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back to article Microsoft blasts PC makers: It's YOUR fault Windows 8 crash landed

Microsoft blames PC makers for underwhelming Windows 8 sales over Christmas, The Register has learned. The software giant accused manufacturers of not building enough attractive Win 8-powered touchscreen tablets. But the computer makers are fighting back: they claimed that if they’d followed Microsoft’s hardware requirements and …

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Windows

Re: re: Bought an 11" Asus Vivobook

I have a tablet. Its now a digital picture frame. I had a 17" desktop replacement laptop. Its now a media centre. I have a 6 core desktop machine. Used only for the occasional VM for work purposes.

I never once heard of anyone replacing the rest of their devices with a netbook.

However your point of "If everyone was in the market for that sort of machine" makes a good point. Thats why Win8 is on everything from tablets to laptops to all in one systems, because not everyone is in the market for that type of device.

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Oh and I have Windows 8 on the desktop machine. I have appended a Logitech trackpad to it.

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Anonymous Coward

Weird.....

That in the post PC, "Android OS for free" era, Microsoft still thinks it has a monopoly on consumer OS!

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Holmes

Perhaps if MS had offered to underwrite purchase of all unsold units...

So the manufs could build the stuff in confidence of no stock liability.

Oh but even MS knew that would be a stupid plan.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Perhaps if MS had offered to underwrite purchase of all unsold units...

A large part of the problem for MS is that many of us have older computers at home that very well for our home usage. I, for instance, have a HP Pavilion dv6824ca that's 3 or 4 years old and it does everything I need and I've been running Linux on it for several years and Mint, in particular, for the past year or so.

So, I haven't needed to upgrade my computer hardware and my software is not Microsoft. I think that First World (do we still call ourselves that?) markets are saturated with older but highly functional hardware and the choice not to use Microsoft software at home has never been easier.

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Re: First World (do we still call ourselves that?)

Did we ever? It was Old World, New World and Third World, but I'm not sure that those distinctions have been clear or useful for some time now except in a historical context

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Re: First World (do we still call ourselves that?)

you've conflated two similar but different naming schemas.

Old World/New World dates to around the 16th century and refers to Eurasia as Old World and everything else as the New World.

However the First/Second/Third World is a reference to the Cold War period where the "West" is the First, the "Eastern Bloc" the Second World, and the "developing nations" the Third World.

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State capitalism

the PCs it deemed the best were to be promoted under two labels: Hero PCs and Featured PCs

Trying to pick winners is exactly why state capitalism so routinely fails (unless you effectively control the market). Whoever came up with that idea at Microsoft should be shown the door. MS and Intel have in the past been so successful at blanket ingredient marketing - spunking billions on marketing campaigns just as long at the right version of Windows was prominently promoted. Cash-strapped manufacturers in an infamously low-margin business are not keen on funding their own expensive ad campaigns.

The ambitious hardware specs have, like other markets, left manufacturers little room for differentiation and forced them to take a bet that the market would love the high-end gear. However, few of them have the cash to take bets like that. Oh, and knowing that MS is picking winners and favouring the competition is hardly likely to go down well either.

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I think MS might be right

I can't find a compelling laptop, even in the "ultrabook" range.

I haven't seen one device that is powerful, thin, has a large trackpad, a hi-res 13" display and nice graphics.

This might be a battery issue. :D

What happened to the old "boot with discrete" or "boot with integrated" graphics?

I also blame intel & amd. I want the ability to power off four or five of my six cores in a laptop to save juice.

Although none of that is relevant to the success of windows 8, it just means I have no compelling reason to get a new pc.

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Re: I think MS might be right

>What happened to the old "boot with discrete" or "boot with integrated" graphics?

Graphics card manufacturers came up with ways of dynamically switching between the two depending on demand, so you get low power when you're not doing much and don't have to reboot to run a game etc.

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Re: I think MS might be right

I have a Sony Z12.

Core i5 520M (dual core with HT 2.4GHz, turbo to 2.9), 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD (2x 64GB in RAID0), 13.1" 1600x900 screen, NVIDIA Geforce 330MGT 1GB GPU, carbon fibre body, incredibly thin, decent battery, and still has a DVD writer.

They exist. But they're not cheap, and I completely agree, it's not easy to find them.

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Re: I think MS might be right

"I can't find a compelling laptop, even in the "ultrabook" range.

I haven't seen one device that is powerful, thin, has a large trackpad, a hi-res 13" display and nice graphics."

This is exactly the thing that keeps tempting me to get a macbook pro, no-one else seems to do anything as nice hardware wise, especially now they have the retina version. I'm not a big fan of OSX so I'd probably end up putting windows 7 on it anyway.

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Re: I think MS might be right

"I also blame intel & amd. I want the ability to power off four or five of my six cores in a laptop to save juice."

Now that's not true. I can power off two cores at a time in my laptop.

Sadly that doesn't leave many left in a Core2Duo.

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Windows

Expecting the "Ballmer and Generals in a Bunker" YouTube video any second

I TOLD them what PCs to build. I TOLD them that we have to move forward! This is high treason!!! (Throws chair)

"As market conditions evolve, we will continue to work in tandem with PC makers on creating successful and compelling campaigns.”

Sure. How about successful and compelling products, guys.

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Holmes

Let me get this right...

MS designed a new operating system.

It runs on PCs in various form factors that people won't buy because they prefer the W7 they're used to.

And it's the fault of the PC makers?

C'mon, guys - I'm already mad at the PC makers not offering me a choice of OS... but it's not their fault if the only OS they're allowed to offer is one that people won't use, surely?

To be honest, I'd far rather if for *any* PC purchase - laptop, slab, desktop, whatever - there's a tick-box on the order form that says

[ ] W7

[ ] W8

[ ] Nothing thank you.

It works this way with servers; why can't it work with a four or five hundred quid laptop?

Yes, there will be potential issues over servicing - but removing the disk and proving the system works is not a major problem, and it's reasonable to state, for example, that you don't have software maintenance if you don't buy the Windows flavour.

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Re: Let me get this right...

The hard bit comes in when you factor in the whole OEM vs Open licensing models. There's a whole world of subsidising, driver support, etc that has to be pieced together in the OS costs.

I totally agree that I'd want the choice, but to many, MANY people they just get a PC and want it to just work. I can see how Windows 8 is a horrible messy experience to many people - including myself, since that stupid Start screen has all the flexibility of a <insert company here>'s fanboi. However, I will be fair - Windows 8 DOES explain to you the basics of it's functionality from when you first start it up, and it's faster, lighter and smoother than Windows 7.

The only reason I can see for Microsoft to be so daft with the Metro platform (and let's all just grow up and stop saying 'TIFKAM!! TIFKAM!!' and so inflexible is that they're bringing together the platform so it is suitable for all hardware types, including phones and the XBox. Once they get all those interoperating properly, I reckon they'll start complicating things from there (and hopefully gives us some damn FOLDER STRUCTURE ON THE "&*$ING START SCREEN GODDAMNIT!'.

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Re: Let me get this right...

"that you don't have software maintenance if you don't buy the Windows flavour."

Certainly I build all my own desktops/servers and install Linux on them - for years I've had NO maintenance cost other than one flaky HD

Laptops are a more difficult matter - so far I've got by with 1 netbook (Linux from new) and 1 second-hand laptop (donated after a Windows Update disaster). I'm going to have to replace it soon-ish as various non-core bits are failing and the memory is becoming rather tight)

I'm going to have to look around rather carefully

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Re: Let me get this right...

@Neil Barnes: "It works this way with servers; why can't it work with a four or five hundred quid laptop?"

Various OEMs toyed with this a few years back and eventually gave up because it ends up costing them more. They have higher support costs (yes some people really do buy a PC without an OS and wonder why it doesn't work out of the box!), it creates a more complex supply chain and they also can't make back money by pre-installing their crapware (which is something of a plus for consumers, but not so much for their bottom line)

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Boffin

Re: Let me get this right...

There are plenty of SMEs doing custom build jobs with bought in h/w, who will give you a choice of the available MS OSs or a "none" option for people to put Linux/BSD on. The "none" option is usually the cheapest version of the MS home OS with the proviso that it is wiped, so the m/c will have been tested before dispatch and can be started when it arrives.

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HBT

MS has a point

I haven't bought a Win 8 license because I haven't bought a new laptop. I haven't bought a new laptop because nobody makes one with the same screen res that I've been using for 10 years - 1920x1200..

So I soldier on with my 2005 Pentium-M Dell Inspiron, with its gorgeous 17" 1920x1200 display, but annoyingly crap performance, bulk and loud fans.

Get your act together., OEMs.

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Re: MS has a point

Agreed - I ended up with the Acer with a 900*1600 17"screen simply because I couldn't find anything I could afford with better resolution. It's an improvement on the 768 by 13xx screens, but it should be the default choice these days.

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Anonymous Coward

Crap displays...

...are the reason I am not buying a new laptop. My father has poor eyesight and would benefit from a screen with *more hight* but the current 17" offerings are smaller then the old 15" 4:3 ratio screen in vertical extent.

WTF? How is this progress in the last 5 years?

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Anonymous Coward

"improvement on the 768 by 13xx screens"

But not by much:

17" in 16:9 is approximately 15.7" in 16:10 for vertical size.

17" in 16:9 is approximately 13.9" in 4:3 for vertical size.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MS has a point

@Neil Barnes

X *THEN* Y dimensions please. It's not tricky is it?

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Re: MS has a point

@ AC 11:45

Comparing two numbers and working out which is the larger. It's not tricky is it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MS has a point

> It's not tricky is it?

Maybe he uses it in portrait mode?

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Coat

Re: MS has a point

I stand it on its side to use the screen in portrait mode, and use the keyboard like an accordion.

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Re: HBT

Much as I like my similar era Inspiron's 1920x1200 pixel dimensions, I wouldn't ever call it gorgeous. It's a TN LCD panel; it actually looks rather horrible.

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Linux

No choice in PC World...

It's Windows 8 on your windows box/lappy or an Apple box/lappy.

No windows 7 machines at all... no Linux boxes either unless you count the stealthy Linux lurking on the routers, printers and smart TVs

Mind you, was able to get my daughter a very decent 15.6 inch display laptop with 6G RAM and DVD writer drive for only £299; pity she could only have Windows 8 on it... I got her start menu and proper desktop back using a third party download...

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Blame both

It's fair to say both failed miserably.

Microsoft completely failed Windows 8 launch, confusing consumers with Windows RT and the Surface, being invisible in retail and not tutoring / demoing Windows 8 at all.

PC manufacturers were their equal self, drowning consumers under hundreds of awfull non-touch me-too pcs/notebooks/tablets with undersized batteries, ultra low res crappy screens, ultra slow hdd and only 4 GB of RAM when RAM is so cheap instead of concentrating on a few understandable product lines with decent characteristics.

And the only exciting high end products (such as Lenovo x1tc or dell xps 12) have waiting lists for months and regularly ship one or two months late.

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Stop

Consumers don't want it.

end of.

Microsoft are a dying breed, Their products are irrelevant now and consumers are voting with their wallets. Their dubious buiness practices of years gone by have now come back to bite them in the ass.

Nobody wants Windows, Xbox, Zune, Surface, Windows Phone etc. Consumers are WAY to wary of their lock-ins,

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Re: Consumers don't want it.

"consumers are voting with their wallets"

Of course, because the consumer market has always been their largest??

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Professionals don't want it

In the 1990s there was at least some professional market for Windows which by now also is largely gone. (except for companies signing in for the VBA vendor lock in)

And the people who care about their IT and have multiple computers at home, usually go straight to some Linux distribution and used Thinkpads.

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WTF?

Re: Professionals don't want it

"In the 1990s there was at least some professional market for Windows which by now also is largely gone. (except for companies signing in for the VBA vendor lock in)"

Yeah, that's why there's no professional software on Windows any more. Oh, wait...there is. In fact, the majority of professional applications are made for Windows.

How stupid software manufacturers are, making software for a platform that has no customers. They could have saved tons of money by just listening to you.

"And the people who care about their IT and have multiple computers at home, usually go straight to some Linux distribution..."

This narrow-minded thinking shows that your time is worth nothing and you don't have to use your home computers to a real job and earn real money. I guess IT is merely a hobby for you.

However, for those that use computers for real tasks and have to make money with them (so-called 'professionals') it should be pretty obvious that a computer is only a means to do the job and not a purpose in itself. And when a computer is a tool and not a hobby then it's normally pretty obvious that the choice of OS is dictated by the availability of applications to do the job and not blind fanboi-ism. Sometimes it may be Linux, sometimes it may be OS X, but in many occassions it's simply Windows. Period.

"...and used Thinkpads."

Right, because Thinkpads are nearly perfect (and all the flaws that IBM and later Lenovo has designed into the T20, T21, A20, A31, T40, T41, T61 and many other Thinkpads apparently never existed in your world).

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Re: Consumers don't want it.

hyperbole alert!!!

you know reading this forum is starting to bore me silly. I think it's about time to play Mass Effect 3 on my X-Box 360....

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Linux

Rushed Implementations!

Microsoft got left behind, panicked and delivered a whole load of rubbish. Their salesman are spouting bullshit and huge exageration. And this is the company that also wants us to put faith in Hyper-V 2012!

I don't think so MS$. Openstack, VMware, Hadoop, Apple, agility and mobility are the big things again for 2013.

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Microsoft need to look inside themselves for this one

The OEMs are far from blameless in the way some of them build crap hardware that does no favours to the people trying to use it, but Windows 8 has plenty of problems of its own. It doesn't need help from the OEMs to suck - it already sucks enough to pull a bowling ball through a small straw by itself.

There's some very good "under-the-bonnet" work that's gone into windows 8 but it's all overshadowed by some frankly bizarre interface decisions. Even if you like metro (I'm sure someone must, somewhere) then you must still be frustrated by the inconsistent mess that's resulted by crashing that interface into the windows 7 one.

There's nothing wrong with change, even radical change, but the change needs to be a marked improvement on what it is replacing... and that's simply not the case here. I'll respect even a failed attempt at change for the better because at least it's an attempt and improving something, but Windows 8 feels a lot like change for the sake of change.

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60,000,000 minus 2

What about those people like me, who bought 2 copies of Windows 8, and even LIKE the new start screen, but both machines are now reverted to Windows 7 after a raft of Windows 8 issues (EG it won't even see my desktop's DVD drive even though it installed from it, and, it bluescreens my Vaio). I'll reinstall when there's both a compelling reason and they have a service pack out.

IE, probably never.

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Re: 60,000,000 minus 2

Agreed, bought it whilst it was cheap, but highly unlikely to use it until it is less buggy.

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Re: Win8 bugs

Took me 2 months to get Win8 partially stable here. A depressing combination of forcing compatibility mode on far too many apps and services, soul destroying searching for 64bit drivers that don't crash on 4Gb+ machines (and reminding WIndows update NOT to send me more broken ones) and retiring perfectly functional hardware Win8 just won't work with.

Now I'm reaching the giddy heights of 48hr uptime between forced reboots, MS deprecated (and vandalised) desktop mode to the point where when Explorer crashes it now disables every UI element on the entire system. Can't even fire up or use the task manager, can't switch out of desktop, can't restart. Can't even ctrl-alt-del! Only working input is the reset button on the PC.

And I can't tell if it's the bugs desktop has always had or the 3rd party hacks needed to make it usable, whichever it is, making desktop just an app means when it crashes there's no way out.

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Anonymous Coward

Attention Microsoft: Field Of Dreams was a movie

in the real world, if you build it, they still might not come

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MS have a point

I want to buy a new touch screen laptop, probably an ultrabook. The choice out there is abysmal though - there's only 1 or 2 options per store that are even touch screens. Laptop manufacturers need to add touch to many more Win 8 laptops and soon or they'll miss the boat

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OR....

Ms moved to a touch-assumed interface before the world was ready. Rather than going to a halfway solution where you could switch between interfaces that excel in either the mouse or touch environment, they deliberately crippled the mouse option simply to try and get more App Store sales.

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Re: Laptop manufacturers need to add touch

For most users touch only works well on tablets and kiosks.

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Pot, kettle

How can MS say it's the fault of the OEM's for not producing hardware at launch when they're only shipping their own Surface Pro in February?

They desperately need to release a desktop-specific version of Windows 8 with a stunning UI, a sort-of evolution of Windows 7, instead of ripping out all the eye candy so it blends with boring Metro as they've done with Windows 8. This would cheer up desktop die-hards and businesses, who must be feeling left out in the cold as Microsoft goes off chasing the tablet market. And failing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pot, kettle

"How can MS say it's the fault of the OEM's for not producing hardware at launch when they're only shipping their own Surface Pro in February?"

Cause Ballmer is a w*nker with no idea. He'll bring them down. Get rid now.

I stil like windows. I get what they have done with the start screen, some how, 1,000,000's have missed it.

Too stuck in their ways to change.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pot, kettle

"some how, 1,000,000's have missed it."

or alternatively ......

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Linux

Re: Pot, kettle

"instead of ripping out all the eye candy so it blends with boring Metro"

This is one of my major gripes with Windows 8 that's rarely mentioned round here. Yes the start screen and hot corners and all the rest of it are rubbish, but why on earth did they have to remove all that lovely eye candy from Win7? And not just the transparency but anything resembling a contour or depth at all? Every time I have to support a Win8 PC I do a double take because it looks like it's in safe mode or something, then I remember that no, it's just crap.

Mind you there are positives to come out of this. About 9 months ago, after years of procrastination I'd finally got around to playing with Linux in the form of Ubuntu. I tried to like Unity, I really did but ultimately I just couldn't get on with it and I retreated back to Win7. Seeing the monumental shite pile that is Windows 8 made me realise that thinking long term, I really had to find a viable alternative. This spurred me on and over the last few weeks I've been busy making friends with KDE and Kubuntu - Start buttons! Functionality! Eye candy! Customisability! I'm still very much a Linux newbie compared to my years of tech support level knowledge of Windows, but now I've made the leap I feel there's probably no going back.

Small but somewhat important note to Microsoft - if your new OS is so ugly and badly designed that it's encouraging long term customers to learn an entirely new alternative from scratch, you now need to accept that you've made a desperately massive mistake.

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Re: Pot, kettle

When you log into Ubuntu, you can choose the standard interface instead of Unity. I don't like Unity either.

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Anonymous Coward

Using it and yet still don't like Win 8 on the desktop

I first installed it on a 6 year old Acer 3690 (MSDN) . It worked, no issues with drivers. Smooth enough, but the hassles between (Not)Metro and Desktop were too annoying.

Rollf forward a few months, I get myself a cheap netbook from Comet's dying days. It's meant to have Win 7, actually Win 8.

I kept it rather than reclaiming the full HDD by installing Mint on it because the work is going to go to Win 8 soon apparently. The big bosses like it.

They all use it on tablets.

I can see this working nicely on a phone. Even though I am a commited Droid user, I could see this being an OK interface to use as a phone, but even though it imported account details from my Acer 3690 experiment with Win 8 (kind of creepy at first) .

My wife, not a technophone, but less likely to get into things that make me think "cool" about an OS has also been using Win 8. She really loved it at first but as she goes on she finds it gets in the road. Finiding out how to CLOSE Metro apps is not intuitive. The switchout from Metro to Desktop gets on her nerves as does the interface being designed for a tablet as far as multiple windows/apps goes. No quick drag and drop between folders here, not in Metroland.

Ideas from Metro might have been nice as a new approach to a desktop gadget bar, but for the desktop in its entirity, no

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