back to article Microsoft 'touches 16k shop workers' to flog Windows 8 hard

Microsoft says Windows 8 PC sales were cursed by the unholy trinity of a slow economy, incursions by Apple and Android tablets, and the "ambitious" user interface design. But the software giant insisted it is working with retailers and manufacturers to supply hardware that people actually want in time for the peak sales season …


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  1. Bob Vistakin

    Microsoft 'touches 16k shop workers' to polish their turd hard

    Mythbusters show the way.

    1. Shagbag

      ManagementSpeak overload




      There you have it.

      Anything other than "we tried to sell something people don't want".

      1. Chika

        Re: ManagementSpeak overload

        Yes, well they knew this would be a touchy subject!

  2. LinkOfHyrule
    Paris Hilton

    "very touch centric"

    Eeewww, I thought we were beyond this kind of work place harassment in this day and age!

  3. Suricou Raven

    Technology change?

    What change would this be? The only major changes in laptop technology over the last year has been the introduction of touchscreens on a lot more models, and that is something Microsoft themselves demanded.

    1. Schultz

      Re: Technology change?

      It's less a technology change than "the middle of an economic environment that none of us experienced before"

      Translation: We seem to have lost our cosy monopoly arrangement. Where did it go?

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Technology change?


        I assume he's meaning a rather nasty lack of growth in the advanced economies. After all, MS still have an extremely healthy unhealthy monopoly in PCs.

        Weirdly by technology change, I think they mean technology stay the same. I just realised I bought my PC in 2006. And it still runs all the most current software perfectly well, apart from the most demanding games. I don't think that's ever happened before, and consumers don't tend to upgrade their OS. They buy it with a new PC. So because of that (and shiny) tablets are the next big thing. Not because they're replacing PCs (at least not yet*), but because the PC is good enough, for the diminishing number of things you do with it.

        * Is an Asus Transformer good enough to be a PC replacement yet? I suspect the MS Surface Pro will be a perfectly fine laptop replacement, but probably a bit heavy/power hungry as a tablet.

        1. Schultz

          Not to Spartacus

          There is lots of growth in microelectronics, but the new computers (i.e., phones, pads, integrated devices) don't follow the rules created by MS. I like to think that people at MS look at the shiny new world and wonder where, when, and why the rules of the game suddenly changed.

          It's surely in parts an issue of 'good enough' devices: no need for the newest hardware supported by Windows-only drivers. Any Chinese company can knock together a good enough device with good enough software to fulfill 90% of the market needs. Suddenly the high-res screen, better touch sensitivity, or a random app-of-the-day becomes the decisive factor for a purchase and MS doesn't have an edge in those fields.

  4. DAN*tastik

    "consumers didn't understand touch-based laptops"

    Or is it that they did and realised it didn't make sense? It's different...

  5. Scott Earle

    "Confusing software and expensive hardware doesn't sell" shocker

    Confusing software is confusing, so nobody bought the expensive hardware that runs it properly.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: "Confusing software and expensive hardware doesn't sell" shocker

      Also: "People don't want fingermarks smeared all over their screen shocker."

      Ever tried a full-fat touch machine? Worse than useless as anything more than a very unwieldy and hugely overpriced tablet. You'll need a bottle of cleaner and a microfibre cloth to hand and use them regularly for any serious use. MS need to get those gesture sensors they're working on to market ASAP, or they're screwed.

      1. ArkhamNative

        Re: "Confusing software and expensive hardware doesn't sell" shocker

        The last thing we need is more hand-waving, or "UI"ercise.


        1. Miek

          Re: "Confusing software and expensive hardware doesn't sell" shocker

          "The last thing we need is more hand-waving, or "UI"ercise." -- Are you sure? I'm quite looking forward to watching our end-users trying to write an email by flapping their arms in the air and shouting "Send! Send!".

          it would also be nice to actually point to a printer and say "There, look it is connected and turned on you stupid bloody computer"

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: "Confusing software and expensive hardware doesn't sell" shocker

        >MS need to get those gesture sensors they're working on to market ASAP

        I thought it was already on sale and called the Kinect ...

  6. Anonymous Custard


    Once again Microsoft come up with a new and weird definition of an existing word.

  7. Anonymous IV

    The "ambitious" user interface design...

    One presumes that in the UK, following Yes, Minister, the word that would be used instead of "ambitious" would be "courageous".

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: The "ambitious" user interface design...

      Do you think someone said, "I think you're being very courageous Mr Sinofsky", at any point in the last few years?

      As subsequent events have shown, he didn't listen...

  8. Semaj

    Crystal Ball

    Except that MS had something even better than a crystal ball - thousands of beta testers who all gave MS countless warnings that the Windows 8 UI was not fit for purpose. They were ignored and MS are suffering for it. Office 13 won't do well either for the same reason.

    And as for the surface marketing - anyone with any knowledge of how people use computers could have told MS what a terrible campaign that was. What the hell were they thinking? The surface ad makes it look as though the (admittedly novel) case-keyboard is an add-on, which needs to be carried around separately - it's misses the whole point.

    Fail all around at MS. Hopefully it'll give them the kick up the backside they need though.

    1. Belardi

      Re: Crystal Ball

      Yep! Myself and others SAID here and other tech sites that win8 was crap. Not usable for a desktop or notebook. The concept seemed good to me, until I tried it out on my Thinkpad. It took me 15 mins to hate win8. Then I tried LinuxMint... For a while, then back to win8 to give it another chance. My test Thinkpad will become my Linux test system for me to learn. That's a fact... I see windows as a dying platform... Killed by Microsoft in their stupidity. I only know one friend with a touch based AIO PC, they used the touch for about 2 weeks, then went back to mouse full time. Dirty screen and muscles required was not worth it.

      Win8 desktop mode is also ugly... There is so much stupid things done to win8, who wants to use it? With win7, many of us couldn't wait for it... I ran win7rc on 3 of my PC for a month or so after retail release. It worked that good.

      I still know nobody with win8, while win7 exploded quickly. At a local pc store, about 20% of their PCs are win7. Nobody is BYO with win8. Every pc I've built and sold is win7. Some because they don't want to be stuck with win8 or 9+ metro UI pc anytime soon. Hell, I could have bought 5 of those win8 upgrades for $40 for my own PCs. Why would I waste money? I even built a new I5 desktop for myself just after the release of win8. The $140 win7pro was worth it over the much cheaper win8. I wish it was worth it and save me $100.

      This week alone, ive sold and building 4 new win7 PCs.

      Also... Office 2013 is butt ugly blinding crap design. What. Idiot came up with this?

      I typed this on my iPad1, touch screen. Don't want to wake wife with the desktop and it's 24" display.

      Again... Thanks to Microsoft... Windows OS has become irrelevant.

  9. Silverburn

    unholy trinity

    the unholy trinity of a slow economy, incursions by Apple and Android tablets, and the "ambitious" user interface design

    Only one of those is outside of MS's control (the economy) or ability to affect, but it's hardly hurting Apple or Lenovo who both recorded increased sales. Maybe...just maybe...Win 8 simply isn't good enough?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it needs a hard sell

    Then the product is shit.

    Interestingly MS are adopting a double glazing sales strategy for Windows.

  11. kiwi8mail

    Fear is one solution...

    I once had an hour free while passing through central Birmingham, and was browsing in the local PC World. Not that I buy there, I was just checking out the laptop market. It was around the time of the release of Vista.

    An assistant made a half-hearted effort to sell me something, and I made a half-hearted effort to sound interested. But then I told them that yes, the laptops were all very nice, but I had heard terrible things about Vista, and I mused it would be ideal if they could instead sell laptops with no operating system on them at all.

    I knew it was pointless to say such a thing, although I wasn’t deliberately trying to waste their time – I do make genuine purchases (three separate computers since then) from manufacturers who don’t bundle Windows.

    “No, we can’t do that,” replied the assistant. “That would be ILLEGAL.”

    It seemed the assistant was accidentally mixing up the idea of civil legal liability (in terms of the agreements that manufacturers have with Microsoft), with that of criminal liability. But as a sales tactic, it seems solid gold…

    1. Chika

      Re: Fear is one solution...

      I've heard that one before. It was related to playing a DVD out of its intended region.

      Next time somebody tells you that something is illegal, ask them for the law that applies in this case.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    peak sales spring season

    don't you just love this unfaltering optimism? I see it more like, naturally, spring cleaning :D

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: peak sales spring season

      Is Microsoft selling to consumers or to business?

      I thought the peak sales season for consumer electronics was the run up to Christmas ...

  13. imanidiot Silver badge

    Well duh..

    I think most of us could have seen this comming right from the first announcements of TIFKAM.

    I just can't see ANY advantage to having touch on a laptop or desktop. On a desktop especially it would just be unwieldy and tiring on the arms when you have the screen in a good location, or very taxing on the neck and back if you place it conveniently for using it as a touch device...

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Well duh..

      Laptops and desktops are a dying format for consumer computing. Desktops are still essential for professional content creation - whip those Xeons hard, boy - but most consumers don't need that kind of power, and can't afford it even if they want it.

      So it makes *no sense* to package a tablet as a true laptop replacement[tm] and then force everyone to use a touch-based UI on it.

      For most people the definition of PC is 'Windows UI'. World+dog would have been fine with a tablet version of Win 7 with multitouch and gestures, including some clever way to emulate mouse hover.

      So MS could have sold Win 8 as the improved touch version of Win 7, and made Notro an optional add-on pack. If there were enough 'Requires Notro' apps in the store, punter would have bought it *because they wanted to.*

      But Ballmer decided the tail should wag the dog, and Sinofsky drowned in a 'We can make it all one code-base, right?' unicorn fart and rainbow kisses fantasy.

      Instead of Windowising tablets, they tableted Windows.

      Win 8 products aren't PCs. But they're also not tablets, because they're trying to be PCs. And they don't have a cool touch UI, because Notro isn't a cool touch UI.

      As Eadon would say - FAIL.

      Which is sad, because with some real insight Windows could have wowed tablet users who want something that can do real work - design, media, music, photo editing, even Office. And there's endless potential for cool games.

      Instead we got a weirdified version of the Xbox interface running on a PC, and one of the worst marketing campaigns in living memory.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    operating system

    You only buy a new operating system when you buy a new PC. Who cares if it has Windows 7 or 8, I will pick the cheapest.

    1. Silverburn

      Re: operating system

      This might apply to Joe Punter, but to most techs here, I suspect performance and usability will dictate OS choice.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: operating system

      I was going to buy a brand new laptop last week. Then I found that the models I wanted came with Windows 8. So I've decided to stay with my ancient 2ghz Pentium Mobile - until it either runs out of spares or won't suffice my daily lightweight processing needs. Then I'll buy a nice secondhand Windows 7 laptop at a reasonable price - or go to Linux.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: operating system

        >I was going to buy a brand new laptop last week. Then I found that the models I wanted came with Windows 8

        Why are you reading the Register and buying in the high street?

        Windows 7 laptops are available, only you have to buy from the 'business' ranges. this is very easy to do on the web or if you like the personal touch and convenience of being able to drop off a malfunctioning laptop for repair then you'll need to explore the smaller businesses in your area.

        2ghz Pentium Mobile? is that still running Win2000? If so you're obviously managing to get good value for your money!

      2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

        Re: operating system

        Funny you should mention that. I went throughalmost exactly the same exercise for the same reasons and came to the same conclusion.

        Windows 8 really does seem to be an unmitigated pile of crap

        I'm also eternally grateful I'm not expected to use it at work.

    4. Silverburn

      Re: operating system part 2

      ..and besides, choosing an OS on price should automagically direct you to a LINUX build anyway. And without the windows bloat will probably be faster too.

    5. Rob 21

      Re: operating system

      That'll be Linux, then ;-)

  15. DrXym

    By ambitious they mean broken

    It's very clear that Microsoft made a beeline to tablet land with their metro interface and didn't pay much regard to what the experience would be like for mouse / keyboard "encumbered" devices. And now they're feigning surprise that the reaction from users and the market should reflect that.

    I hope that MS have gotten over the hump of making their OS touch friendly they can set about fixing these problems for conventional systems. It probably doesn't radical modifications, just a refinement (e.g. being able to change the zoom level of tiles, tile groups, some form of compact launcher and so on). After all, Vista introduced some not-inconsiderable changes to the user experience and got a slagging for it too but once MS polished the experience up in Windows 7 people were generally very favourable about.

    I hope that's what happens with Windows 9 or 8.5 or whatever. And until it does expect the general disquiet to continue.

  16. nematoad

    "Windows 8 was never going to be explosive on its first weekend"


    Explosive? More like a damp squib.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    call me stupid but...

    ... if im sitting on my sofa with my laptop in my lap working hard on my new novel why should I want to keep reaching up to touch the screen?

    I'm finding it hard to work out when I'd find a touch screen on a laptop any real use...

    1. Chris Long
      Thumb Up

      Re: call me stupid but...


      Ok, you're stupid.

      For fuck's sake, people, try to understand. Windows 8 is NOT a touch-centric OS. The desktop mode is completely identical to Win 7 in usability terms. You run all your usual software, you don't need a touch screen, no-one's going to make you little arms all tired. If you're running on a standard desktop/laptop, you use it just like Win 7, with the mouse / trackpad / keyboard, and everything works just fine.

      IF - please note, I'm saying "IF" - you're on a touch-enabled device, like a tablet or a convertible, then you can ALSO - please note, I'm saying "ALSO" - interact with the machine using touch. Is anyone here claiming that there's no place for a touch interface? No, of course not.

      Windows 8 has both a regular interface and a touch interface, with no requirement to use either one in a context where it doesn't work. If you're some sort of idiot sitting in front of a 24" 1920x1200 touch screen and you keep reaching up to touch the screen instead of using the mouse, then you've only got yourself to blame.

      Why would anyone in their right mind, running Win 8 on a desktop with a 24" screen, be using Metro apps anyway? Metro apps are optimised for use on relatively small, touch-enabled screens. Sure, you can use it on a big screen if you want, but don't complain if it's not ideal - it's not meant to be.

      I read the El Reg review of the Lenovo Yoga the other day, and it included something to the effect of 'Windows 8 doesn't make sense with a mouse/keyboard'. Bullshit, you're just using it wrong.

      Now, I will agree with the thrust of this article which seems to taking the position that Win 8 is actually fine, but that it was launched with too much emphasis on the touch features, leading various commentards to say "touch won't work on a big screen / desktop". Microsoft should have spent more effort highlighting the continuity offered in Win 8, whose Desktop is hardly changed at all from Win 7. Desktop users need have no fear of upgrading.

      Note that this is all based on the fact that I use Win 8 every day, on a desktop machine with two large non-touch monitors, using nothing more than a normal keyboard and mouse. Do not rely on the opinions of commentards who say things like 'I don't know anyone who's got Win 8' or 'based on the reviews I've read', etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: call me stupid but...

        When Windows 8 has a simple switch to remove TIFKAM then I'll happily buy it for myself and all the people I support. You can lead a horse to water.....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: call me stupid but...

        MS are saying that devices should be touch enabled. . At thr moment that pushes the price up a long way. What I was trying to express is why should I pay for a touch enabled device when I have no use for ir.

  18. c:\boot.ini

    Lord of the flies

    Ever seen flies on a touch screen ? I have last summer and it was hilarious - they are happy to open Control Panel for you or whatever ... close random windows ....

    Every now and then, when I point at something onscreen, the display thinks I want to click it although I have not "touched" the screen ... so "touch screen" is inappropriate, it should be pointer screen ... And at the end of the day, it is expensive useless junk, tbh.

    1. Chemist

      Re: Lord of the flies

      "Ever seen flies on a touch screen ? I have last summer and it was hilarious - they are happy to open Control Panel for you or whatever ... close random windows ...."

      It's just a bug

  19. Longrod_von_Hugendong


    But rubbish,

    Basically windows 8 is like anything the topgear lads touch....

  20. breakfast Silver badge

    "Ambitious" as synonym for "Awful"?

    It's interesting that they describe the Windows 8 interface as "Ambitious". In my experience, a lot of people who describe themselves as ambitious, or are described that way, are actually just awful people. Not all of them, of course, but a lot. Windows 8 is an awful interface. Perhaps the words are effective synonyms.

    I am wondering whether Microsoft are doing an Inverse Star Trek Movie approach to operating systems, where the odd numbered ones are alright and the even numbers are awful. Sorry, "ambitious."

    1. Chris Long
      Thumb Up

      Re: "Ambitious" as synonym for "Awful"?


      "Windows 8 is an awful interface"

      Please clarify. Which part of the interface is awful? The desktop mode, which is essentially identical to Win 7? The Start screen? Are you writing off the entire OS just because of the Start screen? What is it, exactly, that is 'awful' about the Start screen?

      The Start screen is perfectly usable with a mouse and keyboard. Pro tip - the mouse scroll wheel will scroll the Start screen and various Metro apps left and right. It's like some sort of usability magic - how do they come up with these things? Using the scroll wheel for scrolling? MIND BLOWN.

      1. breakfast Silver badge

        Re: "Ambitious" as synonym for "Awful"?

        Where to begin...

        The first problem I have is that the whole damn interface, aside from the crippled desktop, is designed for touch. Now I have never liked Apple, who make pricey gear for graphic designers, hipsters and Nathan Barley tosspots, but at least they understand that there is a difference between a desktop and touch-screen interface. Microsoft seem to have gone for a one-size-fits-all-but-the-desktop approach which as a user of non-touch-screen machines is very frustrating to me. The whole thing about Windows was that it was supposed to be a graphical user interface, but I find myself having to use keystrokes more and more to do things that I could previously do easily with a couple of mouse clicks.

        Also what is the deal with the start page and the charms menu? Why are some things "charms" and others start page entries? I'm sure I could customise that, but why should I have to? The whole paradigm is simply confusing. And sometimes, I want to move my mouse to the edge of the screen and not have a menu suddenly drift in between me and what I was doing.

        The division between TIFKAM and desktop is just weird - the way that applications can only exist in one space or the other. Also what happens when you minimise an application in TIFKAM? Is it different from closing it? Does that mean I can't close them too or that they can be both close and minimised, but without opening the application it is impossible to know which? I'm no usability consultant, but I don't think when Schroedinger's Box was proposed as a thought experiment, the idea was that it would make for an outstanding interface design.

        One thing I think about when I deal with a new operating system is what my life would be like if my parents were to install it and I was to have to explain it to them. In that respect the curious dualism of Windows 8 would make for endless confusion and hours of attempting to explain concepts that make no sense at all to a person who has a mouse and keyboard in front of them.

        There is no single factor in Windows 8s awfulness- it's not like Vista where the "Are you sure you want to" and "Are you definitely sure you want to" and "Please think again, you might not want to do this" pop up boxes on EVERY SINGLE ACTION were the clear thing that was wrong with the operating system. Windows 8 has a passably quick desktop ( but without the start menu, quite annoyingly crippled ) and it starts up quite fast.

        In terms of general day-to-day use, however, the main thing it has done is drive me to Linux. If I could play Skyrim on Linux, I doubt I would need my Windows boot partition at all.

        1. Chris Long
          Thumb Up

          Re: "Ambitious" as synonym for "Awful"?


          "The first problem I have is that the whole damn interface, aside from the crippled desktop, is designed for touch."

          Well, that's wrong for a start. The Start screen and the Metro apps are designed to be touch-comaptible, but the rest of Windows (ie 99% of it) isn't. The main Windows 8 desktop is just like Windows 7 with no obvious concessions to touch-compatibility. Agreed, the Charms menu is 'different' in Windows terms but that kind of always-available 'home' menu is a pretty familiar concept to anyone with a smartphone.

          Similarly re: closing apps. You're getting stressed about whether an app is really closed, like some OCD victim constantly checking that the front door's locked. It doesn't matter - it's a different paradigm. You don't need to close apps, you just switch away from them and don't worry about it - let the OS deal with it. (If you really want to close them, drag from the top of the screen to the bottom).

          1. hplasm

            Re: You don't need to close apps... let the OS deal with it.

            That's why so much Surface capacity is used by the OS- All of the installed apps are running all of the time!

          2. breakfast Silver badge

            Re: "Ambitious" as synonym for "Awful"?

            You're having to explain to someone who works full time as a Windows developer and has done for a long time now, how to do basic Windows tasks through the Reg forums. This hasn't happened with any previous version of Windows. I should be able to look at the screen, try a few things and figure out what I need to do- I shouldn't need to Bing it on my Zune to find how to do the basics.

            The thing is, after 20 years or so of refinement, Windows usability *wasn't wrong* - most people could figure out how to do most things. There was no reason to change it for most users. See also Visual Studio 2012 - it's like they took the usability guidelines and threw them out the window for that.

            The whole thing reeks of Microsoft trying to be cool. Obviously, I'm a programmer, I don't know much about being cool, but I do know that one thing that nobody ever got cool by trying.

            1. El Andy

              Re: "Ambitious" as synonym for "Awful"?

              @breakfast: The world has moved on. Sure you could just leave things as they were, but they'll become increasingly less relevant or useful to most people. The idea that the classic "desktop + Start menu" is somehow UI perfection is as ridiculous as similar comments back in the days when DOS was being phased out, or Win 3 after that.

              Regardless of whether it's "cool" or not, or whether it requires people (yes, even programmers!) to learn new stuff, it's still important to move things forward. The absolute one way to be guaranteed to become obsolete is to do nothing at all.

              1. breakfast Silver badge

                Re: "Ambitious" as synonym for "Awful"?

                I'm not saying things should be left as they were. I am saying that things should not *deliberately be made worse*. That is a massive difference.

                I love usability changes that make things more usable. I'm all in favour of those.

        2. M Gale

          Re: "Ambitious" as synonym for "Awful"?

          Also what happens when you minimise an application in TIFKAM?

          Nothing. The application carries on flicking between running and suspended states in the background until such time as the OS decides it needs more memory. The program then gets a short time (5 seconds if I remember that lecture correctly) to save anything important before it is forcibly terminated.

          See also here.

          So in the future when everything's Modern, will I watch everything slow to a crawl if I enable power saving, because there's no close button on the million and one store apps open? Or will I end up with the system deciding what apps I get to have immediately available and what ones get extra added switch times and the uncertainty of whether they really did manage to save everything in the time required?

          Someone really should apply a chair-end to Ballmer's cranium and tell him a PC isn't a games console or a phone.

      2. Asok Asus

        The Identical Desktop

        "The desktop mode, which is essentially identical to Win 7?"


        You mean the "essentially identical desktop mode" that has no Start Menu, is impossible to boot into directly without third party software, keeps jumping back to the horrid Metro UI at the drop of a hat, and crazy things keep zooming onto the screen from random directions if you accidentally move the mouse the wrong way? Do you mean that "identical desktop"?

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: The Identical Desktop

          Asok Asus,

          Someone disagrees with you. It doesn't make them either a shill or a troll. It just means they hold a different opinion. It's really not a hard concept to grasp. Please stop it!

  21. captain veg Silver badge

    Advice to Microsoft



  22. RISC OS

    Re: "consumers didn't understand touch-based laptops"

    Consumers understand touchscreen... what they don't understand is why they are so expensive, or why they should pay hundreds more and have worse specs... apple only got away with that by exploiting idots that think price = quality, and they could only do that by not having cheap good quality hardware in the first place, sadly MS has been helping to flog cheap hardware for decadeds by giving away windows and offering OEMs discounts to bundle windows with their hardware.

  23. Miek

    "But the software giant insisted it is working with retailers and manufacturers to supply hardware that people actually want in time for the peak sales season this spring." -- It's the lack of a decent operating system that's the problem not a lack of decent hardware. I was dissuaded from by a very nice, very shiny Samsung Ultra Book simply because it came with W8 and there were no W7 drivers available on the Sammy website.

    1. Chris Long


      Possibly the first recorded case of a fool and his money not being parted.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For "ambitious," read, "Crap."

    And, for "different comfort levels," read, "people don't like it."

    How many millions can I expect from Microsoft for this ultimate piece of management consultancy: Stop living and dealing in lies. There, I've just transformed your company's future. I think I deserve a few pennies.

    Of course, Mr Ballmer and colleagues might find that they have different comfort levels with my advice.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 8 reminds me of an old joke about meeting customer requirements.

    A man goes into shop and asks for a particular widget. The shopkeep says to him in an exasperated voice "look - you're the hundredth person I've told today - there's no call for that widget".

    1. Vic

      > Windows 8 reminds me of an old joke about meeting customer requirements.

      Reminds me of a joke about management...

      "It is a crock of shit and it stinketh."


  26. stevesx

    Windows 8 could be great for 3D design applications.

    A large screen, high power, Windows 8 kit could be very useful in applications such as 3D Studio or Blender for example. With a few improvements to the software workflow, they could become so much easier and more intuitive to use with a touchscreen. Definitely, they would be a great way to demonstrate the potential of touch-screen computing.

  27. Bynar

    And todays Microsoft rep on a comments thread is...

    Chris Long.

    Not including a classic desktop sort of mode in Windows 8 is the biggest act of stupidity I have seen in a long time. I installed Win 8 on my spare laptop at home just to see what the crack was, I'll be buggered if I put that on my main rig as my day to day OS. Productivity seems to have been an after thought...lets make it all pretty instead.

    1. Chris Long
      Thumb Up

      Re: And todays Microsoft rep on a comments thread is...


      Errr... it does have a classic desktop mode... did you forget to press the Windows key? Are you one of these people who can't cope without the Start menu?

      1. Asok Asus

        Re: And todays Microsoft rep on a comments thread is...

        Windows KEY? KEY? As in remove my hand from my mouse and type when I don't actually need to input some text? Like with Dos 3.1? As in USE THE KEYBOARD to compensate for a "touch" UI that is so broken that using the KEYBOARD is more efficient than using the mouse?

        1. Chris Long

          Re: And todays Microsoft rep on a comments thread is...

          @Asok Asus

          No, if you already have your hand on the mouse, go to the bottom left corner and left-click - you know, like you do know to get to the Start menu (What? That glowing orb thing is a menu? How is anyone supposed to know that?).

          You guys should really try using Win 8, it'll be quicker than me trying to train you all up myself.

          1. M Gale

            Re: And todays Microsoft rep on a comments thread is...

            You guys should really try using Win 8, it'll be quicker than me trying to train you all up myself.

            I have a free copy thanks to Dreamspark, but there's little to no chance of it escaping its virtual machine. Tried it, didn't like it. If I want a games console, I'll buy a games console.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: can't cope without the Start menu?

        I choose not to.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    'Microsoft says Windows 8 PC sales were cursed by the unholy trinity of a slow economy, incursions by Apple and Android tablets, and the "ambitious" user interface design.'

    What actually happened was that Windows 8 PC sales were cursed by the unholy trinity of the fact that nobody bought it, the fact that nobody bought it and the fact that nobody bought it.

  29. Stuart Ball

    My Youngest was most put out that a cross platform painting programme she used on my Asus Transformer was not "Touch-Enabled" when using it on Windows, as her monitor doesn't have touchscreen.She point blank refused to use the mouse to finger-paint.

    There is a danger we are missing the point in that Touch is not an interface for "our" generation, but those actually growing up with touch now. MS is laying the groundwork, possibly badly, for future markets.

    However £400 for a touchscreen standalone monitor is a TAD excessive.

    1. Asok Asus

      Windows 8: The perfect OS for finger painting.

      "She point blank refused to use the mouse to finger-paint."

      Because I believe you are sincere and not a paid MicroTroll, I'll be gentle. I think it's a sad commentary on the utility of Metro UI that finger painting by a child is being touted as being a highlight of an OS . On the other hand, in point of fact, I do think finger painting does in fact completely exemplify the utility of touch and Metro UI.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Windows 8: The perfect OS for finger painting.

        Please stop being an arse and calling people shills.

        Thank you.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows 8: The perfect OS for finger painting.

        Yep. Let's hear how that child gets on doing her word processing and spreadsheets. She'll be finding out what keyboards and mice are for!

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      My Youngest was most put out

      My youngest was most put out by the TV remote as it didn't talk to her and so would throw it across the room. A year or so later she worked out the difference between the TV remote and a phone and is now a competent user of both for the tasks they were designed for and no longer tries to talk to the TV remote...

      Interestingly, neither of my children try and use the desktop's touch screen even though they happily use the iPad...

      So no I disagree touch isn't an interface for a new generation, it is just a more convenient version of the stylus interface that has existed since at least the 1970's and has more applications written to make use of it.

  30. Levente Szileszky

    "Ambitious", bwahahaha...

    ...what a classic, hilarious Ballmerian BS. :)

    Seriously: just how long his clowns are willing to embarrass themselves publicly with all these preposterous nonsensical BS "explanations" for tanking sales instead of admitting that their product is a half-baked, homework-quality, unfinished, utterly idiotic, two-headed monstrous PoS that would need another year to finish it (ie get rid of this abomination called Metro UI)?

    In other words: how long Ballmer's striking incompetence and his team of bunglers (= senior mgmt) will be tolerated by the shareholders/board? BALLMER and HIS ILKS MUST GO, and ASAP.

  31. Asok Asus

    Sounds like an excuse symphony to me.

    Sounds like Microsoft is getting tuned up for the excuse symphony they're gonna be needing regarding the impending failure of the Windows 8/Windows RT/Surface ecosystem.

  32. JeffyPooh

    "...and the 'ambitious' user interface design."

    You spelled 'rubbish' incorrectly.

    It's not just that I don't want Win 8 in my life, it's that I'm going to actively avoid it. Maybe Win 10 will return to normal programming.

  33. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Face it Metro is going to rule the world!

      What I enjoyed most about that was the co-ordinated chair chucking that goes with each line

  34. David Strum

    An IBM moment – me thinks.

    This is a turning point in this corporate giant's fortunes; it’s become sloppy and slovenly – just like its CEO. It’s like a gambling man – in the process of losing all that fortune he has amassed. Our lively hoods as Technicians are tied to its apron strings - but it’s time to call Microsoft a failing company.

  35. s. pam Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    YUCK -- I had to use Windows 8 and I didn't like it!

    We visited our son last weekend and I had to help him with his new computer win 8.

    Never has an OS made me swear more, more loudly, made me more want to vomit than this ebola virus on a machine. I also had violent spells of diarrhoea afterwards and will be seeking compensation for counselling.

    What a /dev/fucked OS it is..

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