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Acording to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, 2012 is "the most epic year in Microsoft history," and the launch of Windows 8 is a bigger deal to Redmond than the launch of Windows 95. "Windows 95 was certainly the biggest thing in the last 20 years until now," Ballmer told The Seattle Times. "I think Windows 8 certainly surpasses it …

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FAIL

Better than 95 because?

This will be the OS to finally end our dominance in the PC market. Enjoy your consumer-grade crap, sheep!

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Re: Better than 95 because?

Sir, I take my hat of to you.. that was f*cking inspiring :D

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Anonymous Coward

SUCH ENORMOUS

Self belief and optimism usually leads to suicide

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Better than 95 because?

Yeah, because the introduction of Windows 8 is going to have the masses scrambling to the alternatives available like Linux, React OS, Solaris, etc. *stifles laughter*

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Linux

Re: Better than 95 because?

"*stifles laughter*"

What, or Linux-based alternatives like Android, or other Linux-based mobile platforms that run on ARM chips. How many times do people have to be told that Linux is a *kernel* ?. It takes a lot more than a kernel to make a system, you know. Which is why there are many Linux-based **non-x86** appliances (routers, set-top boxes, Smart TVs as well of course) like phones, tablets etc.

The MS dominance paradigm does not exist in the non-x86 space.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Better than 95 because?

Oh god, not one of you "it's GNU/Linux actually, pedants". I'm fully aware of what Linux is, yes it's a kernel but it's also shorthand for a variety of similar distributions that use that kernel. I also don't care if Linux runs on your toaster, the OP was specifically referring to Microsoft's dominance in the x86 space, which is what I was taking the piss out of him about, as there's no competition for Microsoft in that area whatsoever.

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Trollface

Re: Better than 95 because?

As there's no mention of GNU at all in my post, you fail at reading, unfortunately :-) . The article is about Surface, & ARM based machines. Of course W8's x86 PC desktop is almost the same as W7(best desktop MS have ever done) on an x86 PC.

The interesting thing about W8 is MS' foray into ARM-based appliances, how successful the phones & other non-desktop PCs are etc. . This is an area where the (completely valid on PCs) "Linux is short for a lot of distros" idea just doesn't apply. e.g. Android phones - there's no Gnome/KDE on my Galaxy. Or my toaster.

The point is, the "public" don't know or care what the OS kernel is(or what the OS is) - "Is it good value / cheap & easy to use?" is the question they ask now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Better than 95 because?

"As there's no mention of GNU at all in my post, you fail at reading, unfortunately"

No, the point is you're behaving like a nomenclature pedant with your "Linux is a kernel" patter. Read my post in context and try again, I'm responding to Bill Neal's post where he specifically says of Windows 8 "this will be the OS to finally end [Microsoft's] dominance in the PC market". I pointed out (sarcastically) that there is no competition for Microsoft in that market. You then barge in with your unrelated nonsense and persist to the point where I have to explain the entire chain of events you like you were small child, and here we are back at the start. Go get your Asperger's syndrome diagnosed.

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Re: Better than 95 because?

Not a chance, too many businesses require Windows software.

No what will ACTUALLY happen is if (I would vote when, but whatever) Win 8 bombs you WILL see the board turn on him. Most likely Ballmer will pull some fake numbers out of his behind, just as he did when XP machines were counted as "Vista sales" because a Vista disc that nobody ever used was left in the bottom of the box, and then he will "retire to pursue other interests" and Sinofsky will get the boot to be replaced by someone from the office team, or possibly luring Ozzie or Allchin back to the fold.

Ballmer may be Bill's little buddy but he has flushed billions and gotten exactly NOWHERE when it comes to mobile and the board knows this. Windows 8 bombs and the stock is gonna start heading south and I don't care if Steve tucks Billy in at night the board is gonna have enough and tell him to walk or be fired, his choice.

I mean look at the man's record, Zune, Kin, Sidekick, the recent 6 billion writeoff on a bad buy, pushing the X360 out with a 2 billion dollar flaw, no wonder the writers wrote of a "lost decade' as the ONLY product they managed to get out without serious problems was 7, and if rumors are true that was because Steve was too busy squirting with his Zune to care!

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Re: Better than 95 because?

But saying your tablet or cell phone is gonna replace X86 is like saying toilet paper is gonna replace napkins because you wipe your behind more than your mouth!

I have yet to meet ANYONE that has gotten rid of their X86 for a tablet, and I've been in the trenches since 386DX...wanna know the truth? here are the facts: 1.- People buy more ARM because its in throwaway devices, how many cell phones you got in a sock drawer? Most people I know have at least 4, they get a new one with their plan and toss the previous in the sock drawer. 2.-People buy tablets to ADD to their X86, because its easier to use on a couch than a laptop. 3.-Since the MHz wars ended PCs became insanely overpowered, we are talking $300 triple and quad PCs and dual core laptops, so nobody replaces until they break, which because they actually pay for it, instead of being handed it "free" as with ARM, they actually take care of it and thus they can last for years.

So there you have it, still hundreds of millions of X86 units sold, 90%+ of them being sold with Windows, while they toss their ARM devices in the dump and get a new one. The future of ARM? $20 tablets being sold in Toys R Us, we are already seeing $45 Android tablets with ICS, in another year they will be as cheap as a pizza and considered no more worthwhile.

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Re: Better than 95 because?

So there you have it, still hundreds of millions of X86 units sold, 90%+ of them being sold with Windows, while they toss their ARM devices in the dump and get a new one. The future of ARM? $20 tablets being sold in Toys R Us, we are already seeing $45 Android tablets with ICS, in another year they will be as cheap as a pizza and considered no more worthwhile.

LMAO if Windows is such a powerhouse and the future of ARM is £12 tablets being sold in Toys R Us can you please care to explain why Microsoft have gone out of their way to port their X86 baby to ARM processors?

Will I be able to pick up a £12 tablet in Toys R Us running Windows RT?

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Anonymous Coward

"Not a chance, too many businesses require Windows software."

True, but the days are long gone where companies would quickly upgrade Windows versions. My company has only just upgraded desktops from Windows XP to Windows 7, and pretty much every upgrade failed and needed manual attention from the Wintel team (through no fault of theirs).

Now we're back to the usual shambolic Microsoft patch cycle, where a critical fix to a fax driver we don't use somehow takes out Excel automation on 1 in every 7 boxes, and causes Lotus Notes slowdowns and hangs on the rest.

No-one's ready for Windows 8, no-one wants it.

In the same time we've been through three major Unixy upgrades: Solaris -> Suse Linux, Suse Linux -> Red Hat Linux, Red Hat Linux version upgrade. All went flawlessly.

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Boffin

Re: "Not a chance, too many businesses require Windows software."

Deep in a forgotten basement at the headquarters of a major IT company, there is endless darkness, lit by the glow of a single CRT display. A...creature...sits at a desk, typing away on a rubberised keyboard, the letters of which have long been worn away. He is not lonely, for there is always work to do. A bug fix here, a new application there. He pauses and sniffs the air. Something has changed, up there in the Daylightworld. A Great Power has become weakened, a result of one style-over-substance decision too many. He cackles. The time is ripe once again.

Across the world, people have nightmares about an endless line of 3.5 inch floppy disks and thick, snake like tentacles comprised of storage tape. At Linux conferences, very, very small groups of individuals don the sacred robe and chant the name of their master, as he rises to snatch the computers of the world from the weakened grip of Redmond.

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh OS/2 Warp Armonk wgah'nagl fhtagn.

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Re: Better than 95 because?

"can you please care to explain why Microsoft have gone out of their way to port their X86 baby to ARM processors?"

Because for the majority of tablet-users, they only need a device that will surf the web, perhaps send some e-mail, and little else other than various forms of social media. For them it matters not a smidge what processor is in the device, and since ARM processors will significantly lower the cost of said device; lower price = greater chance of market penetration.

No, you're not going to see that £12 tablet, but the odds are good of seeing ARM tablets at half the cost of intel-based versions.

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Re: "Not a chance, too many businesses require Windows software."

@AC

Off topic really, but I've done hundreds of Windows 7 upgrades in all sorts of different businesses and only had 1 or 2 with post installation issues (due to 3rd party drivers I might add). None failed. Have you considered the possibility that your IT staff are better trained to migrate Linux than Windows OS? Does your IT team have MCP's in Windows 7 Deployment or do they just 'know it all'? You can't blame the product for a crappy upgrade/migration process.

Also never had problems with Windows Updates 'breaking anything' in my 4 years in IT. These are all issues you fondly remember from the 90's I'm sure, but things have changed since then....

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Joke

RE "Lotus Notes slowdowns"

How can you tell?

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@ Thomas 4 (Re: "Not a chance, too many businesses require Windows software.")

Dammit, now I'm wondering if someone will port e-Commerce Station to ARM for fondleslabs, it may actually be a good fit.

You can tell that there's a new OS battle brewing - the developers are rushing to ARMs.

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Re: Better than 95 because?

"can you please care to explain why Microsoft have gone out of their way to port their X86 baby to ARM processors?"

Umm, they haven't. They've ported their phone OS to x86.

WinRT is not their x86 baby. It can't run those apps and even if you cross-compiled them it couldn't run those apps. That's *not* because the processor isn't up to it. A modern ARM can wipe the floor with the x86 chips from twenty years ago. No, they couldn't run those apps even if you cross-compiled them because the APIs are not there and *that's* by design.

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IT Angle

Re: "Not a chance, too many businesses require Windows software."

I'm still using XP it works why fix it. When I say it works that means it runs everything required. I run Linux for other stuff although I'm not keen on Ubuntu's latest offering. That reminds me I must dust my XP laptop off for the hols it's the only time it gets used even then I throw a screen, keyboard and mouse in. Only idiots buy pads or touch screens who needs loads of mucky fingers all over what they're looking at?

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AC: there's no competition for Microsoft in that area whatsoever

Apple seems to be doing well

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Re: Better than 95 because?

Because, if you spent even one second to think, it would be VERY obvious. What happened to PCs during the MHz war? Why every 3 years they got sent to the dump for a new one. Now what did that do for MSFT? Well considering they are an OS COMPANY that meant every 3 years they got another check...get the picture? Being designed for the dump BENEFITS MSFT because that means they sell more copies, whereas PCs now lasting 7 years or even longer means they sell less copies.

BTW did I say ARM was junk? No I said the systems it is put in is considered worthless to the masses because the phones are "given free" and thanks to so many companies making ARM cores the economies of scale are enormous. With X86 you have a grand total of TWO companies, and one of those sadly dominates the other, so the prices simply can't fall there like it does with ARM. You might want to look up the article "hardware is dead" to see sub $50 dual core Android tablets already being sold in Hong Kong, the parts are getting so cheap you can sell the whole system cheaper than a HDD for a laptop or desktop goes.

And No you will NOT get WinRT for that price, in fact because ballmer is the worst CEO since Apple's Pepsi guy who cares more about stock prices than actual performance he'll price them right out of the market. tell me, when i could buy a quad core laptop running X86 for $400, and a dual core ARM tablet for $100, why would I pay $700 for an ARM tablet running Windows, when the ONLY selling point for Windows, the ability to run X86, won't be there? I wouldn't and nobody will, its DOA.

So final verdict? Windows WILL be the new IBM, X86 is here to stay but it'll be flatline as nobody will replace until they die, ARM will become so cheap you can get one in cracker jacks (See the Pi which does HTPC for under $50 for an example) so Android will rule the cheapo end, Apple the high, and they'll be chunked like Kleenex for new ones simply because nobody will bother to fix them.

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FAIL

Re: "Not a chance, too many businesses require Windows software."

Its been the same, converted hundreds of customers over, either through upgrades if they had bought from me in the last 5 years or new systems if they hadn't and I had ONE, just one mind you, problem with a Windows XP to 7 migration and it was with my dad of all people.

It turned out he was using a scanner from 1997, we're talking 240x180 or some such, just ancient, and he was using a REALLY old version of Quickbooks that was tied to Flash 7. I bought him a little all in one with a much better scanner than he had, he bought the low end version of QB and I imported the data...and that was that.

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Re: Better than 95 because?

It will run on modern hardware - win95 won't

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Meh

Ballmer says...

{yawn}

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Re: Ballmer says...

Getting back to reality:

Windows 3.0 was a breakthrough which got refined through WfW 3.11.

Windows 95 was a breakthrough only because of the GUI which got refined through Win98

Windows NT was a breakthrough that laid the foundations for Win2000 and refined in XP

Let's forget about Vista, except MS had to improvise Win 7 to cover the gap

Is Ballmer saying 95 was greater (commercially or technically) than 2000/XP?

Now if I was a MS stockholder I would be overjoyed if Win 8 achieved the same dominant success as 2000/XP (and lived so long after its planned demise). Tell me its going to achieve more and I'd sell fast and short.

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Re: Ballmer says...

Actually Balmer says "I'm not paid to have doubts," showing all the grasp of SWOT analysis and corporate strategy in the CEO role that the MS shareholders have come to know and love.

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La la la la la

I can picture this man with his fingers in his ears "la la la la la"

Well, of course he's going to punt it like it's the best thing since sliced bread...

Hey, hold on just a minute here, check this out:

"the most significant releases that maybe we've ever done, and certainly we've done since 1995 of our two flagship products, Microsoft Windows"

"...we've built the highest quality – and this I strongly believe – we've built the highest quality, most secure, most reliable Windows operating system ever. Of that I am sure."

Guess what version of windows he was warbling on about?

Windows 8?

No - Vista!

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/exec/steve/2006/11-30NewDay.aspx

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Re: La la la la la

And in a lot of ways he was right about Vista. It finally brought a security model to Windows that was equivalent to what UNIX and Linux had had for over a decade. It brought in a lot of the groundwork for Windows 7 and Windows 8. Vista was more secure than any previous version of Windows (I think). It was also annoying, but that's a different issue. So what if he was saying Vista had the best X or Y yet. That doesn't logically preclude saying Win8 has a better X or Y because Win8 is coming out after Vista. Both statements can be true.

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Re: La la la la la

Definitely is out of touch with reality.

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Re: h4rm0ny

I'm not so sure I would go so far as to say Vista/7's security is equivalent to what UNIX and Linux had. Perhaps you could more accurately say it was similar to, an approximation of, an attempt at, or even a feeble shadow of those features. Still, I'm not discounting that it was big-time progress on Microsoft's part.

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Re: La la la la la

Not really, the security model was already good with Windows NT, Vista just added some weird stuff to it... which everybody disabled to get their legacy software to run.

The operating system Microsoft did try to get security in was Windows NT which was great hadn't it been for the Win9x/DOS compatibility that had to be shoved in. Maybe Microsoft should have sold Windows NT for the same price as Win9x. Then developers would have developed for the subset of both systems instead simply for Windows 9x.

What Windows is now is just a pale image of the vision behind it way back when people still believed in Windows.

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Joke

Re: La la la la la

I see him more as a Tinky Winky type.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: La la la la la

But Vista WAS the most secure and reliable version of Windows upon it's release. Everyone already knows that. Windows 7 and 8 are are only superficially different from Vista.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: La la la la la

Yes but you can't stop a bandwagon as heavily laden as the "Vista is bad" one. Installed it on my laptop recently due to needing some Windows software whilst out and about. Fully upgraded it worked just fine.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: La la la la la

"you can't stop a bandwagon as heavily laden as the "Vista is bad" one"

It had a 40gb install footprint and ran like crap on most of the "Vista ready" machines it was (at least initially) sold on. For those reasons alone it could be considered a disaster.

There were were good points too - like certified drivers... and then with 7 (compared to Vista) more sane default security settings, and a more respectable 16gb footprint... Win7 is in many ways an optimised version of Vista. To be honest, other than look and feel, I'm not sure if there is anything in 7 that wasn't in Vista... and I like 7.

As far as security goes, I'm not sure anyone can say with a straight face that Vista and 7 were not improvements to XP. ASLR and run as administrator (pseudo-sudo;) in particular, IMHO, were important improvements.

Was Vista the worst OS ever from a technical standpoint? No. Was it a bloated commercial failure? Yes.

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Re: La la la la la

Wait until it thrashes your hard drive or drives you up a wall by forgetting your shared folders THEN get back to us.

The machine I had at the time was frankly better than most and at the time was running WinXP X64 well, so I was actually jazzed to get Vista. The system was a 3.6GHz P4 with 4Gb of RAM, dual 400Gb hard drives, and a Geforce 7600GS. Even on the MSFT drivers the system would have "senior moments" where it would just stop for several seconds, not enough to pull the plug, just enough to irritate, and the constant thrashing of the HDD killed a brand new Seagate. I tried every trick in the book, every tweak on the net, and gave up when SP1 came out and didn't fix it.

Now when someone says they have Vista I automatically say "I'm sorry" and they almost always agree, especially if they have ever used Win XP or 7. In fact I've met exactly ONE person who likes Vista, she only uses the browser to go to Youtube, that's it, that's all. She got one of the last Vista laptops and to do only that one task? it works decent. problem is most of us want to use our laptops as more than an iPad with a keyboard and for those tasks it sucks on ice.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: La la la la la

Vista was secure because it was unusable. It would've taken the Vista file copy engine a day or two just to copy the virus onto the box let alone run the damn thing.

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Re: h4rm0ny

"h4rm0ny is one the more prominent pro-Microsoft shills on this site."

I don't and never have worked for MS. If you have to try and cry shill rather than address my arguments, then you should question your own biases.

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Stop

Re: h4rm0ny

House Rules.

Calling somebody a shill just because they don't agree with you and your fellow howling fanboys is not allowed under the Reg's own rules.

Which is why you get not only a downvote but also reported.

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Trollface

"Vista WAS the most secure and reliable version of Windows upon it's release."

At least in part because it would talk to almost nothing as the drivers weren't available yet. You could certainly rely on it to ask you three times to delete a file...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: La la la la la

It was a PR failure, certainly. Commercially (i.e. financially) it actually did fine, even if the perception is otherwise. But yeah, as you correctly point out Vista was fine from a technical standpoint, the reason for the PR backlash was partly unavoidable due to everyone being used to used XP SP2 for years on massively overpowered hardware for what it required, everyone had forgotten how crap XP was when it first came out (for similar reasons to Vista), and partly Microsoft's fault for pandering to Dell, HP and the like with the "Vista Capable" requirements being blatantly incapable.

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Happy

Re: La la la la la

For those who have not seen it, definitely check out "Steve Ballmer going crazy" on YouTube (yep, that's the title). The man looks seriously unhinged and probably on really powerful drugs.

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Re: La la la la la

Uptick just because of the hysterically funny visual it gives me. Him hunched over, fingers jammed into his hears (up to the second knuckle), obscenity laced rants interrupted with the occasional screaming LA!!! Wisps of steam wafting off his brow as he kicks chairs across the office.

Good god that's funny.

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Re: La la la la la

While I will conceed Vista was most reliable and secure version of Windows, I submit that the only reason it takes that title is because of the general frustration, derision and rage it causes. This leaves the majority of non-professional IT users in the position of either stomping off in a huff or simply powering the machine off (unsafely).

Once again, a turned off and disconnected machine is the single most secure, followed powered off and disconnected being tied for second place.

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Re: La la la la la

Hold on, I got two thumbs down for simply suggesting Ballmer was out of touch?

Is that a bot somewhere? I didn't necessarily say Windows 8 was awful, or anything like that, but to suggest Ballmer is a great visionary who is always on the ball is surely not the normal response of someone on El Reg.

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He's right

I think if you've used Windows 8 and got used to it you'll have to agree with him. Windows 8 will redifine what Windows is and does. Windows 9 probably won't even have a desktop version. I love Windows 8, it's really fresh, intuitive and will be a killer with the general public. If you don't know how to use it then get used to it, it really is excellent.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: He's right

Windows 8 is total shit , get used to it my arse. It's like saying I'll get used to having my fingers crushed in a vice and my eyeballs stabbed with hot knitting needles.

I'm sure paraplegics get used to a wheelchair but I'm damn sure they would rather walk again.

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Re: He's right

How unutterably crass of you to compare a piece of software YOU don't ike to lifechanging premanent disabilty.

You sir, are a fucking moron.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: He's right

Windows 8 is more or less the same as Windows 7 but with some performance, reliability and security improvements, Hyper-V, better multi-monitor support, better UEFI support, better USB 3.0, support, faster boot times, and a bunch of other potentially useful features, depending on your individual needs.

On the other hand they changed the UI a bit so it would work on touchscreens so a bunch of nerds started throwing their toys out of the pram. Really, if that's your sole objection to Windows 8 then you're utterly pathetic. I'm not saying you have to like the Metro/Modern UI - I personally think it's a bit of a mess - but it's an incredibly minor thing, and just a case of a single mouse click to get back into the traditional desktop.

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