Re: Windows 7?
"Microsoft had a winner with Win 7"
Microsofts problem is more fundamental than whether Windows 8 is better or worse than 7.
Their entire business model is being threatened. The problem they have is threefold.
Firstly, when MS first arrived there were about 5 billion people on the planet and virtually none of them had computers. The arrival of the apple 2 and then the IBM PC ushered in a 20 year sales boom as manufacturers rushed to provide computers to a good proportion of those 5 billiion people.
During this same period, we had an incredibly rapid PC hardware/software upgrade cycle. Things were moving so fast for most of that time that the PC you bought last year was already obsolete before the warranty had expired. Advances in both OS and hardware drove people to buy newer faster PC's on an annual basis (or even less). This was doubly true for PC gaming which was an especially lucrative segment of the market back in the day. Gamers would spend vast sums on ever more powerful rigs to run the latest games which always seemed to need vastly more powerful hardware with each release. And while all this was happening more and more first time buyers were also joining this upgrade treadmill. They were halcyon days for PC makers that will never be seen again.
The third factors is, that during the entire time that this PC buying frenzy was in progress, Microsoft was there, charging the "Microsoft Tax" on every one of the PC's sold. And with effectively, no competition to contend with. They could dictate to the market and dictate they did, with gusto.
These three factors combined led to MS becoming the massive, industry dominating juggernaut that it was until a few years ago and a lot of people made a lot of money on that monopoly joyride.
But being a monopoly also has its downsides. Complacency, inefficency and arrogance come to dominate the corporate culture of all monopolies and Microsoft was not immune.
In 2013 most people who can afford a computer already have one, and those that can't have access to older, second hand options, or bypass the PC altogether. The goldrush of first time buyers in the PC market is over. It's all about replacements these days.
Even when replacing PC's, that only happens when a PC is worn out these days. The Core2 Duo with 2GB of RAM I purchased in 2006 is still perfectly acceptable for most non gaming purposes even now. Speaking of games, that part of the PC market is now a shadow of its former self, having been pretty much destroyed, ironically, by Microsofts own XBox console along with those from Nintendo and Sony.
The growth in computing these days, of course, is mobile. Here again. Microsoft are a victim of their own monopoly induced arrogance and complacency. For years they and their partners slopped out the uninspired and comparitvely user hostile Windows Mobile smartphone platform and for years that market languished in a niche, with the only people showing any interest being large corporate users who used them for boring corporate things while the consumer market remained resolutely attached to Ericsonn & Nokia feature phones.
Microsoft were prepared to leave things like this because, hey, it's not like anybody else is making money out of mobile computing are they? Who cares as long as we are still raking it in with Windows / Office sales right?
That was a big mistake. First Blackberry, then apple and Android would introduce to consumers the option of mobile computing that didn't suck, and was not built around a drab, corporate os with a user interface deriverd from a desktop OS. All of a sudden people were buying thousands of smart phones, and then tablets, and Microsoft were left watching from the sidelines.
Now we have reached the point that your typical household, who 5 years ago could be expected to have 2,3 or even 4 PC's, all loaded with MS software are now happy to reduce that down to a single PC and a fleet of phones and tablets, and none of them sporting Microsoft software.
This is a disaster for Microsoft. Not only is the PC buying rush well and truly over, the replacement treadmill has slowed to a crawl and even worse, when people do decide to replace a PC, they are just as likely to replace it with a non Microsoft mobile device instead.
This is why Microsoft NEEDS Windows 8 to succeed and simply saying that Windows 7 is good and Microsoft should continue along those lines is to completely misunderstand the true nature of the situation that Microsoft has found itself in.
Not that Windows 8 is the answer of course. Microsoft are suffering the consequences of their own success. I think they should consider the option of downsizing their business and expectations and focus on providing corporate and enterprise products into that market and cede the consumer market to those more able to succeed in it.
Golly I didn't expect to write that much much when I started this post.