Re: "The application suite has been rewritten from the ground up"
Um...duh? But retina displays are the only high-res displays even close to affordable, and they can be operated in "maximum workspace" instead of "retina" mode. I was pretty clear about wanting WORKSPACE not RETINA MARKETING CRAP. The retina Macbooks can provide either...assuming you have telescopic glasses.
What I *want* is a 50 inch display at 4k resolution for sub $1000 so that I can get as much utility out of a Windows-8/Office 2013 setup as I do today with a Windows 7/Office 2003 rig. That, or a suite of Microsoft software designed to MAXIMISE WORKSPACE by MINIMISING THE DAMNED INTERFACE while allowing me to use OVERLAPPING, RESIZEABLE WINDOWS.
If Microsoft are going to subsidise the cost of replacing all my displays with higher resolution ones in order to accommodate their design aesthetic, I'll write a lovely article about how they understand the needs of customers and are combining marketplace product development and acceleration with great design.
But if they expect me to have to pay more to get the same amount of work done, I am NOT going to be singing their praises.
Office 2013/Win 8/etc may one day be a great product…if the hardware ever catches up. Right now, today, they have a product that seems to me less useable than one of its antecedents, and there is zero indication of a shift in consumer electronics pricing and availability required to regain what was lost.
Let’s use a much-hated car analogy. Let’s say you’re the owner of a fleet of commercial vehicles. You’ve been using the Ford Taurus for 15 years, and it has served you well. Your entire business is build on this car, you know the ins and ours.
Ford announces tomorrow that the new Taurus will have limited self-driving capabilities. Hurrah! An upgrade! Unfortunately, it will only run on jet fuel. Ford simultainiously cancels all of its Taurus-like vehicles (so there is nothing like the old Taurus available,) and halts production of spare parts for your existing fleet of vehicles.
I think you’d be pretty pissed. Jet fuel is bloody expensive.
Now, if Ford was also announcing simultainiously that they were opening 50 jet fuel refineries in an effort to increase global supply (and drive prices down to the point where they are near parity with petrol,) then you would be far more inclined to migrate your Taurus fleet to the new jet-fuel pseudo-self-driving ones, but I bet you’d still be irritated you can’t get spare parts for the old ones.
This is Microsoft 2012. The difference is they aren’t out there building me the jet fuel refineries. They aren’t driving down the cost of the hardware to the point that throwing away 15 years of investment and buying newer, sleeker stuff to get the same functionality as before is even remotely palatable.
Fortunately, I have the same option as the Ford Taurus guy would: simply tell Microsoft to go fuck themselves and buy from another vendor.