back to article I just LOVE Server 2012, but count me out on Windows 8 for now

Overall, I think Windows 8 is a truly wonderful operating system. The under-the-hood changes make it a fantastic improvement over Windows 7. I am completely in love with Server 2012; I can't imagine the next few years without it. Despite being in love with the technology underpinning Windows 8, I ultimately have to walk away …

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  1. James 51 Silver badge

    If you don't move onto Windows 8, will you stick with what you have or move onto another OS?

    1. wowfood
      Linux

      Already looking

      I've ruled out Apple, I've tried their software before and just don't like it. Windows 8 I tried the RC and again wasn't fond of it, the mishmash of desktop and tablet just felt far too forced.

      Instead I'm looking at various linux distros to see which are the easiest to use, right now I'm torn on ubuntu and mint. For me Ubuntu is winning in spite of the unity interface (I like the unity interface, I created something very similar to it for a uni project 5 years ago, they could have just done it better)

      Mostly because of Steam looking at an Ubuntu launch. Steambuntu anyone? I've already found applications to replace most of the windows apps I use (just wish I could find a GOOD replacement for VS, mono develop just isn't there yet).

      Right now literally the only thing keeping me on windows is the games. Soon as Steam arrives on Linux? BAM

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Already looking

        how reliable are linux ports for games though? I mean how plausible is it that a game you really want to play comes along without a linux port?

        1. Combat Wombat

          Re: Already looking

          It will be a likelyhood of a number approaching Zero

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Already looking

        You're looking at Ubuntu?

        (Buy Ubuntu for Dummies from Amazon for £9.99)

        This used to be the posterboy (Buy posters from Amazon from £1.99) of the Linux community, however recently they have made some grave (Buy gravestones from Amazon from £50.99) decisions relating to their desktop (Buy office desks from Amazon from £19.99) environment.

        I'm sticking to Mint (Buy Polo Mints from Amazon from 50p) even though it's WiFi adaptor drivers are sketchy (Buy sketchbooks from Amazon from 99p)

        1. Alan Bourke

          Re: Already looking

          Mint major version upgrades are a PITA, though. It's a backup/reinstall/restore process. Ecccchhh.

          1. Tom B

            Re: Already looking

            You're doing it wrong, but it's a simple fix. Move your /Home directory to a separate hard drive partition. You'll still have to reinstall the apps that don't come with the OS (for me, the big ones are True Crypt and Virtual Box), but you don't have to touch your data files. I have over 1TB of data in my /Home directory, and I'd hate to back that up and restore it every time. Plus, in any Linux distro, a clean install is always a better idea. I've had mixed results with simple updates.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Already looking

            "Mint major version upgrades are a PITA, though. It's a backup/reinstall/restore process. Ecccchhh"

            LMDE

        2. John Gaunt

          Re: Already looking

          @Sir Wiggum: Can you combine this with a Yahoo! posting, or will the ensuing unreadability break El Reg's Forums?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Already looking

            Ah yes, Yahoo! search!

            Party like it's 1997!

        3. phuzz Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Already looking

          @sirwiggum

          sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping

          There you go, fixed.

          If only metro was as easy to uninstall.

      3. ScottME

        Re: Already looking

        Have you considered Eclipse as a VS alternative?

      4. henrydddd
        Linux

        Re: Already looking

        one thing though, if you don't like Unity in Ubuntu, open up the software center and pick desktop that you do like. The first thing I did in 12.04 was to install the Gnome desktop. One click and it was done. Try that with Windows 8.

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      I'm starting to like Mountain Lion a lot. I also have Fedora 17 with Cinnamon as a potential candidate, and I am trying to learn Mint with Cinnamon. (There's a lot more mainstream support for Debian than RHEL.) Android ont he desktop is a real possibility if the x86 version ever gets born. I rather like Android, and can do all my legacy Microsoft stuff through RDP.

      Overall, it's Windows XP/7 for now, with my next desktop likely a Mac and my next ultrabook likely Android.

    3. Combat Wombat
      Mushroom

      I shall...

      Be sticking with Win 7.

      Does everything I need... and I have ZERO reason to go to Win 8

    4. henrydddd
      Linux

      This is an awesome opportunity for Linux to move in and get a good share of the desktop market.

      1. Neil Alexander

        Except for the fact that...

        ... every single "consumer" desktop environment on Linux is rubbish.

        1. pompurin
          Meh

          Re: Except for the fact that...

          I recently had a nightmare trying to set up multiple monitors on a Linux machine. If you stick with two monitors off one graphics card you should be ok, which will be the majority of cases, but as soon as you add multiple graphics cards then you're pretty much stuck. You can fudge it with multiple X screens but you can't drag applications from one monitor to the other which is pointless. I also had it working to the point where a desktop was full screening over two monitors so everything appeared stretched out and all the message boxes which appear in the centre of screen were split over two monitors.

          On Windows this works without any issues at all. This is just a fact of better driver support in Windows which has plagued Linux forever.

          On the server, Linux is king. On the desktop, Windows is king.

    5. keithpeter
      Meh

      "Ultimately the reason I'm walking away because what I need from a computer is not what Microsoft wants computers to become." - op

      Which other OS other than a headless server with web admin? Gnome and Unity are sort of going the same way and won't support MS specific tools. KDE? Running VMs?

    6. JDX Gold badge

      Moving to nix just because you don't like W8 seems a big overreaction, if you like W7. Wait until W9 before deciding is my view... by that time the OS might genuinely be of little importance.

  2. yossarianuk

    Installing Linux

    I assume that Microsoft have (illegally) locked out other OS's on 2012 certified hardware via secure boot, like Windows 8?

    Stay as fair away as possible unless you want an expensive brick.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: Installing Linux

      Technically not.

      The OEM license requires that Secure Boot be present and enabled, so all new devices will come locked. But Win8 x86 licensing requires secure boot be user disableable - but IMHO that's only to avoid the anticompetitve hammer still held over Microsoft.

      It's a certainty MS will insist Secure Boot is shipped enabled or yank licences, it's a fair bet they'll do nothing if OEMs forget to give the user disable rights or a buggy setup that cannot be disabled. Or worse, one that somehow fails to accept 3rd party licence keys.

      The end result will be ordinary consumers in a world of pain if they try replacing Win8 on new devices, even where that's as simple as turning off Secure Boot that will stop most even trying.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Installing Linux

        In addition some linux distros have their boot loader signed by MSFT

        Probably annoys Richard Stallman a little but means that Linux will install with no questions asked.

      2. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Re: Installing Linux

        "Or worse, one that somehow fails to accept 3rd party licence keys."

        Any code signing infrastructure working with centralized points accepts "3rd party" license keys. It's a design feature. You go there, either with a court order, an bribed employee or though a Flash applet and get whatever you want signed.

  3. Ray Foulkes

    Thanks for the warning..

    I haven't tried Windows 8 but, being an old f**t with a disinclination to drop all previous experience for a "new paradigm", I think I will wait a while before experimenting to see just how many people are like the author. If there are a lot, MS is pretty good at high speed U turns. Truthfully though I have mostly dropped Windows 7 (which runs virtual on Centos) for Linux (Kubuntu), just doing CAD and one or two other tasks on Windows 7 so (for example) I never use Windows to access the Internet.

    What bothers me most though is that there are indications that the Linux GUI teams are dashing down the same route as MS and making simple things trivial to do and trickier things radically more difficult.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thanks for the warning..

      It's all part of this shift from sitting in the spare room with a big box PC to sitting in the living room on the sofa with your family using a tablet PC.

      Of course so long as what you use a computer for is communication and web surfing this progression is fine. But for office work, productivity and real games it's less ideal.

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Thanks for the warning..

        it's bullshit isn't it. no-one seriously uses tablets anyway except to do asine shit like play angry birds and "follow" someone on twitter.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thanks for the warning..

          But then this is where they are touting Hybrid PC/Tablets, you can fondle away in the Living room, then dock it in the spare room for a proper gaming / spreadsheet session.

          1. tirk
            Unhappy

            @Sir Wiggum

            "Hybrid PC/Tablets" are fine, but I think the problem is that Win 8 needs to be hybrid too. At the moment it seems like a phone/tablet OS with a few grudging afterthoughts to keyboard/mouse use.

        2. WylieCoyoteUK
          Devil

          Re: Thanks for the warning..

          You forgot Reddit

        3. asdf Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Thanks for the warning..

          >it's bullshit isn't it. no-one seriously uses tablets anyway except to do asine shit like play angry birds and "follow" someone on twitter.

          yeah but that is what people want to spend $$$ on. Just because you don't agree with the market doesn't mean it gives a sh_t what you think. Follow it or die as Dell and Acer are learning the hard way.

    2. asdf Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Thanks for the warning..

      > MS is pretty good at high speed U turns.

      WebTV (1997), Tablet PCs (2002), WinFS (1990s), Sidewalk.com (1997), Passport (2000), Windows Live Spaces (2004), .NET (2002), WinG (1993), Silverlight (2011), Kin (2010), Vista(2006)

      That they are. It helps having a near endless stream of OS and Office cash to cushion the fubars though.

      1. EtonBears

        Re: Thanks for the warning..

        And that is where MS have their panic.

        Bill Gates said something like "a PC on every desk, and a PC in every home", and MS continued to believe that until the iPad proved that actually, most people didn't need ( or want ) a PC in their home, since they do just want couch potato internet access.

        Not only are they missing out on a big new market, but their old replacement market could implode; then their endless streams of cash would begin to look less endless.

    3. YetAnotherBob
      Happy

      Re: Thanks for the warning..

      @Ray Foulkes, That's why there is XFCE.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Metro on 2012 suicidal

    Until MS release a patch allowing 2012 to boot without metro, I'm not installing it in production.

    Forcing a tablet / end user oriented GUI on a server OS........what drugs are MS on and can I have some?

    1. Malcolm 1

      Re: Metro on 2012 suicidal

      I thought Microsoft's preferred position for Server 2012 was no UI at all on the server, with management via Server Manager.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Metro on 2012 suicidal

      You want drugs to make you suicidal? Well there have been suggestions that paroxetine can have this effect.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Metro on 2012 suicidal

      > Until MS release a patch allowing 2012 to boot without metro, I'm not installing it in production.

      That "patch" has been around for a couple of years - just install Windows Server Core.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's always going to be people complaining that Windows 8 isn't for them because of (insert highly technical reason here) - but as the OP points out in his closing remarks, these days, by a wide, wide margin, the main market for computers is ordinary, regular consumers.

    However I disagree with the sentiment that Microsoft are forcing Metro on us in order to sell new phones. Metro makes the most sense on tablets and phones, but the reason we're also seeing it on the desktop is that Microsoft want to foster the largest possible market for developers to target as quickly as possible, and that means leveraging the tens of millions of PCs that ship with Windows every /month/. Once that market has been created, and buyers of tablet Windows PCs have a huge marketplace of apps to choose from, keeping it 'forced' on desktop users will begin to make less sense, and it's entirely possible it might become optional at that stage. In the meantime - it is the way it is, and there's no actual problem jumping on board. I use Windows 8 on my work PC daily - I barely see the start screen except for launching programs I /don't/ have pinned to my taskbar!

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      The issue

      is that both MS and Apple are dumbing down their flagship products. This isn't just about tablet-ising the experience - it's about their (wrong. I think) expectations of what users want to do with technology.

      PCs have always been completely general information processors. The point about a PC (and I mean 'personal computer' not just 'Wintel box') is that you can get it to do almost anything with data - video, music, art, photography, coding, internets, messaging, geeky low-level command-line stuff, and many many more.

      Metro and the 'post-PC' tablet idea destroy that generality. Instead of a free-for-all with low cost of entry for developers and relatively relaxed rules about what's possible, the hardware, file system, and user experience are becoming increasingly proscribed and locked down.

      This is a very, very bad thing. It destroys the entire point of personal computing.

      I *want* to be able to use professional tools to make things and do cool stuff. If I can't because it's too hard, too slow, or too complicated, what's the point?

      MS+Apple should have kept the generality and bolted on touch features for specialised applications. Instead they have created systems that throw away generality and power in exchange for a simplified Mickey Mouse experience that doesn't improve on the original and is also harder to use productively in a fully general way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The issue

        But then a lot, if not most, people use computers as appliances. It gets them on to facebook, twitter and maybe write the occasional letter, they don't care if the ecosystem is walled garden as per Apple, or a free for all as per Windows of old / Linux.

        People generally don't want to do "cool stuff" with their TVs, toasters etc. they just want them to provide a function, same now with post-PCs.

        1. Paul Shirley

          Re: @Sir Wiggum: appliances

          1st: other peoples use patterns has nothing to do with *my* usage and is no justification for reducing my choices and experience.

          2nd: this use of computing devise as appliances explains why users *can* switch to devices with simpler form factors, lower prices and lower capabilities. It's *why* a simpler UI/OS is acceptable but that UI/OS is *not* why they're switching. Forcing the extremely tablet configured Metro on the desktop won't stem the switch to tablet or phones, it's a 2nd rate experience on highly capable hardware that lacks the convenient form factor and any price saving.

          If Microsoft cared at all about end users they would configure Metro apps to fit the desktop, not just clone the tablet/phone experience on a bigger screen. This whole misadventure is about what Microsoft needs to avoid irrelevance in a post-PC world and PC users really don't matter to them - other than as potential future MS tablet/phone users to be hooked.

          1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: @Sir Wiggum: appliances

            > Forcing the extremely tablet configured Metro on the desktop won't stem the switch to tablet or phones

            Not-Metro is not intended to stem the tide of switching to tablets and phones, it is intended to change that tide to switching to Surface and WP8.

            An analyst (pronounce that any way you feel is appropriate) told them that the reason for WP7 failure is unfamiliarity with the UI. MS are trying to fix that by making it "the most familiar UI" on 400 million machines within 12 months.

            1. EtonBears

              Re: @Sir Wiggum: appliances

              > An analyst (pronounce that any way you feel is appropriate)

              lol !

              And the "analyst" pronouncement was not even correct either. No-one was familiar with iOS or Android when they appeared either, yet both are vastly more popular than WP7. The majority of the population has now grown up with tech; learning new interfaces is not that hard if it is a new device anyway; and particularly if it is considered mainly as a consumer-electronics style limited-function device.

              I'm sure Microsoft has as many fanbois as Apple, but beyond the confines of those "irrationally committed" to one camp or other, ordinary people perceive Apple and Google as new and fresh, while the Microsoft brand is seen as old and stale.

              I have my doubts that Surface/Modern UI will suddenly make Microsoft seem a leader again, but putting Modern UI in Win 8 means they will be able to spin their numbers by including PC users in their figures for platform share.

              From a personal point of view, I can work around Win 8's shortcomings, but didn't see anything in it that appealed - I used the preview for a while before wiping it yesterday.

              I particularly see no point to the "live-tiles as desktop"; I spend all my time on a PC with applications open, so I never see the desktop. The current model of small popup overlay windows is much more useful, although I can see that the tiles idea is useful on a phone. In fact it would be much more useful on a PC to have the live-tiles as a application in a window - but that would be off-message....

        2. Christian Berger Silver badge

          Re: The issue

          You do realize that you can do both. The Canon Cat, for example was both an appliance, but it had a little unmarketed "execute" feature which made it a full blown computer.

          I wouldn't have a problem with those "appliances" if there wouldn't now be the tendency to lock them down. I can live with buying a used Thinkpad, yanking off the Windows XP and installing some Linux, but once the boot-loader will be locked down because of some idiots who believe that improves security in any way, that will not be possible any more.

        3. Rebecca M

          Don't be too obsessed by home users

          Home users do not fund the industry. Home users tend to stick with the commercial software installed on the machine when they bought it, at massive OEM discounts. Anything else is either a free download, pirated, or not bothered with. The industry seems to be obsessed with home users now that industry is basically saturated, but you need at least ten installed home systems to provide the same income as one commercial system. For many or even most commercial environments the PC form factor - monitor, keyboard, mouse, is still the most general, productive, and cost effective. How many PCs are primarily used for data entry, word processing and email? Keyboards are still a pretty central feature to most users who are actually paying the bills.

          If companies forget that core market they will be abandoned and they will lose the income to fund the loss-leading trendier stuff. We moved to thin clients a long time ago for flexibility and ease of management, so it ultimately makes no difference if an app runs on Windows, Solaris, Linux or whatever. Microsoft can't provide a decent word processor? Fine, they get one on Linux or whatever.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The issue

        I guess that is why Windows 8 *does* support traditional applications, and you can choose to use Metro, or switch to desktop mode.......?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The issue

        "PCs have always been completely general information processors. "

        My first integrated PC was an Apple II back in 1979. That was a machine that could be customised in both hardware and software.

        My next one was an IBM PC clone in the1980s - which could also be customised in hardware and software. Apple's Lisa was an expensive sealed "appliance". Since then Apple have seemed to make more noise about their styling than any capability useful to me.

      4. Tim99 Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: The issue

        I have spent a working lifetime around this stuff, and have reluctantly come to a conclusion about 'dumbing down'. I suspect that Microsoft, Apple, Google and Canonical have research data that suggests that many of their potential new users are incapable of using their traditional products - It is all too hard for them. We are, perhaps, insulated from this because we tend to like this stuff, and are prepared to put in the effort to use it.

        It is also in the interests of these companies to attempt to roll back the whole free Internet thing - It is much better for them if they can lock a user-base into a propriatory locked-down network - A modern version of AOL, or the MicroSoft Network. There may be a trillion dollars riding on the choices that new users make, we are on the edge of a technological and societal change as big as those that came from movable type and broadcast radio.

        1. EtonBears

          Re: The issue

          Aha! BG was right - Blackbird returns!

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbird_%28online_platform%29

  6. NomNomNom

    I upgraded from XP to Windows 7 last week.

    1. Arrrggghh-otron

      I've just finished the roll out of new PCs to two small businesses. All running Win7... everyone is happy.

      For the same reasons Trevor lists, Windows 8 will not be gracing our PCs.

    2. IglooDude

      I've been thinking about making that jump myself. How are you liking it so far?

      1. Arrrggghh-otron

        I can't find much to grumble about with Win7 now that we've got used to its quirks. The users seem happy enough with it and the (user) transition was painless.

        Win7 flys along nicely on entry level i3 hardware with 4GB Ram.

    3. Maty
    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      All the "user" PCs having a tech refresh in the last three years were built with twin disks for both XP/W7-64. They have been used pretty exclusively on W7 once the applications were migrated . An earlier one was XP/Vista-64 - but the Vista has never been used.

      Today I bought some new hard drives to start the migration of my own big desktop machine to twin disk XP/W7-64. That gives me a couple of years of twin booting to sort out any problems with my expensive applications migrating to W7.

      None of my users will be offered a tech refresh to W8.

  7. the idiotuk
    Thumb Up

    Very well said.

    I find I agree with absolutely every single word of this article. As a sysadmin myself there is no way I'd roll 8 out as it is. I would, however, if Microsoft took the steps outlined in this excellent post. Again, very well said.

  8. mil
    Thumb Up

    Totally agree…

    After my experience with Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, I am now allergic to anything “Metro”. That is coming from a developer that bought Windows Phone 7 when they first came out.

    The problem with the Metro is not that it is new, or different. The problem is that it is irrelevant as desktop replacement. It is a UI focused on tablets and touch oriented devices. The bigger the monitor the ugliest it looks and more difficult it is to use.

    Microsoft is presenting it as “the future” to catch the attention of developers and herd them towards that direction. Unfortunately they will probably manage to alienate a lot of them.

    From a business perspective (in my line of business in particular) all these “new” directions have no value whatsoever and what they have achieved is to demonstrate how irrelevant they can become in the future even for the business. The only thing that keeps them alive (in my field of work) is Excel, everything else is replaceable.

    At this point I am waiting for them to either sort out their mess with Windows 9 or else I will have to learn everything from scratch, by moving to Linux.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Totally agree…

      “The problem is that it is irrelevant as desktop replacement”

      I downloaded Windows 8 a few days ago and installed it on a spare drive to see what all the fuss was about and I don’t understand why people think the Start page is a desktop replacement?

      The first thing a lot of people were saying was they didn’t like that it booted to the start page. I admit, at first I thought it was pretty pointless, but after playing with it for a while I can’t see the problem. When I would boot to Desktop in previous versions of Windows, the first thing I would do is click on something (usually Email, Web Browser or Word/Excel). So it doesn’t really change anything, you just click what you want to start doing from the Start Page and it opens as normal. Alternatively, you can hit the desktop button.

      The second thing a lot of people were saying they didn’t like was the lack of a Start button. Again, I admit at first I thought WTF. But, after playing with it for a while I actually prefer the Start Page to the traditional Start Menu (and that’s coming from someone who usually instantly switches to Classic menus when installing a new OS). When you think about it, the old Start Menu was just a collection of links anyway. You pressed the Windows button, then navigated to the link you wanted. It’s the same with the new Start Page. I just tweaked it to get it the way I wanted by adding Shutdown, Restart and Search buttons, unpinning all the App crap and just have my proper applications there along with shortcuts to system tools I use. You can add/remove what you want pretty easily.

      So, the Start page isn’t a desktop replacement at all. If you unpin the apps and make your normal software the default applications, you don’t have to deal with the new apps at all (which lets face it, for normal desktop users the pre-installed apps are pretty much just a web browser in full screen mode with reduced functionality).

      If anything, people should be more annoyed at Microsoft for removing the ability to play DVD’s. Granted you can install VLC Player (or Media Centre), but a new OS should do more, not less.

      Still, each to their own I guess, I just don’t understand the massive outrage. I suppose it could be worrying that they will head more and more down the dumbed down apps route.

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Totally agree…

        > When I would boot to Desktop in previous versions of Windows, the first thing I would do is click on something (usually Email, Web Browser or Word/Excel).

        That does seem strange to me, but then I have machines here that haven't been booted since the last power outage over a year ago. Email, browser, and everything else that I use it exactly where I left it. I so seldom see what is referred to as the OS or desktop that I find it irrelevant.

        But then I don't use Windows.

    2. Enrico Vanni
      Pirate

      Re: Totally agree…

      "The only thing that keeps (MS) alive is Excel, everything else is replaceable."

      Yup. They're starting the descent from a great height, but Microshaft are on the slide, supported only by 'old school' IT techs who think they are still on the leading edge (your big years were 1995 and 1998, guys, and your favourite product peaked in 2002).

      Everyone else has realised Android is the way to go for tippy-tappy stuff.

  9. J.D.

    Windows 8 - NEVER

    Installed the Windows trial version on my PC. I was back to windows XP after just 12 hours. Dont like it.

  10. jacobbe
    Meh

    Used the win8 trial for a couple of weeks and I agree with most of what you say. It seems most odd not to allow (at least) the "Pro" version to stay in "Workstation" mode.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Most odd?

      Really? Once you understand Microsoft's goal, of selling you all your apps all over again in Metro versions, and then locking you into their other stuff like Xbox, Surface, Zune (or whatever it's called this week), then it's quite obvious why they made the old Win32 desktop so horrible and clunky.

  11. Killraven

    One More Nay

    Excellently written article that rationally covers the many flaws of Windows 8.

    I loathe the lack of ability to collect related icons and lump them into a single folder on the Metro screen. Even doing it on the desktop screen opens up an ugly Explorer window full of titled shortcuts, not a cleancut display of icons. I would much rather open a folder then click the program icon I want, than to have to endlessly scroll sideways looking for what I want.

    And on that note..... sideways scrolling? How unintuitive can you get?

    1. AceRimmer
      Facepalm

      Re: One More Nay

      "And on that note..... sideways scrolling? How unintuitive can you get?"

      Yeah it's not as if its been a success on iphones and android devices. If only Apple had stuck to up and down scrolling, maybe they would be somewhere by now

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: AceRimmer

        There's not many people using a mouse scroll wheel on iphones or android devices. Isn't that why horizontal scrolling on Windows 8 is unintuitive?

        1. AceRimmer

          Re: AceRimmer

          And there won't be a scroll wheel on a windows 8 tablet device

          1. Wokstation

            Re: AceRimmer

            Unless you plug one in...

          2. sabroni Silver badge

            Re: And there won't be a scroll wheel on a windows 8 tablet device

            but we're talking about windows on the desktop where nearly all users have a scroll wheel and horizontal scrolling is unintuitive, the point you originally argued with. Still, why keep quiet and let people think you might be an idiot when you can carry on and prove it.....

      2. Killraven

        Re: One More Nay

        "Yeah it's not as if its been a success on iphones and android devices. If only Apple had stuck to up and down scrolling, maybe they would be somewhere by now"

        Yes, sorry, my fault for not specifying that horizontal scrolling is unintuitive *on a desktop* since that's the format of the OS this topic is about.

  12. Piro
    Pint

    Windows has always been about options...

    .. But this time they take fundamental choices away. I completely agree with this article.

    It seems once you install Start8, you can make Windows 8 a perfectly reasonable OS, but the fact that functionality (disable hot corners, bring start menu back, etc) isn't an option in the base OS is just terrible. Without it, I guarantee little to no businesses will even consider it. If a business is on XP, they'll plan to migrate to 7. If you're on 7, you're staying on 7.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    Very good read

    I was pleasantly surprised to read about the authors experiences with remote desktop. I think that can be quite an issue, although we should also not forget that Microsoft has made it no secret that they put their money on PowerShell when it comes to windows administration.

    As good as it is; nothing beats being able to look over the users 'shoulder'.

    To me this is yet another conformation that Metro has been setup without proper preparations. I get the feeling that they started to setup and embed Metro and only after that was done started to look into the other aspects.. "somewhat". MS wants touch so now everything has to make way for touch support. And we'll also just have to like it most likely.

    I think that unless something drastically changes in a future update or perhaps a possible upcoming Win9 MS may very well get into problems again.

  14. ColonelClaw
    Stop

    The first rule of Windows is...

    ...You never install Windows until the first Service Pack. Hopefully by the time Win8SP1 comes out MS will have had to make a few compromises on the shit features of Win8 outlined in this well written article.

    If enough people complain, and sales are low, they will make changes, as they're not completely suicidal.

    1. Piro

      Re: The first rule of Windows is...

      I doubt it. Service Packs that change or add major features are very rare (for example XP SP2 with the firewall).

      1. Paul Shirley

        Re: The first rule of Windows is...

        ...you mean I just imagined XP32 losing support for >4Gb RAM with a service pack?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The first rule of Windows is...

          Very good chance of it, 32bit machines don't tend to like > 4Gb ram

          1. Paul Shirley

            Re: The first rule of Windows is...

            Wrong. 32bit x86 machines are perfectly capable of handling >4Gb. What they cant do is hand linear address spaces >4Gb to a single process. The initial release of XP32 and SP2 both supported up to 128Gb RAM with PAE, SP2 dropped that to 4Gb. Those builds would hand as many blocks of 2Gb to different processes as you had RAM.

            Even SP3 actually supports 36/37 bit memory ranges. Mine is using RAM mapped above the 4Gb line for it's temp folder right now. I've resisted trying the hacks to reenable proper 4Gb+ support so can't comment on how risky they are.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The first rule of Windows is...

      Nah, the first rule of Windows is that you don't even think about installing it until they release the next version.

  15. tony72
    Megaphone

    I wish we could upvote articles. I have nothing to add beyond agreeing with the article and most of the comments, but it seems a bit lame to post a comment just to say that. Maybe article authors should post a proxy comment as the first comment on the article - "upvote/downvote this if you like/dislike the article" sort of thing?

    1. Wokstation

      You can rate the article.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Facepalm

        no you can't

        Oh, wait, I use NoScript...

        OP, disable NoScript and you'll be able to rate articles.

  16. TimChuma

    Should be fully rolled out in the government departments in another 20 years

    Was hard enough to get everyone to upgrade from Internet Explorer 6 as several mission-critical applications used it. Seems to be a trade off between Java memory errors or Microsoft server errors at least for the server-side stuff.

  17. RonWheeler
    Thumb Up

    Article sums up my feelings

    They need to let us know there is an escape hatch from this madness - we can't just rely on 'oh, skip this version, it'll all be OK in 8.1, Win 9' or whatever. If you are in the business IT environment, you have to seriously start looking at alternatives to windows applications as your future core user desktop platform.

  18. Sil
    Thumb Up

    Windows Store

    I mostly agree with you.

    I don't think selling more phones is Microsoft's first priority with Metro though.

    It is much more to establish Windows Store as the main channel for software and entertainment purchases:

    - earning outrageous money with the 30% cut, just like Apple with appstore/itunes;

    - intrinsically monopolistic by nature, enabling a tight control over the platform, just like Apple. As for me just like Apple this should be forbidden on the ground that it is anticompetitive but that's another debate.

    - the more people use apps the less they use the web, and this is a direct threat to google's advertising business model. In-app advertising can be controlled by Microsoft, at the very least there is very little incentive to choose Google as your ad powerhouse for mobile apps. Let's not forget that Google is aggresively trying to undermine Microsoft's business, be it with (lame) office apps against Office, (awful) chrome notebook against Windows, Chrome browser against IE, google mail against Exchange and many more.

  19. Semaj
    Thumb Up

    "There really isn't anything quite like the stark refusal to give you even a hidden registry-setting "off switch" to make you realise how irrelevant you and your concerns truly are."

    This.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft going for the Apple lock-in.

    That's the who goal of MetroUI, to lock you into everything Microsoft, in a way they were never able to achieve with Win32 applications (which only ran on Windows).

    Once you buy Metro apps, then you will be locked in Microsoft in a way that make Microsoft marketing men jump about in excitement. It no longer matters how shit Windows Phone is, you will buy it, because you bought aload of Metro apps....

    In short, playing on consumer ignorance..

    What I find interesting is how Microsoft can get away with this, when clearly it's using their domination in the desktop market, to bruteforce their way into others.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-competitive_practices

    1. Peter Simpson 1
      Thumb Down

      Re: Microsoft going for the Apple lock-in.

      "Once you buy Metro apps, then you will be locked in Microsoft in a way that make Microsoft marketing men jump about in excitement. It no longer matters how shit Windows Phone is, you will buy it, because you bought aload of Metro apps...."

      Until, in typical Microsoft style (Zune, Plays for Sure, Kin1 and 2), they go off on another tangent, leaving you and your Metro apps in the dust.

  21. dipique

    I could be wrong on this, but I don't think MS ever intended you to roll out Windows 8. I'm not saying that Windows 8 WON'T be rolled out in some places, but by and large I think Windows 7 will keep the installed base of most enterprises.

    But Windows 8 WILL ship out to LOTS of consumers. Consumers will get used to Windows 8, and in 2014 when Windows 9 comes out, the UI will feel very common and familar, and enterprises will happily roll it out.

    I say all this believing that the Windows 8 UI is superior for productivity once you get used to it--and it has been for me, a professional that has used Windows 8 for the last several months as my primary OS.

    Dan

  22. Yarbs

    3rd party hacks

    You seem to be putting tremendous faith on the 3rd party hacks that make 8 more like 7

    To be honest some are janky (not all mind you) but I doubt any will survive intact an explorer specific windows8 update.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "has been for me, a professional that has used Windows 8"

      ..and just joined TODAY to post that +ve comment !

    2. Mike Brown

      How many consumers are going to buy a computer with win 8 on it, in the next 2 years? Not enough to be able to roll out metro ui into a corporate eviron and have it feel confortable, thats for sure.

      Windows 8 will be looked back apon by historians as the point where MS lost it. I firmly believe this is a pre- emtive desperate move, to try and claw back marketshare they are just about to lose.

  23. UberMunchkin
    FAIL

    Having Thought About It

    So yes, having given it significant thought and a lot of testing on VMs in the run up to release I've decided, from a user point of view, that Win8 doesn't offer any significant gains as a desktop/laptop user and in fact actively attempts to hamper and restrict my experience.

    The only things I'd be interested in it for are Windows 8 Phones and the Surface tablet. But MS basically guaranteed that I won't be getting the surface with their price point and Win8 mobile just isn't enough of a improvement over Android to really interest me.

    So I will be skipping Win 8 entirely and sticking with my Windows 7 system.

  24. Dom 3

    Now here's an idea

    You could make the windowing system, desktop etc., modular and replaceable. Then people could *choose* what level of eye-cruft they want. Heck, you could maybe dispense with it altogether, if it's a server. Maybe you could make the whole kaboodle network compatible, so out of the box you could run the GUI on one machine and the actual application on another.

    Madness, I know.

    1. Will 30

      Re: Now here's an idea

      NT3.51 was a bit like this - there was a preview release of the NT4 (i.e. Windows 95) shell, which you could install on NT3.51.

      It was a remarkable (at the time) display of abstraction, at a time when there wasn't very much clean abstraction in personal computing.

      Nowadays of course we have lots of fantastic technical abstrations right up through the software stack that could make all sorts of great stuff possible, but they're sacrificed for crass commercial reasons.

    2. ScottME

      Re: Now here's an idea

      Hmmm, let me think... are there any operating systems that work that way already?

      Well yes, I believe there is an OS called UNIX (though it's little-known among devotees of Windows) which I am told has lots of derivatives, some of them even completely free, such as GNU/Linux. I understand that the UNIX GUI is generally an easily substituted layer atop a network-enabled display server ("X") which, so I have heard, lets you "run the GUI on one machine and the actual application on another."

      Who'd have thought it?

      Still, let's wait for those clever Microsoft engineers to invent something not quite so mature or versatile, so we can spend our money on that instead.

      1. Not That Andrew

        Re: Now here's an idea

        You mean shell replacements? like Blackbox http://bb4win.sourceforge.net/bblean/

    3. Piro

      Re: Now here's an idea

      There has been an option for a while to dispense with the GUI on Windows Server.

    4. Tom B

      Re: Now here's an idea

      Nice idea, but it wouldn't work in the Window's culture. While someone like you and me would no doubt love it (I took a bog-standard Ubuntu and replaced Unity with another User Interface, KDE), I fear the common Windows user would only be confused by being given a choice. I can just picture myself asking an elderly relative which interface to use!

    5. EtonBears

      Re: Now here's an idea

      And then you could call it Winix ;-)

      It has always been possible for Microsoft to make windows more modular and responsive to user preference, they have simply never chosen to do so, since it is not in their own interests.

      A homogeneous "windows experience" allows them to attract more developers, lessen support costs, reduce the online rage from people who have configured their windows into a mess, and, as is evident with Windows 8, they can use it as a blunt tool of their sales and marketing efforts.

      If you want configurability ( along with lesser device support and fewer supported applications to choose from ), then get Linux or some other Unix family OS. However, be aware that you will probably need to learn a lot more new stuff than with Windows 8.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Now here's an idea

        Actually, Microsoft have serveral research projects underway to make Windows more modular. The question is simply "do they ever see the light of day." That depends entirely on how much "status quo" they manage to ship, methinks.

  25. Donald Miller
    IT Angle

    Touchy screens

    How many consoles currently have touch screens? How many managers will spring for the number needed to efficiently run your server farm? How many will you have to repair each month?

    And how many of the current ones have drivers that will work with Win8? How about drivers for your current-but-actually-6-year-old video cards? Yes, I know the touch part is HID compliant, but do you want to work in VGA mode?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Form over Function.

    One problem here is I think only 'power users' really appreciate the importance of function over form, whereas there is a lot of money in selling badly functioning but pretty products to end users.

    Reminds me of Gnome 3/Shell, that was also a big step backwards for desktop users, and whilst it cannot prompt the exodus that did, I will not be purchasing Windows 8 or recommending it to others.

    Glad there was a trial, so I didn't waste my money!

  27. Steve Knox
    Trollface

    "since Netscape, when has Microsoft actively tried to prevent applications from working?"

    From what I've seen, I'd say they've been pretty active trying to prevent Microsoft Office from working...

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: "since Netscape, when has Microsoft actively tried to prevent applications from working?"

      That is a whole other story. Microsoft is a little pile of warring fiefdoms...

  28. Tom B
    Thumb Down

    Been There, Rejected That Already

    I work pretty heavily in both the Linux and Windows universe, and I've seen all this "Metro" stuff before, in both Gnome-3 and Unity (those are two tablet-style User Interface designs similar to Microsoft's). I've been working in computers for over 30 years, and I know what makes me productive. The tablet interfaces may be fine on a touch-tablet, but they are unacceptable on a 30-inch non-touch-enabled system such as the one I use to work and play. And no, I will not change the way I work just so someone else can make money selling tablets and mobile phones. The sales challenges of Microsoft and Cannonical are *not* my problem.

    I happen to think that Windows 8 has some wonderful features, and is a terriffic improvement over Windows 7, if only Microsoft would allow me to drop Metro completely, and continue working the way I want. I use a large monitor and normally work with at least four windows at once (some of which contain different virtual machines or remote desktops), so even the 33/66 sizing is a loser. It's clear that Microsoft wants us all to move over to Metro, so it can discontinue the Desktop interface completely. While I can understand the reasoning there, I refuse to go along with it. That's one "Game for Windows" I refuse to play.

  29. Luther Blissett

    Here is how to get rid of the "Metro" design and return to the old-fashioned desktop

    Set RPEnabled in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer from 1 to 0...

    So...

    add "RPEnabled"=dword:0

    Auto set (DISABLE Metro) (save as ".reg" file):

    REGEDIT4

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer]

    "RPEnabled"=dword:0

    Set to "dword:1" to enable again

    [h/t Tim Dolbear of Magix]

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Here is how to get rid of the "Metro" design and return to the old-fashioned desktop

      Must try this...

    2. Peter W.

      Re: Here is how to get rid of the "Metro" design and return to the old-fashioned desktop

      Luther,

      That hack doesn't function in the RTM builds (tried in both HKEY_CURRENT_USER and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE). As I recall, this was the hack that only worked in the earliest beta builds of Windows 8.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Here is how to get rid of the "Metro" design and return to the old-fashioned desktop

        I concur; this doesn't work on my RTM VMs or physical system.

  30. Big_Boomer
    FAIL

    Resistance is Futile!

    You WILL be assimilated!

    Well, that seems to be what MS believe. Personally I avoided Vista at work, although I had a home PC that came with it, so I upgraded straight from XP to Win7 (and Vista to WIn7 at home) because it worked and made my life easier. Win8 looks like making my life more difficult, so MS can whistle if they think I'm spending money on it. If they don't make Win8 or it's successor "IT Dept" useful then I guess it will be a flavour of Linux that we use next.

    I have a Win8 install running in VirtualBox and with some tweaks I have managed to solve the screen res issues and now have my Start menu back (thanks Classic Menu) and it's useable. BUT, it's slow, clunky and I seem to spend half my life having to find ways around things. It reminds me of Vista/2008 out-of-the-box security settings. Intrusive and counterproductive. I'm sure some people will buy it and it'll get it's own little user "faction" just like Windows 7 Phone and Palm got, but Android/iOS levels of market penetration? Nah!

  31. Mr Anonymous

    Productive work

    "With months of use, I've learned to beat the OS into submission." As opposed to just using a familiar and easy to use OS?

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Productive work

      I get paid to know the latest OS. That way when my clients start deploying, I'm ready.

      1. Mr Anonymous

        Re: Productive work

        I didn't say you weren't, but most employees are paid to be productive on behalf of their employers and are not paid to decipher Microsoft's latest idea of what an Operating System should look like or the new random location of an oft used menu item.

  32. Someone Else Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Can I get an "Amen"?

    Ultimately the reason I'm walking away because what I need from a computer is not what Microsoft wants computers to become.

    Amen!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Agree largely, but...

    What about when more of our devices go touch. I mean, everyone's gonna have touch screen *everything* coming when this drops aren't they?

    Serious question Trevor, and all those who rue the multi input model MS has adopted here. What if your monster PC screen was touch. Does that/ will that change people's opinions?

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Agree largely, but...

      Let me answer a question with a labratory test.

      Hold you arms in front of you for 8 hours and make wild jesticulations. When you feel you can do this from 9-5 every single day, you're ready to use Windows 8 on the magical touch screen replacement of my 17" + 2x24" + 47" monitor setup.

      Please try holding your arms out in front of you for 8 hours. Just for one day.

      You'll have my answer when the excercise is completed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Hold you arms in front of you for 8 hours and make wild jesticulations.

        Rave on, TPott, put your hands in the air like you just don't care. Aciiiiiid!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Pint

        Re: Agree largely, but...

        Touch screens for desktops will force users to position them almost horizontal as the "natural" position to avoid fatigue. Many professions using writing or drawing adopted that position in the olden days of pen and ink. The next advance will have to be some sort of "nano" coating to make screen cleaning unnecessary or easier.

      3. EtonBears

        Re: Agree largely, but...

        This is exactly why it is nonsense for an OS to consider a desktop as remotely similar to a tablet.

        For some people and some purposes tablets ( possibly with a bluetooth keyboard ) are ideal, and possibly much better than a laptop.

        But if you convert the desktop by angling the screen so it can be used for gestures more comfortably, then it becomes a largely look-down device. You would end up with users leaning over their device in a sort of hunched position, which would be something of a nightmare for those trying to ensure good ergonomics!

        Maybe someone will come up with a "new" PC design that works well with a touch-screen, but I cant think that it would actually confer any significant advantages, even if they did.

    2. Paul Shirley

      Re: Agree largely, but...

      My next monitor will get me back up to a 3 display setup. It really doesn't matter if it's touch enabled, the 2 existing ones aren't. Touch isn't going to work well in that mix and those monitors have many years life left in them.

      ...and I also can't imagine actually reaching out to touch my displays - all need leaning to reach all edges. Microsoft can expect class action suits when the 1st RSI cases go public.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Agree largely, but...

      Related, but I expect Windows 8 support for portrait <-> landscape monitor rotation is just as poor as all previous versions of Windows, even though it is attempting to replicate the tablet experience ...

  34. tempemeaty

    Trevor Pott, you pegged it...or should I say pinned...

    Trevor Pott, sir, you have hit every one of my concerns that I've had about Windows 8 to the point anything I say would be redundant. In other words you pegged it. Thank you.

  35. Richard Altmann
    Unhappy

    by o u dy

    "Given the decades-long lifespan of some applications - particularly those licensed at $50,000 or more per seat "

    For another $k 5 they will offer you an update ( just to go with the times) and a new contract. All this big system suppliers are only waiting for the next OS so they can sell "update kits" to their clients. The "New Version" of the app is then released halfway through the lifespan of the OS. So, u by o u dy while on the (not so)far horizons the next OS threatens to arise.

  36. whoelse

    Amen

    I found Metro horrendous, and it was too much work to work around it. Maybe I'll have to in a few years time, but for now I'm hoping that the lack of enterprise pick-up shows MS that they have to separate touch and power user. Unless docked touch screen devices become suitable as laptop replacements, then it makes no sense. I'd rather use View to get a VM on the device than try to mix both.

    Time will tell what the best alternative is, but maybe 8 sp1 will change things back some!

  37. TRT Silver badge

    Talking about Enterprise users...

    Picard, tongue sticking out of side of mouth... "Gah! Picard to Data. Data, can you come in here and help me with this damned PAD, please?"

    Data (enters) "Captain?"

    Picard "Ah, Data. I'm trying to launch the ship's fuel consumption app, but it keeps coming up in windowed mode."

    Data "That is correct, Captain."

    etc etc etc.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Metro for business?

    I cannot imagine how reasonable sized businesses with a fairly traditional model can consider pushing this kind of major UI revision on front-end users.

    Consider a retail banking institution: Customer-facing staff use low-spec XP machines. Their keyboards have integrated card-swipes and function keys mapped to the most frequently used transactions. Time and money have been spent to ensure that they don't need to take their hands off the keyboard to use the mouse.

    Now try to sell me the Metro 'experience': Will throughput improve? Quality? Or what?

    The problem is that MS have their own agenda, driven mainly by internal politics, and have lost sight of what their business is: They don't have a VISION to push on me or anyone else, it's not their place! They build stuff people want or they go out of business. Get the fuck back in your box and produce what people want; try to tell them what they want and watch your precious corporation fall by the wayside.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Metro for business?

      Well as micro/small businesses tend not to have volume license agreements etc. etc., and so pick up machines and software as needed from the retail/wholesale channels. These users are likely to come face-to-face with the reality of Windows 8 in a business context sooner rather than later; as based on previous releases Microsoft will want the channel to be cleared of Windows 7 (before Christmas ?) so that it doesn't get in the way of Windows 8 sales.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Metro for business?

        Which is exactly why I have been buying up as many Windows 7 licences as I possibly can. My clients will be demanding them.

  39. William Hinshaw
    FAIL

    Win 8 is crash and burn even worse that MS Bob

    So far I feel like I'm wrestling with a greased hog. There is just no getting it to work the way I want without installing some 3rd party shell. That and the fact that there seems to be trouble hooking Windows 8 systems in to AD where I work and it is definitely a no go. I have it installed on a laptop and have had a few people try to work it and they just give me a confused look on how to do some basic things like where is the start button or how do I shut it down, there are so many things that just don't work the way they used to that are too many to list here but are basic functions. SO far I'm very irritated with the released product. I had hoped that changes would have been made to at least give you the option to flip to the old interface but it isn't going to be an option and that right there is going to kill it deader than dead here.

  40. Spotswood
    Thumb Down

    Lost me....

    at " I admit that I don't have a Windows touch device of my own to play with"

  41. DougS Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    What are the "under the hood changes that make it a fantastic improvement over Windows 7"?

    If you are going to make that your first sentence, you need to back it up since it sounds like something Steve Ballmer would say. Where's the proof, because I'm not aware of anything major under the hood that 8 does differently than 7 that would make anyone want to abandon 7 unless they needed the touch screen support.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: What are the "under the hood changes that make it a fantastic improvement over Windows 7"?

      Off the top of my head, this is what's in Windows 8 worth considering making the jump for:

      1) Faster boot

      2) Faster shutdown

      3) Better hybrid resume support

      4) Way - way - fewer IOPS in VDI mode.

      5) Native USB 3 support makes me happy

      6) Multimonitor support that is on par with the ATI widget in the CCC from ten or so years ago

      7) Mobile broadband as a "first class" networking type. (Long time coming.)

      8) Hyper-V

      Obviously, they weren't enough to entice me, but they might be for others. From a raw tech side, Win 8 is a solid upgrade. It is critical if you are a VDI implementer.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: What are the "under the hood changes that make it a fantastic improvement over Windows 7"?

        The question that immediately comes to mind looking at this list is which of these aren't already available for XP or 7 either from Microsoft or via third-parties, or could of been implemented in a Service/Feature Pack? and hence Microsoft have made a commercial decision on which release to include improvements in rather than a technical decision.

        Also I'm surprised that a feature is made of native USB3 and mobile broadband support, as to me these are similar to SATA and WiFi in XP. Which given the lack of other announcements would seem to indicate that the entire device and network driver model is still broken. If it were not Microsoft would be selling how extendable and future proof these are so that any third-party will be able to write an LTE driver, for example, that can slot in as a "first class" networking type, similarly with other connectivity. (Aside: expect a fantastic improvement of Windows 9 over Windows 8 to be LTE as a "first class" networking type, along with faster boot, faster shutdown ...)

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: What are the "under the hood changes that make it a fantastic improvement over Windows 7"?

        Adding (negatively) to this list, as just been exploring something.

        It would seem that Windows 8 does not include native support for either the Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) or more narrowly the Apple AirPrint service that uses CUPS. So to either let an iOS device use a Windows printer or to let a Windows 8 device use an AirPrint enabled printer, you will need a third-party driver.

  42. W. Anderson

    Windows Love?

    I nor anyone else can competently evaluate Microsoft's new Windows 8 desktop as in Trevor Pott's assessment, since the final product has not yet shipped, and pre-releases don't count.

    It is also bewildering as to his "Love of Windows Server 2012", when he has not, and probably cannot clearly and fully describe details of what exactly are the differences and benefits between versions 2012 and 2008 R2, as well as technical differences (and/or any advantages) between Windows 2012 Server and latest Redhat Enterprise Linux 6.3 Server or even FreeBSD 9.0 Server configuration.

    For weeks I have soliticted such information from Microsoft, Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet - who is supposedly a confidant of Microsoft's technical elite inner circle, or any other Microsoft propagandist on earth.

    I do know that Windows Server 2012 is priced by CDW Distributors at $840+ "per core", making the costs for a dual CPU, quad core Xeon system for 20 users at $30.00 per client access license totalling approximately $7,320.00.

    This is a ridiculous amount of money to pay for an Operating System software that does not perform anywhere near as well as those competitors mentioned above in critical and important metrics as "reliability, security, flexibility, scalability " or (as shown) return on Investment (ROI). Comparable RedHat or FreeBSD software would be less than $1000.00 - with support ad significantly more functionality.

    If Trevor Potts loves 2012 server, then he loves mediocrity.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
      Pint

      Re: Windows Love?

      Um...WTF are you talking about?

      WIndows 8 RTM was in our hands ages ago. Just becuase you don't have a retail box doesn't mean you can't download the RTM. Let me help you out a little here:

      Windows 8 RTM: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/jj554510.aspx

      Server 2012 RTM: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/hh670538.aspx

      Also there's no S in my last name. Thanks for playing, though next time Google before ranting. Cheers!

    2. ScottK
      Facepalm

      Re: Windows Love?

      Windows 2012 is priced per processor, not per core. One processor licence covers you for 2 physical CPUs.

      http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/windows-server/buy.aspx

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh god, save us from...

    Another Trevor Pott 'opinion piece'.

    Hey Trevor, I understand that you are deeply hurt and resentful that MS did not give you an invite for any of the Surface launch events. I also understand how deeply wounding to your ego it must be that they do not appear to be ‘listening to you as a power user’ or that they will not sign up for any of the ‘binding commitments’ you request in your overly lengthy diatribe.

    However, the reason for all of the above is that they probably feel your opinion adds nothing to the debate. You have just rehashed the same old, same old stuff that always gets said every time a new version of Windows gets released. Nasty UI, old versions better, not going to use it, blah blah blah. Go look on Neowin for yesterday’s article about Windows haters. It says it all. You are just running with the usual herd of sheeple, saying the same old stuff, making the same old (often factually incorrect) points. You are questing; it seems, for the adulation and admiration of about twenty linux lovers who read a third tier technology website. That is your choice

    You seem surprised that MS are ‘not taking you seriously’ yet you have zero understanding of the commercial aspects of running a large software business and the considerations that are important when releasing a product aimed at consumers. So what that you choose not to use Win8? I choose not to drive a Ferrari but I do not spout articles all over the internet saying why I took that decision.

    Seriously, do us all a favour and stop posting these articles. The world realises that you do not like Win8. You will eventually end up using it, but hey, that is the irony of the whole situation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh god, save us from...

      another anonymous dickhead poster claiming to know better than everyone else but scared to put any name to his comments.

      Yes, I always reply anon to anonymous dickhead posters. Goose sauce.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Oh god, save us from...

      Aw, muffin! Did I hurt your feelers? Do you need a time out to have a manly cry in the corner? That's okay, we won't watch...at least not until it's done uploading to YouTube.

      I understand that you have incorporated your favourite brand into your personal concept of "tribe." It's normal; it's natural! There's a lot of good science that explains the process; you shouldn't be ashamed that it occurs, only that you allow it to rule your interactions with the rest of the world. It's okay, there's still hope. If you visit a proper therapist, one day you'll be able to disassociate your sense of self worth from the products other people choose to use and advocate. You may be able to live a life where you only tie your sense of personal valuation to the products you personally choose to use!

      It may be difficult for you to understand – but please try, I'm having my minions work up a colour-by-numbers book just for you – but I don't have any moral or ethical obligation to push your favourite products on the world. I don't have any moral or ethical obligation to tell people to do what "the majority" does, nor to stick with the status quo merely because it's the status quo.

      If you want someone who will advocate Microsoft, teach you how to incorporate all things Microsoft into your life and otherwise champion the status quo over all comers, please don't read my articles. Instead, I heartily recommend the indomitable Peter Bright at Ars Technica. He's a far better writer than I, and completely, utterly infatuated with Microsoft.

      You'll also like Ed Bott, so completely "on-message" that he just declared Windows 8 to be the new Windows XP. You should also follow The Register's own Tim Anderson on his personal blog.

      These are the people you need to read. They will tell you things you want to hear. They will comfort you on a cold, CVE-2013-XXXX night. These are members of your tribe.

      Whatever you do, do not under any circumstances read Mary Jo Foely, and for your own sanity don't read anything by me. You'll find my blogs clearly labelled. They say sysadmin blog. You don't even have to click. It is, in fact, your choice.

      Until you can disconnect your sense of identity from the brands you have incorporated into your tribe, you need to avoid authors that raise your blood pressure. It's for your own health and safety, after all.

      Cheers, and good night.

  44. PeterM42
    Pirate

    This article is SPOT ON

    ...I think Microsoft are suffering from Alzheimer's or some similar mental degeneration.

    If they implemented most of the recommendations in the article, it would be brilliant, but I cannot see it happening. Ballmer doesn't have the brains to see the problems like Gates did. He is just a salesman.

    Port Android to Intel platforms big time and Microsoft will be heading for the graveyard.

  45. durbans
    Facepalm

    Get on with it and get over yourselves

    Don't like it? Don't use it then...I find it absolutely incredible (and quite amusing) to see how much time people spend moaning and being ignorant about something which they have no intention of using anyway. I understand the concept of liking one thing more than another, for example personally I love Jammie Dodgers. But I'd never be ignorant or stupid enough to say that Party Rings are the worst biscuit in the world and shouldn't be sold because they are not offering me the biscuit I want. The world does not revolve around me, so unfortunately I've got to live with all the other choices of biscuits given to me. Which is lucky, because even though I don't like them, if there were no other biscuit manufacturers then Jammie Dodgers could charge whatever they liked for their biscuits. And I'd front the cash, because I freakin' LOVE Jammie Dodgers.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm guilty of moaning about things too. But not about the fact that a product I wasn't planning on using isn't built exactly like I'd want it to be. That's what I'd call a waste of time.

    On topic though, It's funny how people are calling Win8 another Vista. Vista was slow, clunky and had serious security issues which also affected usability. Windows 8 is the fastest Microsoft OS ever, is incredibly secure, and has implemented new features which some users don't like. Hardly a case for comparison there. And that is fact.

  46. Mark Leaver
    Thumb Down

    End of the day

    I build my own desktops and I never buy off the shelf systems unless it is for the company that I am working for. And with that in mind, I wont be upgrading from Windows 7 any time soon and when I eventually have to (IE: I buy a laptop that comes with Windows 8 installed) then I will be looking at moving to a *nix based operating system.

    I have had a quick peek at Metro and I am not that impressed with it for the enterprise environment.

    I think that Ballmer is pushing Microsoft into the grave with this attempt to get into the mobile market.

    and @durbans... ever since Microsoft nailed their networking stack onto the side of windows, their operating systems have never been secure.

    1. durbans

      Re: End of the day

      Once again....no proof, just your opinion.

      http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/mac-versus-windows-vulnerability-stats-for-2007/758

      Quite an old article as it doesn't even include Windows 7 vunerabilities (and it is common knowledge that Win7 is much more secure than any previous Win OS), however you can clearly see that OSX (a *nix derivative) had more vunerabilites identified per month than XP + Vista.

      I will check this articles comments tomorrow to see if you can provide any proof to back up your claim.

  47. durbans
    Trollface

    And finally...

    For those who like to say that the Modern UI is confusing and users will never figure it out...

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57536828-71/windows-8-is-easy-ask-this-3-year-old/

    Although as the article says, you do require half a brain to figure out how a UI works.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Faster horses

    "If I asked my customers what they wanted they'd have told me 'faster horses'"

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thrown under a bus? Hyperbole much?

    With Win7 being supported until at least 2020, it's more like being thrown under the road roller from A Fish Called Wanda. Are your feet stuck in fresh cement?

  50. supatall
    FAIL

    Agree with Trevor ...and I paid for it

    I agree with Trevor. I bought the new version, (as a DVD) installed it and regretted it. It's now going back for a refund.

    The problems are myriad.

    It rendered my 6 month old, Core i5, Asus laptop running Win 7 HP useless. The install routine removes wifi drivers and did not replace them. There is no support from MS for this. Intel do have an update scanner that doesn't work with Win 8. (I spoke to 2 different MS operatives about this. The second said that they are inundated with support calls 'cos Win 8 is taking out drivers and strangely, IE10 not working(!) It no longer recognised my dvd drive. There is no access to BIOS on boot (F8). To get to safe boot, you have to set this as a boot option. Once you've finished with safe boot, you have to turn it off again otherwise you are stuck in a safe boot loop. It stopped accessing laptop restore (F9). The Metro interface is a disaster. For working on a laptop/pc it is useless. On a phone, it would be fine. Programs are presented across 6 screens so it is a frustrating exercise trying to find things. There is no option to change Metro to give a sensible single screen, alphabetical listing of programs. The right hand flyout bar has a mind of it's own. Sometimes it'll shoot out at the merest hint of a pointer. Other times you bash against the right for minutes before it'll come out of hiding.

    If you do install, install as a dual boot boot system so at least you can go back to Win 7 easily. Once I finally managed to get to my system restore image drive I went straight back to Win 7.

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