, but still possibly, Intel) phone into a dock and have at it on a big screen with nice comfortable keyboard and mouse, moving windows around the desktop and basically feeling quite at home...

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Jumping the Shark

      Consistency was a damn fine idea in theory, but totally beyond the technical reach of a poorly-managed dinosaur corporate like MS.

      The people who could have made it work were doubtless culled and rejected from the political tarpit years ago.

      A smarter approach might have been a modular OS with proper MVC, so devs could keep the core features separate from the UI, and redesign the latter to suit the platform. But I'm not even sure that was ever possible with Windows, except perhaps with a total rewrite.

      Meanwhile Linux has never succeeded on the desktop because with so many distros it's impossible to market it properly. Geek word of mouth doesn't count for much in the consumer market. And MS/Apple have always been stronger at marketing than tech.

      But there has to be a basic level of functionality to make a marketable product, and there also has to be an attractive USP.

      Win 8 has neither. If the very best and most generous consumer perception of a product is that it's 'not as bad as everyone says' the marketing and reputation are already a disaster.

      1. Mark .

        Re: Jumping the Shark

        It's not everyone - it's apple shills in the media, apple fans, and geeks who as you say don't count for much. Sorry, i criticised ms way before our became trendy, but that also means i remember how we have this merry go round with every major ms release. It's painful to look back at the claims of how ms were doomed, years ago.

        Meanwhile, the real fear geeks should have is that the future will be nothing but ipads, yet that gets a free pass. And even though i love android, i don't want it on my laptop.

    2. Mark .

      Re: Jumping the Shark

      It will be interesting to see what apple do though. For all the moaning ms get for being more touch friendly, even though it still works fine with keyboard and mouse, apple would rather be dominating with ipads. They've been the prime culprit for losing the idea that touch is cool, but where does that leave their mac computers?

      And as opposed to building an ecosystem over a 10 year old mp3 player?

  27. Paul Manzotti

    Is the nursery closed today?

    Dear god, people, what a bunch of whining!

    Yes, some things in Win 8 are different, but once you figure them out, they are, on the whole, better than in Win 7. I'll agree that Metro apps don't work in that ecosystem, but you can change the default app for file types, so you should never have to end up in a Metro app. The start screen is just a prettier version of the start menu.

    Also, anyone on this site who is complaining about the lack of a Start button is just making themselves look like a novice. Surely you just hit the Windows key and start typing?

    I don't understand what people wanted from Win 8? Did you expect MS to just make a faster version of Win 7? Are there any changes that you would have tolerated, because it doesn't feel like there are.

    1. Zola

      Re: Is the nursery closed today?

      I don't understand what people wanted from Win 8? Did you expect MS to just make a faster version of Win 7? Are there any changes that you would have tolerated, because it doesn't feel like there are.

      If Apple layered the iOS dumbed down look & feel on top of OS X, do you really think OS X users would be happy?

      Even though it's trivial to bypass Metro/Modern/Whatever, the fact it exists in a desktop environment is alienating many casual/consumer users of Windows. Sure, they can change their default file types and install this or remove that, but honestly, some of them just don't give a fuck and want a working computer system that they recognise, not this multi-coloured turd that they are being offered, and then have to disassemble/reassemble in order for it to function as a "normal" desktop.

      So yes, an improved Windows 7 would have been sufficient for *desktop* users.

      Metro *is* a more suitable UI for tablets and phones, where touch input is supported, but promoting a touch-centric UI as a desktop UI is just going to end up as a confusing marketing disaster, with consumers sticking with what they already have (Windows 7), and which works just fine, thanks.

      1. Mark Allread

        Re: Is the nursery closed today?

        Look at it this way, Windows 8 comes with Windows RT Metro apps available too. It's like having a MacBook with a free iPad built in.

        1. hplasm

          Re: Is the nursery closed today?

          It's like having a picture book with furry pages.

    2. t20racerman

      Re: Is the nursery closed today?

      "I don't understand what people wanted from Win 8? Did you expect MS to just make a faster version of Win 7? Are there any changes that you would have tolerated, because it doesn't feel like there are."

      What strikes me about this comment is that I don't really expect a new bells and whistles OS that changes the way I work, what I want is to run the programs I want, and then to use them without the OS hogging resources and becoming virus and malware infested. An OS is supposed to enable your computer to run things, it should NOT be an end in itself. Microsoft seem to have forgotten this with Windows 8, making the user change to fit the new OS! They are desperately trying to make Windows the reason we should run out and buy/upgrade a PC, when in actually fact the OS should be there to enable you to USE your computer productively.

      Wrong way around!

  28. BigAndos

    Not sure what MS Expected

    The fact is, the vast majority of PC buyers don't have a clue what Windows 8 means. They just want to use the internet, play with photos and sync their MP3 player. At this stage the only people actually buying Windows 8 are 1) Early Adopters. and 2) Average users who happen to need a new machine at this point in time and just take the OS that comes with it.. Therefore, I don't think they could have expected a massive uptick, more business as usual.

    Metro may or may not prove to be a disaster, I've used Windows 8 and I didn't think it was all bad. It is very quick and responsive, Metro is of course confusing as hell but I doubt that for many average users the learning curve will be much worse than any Windows version migration.

    1. Piro Silver badge

      Re: Not sure what MS Expected

      "I doubt that for many average users the learning curve will be much worse than any Windows version migration."

      Huh? Yes, it will, seeing as hot corners are new to most users, and the fact it has no start button and start menu means it is instantly disconnected from the Windows most users recognise since 1995.

  29. David Evans

    Speaking as a general punter rather than an axe-grinding zealot...

    ...I'm prepared to give Win 8 the benefit of the doubt. Problem is simply that I just don't need it. I have three PCs at home, and yes a little boost in startup speed would be nice, but its hardly worth the rigmarole of three upgrades just for that.

    The problem is that the Metro UI is pretty much irrelevant to 99% of users because they don't have touchscreens, and yet that's where all the "surprise and delight" functionality in the platform rests, and may actually be suppressing current PC sales; if you were going to upgrade your laptop this Christmas, would you get one WITHOUT a touchscreen knowing it was going to have Win 8 installed? I wouldn't, which immediately gives me a tiny pool of laptops that fully take advantage of the OS, all of which that are at a distinct price premium.

    As for Surface; only VERY early adopters want to take the risk on RT; those of us who actually want a tablet as a credible productivity device (which HAS to be the difference between MS and Apple's tab strategies at this point) are going to wait for the Pro version or one of the OEMs. Its not over for MS at the moment, but nothing's going to start moving until there's relevant hardware in the market at credible prices.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boy people on here are sounding like a bunch of football fans... these pathetic arguments are so 90's

  31. Neil Harland

    Dog's Dinner anyone, (Goes well with turkey)

    Having used Windows 8 for a couple of weeks, I am still waiting to be impressed. The navigation is very bad indeed. No breadcrumbs, we just have to move our mouse around and wildly click to find things. I'd be embarrassed serving up something so bad. If this was a website it would sink into obscurity quite fast. I think Microsoft made the mistake of releasing a tablet touch screen OS, (and not a particularly good one at that), onto the PC market. They should have just carried on improving Win 7 and left Windows 8 for Surface.

    Methinks corporate and Enterprise customers will vote with their feet on this one and provide Microsoft with the padding they so richly deserve.

  32. JT_3K

    Following on from other comments, Microsoft might have had a better business reaction if they'd bothered to hold inperson launch events for techs like they did for W7 to help raise awareness.

    On the other hand, marketing the OS almost solely as a consumer/home OS that enforces a FondleSlab interface across machines where you actually want to DO something rather than YouTube and Facebook may not have been a smart move.

    Handling business fears of retraining, compatability and usability by telling IT bods that they'll be forced to get on board because BYOD means they'll have to support the OS whether they like it or not has just have put backs up across the business and may be the most moronic thing I've seen in IT since "Windows 95 A" or "ME for business".

    Go and think again, sunshine.

  33. Tom 35

    Push Windows under the bus

    MS have pushed Windows under the bus in order to promote their Phones and tablets. They so want to be Apple that they will try and force desktop users to work with a phone UI.

    Oh and why do I need a full screen weather app? And why is there a shampoo ad when I scroll all the way over to the right?

    Why when I click on calendar do I get -you are not logged onto your Microsoft account, please log on and try again?

    Why did they remove the registry setting to turn off metro that was in the beta? They should have made it a check box in the final version.

    If not-Metro is any use people would not turn it off right? But it's all about selling Phone and being the next Apple.

  34. Silverburn

    Why the upgrade to win 8 ainn't sellling

    It's really, really simple.

    99% of existing laptops and desktop do not have touchscreens. Win 8 is being sold on virtue of it's touch interface. The implied secondary upgrade is a new screen or laptop. The new screens don't exist, and the laptops are expensive.

    Ergo, shit win8 upgrade sales.

  35. James Gosling

    "Signs are that Redmond has produced a turkey this Xmas"

    "Early signs are showing that hopes for the overnight success of Microsoft's Windows 8 are unrealistic, although the tech giant appears to have bet the farm on the brand new operating system with the shiny new interface."

    Never mind a Turkey this Xmas, I want Steve Ballmer stuffed and basted! Such an arrogant, ignorant and thoroughly dislikable man, I will laugh when he is sacked. Then Microsoft can try and turn itself into a company that actually gives a shit about users.

    Aaah feels good!

  36. billium

    win sxs

    Does Win 8 still have winsxs?

    Also do the mobile versions also use this win sxs "technology"?

    Just curious.

  37. MissingSecurity

    I look at it this way...

    I have an S3 and a Note Tablet. I have no incentive to purchase Windows 8, nor and reason to have a "one desktop to rule them all." If your going to force me to re-think my ENTIRE OS EXPERIENCE, I might as well focus on Linux and OSX.

    If your going to force your techies to explain how to use the shit that is Windows 8, I might as well start teaching people how to use Linux or OSX. Why should I even bother with Windows?

    Hell, with all the BS going on I could tell most people that their Office products no longer work with Windows 8, its going to cost us to much for Licensing, and here is an open source alternative.

    I wonder if I can install Unity and tell users its the new Windows 8... :p

  38. Toothpick

    Perhaps .....

    there is another reason as to why sales of Win 8 machines and upgrades are below expectations: Money. People are having to tighten their belts and a new replacement PC may be bottom of their shopping lists.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Haven't installed yet

    Been running Vista on my desktop for several years, and also run it on my htpc.

    It is what they both came with, and they run well enough I have never seen a need to replace the OS.

    I did pick up Windows 8 at the bargain price of $15 though. I will probably install it after I have a chance to back up the C: partition and install a new hard drive.

  40. The_Regulator

    Win 8 = Win

    Don't care about your pathetic whining comments. Don't care that you think Metro is hideous. Half the people here commenting probably haven't even used it.

    Win 8 is a huge upgrade over Win 7. I am never going back.

    Suck it haters!!!

    1. Bob Vistakin

      Re: Win 8 = Win

      Helpful Bob to the rescue then - if you haven't seen Windows 8, YouTube will clear things up:

  41. David Strum


    Excuse me – gadget pushers! We’ve still got the latest thing you sold us a few months back – now you asking us to buy your latest wares again!!!!!!! WAKE UP – WE CANT AFFORD YOUR CR4PP!!!!!!! WE CANT KEEP PLAYING YOUR GAME! And El Reg should admit this reality – but can’t because its bread and butter for this online gadget-smut magazine!

  42. Stephen Channell

    Utter utter shite!

    Sure there are lots of guides and tools to make Windows -8 look like Windows7, and sure underneath it is quite neat, I even quite like the “start screen” on my Windows 2012 server, but on a touch-screen it is shite!

    “on a touch-screen it is shite!” sounds a bit strong, but unless the touch-screen is a capacitive screen with flat sides (no bump border) and a “designed for Windows -8” button (i.e. a tablet), it doesn’t work because you have to revert to the keyboard for a “start” key.. it’s not just the desktop where the start-key is missing, it’s also the TIFKAM “-8” applications.

    Windows -8 is not the bolded MS OS since Win95, it is the boldest since DOS; and the UI is the first to combine screen and keyboard since the IBM 3270E terminal with light-pen from the 1960s..

    So we’re obliged to suffer a broken interface because Steve Balmer hasn’t got the balls to launch a new OS.. and wont get the screen start-button back until SP1 (in response to a cheeky Oracle Java web-start option)..

  43. Mikel

    "It's early days for..."

    We've been hearing that about Windows Phone for two years. Guess what. After two years it's "late days". Two years is about three generations of mobile.

    Last quarter non-Windows mobile smart clients moved 2x as many devices as Windows clients both classic and mobile. This quarter it will be 3x, as nobody wants to find a Windows device under their tree - mobile or classic. The last Microsoft Windows-phone exclusive OEM - Nokia - is losing over a billion dollars a quarter selling 88% of all the Windows Phones sold. Everybody else is standing up a false WP front to get Microsoft off their backs about patents, but not moving any significant units.

    For a while there the question was, "well why aren't Android OEMs earning profits?" The answer is "because they were sinking their Android profits into the Windows Phone money pit." Now that they have stopped doing that, all but one has turned around. Even Sony has seen reason, and that's saying something.

    These mobile devices drive many times more margin and profit dollars EACH than Windows laptops and desktops do on average - which amplifies the difference into many multiples of profits for the OEM. Lenovo just won the top spot in Windows PCs units shipped at an operating margin of 2%, meaning that on that $400 Lenovo laptop they made eight bucks. Apple laughs at this earning $160 profit on an iPad Mini, and Samsung finds it equally hilarious earning $200 or more on each SGS III. Lenovo would have to ship 20 laptops to match the profits on one iPad Mini, or 25 laptops to match the profits on one SGS III. The FedEx guy who delivers it probably earns more profit than that. And Lenovo is not shipping even as many laptop units as Apple is moving iPad Minis or Samsung is moving SGS III devices, let alone 20 or 25 times as many.

    The world changed. The money is in mobile. Everybody needs to get with the program, or go away.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What we really wanted from Windows 8 - Microsoft, take note.

    The upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 should have been easy for Microsoft. They had a solid product with Windows 7. Here is the feature list they should have worked on IMO:

    1) Speed up boot times

    2) Reduce the size of the OS, remove some of the legacy stuff.

    3) Optimise the software, make it faster, sharper, cleaner.

    4) Improve security (Provide a secure and complete separation of OS and Third Party software).

    5) Prevent Windows performance degrading over time.

    6) Fix some of the bugs and missing features (e.g file copy, networking)

    7) Open up the OS and provide APIs so third party developers can create skins and interfaces.

    8) Bundle in Media Center with HD support.

    9) Provide a silent, unobtrusive update process which does not require me to reboot my PC every week.

    10) Respect my privacy and don't force adverts down my throat or bundle in software I don't want or need.

    11) Offer a maximum of 3 versions.

    12) Keep the cost below £60 for the full version.

  45. Ray Henderson

    Miss one Buy one

    The history of Windows tells us not to buy the first Windows OS

    Example of this:

    Windows 3 (Rubbish)

    Windows 3.1/3.11 (Great)

    Windows 95 (Rubbish)

    Windows 95b (Great)

    Windows 98 (Rubbish)

    Windows 98 Second Edition (Brilliant)

    Windows ME (Rubbish)

    Windows XP (Brilliant)

    Windows Vista (Need I say more!)

    Windows 7 (Brilliant)

    Windows 8 (On a Desk or Laptop PC - Rubbish)

    Windows 8/9 With Start Button put back on desktop (Yet to happen!) could be brilliant!

    HaVe A nIcE dAy

  46. Ray Henderson

    Apple IMac

    Don't like Windows 8 ?

    Get an Apple IMac (full legal OS cost around £35 and no activation needed)

    Oh and you can even install Windows 7 on it if you wish, using the supplied Bootcamp software.

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