back to article Ballmer says 500 MILLION 'users' to 'have' Windows 8 in 2013

Microsoft's given its first indication of how many devices it expects to ship running Windows 8 next year. Chief executive Steve Ballmer is reported to have said 500 million "users" would "have" Windows 8 next year - he was speaking at the Seoul Digital Forum, in South Korea. There were no more specifics, and there was no …

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  1. Bob Vistakin
    Happy

    Why should he care?

    He'll have long gone by then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why should he care?

      Having seen various video's I'd say he was long gone a while ago now.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why should he care?

      The only deep penetration he will get is the shareholders boot up his a*se.

    3. Bob Vistakin
      Holmes

      Re: Why should he care?

      Do not mock the Blamer, for his tech visionary insight is like no other.

      1. Giles Jones Gold badge

        Re: Why should he care?

        There's millions who had Vista but don't use it. OEM licences ship with most computers and companies often wipe the OEM licence and use their site licence.

  2. Anonymous IV
    Thumb Down

    "the navigation is streamlined and intuitive..."

    Not a use of the word "intuitive" that I recognise!

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: "the navigation is streamlined and intuitive..."

      I think he is saying the final release will have a pair of silky tapered orbs which are controlled by a matched set of nipples. Meh, it couldn't be worse than having Metro on your workstation and IMHO a much better replacement for Aero eye candy.

    2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
      Mushroom

      Re: "the navigation is streamlined and intuitive..."

      These are the most amazing versions of Windows and Office ever. The visual effects are spectacular; the navigation is streamlined and intuitive.

      Sooooooo....... Just like Windoze 7 and the MS Orifice Ribbon...

      Bollocks I say.

  3. Jason 6
    Stop

    As much as I like the Windows 8 Metro concept....

    It's game over for Ballmer with Windows 8. No one would disagree with the idea that Microsoft needs to do something with the Windows franchise to put some vim and vigor back into it, but foisting Metro on the entire world is not it.

    As much as I both admire and detest Apple, they are on the right track with splitting the traditional desktop/laptop interface from the new and cool tablet/mobile interface to a degree. Some concepts are shared but the people who still want to use a laptop are not penalized for using one. Honestly, tablets are NOT GOING to fully replace a laptop. There is no way on Gods green earth I could get my job done on a touch screen tablet. I still need a full sized keyboard (I type a lot) and I have a mouse (why the Hell would I use a touch screen, it won't do the trick) so I may as well have a laptop.

    Microsoft has gambled big on Windows 8 and, oddly, I applaud them for having the stones to do so, but coming out and saying that Aero looks dated and cheesy is a ridiculous thing to say.

    My prediction is that Windows 8 will be one of the single most polarizing things Microsoft has ever done and will have people heap praise on it as well as decry it as being the worst operating system ever. Ballmer will be gone by the end of 2012 and so will Sinofsky as Microsoft goes into damage control.

    Microsoft will survive, no question about that, but will be diminished somewhat. Will Apple reap the benefits? Maybe a little, but not anywhere near as much as others expect.

    1. Iain Griffiths
      Mushroom

      Re: As much as I like the Windows 8 Metro concept....

      Splitting mobile/tablet and desk/laptop makes decent sense as the input devices are totally different.

      OK Mobiles and tabs can have keyboards, but they aren't natural bedfellows. So Apple have made the distinction and it works - MS have Winphone7/8 and should be stretching that to Tabs not shrinking the desktop. Someone at the top needs to actually think (big stretch), which devices match each other more and why.

      So win8 willl be a dogs breakfast and MS will lose more ground - not that I am sorry , might mean a better mix of systems all round and less crap we all have to put up with.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As much as I like the Windows 8 Metro concept....

      Ballmer may indeed be gone by the end of the year...but my sources tell me Sinofsky is the heir apparent. He is being groomed to take over from Ballmer and provide a "new vision" and "get things done on time."

      Shareholder support for Sinofsky is high.

      It's also why my next PC will be a Macbook.

    3. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Re: As much as I like the Windows 8 Metro concept....

      Tablets have come along, but they aren't going to replace the desktop or laptop. Just like people still have desk phones in their office, paper and pen, photocopiers and so on.

      IMHO the popularity of the tablet in enterprise (Microsoft's typical strength) is down to it being a device which can replace paper forms.

      So people who are walking around a building such a health professional doing the rounds in a hospital can press buttons, tick boxes and the data can then be sent immediately back to an operations database and a dashboard somewhere can be updated so the decision makers can see what is going on.

      This replaces the need for paper forms, scanning or data entry and eliminates errors as electronic forms can be validated.

      It's hard to see how a vastly complex weighty Win8 tablet will do the above efficiently with enough battery to do a whole working day.

      1. qwarty

        Re: As much as I like the Windows 8 Metro concept....

        @Giles Jones. The theory is by next year Intel will reach a point where the 22nm process can deliver a better or comaparable power/performance story to ARM . If this is accomplished new Win8 devices will work in your scenario and Microsoft will have the OS relased and ready to work with this new generation of hardware.

        If Haswell etc. prove more disappointing than predicted all bets are off and we get to talk 14nm.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As much as I like the Windows 8 Metro concept....

      I installed Windows 8 CP on an old PC on Monday and have to agree. Metro does not work for me on the desktop. I really liked Metro when I got to play with it for a day on a phone, and I suspect it will be fine on a tablet, but I want multiple windows on my laptop and I didn't like having to flip back to Metro when I wanted to start a new application. I certainly wouldn't use the metro E-mail App.

      As you say, it's ballsy to try and force the new metro/tablet style paradigm on us all, but a bad move I think. However I'd say it was a political battle rather than a technical one. I suspect it would be a relatively trivial change to allow (the non ARM based) PC's have the option to run Metro Apps in windows, and for the app screen to also be able to be presented as a start menu. It’s really just a presentational issue for me.

      Hopefully somebody in Microsoft already has a fix to do this in their back pocket. The question is will we have to wait until SP 1 for it?

      I might buy a windows tablet if they are priced to compete with Android, but as it stands I'm not putting it on my main desktop PC.

      1. jason 7

        Yes Metro Off Switch by.......

        ...SP1.

        Then we can all get on with stuff as before.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yes Metro Off Switch by.......

          There is a reg hack to switch back to a standard windows desktop - or at least there was on the release candidate. Rumor has it that you will be able to choose your GUI at install time or as an option under a control panel applet. No one will know for sure until it gets released.

          1. Fuzz

            Re: Yes Metro Off Switch by.......

            There hasn't been a release candidate, we've had an early developer build which had the reg hack you mentioned and then a beta (consumer preview) release which doesn't. Of course there is still a chance MS will put the switch back for the upcoming release candidate.

    5. CraigW
      Thumb Up

      Re: As much as I like the Windows 8 Metro concept....

      This is the correct answer.

    6. N2 Silver badge

      Re: As much as I like the Windows 8 Metro concept....

      Good post & much as I used to like Windows, the latter versions seem to obstruct productivity.

      Im sure Windows 8 is a good operating system underneath but MS fail to realise what people (like me) want is the choice to use what ever we are familiar with, so for example, I'd turn off Metro & use the Windows 2000 desktop, whilst others may choose XP, Vista, 7 or what they feel comfortable with.

      AFAIK the operating system has to be transparent & just run your stuff.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One of you, folks, is in great danger

    because I'm not going to get Windows8 so in order for Ballmer to get his 500 million users somebody else will have to accept sacrifice and take the hit. Once again, sorry for that!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One of you, folks, is in great danger

      Ehh, yeah um, make that two! Sorry!

      (Been using Linux for a long time, I could never go back to Windows...)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: One of you, folks, is in great danger

        Aye, Cinnamon for me gents, and the Macbook on the side. Linux for the work, Macs for the games (Steam!) and I’m putting my money into porting apps to open standards like HTML5.

        So that’s the 800 some odd licences under my care exiting the ecosystem. Truly sorry for whomever has to make up my share…

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: One of you, folks, is in great danger

          Oh jeez, yes let's port every application to be a website. Goodbye consistent UI and multiple monitors.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge
            Trollface

            "Goodbye consistent UI and multiple monitors."

            Still not seeing the difference between HTML5 and Mac OS X Lion/Windows 8.

          2. Armando 123

            Re: One of you, folks, is in great danger

            "Oh jeez, yes let's port every application to be a website. Goodbye consistent UI and multiple monitors."

            I hear what you're saying, but there are big differences between what works best among, say, Eclipse and Photoshop and a POV racing game. Granted, there are things that SHOULD be consistent ... anyone who changes CTRL-C, -V, and -X (s/CTRL/CMD/g if $apple) should be shot, slowly and painfully ... but obviously they are different applications doing different things for different reasons.

            1. Bakunin
              Holmes

              Re: One of you, folks, is in great danger

              "anyone who changes CTR-C, -V, and -X (s/CTRL/CMD/g if $apple) should be shot, "

              Like when CTR-C became Copy rather than SIGINT? I still have a moments hesitation every time I use it.

              1. Mostor Astrakan

                Re: One of you, folks, is in great danger

                Gods yes. Luckily, Ctrl-Ins, Shift-Ins and Shift-Del still work. C for Cut? No... Copy. X is for cut because it looks like scissors, see? And V for... well, being conveniently next to C.

                At least vi has the excuse of being able to run on anything from a paper terminal to my Linux laptop.

                1. Kubla Cant Silver badge
                  Holmes

                  Re: One of you, folks, is in great danger

                  I've always assumed V for looking vaguely like a caret except upside-down.

  5. Jeebus

    Think nearer 50 Ballmer. Windows 8 is a product people openly despise. Much like you yourself. Forced bloated and increasingly irrelevant.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Call Windows 8 anything you want...

      ...but don't call it bloated. They've actually kept it reasonably trim, and its quite a bit faster than Windows 7.

      That said: you'll install Metro on my PCs only after you've disposed of my rotting corpse.

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Call Windows 8 anything you want...

        It is undoubtedly faster on the desktop (or MacBook Parallels VM in my case), but how does it compare to iOS or Android on tablets?

    2. Chika
      Happy

      50 Ballmer? Isn't one enough? Or maybe even over the top?

  6. Wibble
    Windows

    There's two types...

    ... of people who call their customers "users". One group are drugs pushers...

    1. LinkOfHyrule
      Happy

      Re: There's two types...

      Seriously dude, I was going to make this exact same comment, hate it when this happens!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Correct on one thing...

    "most impactful" Windows yet.

    You got it.

    Negative impact that is :-D

    1. Chika
      Happy

      Re: Correct on one thing...

      Most impactful Windows? I'd say that this would depend on how hard you threw it...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Mat Child
    Coat

    it's gonna tank

    MS are doomed to repeat their cycle over and over, it's win ME and Vista all over again. People are already saying they do not want Metro and how do they respond, by ripping out any alternative.

    As for single screen apps - that is not going to fly in the business world. Maybe they are already resigned to the fact that most industry will stick with win 7 and ignore 8.

    The firm i work for is still running winXP on 100,000+ devices. All discussion is around getting onto win 7, no-one has even considered waiting for 8

    1. dogged
      WTF?

      Re: it's gonna tank

      surely, by your logic then, Win7 is a horrible failure since your company is still running XP.

    2. Boothy
      Thumb Up

      Re: it's gonna tank

      Single screen apps = Fail, I wouldn't be able to do my job if that was the case.

      We too (about 80,000 users) are mostly on Win XP, and have just started to roll out Win7 32bit, with a trial of Win 7 64bit (which is what I'm waiting out for). It was looked at to wait for Win 8, but decided it was going to be too different from existing Windows to migrate smoothly. (Training etc. needed more for Win 8 than with Win 7).

  9. banjomike
    FAIL

    "deepest, broadest and most impactful"

    I hope he is wrong. I'm sure he is wrong.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "deepest, broadest and most impactful"

      > deepest, broadest and most impactful

      If we think of Window 8 as a person falling to their doom after jumping from a tall building then words like 'deep', 'broad' and 'impact' are actually rather appropriate.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a snowball chance in Hell

    Unless people are forced at gun point to download/use Win 8, there ain't a snowball's chance in Hell of 500 Million fools actually paying for or using Win 8 by 2020.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not a snowball chance in Hell

      For PC users it's a done deal, they will suck it up. No chace in hell an OEM will dare to disobey good old Microsoft.

      1. thecakeis(not)alie

        Re: Not a snowball chance in Hell

        Interesting premise. Would you care to place a wager on the odds of OEM bankruptcy over the next two calendar years?

        You know how to reach me, and I wager in scotch. Single malt; speyside or from the highlands.

      2. Mikel

        Re: Not a snowball chance in Hell

        On Windows PCs the OEMs don't make any profits to speak of anyway, so what sort of leverage could MS have with them any more?

        It seems PC OEM Samsung has found the new way to profit: the Android smartphone is the new PC.

        1. dogged

          Re: Not a snowball chance in Hell

          the Android smartphone is the new PC.

          Is there a House Rule against posting while high?

    2. nematoad Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Not a snowball chance in Hell

      "there ain't a snowball's chance in Hell of 500 Million fools actually paying for or using Win 8 by 2020."

      Sadly I won't be putting any money on that; to quote Phineas T Barnum " you can fool some of the people all the time..."

      1. dogged
        WTF?

        Misquote

        Er, no, that was Abraham Lincoln.

        Phineas T Barnum said "There's a sucker born every minute".

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "no switching of web sessions"

    "there’s no switching of web sessions between the versions of Internet Explorer that will run in the planned “classic” Windows 8 desktop and Metro UI on the Intel machines that you can switch between."

    In English, that means what?

    Not that it greatly matters, it's already perfectly clear that we're looking at an approaching disaster for MS shareholders and indeed perhaps significant parts of the Wintel-dependent ecosystem.

    1. The BigYin

      Re: "no switching of web sessions"

      It means, if you are doing something in IE Metro and switch to a real UI to get some actual work done; everything you we doing in IE Metro is stuck in Metro and you either have to start again or switch back to the Duplo(tm) interface.

      1. Ron Christian
        Thumb Down

        Re: "no switching of web sessions"

        ...which means to me that after the first few months, most every PC user will go to classic mode and stay there. Why even bother with a new mode, no matter how nifty, if you have to abandon it periodically to get work done? Especially when your sessions don't carry over.

        I strongly suspect that the next iteration of Windows will have a single cohesive interface that incorporates the best features of Metro and the best features of the classic interface. Or maybe not. In the mean time, I'm sticking with 7.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "no switching of web sessions"

          Exactly. To predict the success of Metro on the desktop, just ask any Mac users you know whether they still use Dashboard

          1. Sandra Greer
            Meh

            Dashboard?

            Yeah, once in a LONG while I fetch it to see the weather app, translate a foreign word, or use calc, if I happen to be sitting at the Mac. I mostly use the apps on my iPad for those, though.

      2. Kubla Cant Silver badge
        WTF?

        Duplo(tm)?

        I thought Duplo was big Lego. Then again,. I though Aero was chocolate, and Metro a free newspaper.

  12. The BigYin
    Facepalm

    Those sales figures in full

    Win 8 licenses sold - 500 million.

    Less...

    Licenses "optimised for corporate continuity and compliance" (downgrade) - 400 million

    Infringing installs of previous versions - 50 million

    Installs of alternative operating systems (intended) - 1 million

    Installs of alternative operating systems (unintended, but the sheer horror of Metro was too much) - 68 million

    Giving...

    Actual instances of Win8 world-wide? 1 million; all in store fronts.

    Actual instance of Win8 used in anger? 1,000 (MS marketing drones)

    But none of this matters because the sold 500 million! Woo! Win8 is big baby! Yeah! Woo! Developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Those sales figures in full

      What annoys me, is all the US anti-corruption practices we have to adhere to being owned by an American company, yet Microsoft can fudge figures, channel stuff all they like...

      Of course Microsoft has all the regulators in their pocket, as it's cheaper than complying, they also outsource all their really dirty tricks to 3rd party companies.

  13. Levente Szileszky
    Stop

    Again, a royal FLOP in the making unless...

    ...they bring back our standard Start Menu and make this disgusting-useless-idiotic Metro junk optional on desktops and servers.

    Ballmer can keep spouting his ignorant BS but nobody cares, he's a lame duck, it's only a matter of time when he gets finally booted by shareholders, hopefully along with his sh!tkicking golden boys like Sinofsky or Belfiore.

    Once all the bad, bureaucratic, arrogant, entrenched power centers are gone Microsoft should thrive again, building on the younger crop of people there who, according to numerous anon blogs, silently all hate Sinofsky and all want to see him fail...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Again, a royal FLOP in the making unless...

      That is irelevant. You will comply!

      1. Chika

        Re: Again, a royal FLOP in the making unless...

        Make me! :p

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    tablet

    The kids finally persuaded me to get a tablet - android, never apple. I have had it since Easter and I have yet to find a single thing useful that I don't have already...

    Emails, phone+ laptop

    sat nav, phone

    games, phone + laptop

    Kids use it - when there's nothing on telly and the family PC is being used

    However funniest thing I saw was a guy taking photos of the olympic touch with a tablet / ipad. (oh, which I can do on the mobile too)

    I can't see W8 is going to make that much impact

    1. jason 7
      Facepalm

      As for all these "groovy" Metro apps....

      ...that the skinny jean brigade tell me I'll love....well why?

      I don't get why I'd need to have seven separate full screen apps sitting away from my main desktop that I do my work in, when I can get all my news, stocks, email, weather, media etc. through my web browser?

      Am I the only one not taking crazy pills?

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: As for all these "groovy" Metro apps....

        If you just want to check out El-Reg, then a tablet will get you there much faster than a desktop or laptop.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    off topic, css glitch or is El Reg intentionally going all Open Sans on us? Font my eyes! UGH.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Open Sans

      It's part of the smashing newlook Channel Reg.

      C.

      1. Anomalous Cowturd
        Stop

        Re: Open Sans

        Smashing is NOT a word that springs to mind.

        Grating and dis-jointed are a couple that do.

        And please don't think of passing it on to the rest of dear old Reg.

        TYVM.

        It's even infected the comment box. Get some anti-biotics and some linament, quick!

        1. Chika
          FAIL

          Re: Open Sans

          Actually, smashing is one word that comes to mind. Smashing my head against the keyboard, smashing a sledgehammer through the screen... works for me!

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Stop

        "It's part of the smashing newlook Channel Reg."

        Should I post something witty comparing between Metro and the car smash look Channel Reg or has everyone else already thought of that already?

  16. Captain DaFt
    Coat

    Is the quote accurate?

    "Chief executive Steve Ballmer is reported to have said 500 million "users" would "have" Windows 8 next year - he was speaking at the Seoul Digital Forum, in South Korea."

    Are you sure he didn't say something like:

    " 500 million have to use Windows 8 next year... or I lose the rest of my bonus!"?

  17. Jean-Luc Silver badge
    Happy

    So, Big Steve, any chance that...

    your stock goes back up above $40?

    I mean, with the brilliant, brilliant penetration you are suggesting, of course it will.

    Or else you walk the plank, eh?

    p.s. goes for you too, Steve "Ribbon" Sinofsky.

  18. Wile E. Veteran
    Joke

    I want some

    Some of whatever it is he's smoking, that is. Must be more powerful than LSD!

    1. Flabbergarstedbastard
      Trollface

      Re: I want some

      Sadly you cannot smoke LSD.

      1. Euripides Pants Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: smoking LSD

        Give it to a salmon first - you can smoke a salmon.

  19. Hoagiebot
    Windows

    Why is MSFT forcing a "False Dilemma" with Windows 8?

    I just don't understand why Microsoft is so suddenly against allowing users to be able to customize their Windows using experience so that they can no longer use Windows the way that they want to. Why does Windows Aero Glass *have* to now be completely removed from the desktop side of Windows 8? I can understand Microsoft's motivations to want to make the desktop side of Windows 8 look more consistent with the Metro side of Windows 8, because currently the Windows 8 Consumer Preview looks like exactly what it really is-- an operating system with multiple personality disorder. And I can also see how the simplified new Metro-esque desktop-look would benefit battery life and system performance because it would take so much less resources to render onto the screen. However, with that said, I still don't see why customers shouldn't still be given the option to be able to switch back to Aero Glass if they want to, or even the Windows 2000-esque "Classic" look if they want to.

    I for one always really loved the look of Aero Glass. I personally thought that it looked fantastic. I have Windows 8 Consumer Preview running on my netbook right now, and I have an orange-tinted Aero Glass theme which color-coordinates nicely with my current primarily yellow and orange-colored desktop wallpaper image. It's aesthetically pleasing to me, and the performance of Windows 8 Consumer Preview's Aero desktop has always been just fine on my little single-core Atom-powered netbook. However, at the same time I realize (even though Microsoft doesn't seem to) that what I think is aesthetically pleasing isn't necessarily going to be true for everyone else-- Some people may prefer the "Classic" Windows desktop look of Windows 2000, others may prefer the "Luna" desktop theme of Windows XP, and still others may actually prefer the brand new upcoming Metro-esque desktop look. As a result, people should be able to choose the desktop appearance that they like the best, and go with it. And while using a sparse, simple, low-on-resources blast-to-the-early-1990's-past Metro-esque desktop interface may make a lot of sense if you are trying to squeeze all of the performance and battery life that you can out of an ARM-based tablet, when you are using a multiple-core powerhouse desktop machine with one or more high-end graphics cards installed in it and running off of wall power, I doubt that the bit of extra resources needed to render the Aero Glass desktop in this day and age would really be of that much consequence. I swear, I think that Microsoft is repeating the mistakes of the past and taking a page out of Henry Ford's playbook where he famously said in 1909, " Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black."

    Microsoft would really make a lot more people happy if they would just allow generous levels of user-customization back into the Windows user-interface. They should really know by now that one-size doesn't necessarily fit all, especially when Windows 8 is going to be running on everything from touch-tablets to netbooks to laptops to desktops with multiple screens. With that in mind, people should be able to choose whether they want Metro or the Windows Desktop to be their default desktop. They should be able to choose what kind of chrome that their desktop has. They should be able to choose whether or not they want to use "ribbons" or classic menus. They should be able to choose whether or not they want a "Start" button, and if that Start Button leads to a Windows "Classic", Windows XP, or Windows 7-style Start Button menu. That way everyone can be made to be at least somewhat happy, everyone could use Windows how they are familiar with using it, and everyone can benefit from the enhancements that have been made underneath Windows 8's hood without having to sacrifice their user-experience to get there. This solution just seems to brain-dead simple to me, as it allows everyone to use the options that work the best for them.

    Why in the world is Microsoft so hell-bent on making things in Windows 8 work only one way and then forcibly shove it down our throats? Just what do they have to gain by being so inflexible, and saying that their way is "right," and that all dissenting opinions are "wrong?" Sinofsky and others are acting like there is no other direction to go but their new vision, like they have burned their ships behind them and that there is no turning back. But we all know that this is a "false dilemma" logical fallacy that is simply not true-- the Windows 8 Developer Preview could still have its Start Button re-enabled with a registry setting change, and Windows 8 Consumer Preview still had an Aero desktop. If Microsoft could dike that stuff out in such a short amount of time like they have, then I would think that they should also be able to add it back in and make using it an option. For crying out loud Microsoft, give your customers some customization options and let us choose how we want to work! You can make all of your new GUI developments with Windows 8 be the default settings if you would like, but allow us to be able to switch back what we don't happen to want. What do you care if we happen to turn back on Aero or the Start Button after we buy Windows 8? After all, at that point we have already *bought* Windows 8 so you already got our money. How we configure and use Windows 8 after that point should be our choice. Operating systems are suppose to make our lives easier-- not frustrate or hinder us!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why is MSFT forcing a "False Dilemma" with Windows 8?

      As far as I can see, the reason for making Metro non-optional is to encourage developers to write software for Windows RT. As has been proven by Apple when they had to keep Carbon alive because large developers, including Microsoft, refused to port their code to Cocoa, even though they'd had years of prior warning.

      500 Million users is a large enough base to prove that money can be made of their backs. There's a reason no one wants to develop for Windows Phone: there's no money in it. Imagine the debacle if no developers were to produce anything for Metro because nearly all users would opt to stick to the classic Windows UI. It would be MS Bob all over again.

      I'm no fan of Microsoft, but I have to admit, it show great courage and determination to really go all-out on this computer paradigm. However, as a company which has produced nothing but shit (except for Powershell) for as long as it's been here, I really don't expect Win8 will be any good.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He overlooks one detail

    Devices /shipped/ with OS != Devices always /running/ with OS.

    Has he already forgotten what most people did when they could no longer buy an XP PC and ended up with Vista ?

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: He overlooks one detail

      I agree, but I think you are missing the point. Ballmer doesn't care about how many people actually use the OS, all he's interested in is how many MS have shipped and conned people into paying for. It's the bottom line he's worried about.

  21. wobbly1

    windows 8 doesn't figure

    in my future plans. It's not the insults from Balmer for resisting Vista. It's not the Microsoft seeing Big Media as their customer whilst asking consumers to pay for their products. It's the nature of my computing has evolved away from their behemoth system view. I administer a small network. I encourage users to access services through a browser . The Synology NASs that hold the data run linux, but the user don't know or frankly care . the data is visible from anything running a browser. so they use a single access method from laptop to tablet to phone. The laptops run XP or ubuntu. . The op sys merely acts as a host for the browser. the visual effects of windows 8 will only be visible while Chrome fires up. Then there is the problem of windows 8 for ARM based tablets , no 3rd party browser. To have Windows 8 tablets on the network would mean changing system polices and standards. good luck with your retirement Mr. Balmer, you make a bull look like a good customer for a china shop.

  22. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    "The visual effects are spectacular"

    Oh really. I do not need spectacular visual effects on my desktop, unless I am playing a computer game, or running scientific visualization software. My OS should not try to dazzle me, I need to get work done. The best OS is the one you hardly notice. This may involve smart use of visual effects. Some visual effects I find useful (compiz-fusion has some things I find very handy, in particular in the area of switching desktops and looking for the right open app), but most are just battery-draining eye candy. It is telling that the spectacular visual effects are mentioned before the streamlined navigation (which is useful). I want substance, not bling.

  23. The Jase

    Fondleslabs

    Business has adopted Win7, no way are they going to move to Win8, especially large corporate.

    The only future for Win8 is dirt cheap fondleslabs, like that HP one that they were getting rid of.

  24. Geoff Campbell
    Boffin

    Nah.

    That is all.

    GJC

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    New Improved Windows.

    Didn't AOL try that...

    http://i46.tinypic.com/2yl426f.jpg

    The problem of course, is Microsoft have so much money, they can GIVE AWAY 500m copies, tell everyone that they have a 500m userbase and create momentum from idiots that are too thick to work this out.

    It's happening right now with Nokrosoft Lumia. If anyone thinks they have SOLD using real money, 1m units, they frankly are a moron.

    1. andy 45

      Re: New Improved Windows.

      The Lumia is a good phone and very cool. That is all...

  26. xpclient
    Thumb Down

    MS still continues to secretly remove features from Windows

    As long these issues exist: http://xpwasmyidea.blogspot.com/2011/09/features-removed-in-windows-8.html and Microsoft arrogantly ignores them and continues to move ahead with Windows 8, no plans to upgrade to Windows 8. If Windows 8 was Windows 7 plus only added value, upgrade would have absolutely hassle and pain-free.

  27. mrdalliard
    Devil

    Half a billion users....

    ....raises little pinkie to mouth.

    muwahahahahahahaaaa!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Betting the farm on tablets replacing desktops and lappies...

    .. but it's way too early for that to happen.

    All the 'average punters' I know have a desktop on a desk in the corner of their kitchen or living room, or they happily use a laptop. Maybe these people are jealous of the iPads they see on TV (or shown off by their more trendsetting friends) and will eventually switch to a tablet too.

    Maybe.

    Maybe not?

    Maybe they'll increasingly use their new smartphones for their daily web browsing fix, and only occasionally use their old desktop for managing their photos and music collections?

    And MS are forgetting where their coporate market's needs are - desktops for getting work done at a desk. Having their usual apps relegated to 'second-best' screen (reached via the annoying new Metro gubbins) which looks plainer than Win 7 or XP ever did, and doesn't even have the Start Button they're used to... oh this is going to be fun.

    I'm going to enjoy watching this fail, and the rise of 3rd-party add-ons to make things usable again!

    1. Andy ORourke
      Meh

      Re: Betting the farm on tablets replacing desktops and lappies...

      I replaced an aging desktop last yaer with a new laptop running windows 7. I now really just use it as a dock for the phones / tablets / NAS.

      I can't really remember the last time i did any sit down work with it, not even watching films or catchup TV.

      I havent looked at Windows 8 but if the Metro UI looks like the XBox UI then it doesnt look too bad (On an XBox, or a phone or a tablet) but if I had to use that for day to day work............

      Not in a rush for Win 8 myself.

      Talking of corporates, the global mega corp I work for is *Just* moving to Windows 7, I can see us skipping 8 all together if it's as bad as people say on the desktop for "normal" work

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now I'd upgrade XP for W7

    **IF** there was an affordable upgrade path.

    But I sure as heck won't be moving to W8.

  30. Deadly_NZ
    Thumb Down

    Win 8 more like Pig ver 3

    Having tried this crap win 8, 32 and 64 bit versions, the 32 bit blue screened instantly, and the 64 bit ver hangs whilst it does something or other but cpu usage peaks at 99% on both cores and temps are close to burning hot. This on a machine that happily runs win 7 both 64 and 32 bit. So yep it's time for a dogs vomit and Ballmer and co obliged.

  31. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Devil

    theres an easy

    way to his 500 million windows 8 users........ turn off the activation shite and disable the DRM crap

    Then everyone will be free to pirate it, just like windows 95 and 98

    1. N2 Silver badge

      Re: theres an easy

      And if its any good they will use it or

      chuck it in the bin

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    windows 8 - DOA

    I'm using windows 8 consumer preview now and I'm sure most geeks have tried it already.

    The bottom line, I'm using it on a desktop computer and I completely skip metro and go right to the familiar desktop.

    Microsoft will face the same backlash as Ubuntu and Gnome did - although it'll be an order of magnitude larger.

    Don't fuck with the desktop - it's that simple.

    Apple understand this, clearly microsoft and others don't understand it.

    It's a given that Metro will be disabled by all desktop power users, should they choose to go with windows 8.

    Microsoft is very late to the party in the mobile OS space - unless they create something so radically compelling, it wows the planet, they will have to rely on big money.

    Metro isn't radically compelling.

    So it's down to marketing muscle and OEM tie-ins - and probably a lot of competitively priced metro based tablets and phones.

    Balmer is going to have to force windows 8 and windows mobile down punters throats with seriously cut price offers.

    Business isn't going to be even slightly interested in windows 8 - heck, most offices are still running XP and only now, slowly upgrading users to windows 7.

    This has, by microsoft standards, FAIL written all over it.

  33. I think so I am?
    Happy

    In other news....

    ......Ballmer while sitting on a wall sees his reflection in some Windows. Having a paper clip moment recognises his likeness to Humpty Dumpty; he then jumps off the wall before All the king's stakeholders and all the king's coder-men wont be able to put poor MS back together again.

  34. davefaulkner

    It's the whole not understanding the difference between mobile devices and older PCs, isn't it?

    - As indeed other commenters have said. I am beginning to see that I could use a tablet for productivity but detest Apple and the Android ones still look too immature for my liking (although I use an Android phone very happily). So I would happily wait for for a W8 tablet in order to take documents to meetings and presentations more conveniently than on either a laptop (too cumbersome) or my smartphone (too small). Currently I can put them on my Kindle, but I don't find that ideal. However, the thought of Metro on my desktop, which I still need for raw horsepower in the realm of photo editing, videos and the like, fills me with horror. And while I like certain aspects of W8 such as the new Task Manager, why should otherwise attractive features such as syncing via a Microsoft account across various PCs be subject to such execrable software as IE?

    So it's a possible W8 tablet for me, but keeping the desktop and laptops on W7, which I find to be an excellent OS.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bring back Bill!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll have nothing to do with it.

    I've had the distinct displeasure of having used 8 for a few weeks now, and am sad to report the new Metro interface is not growing on me. I decided to just start using it regularly so as not to have my opinion influenced simply because the tech is new and I'm not used to it, but unfortunately I find it clumsy, counterintuitive and generally a pain in the behind.

    Whatever Mr. Ballmer think they have achieved (and Mr. Ballmer is not generally known for having his feet securely tethered to mother earth), 8 may very well be technically sound by the time it goes RTM, but using it does not make for a happy user.

    Still, if he thinks he can force 500 million copies on the unsuspecting masses, it's up to said masses to prove him wrong.

  37. Steve Martins

    Not Once...

    Not once did i think "I want to use Win7"

    Not once did I look at purchasing Win7

    Not once did I say "XP doesn't work for me I need to upgrade"

    Not once did I think Win 7 was necessary, or even desirabe

    Not once did I ask to have Win 7 on any machine of mine

    ... so how the hell did I end up using it???

    I assume i will have the same level of choice with Win 8

  38. Boothy
    FAIL

    Win 8 = Win Vista = Win Me

    I've tried the Win 8 previews, and for me Win 8 = Win Vista = Win Me

    Metro looks fine on a Tablet, but has no place on a desktop/laptop.

    I would expect most people will skip Win 8 if given a choice, like they did with Vista before. With the only people buying being new PC buyers, and the only people keeping it, being those without the skills/knowledge to install Win 7 (i.e. Joe Bloggs home user etc.).

    I expect to see 3rd party companies will start to sell desktop replacement apps, that will allow normal window operation again. (In the same way that you can replace the Android home screen with one from the app store of you don't like the default Android one).

    Win 8 Pro Plus will be out in 2013 with a restored desktop for business users ;-)

  39. Toothpick

    Is it just me....

    ... or does the name "Metro" sound a bit......... wanky

    1. Figgus

      Re: Is it just me....

      Exactly what I have been thinking. Seriously, look at the link.

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/metro+sexual

  40. IGnatius T Foobar
    FAIL

    The Second Coming? AGAIN?

    Every upcoming version of Windows is touted by Microsoft as the most amazing thing EVAR!! It's going to cure world hunger, bring the planets into alignment, etc. etc. And every time, without fail, they release a barely usable piece of crud. Why should this time be any different?

    1. Adam White

      Re: The Second Coming? AGAIN?

      "From now on everything you do will be more fun"

      - Windows XP Setup wizard

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ballmer smokes crack

    He must be smoking crack and dropping some LSD if he actually believes the spew coming from his mouth.

  42. techfreak
    Go

    I'll use Windows 8 as soon as its RTM ...

    I can't ignore the architectural improvements and the cloud integration, so I'll use Windows 8. But my install will be heavily customized. While I've ignored nifty desktop utilities with Windows 7, you can bet that I will use them on Windows 8. The windows will display glass, there will be a start menu, maybe even flip 3D, you can bet on it. My hope is for a glassy translucent Metro start screen. I'll make Windows 8 'my idea'...

  43. Drefsab
    Thumb Down

    I tried the win 8 CP and oh my god what a god awful OS I reinstalled after the day back to windows 7 deleted the image and snapped the dvd I burned of it. Its so bad I wouldn't even pirate it, if it comes on a new pc/laptop I get the first thing I will do is format and reinstall (I wouldn't even let it boot once). Im not alone in the MS I hope you learn the lesson come windows 9 because 8 is already failed.

    1. Sandra Greer
      Angel

      Didn't there used to be a rule?

      Don't use even-numbered releases of anything? I vaguely remember that it was true a long time ago, even before M$FT.

      1. Bob Vistakin
        Pint

        Re: Didn't there used to be a rule?

        That rule still exists and must be strictly adhered to, along with the other one of avoiding odd-numbered releases.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    'deepest, broadest' penetration with new tool

    He must have actually answered some of his spam email

  45. kidder12

    Balmer is a tool....

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