back to article Windows 8 'bad' for desktop users - Gartner's one-word review

Analyst firm Gartner has chosen just one word to describe Windows 8 for desktop users: “Bad”. Research Director Gunnar Berger put the imminent OS through its paces in a five-part review which found that Windows 8 is pretty good when used on touch-screen devices. Microsoft loaned Berger a Samsung slate device and he found that …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So they came to same conclusion as most desktop users who tested Windows8. Why am I not surprised.

    1. MrT

      Ah but it's Gartner saying it, so all the IT departments who have been saying this will now be believed.

      Or more likely the company director can now use this to come up with the brilliant new idea of his/hers that Windows 8 will be avoided.

      Or if the company is run like the one Clark Griswald works for in Christmas Vacation then the boss will see the words "Gartner" and "Windows 8" on the report cover and hit the button marked "Full speed ahead"...

      1. Mikel
        Holmes

        Gartner? Reliable?

        If both Redmond and Bellevue were nuked in the Apocalypse, Gartner would report a minor power transient that briefly disrupted press relations.

        Gartner's issue is that being a sockpuppet they've lost their hand. He'll be along in a minute.

      2. bofh80
        Trollface

        If only world + dog had listened.

        When we told them vista was a pile of <EXPLETIVE>

      3. cordwainer 1
        Windows

        Oh Yeah?

        Well MY name is Gartner, and I think Windows 8 is brilliant, absolutely first-rate, worlds beyon....

        Oh, I'm sorry, did you say Windows 8 on Desktops?

        HahahahahahahahaHAAAAAAAAHahahahahahaha.....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Shock Horror

      Microsoft's new Bob doesn't work to well on Desktops. Didn't we all know this already?

      You can't take a UI that is poor even on a phone and expect it to be any better on a 24in desktop monitor.

      Windows 8 is going to sink Microsoft. They have failed in the mobile market, and the Metro Virus has now infected desktops too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shock Horror

        MS won't sink due to Windows8, Windows 7 is still very pleasant to use and does pretty much what most desktop users want.

        Windows 8 will just be another abandoned child like Vista was, it's good to see Microsoft can still kick out an absolute stinker even with their past 'experience'

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: Shock Horror

          I've yet to have anyone actually demonstrate to me how Metro makes things harder on the Desktop than Windows 7. I hit the Windows key and type vm and up comes VMware. I hit it and type wo and up comes word. If I want word pad, then it's the next one down. I use about twenty programs regularly on my Desktop Windows (I am a power user) and that number of programs fits comfortably on my laptop screen Metro page, let alone my desktop monitor! A handful of things I have found to take longer such as turning on a VPN (two extra clicks), but these are my actual metrics, not opinions. So how is it actually hindering me doing anything?

          1. Test Man
            Thumb Up

            Re: Shock Horror

            @h4rm0ny - exactly. Launching an app is the exact same as on previous versions of Windows. It amazes me that some people literally look for the hardest and most unlikeliest way of launching an app and conclude that the interface is awful when they struggle - when it isn't.

            1. Yet Another Commentard

              Re: Shock Horror

              It's not just that.

              having two "desktops" is painful. Just as an example I thought I'd try out the Finance "metro app" so that involved me copying and pasting some old ticker symbols from a spreadsheet type thing. I can't readily alt-tab between Metro apps and Desktop Apps, so witness much mouse furtling, (going "start" then "desktop"). Just like you are trying to say there is no need for - note this was on a one-screen laptop. More than one screen gives its own issues.

              As mentioned in the article - try using a virtual machine or a remote connection for this stuff, the Windows key opens the wrong bloody start menu.

              Having two IE versions (double up for 64-bit) is tricksy too. Download a file in Metro, flip to Desktop to find the file (via start, wtf? why can't I just minimise it?) and, I'd lost the file. Without thinking, and because there's an "e" on the taskbar, I hit that. new IE opens, unrelated to Metro one. Now I feel lost and confused.

              Today I have had cricinfo open in an IE window on my 7 machine. As I work I can see the depressing score rendered from the title bar of the window in the little taskbar thing whilst all my real work is full screen across a couple of monitors. In 8, not a hope. it shows a little square "e". So to check the score I have to go to IE in full, not just a glimpse down (I am sure there are work related similar things like this).

              Why do all the Metro apps use so much screen real estate to the left, and all the info crammed off-screen to the right, and it won't even show on a monitor to the right. So I have to scroll to see the content. Cool and easy on a phone, but a nightmare with a keyboard (remember, I am meant to use keys, like you said). It's not productive.

              Office 13 has serious interface issues too, making everything white is harder to see what the content is because the interface SCREAMS at me. Stupid animations (see Thurrott on Word) are annoying. Icons are too big and too intrusive. it's desinged for fingers the size of badly bruised cumberland sausage, not a mouse pointer.

              Outlook, the "premier" mail/calendar application cannot show unopened messages waiting in metro, which seems to be because it's not a "Metro" application. No, i have to use the mail app connected to exchange to do that. So more duplication, and I am meant to pay for an application that lacks the functionality of the free one? The reason - Metro. It's a different place, and designed for touch.

              To shut down I could spend some time on Google to find out how to add a button to the desktop, or I could reset the popwer switch to "shut down" (still can't have it set to restart AND to shutdown though, as there is one button there), or I could find one pixel on the right, (which is bloody difficult with another monitor to the right) to find a charm to click on a link to find shutdown/restart. Everything takes more clicks and more head scratching.

              7 start menu has a cool feature of hovering over an application shows the recent documents. I use it all the time. It remembers my recent applications too. During a month I use different ones, so it changes. In 8 I have to pin to them to the taskbar. In 7 it just happened. More time faffing around, eating up taskbar real estate. (I do like the way the recent documents pop up on the pinned applications, but why do I need to do that?)

              I can handle the flat, bland look of it. I can handle the idea of removing the start menu, I can even handle idea of Metro. I just feel that as a desktop user I've been put to the back of the useabilty queue as Microsoft chases some mobile dream.

              Unless, of course, Balmer wants to give me a free 1440 line touch monitor with my Win8 licence.

              Oh, I feel better for getting that off my chest.

              1. h4rm0ny

                Re: @Yet Another Commentard

                See that's how criticism of WIn8 should be done - valid concerns with reasons. Not desparate flailing for anything that makes the OS sound bad even when the facts have to be distorted to fit.

                There are obvious shortcomings in a number of the Metro apps, don't disagree.( At least in the beta. I'll reserve full judgement till I see the final versions.) I think a lot of these will be fixed early-ish on. For the most part, I will be using Win8 just like I use Win7 with the same software as before running on the Desktop. Metro will just be a start menu for me for some time to come. But yeah, nothing's perfect and I ain't going to argue against your points (pretty certain you'll be able to change colour schemes in Office 2013 release version if that helps). I just get annoyed when people come out with factually incorrect stuff that is easily disproved or close their minds to things that are actually better out of bias. Your post doesn't read like that so get an upvote from me!

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Shock Horror

              Launching an app is NOT the same, with Windows 7 I don't need to use the keyboard.

          2. Tomato42 Silver badge

            Re: Shock Horror

            Not everybody has two monitors to be able to multitask

          3. the-it-slayer
            Mushroom

            @h4rm0ny - Re: Shock Horror

            You're prob a tech. 95% of the UK are not and are quite happily fit into the public joe arena. Most of these people would scream if they saw no more Windows "start" menu. To just attack a users expectant frame of mind of how to use a Windows PC rather than slowly transitioning to a new UI is ridiculous.

            In comparison, Apple introduced the launch pad on Lion. I hardly use, but I know it's there and could a new way to launch apps in the future. However, I'm still happy to sit icons along the bottom and let them disappear like magic as a desktop UI should be. None of this finger to LCD screen non-sense that M$ hopes people will do with Metro.

            Watch out for Windows 8.5 to be announcement in Jan 2013.

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: @h4rm0ny - Shock Horror

              "You're prob a tech. 95% of the UK are not and are quite happily fit into the public joe arena. Most of these people would scream if they saw no more Windows "start" menu."

              I am a "tech". I'm an old C / C++ programmer now an engineering manager. But I honestly cannot see moving to the bottom left and clicking if there's a circle there and moving to the bottom left and clicking if there isn't, as a big difference. And I think we can expect MS to do some sort of "Welcome to Windows 8" video for new users to the system. Windows 8 will be pretty easy for new users. Half the complaints here are from people who think it's being 'dumbed down' after all. It is a certain sub-section of the IT profession that will get upset about this.

              Most users will shrug, click on the bottom left and carry on. I think they'll even prefer big friendly images to looking through a menu that contains everything that is installed on their computer.

              1. Captain Underpants

                Re: @h4rm0ny - Shock Horror

                "But I honestly cannot see moving to the bottom left and clicking if there's a circle there and moving to the bottom left and clicking if there isn't"

                So you don't see the problem with a UI that has hidden various key functions in the very corners of the display under the assumption that you can thumbswipe that location to get them to show up being forced upon non-touch-enabled systems?

                Microsoft already have a chaotically silly way of organising their configuration utilities, the last thing we bloody need is for them to start hiding the $%^&ing menus themselves. Bad enough to be wondering which bit of the Control Panel you need to get to this time to eg disable 802.1x, but even worse if you also have to remember how to open the bloody control panel 'cos the stupid goits went and hid all the bloody menus...

                1. h4rm0ny

                  Re: @h4rm0ny - Shock Horror

                  "So you don't see the problem with a UI that has hidden various key functions in the very corners of the display under the assumption that you can thumbswipe that location to get them to show up being forced upon non-touch-enabled systems?"

                  That's a funny way to re-phrase it's exactly the same but without a visible start button. Which is what I wrote. And no, as you just quoted me saying: I don't see the problem.

                  "Bad enough to be wondering which bit of the Control Panel you need to get to this time to eg disable 802.1x"

                  Any company that designed it's O/S around making the enablement or disablement of Firewire prominently displayed, would not be a commercial success I am thinking. But you're right. I wish it were as easy as just editing /etc/modprobe.d in Linux. That's much more intuitive!

                  As to your difficulty in opening Control Panel. You bring up Metro, you click All Applications and there it is. Though a lot of the things regular users will want to manage have been moved into the Charms menu. (Silly name, but there you have it).

                  1. Captain Underpants
                    Thumb Down

                    Re: @h4rm0ny - Shock Horror

                    Nah mate, it's not just Start I'm talking about. Having stuff active in unlabeled hotcorners or random locations that are only active in certain contexts is pretty bloody silly in a new iteration of a very menu-drive operating system; almost as silly as forcing a touchscreen-paradigm interface onto keyboard and mouse users.

                    If it works for you, fair enough. That doesn't mean it'll work for all, nor does it mean you can dismiss potential (or actual) problems other people can see. (It probably also means you shouldn't assume that when people mention 802.1x they automatically mean IEEE1394 connections and not eg WLAN connections, but never mind that...)

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: @h4rm0ny - Shock Horror

                    Can I drag this invisible button to the top? That is my preferred location for the task bar and start menu and only very briefly confuses guests (most of whom ask how I did that and some go on to relocate their own taskbars to top, left or right). Do we now lose this customisation or do we have to guess the location of the invisible button? Either way, negative marks.

              2. Ilsa Loving
                FAIL

                Re: @h4rm0ny - Shock Horror

                I love how you assume that because you are willing to poke and prod an OS every which way just to see what happens, that everyone else must as well.

                Microsoft knew this new OS would be radically different. Yet they have made zero effort to educate people on how to do even the most basic things. When Apple reversed the behaviour of two-fingered scrolling, you had to go through a tutorial and then demonstrate that you understood the change before you could even log in the first time. There was nothing stopping Microsoft from doing something similar, but they didn't. Instead they left everyone to the mercy of a completely new and foreign interface that isn't even remotely similar to the previous one.

                The vast majority of the world will take one look at the interface, not have the foggiest idea how to even START (pardon the pun), and conclude it's crap. And as far as I'm concerned, not to mention virtually every person I've spoken to, that is a completely reasonable attitude. People like you are an overwhelming minority in this world. Windows is there to get work done. Not to play "Where did Microsoft hide the function I want THIS time?".

                And before you jump to the inevitable "Well I can't help it if you're too dumb..." line, let me point out it has nothing to do with ability or lack thereof. It has everything to do with not giving a rats posterior. Between work, family, and a myriad other obligations, it boils down to the simple fact that the majority of people flat out don't CARE. I have work to do. I have a family to worry about. The computer in front of me either facilitates that work, or it doesn't. If it hinders my ability to do work, then it's crap. PERIOD.

                1. venneford

                  Re: @h4rm0ny - Shock Horror

                  "Microsoft knew this new OS would be radically different. "

                  Actually, the point here is that the OS is not radically different. Its an incremental change from the previous operating system.

                  This is mainly a User Interface release.

                  I use Windows 7 at work. I use it because I have to really. Its the standard we use for a lot of our documentation. I use Windows 7 at home for netflix and a couple other things. Its an entertainment system there. There are no areas where I use it because I love it. I use it where it is standardized or the only game in town.

                  Therein lies what I consider to be the real issue with Microsoft. A lot of people use it because they have to. Its a tool. Its sole purpose is to really not get in the way of whatever its role is in that person's life. I don't use Visio because I chose it. I don't use Word because I chose it. I don't use Excel because I chose it. I use them because it was mandated. The OS just comes along for the ride. I understand the concept of improvement. I just simply don't see this change as improvement. Its a cross-marketing ploy by Microsoft. Nothing about Metro was done for my benefit.

                  And, if you disable Metro to get Windows 7 desktop functionality, then there really isn;t much point to Windows 8.

                2. Someone Else Silver badge
                  Thumb Up

                  Re: @Ilsa - Shock Horror

                  Damn, I wish I could upvote you more than once! That is probably the most cogent response to an apologist (not necessarily a Microsoft apologist, but any apologist, regardless of stripe) I've evah heard!

                  Well done!

                3. h4rm0ny

                  Re: @h4rm0ny - Shock Horror

                  "I love how you assume that because you are willing to poke and prod an OS every which way just to see what happens, that everyone else must as well."

                  And I feel that love, I really do! And quite frankly I love how people keep re-phrasing what I wrote (move a mouse to the bottom left just as you did in Win7) to things like "poke and prod an OS every which way just to see what happens".

                  Half will work it out in no time. Half will probably watch the (I expect) inevitable "Welcome to Windows 8" video that will probably be on there and the third half will just ask someone else and be told - a process that will take five seconds.

                  Seriously, the action is almost exactly the same as in Windows 7 with two exceptions - one, if you're on a full screen application, you can still trigger the Metro screen without losing screen estate to the button as you do in Windows 7, i.e. you can get true full screen. And secondly, if you have multiple monitors as many of us do on desktop machines these days, you get the functionality by default on both monitors, meaning you don't have to travel your mouse all the way between the two.

                  And obviously it works well on hybrid devices where sometimes you'll use a keyboard and mouse and sometimes just use it as a tablet.

                  So what exactly do YOU prefer. No progress and everything always stays the same, or about a minute of inconvenience for some people who either can't work it out or refuse to read / watch instructions or ask someone? The answer to that question should be obvious. And yes, I do mean "progress". I've just listed actual things that you can do with the new version that you can't with the old that will be useful to many people.

          4. Ian Johnston
            Thumb Down

            Re: Shock Horror

            How about putting little pictures on the screen for each application and then just clicking on them to start them? It would save having to use the keyboard so much. OK, it's a crazy idea, but it might just work.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "MS won't sink due to Windows8"

          No, because I honestly think they are betting against the loosing horse here. I think they are trying to short their own stock, or perhaps they all bought Apple share? (I said bought, not liked. ;) )

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Shock Horror

          I wonder if Microsoft is stupid enough, in an attempt to rescue Windows 8, is going to cut off support for Windows 7 at the same time XP is cut?

      2. mcstorm2011

        Re: Shock Horror

        I have to disagree with you here. The Metro UI works really well on a Mobile device in IMO its the best UI and OS on a Mobile Phone. I have had a HD7, HTC Titan and Lumia 900 and not once had an issue with the OS or phone where I have had a Iphone 3gs and 4 as well as a HTC Desire HD and every one of them I had issues with and even slow down in the OS.

        As for Windows 8 I have been using it as my man OS for a few months now and at 1st I was unsure if it was going to work but now I have it setup to work as I want it too and I also have Office 2013 I can say I don't want to go back to Windows 7 style start menu.

        The start menu is really the only big difference in the new OS when you use it it on a Intel processor you use it as a old style Windows OS but it seems to run faster on my laptop than windows 7 did and it seem alittle more stable.

        Add the Metro UI to the start menu and the live tiles this give me all my Emails/News/Events/tasks/social updates and more at a glance and is uncluttered too.

        The Apps and Metro UI is going to be used more on Windows RT than the X32/64 version as they will be a lot more Arm tablets about than Intel once as MS go after the Tablet market and having the same UI across Tablets, PC's, Phone and Xbox will only help MS in the long run.

        Windows 8 is not for everyone but that is just like anything in life from technology to food. But at the end of the day It all about choice and what people seem to be forgetting is Android and and IOS are all mobile OS's not full OS's so they are limited with windows 8 no one will be limited to anything or any devce.

        1. Joerg
          FAIL

          Re: Shock Horror

          If an OS due to its UI is not for everyone then it's a marketing failure. It's just that simple.

          And MetroUI sucks on smartphone and tablets too.

          There is a reason why WindowsPhone7.x with MetroUI got only 2-3% of the market so far. And WindowsPhone8 is not going to do any better.

          Also even just thinking that the future on desktop and server is that of having big touch screen displays it's a childish flawed concept. It would be just a plain mess.

          And if a touch screen device is needed for some applications an iPad would do the job better with an app for that.

          No one wants to use their monitors as tablets. Also it would be a mess having the arms on the monitor in front of you all the time, just a plain nonsense mess. A big fail that's what MetroUI is all about.

      3. kb
        FAIL

        Re: Shock Horror

        Its not just that friend, its the fact that MSFT wants to send us back to 1993. When MSFT was putting out an OS every couple of years frankly we were at the beginning of the MHz wars so by the time that new Windows came out? You were ready to chunk anyway as your machine would struggle with the latest software.

        That just isn't the case anymore people, PCs haven't HAD to be upgraded since they went multicore. I have customers on first gen Core Duos and Phenom I X3 and you know what? they are happy. the machines are fast, run their software well, and since the boxes are paid for its a sunk cost.

        It is THIS, this right here, that MSFT refuses to accept. I have just recently gotten the last of my customers switched to Win 7, do you think they are gonna want to switch NOW? When they finally have everything working perfectly? Even my home customers don't switch every 3 years anymore, I have plenty of them on Pentium Ds and Athlon X2s and they are again happy with what they have. Laptops and desktops last longer than ever before and there hasn't been a "killer app" that would require upgrading systems in years.

        Mark my words Win 8 will be the new MS Bob because its simply not what the market wants or needs. if they would have kept Metro on mobile, and made Win 8 desktop just a souped up Win 7? It probably would have sold well. but nobody wants to treat their widescreen desktop as an oversized cell phone.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Keith 72

      As it'll be installed on new PCs and laptops soon enough, many will experience the shock and horror of something new that's different to what they're used to. But only a moron will still be struggling after a day or two. I personally find it very pleasant to use (just discovered IE10 has a spell check built in, about time too) and to a casual, over the shoulder, user it looks like I'm using Win 7 - because for 99% of my time that's the experience I'm having.

      I'll give myself a thumbs up to counter all the thumbs downs I'll get from the aforementioned morons...

      1. Nigel 11
        Mushroom

        > But only a moron will still be struggling after a day or two

        Let's assume you're right, and say one day. That means the added cost of adopting windows is one day's salary. Multiply up. Or just think of the economic loss as being the same as a flu epidemic (regular flu, not the killer variety).

        That's the downside. Now, what is the upside, that makes you happy to pay for this shoer-term loss of productivity? Upside for your organisation, that is. Not for Microsoft.

        1. Keith 72

          When most folk get a new PC or laptop there's invariably some drop in productivity anyway (unless they're using it purely as a thin client) so unless they've upgraded the OS for the hell of it, I don't think there's much additional productiviy loss there.

          There's a lot of good stuff new in Win 8; faster boot time and storage spaces are a couple of upsides that work for me.

          1. RegGuy1

            When most folk get a new PC or laptop there's invariably some drop in productivity anyway

            Yep, while I have to spend time formatting the disk as I install Debian. I haven't touched a Windows machine in years -- except of course as described in the previous sentence.

        2. h4rm0ny

          "Now, what is the upside, that makes you happy to pay for this shoer-term loss of productivity? Upside for your organisation, that is. Not for Microsoft"

          There's some nice stuff in Win8 for BYOD. If I can have even program installs be part of someone's profile that I host in my own private cloud and be able to swap in any generic machine without having to worry about who has what software, that's a plus. If someone wants to use their own machine or take their work one off-site and I can lock down software on it to only be "installed" when they are connected to my secure VPN or on-site, then that's a plus. Ditto for document storage although that's more a part of Server 2012 and can be backwards-used on Win7 as well. Particularly I like not having to worry about uninstalling software and freeing up licences on people's personal machines that they own. Unassign the licence and transfer it to a different (or replacement employee) and Office is gone from their machine, for example.

          Also, if I know that most of my employees just need Word and Outlook and our internal accounting system, I can give them a "Start Menu" that is just these three things and they never really have to leave it. Their screen is their program with Metro and they just flip between them as needed. Good for those people who are computer-phobic. Metro apps will remember their state. I just have to tell all the users - press the windows key and click on the program. No menu, no finding Excel under Office - just hit the key and select one of the four or five big boxes. Perfect. ;)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        99% of my time...it looks like I'm using Win 7 -

        the clincher selling point for Windows 8 - I can't wait to upgrade

        wait, what?

        yes I can!

      3. Alan(UK)
        Linux

        IE?

        I do not use any version of IE so I never realized that they did not have a spelling checker.

    5. tcg2ki

      WINDOWS 8 works great for me

      I dont know what you people are talking about, its a new OS, takes time to get use to. Like going from windows 98 to windows 7, everything is different until you get use to it.

      What idiots!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. jim 45

        Re: WINDOWS 8 works great for me

        It's crazy isn't it? All these top computer professionals ranting about how they won't be able to do their work, how nobody will be able to figure out this new interface, how it was designed purely as a means of torture by a giant corporation employing people who hate life. Meanwhile their 8 year old kids will be using Metro just fine from day 1, and laughing at how angry Dad gets about it.

      2. daniel1980
        Megaphone

        Re: WINDOWS 8 works great for me

        I'm fine with new OSs, just not with new interfaces. Even then, I'm fine with well thought-out, logical improvements. I Like many of the OS changes in Windows 7 - it is hard not to see the benefit in a more secure OS - but the interface annoys the hell out of me and it slows me down.

        As a tech,I use both XP/2003 and Windows 7/2008R2 - probably an equal amount - and the simple truth is that, for me, XP/2003 is a more efficient interface overall. That means that I am able to work better and with less stress when using XP than 7. It's not good enough to simply say "you'll get used to it" or to dismissively blame users for their unwillingness to change.

        Windows 7 is the clear technical choice but I nothing about the deep-down OS changes requires a new interface. That's the problem with Windows 8 - the interface change.

        As an outsourced IT provider, We manage thousands of users across dozens of different companies. Many of these companies are too small to warrant rolling out entirely new PCs for all staff and simply replace PCs as needed. That means that at any one time they will have 3 operating systems in the mix. That's OK, until they have three different interfaces.

        As for us, is is ridiculously annoying to have to talk clients through issues or create instructions when we have figure out which OS they are on first and then connect to a similar machine to talk them through issues.

        It's my opinion that the biggest driver of the Metro UI and the related changes is Windows 8 is the desire to get in on the 'apps' action. Microsoft want to make your easiest option the one that involves paying them more, even if it is to get something that is elsewhere available for free.

  2. Anomalous Cowturd
    Holmes

    No shit Sherlock?

    See Title/icon.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    History repeats itself

    Back in the day when MS realized they missed the Internet boat all sails were set at getting up to speed, the keyword being internet. Even up to a point where they rendered the desktop totally unusable ('active desktop'; no icons could be placed on screen). The masses roared and it eventually got rectified.

    Now MS seems to be under the impression that they missed the touch / tablet boat. Everything is cast aside to make sure the OS is touch friendly, even up to a point where its honestly rendered unusable for common desktop usage.

    Add up the Metro lock in (read: MS tries to get all 3rd party software cut off and instead channelled through their marketplace) and one has to wonder how much of a desktop OS is really left ?

    There is however one major difference between the two periods; back then we had no competition on the desktop, now we have some. MS has already grossed in a huge sales loss over the last quarter of 2012, one can only wonder how much more is about to follow (if any) ?

    How long before Ballmer starts to wonder if there are still some people around who can program a start menu from scratch ?

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: History repeats itself

      ".......Now MS seems to be under the impression that they missed the touch / tablet boat....." Agreed, M$ is making the same mistake it made with the original WinPhone and trying to make one OS to rule all device types. By dragging development towards the tablet end of the spectrum M$ will damage their desktop side. But that might not be too much of an issue. And this is why.

      "....There is however one major difference between the two periods; back then we had no competition on the desktop, now we have some...." No. There is competition if you are talking consumer users, but the enterprise isn't interested in Linux desktops in any great number, and definitely not in Apple. Despite Linux on the desktop having been capable of replacing 99% of enterprise Windows desktops for over a decade, I've beaten my head against the procurement wall enough to know the desktop is still M$'s to lose. Apple is daydreaming if it thinks it has a chance, unless Apple manages to persuade everyone to forget about the cost restraints of the downturn and switch to tablets, in which case M$ has it covered with tablet-friendly Win8.

      Suddenly, M$ doesn't look so stupid. They can afford to take the time to tune Win8 for desktop users as the fact that enterprises are putting off desktop upgrades affects ALL desktop competitors too, and in the meantime those existing desktops are keeping M$ in prime position when it does come to upgrades and replacements. But they need a weapon now to keep Apple at bay on tablets.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: History repeats itself

        You missed the elephant in the room.

        In the Enterprise world, just about everyone stuck with XP until around now and most are at some stage of a 7 migration, quite the reverse of putting off updates in fact. Once that's complete they'll be expecting to sit on it for a while, so 8 has pretty much nowhere to go in that market. MS are well aware of this and are taking the opportunity to pilot touch with the consumer market. Lessons learned will go into 9.

        1. AlbertH
          Pint

          Re: History repeats itself

          The even bigger elephant is the reluctance of major IT departments in huge corporations, governments and in education to throw more good money after all they've wasted on fundamentally defective Microsoft products.

          I work in Government - we simply do not want to give Redmond another penny. We're taking steps to ensure that this happens. M$ keep promising "free" gifts to us, but we now resist - their largesse is entirely bogus. M$ are now losing money at a significant rate - they have a vast array of overpaid executives and even more underpaid programmers who don't give a damn.

          M$ are several years behind the curve, and continually fail to understand the market, the wants of users, the need for REAL security (NOT possible on any type of Windows), and how to get a small, efficient OS working in most environments. They are hampered by legacy code (that's undocumented but essential), by ineptitude and the "Too Many Chiefs" syndrome.

          Hopefully, it's Game Over for M$!

          1. Miek
            Big Brother

            Re: History repeats itself

            " M$ keep promising "free" gifts to us" -- Aha! I knew it!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: History repeats itself

            AlbertH. Classic rant. Almost entirely factually incorrect as I would expect from a public sector employee though.

            Anyhoo, Microsoft made $21.76 billion profit last year. Is that what you mean when you say that they are 'losing money at a significant rate'?

            1. ed2020
              Thumb Down

              Re: History repeats itself

              Have a downvote for your comment about public sector employees.

            2. Chika
              FAIL

              Re: History repeats itself

              "Anyhoo, Microsoft made $21.76 billion profit last year. Is that what you mean when you say that they are 'losing money at a significant rate'?"

              Obviously you missed this...

              http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/20/microsoft_posts_first_ever_loss/

              1. h4rm0ny

                Re: History repeats itself

                "Obviously you missed this...

                http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/20/microsoft_posts_first_ever_loss/"

                You should read your own article though. It points out that it's the result of spending $6.2bn on trying to take over the company aQuantive (thankfully it was a disaster as we don't need MS developing a major stake in the advertising business) and of having to defer another half a billion in profits for legal reasons. Your article, and I quote, says: "this quarter may be the Redmond-haters' last chance to gloat."

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: History repeats itself

              @AC: No, the loss came in the last financial bookyear of 2012 where they grossed in a netto loss of +/- 450 million while the same period last year got them approx. 4 billion profit.

          3. Armando 123
            Big Brother

            Re: History repeats itself

            "I work in Government - we simply do not want to give Redmond another penny. We're taking steps to ensure that this happens. M$ keep promising "free" gifts to us, but we now resist - their largesse is entirely bogus. M$ are now losing money at a significant rate - they have a vast array of overpaid executives and even more underpaid programmers who don't give a damn.

            M$ are several years behind the curve, and continually fail to understand the market, the wants of users, the need for REAL security (NOT possible on any type of Windows), and how to get a small, efficient OS working in most environments. They are hampered by legacy code (that's undocumented but essential), by ineptitude and the "Too Many Chiefs" syndrome."

            Oddly enough, do a s/\M\$/government/g and you just described most businesses' and taxpayers' attitude towards government.

            I'm not passing judgment; there ARE good people in government. However, ...

      2. AlbertH
        Alert

        Re: History repeats itself

        M$ have lost the plot. They haven't had a truly viable product for years, and with each month they fall further behind.

        The much-vaunted "surface" was shown to be an expensive joke, Windows Vista, 7 (and now 8) is just more shiny nonsense stuck on top of the same old broken, rotten core. The programmers with any clue left M$ ten years ago when the marketers took over running the company. It is hard to believe that they still have the temerity to charge money for that rubbish!

        Apple only have any kind of product because they bought in the BSD kernel - it's getting old and tired, and has reached its limits.

        Corporations are beginning to "bite the bullet" and consider the possibility that M$ isn't any solution. As Android, Chrome and other similar OSs mature, they become ever more effective on the desktop. There is now a build of Libre Office that runs flawlessly (and very quickly) on ICS Android!

        M$ need to realise that there's nothing cheaper than free - even the most naive user now knows that a significant part of the cost of his store-bought computer is going to Redmond. Suppliers are seeing ever more requests for OS-free machines.....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: History repeats itself

          "Corporations are beginning to "bite the bullet" and consider the possibility that M$ isn't any solution. As Android, Chrome and other similar OSs mature, they become ever more effective on the desktop. There is now a build of Libre Office that runs flawlessly (and very quickly) on ICS Android!"

          Simply untrue. I wish that it were the case, as I have a couple of Android 4.0/4.1 devices, but Libre Office for Android absolutely isn't ready for prime time yet. To engage in such hyperbole for the purpose of platform advocacy is simply a bit pitiful. There is enough interesting stuff happening around Android right now to obviate the need to make stuff up.

        2. Test Man
          Stop

          Re: History repeats itself

          @AlbertH - clearly you've shown yourself to be utterly clueless... or ignorant. "is just more shiny nonsense stuck on top of the same old broken, rotten core." is rubbish considering that WinRT (which is what underpins the new Metro desktop) is the NEW way of progamming for Windows - WIn32 (which underpins the Desktop) is effectively depreciated, so no, it's NOT on top of the same broken, rotten core.

          The Desktop paradigm is depreciated for Windows, that's a fact. You can still program for the Desktop using Win32 APIs, but you'll be missing out on the tablet market (as ARM tablets can't use Desktop apps and Desktop apps on Intel tablets aren't going to look too good on a tablet) and Desktop apps will look decidedly old hat up against Metro apps and the ability to communicate with live tiles, to name but a few.

          Fact is, Windows 8 is a transition from the old Desktop and programming model and paradigm to a whole new one.

          Get used to it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Test Man

            Downvoted for not knowing the difference between deprecated and depreciated.

          2. dajames Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: History repeats itself

            ... WIn32 (which underpins the Desktop) is effectively depreciated

            The Desktop paradigm is depreciated for Windows ...

            I believe the word you are groping for is "deprecated", not "depreciated" <sigh>

            The point you are making may be a correct point, but I cannot fail to see it as a Bad Thing (TM).

          3. daniel1980
            Megaphone

            Re: History repeats itself

            Your post was clear but I can't help but feel that your implication is that the new paradigm is the better one. It _is_ a new paradigm but I do not necessarily think it is a better one.

            As some have pointed out, one big motivation seems to be the desire to funnel people through Microsoft's marketplace so they can be like Apple and get a cut of everything. Another is the need to compete with Apple in the consumer space.

            It would be very nice if there was a real backlash (though effected how I do not know) against MS for Windows 8. Not because they should be punished or, like some posters, I want the world converted to Linux, but because I want them to take customer feedback seriously. The stock response to any criticism about new interfaces is always the same mix of meaningless 'statistics' like increase in efficiency or deployment cost savings and reduction in TCO, glossy images and words about new features and changing the way you live and bringing your virtual world together, and dismissive comments about the 'vocal few' who just don't want to change.

        3. h4rm0ny

          Re: History repeats itself

          "M$ have lost the plot. They haven't had a truly viable product for years, and with each month they fall further behind."

          Windows 7 has been very well received. If that's not recent enough for you, Azure is doing quite well and seems to be growing. If that's not recent enough for you, Server 2012 has some fantastic new features and is being very well received indeed. Particularly by those interested in virtualisation.

          "The much-vaunted "surface" was shown to be an expensive joke"

          How? Where? By who? You? Again, a lot of people like the look of it, reviewers seem optimistic and as far as I know prices haven't even been announced. Now that we've seen Office 2013 and know what is meant by "Office Preview" on the WindowsRT version, and it's pretty much the full office as far as 90% of the userbase are concerned, it looks like it's going to fly off the shelves if the pricing is even remotely sane.

          "Windows Vista, 7 (and now 8) is just more shiny nonsense stuck on top of the same old broken, rotten core"

          You plainly know very little about this, then.

          "The programmers with any clue left M$ ten years ago when the marketers took over running the company"

          Anyone who writes an operating system - whether Linux, Windows or Mac OS is worth some respect. It's not an easy task at all. You sound like someone who has never even ventured into Systems Programming.

          "M$ need to realise that there's nothing cheaper than free"

          Actually there is something cheaper than free - paying up front for what you find most suitable and making it back in increased productivity and staff costs. I use Linux for all my servers, but I use MS Office and Windows 7 for my business work. When Win8 comes out, I shall probably get a hybrid with a stylus for taking notes and sketching out diagrams for people. Partly because I like Win8 but also because I can hook it into existing Windows infrastructure neatly and take advantage of things like secure document management and cloud-based user profiles and security models to control it lock it down. These are big plusses for the corporate world.

          "- even the most naive user now knows that a significant part of the cost of his store-bought computer is going to Redmond."

          So tell me how much of the cost of a £400 laptop goes to MS and how you know this. And exactly what constitutes a significant part of the cost of a £400? Acer have a policy of refunding £20 for unused Windows 7 Starter edition. If you give them the computer, they will remove the OS and give it back to you plus refund. Big manufacturers do not buy their copies of Windows retail! Besides, you pre-suppose most buyers don't want a discounted copy of Windows coming with their computer. Do you think they'd prefer getting a blank PC and then going and buying a copy of Windows themselves without the benefit of the manufacturers bulk-bargaining with MS? Or do you suppose most users would be happy installing Ubuntu? Ubuntu is fine, but if you're going to rant about this, back it up with figures and think about what most users would like, not just people with an obvious bias against Microsoft such as yourself.

          Companies are not football teams. They are companies and they sell you things if you give them money and don't if you wont. It is silly to take sides as if they are your friend and cheer or hurl abuse at the 'rival team'.

        4. Jean-Luc Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          @AlbertH. Re: History repeats itself

          >BSD kernel - it's getting old and tired, and has reached its limits.

          OK, I can safely disregard the rest of your comments then.

      3. Mikel
        Devil

        Re: History repeats itself

        You seem confident in a Microsoft win here, but all the wins you speak of are in the past and not related to the future growth, nor controlled by history. Microsoft has lost control of innovation and that loss of control is more significant than anything else you might put here. We're going mobile and Microsoft isn't coming with us.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Matt

        "No. There is competition if you are talking consumer users, but the enterprise isn't interested in Linux desktops in any great number, and definitely not in Apple."

        I'm not too sure about that. Quite often people stick to what they have decided on but when something drastic happens, such as this, there are plenty of companies which will revise their IT strategies. Only to learn that a lot of their information regarding competition is outdated and that the competitors also made advantages.

        I'm not into Apple at all but was still impressed with this: A friend of mine who is fully Apple minded told me how his MacBook at some day didn't work as it should any longer. As such he re-installed the OS.

        On Windows this means getting hold of the installation media (that is: if you were lucky enough to actually GET installation media and didn't forget to put it somewhere safe) and after you've done that reinstalling the lot. Whoops; where is that serial key again ?

        On Mac (note: this is as it has been told to me): You connect your Macbook to the Internet, it contacts Apple main repository, /verifies the hardware as authentic, and you can go right ahead with the re-install process. Straight from the Internet.

        How's that for userfriendlyness?

        I don't know Apple, I don't keep up with all this. But if they managed to provide even more of these features which could also make Enterprise usage a lot easier then yes; I think Apple could be a player to fear.

        Don't forget: even the whole MS Office 2010 suite runs perfectly on Apple as well which is in most cases the key issue when it comes to office use in the Enterprise.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: @Matt

          "On Windows this means getting hold of the installation media (that is: if you were lucky enough to actually GET installation media and didn't forget to put it somewhere safe) and after you've done that reinstalling the lot. Whoops; where is that serial key again ?"

          Win8 works in a similar way to the Mac. There are a couple of options built in - a soft re-install that will keep your app settings and what you have installed, etc. And a hard re-install which is essentially a reset to how it was when it arrived.

    2. durbans
      WTF?

      Re: History repeats itself

      "Add up the Metro lock in (read: MS tries to get all 3rd party software cut off and instead channelled through their marketplace) and one has to wonder how much of a desktop OS is really left ?"

      Ermm.....how about the whole desktop OS, which is still there? Unless you're planning on getting a Windows 8 ARM tablet, in which case just like every other mobile OS, you can only install the apps from the 'App Store'. Are you not aware that Windows will come in WinRM (for ARM) and Windows 8 (for x86/amd64) variants? It's either ignorance or stupidity which leads you to the belief that the desktop OS has been abandoned.

      And on the subject of tablets, with Win8 you can have a full desktop OS on a desktop or a tablet (x32/amd64), or a tablet OS (ARM) on a tablet. People seem to assume (remember: assumption=mother of all cock ups) that MS are only releasing the WinRM (tablet) version of their OS, and not giving the tech world the worlds first tablet running a fully fledged OS. Every other tablet ever released has been a consumption device, WinRM will provide the first tablet device for production use with no 'Metro lock-in'. Show me another tablet OS which doesn't lock you in to their App Store...rooting doesn't count.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: History repeats itself

        Android doesn't lock you in. If you want to use other 'appstores', you just untick the setting.

      2. Mika Peltokorpi

        Re: History repeats itself

        "It's either ignorance or stupidity which leads you to the belief that the desktop OS has been abandoned."

        Ditto. At least in multiple YouTube videos there is Desktop application, which seems to be well sufficent for all people needing "legacy UX". For example here:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VnsHmVs1UA

        Altough the black tile "Start menu" from task bar seems to be missing in latest reviews. For example here:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yw_0e7JV2Vg

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: History repeats itself

        " Show me another tablet OS which doesn't lock you in to their App Store"

        Errm, Android.....

        You untick the option, and you are free to roam whereever... No rooting required. The fact you don't know that means the only clueless jackass here is YOU.

    3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: History repeats itself

      "How long before Ballmer starts to wonder if there are still some people around who can program a start menu from scratch ?"

      Ballmer will never do that. His successor might, but googling for Classic Shell is likely to be less effort. Alternatively, his boss might start wondering if there are still some people around who can milk a monopoly (coz MS *are* still a near monopoly on the desktop) without ripping its udders off.

    4. Fred Goldstein
      FAIL

      Re: History repeats itself

      Of course Win8 is an epic fail. Its tiled UI and lack of proper multitasking harken back to Windows 1, back in 1985. What an abomination that was. It was featured on the DEC VAXmate, a major-league disaster of its own.

      But MS doesn't have much competition on the desktop, other than themselves. Win7 will kill Win 8 the same way XP killed Vista. They could of course listen to customers and make 8.5 work better on the desktop, rather than demand Metro. Or they could double down and hope people give up the features they need because only tablets are k3wl and Steve B wants you to pretend you have one.

      What other competition is there? MacOS only runs on one vendor's designer hardware, and it's a cult item with a rather specialized set of available software. Great for video editing, nonexistent for GIS, lame for games, and weak on many business applications. Linux is a server OS that after 20 years remains three years away from being useful on the average person's desktop. RHEL on the desktop is how a nerd writes and tests server code. Ubuntu is how a nerd talks down to people.

  4. Heathroi
    Coat

    does this mean he slated it on a desktop? (gets coat, slinks out)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > does this mean he slated it on a desktop? (gets coat, slinks out)

      But on the plus side Steve Ballmer isn't off his tablets....

  5. tkioz
    Holmes

    Well Duh!

    Anyone with have a brain was saying that when the first screen shots came out!

    I don't mind the idea of Windows on a touch screen, it actually looks pretty good, and I look forward to trying it... but damnit leave our desktop alone!

    I don't know why everyone is so obsessed with "replacing" the desktop... There is something to be said for a nice comfortable office chair, a nice desk, and a big ass 24" monitor. The current Windows 7 UI is very nice, very easy to use.

    Why on Earth anyone would want to replace their nice desktop with a big screen with a tiny little fondleslap is beyond me... supplement, sure it's great, best device for each job... but not replace...

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: Well Duh!

      what I need is a system I can touch while sitting on the can

      desktops are simply obsolete

      1. Peter Storm

        Re: Well Duh!

        Along with punctuation?

      2. Ian Yates
        WTF?

        Re: Well Duh!

        Good for you. Now what about the rest of us who sit at a /desk/ to get our daily job done?

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: Well Duh!

          You should try working from the can too. I make sandwiches in the morning and then just sit on the can 9-5 straight without moving. Real productive, it's Agile.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Well Duh!

            Not all of us have shit jobs.

          2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: Well Duh!

            "I [...] just sit on the can 9-5 straight without moving."

            You can get special chocolate for that, you know.

          3. Doug Glass
            Go

            Re: Well Duh!

            And become a charter member of Hemorrhoids R Us.

      3. Piro

        Re: Well Duh!

        I never understood the need for anything while on the can. My bowel movements take an extremely short time, to be honest, often less time than a number one..

        That aside, desktops are far from obsolete. I have a perfectly powerful laptop with a 1920x1200 screen, so I could compute anywhere! Would I bollocks, though, because I can sit in my huge armchair with multiple monitors filling my vision, and enjoy the sheer power I get from a desktop at a much lower price point...

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: Well Duh!

          sounds like a highly inefficient system to me!

          You must waste an awful lot of time each day simply travelling between the desk, the can and the fridge. I used to be a travelling salesperson so I have a keen eye for minimizing such inefficiencies.

          Tell me this - why aren't there tables in front of cans? Every chair has a table, but no can has one. Ever needed to put something down while using the can? Where do you put it? on top of the tank? sure, but it doesn't balance so well and there's no much space, plus it is inconveniently placed behind you. Come on lets have proper tables in FRONT of the can. There's one for Dragons Den.

          1. Ian Yates
            Joke

            Re: Well Duh!

            Behind you?! I think you're doing it wrong: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_Cowgirl_(South_Park)

            1. andy k O'Croydon

              Re: Well Duh!

              @Ian Yates: also known as AC Slatering.

              http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ac%20slatering

        2. boltar Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: Well Duh!

          "My bowel movements take an extremely short time, to be honest, often less time than a number one.."

          You need to get your prostate checked then. Or stop taking the laxatives.

        3. Doug Glass
          Go

          Re: Well Duh!

          Write your "bowel time" statement down (or print it) and read it on your 65th birthday. Times will change .... times for all things.

        4. IronSteve

          Re: Well Duh!

          "I never understood the need for anything while on the can. My bowel movements take an extremely short time, to be honest, often less time than a number one.."

          What's the rush? Take some time and relax in the one place you can actually get some peace...could change your life ;)

          1. NomNomNom

            Re: Well Duh!

            useful #2 advice all round guys, thanks

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. LinkOfHyrule

              This is a joke...

              I really wish you guys would stay on topic ffs - this thread was supposed to be all about bowel movements! I see absolutely no reason to bring up computer hardware! Jeeze!

          2. HandleOfGod

            Re: Well Duh!

            "What's the rush? Take some time and relax in the one place you can actually get some peace...could change your life ;)"

            I agree. Was always very quick until I discovered I could use my phone (or tablet) to sit there sorting out all the crap in my inbox, deleting / filing as appropriate etc. Sure I could probably be out quicker if I didn't but it's more relaxing not to rush in and out besides, no-one bothers me in there and I get the added benefit of getting back to my desk to find my inbox much less cluttered!

      4. Stuart Castle

        Re: Well Duh!

        Tell that the the 100s of millions of users who use a PC professionally. Some will use laptops, and tablets, but I'll wager the bulk of them use some sort of desktop PC.

        1. Sean Timarco Baggaley
          FAIL

          Re: Well Duh!

          "Some will use laptops, and tablets, but I'll wager the bulk of them use some sort of desktop PC."

          You haven't been paying attention then: 75% or so of ALL PC sales over the last few years have been laptops, not desktops. Offices cost money to fill and run; why spend money on big, fat, desktops when a cheap laptop will do the job just as well, and use less electricity?

          And those laptops now tend to come with multi-touch capable touch pads. (The ones found in most of Apple's laptops are made by Synaptics. You may have heard of them.)

          THAT is why Microsoft is moving away from the mouse, which was always a terrible input device. Most RSI is caused by the mouse, not the keyboard. I haven't bothered using one in six months now and my carpal tunnel problem has thanked me for it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Well Duh!

            Who said anything about big fat desktops? All-in-ones are all the rage now. And these have basically laptop hardware and PSUs so I doubt there's much difference in power consumption. And if you want to avoid filling an office, where are your employees actually going to sit? On their sofa at home?

            The ergonomics of laptops are crap. In a comfortable sitting position your hands and eyeline are usually fairly far apart, so joining the keyboard and screen together is never going to be a great idea. Never mind the cramped, limited-travel keyboards. Touch screens are OK for tablets, but when you actually have to start lifting your arm up to poke a screen at eye height their appeal fades.

            If your job involves typing stuff on a computer all day, you don't really want a laptop (even less so a tablet).

            1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

              All-in-ones

              I don't think all-in-ones are likely to be the rage in office environments. A few years ago I spent too much money on a big monitor for my home PC. More recently I've been working in offices where I have two, three or four small screens - the very opposite of the all-in-one. I sit here wishing I hadn't wasted money on that big screen.

              You're right about laptops, though.

          2. Zippy the Pinhead
            FAIL

            Re: Well Duh!

            Because if it has a keyboard and a mouse it can still be more efficient to use those features. Moving your hand away from such is a serious pain.. especially if you keep your screen pushed away like I do... That's why I always use a full sized keyboard and mouse when I know I'm going to be sitting for a while in the same location.

            Also some people hate having to wipe greasy fingerprints off of something so fragile as a laptop screen.

          3. Tom 13

            Re: 75% or so of ALL PC sales over the last few years have been laptops

            Well, Duh! again:

            Laptops are 75% of all sales for the last few years because in addition to having a 20-30% premium over desktops, they also last at most 3 years whereas your desktop is expected to last 3-5. Give me a count of the number of devices in service at your standard enterprise and you'll see a completely different story. And that's what we're focused on here: enterprise.

            1. /dev/null
              Thumb Up

              Re: 75% or so of ALL PC sales over the last few years have been laptops

              Good point - your average road warrior probably burns through laptops a lot quicker than a desk-bound office drone gets their PC replaced.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I haven't bothered using (a mouse) in six months

            I've not used a mouse for years - trackballs, OTOH ...

          5. Nigel 11
            Facepalm

            Re: Well Duh!

            > THAT is why Microsoft is moving away from the mouse, which was always a terrible input device.

            Just in case you are not trolling, and haven't worked this out, despite your claimed pain.

            A mouse is the only pointer device(*) that is not anchored to the rest of the hardware, and is therefore capable of being used in a way that does NOT cause muscular strain or carpal tunnel syndrome. The problem is that 9/10 users don't know how, and 9/10 won't change even when you show them how.

            Take the mouse off the desktop and put it on your thigh. Learn to move the cursor with several swipes, rather than thinking you have to move it from top left to bottom right without taking it off the surface it's resting on.

            This way, you can control your computer without using any muscles other than those in your fingers, until you have to switch to the keyboard. It might feel awkward at first (I can't remember). So does riding a bicycle.

            (*) actually not quite true, the other option is a trackball.

      5. Doug Glass
        Go

        Re: Well Duh!

        Oh really? You let others (human and machine) have that much control over your life? There are times I don't want the rest of the world in my space. Not to be confused with MySpace.

      6. Amorous Cowherder
        Facepalm

        Re: Well Duh!

        @NomNomNom - Well I'd never have guessed you typed that erudite treatise on a "fondle-slab"!

  6. Blarkon
    WTF?

    Fixed with a fracking start icon

    All it needs is a fracking start icon on the taskbar. The "wave the mouse in the corner" trick is going to be the operating system's downfall.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fixed with a fracking start icon

      ...and the ability to run several apps on the screen side by side, or overlaid. You know, as windows. Windows. Being able to have just one Metro app on the screen, with a second (or more) sidelined to a narrow preview panel, is never going to work. I've been at my desktop fro about 30 minutes this morning and I currently have seven apps on screen. How's that gonna work in Metro?

      As others have said, Microsoft, do what you like on the tablets but leave our desktops alone!

    2. Ian Yates

      Re: Fixed with a fracking start icon

      Massively agree.

      I tried Win8 preview and really didn't care about Metro except that it replaces the quick-to-use orb. While I might eventually get used to the Metro way of doing everything, why do I want to see a bunch of widgets every time I want to run an application?

      @AC: "full" Win8 is just Win7 with Metro; I think you're talking about Win8 RT (or Windows on ARM), which only runs Metro applications.

      1. durbans

        Re: Fixed with a fracking start icon

        Weird, I only ever see all my applications when I want to run an application and click the Start/Metro button (you know, the one that appears when I move my mouse to where Start 'used to be' (read: still is). Oh, and my most used Internet Favourites (which I pinned to start). Oh, and my most used documents (which I pinned to start)... Have you not figured out how to move/remove the 'Apps' yet and pin things to Start?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fixed with a fracking start icon

      The thing that annoys me the most is that if you mouse right into the bottom left where the start button should be you can get to the metro menu anyway, why remove an easy to use button and replace it with the same, (Nearly the same with the whole metro screen instead of start menu), functionality but without showing users it's there unless they accidentally mouse into that corner and see the metro preview image?

      1. Arctic fox
        Windows

        Re: "Fixed with a fracking start icon" Try performing exactly the same................

        ...........mouse movement only "right-click" when you reach bottom left. Yes, that's right - you'll see an entirely different menu that has absolutely nothing to do with the metro start menu. A whole list of facilities that bear an amazing resemblance to - well I'll leave you to find out for yourself.

    4. h4rm0ny

      Re: Fixed with a fracking start icon

      "The "wave the mouse in the corner" trick is going to be the operating system's downfall."

      I literally just drag the mouse to the farthest it will go in the bottom left and that triggers the Metro screen. There's no aiming required at all. Possibly you are using an older preview version?

      1. Arctic fox
        Thumb Up

        Re: "Possibly you are using an older preview version?"

        That very possible. The response to mouse and touch gestures and the nature of those gestures was significantly changed/improved between the "Build" version and the "Customer Preview". The degree of predictability and precision in the CP version is a different ball game entirely in comparison to the pre-beta.

      2. Paul Shirley

        Re: Fixed with a fracking start icon

        I literally just drag the mouse to the farthest it will go in the bottom left and that puts it on my 2nd monitor. Having something to actually aim for bigger than 1 pixel seems like a damn good idea.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: Fixed with a fracking start icon

          "I literally just drag the mouse to the farthest it will go in the bottom left and that puts it on my 2nd monitor"

          Well okay, if the mouse is on my second monitor, I have to actually pause it in the area so in that specific case it is no better than Windows 7, I will grant you. But I'm in the habit of using the Windows Key so I haven't really noticed.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Fixed with a fracking start icon

            Actually, it is better than Windows 7 because the context area is on both monitors. In my Win7 version, I have my primary screen on the right so I have to move the mouse all the way over to the second monitor (I have two 24" ones) to click on the start menu. On Win8, every monitor has the menu area on it. So it's actually less mouse travelling on average.

            1. The Brave Sir Robin
              Flame

              Re: Fixed with a fracking start icon

              So the correct solution is as implemented in 3rd party utilities like Actual Multiple Monitors or Ultramon where you get a task bar and Start button on every monitor rather than having to hover over specific pixels in either corner. The main problem. This would have been much more sensible that the context breaking major distraction that is Metro on the desktop.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are these guys still going?

    Gartner has a great knack of stating the F****ing obvious (as well as another one for getting everything totally wrong, I'll let google be your friend here)

    My (non-IT) boss used to pay a fortune for these to look smart in meetings I wish I'd kept a couple of the ones from a few years ago there were some real crackers in there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are these guys still going?

      True, another point about Gartner is that they, like most analysts, will not come out with a clear opinion on anything because, like every analyst group, their major funding source are the IT vendors themselves. They do not want to upset any of their major customers. It is the same conflict of interest as the securities rating agencies. They are dependent upon the firms they are supposed to be impartially analyzing... which makes it all the more interesting that they are actually coming down hard on Windows 8.

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Are these guys still going?

        I think it's more the case that their major customers don't want to upset them

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are these guys still going?

      It's a funny old world..

      For years Gartner was predicting the early demise of the O/S I was using, yet it was still going strong a decade later.

      We got used to ignoring Gartner but when they come up with something we agree with, we suddenly forget all our old prejudices :-D

    3. Tom 13

      Re: Gartner has a great knack

      Yeah, we all know that. But the point is, the PHBs who make the money decisions listen to them. So when Garner agrees with us, it's a serious problem for MS. Which is sort of the point of the article, even if he was long winded about it.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just upgraded to Win7 from XP

    My next upgrade is not due until "Windows Catch-up II"

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      My next upgrade is not due until Win7 no longer runs the hardware I use - I give it about a decade, based on WinXP experience.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Win7 (and WinXP) will still be running fine on anything you can buy in ten years time. (The overheads of running in a VM are probably even now only equivalent to a month or two of Moore's Law. I can't see them getting larger in the future.) The only reason to move away from Windows is the same as the only reason to stick with it: are the apps you want to run available on a given platform?

  9. jake Silver badge

    IMO, Microsoft has been bad for networked desktop users since it's inception.

    That includes SneakerNet, before MS-DOS 3.1 ;-)

  10. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Boffin

    Balmers Reaction?

    Puts fingers in ears

    Closes eyes

    and shouts

    "La-La-la-la-la. I can't hear you"

    Then he kicks a chair through the window of his office.

    It still won't make one iota of difference. They are already totally indoctrinated with the 'Touch only' mantra to care.

    For once and even though the report says nothing new to the 'El Reg' crowd this report will be used by a huge number of IT bosses the world over to stop upgrades to this waste of space OS.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Balmers Reaction?

      Isn't he still busy killing Google?

  11. 404 Silver badge

    Service Pack 1 (win8SP1)

    "will give users a choice via the Metro interface or the classic Windows 7 desktop"

    Bet ya.

    ;)

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Service Pack 1 (win8SP1)

      The problem that Microsoft faces is that they have been told that the desktop PC market will decline and mobile devices will increase. MS have almost no presence in the tablet of phone market. If they do nothing other than what they have been doing they will have reducing revenues.

      In order to have increasing revenue in the future is to be successful in tablets, mobile phone and in selling software through an app store. They also need to take revenue from retail sales through their own stores and from OEMs by building their own machines. In other words become more like Apple.

      Given that their WP7 has been rejected they conclude that this is because of unfamiliarity. The solution is to make it "the most familiar UI" and then users will _demand_ that UI on their tablets and phones. They will then have Microsoft products for desktop, phone, mobile device (Surface), games console and entertainment centre all working together and the world will be a better place (and MS much richer).

      The first step is where users learn to love Metro, everything else then follows. If this step fails then the whole strategy falls down. So, no, they won't make Metro optional. They will make it more difficult for people to load a different OS (secure boot) so users can't escape from Metro. They will probably have sufficient file incompatibilities in Office 2013 to force other users to upgrade and will make Windows 8/Metro a requirement as soon as possible.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Service Pack 1 (win8SP1)

        "They will make it more difficult for people to load a different OS (secure boot) so users can't escape from Metro"

        It's actually a requirement by Microsoft for an x86 device to get the Approved sticker, that the user be able to disable secure boot.

        "They will probably have sufficient file incompatibilities in Office 2013 to force other users to upgrade"

        I've been using Office 2013 beta and files created with it by default have opened fine in Office 2010 so far. I've not noticed any change. You need to back accusations such as this up, otherwise you're just scare-mongering.

        Although that may be your aim as you have a history of posts like this. I recall you stated previously how the Surface would have heating problems. When I pointed out it actually had quite a neat all around vent so that it had airflow however you held it, you excitedly responded with a complaint that the Surface wouldn't be waterproof! Well, with a determination to find fault like that, I'm inclined to ask you to provide evidence of any accusations you make from here on.

      2. Tom 13

        Re: The solution is to make it "the most familiar UI"

        Let me fix that for you:

        MS have concluded the solution is to make it "the most familiar UI"

        The real solution is to write a fracking mobile OS that works independently of the OS you know so well. Putting a new GUI on a polished turd isn't going to make the turd any more palatable.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Service Pack 1 (win8SP1)

      More likely a Windows 8 Desktop Edition (aka 8.5), or a Windows 9 will roll around tout de suite. Windows 7 turned up after Vista in about 18 months. I wouldn't be surprised if 6-12 months after Windows 8 debuts that a partial fix appears with another release soon after.

      1. hitmouse

        Re: Service Pack 1 (win8SP1)

        More like 36 months separated Vista and Windows 7

        Windows Vista was released on 30 November 2006

        Windows 7was released to manufacturing on 22 July 2009, and reached general retail availability on 22 October 2009

      2. Robert E A Harvey

        @ DrXym Re: Service Pack 1 (win8SP1)

        I believe the gramattically correct form is "tout de bloody suite"

    3. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Service Pack 1 (win8SP1)

      I'll take that bet as I don't think it will.

      9 on the other hand........

      It all depends on how well 8 goes with the public. If there is the mass rush to touch interfaces that MS are hoping for, then they'll probably stick to their guns and push same to the corporates. If touchy , feely desktops don't take off, 9 will get the schizophrenic makeover.

    4. John Bailey

      Re: Service Pack 1 (win8SP1)

      I'm betting that within a week of it coming out, someone will publish a tweak or a download that bypasses the Metro UI.

      1. Yet Another Commentard

        Re: Service Pack 1 (win8SP1)

        @John Bailey

        Stardock is your friend. Boot direct to desktop, and put a "start" icon back from one little fix.

  12. Combat Wombat
    Gimp

    Yup ! time to get those win7 certs

    Win 7 is the new XP, its going to be around for the next 20 years, and will be pulled from business users cold dead hands.

    1. John Bailey
      Happy

      Re: Yup ! time to get those win7 certs

      Ahh.. Like Vista..

      So using Windows 7 makes you suicidal..

  13. Khaptain Silver badge

    The article discusses both good and bad points about Windows8. He is not saying the W8 is bad, only that it is bad on the desktop.

    I am not advocating W8 here but the article is actually a clear resume of what W8 is and what it is not.

    Kudos to the writer even though El Reg commentards have stated all of this for several months now.

    1. Stuart Castle

      I don't think that, under the hood at least, Windows 8 is bad. Admittedly, I haven't tried it on a lot of machines, but even in beta, it seems quite quick and driver support seems good.

      The problem is Metro.

      Metro is fine as a touch screen OS. Although I'd argue in terms of interface, it's still a generation behind Android or iOS. OK, it has "Live Tiles", which may prove to be handy (although I don't see how they'd be "that" much more useful than the lock screen indicators or notifications offered by both Android and iOS, or indeed, the notifications offered by Windows Mobile), but it lacks any form of organisational tools (such as folders).

      This is bad enough on a mobile, where you might have a few apps and documents you are working on, but when you scale it up to a desktop where you might have a few suites that could contain dozens of icons (E.G. Office, or Visual Studio to name but two), and where previous versions of the OS dating back 20 years have had folders of some form or another, then it's a confusing step backward.

      I think the problem is that Microsoft have seen how tablets running iOS and Android have eaten in to their market share, and seen how their previous attempts at tablets have failed and they are panicking.

      They thought that a unified user interface would help them sell tablets. It didn't. Part of the reason their tablets failed last time is that the Windows interface doesn't scale down well.

      The problem is now that they are looking at things from the other end of the scale. They think a tablet interface will scale up to a full desktop. It doesn't.

      Essentially Microsoft need to stop with this idea of one size fits all for UIs.. It doesn't work. If it did, Apple would have replaced Finder (OSx's default interface) with iOS's. They didn't. They offer Launchpad (which is iOS like) as an app, but it runs on top of Finder, it does not replace it.

      In short, they should offer Metro as an option, it should not be the only option, or the default one.

      1. Tom 13

        @Stuart Castle: I'd give a gazillion upvotes for this one statement if I could:

        Essentially Microsoft need to stop with this idea of one size fits all for UIs.. It doesn't work.

        Now If only we could get it through the thick skulls over at MS....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I agree with you

        Microsoft is going to learn the hard way that the 'one (ugly?) UI to rule them all' approach is not going to work.

        This is a good time to start snapping up copies of Windows 7.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ok

    Well, that's fine, its his opinion

    but this comment is a bit dim

    " I can’t tell you the last time I had to ask someone how to do something in a client OS.”"

    It is a new OS, that by its very nature, for better or worse, is different, to assume that you should know everything about everything is somewhat arrogant, asking for help is not a bad thing, its how we all learn.

    All it does is point out that the OS has a different way of doing something and that its not so obvious, once you know it though it because as simple as it always did so....

    Im not saying that its all good, that would be stupid on this website as id be downvoted to oblivion, but one of his comments IS stupid no matter how you look at it.

    1. Spiff66
      Unhappy

      Re: ok

      No it should be pretty obvious when you are trying to do basics. I've had a look at win8 on a vm. So far with metro i've had to google for update and restart, make a website a favourite and a lot more of the mouse clicking waving around nonsense. The guy has a point. If you want folks to use it then dont turn your OS into a guessing game. Even switching from macos9 to osx wasnt this much of a pain. If the techies are struggling to work out how to use it then what chance does your average office worker actually have. Microsoft have some good ideas but the good stuff is being smothered by this obsession with metro.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ok

        I like the word 'obsession', because it is too true. Microsoft is absolutely besotted with Metro.

        Watch and laugh/weep:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc7HPmPQV9E

        In my opinion, other software vendors should say 'screw you' to Microsoft and not code a Metro version of their software. For example, Firefox, already has a desktop version and a mobile version for Android.

        The very fact that there are two versions of IE10 on Windows 8 (desktop version and Metro version) is very telling of this schizophrenic mess. Other software vendors should stay away.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ok

        No, that's simply wrong, it is easy to do it, you just need to know about the charms. I hate to fire off the obligatory car reference but several fit, one car radio is the same as another right? yes but how many times have even professionals had to pull out a manual, according to you its not needed at all, because it MUST be so simple and similar to others. You learn to drive an automatic, a manual is essentially the same, but if your shoved in to it without any instruction you will have issues, those bloody cars that keep turning off when you stop, you can drive as a profession and not know how to deal with it, what do you do, sit in the car twiddling your thumbs or ask for help? whether or not you ask for help is simply down to how stubborn and arrogant you are

        The user who asks for help first and be open to change will be the user who can adapt and progress in life with ease, there is absolutely no harm or shame in asking for help, but I guess all you down votes are too clever for that.

        Its funny, the people I know who know the most will admit to knowing bugger all, those that think they know it all tend to know the least

    2. AlanS
      Paris Hilton

      Re: ok

      I use Unix for work, Linux for pleasure, but I can usually help people when they want advice on their MS or Apple machines, even though that may be my first exposure for weeks. If a knowledgeable user can't find something, he's probably not going to roll out an office-full.

    3. The obvious
      Facepalm

      Re: ok

      Not to mention that if you remote desktop to a Win8 box (from Win7 at least) and press the start key then the start menu actually does come up. But that much is, as ever, The Bleedin Obvious.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I smell BS

    Microsoft loaned Berger a Samsung slate device and he found that Windows 8 gets around some of the problems he's seen trying to get enterprise apps running on a tablet.

    I'm going to say the number of Metro interface enterprise apps for them to test range between 0 and 2, so they must be using standard enterprise software on Windows 8 desktop, which begs the question why bother with Windows 8 when these touch screen devices are going to be using the Desktop 90% of the time?

    I tried both previews for around a month each when they came out on a spare laptop and it was simply painful. The switching between the Desktop and Metro interface was just rubbish and could be massively improved. Unfortunately judging by details of the latest builds it hasn't been. As long as it continues to feel like two different computers fighting for the monitor the longer it'll stay off any of my machines

    1. Ian Yates

      Re: I smell BS

      I think that's where his "replacing my laptop and iPad" comment came in: Win8 desktop for enterprise (laptop) usage and Metro for lighter iPad-esque usage.

      I've only played with Win8 on a desktop, but I could see how Metro would work well for a touch-based interface.

      I'll stick with my Transformer and ThinkPad, though. I don't want to mix personal and business usages and accounts.

  16. Jon Double Nice

    How about with a touchy apple-like mouse?

    You could do the gestures on that to swipe menus onto the screen?

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      Re: How about with a touchy apple-like mouse?

      How about cutting out this typewriter crap and going for direct neural interfaces?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How about with a touchy apple-like mouse?

      I've been wondering about that, there doesn't need to be a direct connection between a screen and a touch device, in the same way that you don't move the mouse pointer by touching the screen.

  17. DrXym Silver badge

    Not surprising

    Anyone who has used the consumer / release previews could have told you how frigging awful the experience is with a mouse and keyboard. Metro can be fixed to add that support (e.g. being able to scale tiles in and out, being able to group icons, having some kind of mini launcher to replace start menu etc.) but the cold fact is this release of Windows will not provide that.

    I think for people who want a tablet which turns into a desktop Windows 8 will probably make for a neat fit. Assuming that is they chose by choice or luck to buy a Windows 8 device rather than a Windows RT device.

  18. ncardwell

    Another Vista?

    Another Vista in the making?

    1. Kebablog

      Re: Another Vista?

      Not really Vista. Vista was basically Windows 95 with a tarted up interface (and piss poor driver support), what Windows 8 seems to have done is go back to having Program manager from Windows 3.1 but with nice tiles.

      1. jason 7 Silver badge

        Re: Another Vista?

        Sorry the only part you got right there was piss poor driver support.

        That wasn't really MS's fault, just lazy companies that had plenty of warning but had got lazy with XP being in the channel so long.

        1. Kebablog

          Re: Another Vista?

          Apologies, I meant the look and behaviour of windows has been the same since 95 to Win7 - the background stuff has changed completely. From a user perspective if you could use Windows 95 you could use Windows 7 (it had a start button and menus to nagivate) - now Windows 8 changes the front end that will lead to user problems.

        2. kb

          Re: Another Vista?

          Actually it WAS MS's fault, as they changed a good chunk of the driver model is Beta 2 which threw out all the work that the hardware companies had done so naturally they backlashed. Many of the Intel drivers that worked on alpha and beta 1 were completely trashed and no longer worked by beta 2 for example so you can just imagine how ticked the companies were when MS changed the driver underpinning with less than 6 months before launch.

      2. Philip Lewis
        FAIL

        Re: Another Vista?

        Vista was a completely different operating system from Win95 (and Win98, Win98SE, and WinME).

        Your comment shows ignorance of fact and history.

        1. Kebablog

          Re: Another Vista?

          I bow down to your superior knowledge.

    2. Tom 13

      Re: Another Vista?

      Actually, I smell 98ME. Vista at least had some early adopters and sustained hype. This one's not even out the door and we're talking about GARTNER of all companies coming out and saying it's crap for the desktop. Something so bad even GARTNER admits its crap should never make it past the alpha-test marketing group.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another Vista?

      No. Much, much worse than Vista or WinME.

  19. iansn

    I've had it running on a tablet for 2 months and it is really good, and I've had it running on my servers for 4 months and it is MS best ever server OS. Why isn't it on my desktop, well its not touch enabled and I need to work, and its not cut out for that job. Where are the majority of MS customers, they are on the desktop. Well Android and Linux and so on really need to get their skates on cos MS has made a substaniail mistake here. I seriously doubt if they will though, they have never managed it in the past..... If the new Office cocks up then it could be game over for MS.

  20. David 45

    Pain will ensue!

    Surely constantly lifting one's arm up to touch an upright desktop screen will eventually take its toll? Can't see myself doing that for any length of time. Sounds incredibly awkward to me. What is MS thinking?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Spot on !

      This mouse-gesture fad has obviously gotten Ballmer's ear and has subjugated him so completely that he thinks that a touch interface can work just like a mouse/keyboard combo.

      You have to be brain-dead to believe that.

      I can believe that Metro works on a tablet. Ever since I got a Galaxy S II, I understand how the touch interface evolved into what it currently is. For a phone, a tablet or any other small device that cannot have a dedicated keyboard, it is the perfect choice.

      But nothing that has a touch interface can possibly be used like a desktop PC, and vice-versa. And I'll believe the fairy tale about how desktops are disappearing when all the insurance and banking businesses have replaced them with tablets everywhere. Including the back office.

      Won't happen, ever.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pain will ensue!

      I suspect that you're really going to be expected - long term - to get a touchpad or a kinnect designed for close up use.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pain will ensue!

        I'm sure our CAD engineers will love designing gearboxes on a small tablet PC with a touch interface in preference to a massive LCD screen and mouse/spaceball combination. I'm also pretty sure our scientists and maths people will also love having their 3D graphs and charts displayed on a tiny screen where they have to select individual elements with a massive bloody great finger. And just imagine how lovely it'll be for our finance people when they discover 1/2 the working day is lost to people wiping the freaking finger marks off their screens.

        I have a tablet and I love it (Nice one ASUS) but it drives me mad with the finger marks and I have dry skin so what a standard greasy person will leave behind I dread to think. I hate it when people touch my full size monitors. The last thing I want is to work through a haze of bloody finger grease all day.

  21. Mikko
    Linux

    Catching up to Linux in user friendliness

    Perhaps there will be some handholding in the release version to try and help 60-somethings (and 30-somethings and 15-somethings, for that matter!) get to grips with the new UI. But if you have to support your parents or other folks in computer matters, tell them to stay away from Windows 8. You don't want those nightmare support calls, trying to teach them to use the new touch-centric UI with a mouse.

    Really, I think the only way to teach someone like my father to use Windows 8 with a mouse would be to give a training course in the essential keyboard shortcuts - it would be like WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS, which he mastered with the help of a keyboard template (anyone remember those paper templates you could put over the keyboard to show which function key did what?). This is progress?

    1. Wensleydale Cheese

      Re: Catching up to Linux in user friendliness

      @Mikko

      "Perhaps there will be some handholding in the release version to try and help 60-somethings (and 30-somethings and 15-somethings, for that matter!) get to grips with the new UI."

      Going back to last century's versions Windows included a pretty decent mouse tutorial for beginners.

      The same approach for Metro would not go amiss.

  22. Nya

    Re: Service Pack 1 (win8SP1)

    While it's all well and good chasing new market share in the tablet/mobile devices. The issue here is all about how MS has done it. They've torpedoed the desktop and laptop market completely in the hope of scaring people off them onto the new devices. It will probably work, the issue is in these markets they are not a dominant force, and while some will shift, most will jump to the two biggest OS's in these markets.

    8 on a production machine, designed to actually do a task where users simply use a mouse and keyboard isn't fit for purpose. The under laying OS is great, and has a lot of fantastic features. It's just that we can't get at them with the utterly backwards GUI.

    We'll see some interesting things once this launches...lots of licenses sold first quarter after release, lots of triumphant acclaim and back slapping. Good sales on tablets. And quickly followed by the desktop and laptop market falling like a brick and HP and Acer and the big OEM's only shipping Pro versions so they get them shipped pre-downgraded to 7. Lot's of fuming at MS, and within a year from now Sinofsky will of gone due to "family reasons" and yes the SP1 will get the more classical Win7 desktop back on it.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please don't let them revert to Classical Windows 7

    Classic XP Only please. Everything else since has been as if it came right from the Fisher Price/Teletubby La-La Land school of design

    1. Piro

      Re: Please don't let them revert to Classical Windows 7

      Oh the painful irony. You mean Windows 2000, right? Because XP had the tellytubby wallpaper and blue bars by default.

      You can't base opinions on an optional theme, because in Windows 7 it's perfectly possible to create a sober theme.

    2. Wensleydale Cheese
      WTF?

      Re: Please don't let them revert to Classical Windows 7

      "Classic XP Only please. Everything else since has been as if it came right from the Fisher Price/Teletubby La-La Land school of design"

      Please dear God no.

      I managed to skip most of XP and once I loaded the XP VM under Windows 7 the contrast was stark. XP was the Fisher Price version. Yes I do switch off transparent windows and other effects and pick a more sober desktop for Win7.

      And I hate those huge cascading menus under XP.. Give me the Win7 Start thingy instead.

      1. kb
        WTF?

        Re: Please don't let them revert to Classical Windows 7

        Funny but the black theme was the ONLY thing I liked about Vista. I have all the Aero junk turned off and a nice flat black theme on Win 7 and its quite nice.

        I agree that going back to XP? Painful on the eyes. What moron though electric blue was a good color choice for the desktop?

    3. William Hinshaw

      Re: Please don't let them revert to Classical Windows 7

      ooooo hahaha PO, La La, Tinky Winky

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lightbulb moment!

    Q.How many Gunnar Berger's does it take to change a lightbulb?

    A. "Change it? Why change it, it has worked perfectly well in the past."

    Things change Gunnar - get used to it.

    1. Medium Dave

      True, but you normally change a lightbulb for another lightbulb.

      Not a bowl of fruit salad.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All the fanboys posting on here the other week saying negative comments were just from luddites have been proven wrong then?

    The traditional GUI was designed for keyboard and mouse, it took many years to develop and research. It has had decades or refinement. So throwing that away to make your OS more tablet compatible is great for tablet users but a step back for those who are using keys and mouse.

    1. Amorous Cowherder
      Unhappy

      Some 20 odd years to refine the classic START button type desktop, to the point even GNOME and KDE had their own variant because it simply works as a desktop design. OSX took a slightly different approach but it's still single-point of access to most needed applications.

      The problem is that if something that works well it means people get comfortable, they don't upgrade and that doesn't shift units!

      Many moons ago tech companies were founded by techies, they thrived on being innovative and getting the best product for the job out there in the hands of those that wanted it. These days MS primary goal, like all tech companies, is not to be innovative it is to make profit and keep the shareholders happy as driven by the marketing department.

    2. Ilgaz

      May I ask...

      So, are you using a force feedback joystick to use an electric car? Why not?

  26. JDX Gold badge

    Windows 8 is very fine on a touch device and gives Microsoft a real crack at the tablet market

    Which is the whole point. W7 is great for enterprise or PC; W8 is designed to challenge iPad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 8 is very fine on a touch device and gives Microsoft a real crack at the tablet market

      Challenge? Not going to happen. The tablet market is sewn up by Apple and Android.

      And if the sales of Windows phones is an indicator of things to come, Microsoft can expect a single digit % of total tablet market share. Doesn't matter how much money is thrown at it.

      If Win8 can't get a decent tablet market share, pisses off enterprise/desktop users, and the Surface caused a revolt from OEMs... it's a perfect storm of bad conditions.

      1. Chika
        Megaphone

        Re: Windows 8 is very fine on a touch device and gives Microsoft a real crack at the tablet market

        Not really the point. The point is whether Microsoft are right to try to combine the OS of touch devices and of desktop/laptop machines. You are probably right about the touch business, both that W8 is good for them and that Android and Apple control the market right now, but the problem is and will continue to be that Windows 8 Metro is proving to be unsuitable for desktops. The arguments that "oh, that's progress, get used to it" or "desktops and laptops are old hat" are used by the ignorant fanbois who will take any marketing line they are fed.

  27. Trollslayer Silver badge

    Not a surprise

    But it is good to see someone drawing together this information that upper management will pay attention to.

    Windows 8, as others have said, is Microsoft's way of getting into the tablet market which they really need to.

    I tihnk Windows 9 will be the next desktop OS from Microsoft.

  28. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Ilgaz

      And nobody at Ms alerted?

      Gartner didn't like a Microsoft product and called the experience bad on traditional PC which are well beyond BILLION units.

      Does managers of Microsoft and large shareholders have drug problem?

  29. jason 7 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    I wonder.....

    .....if there are two development channels at MS for Windows 8.

    1 is the current version of 8 we are seeing and that MS wants to push.

    2 is a version of 8 that has the Start menu etc. still incorporated and could be pushed out a few months later as Windows 8 Sp1 should the press/market reaction be totally diabolical.

    We shall see.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wonder.....

      I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't a registry key you could toggle to remain in the classic desktop. Unless of course WIn8 is massively changed underneath (doubtful).

      1. jason 7 Silver badge

        Re: I wonder.....

        Well the current release that we have all seen of Windows 8 actually has all the Start Button code removed so a reg key wont work. Nothing short of a whole new UI upgrade will give that functionality back, hence why I wonder if there are 'two versions' in parallel development just in case.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bad is an understatement

    Microsoft shareholders: time to sell your MSFT stocks or short them.

    Microsoft employees: time to update your resume, polish your interview skills and snoop around for a new career (just in case).

    Hardware OEMs: don't put all your eggs into one Wintel basket. Diversify your assets.

    Nokia: I mourn and lament your imminent oblivion.

    Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

  31. Phoenix50
    Stop

    Ooooh, I bet the Reg editorial team fucking creamed themselves when they saw the Gartner report., not to mention 90% of the membership on this site.

    Another day, another MS-bashing article for all to see.

    Enjoy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What are the other 10% then? fanboys?

      Have you noticed that OSX still has much of the original OSX design elements. They may have brought some things over from iOS which make sense, but they've not dumbed down the OS like Microsoft has. There's a pretty good reason for this, tablets and desktops are two distinct use cases.

      1. Ilgaz

        Even beyond that

        If you time travelled a MacIntosh or Lisa user from 1984 to today and tell him& her to perform a task on latest OSX, they will have no problem.

  32. Robinson
    Facepalm

    Well...

    I'm aware of people's dislike of change. Something like a PC desktop is kind-of sacred and MS are being VERY brave changing it. They want to eat some of Apple's lunch and that means slate, phone, laptop and the all important APP STORE.

    I tried 8 and it sucked to be honest. I'll stick with 7 until I can no longer avoid 8 due to technological change :). Actually that might not be too long as I'm a Software Developer so it's going to be very difficult for me to avoid 8.

    1. Ilgaz

      Re: Well...

      There are uncountable numbers of machines (must be over billion) that doesn't have and will never have (even if you provide free) touch input.

      You are releasing a touch optimized operating system and call it "upgrade". Seriously people, is this some kind of troll joke? Like, acting dumb?

      I heard 2013 cars will be joystick and touch controlled, don't forget to replace your old fashion car.

  33. Danny 14 Silver badge

    easy fix

    a simple GPO to disable metro would fix it all. Perhaps is should be named "windows 7 mode"?

  34. Nigel 11
    Linux

    Elephant in the room?

    A long time ago, Microsoft ripped off an elephant -- called IBM. Supposedly, elephants never forget.

    It it possible that IBM will decide the time is ripe for revenge? In the form of an IBM-supported Linux-based corporate desktop offering? They've certainly got the know-how and experience.

    Personally, I'm thinking "if only". They'll never have a better chance.

    1. Robinson
      Thumb Down

      Re: Elephant in the room?

      Nope. Not a chance. Why? There are millions (billions) of lines of Windows code out there in the enterprise and on people's desktops. Also, Linux people are arrogant and usually completely arsey with Linux newbies who want support or help.

      1. Ilgaz

        Re: Elephant in the room?

        An enterprise doesn't whine on irc channels for support, they sign a deal with redhat, Novell etc and get same level of professional support from respective companies or their certified consultants.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Elephant in the room?

      IBM are nobody or nothing in the consumer market. They failed with PC Jr.

      They're the worst kind of behemoth, bureaucratic sluggish dull boring company. They make Microsoft look exciting.

    3. Ilgaz

      IBM won't do it

      I have used OS/2 version 3 GUI. The issue with IBM is, they thought people are clever. Majority of people aren't.

      In TV industry, we set the scroller, subtitle speed to slowest reader with problems of comprehension with biggest text possible. You know why? They are the majority.

      Microsoft seems to have similar stupid idea now, just like true object oriented Os/2.

      1. Zack Mollusc
        Unhappy

        Re: IBM won't do it

        Damn it, you reminded me of OS/2. Now I miss it again. And Neko.

  35. N2 Silver badge

    Windows 8 in one word

    "Terrible" was my wifes response

    1. screaming lord wombat

      Re: Windows 8 in one word

      "was that Windows 8" was mine, she didnt even notice for a few hours when using my laptop.

  36. William Hinshaw
    Thumb Down

    Bob 2 gets a thumbs down

    I wonder just what the M$ spin doctors will have to say.

  37. paulc
    Trollface

    "Crazy fast" boot time?

    this will be Microsoft up to their usual cheating best here... all they're doing is restoring a saved state from disk while putting up fake boot sequence messages...

    1. Dana W

      Re: "Crazy fast" boot time?

      Thank you paulc! Why do no reviewers MENTION this?

    2. mmaenpaa

      Re: "Crazy fast" boot time?

      Yep,

      If "cheating" shortens my "old" Lenovo X300 boot time this much (about 50%) I want more.

      http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/09/08/delivering-fast-boot-times-in-windows-8.aspx

      Win8 hibernates the kernel session, but closes user sessions.

      Markku

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Price

    With the endlessly falling cost of hardware, Windows 8 is set to be 8 times more expensive than the hardware it runs on.

  39. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
    Coat

    Re. working from the can

    Not using Windows.

    Core dumps are a *nix thing..

  40. Dropper
    Thumb Up

    Awesome

    "and as much as this doesn’t make any sense, it seems to me that Microsoft forgot about this when they designed Windows 8.”

    Classic..

  41. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Gui mess

    I flick between Windows and Linux installs on this laptop, there are things that work better (for me) in WIn 7 but the updates, exploits and reboots irritate.

    Basically I prefer the stable underpinnings of *nix (no-reboot updates etc.) but the gui on Windows 7 is quite usable so I put up with the "oh my you are getting on well today, I will reboot" for the ubiquitous software support and easy GUI.

    Looks like MS are going to make the decision easier for me, take the flaky underpinnings and stick a interface made from ice cream sticks on the top, that should do it.

    ---

    Yes I do have a current preview Win8 PC here in front of me, turned off.

    Maybe I'm being selfish not to pay out for a touch screen and industrial tub of joint pain reliever.

  42. john devoy

    the only way MS are going to convince people to upgrade to win8 is to release some form of cheap new desktop touch device, cos metro is an abomination using a mouse.

  43. Just Saying 132
    Meh

    If It Ain't Broke It Doesn't Have Enough Features ...

    As an RnD guy we joke around saying things like, "If it ain't broke it doesn't have enough features." The more serious side to this is, "If it ain't broke don't fix it!"

    I know the fools in Redmond think I want to update my OS and all my software every year or so but guess what? I don't. Oh, I know, I know, I should update so I can receive more content from all the bigger, better, badder websites.

    <rant> No, I'm not really interested in more stupid ads, even if the ads are allegedly suited to my interests. I don't want my desktop, laptop and/or tablet all having the same look and feel. In fact I don't want a tablet at all. I'm tired of all the spam emails, I'm tired of all the spam texts to my phone, I'm tired of all the a-hole telemarketers calling daily. I'm tired of cable and phone companies trying to provide me better service which only turns out to be a euphemism for me paying more for less. I'm tired of it all. </rant>

    I think I'll be sticking to my 10 year old XP machine and Office 2003. Seems to work just fine for what I do.

  44. bluest.one
    Holmes

    Windows 8: neither fish nor fowl.

  45. jim 45

    awesome analysis

    "desktops have a keyboard and a mouse; and as much as this doesn’t make any sense, it seems to me that Microsoft forgot about this when they designed Windows 8"

    Yes, I'm sure that's exactly what happened. Microsoft forgot about the keyboard and the mouse.

    This is the sort of penetrating analysis that brings in the big bucks for Gartner Group?

    I've been using the Win8 preview for a while now and the keyboard and mouse seem to work fine. Maybe I need to pay more attention.

  46. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    WTF is wrong with these people?!?!

    Microsoft -- Windows 8 is OK on a tablet and rubbish on anything else.

    on the Linux side...

    Gnome -- they are pushing Unity, which is OK on a tablet and rubbish on anything else.

    KDE -- Plasma. OK on a tablet and rub,...... well I don't want to sound like a broken record, plus I haven't seen a review of Plasma.

    OK, people, everyone is not using a tablet! Ubuntu at least has the CHOICE of switching to "Gnome Classic", but they don't make it easy (it's not preinstalled, and instead of a package like "gnome-classic" you have to install "gnome-panel"). And similarly with KDE, it has a normal desktop as an option as well.

    So, does Windows 8 still have somewhere to replace the desktop shell? (Back in the WIn95 days, you could set it to run something instead of "explorer.exe" and you'd have a different desktop interface.) Perhaps once Microsoft strongarms Windows 8 onto systems (by cutting off supplies of Win7, and of course behaving anticompetitively so the vendors won't just put something better on...) I could see a market for alternate desktop interfaces.

    1. Steven Raith
      Unhappy

      Re: WTF is wrong with these people?!?!

      Gnome aren't pushing Unity, Canonical are in Ubuntu. I've been using it on the desktop since release and while it's not as intuitive as Gnome2, it's perfectly usable.

      Gnome are pushing Gnome3, which I understand is similar in concept to Unity (touch oriented, simple UI etc) but a different animal really. Not used it much if I'm honest, really should give it a pop to see how it compares to Unity.

      I've been running Win8 on my Macbook and new AMD build (mit 16gb RAM...) and it's usable, but the amount of stuff I have to google how to do, or find workarounds for basic stuff (want classic control panel? I'm going to Desktop mode, right clicking the LAN, choosing to open Network and Sharing then backing out of that to get to base control panel - there's probably an easier way, but I'm betting it's esoteric as fuck) and it's frustrating.

      Unfortunately, working in IT support, I need to know this stuff. Gah.

      Steven R

  47. shreen2008

    What about anti virus?

    Its really "bad" that Microsoft is turning away from desktop users and not looking at the big picture. We would have to settle for Windows 7 and XP, if Windows 8 does not support desktop well. I'm not going to shun my money for tablet devices and keep away from my favourite desktop which I've been using for 12 years. Also, it'd be great if we can see a review on the anti virus for windows 8.

  48. jason 7 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    I handed my Windows 8 laptop to my old Boss......

    ...yesterday.

    Told him to switch it on and try to do some stuff and then shut it down.

    This is a guy who has been working with computers for 30+ years.

    Was like watching a new born foal on a ice rink.

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