Microsoft Pops Its Top on Comparing Windows 8 to a Can of Soda

60

Comments

+ Add a Comment
avatar

markstrelecki

1. There are NOT 100 million copies of Windows 8 "in the wild" being used by customers. Far from it.

2. Radically changing the UI without regard to customer feedback was a mistake like only Microsoft can make.

3. Not heeding the backlash and public outcry just shows how Microsoft continues to "know what the customer wants" better than the customer himself.

4. Making the desktop look like a smartphone is so ingeniously misguided as to be pathetic, showing once again that MS does not have a clue and couldn't find one if it fell into their lap.

5. That said, the underlying OS is more refined, gives better feedback, works best on laptops and tablets, is faster at most things, and still (with 3rd party apps) can be made to boot directly to the desktop and use the Start button of old.

Windows remains malleable for those in the know, but has gotten more difficult for the newbies.

Mark Strelecki
Atlanta, GA

avatar

fung0

"My desktop is not a phone." Amen to that.

"Seamless, cross-device experiences" are a nice idea, but they should not depend on crippling one or more of the devices.

avatar

wumpus

Oddly enough, Cannonical (Ubuntu), KDE, and Gnome have all made this "mistake". Cannonical might be giving up hope on the desktop and hoping to get traction on their phones, so it isn't quite the same mistake as MS giving up the desktop to increase its 1% (if that) share of phones.

KDE and Gnome changed to give the programmers something to do. I suppose that those of us who use the things ought to either just live with it or spend enough on a "linux desktop foundation" to keep them on salary.

And I'll say it any time the UI formerly known as Metro gets posted: the problem isn't just the start screen. Every win8 screen, every app written for win8 will all obey the utter stupidity of using the entire screen for one little window/text box/whatever. MY DESKTOP IS NOT A PHONE. I DON'T NEED THE WHOLE SCREEN USED FOR SOMETHING THAT WILL FIT ON A PHONE SCREEN.

avatar

RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

How is the forcing of a touch interface onto users without touch hardware or the desire to use it "seamless integration ?"

The suits are too afraid of losing their overpaid positions to admit they fucked Microsoft royally with Windows 8.

avatar

Granite

They actually DON'T force anyone to use a touch screen with Win8...but if you do have a touch screen, you get a lot of utility from Win8. Furthermore, Win8 has spurred the creation of lots of new touch screen devices. Once desktop monitors come down in price, many people...along with me...will move to them. In my case, I'll add a 3rd 27" monitor to my system.

avatar

fung0

The genius-level stupidity of Windows 8 is that it encumbers the desktop with a bunch of junk nobody asked for, while conspicuously failing to either truly touch-enable Windows, OR to offer a viable tablet challenger to iOS and Android. It's a mongrel beast, a bundle of compromises that's never going to be best-of-breed, no matter what you run it on.

GREAT design would have been to add touch as a "seamless experience" to Windows. GOOD design would have been to create a new mobile OS for touch devices. Windows 8 is neither of these. It's a confused, half-baked, butt-ugly kludge, in its very essence. No amount of fixing will change that.

What's more, by now it should be obvious that Windows 8 is NOT the way forward. It is NOT stimulating the PC market, and it is NOT capturing any meaningful share of the mobile market. "New Coke" is the perfect analogy: not actually poisonous, but misconceived badly enough that it will never be anything but a market liability. Coke at least was smart enough to bite the bullet and do a rethink.

At this point, the smart move for Microsoft would be to split Windows 8 into two OSes: Windows 'classic' and Metro. Not ideal, but quick and easy. After that, Microsoft can do some of the proper design work it should have done in the first place... looking at how Windows can actually incorporate touch. (Hint: start by making the red X bigger. And try not to throw away 'windows'... they're not only your trademark, users actually LIKE 'em.)

avatar

Upyourbucket

Windows 8 might as well be an Apple product for all the yuppies to use. They can go sit in the park with their metrosexual OS and catch butterflies. F Windows 8.

avatar

Aggie1295

It is completely unfair to compare Windows 8 to New Coke. It is unfair to New Coke, because New Coke wasn't nearly as bad as Windows 8.

avatar

Exarkun1138

I used Windows 8 for 5 months, then about 3 weeks ago I went back to Windows 7. I had a few issues with some of my programs, and I missed some of the features of Windows 7, but All-in-All, Windows 8 wasn't as bad as some make it out to be. I simply prefer the look and feel of Windows 7 and am more comfortable with it.

Not hating on 8, just more comfortable with 7.

avatar

Frank N Beenes

Shaw sounds like another idiot from Microsoft. They make the worst decisions ever and then stand there like they are better than us and tell us what we want. Win8 Metro on a PC is useless. It doesn't even gesture with a mouse. Ive been writing gesture code since win98 days why cant they???? Oh thats right cause their marketing and management suck. They have some of the best engineers to ever walk the earth but they are choked out by leisure suit larry douchebags like this guy making horrible decisions.

avatar

RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

+1

avatar

Upyourbucket

That is an all around great comment about Windows 8, nice leisure suit larry reference haha

avatar

silverblack

The classic cola flavored Coke was losing market share to a smoother tasting Pepsi. So they turned to Diet Coke, which also had a smoother taste, and created New Coke. Similarly Microsoft saw tablets with iOS and Android gaining market share, and so created the touch based Modern/Metro UI, similar to the tiles on the mobility side. The analogy is actually pretty apt. That's not even saying New Coke tasted bad. It just wasn't the classic people were used to.

avatar

TheBigCheese

I think upgrading to Windows 8 was the worst $40 I ever spent. It has no improvements that mean anything to me and sooooo many things that just don't work. The search function does not work in any of the Metro apps and the only way to get it working is to create a new account and start out over.

The last thing I want to do is run every app full screen with gigantic type fonts so I get only 16 or so lines of text. Yes, I can run a second app but I get only a tiny sliver of the screen for it and the size is fixed. None of the new style apps work correctly and they all have maybe 5% of the necessary functionality.

The missing start button is the LEAST of it's problems IMHO.

Oh yeah --- there is no workable backup program.

avatar

andrewc513

No workable backup program? You might need to elaborate on that one. You can perform hot image backups while the OS is running, Win8 apps can save data to a live account, SkyDrive integration is everywhere, and the same exact backup functionality from Windows 7 is still present in Windows 8.

avatar

KC5RTY

Have you every even tried to use the built in backup program in Win 8?? I have tried using it to do an image of my 1tb internal drive to a 1tb external drive and it returns a Insufficient Space Error. Being able to use other alternatives does not mitigate the fact that the built in option is an epic fail..
I think the Start Screen is great for tablets, phones or any touch screen device but why could they not have included a simple option for non-touch screen or power users used to the desktop to boot to the desktop instead of the metro screen.
Other than that, I don't find too much bad about 8 other than it feels.. Unfinished... It has promise but needs more

avatar

andrewc513

I'm just tired of this mindless bickering between both sides.

People that love Windows 8 should be able to love it without having to hear "OMG U R STOOPID, WINDOWS 8 SUX!!*^@" every five second, and people that hate it are free to not use it.

The vocal Windows 8 lovers that treat novice users like they are whiny babies need to cut that out, and the haters that bash Windows 8 for no other reason than a Vista-like bandwagon "I heard it's not good" need to cut that out.

So, to summarize: Love it? Awesome. Hate it? Awesome. Want to voice your opinion either way? Have some actual facts, examples, and *actual reasons* why, and stop the bandwagon bullshit. Think Microsoft could make improvements? Give them feedback and be persistent with your demands as a consumer. Are you never going to be sold on Windows 8? Then it's your prerogative as a consumer to not use it.

avatar

Fray

The design decisions were so bad that we are loudly protesting.

It is an effort to get Microsoft to change direction.

Microsoft would prefer that we just knuckled under and started buying Metro apps. They would be able to move closer to a future release with no desktop.

Bring back the gadgets to the desktop! Let me have an improved Windows 7 that is worth the money I paid. Don't take away the free desktop games that some people liked. I don't want to have anything to do with the Metro bullshit.

I tell everyone that Windows 8 is awful.

I will continue to do so.

avatar

markstrelecki

Hear, hear, AndrewC513.

avatar

Hey.That_Dude

Your product's doing worse than Vista was. Hard numbers. Go cry about that M$.

Personally, I don't like having to deal with the interface formally known as Metro, regardless of how amazing win8 is. There are some people who swear by it (all of whom have touch screens and LOVE tablets). The point remains: People want the Start Button and the ability to boot to desktop. You made too big of a leap, just like with Vista, and it's biting you in the butt, just like Vista.
SO take it less like New Coke -> Old Coke, and more like New Coke-> Hybrid New/Old Coke.

avatar

Cregan89

I like Windows 8 and Metro and I don't have a touch screen or a tablet. So there's at least one person for you.

It makes it really simple for me to separate my work from my leisure. And the desktop is literally one click away. It's no more difficult than clicking the minimize button on a maximized window in Windows 7...

avatar

fung0

Lots of people liked New Coke, but it was still a huge mistake.

avatar

Hey.That_Dude

I also fail to see how it's not two different environments that have been meshed together. Sure the button click isn't that big of a deal, and you can manage with the OS after getting the keyboard shortcuts memorized. What about the Two Google Chromes, the inability to click on your games from the desktop (I have to go into metro to get those). The OS just feels like someone half-assed the work of integrating and just suck winphone8 and win8 together to create a franken OS.
Plus I had to teach several family member where everything moved to... which goes against the "It's now easier than ever to use" that M$ has been toting.

avatar

kerndaddy

no new coke, and no windows 8 for me thanks.

avatar

kixofmyg0t

I've been using Windows 8 for a few months now. I don't get the negative crap associated with it.

Everything I read about it is the same old tired arguments. "OMG the desktop is gone/I hate Metro". Clearly from people who have never used it before. Of those who claim to have used it and still complain, either adapt or STFU.

I did make a minor change to my Windows 8 setup. I added the gadgets back. I missed them from 7 as I like my desktop a certain way. Yes I said desktop. Windows 8 still has a desktop. But you wouldn't know that from all the complaints here.

avatar

steven4570

I use Windows 8 on my laptop but i have "startisback" installed so it gets rid of the charms and the metro UI. After that it works great. The tablet UI on a non touchscreen environment makes no sense and it just doesn't work very well. The search isnt different either way, its just less jarring without metro.

avatar

iheartpcs

So if a user didn't like the fact that there was no gadgets in Win8 then they should just STFU?

Or maybe adapt like you did? Considering 99.9% of users wouldn't know how to do that, you can see how that might be a problem.

Also, most users do not want to learn how to use their PC all over again.

avatar

kixofmyg0t

Oh man I couldn't have hoped for a better reply than yours. You're a perfect example.

Yes! If a user didn't like the fact that 8 does have widgets.....either STFU and deal with it or install the program that brings them back like I did. When I found something I didn't like you know what I did? I didn't do the usual MaximumPC reader action of completely disregard Windows 8 altogether and troll endlessly "WINBLOWS 8 $UX0$!1!!" No no my friend. I said to myself "Hmm well its missing a feature, let's see what programs are out there to give me what I want". 3 minutes later I had my widgets back.

99.9% of users don't know understand how to install a program? Well if that's the case then we have bigger problems than Windows 8.

It's not even close to learning how to use their PC all over again. Jesus tap dancing Christ man. They took the start menu and blew it up to a full screen and added animated tiles. You act like you need a bachelor's degree to use it. How fricken hard is it to press the Windows key(you do know that works right? Of course you didn't) or even better CLICKING THE DAMN TILE THAT SAYS DESKTOP! For the vast majority of users it does exactly what they need with as few clicks as possible. For the power users things have changed a bit. But if you can't figure that out then you aren't a power user.

It's Windows 95 all over again. People bitched about the change from 3.1 to the new fangled Start bar back then. Change one little thing and everyone loses their fricken minds.

I wanted to be sympathetic to new Win 8 users. But after seeing the same tired arguments over and over and over again.....and especially your comment..I think the best thing for people like you is to just give up and use a Mac.

avatar

iheartpcs

I'm pretty sure I never once referenced myself in my comment, but, nice rant!

avatar

maxeeemum

@kixofmyg0t

After reading this stupid rant I think you should STFU! So your solution is just "Deal with it". No we will not! Windows 8 is the dumbest idea M$ ever attempted to sell. We will continue to as you say to bitch till they get the message.

And yes I have used it for a long time and could teach anybody how to use it. Unfortunately I cannot recommend Win8 and tell friends and family to stay away and build a PC with Win7.

Just because you're a M$ sheep and can't stand the fact it is not selling and most users hate it doesn't give you the right to tell the majority to stop complaining about one of the worst M$ Operating Systems ever.

Now before everyone piles on please just STFU!!!

avatar

kixofmyg0t

And just what exactly IS this message? Because to sum up the last 6 months of comments here would be

"the desktop is gone!"

No retards. No its not.

Seriously all Microsoft would have to do to fix 99% of you crybabies complaints is boot to desktop.

Personally I treat the desktop and "metro" parts as separate sides of Windows. 95% of my time is spent in desktop, but I really do like the new Start Menu and the way the apps work. It's really not hard at all to figure out.

Oh please. If I'm any "sheep" I would be a Android sheep. Especially since I'm typing this on my Android tablet. I can count on one hand that I amount of times I've visited MaximumPC.com on something other than my Android tablet or phone. So if you're gonna try to insult me get it right.

avatar

fung0

"The desktop is gone!" is NOT the main objection to Windows 8. In fact, I don't recall anyone ever saying so. (FYI: this is called a 'straw man' argument. Give it up.)

There are two main problems with Windows 8: 1) it splices together two totally different OSes, which is just plain bad design, and leads to endless confusion (of which the missing Start menu is just one manifestation), and 2) it represents a gruesomely bad new direction for Microsoft, leading to fears about the future of the OS we've come to depend on.

Subsidiary to problem 2 is that Microsoft has given itself the exclusive right to sell 'apps' for Metro. This was ugly, anti-competitive behavior when Apple did it on iOS. It's something a lot of Windows users will never agree to support.

Bottom line, my biggest fear is that Microsoft will bring back the Start menu, and complaints will stop. It's not about the Start menu, or any one feature/fault. People dislike Windows 8 for much more fundamental reasons, even if sometimes they can't articulate them clearly enough for you.

avatar

maxeeemum

BAAAAAAAAAAAA! I love Win8! BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

LOL!

avatar

warptek2010

That's pretty funny. Because the exact definition of sheep is someone that just deals with whatever someone else decided for him and doesn't complain or retaliate etc... The definition of someone that complains, bitches and moans about something thrust upon him from an authoritative source like MICROSOFT is the exact opposite of sheep. So you see, you dealt with it. That's a good sheep. We don't want to deal with it, or at least not deal with it quietly for now... NOT sheep. Get it? Got it? Good!

avatar

Cregan89

Of course it was a dumb argument. A new version of Windows represents hundreds of millions of dollars worth of R&D. It's an entire platform relied upon for manufacturers, OEMs, businesses, and developers. It has to support billions of dollars worth of economic activity and growth for the next decade.

You can't possibly compare a piece of infrastructure to a consumable...

avatar

warptek2010

Or can you?.... hmmmm

avatar

sarkli

Touch based OS for a mouse based community... ya that works. I get the thrill of touch based systems, its great, it works but not yet for PC. Phones, tablets and smaller notebooks perhaps but most people dont want that for their PC. The concept of 'if it aint broke dont fix it' comes into play. It seems to be all about the familiarity and convenience of the same layout weve pretty much had since Win 3.1, minus the DOS these days. Millions of people have downloaded the apps to help make 8 feel like 7 and not to mention all the how-to's for all the tweaks to make it feel like 7 as well.
One thing i would like to know is, out of those 100mill+ copies 'sold' how many are those ones that the consumer has been forced into buying because they had no other option?

avatar

Formedras

Touch OS for mouse community? How about early Windows? Mouse OS for keyboard community.

avatar

fung0

Your analogy is interesting, but helps demonstrate the exact opposite of what you presumably intended.

For one thing, there was no compulsion to adopt Windows. Microsoft didn't add Windows as a mandatory component of MS-DOS, it didn't force MS-DOS users to go through Windows to get to the command line, and it didn't stop shipping MS-DOS until years after Windows gained acceptance. (Microsoft later used the same clever approach with Windows NT, forcing the new OS to compete with the one people already knew, learning from user response, and allowing users to shift at their own pace.)

What's more, Microsoft had to go through at least two major redesigns of Windows before it really began to catch on. Even then, Windows continued to run on top of MS-DOS, as a completely optional enhancement. (Windows still includes what's near enough to MS-DOS in a window. I still have MS-DOS software that I regularly use.)

Also, you should realize that lots of people used mice in MS-DOS long before they switched to Windows. There was graphics software, desktop publishing software, games software... even Microsoft Word. A whole pre-existing mouse-based infrastructure, which gradually made the shift to a mouse-based OS obvious and natural.

Overall, you couldn't ask for a more dramatic contrast to what Microsoft has tried to do with Windows 8. If Microsoft had rolled out Metro with the same sort of regard for its customer base, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

avatar

someuid

"a computer operating system offers different experiences to different customers to meet different needs"

What operating system is he talking about? Surely not Windows 8.

"while still moving the entire industry toward an exciting future of touch, mobility, and seamless, cross-device experiences"

WTF dude. Have you been asleep at the wheel or something? We're already in the exciting future of touch and mobility thanks to Apple iOS and Google Android.

"Seamless, cross-device experiences"

We've had that for decades. It's called client-server computing. It makes a gazillion things possible that work just fine across devices, like web pages, and email, Youtube, and....

avatar

Cregan89

"a computer operating system offers different experiences to different customers to meet different needs"

Windows 8 has spawn the creation of more form factors than any other OS I can think of. The biggest complaint about Windows 8 is that it offers too many conflicting interfaces and use cases. What are you talking about "Surely not Windows 8"...

avatar

T-man0717

Hopefully I'm reading that wrong, but it looks like you said Windows 8 has "spawned" more form factors than any other operating system. If that was your intent, then I have to disagree. Windows 8 hasn't created any new form factors. It has been used in many form factors though. Your first comment was good though. And that's what the big debate always boils down too; User Experience. Here in America we can like Windows 8, as you seem to. Or we can dislike it, and even refuse to use it simply because it would require us to upgrade our hardware to do so. And by upgrade I mean get a touch screen for the interface formerly known as Metro. Windows 8 made some improvements, but not big enough improvements for me to upgrade to a touch screen. You can rant about me being wrong if you like, but my simple reply is "it's not your money; it's mine". And that my friend, is how this debate, or argument depending on how one views it, should always end. With a decision of what one feels is worthy of their hard earned cash...

avatar

Cregan89

Come on... How can you possibly argue the form factor thing?
http://www.asus.com/vivo/en/taichi.htm
http://www.asus.com/vivo/en/zenBook.htm
http://www.asus.com/vivo/en/vivoTab.htm
http://www.asus.com/vivo/en/AIO.htm
http://www.asus.com/AllinOne_PCs/ASUS_Transformer_AiO_P1801
http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/laptop/ideapad/yoga/yoga-13/
http://www.dell.com/ca/p/xps-12-l221x/pd
http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-ca/surface-with-windows-8-pro
http://store.sony.ca/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?catalogId=100803&storeId=20153&langId=200&identifier=S_Laptops_Duo
http://www.acer.com/aspirer7/en_US/
http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/desktop/ideacentre/horizon/
http://www.businessinsider.com/perceptive-pixel-windows-8-tablet-2012-7

Okay fine, most of these are based on previous ideas in some way, but in that respect what isn't? And even with the form factors that existed previously (the swivel tablets come to mind), they were never actually usable until Windows 8.

I think you get my point, Windows 8 was designed to enable a nearly endless list of possible form factors and configurations. And I can definitely understand the argument that in doing so it means Windows 8 isn't PERFECT for any of them. But if Windows 8 does anything, it definitely "offers different experiences to different users to meet different needs"...

Ps. I only use Windows 8 with a mouse, and I don't mind it at all. And I use Metro with my mouse too. Works fine. Granted, the majority of Metro apps are crap, but that has nothing to do with mouse support.

avatar

T-man0717

I humbly disagree. Windows 8 is perfect for touch interface devices. It's a marvelous thing to use with them. That's not to say that it can't be used with a mouse and keyboard, as you have attested to. All in ones really become nice when they're just like a t.v. since the mouse and keyboard don't have to hang off them. Classic Start and a few other programs can bring the start menu back as well. Sometimes I just wish this whole argument would go away. I don't think that Windows 8 is the worst o.s. ever. It's just different. More than anything I think I'm just disappointed in Microsoft. We can buy the Kinect and hack it to do Minority Report like things. Granted it's not perfect, but it's still pretty cool :) I used the trial version of Windows 8 for a while, but I just couldn't justify spending the money for improvements of the degree I saw using it. I am curious about something though that you can probably answer. The preview version didn't have a tutorial that I saw on how to use the new interface. Did they put it in the retail version?

avatar

fung0

I'm mostly with you, Tman0717, but I have to disagree on this: Windows 8 as it sits is FAR from "perfect for touch interface devices." METRO is pretty good... but every time you start to enjoy it, you suddenly find yourself trying to poke the Windows 8 desktop with a fingernail. (This should improve in version 8.1... but that won't change the fact that Windows 8 simply has one UI too many.)

avatar

Cregan89

Lol yeah they did but it's a joke. It just a single graphic that says something like "move your pointer to the corners to experience Windows" or something like that. No animations, no click through instructions, just an image.

And fair argument, all of my software is paid for through work so I never paid for Windows 8. If I had to shell out $100 for Windows 8 on my non-touch screen notebook I'd have to think twice as well.

avatar

Jaeger_CDN

Goes back to the old arguements:

out of the 100 million copies sold:

1. how many are oem purchases
2. how many are upgrade/retail versions
3. and the big one, how many of the 100 Million are actually actively being used?

it's been reported that the adoption rate is only nibbling against the XP/Vista numbers and that Win 7 even had a small increase in the number of users

avatar

Cregan89

I think browser stats are the best way to measure "actual use":

http://gs.statcounter.com/#os-ww-monthly-201302-201304

And Windows 8 has surpassed Linux, Android, and iOS in web usage. And it's on pace to surpass Vista in about 3 months, and OSX in about 5 months. And it also appears to have contributed to a sudden drop in XP usage. It has BY FAR the fastest growing usage share of any platform, except for Windows 7 which isn't surprising considering remaining Windows 7 stock is massively discounted at retailers and the quickly impending end of support for Windows XP driving business to Windows 7.

avatar

T-man0717

Okay this is admittedly the second post of yours that I have replied too. I swear I'm not hating on you, lol. Browser usage is a good way to check on Browser usage not operating system usage. Internet Explorer 10 is an update for Windows 7, which no longer makes it Windows 8 only domain. As for your comment about Windows 7 stock being heavily discounted, I suggest you take another browse through the internet. Windows 7 upgrades and OEM packs, as well as Retail versions have not dropped by 1 penny. Windows 7 is still selling too. And in case you reiterate that you meant Retail Stores, then I'd like to add that they are only selling OEM versions from what I've seen. Retail version is solely the domain of Windows 8 at these stores now.

avatar

Cregan89

The browser stats I posted aren't actually the browser versions, it's actually OS versions that get sent alongside the browser string in an HTTP request. So it should very well be a pretty accurate representation of OS share on the web. For example, the request header for my browser is this:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.2; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.31 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/26.0.1410.64 Safari/537.31

That's Chrome on Windows 8. Chrome on Windows 7 would show (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64). So these should be a pretty good representation of actual OS usage on the web.

And I was pointing to prebuilt systems at BestBuy and others that still have Windows 7 loaded on them. They're often old leftover stock that is discounted. But I'm sure there really was a substantial uptick in Windows 7 sales, although I would imagine the majority of those were business sales where there really is zero need for Windows 8 until real productivity apps for Windows 8 start popping up, but that probably won't start happening for a few years from now.

Log in to MaximumPC directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.