"Vista was a raging cock-up," said Davies.
I hate to think what that makes Windows 8 then.
Windows 8 was never expected to set the business world alight in the short term - maybe not even in the long term - and indeed it hasn't, official sales figures from distributors reveal. In the consumer PC space Microsoft and its hardware adversaries mates did a quick job of transitioning from Windows 7 kit, with roughly three …
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@Chad H. Linux on the desktop can never happen whilst Microsoft controls the OEMs. People tend to stick with what is installed on their computer when they buy it.
Even Win 8 is selling, even though at a lower rate. If OEM's were to put Linux Mint on computers and sell them at the same price as Windows on the same spec hardware, then the Linux on the Desktop paradigm would happen.
It'd have to be a heck of a lot cheaper as I don't want to be paying for something I can get for free!
I'm always testing Linux, but every time I quickly go back back to MS ... until a Linux distro can run all my MS programs or has better alternatives - and yes crappy Office alternatives are a definite deterrent - I wont be changing any time soon.
However, I suspect that if the Steam port to linux works and all those old and new games can be played, then Linux will have a lot more converts.
I mostly use Linux, with Windows when customers or Microsoft Office require it -- but I run them both on a MacBook Air. I just haven't found anything else comparable in terms of size, build quality, and silent operation -- especially around the $1k price point -- so why should I cut off my nose to spite my face, simply because I don't like Steve Jobs?
... Windows 7 ... which is really Vista Service Pack 2, is looking awfully dated and boring.
Isn't that how an OS should be, though? So boring that it never does anything exciting ... like crashing or losing your data?
There's a reason that "May you live in interesting times" is considered a curse.
<-- This guy, because he looks pretty "interesting", and I wouldn't want him running my datacentre!
@dajames - an OS an look good an stylish in the same way a building can, and still be perfectly functional. Windows 7 looks kind of dated though, and though that wouldn't bother you or me, execs usually like to use more modern, stylish kit. Cars, computers, etc, these are status symbols and a dell running Windows is more chav than exec.
You know the second that someone describes an OS as 'boring' that they have nothing worthwhile to say. OS's aren't the interesting bit and they never will be ... it's the games, programs and apps that are the interesting bit ... I'm guessing you were the kind of child that took your toys apart rather than playing with them and like the dickhead you've grown up to be you didn't (READ couldn't) put them back together again.
Just to put you straight. Win8 was always going to have problems because of two important factors. (1) There's a global economic downturn so people are putting off buying new computers. (2) Win8 has been sold as a touch screen OS and most people don't have TS's and if they were getting a new computer would want to save money by keeping the old monitor rather. So why would they upgrade the OS to Win8?
Interesting point to note thought is that they aren't upgrading their OS to anything else either. They're just buying tablet toys to make themselves feel better about having no money.
My son has a really nice touch screen, so I'm betting he'll upgrade to Win8 sooner rather than later (as it turned out that Win7 sucked with a TS). However, I wont simply because I'd rather get a new TV than a TS monitor that I'm not sure I'd want to be touching all that much anyway.
"And Windows 7 come to that, which is really Vista Service Pack 2, is looking awfully dated and boring."
3 year old Win 7 dated and boring? Unlike say, the over-a-decade old Mac OS X? Yes we may have had Lions and Tigers and Ocelot Spleens (get 'em while they're hot) but it essentially looks pretty much the same as it did 10 years ago. (And the look of iOS has been static since a couple of years before Win 7 arrived.) Not saying Windows didn't need a facelift of some kind, but suggesting that OSX somehow doesn't look dated and boring by comparison is just plain daft.
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One feature windows 8 has which is useful is the native support for USB 3. The USB ports on my desktop refused to work with the Windows 7 supplied drivers but under windows 8 they speed along.
I still have 75% of my supported install base on Windows XP and they'll be moving to either 7 or Server 2008 R2 over the next year before support is retired.
Quite right - I do get fed up of Windows drones whining on about all their fab new feature that has just been quietly working in Linux for years. I mean the important shit that does useful stuff and makes systems dependable, fast & efficient, not the bollocks bling and other ephemera.
Same with iPhone fashion victims continually bleating the myth that their extortionate hand-candy is innovative and technically superior - though I grant that from a marketing perspective it may be. Meh...
Same with iPhone fashion victims continually bleating the myth that their extortionate hand-candy is innovative and technically superior - though I grant that from a marketing perspective it may be.
Yawn. On a site with predominantly tech readers, a phrase that labels users of any smartphone OS as something instead of the result of a normal reasoned choice demonstrates more about the person who makes the statement than about the users. Be careful you don't hurt your wrist.
Hmm - quite the opposite here in Blighty, actually. Nary a Win7 machine to be found since around a month before Xmas. So on balance, not misleading at all. Every UK channel seemed to have its orders to bury W7 kit. It almost happened overnight as I recall; the weekend following the W8 launch there were no W7 jobbies in the local megastores. Not even discounted end-of-line stuff. It was very, very spooky and cunningly orchestrated...
Yes agree with you over the speed with which the UK high st. (including PC World Business & Staples) went wall-to-wall Windows 8, along with no Win7 machines in the clearance section.
If you want a Win7 machine, you have to either go online (to Dell, Lenovo, Misco etc. but not to PC World or Staples etc.) and buy a 'business' range machine or visit a local system builder.
The catch is that whilst you may have downgrade rights with a Win8 Pro machine, it isn't made easy - suggest reading the article:
Basically, you are likely to be better off buying a system with Win7 pre-installed rather than attempting the downgrade yourself...
Basically, you are likely to be better off buying a system with Win7 pre-installed rather than attempting the downgrade yourself...
Actually you're much better off buying a system without the Windows Tax (you'll save about £150) and stick Linux Mint on it. After about 10 minutes acclimatisation, you'll wonder why you ever paid Microsoft anything for their brokenware....
That is until you come to do some work requiring Office and you start to wonder how all these supposedly intelligent people get by using crappy substandard Office software. So you do a clean install of Win7 followed by MS Office, get a cup of tea and relax now that the world has regained it's sanity.
Using Linux 'MS Office' clones is a little like becoming one of those purists (READ twats) that think that coding HTML by hand (rather than making a well designed site that is a joy to use) is something to be proud of.
As an MS fan of more decades than I care to count I always feel disconcerted when my huge disappointment and frustration at Balmer's intransigence gets me labelled a H83r on a site with an otherwise high-quality level of commentardos.
There was even the time I got accused of deliberately lying and distributing misinformation about Windows 8, as if I were a rabid fanboi. So I'd have to say there are also 'hater haters' (or if you prefer, haters2 or possibly even haters3 ) out there!
Agree, the people who hate on win 8 either have not used it at all, arent smart enough to learn it or cant be bothered. The trolls just say it sucks, we all know who they are e.g. @Eadon and The Reg writers obviously do not complete much partial journalism unless it comes to something ending in *ix or *ux or *droid
I used to love this site but it appears to be seeing a take over from a bunch of hacks who just want to act on personal agendas half the time.
Not sure but definitely searching for an alternative to ElReg in the near future.
... the people who hate on win 8 either have not used it at all, arent smart enough to learn it or cant be bothered.
I think you mistake frustration for hate.
There are a lot of people commenting here who use Windows every day, many of us have to manage and administer Windows networks and cope with the problems of far less expert users than ourselves. We have some understanding of what these people find easy and what they do not.
It is frustrating to have to explain to users that in this new Windows things must be done in different ways. It is frustrating to have to explain to the same users, time and time again, what those new ways are. It is frustrating to have to try to explain why the new way exists, why the old way no longer exists, and why someone thought it was clever to change -- especially when there is no reason apart from Microsoft's desire to force a new fashion on the world.
Windows 8 does do a few things that are valuable and worthwhile that Windows 7 doesn't -- USB3 support is an example that's easy to spot, but most of them are improvements in security and reliability behind the scenes -- but there are also a lot of things that Windows 8 doesn't do, that Windows 7 does ... and that's frustrating, again.
So, no, most of us don't hate Windows 8 -- we despair at it, and we hate Microsoft for foisting it on us.
These comments aren't just sneers from Apple and Linux users, they're cries of pain from Windows users who see Microsoft ruining an OS that used to be usable (flawed, yes, but usable).
@The_Regulator - There are plenty of Microsoft-apologist sites / blogs out there where everyone is sycophantic towards Windows (to garner ad revenue). ZDNet for example.
If something is simply a bad product, like Windows 8 evidently is, experts and the market both agree - then it is not balanced journalism to say 50% good things and 50% bad things about it. It is balanced journalism to say that a bad product is bad. It's called telling the truth.
"Careful, any even vaguely positive comments about Win8 upset The Register's hivemind. My limited experience matches yours, FWIW."
I'm just amused by the "I love Windows 8 once I've made it look like Windows 7" comments.
Most of the complaints are about the user interface, not that they finally support USB3. They're foisting something made for fondling with your fingers into an environment where the 20 to 50 inch screen is sat out of arm's reach in a lot of places. It just doesn't work as well or as easily as what it has replaced, and all in a glory-or-bust attempt to make 2013 the year of Microsoft on the Fondle Toy.
I agree. I'm a Linux user for everything except games. Windows 8 + Classic Shell provided me with a way of getting DirectX11 on my aging Windows XP games machine for 25 quid.
It Just Works. With Classic Shell it bypasses the Metro UI (which I neither like or dislike, because I've never used it for more than the 2 minutes it took to install Classic Shell) and gives me a Start menu.
Windows 8's UAC is pretty sensible. It's not annoying like Vista, and I'd say it's even slightly less naggy than Windows 7. And it seems fast and responsive; I seem to be getting about 5 FPS better performance in 3D games than I did on exactly the same hardware under Windows XP.
If the one and only thing this does, is to allow me to install GTA:V when it comes out, then it will be considered 25 quid well spent.
Even for the sole purpose of getting off Windows XP before it becomes unsupported, it's a good deal. Add Classic Shell and consider it a cheap way of getting Windows 7, if you want to think of it that way.
Will I still consider it a good deal when the 25 quid offer ends after 31 Jan? Dunno. Don't care. I've only got one Windows machine and that's upgraded now. For anyone else looking to upgrade from XP... fill yer boots, get in while you can.
"my aging Windows XP games machine"
Just how 'aging'? I have an Asus Pundit AH2 desktop that will be going to a friend and needs to have a windows version on it. AMD Dual core, nvidia integrated graphics, 2Gb ram, runs XP sp3 pretty fast.
I'm glad to see Microsoft making the underlying system faster and more efficient. And I say this as a fully signed up Penguin.
I slapped Windows 8 (£25) on a old Tecra M7 from 2005/6. I upped the CPU to a 2Ghz C2D (£15 on Ebay) and it had 4GB of ram already. I also slapped a 64GB Samsung SSD in it (£65)
Absolutely flies with 8 on it. In fact I took it along to one of my small business meetings to show it off to let folks know that they didn't have to buy a new laptop to get decent performance. Managed to get several SSD/Win8 upgrade orders out of it as a result. They all didn't seem to mind Windows 8 either.
Businesses aren't spending money and have just spent most of what they have transitioning to Windows 7 from earlier versions.
But if they weren't expecting to sell many, shouldn't this article be titled
"Microsoft sales of Windows 8 to business much as expected
- nothing to see here, move along, move along"
less punchy I suppose and less likely to draw attention and comment. But if the Metro-haters, or anti-Linux crowd want to express their opinions they will whatever the subject of the article.
Actually, Mr Nobby, my home desktop is a W8 all-in-one. I really like the USB3 support mentioned above, the new 'fast start', the way my selection of 'More Details' is remembered between copy operations and the ability to flip hidden files on/off fast via the ribbon. I like many, many things about W8. I'd probably be a raving W8 fanboy if it weren't for the things I hate with a passion, such as the hard-to-discern current window focus, the loss of a process counter in Task Manager, the occasional bug where bulk copies of many gigs can result in a crash, the loss of UI beautification and (of course) the un-turnoffable tiles and the relegation of the desktop (the meat-and-potatoes part) to the status of a bloody app.
But balanced praise and critique gets me the tag of crybaby, it seems. Ho hum.
The problem for Microsoft and PC sellers in general is that the most basic low end box you can buy these day can happily do what the majority of business customers require which is Office, email and internet. You don't need a monster power system to do these task so there is little margain to be made out of business customers anymore. And Windows 8 doesn't really bring any new features that business would want on a desktop pc so aren't interested in purchasing it and if a pc comes with it preinstalled it will probably get replaced with Windows 7
There is nothing wrong with Windows 8. It's actually very good, and most people who have actually used it seem to agree that the problems are massively blown out of proportion.
The reason why businesses haven't moved over is because businesses NEVER move over to an OS that is only a couple of months old. That would be crazy, no matter how good or bad the OS is.
The reason why consumer Win8 hasn't taken off yet, is that the OEMS are only just starting to come out with decent Windows 8 machines.
It's going to take a couple more quarters to gauge how well Windows 8 is going for the consumer, and years before we can see its impact on business.
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Hmmm - agree that this will be knee-jerk down-voted - but there's an undercurrent getting little comment. All the reviews of the new generation of hybrid laptop/tablet PCs (less so Surface RT) have a consensus - yep, the new systems are are really functional - use 'em for business like a regular LT, then use 'em as a tablet in front of the TV, on the train etc.
The underlying trend - more and more touch-enabled hybrids - actually makes Win8 look like a product with a future (albeit one where the Wintel PC market share is in structural decline). Another version of Windows without touch would have been a far worse choice.
I've got a Win8 setup running Hyper-V so I can call up Win7, W2K12, and even (gasp) Mint - all at the same time if I want to, and it works A-OK. Very functional for someone with power user techie requirements - and I look forward to the next round of work-laptop hardware refresh when I'll be in line for a decent hybrid.
Yes - recent Mint versions work out of the box, a huge step forward for Linux, no struggling to get it up and running half-decently with popular hardware - props
Yes - as a user of a no-touch desktop, after six weeks I concluded that I'd prefer Start8 to keep the TIFKAM stuff out of my face. (And Start8 at $4.99 works an absolute treat).
Yes - MS is facing a structurally-declining market for Wintel laptops, there will be no glory-days sales boom for Win8
But actually it's a decent effort, and the benefits will emerge over a period of time, as the user-base shifts to hybrids. The immediate jarring shock of dual-GUI will fade into the background, and the users will actually like it.
to be fair there are some redeeming qualities in windows 8.
The file copy dialog is excellent, letting you pause file operations and showing you a speed graph.
The task manager is again greatly improved.
most drivers are auto-installed when windows is installed.
Yes, metro us useless, but great offerings like classic shell and start8 are worth looking into.
OK, yes I work for Dell.
That said, personally I think people that don't understand the application of touch and tablets in a business environment are missing a big part of the picture on future work habits and processes. Yes, I'm bashing away on a keyboard, attached to a Latitude laptop that doesn't have a touch screen and is running Windows 7 to write this.
When I got to meetings if I want to take notes I have to open my laptop and put it between me and either the other person or the whole room. If I'm walking from one meeting to another, using my laptop is virtually impossible.
Add to that, using Windows 3.1 style UI, which after all is what Windows 7 is, doesn't really fit the size, capacity and speed that my computer can run at today. My personal interaction with the UI is about the same speed as it was in 1984 when I was writing UI Windows-2 apps, it's just the controls respond a bit quicker these days.
I'd really like to use something that doesn't require a mouse, can be used more discretely, that responds to a flick of my hand, a gesture, that works intuitively etc. that isn't so invasive when I use it in meetings. I know lots of folks don't like Windows, thats fine. The answer can't just be an iPad though and the iPad interface isn't so far removed from Windows 3.1, which you may or may not think is a good thing.
Personally, I think in a few years, touch, tablet style apps with always-on capability, 5-10 hour battery life, will indeed have changed how we think and deliver business apps. But hey, go ahead just be negative, misery loves company.
Yes agree, about the problem with laptops on the move and in a meeting, my expectation is that the business IT client environment is going to get even more fragmented and messy. Funnily enough whilst MS are probably in the best position to deliver a unified solution across smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and servers, I have my doubts about their ability to actually deliver given the way Windows 8 has been introduced.
FYI, I'm bashing away on an XP laptop (Lenovo Thinkpad with a non-touch 1400x1050 screen - yes useful real estate for work, in a highly portable package!), and have given my partner the iPad whilst I experiment with a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1's pen input - good but needs to be better, so still need to carry pen and paper...
Microsoft tend to be deliberately non-interoperable. They do not play nice with competitor's software, and use non-standard protocols whereever possible, or extend standard ones. Or even use patent threats (e.g. the insane FAT file system patent law suits against Linux-using companies such as Tom Tom.)
So in a fragmented work place where you have apple products and even some Linux desktops in the more creatively minded orgs, the best way to unify everything is to use non-Microsoft tech and only use Microsoft tech to manage the Microsoft stuff.
The architecture behind Win8, I quite like.. The GUI makes me avoid it like the plague.. :)
Now, if MS, by default, allowed you to choose specifically whether you wanted to use Metro or not (so you had a Win7 equivalent desktop if that's what you needed for your environment) and had a Metro/touch base for a device that you needed that on, things would be great.
It's the probablity that nobody is going to use touch on a desktop (which still has a lot of use for regular office type work) because of gorilla arm and loads of other issues. Yet they have the interface forced on them.
And for the tablet, the desktop isn't the best metaphor.. Though they have that foisted on them too.. I take issue with the way MS are forcing people into the wrong tool for the moment, not on the underlying aspects of the OS.
BUT....(and here is the punchline) only because TIFKAM can't be deselected at will for those who it doesn't work for.
The underlying OS is a definite improvement on 7. Even for many office users, who only use one or two applications, it will not be a big problem.
The patches that restore the start menu are a nono for many business users, simply because of their narrow support window.
I personally use over a hundred applications on my work laptop. I support 6 different MFD manufacturers, all of their software, and cutomers that use them, and use loads of different applications, from Office to Photoshop to Equitrac.
I have to run 6 VMs just for the cost recovery server tools.
For me, it is great big fail.
I've just upgraded from Win XP to Win 8 for my main desktop machine and am extremely happy to have done so. I use a Win 7 laptop occasionally and a remote Win 7 desktop for work; Win 8 is essentially exactly the same as Win 7 to use, in all but a few minor details, and many of the changes are positive. Yes, losing the Start menu felt like a minor loss - but just pin all your regular apps to the Taskbar, use the bottom-left-corner-right-click menu for access to Control Panel and other maintenance functions, and (once a week) use the Start screen and/or Search for anything else. I've set my Folder Options to 'Re-open Explorer windows on re-start' and this automatically bypasses the Metro start screen and takes me straight to a plain old Windows desktop, without needing any third-party tweaks. If you don't like the Start screen, don't use it and stop whinging.
Performance is excellent, start-up and shut-down times are in the 5-10 second range.
I can see that Microsoft have taken a gamble, and it will take time for people to come round, but few people can doubt that 'touch' is here to stay and having the 'touch' philosophy built into the world's most significant OS in 2012/2013 may well turn out to have been a masterstroke. Time will tell.
I didn't like the Ribbon UI at first, or numerous other modifications, but (perhaps paradoxically) I find that as I get older I'm realising that overcoming that sort of mental inertia can actually be well worth the effort; don't allow yourself a knee-jerk 'I hate it' reaction - try it out and make up your mind after a week or two.
this is not surprising. it brings the user an interesting new experience like being hit in the face with breeze block on a construction site and being left for dead with bleeding genitals.
many people have been tricked into paying huge numbers of beer tokens, like 25 beer tokens, so you bet theyre gunna make up some obscure feature microsoft stole from linux to claim its a great new improvement etc but fact is someone would of coded that feature for free if the source code was open and you wouldnt have to be hit in the face or touched up on a building site. you could have freedom. you could be respected.
it only runs faster because they colluded with intel to make it so. theres no reason windows xp could of been that fast and windows xp ctually is the fastest but again theres this construction site delusion where th emore traumatic the experience the mroe you pretend to like it
LOL @ The Alpha Klutz your comments make zero sense. So MS colluded to make their operating system fast with intel right........... they ddon't want to produce the fastest product they can anyway right?? (also you did acknowledge that it is fast!!)
Also do you have any kind of statistics that back up the fact that windows xp is "the fastest" or is that just some more drivel coming out of your mouth I can't quite decide but erring on the side of you have no clue WTF you are talking about.
For gaming I am pretty sure Win8 was tested and came out on top of even Win 7. For regular use you don't have to stick with the Metro Interface, go to the desktop and use it or on a dual screen setup its even better, you can have your metro apps on one screen and your legacy ish on the other.
Final Note: Windows 8 has been released to the public for all of about 3-4 months at this point but yet we should accept your view now that it has failed??
Keep Trolling Buddy your obviously a pro at that at least.
Intel CEO's phone rings in the middle of the night...
Riiiing "uurrrmm hello, who is this at this unsightly hour???"
"It's me, Ballmer! Listen dude, don't tell Apple or Lenovo or anyone, but we want to make Windows 8 faster than XP and we need your help! Are you in or out?"
Intel CEO: *pauses momentarily* "You betcha ass baby! woohoo fuck yeah!"
Ballmer: "Oh yes, we're the guys! Wintel fuck yeah for the win!!!"
That's exactly how it happened!
Microsoft still owns the business desktop and the multitude of application interdependencies pretty much guarantee this for a long time to come. However the desktop investment is static if not slowly declining, and what should (probably does) terrify Microsoft is that in every area our customers' spend is growing - mobile, Cloud, virtualisation, search, advertising - we've not had anyone ask about Microsoft products in years.
IRO desktop, we've been here before with Vista and Millenium being two notable disasters. But if Windows 7 turned out rubbish we'd still be promoting XP, and if they were both rubbish we'd still (probably) be promoting Windows 98. Windows 8 is never going to fly and while we do not yet know what Windows 9 will bring, we do know that regardless of official policy Microsoft will support Windows 7 for as long as most of the business establishment is using it.
IRO mobile and search, I really feel sorry for Microsoft on this one. Finally after years of producing third rate trash in these markets they finally produce an excellent OS and decent search engine - and nobody seems to care. Surface has proved that producing their own kit is no guarantee of success. Just a crummy situation for them to be in I guess - huge investment is just barely keeping them in this game, but doesn't seem to be making it in any way profitable.
IRO Cloud, the only way they will ever get real traction with new businesses is if they make the base OS (minus the GUI) free and charge only for the GUI which is still the best available (IMHO). That's just the bitter reality - entrepreneurs starting out usually have (slightly) more time than cash, and therefore just simply won't consider paying for something they can get for free and without the added hassle of licensing management. Existing businesses that succeed in moving Windows business applications to cloud are also likely to find themselves moving to Linux for their new applications as well. A free Windows Server "Express" is probably only a matter of time, but the longer they wait the less relevant Windows will be in future.
A few years ago Ubuntu was good. It was promising. It was full of hope. People loved it. Versions 6 through 8.
Now look at it. Where did they go wrong? Now It's Vista, no wait, its Windows 8 (Windows 6.2). Who can name the most recent Ubuntu code names based on animals? It's sad how Ubuntu has gone, and why has it gone bad? I'll tell you: It's gone bad because of the stupid interface.
Yes you can install Mint and yes you can install Kubuntu. But that's not the point. Ubuntu is ubiquitous it was supposed to bring Linux into the mainstream. Not fork off when a critical mass didn't like it.
The moral of my story; swallow and buy that MacBook Pro. You won't regret it.
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