Windows 8: Is It A Disaster?

Velin

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So John Dvorak is out with a scathing Windows 8 review. Says it may be worse than Vista. Some highlights:

That said, Windows 8 looks to me to be an unmitigated disaster that could decidedly hurt the company and its future. . . .

No business will tolerate this software, let me assure you. As a productivity tool, it is unusable.

Most applications cannot even be scaled down and so take up the whole screen. To even get out of these "apps," you have to ram the cursor down into the lower left corner and click. That puts you back onto the vapid "Metro" start screen, where you can begin another miserable adventure. . . .

The potential for this OS to be an unrecoverable disaster for the company is at the highest possible level I've ever seen. It ranks up there with the potential for disaster that the Itanium chip presented for Intel Corp. It's that bad.
Article. I hasten to add this mirrors Tim Cook's criticism, namely, you can't have an operating system be all things to all devices -- you need a specialized platform for phone, tablet, and personal computer.

So is he right about this?

Frankly I was hoping Windows 8 would be good. With the Mac Pro desktop line in doubt, I was hoping to use an iMac for most of my office-related work and productivity, and then a custom-built PC for some heavy lifting (compiling, videos, games). PC hardware right now is very good, especially when viewed from a price-performance perspective.

But if Windows 8 is a disaster, I don't know, I may have to rethink the entire hardware issue and hope Apple does a much better job with true pro desktops/workstations and aftermarket support for them.
 

Eidorian

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Mar 23, 2005
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John C. Dvorak™ time!

Multi-tasking is too hard for most. I abhor the single application in full screen but it is all the rage now for the mundanes. Dvorak might as well be in league with Charlie for grizzled tech blogger going for the page hits. I really wish I had a touchscreen device to play more in Metro...
 
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chrono1081

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I personally think Microsoft went the wrong way big time with Windows 8. Why they changed the familiar Windows interface is beyond me. I dread if I ever have to support it in the workplace.

I know my last job we had test labs for it but those got closed down because Windows 8 was deemed "unfit" for enterprise use.

My new job pretty much said the same thing, we will be sticking with 7 thankfully and will be waiting to see what 9 brings.
 
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Eidorian

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How often are you guys "stuck" in Metro? The only time I see it is when I log in or switch users. Beyond that for Weather and Stocks. Which ends up being a quick glance and back out to the desktop. This is on my desktop with a 24" display and I do not want to move back to Windows 7. Searching is the only other common situation for desktop users.

We did this exact same thing in more than likely the same publications the last time around with Windows 7 after the Vista burn.

All of this has happened before and all of this will all happen again.
 
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ixodes

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The engineering lab I work in will be sticking with the current mix of Windows 7, and OS X. We have over 80 engineers, not one of us has an interest in Windows 8, especially after we evaluated it. I cannot remember that last time 100% of us agreed on something :)

Microsoft is drifting in the wrong direction, perhaps based on the influence of the "apps model" that the public seems enamored with on their smartphones. It will be very interesting to see what happens as they are bound to experience massive push back from the enterprise and other large scale businesses.
 
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Eidorian

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Microsoft is drifting in the wrong direction, perhaps based on the influence of the "apps model" that the public seems enamored with on their smartphones. It will be very interesting to see what happens as they are bound to experience massive push back from the enterprise and other large scale businesses.
I hope this is not one of those Apple did it first/right situations...

I was there for Steam and I know others were around for Palm/Windows CE long before I showed up.

The management/policy side is there but sadly I am not tasked with investigating much more deeply into it like I once was. I expect Windows 7 to stay around but I am jumping on Windows 8 for home.
 
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ixodes

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1) I hope this is not one of those Apple did it first/right situations...

<snip>

2) I expect Windows 7 to stay around but I am jumping on Windows 8 for home.
1a) No, I'm not an Apple fanboy. Enthusiast yes, fanboy no.

I'm fairly platform neutral, with a slight bias towards my MBP & OS X. I use Win 7 - Linux - OS X, as my tools at both work and home, depending on what I'm working on.

But I do feel as though if not for Apple's influence (and resulting success) via the creation of the "app model" way of accessing the web via news apps and others, on ones smartphone, Microsoft would not have gone in this direction.

A direction I don't care for on the desktop. Even on a smartphone in many cases, I greatly prefer to use a browser that renders the web like the desktop, instead of mobile.

2a) Just out of curiosity, what is it that appeals to you about Windows 8, and when you say you're going to use it, do you mean on the desktop?
 
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Eidorian

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2a) Just out of curiosity, what is it that appeals to you about Windows 8, and when you say you're going to use it, do you mean on the desktop?
Single sign-in and multi-monitor management are the major ones. There are touches in Metro or Task Manager that I really like. In the past Windows Media Center alone was able to get me to purchase Vista and 7. I might move over to single sign in with SkyDrive and keep my personal stuff there alongside DropBox.
 
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Grannyville7989

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2a) Just out of curiosity, what is it that appeals to you about Windows 8, and when you say you're going to use it, do you mean on the desktop?
I really like the Metro Start Screen. I like that I can not only pin applications on to it but I can also have internet bookmarks and folder shortcuts right at my finger tips. I also like having the weather app updating me with information on the fly with the Live Tiles.

I also like how some of the stuff that I pin on my desktop get synced onto my laptop, and vice versa. Improvements to multi-monitor are very good (and missed when I boot back into Windows 7). I like how the backup utility now works very much like Time Machine on OS X.

I'm quite excited with some of the changes that have been made to Windows. Of course, its not perfect. Presentation on some of the Metro apps that are bundled could be better, in my opinion at least. I'm hoping that Microsoft won't wait another two to three years to bring an update to Metro stuff. I hope they'll push out incremental updates that Apple have been doing with OS X.

I've shown Windows 8 to a few friends and family, are not the most tech savvy of people, and they're really excited with Windows 8.

I think it's too early to say whether Windows 8 is a disaster or not, considering the fact that it hasn't been released. I remember back in the day people saying how horrible Mac OS X compared to OS 9, after it was demoed to the public. I remember the Dock getting much criticism.

From what I've observed, I don't believe Microsoft are that concerned about enterprises adopting Windows 8. I think they're more concerned with getting them off Windows XP and onto Windows 7.

I'm excited but that's because I'm a loser :)
 
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NewbieCanada

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The problem here is that while Apple can play the fashion game as well as any company, there is no evidence that it can play it fast enough. These phones go in and out of style so fast that unless Apple has half a dozen variants in the pipeline, its phone, even if immediately successful, will be passé within 3 months.

There is no likelihood that Apple can be successful in a business this competitive. Even in the business where it is a clear pioneer, the personal computer, it had to compete with Microsoft and can only sustain a 5% market share.

And its survival in the computer business relies on good margins. Those margins cannot exist in the mobile handset business for more than 15 minutes.

And note that the Microsoft Corp. (US:MSFT) versus Apple battles are laughable compared to the frenzied marketing mania in the handset business. Even Microsoft itself has troubles with its attempts to get into a small sub segment of the handset business with its operating system.

What Apple risks here is its reputation as a hot company that can do no wrong. If it's smart it will call the iPhone a "reference design" and pass it to some suckers to build with someone else's marketing budget. Then it can wash its hands of any marketplace failures.

It should do that immediately before it's too late. Samsung Electronics Ltd. (US:SSNGY) might be a candidate. Otherwise I'd advise you to cover your eyes. You're not going to like what you'll see.
John C. Dvorak, 2007

(Not to say he might not be right this time, I haven't used Windows 8 and don't have an informed opinion)
 
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Velin

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The question has nothing to do with Apple fanboyism. To the contrary, some of us want a robust Windows 8. As I initially said, PC hardware has gotten pretty good of late, and frankly is now pretty far ahead of the Mac Pro line. If M$ can release a good OS, I see it driving more sales. Good for them.

But I hate this desktop "app"-ification. I don't want ios on my Mac Pro (or even iMac). I don't want apps. I don't want pinned screens. Give me some damn programs and a free flow desktop.

Also, give us some reasonably priced hardware and software where I can swap out and upgrade parts (CPU, GPU, RAM, SSD), update the latest drivers, and tweak the system as I see fit. Windows 7 and Lion are decent. But don't dumb it down further, sick of this lowest common denominator crap.
 
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ixodes

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Single sign-in and multi-monitor management are the major ones.
<snip>
I might move over to single sign in with SkyDrive and keep my personal stuff there alongside DropBox.
Excellent points. I've been using SkyDrive as well as Dropbox and it's a great solution.
<snip>
I like how some of the stuff that I pin on my desktop get synced onto my laptop, and vice versa. Improvements to multi-monitor are very good.
<snip>
From what I've observed, I don't believe Microsoft are that concerned about enterprises adopting Windows 8. I think they're more concerned with getting them off Windows XP and onto Windows 7.
I respect your appreciation & enthusiasm regarding the look & feel of the tiles, pinning items to the desktop etc.

Ironically for me, that's the aspect of Windows 8 I strongly dislike. Preferring a clean desktop devoid of any icons or tiles is what I like.

Although I use a great number of keyboard shortcuts in my day to day computing, I still like the presence of the Start Button, Task Bar & Notification Area.

I do agree with the value of the way it handles dual monitors. I also think that it will be interesting to see what the shipping version is like. I'm certainly not going to label it a disaster. Just not to my liking (at least thus far).
The question has nothing to do with Apple fanboyism. To the contrary, some of us want a robust Windows 8. As I initially said, PC hardware has gotten pretty good of late, and frankly is now pretty far ahead of the Mac Pro line. If M$ can release a good OS, I see it driving more sales. Good for them.

But I hate this desktop "app"-ification. I don't want ios on my Mac Pro (or even iMac). I don't want apps. I don't want pinned screens. Give me some damn programs and a free flow desktop.

Windows 7 and Lion are decent. But don't dumb it down further, sick of this lowest common denominator crap.
Very good points. I too wish MS success, competition is essential for a healthy robust industry.

The concept of dumbing down either of these platforms is a rather infuriating thought, I'm with you on that one.

Time will tell, we'll see what public acceptance is like. I'm going to think positive, after all MS could use some good press & the success that results from the public embracing it.
 
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Grannyville7989

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The concept of dumbing down either of these platforms is a rather infuriating thought, I'm with you on that one.
Were their similar debates among tech enthusiasts when Microsoft was making the big push to get people off of DOS and onto Windows 1/2/3.x/95? I was a little young to pay attention to that sort of thing at the time.
 
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Daysight

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Were their similar debates among tech enthusiasts when Microsoft was making the big push to get people off of DOS and onto Windows 1/2/3.x/95? I was a little young to pay attention to that sort of thing at the time.
I didn't jump from DOS to Windows until it got to 3, because until then it didn't add to my productivity. I still remember being amazed with how easy it was to install Windows 3, and how it upped my work by a major leap. Then last year I took another leap switching to Apple.
 
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MRU

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I like Windows 8 but feel its more of a Windows 7 skin for tablet devices, and brings very little to the general desktop & laptop devices. In fact in those instances, some of it's mechanics are a little more cumbersome to quickly adjust.

Dragging with a mouse, items which are clearly meant to be dragged directly via touch just somehow feels wrong / alien.

Also simple things like powering down your machine now takes longer (having to sign out and then press power rather than just hit start and power).


Windows 8 is not a VISTA as it's built on a more solid Windows 7 foundation, but it certainly is going to be VERY divisive.

For many desktop and laptop owners, I imagine there will come a point where they may prefer to turn the new windows shell off and return to more familiar territory albeit with access to marketplace and such, however this is not an option with Windows 8 currently...
 
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SandboxGeneral

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From the videos and reviews I've seen on Win8, it doesn't appeal to me and looks clumsy to use. We all know Vista was a disaster, but Win7 is a very good OS IMO. I'm only now beginning to untrain my WinXP mannerisms and get more comfortable with Win7. I won't be ready or willing to switch Windows OS's for several more years. I'll be sticking with Win7 for a while, like I did with XP.

This is all at work for me, Windows that is. At home it's OS X.
 
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ixodes

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I downloaded the latest preview and I'm going to give it another try.
Now that you mention it, I think I'll do the same. In retrospect the version we evaluated at work was a rather early one.

Besides, now that I've read some favorable feedback here, I'm curious to see if my take on it may be different after a look at the current rev.
 
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maflynn

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One thing that makes it easier for me is that I use windows in VMware. While I'll not get great performance (as compared to boot camp) it makes life a lot easier to install or reinstall - just create a new image ;)
 
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Jessica Lares

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The Windows 8 Metro apps are gorgeous. Not in the way that Apple products are gorgeous, but they are very, very simple and less intimidating to someone who has very little knowledge about computers. The people who don't spend a lot of time using a PC will love these apps. Especially on a tablet. The developers working on these apps are doing very well.

Microsoft will most likely end up taking most of Android's tablet market because of these apps. I think it'll eat some of the iPad's interest too, especially in the education department because of cheaper tablets and better integration with existing tools that will get upgraded to the Metro interface.
 

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jaw04005

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I just don't know.

I like the Metro UI and I'm glad Microsoft is trying to reinvent the operating system. However, IMO it just doesn't work on a desktop PC that's not touch enabled.

It's very clunky with the mouse and keyboard, the Metro start screen as a replacement for the start menu is just weird and the giant full screen apps serve no purpose on a 27" monitor that you can't touch.

This isn't like what Apple did with Lion where you can "full screen" iPhoto and it still looks like a desktop app. The Live (or whatever they're called now) apps on Windows 8 are baby, Windows Phone-like apps.

I think it'll be OK on a tablet pc. However, I would have rather had a Windows Phone OS tablet instead.
 
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whiteonline

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Dvorak is a giant fossilized douchebag -- typical opposition to change.
Did he ever consider that this version of Windows is not targeted towards the enterprise? Large businesses are just starting to roll out Windows 7. W7 is the new XP -- it will be around well into the foreseeable future. Who knows what will come after that.
It appears Microsoft is going after Apple in the very lucrative consumer market with W8. Not businesses. Not power users or developers.

As far as Metro is concerned, i think there are some things to work out on the desktop. However, I have read Microsoft is incorporating touchpad gestures into the OS (again, following Apple's lead). If implemented properly, I believe Metro interaction won't be too bad.

It all comes down to embracing change. If it doesn't work for you, fine; there are alternatives.
 
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Velin

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Did he ever consider that this version of Windows is not targeted towards the enterprise? Large businesses are just starting to roll out Windows 7. W7 is the new XP -- it will be around well into the foreseeable future. Who knows what will come after that.
It appears Microsoft is going after Apple in the very lucrative consumer market with W8. Not businesses. Not power users or developers.
Interesting perspective. If this is the case, and Windows 7 is the new XP, then M$ should say so. Will Win 7 still have DirectX support? Are they going to continue to improve it for powerusers? That's the issue.
 
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DingleButt

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Dec 14, 2011
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Interesting perspective. If this is the case, and Windows 7 is the new XP, then M$ should say so. Will Win 7 still have DirectX support? Are they going to continue to improve it for powerusers? That's the issue.
Even though I plan to switch to 8, I really hope they keep Win7 going with support for new things. I would think it was wrong if they didn't give it IE10 and the latest DX, etc.

Windows 7 will receive mainstream support until 2015 and extended until 2020 at this point, which is good I guess. It'll give people until a bit into Windows 9 at this rate.

I dont expect new features coming to 7 for the most part though.
 
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