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back to article 85% of Windows 8 users wield the desktop on day one

Microsoft has released information about sales of Windows 8 and apps from the Windows Store, plus data on users' interactions with the new operating system. News of Windows 8 sales appeared in a blog post summarising Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller's presentation to Wednesday's Credit Suisse …

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WTF?

Was there a survey?

"85%, she said, use the vestigial desktop on the first day. In the first three weeks, the average user adds 19 tiles to the Windows 8 start screen. 25% have added 30. 90% of customers use Charms on the first day they get the product."

How are they getting this data? Was there a survey? How big is the sample size?

Or is Windows 8 'phoning home'? Is there an optoin to disable this? Whats the default? What notification is given that it is phoning home?

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Black Helicopters

Re: Was there a survey?

I had the same thought....

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Re: Was there a survey?

When I tried playing with it I was wondering why it kept trying to make me log onto my Microsoft Account. Now I know why...

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Terrifying.

If I try this out, I'm going to read the licence very, very carefully first. I didn't like the last one much.

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Meh

Oh dear

I really hope this is from people who either allow or hasn't turned off (but have been asked about) some version of

"To ensure a great user experience, and to continually improve upon this experience, you can choose to send anonymous data to Microsoft." yata yata yata...

But I'd hardly be surprised if it's on by default, and turning it off is something along the lines of:

- Open Control Panel

- Click User Options

- Click Experience Management

- Slide Management Slider to Custom

- Open Microsoft Feedback Service Center

- Click User Experience Improvement Customizer

- Untick box marked "Really helpful feature that only bad people would turn off"

Of course the above is simply me venting hot air, as I've yet to try Win8 at all.

Take it a sign of my trust in corporations if you like.

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Re: Was there a survey?

85% of ? 10? 20? 100? 1000? 10,000? 100,000?

If there are any win 8 users out there, did a little box come up on the screen asking for you to agree to Microsoft harvesting your details or if not is it a program that phones home without interaction.

Hmm.

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Thumb Down

Figures.

>> Of course the above is simply me venting hot air, as I've yet to try Win8 at all. <<

Why does this not surprise me?

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Re: Was there a survey?

"How are they getting this data? Was there a survey? How big is the sample size?"

That's made quite clear in the article; "derived from Microsoft's logs." and; "Reller also said Redmond has logged “1.5 billion impressions of customers using the home screen.” and also; "90% of customers use Charms on the first day they get the product."

Notice the repeated use of the words logs and logged. Also 90% of customers, NOT 90% of those whio filled in a survey! So unless they have surveyed 100% of their customers, and got replies from 100%, to derive that 90% figure MS are actually logging everything you do on your copy of Windows 8. Although to be fair probably only those copies that get activated using an MS account, for which you have probably already given permission when you created it. Thats why the other type of account is called "local" because the data stays "local" and doesn't get sent of to redmond for analysis.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Was there a survey?

Err... You do register the OS on the internet as part of the install procedure. Maybe they counted registrations rather than instigating some shady conspiracy?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Was there a survey?

There is also the "do you want to help ms make windows better" or whatever check box.

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Happy

Re: Was there a survey?

So place your bets, how long until somebody in the USA sues for breach of privacy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Was there a survey?

I've been using it for a few weeks now, and I never considered this. Anyway, the quick way of doing it simply going to the start screen, and type 'privacy'. Then, open both the Metro and Win32 programs and disable said functionality.

I know Microsoft are trying to get 'it' with the IT crowd of Zuckerberg & co, but did they have to copy their nefarious privacy policies as well?

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Re: Was there a survey?

"You do register the OS on the internet as part of the install procedure."

Not necessarily. I registered mine with our own internal KMS.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: Was there a survey?

It's gathered via feedback data from the Customer Experience blah blah Feedback option, which is in the same place in the Control Panel as it is in Windows 7 and Vista. It's enabled at install time if you choose "Recommended Settings" when prompted, disabled if you choose to the other (sane) option.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Was there a survey?

You have the option to disable usage statistics upload in the initial setup screens (though IIRC you have to tell it you want to customise the setup first).

It checked by default, the screen claims the data is anonymised, but read into that how you like...

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Re: Was there a survey?

There has always (well, since XP) been an option to provide anonymous metric data back to Microsoft on your usage of Windows. Those questions about whether you want to help improve Windows.

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Holmes

Re: Was there a survey?

Or is Windows 8 'phoning home'?

And if that's the case,very few of these are going to be corporate bulk licenses, if any. I think we can safely assume that these are unaware home users, who've just picked up a new laptop at PC World or Best Buy.

Well, that and the anecdotal evidence I've just received a replacement company laptop that had Win 7 installed by default.

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Re: Was there a survey?

That's a scary amount of stuff they're tracking, presumably with the improvement program. I'd count this press release as an own goal, instead of making me interested in W8 all they've done is make me think it is spyware. I have no interest in W8 on my desktops but was slightly interested in Surface, that interest just evaporated.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Was there a survey?

@Lars - Yes, when you install Win 8 is asks you if you want to send usability info back to MS. It also says that no personally identifying information will be sent to MS.

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Re: Oh dear

"I really hope this is from people who either allow or hasn't turned off (but have been asked about) some version of"

You can see the screen here...click for a bigger image.

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/windows-8/ss/windows-8-clean-install-part-2_6.htm

#4 would be what your talking about, and I'm not sure what #6 is. Name and account picture?

I expect most people click express.

They also try to make you sign up to a Microsoft account (like hotmail...) even if you are connected to a domain. Some apps like calendar just tell you to logon and try again if you are on a local/domain account. Weather tries to get you to turn on location service but you can just enter a city with a bit of poking. The weather app also has ads (shampoo in my case).

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Stop

Re: Oh dear

It actually asks you, very clearly and surprisingly openly, with a series of on/off switches during the installation whether you want to send data to Microsoft. It even breaks the options of different types of data down so you don't end up in any way thinking 'well, I HAVE to say yes just to get this thing to work, don't I?'.

It really is a surprisingly open and straightforward page. It certainly surprised me, and in all likelihood it's because they were so open about it that people probably said yes because they felt they were almost respected.

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Windows

@Tom

I think you hit the nail on the head.

The official word on that feature is that it uses your online storage space to save your Win8 settings which will then be retrieved the moment you log onto another Win8 desktop. That will make sure you always get your own desktop. Storage space which conveniently sits outside your common SkyDrive and which, so far, seems totally inaccessible to you.

Something which I consider to be very dubious. I mean; if /my/ data gets stored online why am I not allowed to see what gets stored? Heck; why can't I *remove* my stuff ?

Convenient is it that the moment you want to use their store and all that you'll have to sign in with your Live (now "Microsoft ID"). And all of a sudden all your stuff ends up on some mysterious part of the Internet.

And if only they managed to do a good job here, not even that!

When I started to test Win8 I used a dynamic Naruto Shipuuden theme on the desktop. Quite cool because it really showed how I felt (the picture with Naruto standing behind a fence of barber wire while he cuts his hand holding one of the wires): Imprisoned and incapacitated.

Dynamic... so other pictures are there too.

So; when the Win8 official release hit TechNet I gave that a try too. And amazingly enough; my desktop had the same theme and the same background as when I used the commercial preview. Out of the box. Yet only 1. My dynamic background had now turned static.

And the void? Well, that remained as vague as ever.

I think something really stinks here, and it aren't my feet.

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Stop

Re: Was there a survey?

This is one of the key reasons I have not been inclined to jump on the Windows 8 bandwagon, besides the fact that I see little technical benefit to it for non-touchscreen users, and actually several steps backward.

In order to use a many of the new features, you have to create/register an account with Microsoft, one of the key purposes of which is clearly to compile all sorts of data on every person using that OS.

I'll pass, thanks.

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Re: Was there a survey?

"Counting registrations" does not give you information like how long it took before you accessed some particular feature, or how many tiles you added to the Metro interface.

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Re: Oh dear

@Tom

Thank you for the wonderful reply - one upped. (I assume the #4 and #6 was directed at me? I really just made up those steps to disable it)

It's seems from this thread alone, that there is a mixed bag type situation.

On one hand they seem up front about it all, and try to respect people.

On the other, signing up = tracking, and possibly in other ways.

Well I shall hold off on it for now.

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Mushroom

Learning it's ways without frustration...

Um, sorry. No.

I picked up a Samsun "Smart" PC at the weekend in a store, curious to see if the Surface UI was actually any better on a tablet than on a desktop (my only previous experience) as was widely claimed when excusing it's metaphor jarring impenetrability UX on a desktop form factor PC.

It wasn't.

I even had some fore-knowledge of the gestures that should work, but even so fore-warned and fore-armed, I was not prepared for just how annoying and frustrating the whole thing was.

What a complete omnishambles.

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Re: Learning it's ways without frustration...

Same here. I messed with a Leveno (thinksmart maybe?) that was windows 8, touch screen and convertible. It felt like I kept entering deeper in to the metro interface and getting stuck so I had to hit the button that took me to the main screen. No amount of poking at the interface would send me one screen back in different places. I've been using 8 on a K & M setup as a desktop for a while now so it's just not that I'm totally new to the interface either. It just doesn't feel like lines of thought on now the touch interface should work in places where allowed to complete, I guess at some point they had to push the product out the door.

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o_0

Re: Learning it's ways without frustration...

the gestures worked fine for me and apart from the initial 'wtf' are really intuitive.

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FAIL

So far...

Installed Win8 on my laptop yesterday (a clean replacement of Windows 7). I had to use the Search function just to find how to turn off or restart the bloody thing! I've discovered I can't disable the GUI transparency (which I hate, find distracting, and turn off on 7). The boot-up screen (before login) has a stupid picture on it, with no obvious way of changing it. Network connections on the Taskbar no longer have a right-click option for Status (useful for seeing how strong a wifi signal is).

I'm sure I'll find more. I genuinely think Win7 will be going back on soon... honestly Microsoft you really have fucked up here! Radically change the GUI on something no-one used, or something new by all means, but not on a product used by maybe 80% of all the personal computers in the world?!

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Alert

Re: So far...

You can change the crappy picture its just not easy to find its under personalization but only if you go to it through the sidebar not through control panel... sorry I dont have my laptop in front of me to look but I think that is it. Yes its a bad design. Yes the wireless status totally makes me mad. I personally go straight to the desktop, only use the search to launch an app, and have yet to look at a single gadget/app whatever the hell they are calling them. Only thing I "like" about it is that it is faster to start and shutdown than even 7 and seems to be slightly snappier in some ways that 7 on the same machine. I dont plan on going back because I can deal with the annoyances personally but no way would I ever think about recommending it to deploy at work.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So far...

What GUI transparency? They took that out, unless I mis understand you?

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Thumb Up

Re: So far...

yep, transparency is gone... but bizzarely the task bar is still transparent, if a translucent bar, 30 pixels tall is enough to anger you that much, id hate to see what happens if you get a dirty spoon!!

to change the lock screen image... windows key&q type lock screen, lo and behold there are the settings for the lock screen.... rocket science it aint...

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Re: So far...

I had trouble finding a way to close IE. I could close sessions that I spawned from the toolbar (via "desktop") but the metro IE doesnt seem to die (which was a shame as the session had crashed).

Adding a printer was a nightmare, it decided to query the network pulling back 40 printers in a huge shambles list (with no "description" field which we populate with locations).

As far as living on a domain, it seemed to connect ok. Metro apps dont seem to like our proxy either.

Users are finding it utterly frustrating when using a trackpad. Any sort of slowness when pausing between swipes seems to bring up some sort of helper bars on the top or bottom. Not ideal.

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Stop

Re: So far...

To "close" Modern UI/Windows Store apps, you drag from the top and flick towards the bottom.

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Re: So far...

with mouse to close a 'metro' app move cursor to the left top corner, it shows app thumbnail, right click and close...

Metro proxy.... yes, that implementation is a real shambles!! you need to [Netsh winhttp import proxy source=ie] to sync the ie proxy with the system... then it sometimes works or else it will work after a reboot....

I just use the trackpad as a dumb pointer, gestures were more hassle than they are worth...

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Meh

Re: So far...

Took me a while to work out the Metro apps and closing them. On touchscreen I believe you swipe in from the left, but on desktop/laptop either top-left or bottom left corner and move mouse towards centre of screen - pulls out a bar of all running metro apps, right clock and close.

Seems a *very* odd way of doing this.

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Re: So far...

Not so odd if you consider a lot of people are now accustomed to using 'smartphones' where you simply switch between apps and very rarely close anything.

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Big Brother

Licences

OEM's buy them in bulk no matter what Microsoft puts out. Hardly a sign of success. What I'm interested in seeing is the return rates of new PC's preinstalled with Windows 8. I'm betting they'll be pretty high.

Big Brother because Windows phones home more often than ET.

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Boffin

Re: Licences

Yeah, I'm thinking that number is mostly OEM licenses in reserve, or simply new PCs sold with with it. That also doesn't say how many people did the allowable downgrade thing - If I was buying a new PC, I'd certainly put a clean copy of 7 on it.

No way there's any significant enterprise adoption of 8 outside of testing labs. $DAYJOB was using win2000 as late as 2007, and XP is still an allowable desktop configuration, though it takes a LITTLE convincing.

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Linux

Re: Licences

The big question I have is, can I put Linux on a windows 8 machine? i heard there were some issues with that?

And if I buy a windows 8 machine, can I get a rebate?

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Re: Licences

Yes of course you can, no issues whatsoever - contrary to certain urban myths it is only the WindowsRT machines that are locked down.

And as for a rebate, you'll have to take that up with the vendor you choose to buy from.

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desktop camper

Live pretty much 99.95% on the Win8Pro desktop - iit's where I get my work done. Pinned whatever I need regularly. I can see how the 'Start" part of the ui would be useful on a tablet/touchscreen device.

What I can't fathom is why I would want an app for something a browser has navigated for years now.

;)

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Re: desktop camper

Similarly here, I use the lock screen when away but pretty much I am on my desktop all the time... well okay except when playing angry birds Star Wars.

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Mushroom

Re: desktop camper

"Live pretty much 99.95% on the Win8Pro desktop"

Wow, you must have a pretty boring job if you spend all that time re-arranging your desktop, I spend 99.9999% of my work time in one application or another.

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Re: desktop camper

I, am an independent contractor who works with multiple clients running multiple and different business networks which include Apple, Microsoft, Linux, and various network appliances.

I think FOAD applies here.

Good Day.

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Re: desktop camper

Yes I don't get the "you need multiple apps for weather/stocks/sport/news/travel" thing when my web browser pulls all the same info into one application.

T hats the only part of Windows 8 I don't really get. Seems odd for a PC.

Other than that, back in desktop land it's fine.

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Facepalm

Re: desktop camper

Oh dear, FOAD? Really? Is 404 someone who's a little over-sensitive about what they actually do for a living, had a sense of humor bypass, or perhaps is simply not all there (as the handle implies).

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Trollface

Headline should have read...

"15% of Windows 8 Users Still Haven't Figured Out How to Get the Desktop Back"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Headline should have read...

If only it was a simple as clicking on a massive button with the word "Desktop" written on it.

Oh, it is.

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