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Microsoft losing the faith of enthusiast users, including me

It seems that Microsoft can’t stay out of the headlines recently …. but for all the wrong reasons. With Windows 8 and their Surface tablet just around the corner, we have to ask the question. Do they really know what they are doing?

Before I go any further, I need to make it clear that I am a Windows fanboy. I am not a Macintosh user with a grudge to bear. I also cannot get on with any Linux distro and have failed miserably now for years to adopt one as my primary operating system. The main reason is that I like to game and don’t want a multi boot system. I also like the huge range of software for the Windows Platform.

Yes, I am not cool enough to use Linux, I admit it.

When Windows 8 was first released into the public domain I spent weeks with it, and ended up hating the changes and the overall interface. I never have before, even when Vista was released. Thinking it might be better later, I tried the latest W8 build, same deal im afraid.

I don’t want an operating system that is designed for Microsoft to launch an attack into the tablet sector …. and certainly not when im using a Core i7 desktop computer.

By now, all of us know the concerns. If you search on Google there are literally millions of discussions across the globe. A small percentage of users like Windows 8 already, but I would confidently say that Microsoft have a real problem on their hands.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4boTbv9_nU’]
Above, a funny video of a father using Windows 8 for the first time. Sure its tongue in cheek, but is it that far from the truth?

As we reported yesterday, Gabe Newell shares some of the same views. He basically wants to shift some of the Valve’s gaming focus to Linux now. He said “I think that Windows 8 is kind of a catastrophe for everybody in the PC space.”

Let’s make it clear. In the gaming community Gabe Newell has a lot of impact. He can help developers code their games on Linux. Valve have already got code available for Linux and are focusing their efforts on improving the situation. It seems a shame it has taken so long but perhaps in a few years time we will have a Linux distro which is designed for ‘Windows users’ who want an easy install with full support for current games.

The primary reason for releasing Windows 8, isn’t for gamers, it isn’t for the enthusiast user that generally reads Kitguru. It is for the user who wants a Microsoft tablet because Microsoft are losing millions in revenue to Apple right now. Microsoft want that to change but I am not so sure we really need a Windows tablet anymore. The market is flooded with tablet computers as we stand.

Steve Ballmer: Microsoft CEO. casting a magic spell.

But will it change? Will millions of happy Apple or Google users ditch their tablet to buy the new Surface? I am not even sure that ‘anti Apple’ users will buy the Microsoft Surface.

We discussed the price concerns yesterday. According to currency conversion, the entry level model looks to be priced at over $1,000. Much more than the iPad. Even if we factor in additional Swedish costs, it looks as if the Surface will cost more than the iPad. Here is a scary fact for you – the iPad right now in Sweden doesn’t cost any more than in the United Kingdom. What can UK punters expect the ‘entry level’ Surface to cost ? £800?

Microsoft are hoping that a prospective tablet punter will not only want the Surface, but they are willing to pay more into the deal. Even if the touch screen may be lower quality and their App Store will be much weaker? ermm.

To compound the problems, Microsoft are going up against their partners who will also be releasing Windows 8 based tablet computers, using the same Windows 8 operating system. Microsoft will sell their partners licenses of the Windows 8 operating system that they themselves will be using on the Surface (and they won’t charge themselves a license, obviously).

Microsoft stated openly in their annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that “our Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM partners, which may affect their commitment to our platform.”

No, re-reading that sentence a few times doesn’t help, trust me.

We already know that some of Microsoft’s partners are miffed with the ‘direct competition’, but this open statement is sure to cause bad feeling and may even push some prospective partners to move to the Google Android platform.

So there you have it. Windows 8 sucks, the Surface tablet will be priced too high and Microsoft partners may abandon ship to move to Android. Me? Im just about to install another Linux distro. I have had my fill of Microsoft.

Kitguru says: Microsoft – clueless or on the right path?

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