Microsoft wanted us all to believe Windows 8 would spark a new wave of consumer upgrades, and finally put to rest all the doom and gloom stories about declining PC sales. Skeptics were skeptical (surprise), but at least a few of these naysayers have been proven right. Windows 8 hasn’t lit the PC world on fire, but can we all at least agree it’s just a bit too early to say Windows 8 is a flop? Blogs from around the web pounced on the Supersite’s headline declaring Windows 8 a failure, but the story here is much more complicated.
Steven Sinofsky, the president of Microsoft’s mighty Windows division, has left the company. Julie Larson-Green will take over daily responsibilities for Windows software and hardware engineering, while CFO Tami Reller will take the reins of the Windows business. Microsoft has posted a press release on its site confirming the changes, but what they don’t give us is a reason why.
With Surface RT, you give up a certain amount of flexibility in terms of what types of applications and software you can install, but what about compatibility with third-party devices? Armed with a full-size USB port, microSD card slot, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, Microsoft insists its Surface RT line is compatible with a large number of devices, and now you can see for yourself by visiting the company's Windows Compatibility Center.
Saying that Windows 8 is a major shift in strategy for Microsoft is pretty obvious at this point. Between the Metro interface, complete dismissal of the start menu, focus on touch screen devices, and myriad other changes; this is not the Windows of the Bill Gates era. One change which hasn’t received much discussion is the idea of Windows 8 being Microsoft’s next iteration for not only Windows 7, but for Windows Home Server.
The talking heads at Valve continue to downplay the importance Windows plays in the future of PC gaming, pointing instead to Linux as an alternative in progress that's gaining steam (and Steam, for that matter). Serving as the latest indication that Valve has a growing affinity for Linux, software engineer Drew Bliss talked up the open source platform during a presentation at the Ubuntu Developer Summit.
Forget the CD and install Windows 8 with your flash drive
A guide? To install Windows? Slapping a new operating system on your desktop or laptop PC should be old hat by now, right? This is Windows 8, after all: Odds are pretty good that you, an astute and well-travelled Maximum PC reader, have been around the ol’ Windows installation block a few times before.
So, er, what does that leave us to talk about?
Plenty. Ditch your discs; we’re going all-USB for your first big Windows 8 installation.
A new survey conducted by The Associated Press and GfK reveals that the majority of American adults are completely oblivious to Windows 8. That's bad news for Microsoft, which is banking on Windows 8 and its touch friendly features to transform the landscape by unifying both desktop and mobile platforms under a singular UI, one that represents a re-imagining of Windows and a new era in computing.
Windows 8 is far and away the most “Bing Centric” operating system to ever come out of Redmond, and if adoption is as brisk as Microsoft hopes, Google should be quite nervous. Novice users might get sucked into Microsoft’s cloud by accident, and considering how great all the new services are, Google risks never getting them back. So what’s the solution? A hilarious new video showing how to “Get Your Google Back”.
After months of anticipation, sneak peeks, early looks, and even full blown reviews (including our own), the era of Windows 8 is finally upon us. Yes, general availability is still several hours away (Windows 8 formally launches on Octobe 26, 2012), but the festivities have already begun, starting with and ad campaign and continuing today with a livestream introducing the touch-friendly OS. You can view the whole thing after the break.