Windows 8 – an unmitigated Microsoft disaster

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

As our recent research has highlighted, Windows 8 is still proving very unpopular with the enthusiast audience. Our last poll for instance showed a 82% result in favour of Windows 7.

The Kitguru audience however are generally more experienced, knowledgeable people, well above the average punter walking into PCworld in the mainstreet. So it is interesting to see if our own polls reflect the adoption figures globally. The tale isn’t a good one for Microsoft.

When Microsoft release a new operating system, the side effect has always been a positive driving of PC sales. While the Kitguru audience will just install the new operating system, the average punter will sell his computer and get a completely new system online or from a local retailer. This did not happen after the release of Windows 8, in fact it was the reverse – many companies recorded a drop in sales during Q4 2012.

So what are the problems for Windows 8?

We discussed before that Microsoft really should have used a processor detection system on first install. If the install code recognised a desktop Core i7 3570k for instance and the lack of touch screen, it could boot immediately into the desktop, rather than present the user with the Metro interface. The lack of built in Start Menu has also caused usability issues for the punter, much in the way Office did when Microsoft decided to move basic features into new locations. Should a company servicing such a huge audience force such a dramatic interface change onto the user base, even when feedback proved negative?

Experienced Kitguru readers will find these problems easy to resolve – there are many freely available ‘Windows 8 start menus’ available to resolve the problem after all. But it does make us wonder why Microsoft would want to change the interface so radically when Windows 7 sales figures were so healthy?

We are all for improving the code, speeding up the interface and enhancing the experience but many people do not want to deal with radical interface changes between operating systems in the same family. Losing the Aero interface has also proved an unpleasant pill for many people to swallow. Our Facebook administrator, Carl has received hundreds of emails in 2013 complaining about the operating system and often the debates on the subject get hot and heavy.

We have received many comments from the public about the subject, and a core Kitguru audience would say ‘Progress is the future, deal with it!’ Its a bold statement, but sadly for Microsoft the mass public have a different view.

netapps windows 8 results
April 2013 figures from Net Applications shows Windows 8 crawling to a 3.82 percent adoption rate. This means that Windows 8 is still behind Windows Vista – one of the most poorly received operating systems that Microsoft have ever released. This is now seven months after release.

Equally poor are the tablet adoption figures for Windows 8. Windows 8 devices rated at 0.02 percent and Windows RT devices at 0.00 percent.

It looks like the writing is on the wall for Windows 8, it is unlikely to suddenly gain momentum now, but what is in the future for Microsoft?

The upcoming operating system Windows Blue looks to give the user back the Start Menu system with the Aero interface. Very similar to Windows 7, which has sold very well for Microsoft. This complete 180 degree turnaround shows that Microsoft have had no option but to bow under pressure to public demand. Forcing changes on a user is fine, but when there other very capable alternatives available it can sometimes backfire.

Windows 8 will be marked down in history as a very costly Microsoft mistake.

Kitguru says: Microsoft are a very difficult company to comprehend at times and it would seem that their historical pattern of releasing an unpopular operating system every other release seems to be a pattern they can’t break.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
0 Flares Google+ 0 Twitter 0 Reddit 0 StumbleUpon 0 Email -- Facebook 0 0 Flares ×

14 Comments
  • Drak
    May 2, 2013
    #1
    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    To be honest I think W8 is a great OS for tablets, they just fudged it where normal PC users are concerned. Who knows maybe the W8.1 or W Blue can make people see differently. I know a lot of people have said that you can get the start menu back with a 3rd party piece of software but it shouldn’t be necessary. It’s that reason alone that makes me stick with W7, plus i’ve never had issues with W7, it just works.

    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Dave
    May 2, 2013
    #2
    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    I cant wait till they drop the start menu altogether!

    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Chris
    May 2, 2013
    #3
    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    Microsoft have always felt the need to tell the user what they should be doing, and how, rather than the other way around, but the guy that was fired for dumping the start button, and desktop boot etc from windows 8 should be charged with corporate sabotage,

    they could do with repackaging the forthcoming win 8 revision, and calling it windows 8.5, and make a ‘desktop’ (pc, start button boot to desktop etc) and ‘metro touch’ version (tablets, etc)

    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Kevin
    May 2, 2013
    #4
    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    And on meme sites I saw the Good/bad/good/bad OS. Turns out Windows 8′s turn was on the bad side.

    Funny how it was true

    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Cause
    May 2, 2013
    #5
    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    Start Menu fuck you Microsoft

    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Kevin D. Lee
    May 2, 2013
    #6
    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    I personally use Windows 8 on my PCs but the biggest reason as to why is simply because I get the OS free through my school. If i was not getting it for free would I use it? Depends. I do like how the price isn’t as insane as older versions of a Windows OS.

    My main reason to sticking with it thus far is because I am hoping the new Xbox uses it in some fashion and that I can link my PC / Xbox through Windows 8 somehow.

    I might go back to Windows 7… but honestly once you get use to it the interface isn’t so bad. My only real concern is that there is no quick way to get to the Control Panel without going through something like -right click – screen resolution – followed by clicking in the windows bar.

    Also worth noting I have run into no compatibility issues.

    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Brian the brain
    May 2, 2013
    #7
    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    I am going back to XP as it is the best OS they ever made. Windows 7 is an overbloated, buggy pile of shite as well. All these little children can be bought heart and soul with a few flashy menu bars, etc. Just give me no nonsense XP and spare me your ‘its old’ and ‘the terrorists will get me as it’s not updated’ horseshit. No frills XP, just small footprint and does what you want.

    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Reporter Mike
    May 2, 2013
    #8
    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    It seems to me that M$ approaches an economic boom-bust cycle in a discernable pattern. This is a triple-dip global recession where few are buying new PCs anyway. In the heart of economic troubles Microsoft has released a horrible UI on a crummy core. For history, look at Millennium Edition and Vista (not bad, actually). And now W8, whose acronym screams out “WAIT!”

    I know a handful of retailers and a dozen VARs who had to move into channels previously abandoned, simply because their sustaining channel — new PCs and support contracts — has dried up. They can conveniently blame M$. Again.

    In a coupla years W8 will be refined and revisited, pandering to both the desktop and the tablet user whilst satisfying neither.

    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Francesca Thomas
    May 2, 2013
    #9
    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    We have 3 PC’s in our house.
    The XP purchased in 2006 – is now dead – very slow – only 1 GB of RAM and 200 GB of Hard drive. It was my favourite for 6 years!!!
    The VISTA PC purchased in 2009 – 2 GB RAM – 250 GB Hard drive – still slow and IMO overbloated and useless. My boys use it for games.
    The newest PC is windows 7 (purchased in 2011 but not hooked up until 2012) – 6 GB RAM and 1.3 TERABYTES of Hard drive – so much SPACE!!!!!! And it works wonderfully. I dont consider it to be overbloated at all. I migrated direct from XP to Win 7 once we got it hooked up.
    We will NOT be getting a WIN 8 PC – the Win 7 is more than adequate for our needs.

    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Anne
    May 2, 2013
    #10
    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    Totally agree with “Brian the brain”, Windows XP is user friendly, plain and simple, you don’t have to search and dig for things like in Windows 7, but W7 is okay. I have WXP on a desktop and W7 on a laptop; I rushed to buy that laptop when I heard W8 was coming out in a few days, I did not want W8. “Improvements” usually mean them shuffling things around and making them harder for us to find. I will be very sad when my old desktop gives up the ghost. On the other hand, might W8 be a wake-up call for Microsoft? They couldn’t even make the packaging appealing.

    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Jeffrey
    May 3, 2013
    #11
    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    Anybody who says to me, ‘Progress is the future, deal with it!’ – can take a long walk off a short pier. A computer is a tool for its users. If it’s unusable, it’s worthless.

    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Daniel
    May 4, 2013
    #12
    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    The Start Menu is a hideous, badly realised idea that has been due for an upgrade for 15 years. That Microsoft managed to come up with something even worse speaks volumes for how clueless they are.

    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Mick
    June 1, 2013
    #13
    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    Windows 8 seems like it was designed by committee. Two versions of every program, two program lists, two ways of launching program. There’s nothing visionary about it. It’s not intuitive. There’s no elegance to it.

    Here’s a good example. Open Outlook or Thunderbird (you won’t want to use the metro mail app as it is woeful). Open an email with a picture attached. Open the attachment, you end up in metro photo app, fine! You close the photo, you’re back at the Windows 8 metro start screen. What the? But I’m reading mail!?

    The way the classic desktop apps that everyone still needs to use works with the metro interface is at best clunky, at worst broken.

    Windows Phone brought us the metro UI, it’s a beautiful interface for touch screen, but it simply doesn’t work with a mouse and keyboard. Gesturing with a mouse is a completely inefficient farce.

    This is how Windows 8 should work…. If you’re on a device with a keyboard and mouse, give the user an interface designed to work well with a keyboard and mouse. If you’re on a touch screen show the metro interface.
    If you’re on a device capable of both, switch between the interfaces, e.g. you’re on a laptop using the keyboard, you display the Win7 UI. The user flips the screen and closes it on the keyboard, turning the laptop into a tablet, the metro start screen is displayed.

    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Greg
    July 1, 2013
    #14
    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    Win 8.1 will NOT bring back the “Start Menu” . It will only bring back the start Button, which will go right back to the Metro interface. In other words, they are making a mockery of users. MS knows that when they complained about no Start button what they wanted was everything under it. To give them the button but have it do nothing is like a answering complaints that their new car had no steering wheel by giving them a steering wheel, attached to nothing. When users find this out, the hatred for MS and their stupid Win 8 fiasco will boil over even more. They seem to have literally gone insane, and have no one with an ounce of common sense or concern for their core customers (PC and laptop users). If they go under, they deserve it.

    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Leave a Reply:



 

Polls

As i51 kicks off, how often do you game on a PC?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
KitGuru Facebook
*
Latest News Latest Previews
Related Posts
Archives