back to article Microsoft's 11-year itch: The uncelebrated anniversary of Windows 8

Microsoft is rarely shy when it comes to anniversaries. However, one milestone passed last week that the mega-corp is still perhaps trying to forget: 11 years since the launch of Windows 8. Even with the benefit of hindsight, one cannot escape the sense of "what were they thinking?" when looking at the operating system. …

  1. Alan Bourke

    There's no 'benefit of hindsight' required.

    Man + dog knew at the time it was an improvement on Windows 7 saddled with a UI that made zero sense on desktop machines. The 'future is all touchscreen' mantra was rampant like the 'future is pretend AI' mantra today. Remember how consoles and gaming PCs were going to be dead and it would all be tablets and phones?

    1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

      Re: There's no 'benefit of hindsight' required.

      I remember seeing it on a work PC for the first time. All of the "Modern UI" apps ran full screen, which on a 27 inch 1440p monitor was ludicrous.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: There's no 'benefit of hindsight' required.

        what do you have against as full screen 4-operations calculator???

        1. joed

          Re: There's no 'benefit of hindsight' required.

          It's worse than that. The whole metro abomination had no place in desktop environment but MS managed to make it also utterly crap in the tablet mode. I gave their useless grove (?) media player a chance to shine as a head/media unit in a car. Absolutely useless UI with buttons fit for mouse cursor interaction but almost impossible to deal with using touch. Pointless exercise that annoyed Windows users. And not like MS has relented since in destroying Windows (sure they'll pretend to restore some user interface features every other generation but the writing is on the wall and so the enshitification continues).

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: There's no 'benefit of hindsight' required.

            Windows has always failed, and continues to fail in the tablet mode:

            Take one iPad hold on either portrait or landscape then rotate 90 degrees, note what happens and the time taken. Now repeat with Windows…

            Interestingly, Andriod finds this simple test challenging…

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's no 'benefit of hindsight' required.

      Server 2012 was even worse. You might possibly potentially maybe one-day use Windows 8 on a touchscreen. Nobody was using Server 2012 on on a touchscreen device, so why the dumb UI?

  2. mark l 2 Silver badge

    MS dropped the ball on the Windows 8 UI, it should have been a simple option when installing Windows 8. Are you using a touch screen device or a PC with a mouse and keyboard? And then it loaded up either classic start menu or Metro depending on the choice. With maybe a simple toggle to switch between the two for people who used both.

    As the metro interface was just horrible on anything other than a touch screen device or a media centre PC

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      But that'd have been common sense, wouldn't it? Brain-dead marketing droids had probably heard of the concept

      1. LogicGate Silver badge

        The biggest failure was that they then skipped Windows 9, and opted to release 10 instead...

        https://www.infoworld.com/article/2613504/microsoft-windows-microsoft-skips-too-good-windows-9-jumps-to-windows-10.html

        And now with 11, everything is out of kilter again....

        1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
          Meh

          In fairness to Microsoft, they skipped Windows 9 because there's software out there which detects "Windows 9*", looking for various flavors of Windows 95/98. One notable example is, I believe, the Oracle Java runtime. Obviously, Oracle could fix that problem, but there are probably many legacy software packages out there which would have exhibited strange behavior on Windows 9, expecting a wholly different architecture.

          I quite liked Windows 10 and found it to be a decent successor to prior versions. Even 8 wasn't bad once you replaced the full-screen Start Menu with Start8 or something similar. I'm forced to agree that 11 is a step backwards, however.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            >” I quite liked Windows 10 and found it to be a decent successor to prior versions.”

            Whilst I agree there are some good under the hood improvements in W10, there is nothing that could not have been delivered through the classic UI.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          And even 11 contains menus/dialogue boxes that clearly pre date W8…

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        But that'd have been common sense, wouldn't it? Brain-dead marketing droids had probably heard of the concept

        From what I've read, the single-UI decision was made at the executive level, not by Marketing. That's even worse, as higher salaries were involved. But then what's more damaging to products than executives with "vision"?

    2. TReko

      Control Panel and Settings

      And 11 years later they still haven't bothered to make a consistent UI for Windows 11.

      The "Settings" app is touch friendly. Control Panel is still needed and definitely looks like it comes from Windows 2000.

      1. Lurko

        Re: Control Panel and Settings

        It is truly remarkable that after decades, Windows interface is still such a staggeringly inconsistent mess with chunks of API (and clearly code) that date back to before the millenium. There's so much to like in Windows 11*, and much of the setting interface is remarkably good, well presented and logical, but there's far too many bits that have been left behind. And still MS keep trying to clag machines up with garbage widgets or active components on the taskbar or in menus. Why does my 82 year old mum get gifted supposedly live updates on the NASDAQ, or a junk newsfeed from sites that are full of the tackiest, crappiest ads ever?

        * Especially with a third party menu overlay because MS botched the main menu.

      2. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Re: Control Panel and Settings

        Why would they bother?

        It is the same company that says that for security reasons you shouldn't grant any user the "debug" privilege, and then requires it for running the MS SQL setup...

    3. Dave K

      I think Windows 8 was intended to help Microsoft popularise the interface and hence force their way into mobile phones and tablets. MS also dropped the ball by believing that touch screens would rapidly take over on laptops as the primary method of input, replacing the mouse/trackpad. I think MS knew it would be a tough sell on business machines, but then Windows 7 was still being rolled out and they knew they could gamble with Windows 8 for home users.

      Honestly I think MS saw a vision where touch-screens were all the rage, Windows tablets would take off and the UI would become accepted by the average home user. Then of course they walk into a mobile phone store, see a phone running Windows Mobile and feel a sense of familiarity - "hey, it's just like my laptop at home!"

      Of course, so many things went wrong. Touchscreens for user input remain niche on laptops - they have their uses, but a sizeable chunk of the population prefers mouse/trackpad/trackpoint - and indeed plenty of laptops available now shun touchscreens because many people don't like controlling their laptops by jabbing at the screen. The fact that a majority of computers were using Metro without touch meant the user experience was rubbish. Add onto that, Windows tablets never achieved mainstream success because of limited software that actually was designed for touch.

      So the result was the opposite of what MS planned. A punter walks into a mobile phone store, sees a phone running Windows Mobile and thinks "Urgh, it's just like my laptop. I *hate* that interface" and dismisses it automatically before moving onto the Android handsets and iPhones.

      TLDR: It was a gamble to force the Windows Mobile interface on everyone and get them to accept Windows Mobile, and it backfired. Badly.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        The irony being (for me anyway) I loved my Windows phone, and still miss it. I hated Windows 8. But had no difficulty reconciling Win 7 on my PCs with the Windows for phone.

        If they'd had an ounce of sense they'd have come up with an interface that looked similar enough to feel familiar but still worked appropriately for the specific device.

        Instead they dropped Windows Phone rather than supporting it. Dicks.

      2. ilovesaabaeros

        The biggest issue for me with touch screen input on laptops is that I hate having a mucky smudged screen when I am using the device. Phones are ok because they are small enough to be wiped on your sleeve every now and then, but larger screens need more effort to clean.

        I had a Lenovo Yoga for a time and it folded 180 degrees into a large and heavy tablet like device, it was a fun thing to do once or twice for the novelty, but I never used it in anger.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          I'm using one of these now. I love it. I've never had any problem abou typing on the screen. Just now it's rested on my knee, with the keyboard folded behind the screen and I'm typing using the screen keyboard. To be fair I mostly use it in tablet mode if I'm reading or watching stuff. Like El Reg. (And it does come with a pen, too.Which is useful and the only design flaw imao. The flaw being there's nowhere to store the damn pen!!!!

        2. Dave K

          The second issue is that most laptops that use touchscreens adopt a glossy coating for them, hence they're far more prone to annoying reflections. If you want a matte coating, more often than not it means none-touch. Speaking personally, I'd take matte none-touch over a glossy touchscreen any day.

        3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Personally, I hate touchscreens in any context. For one thing, my fingers aren't transparent; a selection mechanism that involves obscuring the thing I'm trying to select is stupid. For another, touchscreens require taking my fingers off the home row, for devices that actually have a keyboard (and devices that don't have physical keys are crap). And touchscreens are imprecise and prone to false input.

          Touchscreens aren't quite as terrible as voice recognition or VR, but they're pretty bad.

      3. katrinab Silver badge
        Meh

        The thing is, I see a lot of iPads used in business, and it would on paper make more sense to have surface tablets used there so you get the same Active Directory stuff as the rest of the computer fleet.

        But, they are used in very different use-cases from desktop or laptop computers, so should run a different operating system.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          I remember discussing multi-modal interactions circa 2001 with respect to 3G devices. These obviously, were based on work done in the 1980s at PARC.

          Interestingly, Applevwith the iWatch etc. seem to have done the most but this is still an under developed area. I do think MS’s constant rehash of the UI is holding back the development of really useful IT.

  3. Andy Non Silver badge

    The beginning of the end

    I'd used all Microsoft operating systems from the days of DOS 3.1 and earned my living as an application developer on all those platforms. Windows 8 went too far for me and it was the moment when I started dipping a toe into Linux. By 8.1 I was dual booting Windows and Linux on the same laptop. Then one fateful day a Windows update trashed the bootup and made the laptop 100% Windows destroying the Linux boot option. That was the final straw and I deleted Windows and went 100% Linux, eventually settling on Mint. Not looked back since.

    1. Knightlie

      Re: The beginning of the end

      Just going through the same process now, also getting a Mint installation set up. Windows 8 onwards is a dumpster fire, and I'm tired of being angry at my computer all the time because it won't do what I want it to, or does things I don't want it to.

      Microsoft have lost the plot IMO.

  4. Admiral Grace Hopper

    s/unforgettable/unforgiveable/

    I was a huge fan of Windows NT and its progeny for a long while, but between Vista and 8 I started to suspect that there were folk in Microsoft who really didn't like me. Win 10 worked fine, but I was always suspicious that they might go all 8 on me again. I haven't had cause to use Windows for a few years now and I can't say that I miss it.

  5. Ali Dodd
    FAIL

    They don't seem to have learnt tbh

    I didn't mind the Metro and it was great on a touchscreen. Improved in 8.1 but yeah a simple choice would've helped & the odd hide the close X issues did not help at all. Shame they have not learnt as the WORST thing about Windows 12 is again it insistence of hiding all your apps in the start menu, Painful.

  6. Bearshark

    Server 2012 ?

    Server 2012 had the metro interface as well. Who @ M$ decided that was a good idea? Luckily Server "core" came out at the same time. Switched any new 2012 servers to the core version. Now I don't have a GUI on their server 2012 products. That works for me.

    1. BlackPeter

      Re: Server 2012 ?

      Oh G-d. Up until recently we had some internal dev servers running 2012, and i literally winced when I had to RDP into them to do something. Then I would forget that hideous interface existed until the next time. All gone now, thankfully.

    2. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: Server 2012 ?

      We didn't ever use Server 2012 or 8 / 8.1 on live systems, but did have 2012 R2 on live servers (which had pretty much the same interface as 8.1, i.e. marginally less shit than the original 8). I installed Classic Shell on all of them. Nobody appeared to have tested it on terminal severs, which we had several of - so I tried it and it worked fine, so it went on them as well. Users didn't really have any issues, whereas when I'd tried out a 'vanilla' install of a 2012 R2 terminal server on some of them they were very confused. It was as simple as just adding a start menu. If Microsoft hadn't been so pig-headed they could have retrieved the situation early on, when the strength of the negative feedback was very clear, but simply adding a built-in option to enable a start menu something like people were used to.

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Server 2012 ?

      What, you didn't use a Windows Phone for your domain controller? Weird.

  7. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Not just that

    Win 8 was in many ways a continuation of Microsoft's view that user couldn't be allowed to make decisions, as seen with the "Ribbon" in Office.

    Ribbon removed the ability of the user/their managers to modify menus to better suit their pattern of use, removing items from a menu or moving them to where they made more sense to the users. So, for example, I used to put some stuff in the WORD edit menu, which is where my staff would be looking for it when working on assessment reports, and got rid of stuff that they'd never use in a squillion years.

    With Win 10 onwards the same approach is being applied to the Start menu. It's becoming ever harder to remove distracting crap that software install in there or moving programme links into purpose folders (image editors in a folder called "Graphics" etc so that they were easy to find even when you couldn't remember the name (which is far too likely,since so many programmes have bloody stupid, unhelpful names that someone though was clever)) making the menu over long and difficult to navigate down.

    Win 8 should have given the users the option, but that wasn't and isn't Microsoft's way. So now Store apps can't be moved around in the Start menu at all, sitting there in alphabetical locations and fucking up any attempt to keep things organised.

    For some reason they seem to have elevated their manager's whims to some kind of Holy Writ that users must accept.

    1. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge

      Re: Not just that

      All of what you describe is a subset of Micros~1's ruling philosophy - it's not your computer. Use of their software renders it their computer, which they are allowing you to use for a license fee.

      Everything from telemetry and advertising embedded in the browser and OS, to updates forced upon users at arbitrary times, to forced overrides of users' autonomy just as you describe: the sign of the arrogance of a rent-seeking landlord that has successfully turned itself into an overlord.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Not just that

        Of course, it's also Apple's and Google's philosophy.

    2. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Not just that

      Should we then hope then that EM decides to buy MS?

  8. workrabbit

    Ten years on, we’re still picking up the pieces

    Windows 8 had some innovative designs, but the gamble did not pay off. It was easy enough to remove some of the nonsense (at least for non touch devices) with some inexpensive utilities.

    1. Paul Kinsler

      Re: It was easy enough to remove some of the nonsense

      Indeed. I got W8 pre-installed on a laptop, and at first sight I even thought it looked rather nice. However, I never actually used W8 for anything, ... because straightaway I installed linux on it and never booted into W8 again :-)

    2. James Anderson

      Re: Ten years on, we’re still picking up the pieces

      Irrelevant car analogy......

      It's was as if Honda decided it should have s consistent user interface for all its product lines .... Cars, Motorcycles, outboard motors and lawn mowers.

      Then decided to settle on a twist grip and rudder control for everything.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Ten years on, we’re still picking up the pieces

        I'd say that was a perfect analogy. Except that it doesn't quite go far enough. Because "charms".Those weird hidden controls on the screen in Win8 that could never be found should you need them,but would pop up annoyingly if you inadvertently moved your mouse over them. To extend your analogy it's like the car,motorbike and lawnmower all had a hidden brake that would bring it to a sudden stop if you moved your hand slightly, but couldn't be found if you were about to hit something.

        1. 43300 Silver badge

          Re: Ten years on, we’re still picking up the pieces

          Hover the mouse in this corner, and a control to do X might (or might not) mysteriously appear!

          Apple got this one right by using common design elements but tailoring the front-end to the form factor (phone / tablet / computer). Quite why Microsoft ever thought a front-end which was basically designed for a phone (where it worked well) was suitable for computers is a mystery, and the clunky way it relegated the desktop to a semi-disconnected adjunct was so clumsy it's hard to see how it was ever signed off. And don't forget the two separate versions of IE - one on the desktop and a big blocky one for the home screen - they didn't bother with this on the server versions and they only had the desktop one.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Ten years on, we’re still picking up the pieces

            >IE…

            I note from my patch management system the November 2023 fully patched version of W11 includes IE 11 which is EoL ie. No longer supported by MS…

  9. Kurgan

    I had already jumped ship at the time

    After having worked with MS poor excuses for operating systems for a long time (win 95, win98, winME, Win Vista) I jumped ship to a linux desktop after XP was deprecated.

    And anyway it just fits MS one decent / one trash scheme for desktop OS (I have omitted winNT, Win2000 here):

    win2 - trash

    win3 - decent

    win95 - trash

    win98 - decent

    winME - extra trash

    winXP- decent

    win Vista - extra trash

    Win7 - decent

    win8 - trash

    win10 - decent

    win11 -trash

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

      2000 was very decent. Probably the best os Microsoft ever shipped.

      Vista was actually not to bad after a couple of service packs.

      1. 43300 Silver badge

        Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

        Vista was OK if run on decent hardware (run it on the minimum official spec and it was awful). UI was probably the best they ever did, but the UAC implementation was messy and overly intrusive. They fixed most of this in W7, unfortunately removing some of the better aspects of the UI in the process.

        Windows ME on the ohter hand - yes, that was really shit and had the feel of an early beta. I suspect that the failure of this was a factor in the sensible decision to abandon the W95 product line and focus on the NT-derived versions.

      2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

        W2K was very decent indeed, XP only really caught up with it at SP3.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

      win10 - decent

      By "decent" you mean "more tolerable than Windows 8, if you're not bothered by the data slurp" right?

      1. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

        Just out of curiosity, what evidence do you have that the telemetry collected by Windows 10 went beyond what Microsoft outlined and/or that they misused that data in any way? Did you ever even read the explanation of what data is collected and what it's used for, or did you just make a bunch of wild assumptions? This isn't a gotcha type question either. If you have actual evidence that Microsoft is selling telemetry data collected from Windows to third parties, I'd genuinely be interested in seeing it.

        You are also aware that basically every other OS does the same thing, right? macOS has telemetry data collected. Android has a voracious appetite for telemetry data. iOS/iPadOS/tvOS all collect telemetry data. The Linux kernel may not collect telemetry data, but plenty of apps bundled with any given distro do. The simple fact is, developers can get a lot of very useful data from it. Data that helps them fix bugs, plug security holes, and identify problems before people even report them. You can't always rely on users submitting bug reports, and even when they do, unless they're developers themselves, often times the reports are next to useless. Sometimes even then. Telemetry data can be really useful for helping figure out what the user was doing at the time and aids immeasurably in trying to reproduce bugs.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

          Did Microsoft ever outline what "Security", "Basic Health & Quality", "Enhanced Insights", "Diagnostics Data" mean? Who knows. I'm sure the definition is buried in the 167-page privacy statement and it's my fault for not spending a few days at work reading it fully before deciding whether or not I should use Windows.

          You are also aware that basically every other OS does the same thing, right?

          Apart from Linux/BSD/hobbyist OSes, they're all Silicon Valley OSes so of course they have an unhealthy fascination for slurping data. That doesn't make it right. So may all these OSes all go forth and multiply, along with the people who try and justify it does make it right.

          The Linux kernel may not collect telemetry data, but plenty of apps bundled with any given distro do.

          So? I can choose the distro and I can disable any telemetry in any software, if it has telemetry (can you tell me which Linux software does, out of interest)?

          Also, you can include all the replies you got a week and a half ago. I say that in a non-stalking way as I replied too.

          1. aerogems Silver badge

            Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

            "Did Microsoft ever outline what "Security", "Basic Health & Quality", "Enhanced Insights", "Diagnostics Data" mean?"

            As a matter of fact, they did.

            https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/diagnostics-feedback-and-privacy-in-windows-28808a2b-a31b-dd73-dcd3-4559a5199319

            Did you even bother looking? I mean, it's right there on the same settings page as the rest of the options regarding the telemetry.

            "Apart from Linux/BSD/hobbyist OSes, they're all Silicon Valley OSes so of course they have an unhealthy fascination for slurping data."

            Spoken like a true budding conspiracy theorist. That's not intended to be a pejorative either, just a statement of fact.

            "That doesn't make it right. So may all these OSes all go forth and multiply, along with the people who try and justify it does make it right."

            Fair enough, but you still haven't answered my question regarding any evidence you have about Microsoft misusing the collected data. You keep trying to change the subject instead. A more suspicious person might suspect it's because you can't provide any examples, but instead of simply admitting you were wrong, have decided to double down on stupid. Sadly an all too common theme with people these days. The only thing bad about being wrong is if you don't learn anything from it.

            "So? I can choose the distro and I can disable any telemetry in any software, if it has telemetry (can you tell me which Linux software does, out of interest)?"

            How sure are you about that? Have you ever thrown a packet sniffer on your network to make sure? Or are you just trusting them because they're part of your tribe?

            "I say that in a non-stalking way as I replied too."

            If you have to include a disclaimer like that, maybe that should tell you something.

            So, one more time. This is not a difficult question: Do you have any evidence that Microsoft is, or ever has, misused the telemetry data collected from Windows machines? If yes, please present it. If no, either say so. Or I suppose you could keep trying to change the subject, which is basically the same thing, except it makes you look like an immature fool.

            1. katrinab Silver badge
              Black Helicopters

              Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

              My problem is the fact that they collected the data in the first place.

              1. aerogems Silver badge
                Boffin

                Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

                And what if that data they collected helped them to identify the cause of a bug that was plaguing you specifically?

                If anyone has evidence of that data being misused, I am genuinely interested in seeing it. What I'm not interested in, is a bunch of conspiratorial nonsense. The NSA works on the Linux kernel, so how do you know they haven't inserted some kind of secret monitoring code in there? Have you personally audited every line of code? What about all the commercial interests working on Linux? Do we know for certain none of them have inserted some kind of spyware into the Linux kernel? It seems like we have exactly as much evidence to support those scenarios as the idea that Microsoft is doing anything untoward with the Windows telemetry data. That is to say: None.

                And before you even start with the "it's open source, so anyone can look at it". That's true, but it doesn't mean that 1) anyone is looking at it, 2) they would be able to spot it even if they were looking at it, or even 3) that anything is done about it if it were found. Just look at how many bugs have lingered in apps and libraries for literally years despite being open source. Theoretically, hundreds of people looked at the code and completely missed the issue.

                https://www.theregister.com/2023/10/13/squid_proxy_bugs_remain_unfixed/

                https://owasp.org/www-community/vulnerabilities/Heartbleed_Bug -- vulnerable versions were in use for over 2 years before the bug was even found

                https://www.theregister.com/2022/12/07/longstanding_bug_in_linux_kernel/ -- Bug in Linux kernel lasted from at least 5.17 to 6.2

                Just a couple of examples. Something being open source doesn't magically make it immune to these kinds of issues. And, who knows, some telemetry might have helped identify these bugs sooner.

                1. collinsl Bronze badge

                  Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

                  And you don't think the maintainers of the Kernel (don't forget Linus Torvalds is not American) would notice commits put in by the NSA? And would inspect those specifically?

                  You may not have to scrutinise the entire kernel, but you can scrutinise individual commits by certain named organisations that you have reason to not trust 100%

                  1. aerogems Silver badge

                    Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

                    You don't really know anything about Linux kernel development, do you? The NSA is behind SELinux.

                    Also not sure what kind of xenophobic bullshit you're trying to start with Linus being Finnish, but he's been a naturalized American citizen for over 10-years now. And since apparently we're doing non-sequiturs, Linus himself has said that he hasn't really written a single line of code in probably even longer than that. His role now is a project manager, not someone who looks at every single line of code being submitted for inclusion.

                    And since you point out you can scrutinize parts of the code... how many lines have you personally scrutinized? Do you even know how to get a copy of the kernel source? Do you know enough low-level C code to be able to make heads or tails of it? Have you ever even tried reading someone else's code, because it's a lot harder than you think. I'm guessing you haven't ever even written so much as a hello world app in any language. Eric Raymond is a fairly good author, and he made some good points with his Cathedral and Bazaar essay which you probably don't even realize you're referencing having never heard of ESR or any of his infamous essays, but he overlooked a number of things and sort of hand waved away a number of others. Just because someone can review source code, very few people actually will. As anyone who's done any actual programming knows, reading someone else's code is a hell of a lot harder than you think. If you can't even manage to make it thought a single comment, you'd have no hope of tracing several hundred lines of code spanning multiple functions across dozens of files.

                2. martinusher Silver badge

                  Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

                  The thing about Linux is that you "don't have to personally audit every line of code". You can, of course, because its open source -- and you can build a distribution from the ground up if you want to --- but that's not how you'd approach the problem of figuring out what the code is up to. You approach it like any other debugging problem in that you start from observed behavior and drill inwards, breaking up the code into blocks to limit interactions. (Difficult to explain to someone not used to kernel debugging but I'd guess anyone who's done this sort of thing knows what I mean.)

                  The biggest indictment of Windows is its processor, memory and network bandwidth usage. When a Linux kernel like my Mint s idling the system is quiet, network traffic is minimal to nonexistent, disk activity is non-existent, the whole system is quiet. When Win10 runs on the same hardware its busy to the point of being constipated -- it can't get the cycles or the network to set the time automatically, it locks the UI while its sorting itself out and generally is a total mess. It will quieten down eventually but its still using substantial resources doing absolutely nothing.

                  (Yes, its an old dual boot system to I'm comparing like with like. Micosoft does all sorts of weird things as well, like locking disk sectors so you can't resize partitions properly Overall, its a mess and the only reason I keep an instance of it is that there are still a whole bunch of people out there who insist that its "the one true OS" regardless of the facts. Because, seriously, if you want a totally curated experience that actually works get a Mac. I've got one on the table next to the PC and its remarkably quiet and surprise free to use -- no Update Tuesday lottery for Apple!)

                  1. aerogems Silver badge

                    Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

                    And have you ever done any kind of work to figure out what it's doing? Windows does some aggressive caching in an attempt to improve performance, but there are plenty of people out there who still cling to outmoded ideas. One of them being that the more free RAM you have the better. That's just not the case. That's like going to one of those storage rental places, renting out an entire row of units, and then only using one or two units for everything. What's the point in having all that excess capacity if it's just going to sit empty all the time? Better to fill it with something you may need, and then you can empty it out if you find something more important to put in there.

                    Also, I'm just one data point, but out of every system I've ever had running Windows, I have never seen anything like what you describe. Sounds to me like you have something else going on, possibly malware, possibly an ill behaved app, who knows. Sounds like you're not all that interested in doing a proper post motem to figure it out either. Much easier to just blame Windows than do the hard work of figuring out what's actually at fault.

                    And just me and most of the enterprise world, but having predictable release cadences is very nice. Not a "whenever we feel like it" method of Apple. El Reg actually had a good article on this not too long ago. Microsoft's corporate customers were the ones who pushed them to create Patch Tuesday. Makes life easy for the sysadmins who manage large fleets of systems. You also know exactly how long a particular version of Windows will be supported with Microsoft. Apple never bothers telling anyone when they stop supporting a particular version of macOS. The updates just stop one day, and that's it. There's no announcement, no notice anywhere on the Apple website, people are just left to figure it out based on the fact that several updates have come and gone for more recent versions while the older one hasn't seen anything.

                3. Roland6 Silver badge

                  Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

                  >” If anyone has evidence of that data being misused”

                  The trouble is identifying a definitive evidential path and identifying what exactly is being reported where.

                  Recently, I had cause to look up adl.windows.com (a failure to connect was listed as an error in the windows event log) and discovered a treasure chest of URLs and domains Windows uses for outbound telemetry connections, the majority not obviously connected to MS. Obviously, the always on news feed et al adds to this list and could be regarded as camouflaging the telemetry reports.

                  Given we know, from Kaspersky, what a simple cloud-based AV scanner can detect and report back on, we can be sure the Windows telemetry will be much richer.

                  Plus with MS, like other U.S. companies (eg. Cisco) being subject to US law and thus open to the approaches of the NSA et al - just like Huawei as a Chinese company is subject to Chinese law and Chinese government “influence”, we know the data is likely to go beyond MS product improvement department…

                  It is going to be interesting, as if the data is systematically going beyond MS QA, it is only a matter of time before some of it appears on the dark web…

            2. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

              Did you even bother looking? I mean, it's right there on the same settings page as the rest of the options regarding the telemetry.

              Did you even read it? It couldn't be any less specific if it tried. Compare with e.g. Ubuntu's specific list.

              Required diagnostic data is information about your device, its settings and capabilities, and whether it is performing properly.

              Spoken like a true budding conspiracy theorist. That's not intended to be a pejorative either, just a statement of fact.

              The fact that there is no present-day commercial OS which doesn't include telemetry is not a conspiracy theory, unless you would like to provide evidence that it is.

              you still haven't answered my question regarding any evidence you have about Microsoft misusing the collected data.

              The original point was collecting telemetry in the first place, not whether or not they're misusing it.

              If you have to include a disclaimer like that, maybe that should tell you something.

              It tells me you appear to find the need to cheer-lead Microsoft collecting telemetry.

              How sure are you about that? Have you ever thrown a packet sniffer on your network to make sure? Or are you just trusting them because they're part of your tribe?

              I trust Linux distros to be specific about the data they collect, granular about the permissions, opt-in, and transparent. If it turns out that they aren't then users generally force the distro developers to correct this (e.g. Ubuntu changed from opt-in to opt-out). Distro developers may not even want the GDPR/CCPA responsibilities.

              So, one more time. This is not a difficult question: Do you have any evidence that Microsoft is, or ever has, misused the telemetry data collected from Windows machines?

              And, one more time, the original point was collecting telemetry in the first place, not whether or not they're misusing it.

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

                Missed the edit window...

                The quoted text in bold is from Microsoft, not Ubuntu.

                Ubuntu changed from opt-out to opt-in.

              2. aerogems Silver badge

                Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

                "Did you even read it? It couldn't be any less specific if it tried. Compare with e.g. Ubuntu's specific list."

                So, since you're once again trying to change the subject, I'll take that to mean that you've never bothered doing any kind of searching for that info, and were simply assuming it didn't exist. If you had bothered to follow some of the links on that page, you could see they list right down to the system call what they log.

                "The fact that there is no present-day commercial OS which doesn't include telemetry is not a conspiracy theory, unless you would like to provide evidence that it is."

                I'm left wondering if you're deliberately being obtuse or if you genuinely are that obtuse. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume the former, in which case I'll remind you that your thesis is that Microsoft is collecting this information for nefarious means. You have yet to be able to provide a single instance where Microsoft can be shown to have misused that information for anything other than the stated purpose.

                "The original point was collecting telemetry in the first place, not whether or not they're misusing it."

                And what exactly is the problem with collecting telemetry data? You just sort of hand wave that one away, but the undertone of all your comments is that Microsoft is this big evil corporation that must be using it for nefarious means. Doesn't matter that you can't provide a single example of it being misused, you feel it in your bones or something. Just like plenty of people on the political right in the US can't provide a single bit of evidence that the 2020 election was "stolen" but they still know that it was, for... reasons.

                Never let facts and logic get in the way of a good conspiracy theory, amirite?

                "It tells me you appear to find the need to cheer-lead Microsoft collecting telemetry."

                Halloween is over, buddy. It's a little early to be starting work on the straw men. I never said I was for it. I also never said I was against it. I have said that it can be very useful for the developers to get insights into how people use their products and identify bugs and whatnot. I took a few seconds to understand the utility behind it, as opposed to getting swept up in the mass hysteria about it, and so I'm willing to tolerate it.

                Now, if you were ever able to come up with specific examples of that data being misused, that may well change. However, you've been asked point blank to provide any such examples you're aware of multiple times, and every time you try to change the subject, so I'm just going to go ahead and conclude you have no such examples. Your entire argument is based on an irrational fear of what might happen. You might get hit by a bus tomorrow. Doesn't mean you shouldn't ever leave your house.

                "I trust Linux distros to be specific about the data they collect, granular about the permissions, opt-in, and transparent. If it turns out that they aren't then users generally force the distro developers to correct this (e.g. Ubuntu changed from opt-in to opt-out). Distro developers may not even want the GDPR/CCPA responsibilities."

                So when I ask if you've ever personally verified that when you opt out of things, you're really opted out, and you come back with a bunch of marketing BS... I'll just take that to mean that, once again, you haven't ever verified anything, and are falling back on tribalism. You trust Ubuntu's developers because they're from your tribe, and you don't trust Microsoft because they're from another tribe.

                "And, one more time, the original point was collecting telemetry in the first place, not whether or not they're misusing it."

                Got it, you can't provide a single example. Meaning your arguments are based on nothing but wild speculation and paranoia. If not because the data might be misused, what is your problem with it being collected?

                1. Terry 6 Silver badge
                  Flame

                  Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

                  Reading these comments,and having felt many of the emotions that plenty of El Reg commentards feel about "slurp" I forced myself to focus back on how I actually use computers. And one of my conclusions was that I've often wanted the developers of software, including Microsoft, to know how bloody frustrating or useless some part of their product is. And since Ubuntu was mentioned, having just replaced Mint with Ubuntu, this very day, I'd love for them to see how bloody frustrating their skinny, disappearing scroll bars are on a laptop. And to know how equally frustrating it was to have installed Ubuntu believing the statements online that SAMBA was included in the install, then finding it bloody wasn't by spending almost an hour trying to smb://mywindowsPC/etc and nothing happening because it doesn't even give a f***ing error message, so it was purely intuition that had me try installing SAMBA- at which point it just worked as I'd wanted! I could go on- even just about today's Ubuntu install. I won't because my blood pressure doesn't want me to.

                2. Dan 55 Silver badge

                  Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

                  You have yet to be able to provide a single instance where Microsoft can be shown to have misused that information for anything other than the stated purpose.

                  FTC Will Require Microsoft to Pay $20 million over Charges it Illegally Collected Personal Information from Children without Their Parents’ Consent

                  Why did I have to search it for you, perhaps you were using Bing and couldn't find anything?

                  So, as I said, the best way to ensure against misuse is not collecting it in the first place, and the FTC agrees.

                  You may dismiss this because it's XBox, but Windows 10 and 11 also steer people into opening a Microsoft account unless they disconnect it from the Internet so maybe there's another case coming up shortly.

                  Thanks for playing, don't let me keep you from leaving.

                  1. Roland6 Silver badge

                    Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

                    >” but Windows 10 and 11 also steer people into opening a Microsoft account unless they disconnect it from the Internet”

                    Agree about the steer and irritating regular reminders to use an MS account, but to date I’ve not had to disconnect from the internet to force out-of-the-box W10 and 11 to create a local account. Perhaps my problem is that I don’t use the Home edition…

            3. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

              Since gathering of telemetry data by MS is against EU law, as found in 2018 by the Dutch government, yes, it is misusing it.

    3. aerogems Silver badge

      Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

      These comments are trash. They always get repeated and it's always by people who probably never even used half of them, and couldn't actually tell you why any particular version was bad if you asked. It's also full of rose colored glasses and overlooks a lot of factors like how it took XP until SP2 to really stabilize. Or how Win98 had two versions, because the first one was that bad.

      Microsoft did a pretty good job of exposing this kind of bullshit with their Mojave Experiment. You take Vista and you remove all the Vista branding. Then you tell everyone that it's a beta build of some new version they're working on to replace Vista, and everyone instantly loves it.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mojave_Experiment

      It's great you think you like Linux. It's a great OS, if you know what to expect and are properly prepared. However, in your particular case, it's clearly not as good a fit as you seem to think, otherwise you wouldn't be making such obvious attempts to convince yourself of that fact like your above post. If it really were such a great fit, you'd be content knowing that it's good enough for you, and you wouldn't need to try to turn every single conversation back towards Linux. Maybe you should spend a little time doing some introspection and figure out what it is you really want. Maybe it is Linux, or maybe it's one of the BSDs. Could be it's a Mac or maybe Windows is the best fit for you. I don't know, nor do I much care. I just want you to find whatever it is actually fits what you want out of an OS so that you will stop overcompensating and STFU about it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

        warped experiment:

        "The users were guided by a Microsoft assistant to test "Mojave.""

        says everything we need to know about that PR bollocks

        and you obviously do care, as you keep ranting about how good it was, are you sure your not a MS PR wonk?

        1. aerogems Silver badge

          Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

          Says the coward who won't put their name to their words or offer up any kind of actual rebuttal.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I had already jumped ship at the time

            i waste enough time replying to clowns, why would i waste more time rebutting clowns.

            not vain enough to want my details splashed across the internet, I'm hot on security

  10. Sir Sham Cad

    I had honestly forgotten that Windows 8 existed and that I had to use it at home until Windows 10. Nobody I knew used it apart from me.

  11. arjaysam

    MSFT just didn't get it

    I got to participate in "reviewing" MSFT training courses for Windows 8 in Redmond in advance of the GA release of Win 8. There was something like 18 of us in the classroom and we were all horrified at what we were seeing. The poor instructor did everything she could to keep us on track but it was a losing battle. I guess our universal dislike of what we were seeing bubbled up to "the powers that be" and our class started to be visited by various management and product groups. There were lots of heated discussions between the 18 of us and the various Microsofties with the gist being, "are you people out of your minds????". It was five very memorable days and all of us left Redmond wondering if Microsoft had just killed the crown jewels.

    A few weeks later a work colleague got to do the same thing for Server 2012 and the same scenario repeated itself with the various sysadmins attending the course apparently expressing their views in an even stronger fashion than we did in the Win 8 review. It's sad that the underlying good bits had to fight with the visual layer of crud. Just another example of a technology vendor losing sight of what it's user base actually needed versus the whizbang marketing drive that forces "features" into a product that no one really wants. Sadly, we see this at all levels of MSFT (and others, to be fair) where the good bits are often lost in a sea of "what were they thinking" cruft.

    1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

      Re: MSFT just didn't get it

      The first line of any training material for Windows 8 should have been: go back to Windows 7.

      1. arjaysam

        Re: MSFT just didn't get it

        Agreed!

  12. ScissorHands

    Sadly, that was the last time the core of WindowsNT got any attention. Everything since has been adding layers and rearranging the deck chairs.

  13. aerogems Silver badge

    Kind of a pity. I used Win 8 for a while, and liked it for the most part. It was a little jarring being shifted from the desktop to a black screen with icons, but you got used to it after about a week unless you're the sort who likes to nurse even the smallest of grudges. Once I had my core set of apps pinned to the taskbar I didn't really think about it that much. And the number of improvements made in Windows 8 were enough that I'd happily overlook the UI oddities. Again, after about a week you just sort of stopped noticing it. Humans are incredibly adaptive creatures after all. So it looked a little different. Big fucking deal. As long as I could find what I was looking for, who gives a shit? Took me maybe 2-3 days to adapt, then by the end of the first week, I stopped really noticing it. All it really takes is an ability to get over yourself and realize that life is change. You can resist it and be left behind, or you can embrace it.

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      . . . or you can take matters into your own hands and change the UI using third-party tools. Adapting to change doesn't just mean blindly accepting what's thrust upon you, it can also mean taking steps to ameliorate that change. For some users, that meant switching to Linux, for some that meant changing the Start Menu, for some that meant skipping Windows 8 entirely, and for you, it meant accepting the new UI. I found it dreadful and, more to the point, less useful than what came before it, as did a lot of other people. The fact that you were willing to adapt your workflow to the new UI doesn't mean that those of us who weren't so willing were inferior or wrong.

      1. aerogems Silver badge

        I could have, but I didn't feel any particular need to do so. The changes were just cosmetic, they weren't like some fundamental rethinking of the GUI as a concept. So the buttons were in a different place and bigger. Whoopty fucking do. I worked smarter as opposed to your harder. I just pinned apps I use frequently to the taskbar, then the only time I ever saw the big scary Start screen that seems to have you all pissing yourself with fear, was when I needed to run some app I rarely use.

        Let say, just for example, that they changed it so that clicking on the tile didn't actually launch the app, or you had to do some kind of mouse gesture to launch the app. Then I might be a bit more understanding of your position, but it was a minor cosmetic change. You're a grown ass adult (ostensibly) and this should not be a difficult task for you.

        "The fact that you were willing to adapt your workflow to the new UI doesn't mean that those of us who weren't so willing were inferior or wrong."

        You have grossly misunderstood my point. You want to switch to Linux or install something like OpenShell... go right ahead, I don't give two shits. I just care when people whine constantly about it. It's like the dog I had as a kid. When we told him to eat his dog food instead of beg for scraps from the table, he'd pout. He'd make a big production out of it, making sure to look up at us as he was chewing, saying, "See! I'm eating dog food!" You want to make a change, fine, just do it and STFU about it. We don't need a epic poem about how you heroically persevered against insurmountable odds and managed to thwart the plans of the Evil Mastermind Bill Gates and his henchman Steve Ballmer making the world safe for democracy once again. You're not Rambo, James Bond, John McClane or any other action movie hero because you installed a piece of software, OK?

        1. collinsl Bronze badge

          See, I was with you to an extent for your first post, but the amount of vitriol in here suggests you have some sort of repressed issues with it which you are trying to cover up by fostering a blanket of "No, it was fine" which isn't healthy.

          I suggest you seek assistance from a qualified mental health professional to resolve these latent anger issues which are clearly eating you up.

          > The changes were just cosmetic, they weren't like some fundamental rethinking of the GUI as a concept

          They were supposed to be a fundamental rethinking - Microsoft wanted to adopt a fondleslab-friendly UI and this was supposed to be it.

        2. Knightlie

          Wow, a lot of unbridled hate for people who don't like the tools they use every day having their interfaces completely changed - and made objectively less useful. Go and adjust all the door of your house to open the other way and tell us how you get on.

          I've used Windows since 3.1, and I enjoyed being able to use a reasonably consistent and easy to understand interface, with a good information density, helpful feedback and all the features I need readily available. The Metro interfaces destroyed every one of those aspects of the Windows UI.

          BTW, the last couple of sentence of your post make you sound like a dick.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            >” The Metro interfaces destroyed every one of those aspects of the Windows UI.”

            And from the interviews at the time with the team leaders, that was intentional…

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      You can resist it and be left behind, or you can embrace it.

      Embrace the suck.

      It's as if MS threw out all the UI lessons learned in the 95-2000 era and Windows 7 era, started all over again only this time with crayons, came up with something worse, decided to go with it anyway, and only implemented half of it in Windows 10 (the other half can be discovered if you do a bit of palaeontology in control panels and icons).

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge
        Trollface

        Still in aerogems we can see that when the morale-improving beatings are taking place, at least one will be saying "Thank you, master!" all the way through.

        1. aerogems Silver badge

          I just don't really see the point getting my panties all in a wad over something that I stopped noticing in a week. That seems like a very unhealthy fixation if you ask me.

          It's also not the same as saying I liked it, I just said I stopped giving a shit about it after about a week because that's about how long it took me to adapt my workflows. But, I guess if there were ever a day to make straw men arguments, it's today. If your ego is really so fragile that you need the validation of others to show that you're correct... first, I pity you, but second, my ego is strong enough that I can state my opinion and not have to treat it like it was some kind of immutable fact. There were good things about Win 8 and there were bad things. On the whole, the good far outweighed the bad.

          I've always made a point to be flexible so I can sit down at any computer, and within a few minutes, be acclimated. Doesn't matter if it's running some version of Linux, macOS, Windows, or even an OS I've never seen before. If you're willing to spend a fraction of a second on some logical deduction, 99% of the time you can figure things out very quickly. Last several years have had me using SAP quite a bit. I quickly get recognized as a SME, not because I'm some all-knowing SAP god, but because I can apply a bit of logical deduction to t-codes I've never seen and usually be able to figure out how they work within a few seconds. I don't just immediately throw up my hands in despair the second I come across something new and unfamiliar.

          It's easy to play the armchair quarterback, and claim that everything would have been sugar and rainbows if only you had been consulted. I'll eagerly await your effort at creating a GUI so we can see just how it stacks up against everything else out there. Clearly it's so easy, and all Microsoft had to do was just consult someone like you, so... what's your Github repo? C'mon. We're all waiting with baited breath to see your example of the perfect GUI.

          1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

            I just don't really see the point getting my panties all in a wad over something that I stopped noticing in a week. That seems like a very unhealthy fixation if you ask me.

            So you are happy to spend whatever time it takes to support employees, friends & family who do see problems introduced by pointless changes?

            You are happy to re-write documented processes to keep up with the whims of some idiot who decided to break things for the sake of a "modern" look?

            Clearly it's so easy, and all Microsoft had to do was just consult someone like you, so...

            They could have kept the old options, just like XP allowed "classic look" to keep win2000 look and feel. Just how hard would that have been? After all if you tried doing anything with w8 and similar sooner or later you would find the jarring change to an old control panel menu, etc.

            1. aerogems Silver badge

              "So you are happy to spend whatever time it takes to support employees, friends & family who do see problems introduced by pointless changes?"

              I expect people to at least attempt it instead of just immediately throwing their hands up and saying, "I give up!"

              "You are happy to re-write documented processes to keep up with the whims of some idiot who decided to break things for the sake of a "modern" look?"

              You shouldn't need more than generic instructions. "Put the eggs in the basket." If your instructions include an illustrated guide to basket weaving, you're doing it wrong.

              "They could have kept the old options, just like XP allowed "classic look" to keep win2000 look and feel. Just how hard would that have been? After all if you tried doing anything with w8 and similar sooner or later you would find the jarring change to an old control panel menu, etc."

              Just how hard would that have been? Extremely.

              1. OhForF' Silver badge

                >You shouldn't need more than generic instructions. "Put the eggs in the basket." If your instructions include an illustrated guide to basket weaving, you're doing it wrong.<

                You do not have any experience writing user guides, do you?

                While your point is theoretically sound and a guide should not have more than generic instructions in practice you'll soon add lot of details once real users start using that guide.

          2. Knightlie
            Trollface

            If you "got used to" Metro after a week you clearly don't use your computer for anything particularly complicated.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I just said I stopped giving a shit about it after about a week because that's about how long it took me to adapt my workflows

            Easy if all you have are simple workflows and processes. Some of us don't.

      2. aerogems Silver badge

        I don't care if you believe we're the product of a few hundred million years of evolution or we were created by some kind of divine being. The fact remains that you have a brain capable of complex critical analysis, but for reasons unknown you refuse to use yours. Seems baffling to me, but you do you I guess. If wallowing in ignorance is your happy place, who am I to judge?

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          And yet you were unable to address the fact that Windows 10 has a more inconsistent and more difficult-to-use UI than its predecessors.

          Windows 11 brings more consistency but hides options behind submenus so more clicks are required to find them.

    3. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Facepalm

      @aerogems: It's not like this "whining" came out of nowhere; people are commenting in a topical fashion on the article, and Register commentards tend to be a snarky and anti-Microsoft bunch. For someone who claims to be so adaptable, you seem to have failed to read the room.

      1. aerogems Silver badge
        FAIL

        Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's the point!

        People can be anti-whatever the fuck they want, I don't really care about that. Just have something to back up why you're anti-whatever. Something more than vague hand waving about imagined abuses that may have happened at some indeterminate point in time. If you could never get some particular bit of hardware to work with Vista, for example, but it worked in XP and 7... that's fair. If you're just butthurt because they changed the color by one hex value, then STFU and go stand in the corner. Same with the people who are so pleased with themselves that they installed Linux. Who gives a fuck!? Installing Linux these days is not much of a challenge. It's been made to look and act so much like Windows the only reason to use it is bragging rights. "Look at me! I'm [Mr. Meseeks] hot shit because I installed Linux! Never mind that all I had to do was click a few buttons! I'm a l33t hax0r now, and don't you forget it!" Change the system so it doesn't boot into the GUI and they'd be completely lost. Expect them to use the command line for anything, and they'd be completely lost. Expect them to install an app that doesn't have a ready-made package for their specific distribution, and they'd be completely lost. Expect them to compile their own kernel, and... I think you've figured out the pattern. They don't know shit about Linux, and they have all the intellectual curiosity of a dead amoeba. If it doesn't look and act exactly like Windows they whine incessantly about it, until eventually someone makes the change just to shut them up and get a little piece and quiet. I'm sure I've forgotten more about Linux than 99% of these people will ever know about it, and by the standards of the late 90s to early 2000s, I was not some kind of sage who knew everything there was to know.

        I mean, what exactly is the point of running Linux if you just expect it to look and act exactly like Windows? Clearly what you want is Windows, so why not just run Windows? You use Linux because you want something different from Windows.

    4. Dave K

      Except that having everything in a flat, smorgasborg mess made it a lot harder to find things IMO. And it didn't look a bit different, it looked a lot different. And none of it in any way that was positive.

      >> "All it really takes is an ability to get over yourself and realize that life is change. You can resist it and be left behind, or you can embrace it."

      Or there's a third option: Accept that not all change is beneficial and avoid it. Use an alternative OS/Product a much more user-friendly interface. That's what I did. Windows 7 was only 3 years old at the time and had tons of support left, so I stuck with that. Lots of people did. Then, slowly but surely, MS became increasingly aware of the low adoption figures and lousy reception that Windows 8 was getting. The result? They backpeddled. Firstly with Windows 8.1 which restored the Start button, then further with Windows 10.

      If you live in the real world, of course you have to accept that change happens. But that doesn't mean that all change is good. Sometimes, companies screw up and make changes that have negative impacts. Should we all just accept them like mindless sheep? Or should people push back against negative change to encourage the developer to try and fix things? As far as Windows 8 goes, people did push back and Microsoft ended up distancing themselves from the mess they had created and came up with a successor that fixed a lot of the complaints.

  14. Cruachan

    I'd used 8 and 8.1 on a 1st gen Surface Pro, and it definitely worked on that device, but mostly used 7 and then 10 at work so rarely saw 8/8.1 again. Until about 5 years ago when I was working on a contract where they were doing an Autopilot rollout of Windows 10 laptops but the legacy devices were desktops running 8.1 managed by SCCM, really struck me how much better Windows 10 was for non-touchscreen devices.

    I'm on my second Surface Book but it's to say the least rare I separate it and use the touch screen, for me anyway most of what I do is just easier with a keyboard and mouse.

  15. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge

    Windows 10 and a wee bit

    If you manage a mixed fleet of Windows 10 and 11 devices, it’s interesting to look at the OS version that Entra reports. W10 is reported as 10.0.1xxxx .. and W11 and 10.0.2xxxx … so W11 isn’t even a minor revision of 10 according to the build engineers.

  16. Robbzilla

    They still haven't learned... Excluding the majority of their user base with windows 11, and creating a potentially massive heap of trash when they force users into the platform by having them buy new computers.

    And 11 isn't a good UI. They could easily offer a classic UI and let people choose which they prefer, but there were few lessons learned since 8.

    Finally, they've added unnecessary complexity by hiding features deeper and deeper. If you want to use the UI to get to Computer Management, for example...

    I'm almost done with them. I'm just trying to get the last few of my games working right on Ubuntu with Wine. If I can get that, I'll move every machine I have over, except my tablet.

  17. david1024

    The update was good, but too late.. it was already Me-2

    The issue, IMHO, was the 4 modes and switching between them. Was great after the update when you got the Win2k-looking desktop back... Althought the clipboard silliness did hamper metro apps. I still use it on an air gapped standalone machine... It is quite snappy. And I can see a lot of it in Win 10/11. Just tried to fly too high Icarus.

  18. Badbob

    Touchscreen?

    I was reminded only yesterday that my two year old laptop has a touchscreen interface, for reasons only known to the good people at HP.

    I understood on the old one, as it was one of those 360 models that could transform into the worlds heaviest tablet, but this one has the usual 110deg hinge.

    I went to wipe a bit of cat fluff off the screen and somehow magnified the page by 500%.

  19. X5-332960073452
    FAIL

    TIFKAM - was expecting this to crop up

  20. Tubz Silver badge

    Wouldn't mind 8/11 UI, using 8 for pinned apps and simplified Start Menu as one of the pinned apps, best of all worlds.

  21. Gil Grissum

    Windows upgrades....

    Attempting to force a PC purchase, in order yo get a Windows 11 upgrade, didn;t work well, either. Some flatly refused and bounced to Linux, while others bounced to some version of the Mac. I cose to make the Mac, my primary. Windows 10 appears to have failed.....>:-)

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Windows upgrades....

      Perhaps MS don’t really care about home users and simply focused on corporates who do a regular end user PC refresh…

      But then I would expect W11 to contain more enterprise relevant functionality….

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like