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back to article Windows 8 'bad' analyst says Store is a weakness

Gunnar Berger, the Gartner Research Director who last July assessed Windows 8 on the desktop as “bad”, has added a sixth instalment to his five-part review of the OS, and opined that he feels the Windows Store's lack of apps may hold back the new operating system. Berger lists several things that excite him about Surface tablets …

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differentiators

I take it this guy hasn't realised that you can plug a mouse into an android tablet? Also most Android tablets support USB OTG you just need the correct adaptor and you can plug your USB accessory in.

As far as I can see the differentiators are the interface which some people will like and some will hate and the full versions of office programs which are irrelevant since the only reason for having Microsoft Office is Excel VBA which you don't get on the arm version.

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Re: differentiators

Using an amazing device called a 'USB hub' (as found at the bottom of my 'cables and stuff' crate), I can have a mouse, a 'proper' keyboard and a USB memory stick connected to my Android tablet. Since it already has a micro-SDcard slot and an SD card slot, being able to connect a USB memory stick isn't all that useful to me, but it's nice to have.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: differentiators

> I can have a mouse, a 'proper' keyboard and a USB memory stick connected to my Android tablet.

Wow, you've invented the PC!

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Re: differentiators

not all Android tablets support USB on-the-go and just have the absolute minimum USB slave interface...

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Re: differentiators

"Using an amazing device called a 'USB hub' (as found at the bottom of my 'cables and stuff' crate), I can have a mouse, a 'proper' keyboard and a USB memory stick connected to my Android tablet. "

At this point, shouldn't you really be using a laptop? Don't get me wrong, that you *can* do this is nice, but that's one of those moments where you might want to stop and say "Now hold on, ..."

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Anonymous Coward

Solitaire? I can have Solitaire?

Deal Maker!

Oh, wait... the Win XP Solitaire runs just fine under Wine. No deal.

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Windows

I thought Windows 8 users on any device were going to have access to the Android apps store? Wouldn't this mitigate any problems with having an under-developed native app store for the first few months?

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You have it muddled. AMD have produced an Android interface that lets you run Android apps on Windows8. This *is* pretty cool, but I don't think we know yet whether it will include ARM devices (I suspect not). So it's not "Windows 8 users on any device" (probably).

That said, there are around twenty-thousand apps in the Windows store already because Win8 can use WP7 apps. And it's going to shoot up very fast. Also, the article writer is ridiculous to try and draw parralels between Firefox add ons and apps for Android, or the MS or Apple stores. It's a browser. They are OS's. Different roles, capabilities and needs, minor overlap. Stupid comparison.

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No, Windows 8 cannot use Windows Phone 7 apps

Windows 8 does not have the Silverlight environment for WP7 apps. Windows Phone 8 does.

Windows Phone 8 apps will be more readily portable to Windows 8, being based on a very similar Windows Phone Runtime (WinPRT) to Windows 8's Windows Runtime (WinRT), but they won't directly run as-is, as I understand it, even if the app only uses the common subset of WinRT and WinPRT.

The technologies used in WinRT - XAML, C# programming language - are relatively similar to those in Silverlight, so developers won't find it that hard going to move an app from WP7 to WinRT, but it's not a simple port. A number of the apps currently in the store are derived from web sites, using the HTML+JavaScript app type.

Of course, Windows 8 (but not Windows RT) continues to support the vast majority of applications developed for Windows 7. They're just not in a single store.

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> I thought Windows 8 users on any device were going to have access to the Android apps store? Wouldn't this mitigate any problems with having an under-developed native app store for the first few months?

There is product that will run on any desktop Windows (XP, 7 or 8) machine that will run Android apps. AMD have enhanced its performance on AMD GPUs (it still runs on Intel CPUs) and will be bundling it to the OEMs. This of course defeats MS's strategy.

MS wants to get users familiar with the not-Metro UI so that they demand the same for their phones and tablets. Thus they will buy all MS products and have the same UI for everything and will buy apps several times, once for each device (and once for user in the multi-user environment it seems). Being able to run Android apps on Windows desktop means that the users may buy Android phones and tablets and have the same UI (for apps) and apps across all devices, even if they keep XP or 7.

So Win8 SP1 is likely to have an 'upgrade' that stops this working, as an urgent security issue of course.

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> Also, the article writer is ridiculous to try and draw parralels between Firefox add ons and apps for Android

Exactly. The Firefox apps are _additional_ to Android apps.

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"So Win8 SP1 is likely to have an 'upgrade' that stops this working, as an urgent security issue of course."

You're always making damning predictions like this. I ought to start collecting them. You have been reliably unreliably predicting doom for ages. When the Surface was announced, you pronounced it "vapourware". Then that it would be late if it ever did appear. Then you declared that it would hopelessly overheat. When I pointed out that it actually had this really nice all-round vent seam, you irritably posted how it wouldn't be waterproof. Seriously. Stop making predictions of failure just because you would like to see something fail.

Also, your little misinformation about having to re-purchase apps from Microsoft for each separate device -wrong.

Licensing Apps

You can install a purchased app on up to five devices and the app can be available to all user accounts on those devices. If you want to drop a device from the list and so the app can be put on a sixth PC, you can just de-select the previous device from the list for that app and you're done. I think five devices is reasonable and you certainly don't need to "buy apps several times".

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> you pronounced it "vapourware".

"""Definition of vapourware

noun

[mass noun] Computing, informal

software or hardware that has been advertised but is not yet available to buy, either because it is only a concept or because it is still being written or designed."""

In what way was WOA, Windows RT and Surface _not_ vapourware ?

But actually this just shows you have no humour because one of the announced features of Surface is that the case has "VaporMg" coating, so it is truly vaporware.

> declared that it would hopelessly overheat.

> you irritably posted how it wouldn't be waterproof.

I never mind being criticized for what I _actually_ say, but you are just making up stuff. I have not used the word 'hopelessly' in any of my posts. 'Irritably' is probably how you felt, and perhaps you merely misspelled 'irritatingly'. The Surface Pro is ceratinly not waterproof, so what point are you trying to make ?

> You're always making damning predictions like this.

Based on the history of Microsoft. Read up on the AARD code, on how they made Win32s fail on OS/2, on the jingle "The job ain't done/ 'til Lotus won't run". See the current Novell Microsoft case and the COMES documents.

But mainly: grow a sense of humour.

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Anonymous Coward

Damn you Mozilla

You're fragmenting the mobile market!!!

Honestly though, I see either Mozilla or WinPhone going south, probably mozilla. Lets facd it, in tech 90% of the time it seems to be a three party market, any additional parties outside of this get a scratch share of 1-4% Web browsers seem to bypass this problem, but I figure that's just because Safari and IE are both pre-installed and most users can't be bothered to change. (yes I know you get the option on windows now, but after 2 decades of IE for most people, that's the option they're going to choose)

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Anonymous Coward

W8 for DT is a Disaster

A thoroughly unsuitable interface for a traditional desktop. WTF were they thinking foisting it on mouse and KB users just to try and copy Apple and get you to use the App store ? IOS is designed for touch device where as OSX is for a DT, take fucking note MS and listen to your customers !

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Windows 8 Bad or author bad?

So let me get this straight. Windows 8 is bad because there aren't enough apps at the Microsoft store. Really? Out of the 500,000 apps Apple and Google claim to have, maybe 25,000 are actually worth something. I don't know how many apps I've installed because they were cool only to find that they really don't do anything that I really need with any regularity and end up uninstalling. So to me, the whole notion of bad mouthing an OS because there aren't a huge amount of apps for it is just plain stupid.

For me, the apps count is meaningless. As long as Windows 8 runs my Windows 7 APPLICATIONS Software (the productivity stuff) I'm a happy camper. What apps are missing I wonder? Games? Not enough games for you? Maybe it's a cool looking compass or something equally as idiotic. Are you really going to spend $600-$700 for a piece of hardware just so you can play games?

I thought Gartner was more intelligent than this. Guess I better reevaluate what I read from these guys.

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Boffin

Re: Windows 8 Bad or author bad?

>>> As long as Windows 8 runs my Windows 7 APPLICATIONS Software (the productivity stuff)

Windows RT won't though, you will need the full Intel hardware to run 'proper' software.

There is a problem with these articles in distinguishing between the two. Windows RT properly competes with Android and iOS... While Windows x86/x64 on tablets will bring the obvious advantage of a fully fledged Windows environment that is capable of running all software, it's hard to see Win RT doing the business on either of its two major competitors.

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Facepalm

Re: Windows 8 Bad or author bad?

*Looks at his PC, PS3, Laptop*

Yes, yes I would spend that much money just to play games.

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Re: Windows 8 Bad or author bad?

I agree, it is rather a poor argument - "the app store hasn't many apps, therefore it is rubbish" seems a little bit flawed. Any platform that sells a product range is going to go through a period of growth, usually quite sharply at the beginning (hopefully!).

Perhaps if the appstore was slated for being unstable, insecure etc, it would have been more valid.

And as for the stupid fgiures of tens of thousands of apps in the Google/iOS stores, it begs the question - just how many fart-noise makers and similar one-trick 'fun' apps does a person need?

Windows 8 has problems, sure, but I don't think the app store is one of them. Yet.

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Re: Windows 8 Bad or author bad?

"I thought Gartner was more intelligent than this. Guess I better reevaluate what I read from these guys."

Probably best to have read the original article rather than the Reg's summary. The reason the author has pulled his post is probably because he saw the Reg linking to it. Especially after last time where they wrote a big howling piece about how Gartner had called Win8 "bad" when it was actually one Gartner employee's personal blog and the original rather long article generally liked Win8 but used the word "bad" in one place for one thing and if you don't believe me, the author has a piece up somewhere saying how angry they were that tech news sites took that one part of his piece out of context and tried to blow it up into some big deal.

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Weak Store Strong Legacy

Windows 8 is not dependent on their new market place. It will be a convenient place to get new apps but the life blood of Windows 8 is its compatibility with all the same software that ran on Windows 7. All of your old stuff is going to run on the new operating system. If Windows 8 fails it is because people have to learn a new interface all over again.

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Re: Weak Store Strong Legacy

Windows 8 on tablets - which is what this article is about - is 100% dependent on the new store. The only thing it shares with Windows 7 is a similarity in name.

With technical people getting this wrong the average uneducated user is going to have no chance.. Lots of returned tablets.

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Headmaster

@TonyHoyle Re: "Windows 8 on tablets - which is what this article is about............

.............- is 100% dependent on the new store. The only thing it shares with Windows 7 is a similarity in name."

Sorry old chap but your post as written is mistaken. Windows RT is 100% dependent on the new store because it can only run the new apps. Windows 8 is an x86 os but can run any apps from the Windows store via the new UI plus x86 "legacy" apps in desktop just the same as your current Win7 device.

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many more years...

"When I tried to move to Android in the early years I found the app store very lacking and thus stayed with iOS for many more years. ".

Android 1 was released 4 years ago. The tablet-oriented Honeycomb 3.0 released only just over 18 months ago. In which universe did this bloke spend all these years?

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Black Helicopters

Anyone else fearing the rise of the microtransaction computer?

Windows and Firefox are both jumping on the 'store' bandwagon, and I'm getting more than a little worried.

I don't like the direction things in IT seem to be going with 'apps' replacing 'proper' software, and companies charging you micro-payments for them. (and then again to unlock features inside them) I'm half expecting to see in windows 9 only being able to install software that has been bought from the windoze store and approved by microsoft, who then take a hefty slice of the profits. All this on top of the cost of a machine, and in windows case, the operating system as well. Oh and if it will probably be covered in ads as well if Xbox Live is anything to go by!

I'm rather hoping that things don't continue along this dangerous direction, or it could spell the end for smaller developers and free software.

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Re: Anyone else fearing the rise of the microtransaction computer?

"I'm half expecting to see in windows 9 only being able to install software that has been bought from the windoze store and approved by microsoft,"

If that happens, I'm going back to Linux for my main OS. You're not the only one who dislikes some of where this is going. But my main concern isn't the costs. It's censorship. MS have already stated that they will not sell any "adult" material in the store. Apple do the same. It's the smallest step in the world to go from that to political of social censorship.

No black helicopter. Censorship is happening now.

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Meh

What is the market that MS are aiming for ?

Apple created a tablet that the Shiny Shiny crowd just love for watching Youtube and playing Angry Birds etc without then having to a tech genius - A very successful project.

Google invented the Android platform for the Non Shiny Shiny crowd who love it because it allows them to watch youtube and play angry birds.- It also gave the techies a great new toy to play with - A very successful projet.

Up until here there is a small relation between the two platforms. ( Youtube and Angry Birds is a clue)

RIM, HP - Lets not speak about them -they have failed for the moment.

Microsoft will bring out a new tablet that will allow you to do the same as the other two ( Apple and Google) but that in certain conditions ( Intel not ARM) allow you to also run MS Office.

BUT THE MAJORITY of users do not care about running office on a tablet. I have various office applications on my android Tablet and Phone and honestly it is a PITA using them for this purpose, everything is very fiddly. OK with a keyboard and a mouse things become easy but I don't carry a keyboard and mouse around in my pocket/bag, it would defeat the purpose of having a tablet in the first place.

So in others words the only advantage that the MS platform truly has, MS Office, is a non event. Most of the "commonn people" don't actually require the need to edit Word docs, Excel sheets and macros or Powerpoint slides on the go. That market is tiny compared to the Shiny Shiny / Green Bot Crowd and there is no way that the coporates will supply a tablet for anymore that 2% of its workforce.

I just don't see why the majority would ever be swayed towards the MS platform, they are already seem happy with what they currently have.

Quote Yoda : Tiles, a platform, does not make.....

MS are a huge Marketing machine, they will not fail in this project but I do not for a moment believe that they will achieve anywhere near the market percentages that they are hoping for.

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Re: What is the market that MS are aiming for ?

"but that in certain conditions ( Intel not ARM) allow you to also run MS Office."

You can run Office on WindowsRT. The number of people who will struggle because it doesn't do VBA is small. The preview version of Office will do 98% of what most people want and if you have the paid version of Office, this will probably fill in the rest, barring the VBA. Even the VBA part will eventually be worked around as it does support the new model of Office plugins that people are expected to use going forward (it's much nicer and more secure for a start).

"BUT THE MAJORITY of users do not care about running office on a tablet. I have various office applications on my android Tablet and Phone and honestly it is a PITA using them for this purpose, everything is very fiddly. OK with a keyboard and a mouse things become easy"

Most users did not care about having a tablet before tablets became easy and light with the iPad. If people can use Office on their devices then that frees them from carrying a tablet and a laptop. You contradict yourself first saying it's a PITA, then saying it becomes easy with keyboard and mouse. The Surface is a hybrid - it comes with the keyboard and mouse (trackpad) for the cost of a few extra millimetres on the tablet's thickness. Well worth it, imo.

"they are already seem happy with what they currently have."

In other words, 'people seem very happy with the 64KB of RAM.'

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Re: What is the market that MS are aiming for ?

"BUT THE MAJORITY of users do not care about running office on a tablet."

I admit to going of on the wrong tangent after making this remark. The point of the matter was the most folks who already possess a tablet only have one for consumption and not for creation , hence the remarks concerning Youtune and Angry Birds.

Office will not be enough to change the minds of those that already have a tablet or a considering upgrading.

There are a minor few that use tablets for professional reasons but again they are not being used for creation, its more "look at my new Powerpoint" ( which weas created on their PC or Portable).

My whole point is based on the fact that Professionals do need tablets as they do not fill in the same role as a portable does/can. I can spend a whole week using just my portable, I would hate to try and spend a whole week with nothing but a tablet ( even if it did have a keyboard/mouse).

MS are pushing their strategy towards tablet computing but I do not believe that the professional world requires/want it and the Public at Large definately don't Need what MS has to offer, some might want it but that's all.

The MS solution does not have the Shiny Shiny that Apple does nor does it have the Freetard/Lowcost/Flexibility that the Green Bot has.

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Re: What is the market that MS are aiming for ?

Oops that should read.

Professionals do NOT need tablets

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@h4rm0ny: Office RT edition licence restrictions

"You can run Office on WindowsRT"

True, you can run Office *RT* on RT. But have you read the EULA on that version? You can't use it for work or anything that generates income. Official word from Microsoft is you'll need to subscribe to Office 365 if you want to actually work with these devices. While casual users won't fall foul of this they aren't exactly in need of Office either.

For business use RT just doesn't make a lot of sense once you add in the extra licence costs for a version of Office they can actually use. That wipes out any price advantage RT might have over just buying laptops with Win8 Pro or Enterprise. It also gets them a full, uncompromised version of Office to use...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @h4rm0ny: Office RT edition licence restrictions

I think you'll find that a lot of businesses might already have the necessary licenses as part of their existing subscriptions.

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Re: @h4rm0ny: Office RT edition licence restrictions

So I can't use it to send my CV to recruitment agents?

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Anonymous Coward

@historymaker118. As an independent developer doing contract work to pay the bills, I've released one (popular in its niche) free application for Windows PCs. I'd love to take the application to the next level but simply haven't got the time, not being an academic or of independent means. The overheads of making this an application for sale to pay for the cost of improvements - again I don't have the time to fiddle about with this, and wouldn't like to make price a barrier either.

Stores, ad. revenue etc. make it possible to enable applications like mine to bring in some cash and this opens up opportunities for smaller developers. Don't underestimate the benefits to users and developers of being able to seamlessly release updates. My main gripe with the Windows store is I can't use it to sell/distribute a desktop application yet and outfits outside Microsoft (except perhaps Valve directions with Steam) have yet to provide a good solution for the developer community for traditional Windows applications.

I think you are being over pessimistic, personally I think stores are a positive and its unfortunate that Microsoft was intimidated by the EU and other bullies from doing this long ago (as the did with Xbox).

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Have I missed something, or is this guy saying Windows 8 is bad because he didnt like the Marketplace?

Surely he would have been able to say something a little more useful about the thing?

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I still don't get it

I am warming to Windows 8, but it seems to me that allowing desktop apps to run on a tablet will only discourage active software development on the metro side. For example, Adobe has quite a nice touch friendly Photoshop product on iPad which it charges £7 for. It is a nice companion for the main product, but what purpose would this serve on Windows 8 pro when you can run the proper version. All you do is risk driving away revenue and debasing the value of your main product line. I will be amazed if we see many big name companies willing to sell cheap versions of their more established desktop products.

Indie devs will have a better shot at making money from touch based games, but if you are developing a Windows game, wouldn't you try to support everyone who has Windows 8 installed, including the vast majority on non touch desktops and laptops? Factor in the millions of high quality Windows freeware that already exists and you are going to struggle to find an area that offers much potential. I suspect the future of metro is a lot of lazy ports after all the cash has been made off of iOS and Android.

Obviously this does not apply to RT, but then why buy RT when you can do so much more with Pro.

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Re: I still don't get it

"I am warming to Windows 8, but it seems to me that allowing desktop apps to run on a tablet will only discourage active software development on the metro side."

I think you're wrong and I'll explain why. I think it is necessary to allow Desktop apps to run on the tablet because at this stage, people still have a lot of unadapted programs they're attached to and the ability to run these is a selling point that MS have and Apple don't. So they want to keep it. But I also don't think it will discourage development of MUI apps because developers know that when they write their software as a MUI app, they're no longer able just to sell to Desktop PCs and the higher-end tablets. They're also able to sell to Windows Phone 8, lower-end tablets, Xbox - basically a much wider market. If a developer can code their program for MUI, then they probably will.

"but if you are developing a Windows game, wouldn't you try to support everyone who has Windows 8 installed, including the vast majority on non touch desktops and laptops?"

Yes. This I agree with. But the question is how hard is it to support both? I'm thinking of trying out some Windows-based programming for variety and it looks like there's a fair bit of thought gone into the APIs to make it possible to work with both without it being too horrible.

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Thumb Down

Strange how some peeps are somehow in defence over the lack of market apps for Windows new toy yet I will see the same argument used against the Blackberry market stall as a justification to use Android systems.

Just to clarifty a little,whilst the Playbook can now port some but not all Android apps even there some Blackberry die hards are complaining its capability should be removed because the lack of quality control in the Android market is having a negative effect on the quality of the Blackberry marketplace.

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Oh and just to add ..........just how many fart apps do you really need in one market ?

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Happy

The difference is

With new devices there's always that chicken & egg problem. Developers don't want to write for it if they think no-one's going to buy it and then no-one buys it because there's no apps for it. Except this time, because it's Windows and people will upgrade to it sooner or later (especially with new PCs), then the developers know that it will definitely be worth writing for. In two years time there will be more apps in the W8 store than in the iOS store.

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Paris Hilton

Troublesome transitions?

I'd guess that desktop bound operating systems making transition to iOS type operating systems is giving rise to troublesome transitions. Not just for potential users/purchasers of these new devices but also for the builders, software and hardware and ... actually developing the stuff.

Maybe there really is a demand for similarity to an extent between portable and mains power bound devices but is it not an optimisation too far to assume one operating system can adequately cater?

C'mon ARM, get some OSs out there?

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I'll say it

Brand me a fanboi if you will, be watching MS flail at this, doesn't Apple's transition from Classic/OS 9 to OS X look a lot more impressive now than it did at the time? Not saying it was perfect or seamless, but ...

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Devil

Re: I'll say it

Ahhh, but Crapple would be prefer that you buy an iTablet, a iLaptop, an iPhone, etc. (yes I am deliberately abusing their product names). I see W8/Surface as Microsoft trying to jump a little further to device convergence. To do that they have to encourage all their existing users of the desktop OS to not jump ship, but still support the touch / tablet form factor. I personally am hoping the Surface Pro is that well aligned replacement of a tablet and a laptop - I only need one if it can do both jobs effectively. iTablet can never be that because flexibility is neutered by Apple control - good for Apple and generally good for the average consumer because it protects them from screwing themselves. However, I don't care about the average consumer, I care about me AND I'd like one device to rule them all and in the darkness bind them...

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Anonymous Coward

When apple launched its store in 2008 they had just 500! So based on some of the silly logic thats floating around, Windows 8 store is already more successfully! The number of apps does not matter, the type, usefulness and quality however does.

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...but that was 500 more than their competition combined.

Unless you consider WinCE and Symbian actually compete in the same market, something the market doesn't seem to believe ;)

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Application Approval process for the MS App-store

The approval process is causing at least some developers problems - an application that has already been approved for the Google Play Store and the iTunes store failed the testing process for the Microsoft store - when an updated version with that bug fix is submitted, the developer waits 7 days and then the application is failed again, for an issue that was broken in the first version too, but because they stopped the test process when they found the first bug, there's yet another 7 day delay before the 3rd version gets tested, etc.

http://www.motzwrit.es/post/33309406053/a-broken-process

It's great that apps are being so extensively tested, but it's definitely an inefficient process from the developers point of view (of course, if he just hadn't had any bugs in the first place......)

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