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back to article Coke? Windows 8 is Microsoft's 'Vista moment'. Again

Microsoft has decided to backtrack on Windows 8 and loosen the Metro straitjacket the new OS applies to the traditional desktop. This U-turn is being described by commentators as Microsoft’s ""New Coke Moment" – where a business drops a brand-new flavour and reverts to the trusted and loved old recipe following a backlash from …

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Instead of

"New ways to do familiar tasks" can we have: "Familiar ways to do new tasks" please?

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Re: Instead of

Just buy a Mac and that will happen.

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Licenses 'sold'.

"Microsoft’s 'licences sold' numbers include copies of Windows sold to PC makers, so they tell us what the channel has been willing to buy or what volume customers have swallowed rather than what’s actually being deployed on new machines."

I'd argue 90%+ of 'licenses sold' are sales from MSFT to PC makers with 10% accounting for direct sales to consumers.

The 90%+ doesn't give any indication as to

(a) how many of those PCs are actually sold to an end user,

(b) how many that are 'sold' to an end user are returned,

(c) how MSFT prices its Win7 licenses to PC makers vs. Win8 licenses.

I'd expect:

(a) not many - given the slowdown in PC growth and the poor profit results of the big PC makers,

(b) a lot of Win8 machines being returned,

(c) Win7 license cost >>>>> Win 8 license cost so that PC makers are compelled to buy Win8 or face no profit margin on a Win7 machine.

It's all academic, really, because this whole Win8 episode has been a failure for MSFT of epic proportions. All that shareholders' money wasted on software (ie. Metro) that no-one really wants.

Win8 = EPIC FAIL.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Licenses 'sold'.

Unrelated reply to first comment in order to get your comment near the top of the thread = pathetic fail

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Re: Licenses 'sold'.

What would be an interesting figure to find out is how many of those licences have had their downgrade rights enacted, so they're actually used to license a Windows 7 / Windows XP install.

While Win8 is far from perfect I don't think some peoples blinkered attitude to change helps, especially when it comes from those of us who should be able to handle it. Having got my head around the new ways of doing things I much prefer Win8, and found for most customers simply spending a little time to familiarise them with the new ways of navigating, shutting down etc removes most of the concerns they have with it.

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FAIL

Re: Licenses 'sold'.

But why the hell should I have to learn a new way to use the OS if I am perfectly happy the way it worked before? I work for a living and not in the computer field, so why the fuck should I have to waste my time learning new bullshit with hardware that doesn't have touch-enabled screens. It's the "My way or the Highway" approach that Microsoft took with Win8 that pisses me off so much. Why the hell not give us a choice to have a start button or get rid of those gawd-awful tiles when I first boot up. I have no need for that kind of crap and don't want to be bothered with going through yet another learning curve for features I don't need.

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Re: Instead of

I'm not familiar with Mac at all...

Anyway, they seem to cost a lot for an idea Steve Jobs stole from Xerox...

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Re: Instead of

*sigh*

Another fool with this line...

"My Vauxhall won't start"

"Buy a BMW and it will"

That is what you sound like.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Instead of

> Just buy a Mac and that will happen.

Then you will have new ways of doing less.

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Re: Instead of

If MS were really talking to their key clients, this wouldn't be something they have to keep learning. Businesses invest billions of dollars, pounds, euro and shekels every year for training. Why should they have to retrain every three/six years because MS has released a new OS?

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Re: Instead of

"> Just buy a Mac and that will happen.

Then you will have new ways of doing less."

Quite.

Thankfully, my Win7 laptop is still going strong and should continue to do so for some time, but if I did have to buy a new computer, a Mac is a ludicrously silly solution - it won't run the software I need to use most, so it would indeed be a new way of doing less.

In order to run the software that I need to run, I'd have to use the Mac to run Windows, in which case I might as well have saved some money and bought a Windows computer in the first place.

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Anonymous Coward

@VinceH - Re: Instead of

In this case the advice was not for you. Carry on using your Windows, that's all!

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Re: @VinceH - Instead of

"In this case the advice was not for you."

Comments posted in a public forum can attract responses from people other than those who the original comment was aimed at. And in other news, the pope shits in the woods.

"Carry on using your Windows, that's all!"

I'd rather not, thanks. It's a case of needs must.

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Mushroom

Sinowsky hoisted by his own petard?

The number that Microsoft has, which we don't, is the number of Windows 8 activations versus the number of Windows 7 activations. By now they should have a very good idea how many systems shipped with Windows 8 never boot it, how many boot it for a day or a week and then get "downgraded", and how many excess Windows 7 activations in the period (as opposed to Windows 7 "sold").

Where I work, the ones that don't get nuked to Windows 7 the moment they are unpacked, get nuked to Linux.

Sinowsky lived by telemetrics, and may have died by telemetrics. Good riddance.

BTW to anyone at Microsoft reading this ... WE TOLD YOU SO!

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Re: Instead of

A Mac is too expensive, not powerful enough, insufficiently upgradable, and actually not familiar to us. Plus Mac OS/x is incompatible with the software we want to run.

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Re: Sinowsky hoisted by his own petard?

That is the thing.

The problem is not huge sales of Windows 7, nor huge downloads of Linux, nor even huge sales of Macs.

The problem is lack of PC sales, and those PCs just happen to have Windows 8 on them.

These PCs would not be selling no matter what OS they had on them, overwhelmingly companies and individuals already own perfectly adequate PCs.

People have adequate PCs so they're spending money on stuff they do not yet have adequate versions of (smart phones and tablets).

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Happy

Re: Instead of

So you think a Mac is to a PC what a BMW is to a Vauxhall?

More like what a plane is to a car...

Had to switch back to WinWhatever after years on a Mac, first reaction is: why is the mouse frozen? Huh, is the machine dead? Working on a Mac is so fast and swift...

Too bad it's too expensive for me to use it at home. But my archlinux is also much more responsive than Win7. So yes, I can't afford the plane. Neither the BMW (too posh anyway). But their affordable solutions as well 8^)

/Zane

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Re: Licenses 'sold'.

I'm one of those who has bought a license for Windows 8 Pro. I bought a shiny new laptop (and I had the choice, Windows 7 or Windows 8) oodles of memory, a fast processor and Windows 8.

What a mistake.

As soon as I log in, I press 'Win+D' to get to the desktop.

My wireless doesn't log in to the network unless I'm at the desktop, I can't find some of the programs I used to use, like Paint or the calculator unless I type the names into the search bar, the damn touchpad thinks that I want to open the settings widget or whatever it is that brings up the clock whenever I swipe my finger across the pad...

Need I go on?

The Start screen is a hodge podge of different sized tiles, with every program I've installed appearing there, most of the time, more than once. No apps seem to work when I download them from the Windows store (to be fair, that may be my fault)

I've tried to like Win 8. I got it deliberately to try and like it, but it is just a mess. I'm now 4 months into Windows 8 and I wish I'd stayed with 7.

Oh, the laptop doesn't havea touchscreen, and will soon be connected to a telly as my monitor. Tell me again how good Win 8 is as a touch driven device when I'm 10 feet away from my telly?

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FAIL

Re: Licenses 'sold'.

I have no objection to learning new *better* ways to do things. I managed the move from MSDos to win 3.1 to '95. '98, XP and even Vista/7

They each brought an improvement to the functionality.

BUT Win 8 (and the cursed Office ribbon) have never provided any useful new functionality. Instead they provide irritating barriers to making MS products work for me.

Yet MS have plenty of improvements that need to be made. Things like the error messages that give no information at all. Or the times that Windows Update tells you to click on an update's link for more information, then takes you to a generic page, Or the add autocorrect function in Word, which still places highlighted text in the wrong box, putting the highlighted text in the "change to" box, and not the "change from" box.. Or a sensible Start menu that makes sorting into/out of "programme groups" easy and logical (rather than removing it).-someting that has been left virtually unchanged since Win 3.1 .

The list is probably endless.

Instead they give us silly boxes that hide our programmes away . And hidden controls that suddenly make things happen by accident..

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Meh

Re: Instead of

@Anonymous Coward If I wanted to do less I'd buy a Chromebook.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Licenses 'sold'.

i am supprised there are only 238 comments about this debacle. I saw it before win8 came out....let's get rid of the start button...oh the only thing that is central to windows the only reason i installed it was because you could get $15 licenses and free up some win7 licenses then change it to start at desktop and install a start program....my money was only to get more win7 disguised as win8

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Holmes

Re: Instead of

And which Gates then unabashedly and admitedly stole from Apple.

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MJI
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Re: Instead of

It's the crank sensor. OK it usually is!

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MJI
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Re: BWM / Vauxhall

So why is my 12 year old Vauxhall more reliable than a workmates 9 year old BMW?

Why is my 12 Y/O Vauxhall roomier than a 5 series?

Why does it look nicer than a Bangle era BMW?

Why did Police buy so many of them?

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Re: Instead of

I have a Mac, I use both formats. Now I want to install Access and program in VBA on a Mac, how do I do that without Windows? Pray tell.

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Re: Instead of

"So you think a Mac is to a PC what a BMW is to a Vauxhall?

More like what a plane is to a car..."

And as the plane is useless on the road, the Mac is useless for any real computing tasks... Nice multimedia features though, but even they are governed and limited by the bitten fruit...

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Re: Licenses 'sold'.

"Tell me again how good Win 8 is as a touch driven device when I'm 10 feet away from my telly?"

Well, on the plus side, if you're using Metro Modern apps, all the text will be freaking huge and in ALL CAPS, so it will be perfectly legible from 10 feet away...

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Re: Instead of

"Now I want to install Access and program in VBA"

I'm so sorry.

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Re: Instead of

Well, not any more than an idea that Bill Gates stole.

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Re: Mac compared to a PC

I would suggest the comparison is more like a Jaguar X-Type compared to a station wagon - Shiny, flashy, expensive, and a poorly engineered heap of shite underneath all the flash and shine, as opposed to a plain, unpretentious, ubiquitous workhorse.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Licenses 'sold'.

If we all had this attitude, we'd still be using the Windows 3

Even Paris knows that (she had to get in here somewhere!)

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Anonymous Coward

@The Jase

Having owned both Vauxhalls and BMWs, I can confirm you are exactly right.

Vauxhalls make shit, ugly, boring cars, designed by committees of people who clearly hate driving and want to spray their bile far and wide.

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MJI
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The fall out of Win 8

We have just got one at work, and it is driving our support chap mad, he cannot find anything, TIKFAM just gets in the way, classic shell will be going on as soon as it can connect to our server. Our last 4 Windows 7 PCs were set up in minutes in comparison.

As an aside, I converted a home PC to dual boot with Linux, now I do not know the OS I am just trying it out, and I am sure it was easier to set up for a Windows user. My next test is Wine. After that we are going to try it at work.

So when you get Windows users hating it and wanting to migrate things are bad.

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Linux

Re: The fall out of Win 8

I have tried using Win 8 too, and I have been a solid MS user from the days of DOS. While I have had issues, more or less, with previous Win releases, this is the first Windows version ever that actively gets in the way of what you are trying to do.

Vista forced me to look seriously at Linux, and I have been using both XP and Linux for the last two or three years. Looking back at my recent usage shows me that I now defaulted to Linux for about 90% of "boot ups". I use only one bit of software - Corel Draw - which has to run in a Win environment. There are open source alternatives to almost all the MS software I used to use - eg Open Office, Evolution for mail and calendar - and of course they are free.

Win 8 has now settled the question for me. My primary OS is now Mint 14. Wine, which comes bundled with Mint, will run a lot of basic Windows software perfectly well, and for Corel I have installed Virtualbox (free) and an old copy of XP (internet connection disabled of course) and the whole setup works beautifully.

The agonising MS updating process is the final nail in the Win coffin. Linux updates cover both the OS itself and can also update installed software at the same time. All of this seamlessly and quietly in the background, without endless nag screens and repeated reboots.

Why on earth would anyone want to stick with Windows now?

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Re: The fall out of Win 8

You could look at Xara Extreme as an alternative to Corel Draw and avoid some of those Windows boots.

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Boffin

Re: The fall out of Win 8

Stupid is as stupid does!

Also, consider the corollary as expressed by certain irreverent military types, "If it's stupid but it works, it ain't stupid!"

If Windows 8 worked, maybe it wouldn't be so stupid. The brilliant MS chieftain ignored how people use computers:

"But the former Windows chief's problem ... was that he emphasised process over people. He built a version of Windows based on data and theory without actually understanding how people used Windows."

That's just plain stupid.

Ubuntu was the leading Linux distro until a corporate chief tried to force the Unity interface upon the complaining masses; the result was a mass protest and user flight.

Linux Mint elected to offer a choice of reworked, reincarnated, user-friendly desktop interfaces. Users flocked to it. If it's stupid but it works, it ain't stupid!

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Re: Xara Xtreme

At a basic level, Xara is a viable alternative to Corel / Illustrator. It is a very powerful package and I have had a serious look at it. Unfortunately there comes a time when you need certain features / capabilities where Xara is a bit weak. A lot of what I do is more related to CAD than illustration, and Corel's layering, dimensioning and measurement capabilities are first class. I have been a Corel user since V2 (with windows runtime built in - DOS days!) "The best software in the world is the software you know best."

Also, with Virtualbox, it is essentially the same as starting any other native application. It appears on your Linux desktop almost as fast as a native app, provided of course that you stop Win from logging on to the internet and calling home for more junk.

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Linux

Re: The fall out of Win 8

It was a different bit of Windows software, but this was me a few years ago, and the solution was the same, down to the VirtualBoxed XP not allowed near the internet for that one program.

I gave up with Vista, so I have managed to avoid the costs of Win7 and Win8, but my final question is the same.

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Re: Xara Xtreme

Maybe someone in the MS Development office should post this quote from your post on the wall:

"The best software in the world is the software you know best."

It galls the *nix users that for the moment that's still Windows, but if MS remembers that quote and leverages it instead of aping whatever the current trending fad is, they remain a power player for as long as they want. Forget it like they did with Win 8, and one of these day it WILL be the *softies who are galled that the *nixes are the software people know best.

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Re: The fall out of Win 8

You realize if you have a whole bunch of operating system A and one example of operating system B, and a guy who is totally familiar with A, and he's not highly intelligent, he's going to have trouble with B no matter what it is.

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Stop

Re: The fall out of Win 8

Most recent versions of CorelDraw seem to work well with Wine - which one are you using?:

http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=application&iId=440

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Linux

Re: ..corporate chief tried to force the Unity interface

Unlike WindblowZE, there is a cure for Unity:

sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback

and at the login screen (you do use a login screen don't you????) choose Gnome instead of Unity.

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Re: ..corporate chief tried to force the Unity interface

>Unlike WindblowZE, there is a cure for Unity: sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback

Not any more, not after the gnome teams recent efforts simplifing nautilus. Now it is sudo apt-get install xfce4 with the added advantage that it works across multiple x screens. Thank goodness there is choice in the linux world and we don't all have to follow Microsoft over the cliff.

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Trollface

Let's take Business Categories for $400

"The new user and out-of-box experiences which are missing end customers' expectations are being reevaluated and crowsdsourced in an inclusive way (with the opinion of all actors being on the table) so that divisive perceptions can be managed, unaligned expectations improved and the multi-focused user interface adjusted to the customers' needs and wants, thus clarifying the overly aggressive interpretations of trade partners and evaluators about this company's rollout of its latest, vastly improved iteration of its flagship product."

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Paris Hilton

Re: Let's take Business Categories for $400

Paris: because I don't think she would understand what this means either

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Re: Let's take Business Categories for $400

It's a take on "Jeopardy"

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Coat

Re: Let's take Business Categories for $400

Bingo!

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One key difference between 8 and Vista

With Windows 8, the system seems to work very well 'under the bonnet'. It's just TIFKAM and the other UI changes that pose the main problem. While these interfaces arguably work quite well on touch-enabled devices, they don't work as well on the traditional desktop.

I think that if Microsoft gives users the option to keep the traditional UI elements, they will be on to a winner.

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Re: One key difference between 8 and Vista

To be fair to Vista, one of the biggest problems it had was the fact it was super bloated compared to XP, and people will still shipping 512MiB RAM + Vista. That recipe lead to swapping all day.

They also introduced DWM, at a time when DirectX 9 cards weren't super common, crippling the UI speed compared to XP if it wasn't enabled.

Actually, yeah, you're kind of right. It was an OS not built for the common machine at the time, so I guess it did suck "under the bonnet" to that end. Oh, and things like file copies sucked. The fact it kept every window in memory twice.

Oh screw it, I guess Vista was a mess.

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