back to article Le whoops! Microsoft France boss blows lid off 'Windows 9' event

When Microsoft sent out invitations to a secret press event for September 30 in San Francisco, rumors spread that it would mark the next major release of Windows. Now the president of Microsoft France has blown apart Microsoft's attempt at Applesque PR – by letting slip that "Windows 9" is indeed coming. "Last year we had …

Anonymous Coward

How to make a bad system even worse...

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Anonymous Coward

A way to create certain disunity surely…

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Flame

yes, I do.

And I'm sure, absolutely sure, that I'm not alone.

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There's little wrong with the bones of Windows 8.

The UI is a disaster though.

They could have simply fired the UI team, taken the internals of Win8, and reskin it to get something much more palatable.

The mere fact that "it's not Windows 8" will move a ton of copies, since the whole "every second version is crap" pattern is widely believed.

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Re: There's little wrong with the bones of Windows 8.

Wot he said ^^^

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Paris Hilton

Re: There's little wrong with the bones of Windows 8.

The mere fact that "it's not Windows 8" will move a ton of copies, since the whole "every second version is crap" pattern is widely believed.

But has anyone outside of late-night geek talking circles ever heard of it?

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So..

ElReg has both soft and small & the firm fruit giving them the silent treatment then...

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Anonymous Coward

OS/2 now there was a worthy OS with tons of modern features (such as virtualization, and virtual OS boot images) decades before things like that became mainstream.

Too bad Microsoft Killed it by blackmailing IBM to drop it.

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Corrrection

"...IS a worthy OS..." The only issue today is the need to run it inside a VM (which works quite nicely). Try it.

The absolute peak of efficiency was using WordPerfect for DOS under OS/2, sending faxes by Faxworks and ..... oh...... everybody's gone...

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Coat

Re: Corrrection

Well, you could probably run a medium-sized enterprise (as in, every desktop) on a single host.

How much is that Windows GUI costing you?

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Re: Corrrection

Windows GUI cost? Nothing.

I switched from OS/2 to OS/X but keep a couple of machines running XP just for piddling around.

The VM runs under OS/X. Parallels, Virtual Box or VM Fusion - take your pick. OS/2 sound even works, which I must admit came as a shock, OS/2 system sounds emanating from an Apple Cinema Display.

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OS/2 and MS

MS didn't kill it by blackmail, except indirectly with OEM deals, consumer success of Win95 and rising penetration of NT 3.5x

IBM killed it. Bad driver support for consumers. Bad internal politics, pricineg and marketing

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IBM killed it? Strange, they developed 2.x, 3.x and 4.x versions of it. Nice OS and quite a few good development tools. But it had the same big problem as some other OS - not enough end user software and a lousy marketing.

And that started the loop again. Not enough software for the end user => not enough sales of the OS => Not enough reasons to write/port end user software => Not enough software for the end user=>....

The same with other companies like Commodore (Hey, how about selling that UNIX Amiga), Atari (Hey, how about getting the TT IN THE STORES and Selling us that brilliant Unix TT/X or the ATW), Acorn... Those companies had brilliant engineers and a marketing that would have failed at selling a cure against old age, death and taxes

MS had good engineers and a brilliant marketing. They won.

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Reading these comments has reminded me that I have never used Win 8 or 8.1 on a touchscreen. I teach computing as a volunteer to mainly elderly learners using as far as possible their own equipment. This has been something of a learning experience for me as until I started with this group just over a year ago i had never used a tablet of any sort apart from my Mk 1b Kindle which is purely a book reader. Now I have a working familiarity with iPads, Samsungs and various other flavours of Android - but not one single Windows tablet. None of the students I teach have one.

I have used both 8 and 8.1 on laptops and desktops, none with touch screens, and it has to be said that 8.1 is much more user friendly in this situation. There are things about it that annoy me, but I agree with remarks above that it is at heart a decent operating system.

I think it must be remembered that Win 8 was an attempt by MS to unify three quite different operating systems. This at least was the design objective laid before their programmers as I understand it. Unfortunately they have yet to achieve full success. Whether or not it is possible to do this I don't know but I do know they haven't got there yet. It will be interesting to see Win 9 in the round.

But from MS's perspective, the problem is that my present Win 7 machine is working perfectly well and has all the grunt I need to do the tasks I do - so why should I change ?

Chris Cosgrove

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I think it would be more accurate to say they were trying to unify the look&feel of the 3 OS products in the Ballmer era, letting the poor app developers paper over the total lack of API convergence and the users suffer utterly inappropriate interfaces.

Of late they're trying to look more serious about actual convergence but it's too late, Win8/WP showed users the 'one UI everywhere' idea is just stupid, a plan born of MS marketing needs rather than sense. Even using the same core OS everywhere is questionable, I like my mobile devices tuned very differently to my desktop.

Win9 is coming too soon to show real progress on backing out the idiotic choices, if only because MS didn't take the problem seriously till more than a year after Win8 launched.

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they were trying to unify the look&feel of the 3 OS products

And fix the problem of all the confusing, complex error messages by making them all say "something happened".

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Anonymous Coward

I have to agree with this assessment, as many people have stated, under the UI Windows 8 is a great operating system, rivalling if not beating windows 7.

As a user who grew up through all the versions since 3.1 including (95, 98, ME (oh god the nightmares), 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1) I have to say that I cannot and refuse to use 8 as without the start bar there is such a loss of efficiency that it actually annoys me. however As someone who is often teaching people how to use a computer for the first time they seem to just understand and pickup windows 8 really quickly, it's quite intuitive if you forget everything you know. Unfortunately, I cannot do that, and until Microsoft returns the start bar and increases efficiency for workers I don't see anyone besides super early adopters even considering an upgrade. I certainly won't be making the recommendation to my company.

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Anonymous Coward

And you're also unable to google "windows 8 start menu" or "disable metro" and follow the simple instructions?

Then perhaps the recommendation to your company should be to hire someone else?

(I'm not a Windows user)

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@AC

>And you're also unable to google "windows 8 start menu" or "disable metro" and follow the simple instructions?

That was the catch-22 with Win8 - in order to be able to look up stuff on how to use Win8, a new user had to already know how to drive Win8 to a level that previous versions didn't demand (HP for example made a getting started guide available in the MS store, only you needed Win8 etc. to access it, thereby rendering pointless the first dozen or so pages of the guide). Okay once people found their way around they then got on with things however, that first impression has stuck and has been reinforced with the seemingly random stuff that keeps happening.

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If your W7 maschine works - no good reason to switch to W8 now. If OTOH you can make good use of W8 features/changes - no good reason NOT to switch to W8 now. For me the changes in the WLAN / boot sequence made a big enough difference to switch the desktop as well as the tablet pc. The Modern UI is "good enough for developer work" for me so no big deal since the "special features" of the start menu either are not used, not useful or present in the programs I use so I do not miss them. And I do not use touch at all, not even on the smartphone.

W8 changes a lot and needs fine tuning as did elder versions (Compare NT3.5.1 with Win7). Some already happended (Win 8.1) and some more will happen. There are requests from corporate customers (Admins mostly, less so end users once you whack Muscle Memory Mike a few times to re-train him). This can be a PITA for Joe Average that gets the choice of W8/W8/W8 in the big electronic markets and must relearn stuff. It is mostly of no interest to corporations that have downgrade rights / company licence for W7 and use a "corp client" anyway instead of the seller supplied OS (IF they buy a unit with an installed OS at all - most bigger don't)

And MS is aware of all that. They know (and speak with) their corporate customers and update cycles (3-5 years). And W8 hit the "sweet spot" IMHO timing-wise. W7 was mature but has quite a few years of support left and therefor was choosen by most corporations as an XP replacement so they are done for the next cycle. And now MS slowly improves W8, gets feedback from privat customers and limited roll ins of W8 (for tablet pc mostly) and when 2016 comes along and the next cycle ramps up - they have the Wx version ready that corporations will use for that next cycle.

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My complaints about Windows 8 are the lack of Aero and how closely it is tied to Bing and the Microsoft cloud. It seems like to me Win8 and Office 365 was just an attempt to make money off customer the rest of their life. The first thing I do with Win8 is to make sure I log in with a local account, turn off everything related to OneDrive and Bing, and turn off all location services. Then I remove the store icon that gets pushed out on the taskbar and Metro start menu just to make sure I am not tempted to buy my programs through the Microsoft store. The absolute last thing we need is a walled-garden Windows, and for Microsoft to get a cut of every program we buy.

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I have the store icon on my desktop since the day W8 was released and - I never bought a thing there. Guess I still have that think called "self control". And while Office/2013 is on the boxes, no 365 anywhere here. What's the problem again? Except fanatism on your part?

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I'll wait for the service pack.

When service pack 5 comes out will it be known as "Windows 9-5"?

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The truly frustrating thing is that every new version of Windows has had some really good improvements - even those much-hated alternate releases.

The problem is that Microsoft make such huge changes to the interface and general usability.

The real, underlying problem, however, appears to be massive arrogance from Microsoft. They have this view that if someone doesn't like their new project then it is the consumer's fault, not theirs. You see it both from MS themselves and their apologists. It's always the users being afraid of change or not giving things a go.

It's much better and faster and easier once you get used to it - honest . . .

Needless to say, this kind of attitude does not improve the situation and isn't conducive to Microsoft listening to their customers and taking their criticisms on-board.

In some ways it's a bit like those woefully bad contestants you see of 'talent' shows, such as the dancing and singing ones. Usually there'll be a piece with their mother saying how great her son is and after the inevitable disappointment, a piece with the mother saying how the judges just don't know what they're talking about.

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>The real, underlying problem, however, appears to be massive arrogance from Microsoft.

Probably not even that.

The problem is that MS needs a new product to sell and they don't have new features that people want. Even if W8 is better, it isn't better enough that people will pay for it until they have to. It was bad enough going from 32-bit xp to 64-bit W7. It's going to be a nightmare for them from now on, hence, cloud rental models. Neither I nor my company need a touch screen UI to click on, "My Enterprise DB App", and Excel.

Apple get around this by making the OS free, which means it doesn't have to be good value for money, but they also do add new cool features, such as an easy to use backup system. Apple also sell to individuals, which means they don't have to keep commercial partners happy and change for the user is cheap.

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@P.Lee

I can see your point, but at the same time, with the exception of some upgrading to Win 7/2008/2008 R2 x64 in order to utilize more RAM (a very valid concern for servers!), I don't know of anyone who upgrades their Windows OS other than when they buy a new computer.

The issue there is that many are now actively avoiding buying a new computer because they don't want Windows 8.

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@P.Lee

"but they also do add new cool features, such as an easy to use backup system"

Whereas MS take away backup features or hide under some Win7 file recovery "(we'd rather you didn't find it) link.

If I type "Backup" There is file history but the icon looks Metro so I just can find the energy to wait for it to launch or the doubtless bullshit thereafter.

I suppose it is meant to force people to use Sky drive or something but the contrast is there.

Apple "we'll include this people might like it"

MS "we'll hide this people like it"

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Actually MS listens. More to corporate customers than to end users but the do. And they implement changes. Slowly and step by step in 8.x currently (Direkt to Desktop is an example, rearanged shutdown element on Modern UI another). They do not follow the "We want the W7 candy look" back screaming of some people and that gets those screamers frustrated. But changes do happen and W8 is very much a "we experiment with this" version of the UI IMHO.

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Un-hunh

@ElReg

>It works for Apple because there's a rabid fan base out there that wants the earliest access to the sexy products.

It works for Apple because there's a very large pack of journalists out there, and each one of them needs to collect a paycheck in order to eat.

FTFY

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Re: Un-hunh

@Michael Thibault

It works for Apple because the upgrades are cheap and don't substantially change the GUI.

Consider the difference in UI between OS X 10.0 and OS X 10.8 - it's mostly just a refinement and over all looks the same. There is very little to learn when upgrading between versions. Compare that to the difference seen in XP > Vista and then Vista/7 > 8. HUGE differences.

To be fair, OS X 10.6 is my favourite as OS X 10.7 marked the beginning of what seems like a push to make the desktop OS more like iOS, with stupidities such as reverse scrolling, lack of scroll arrows, auto-save feature and several other, miscellaneous effects and preferences.

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"X" marks the spot?

Perhaps Microsoft will stay the course calling this next version 8.3 in an attempt to save face on it's failings? Then again they may be preparing to rebrand their OS to reflect their "one OS for all products" concept while continuing to copy the Apple game plan. The "X" is so identifiable with Apple's OS, so why not "Windows X".

I have other ideas how the XBox One name can come into play as well but enough said.

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Coat

The Council has Spoken!

"On September 30, we will be providing an update on what’s next for Windows and the enterprise."

Death?

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Linux

I'm glad I jumped off the treadmill, 2 years ago.

I got fed up with dreading the next enforced upgrade, so I did something about it.

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Anonymous Coward

It's an awful state to be in - instead of excitement, looking forward to improvments, etc. it's "What will they break this time?", "I'm happy with my outdated version", "I hope that crap is optional"...

The thing is... we all have to upgrade sooner or later.

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Linux

Upgrade?

Have to upgrade? No we do not. Migrate instead. OSX or Mint 17 - take your pick.

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Re: Upgrade?

Okay, Linux or Mac-OS equivalents to (Mix of commercial and privat software but I prefer "One OS" so what the companie uses my privat box uses if possible and vice versa)

Sharepoint

Outlook/Exchange

Support for WACOM/NTRIG tablet pc including Pressure support, handwriting recognition, Writing->Text Batch process

Commecial and certified .NET based corporate software in the accounting and HR department

DATEV

Certified HBCI compatible Electronic Banking

WSUS (and no, 3rd party repositories outside of company control are not!)

Equivalent to Lightroom and the camera supplied software (I actually can limp along with GIMP for the rest since I am a bit of a miser)

Running the games I want to play

Ease of buying current gen hardware without checking "is it compatible"

10+ years of update support

All on the same level of capabilities and ease of installation. So no WINE stuff, no extra VM, no praying that the CS-Driver for "card x / device y" works with the current kernel etc. And at no loss in performance compared to Windows either, if my graphic card can do something, it MUST be useable!

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too bad...

Nobody in business will ever see it. Move along please,nothing to see here.

Business will likely be ready for an upgrade from w7 in 2020 (I'm expecting a new windows "vision" or some other such play on pilots/clarity/whatever) so will skip 8+9 entirely. Unless 10 is really shit, in which case 9 would be the new 7.

Let's pray that by then the os doesn't matter any more and we're all using our knew "nappy interface" where taking a dump has a new (but somehow old) meaning...

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I think that 2020 is too soon for that. WinXP lasted more than a decade because it was good enough. Windows 7 is good enough, and familiar.

Companies have other things to do than constantly upgrade their workstations - the Vista fiasco was a wake-up call, and Win8 was the confirmation that they do not have to.

Since WinXP was only retired when it could no longer run current hardware, there is no reason to think that Win7 will be retired before that point either. Corporations will stick with it as long as it works.

Microsoft can make as many new failures of Windows as it wants in the interval.

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Re: too bad...

Business did a major upgrade wave in 2013 to get XP out. With a typical three-five years lease on office systems I expect the next change to start 2016 with a peak around 2017.

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Who cares about the looks?

I wonder why everybody here only complains about the user interface and TIFCAM stuff. The far more important point IMO is the way Microsoft tries to force people into their cloud and their crappstore. And I don't see that this would change with windows 9 (or whatever it will be called).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who cares about the looks?

Definitely. TIFKAM just gave us something tangible to hate (which can be removed via 3rd party software, which we're all capable of doing, here).

Let's see how Win9 fits in with their "mobile-first cloud-first" strategy. I hope it doesn't - I use my Chromebook for that, so I'd have no use for Windows if they go along with it.

MS: Can I have my desktop computer back, please?

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Re: Who cares about the looks?

I still can not see how W8 forces "Cloud" or "Appstore". Cloud is 100 percent optional (Yes, you can install/activate etc, W8 without an MS account. And there is no special tool etc. needed either).

And Modern UI Apps are an "if you want it" part not a "can use only this" part on the x86 version (RT is similar to an iPad - official store only). If you do not need Apps, and on a desktop or a tablet pc you do not (tablets otoh - but hey, just say no to touchy toys!) you install the same software you ran under W7 the same way you did under W7.

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Only moved to Windows 7 last year here...

Highly unlikely we'll end up migrating to something else for at least a couple of years - doing so is a BIG pain to do, ensuring application compatibility, user retraining etc...

So, not sure how many enterprise customers will be willing to move to 9 or whatever it ends up being called.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Only moved to Windows 7 last year here...

You knew it would be a pain moving from 7, and you knew that you'd have to do it eventually, so what made you do it in the first place?

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Re: Only moved to Windows 7 last year here...

The requirements of our organisation made us do it.

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Trollface

Re: what made you do it in the first place

What a stupid argument.

You know you will die at some point, why not do that now ?

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Re: what made you do it in the first place

Suicide is a sin and running Amok prior to it is illegal here in germany.

And if you refer to Windows - no, you won't. The typical corp workplace is a dozend commonly used programs pinned to the desktop. Win 8 easily can do that AND can "boot to desktop" automatically since W8.1 (free update!) So for the average office worker nothing serious changes.

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Quite looking forward to it to be honest

It looks nice, it'll have Direct X 12 at some point, it is less touch-centric than Window 8.

I mean, that'll do for me really. I quite liked the way Windows 8 felt and ran, just wasn't keen on TIFKAM.

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If it's not "Windows 7 with touch overlay" they can piss off.

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"Last year we had Windows 8"

Windows 8 was released in 2012. According to my calendar, it's currently 2014.

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