back to article Windows 8 versions will confuse the punters, say OEMs

The various flavours of Windows about to hit the street will confound consumers, a panel of analysts and OEMs concluded at the recent Canalys Channels Forum. Redmond is preparing to release the Basic x86 Windows 8 (Standard, Pro and Enterprise) and Windows RT operating systems on 26 October, with Windows Phone 8 out in a week …


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  1. NightFox

    Doesn't this same scaremongering crop up every time there's a new release of Windows? OK, this time we have the RT version, but those in the know will still chose the right version whilst those not in the know will once again go down to PC World and have some 'highly trained expert' compare the back of the boxes for them. Same as last time really.

    1. wowfood

      Love those highly trained experts. Did you know an i3 has three cores, an i5 has five cores and an i7 has seven cores? I didn't until I overhead one of their experts explaining it to another customer.

      1. Citizen Kaned

        wow, now that does make sense :facepalm:

        1. melt


 makes more sense than the truth.

      2. Miek

        Sounds like the 'expert' confused his chip manufacturers.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Two totally different products called the same thing?

      Nope, we havn't had that before..

      Most consumers won't understand the difference between Windows 8 and Windows 8RT even if you tried to explain it to them.

      You wouldn't get much further than "Windows 8 RT isn't Windows".

  2. Citizen Kaned

    oh dear...

    "Consumers must rely on retailers to explain difference between Basic x86 and RT"

    relying on PC world staff then.... heaven help us all.

    1. NightFox

      Re: oh dear...

      I'm just guessing that PC World won't even carry the RT version as a normal stock item, leaves them more shelf space for 5 year old graphics cards.

      1. Paul Shirley

        "won't even carry the RT version as a normal stock item"

        That won't be hard, It's not for sale to the public. Only OEMs can even buy/license it. if they decide to not stock RT devices that will be fun. I believe Win8 tablets don't launch till next year when MS get's the software finished.

      2. Citizen Kaned

        Re: oh dear...

        im talking about their tablets. would be fun hearing PC World staff explaining the difference between win8 and win8Rt tablets.

        some of the stuff they come out with is laughable.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Versions !

    Never mind that, wait until your average punter has to deal with NOT Metro and the ribbon.

    1. Big_Ted

      Re: Versions !

      Hey don't forget when they try to open a song it launches an app that they can't work out how to use as it links to xbox and they don't have one......

  4. Mike Brown

    It will be easy for consumers; have you bought the version that wont allow your current software to work? in that case its RT and the wrong one. This has the disadvantage of being a rather retro desicion making process however.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Software compatibility, much like the iPad 2 vs 'new' and the multiple versions of Android then, just a bit simpler as MS have only 2 flavours Windows RT and Windows 8.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Consumer confusion is what they are relying on..

    As really who would KNOWINGLY buy a WindowsRT surface tablet when it's got no apps and doesn't run what Windows (Win32) applications either...

    There are going to be ALOT of disappointed punters that believe they are getting a windows tablet that runs windows applications, totally oblivious to the fact that Microsoft have moved the goalposts of what "Windows Application" means, it no longer means Win32...

    1. Daniel von Asmuth

      Re: Consumer confusion is what they are relying on..

      It's all exceedingly simple: a Windows application is a Win64 application or a Win32 application or a Win32s application or a Win16 application or a 16-bit OS/2 application or a Posix application or a DOS application or even a compatible CP/M application or a .BAT file. An 'app' is a kind of web page with some XML and stuff.

    2. Test Man

      Re: Consumer confusion is what they are relying on..

      What consumer confusion?

      Windows RT doesn't look like past versions of Windows, in fact it looks almost completely different. What ordinary consumer will think that they could run old apps on it? Do these same bunch of consumers also think that they can run Windows apps on Mac?

      I wouldn't worry - Microsoft has made it so obvious that the new interface is nothing like the old one so no reasonable person is going to be confused.

      1. Citizen Kaned

        Re: Consumer confusion is what they are relying on..

        i dont believe that.

        if people buy a windows machine they will expect windows software to work on it. i think you are being very naive. of course we all know but we are the 1% of technical people in the world. most people dont have a clue.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Consumer confusion is what they are relying on..

          "But this can't be Windows, there's no keyboard. Just look at it, it's running ipad. I still don't understand why my apps don't work, though. Maybe I need to turn off the antivirus firewall port?"

        2. Tom 13

          Re: Consumer confusion is what they are relying on..

          This isn't Windows! It doesn't have Word installed.

  6. twolegs


    RT - surely not 'real time'?

    Maybe 'RAGE TIME' for support personnel?

    'Retro Tat' for pill pushers - sorry, tablet users?

  7. MortisDei

    hold on there!

    except that you cannot buy Windows RT, it's only ever pre-installed on ARM-based equipment, like the currently available version of the Surface

    1. Mike Brown

      Re: hold on there!

      Well yes, but the punters still need to choose when they buy a new computer which one to go for.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: hold on there!

      Would you like a Windows tablet or one of those weird Android things ?

      Oh Windows please - I know that

      ...quiet voice ... did we mention it doesn't look like windows, work like windows or run any windows apps ?

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: hold on there!

        equally quiet voice - "neither does Android"

  8. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Disturbingly Sexualized Windows Mascots Might Be Of Some Help!

    Something along those lines (Largely SFW .. I guess)

    1. Craigness

      Re: Disturbingly Sexualized Windows Mascots Might Be Of Some Help!

      How embarrassing for you! Since you posted the link they replaced the sexualised content with cartoons of schoolgirls.

  9. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Tom 13

      Re: can't wait for the explanation.

      I heard one of those 23rd hand stories about Win 8 yesterday. Somebody who got an early release of it installed it on a home system for his kids to try. They sat down, poked around for a bit and after 15 minutes went back to using the Windows 7 PC because that one they could figure out.

  10. The Godfather

    Twitter... that's what it is......talking of PC World, sister-in-law wanted to buy a Samsung laptop..salesman spent two minutes explaining the virtues of the machine and another 15 minutes trying to sell her warranty/support at £7.95 a month...

  11. The BigYin

    The versiobns are easy to explain... there's only two:

    1) Crap; and

    2) Vomit

    The good thing is, those easy-to-remember labels are interchangeable with any Win8 version!

    1. Tom 13

      Re: The versiobns are easy to explain...

      No, there's a third:

      3) American beer. Er, I mean pisswater.

  12. Al Jones

    I don't think ordinary customers are as stupid

    as some of the commentators here.

    Most ordinary customers won't expect to run all their existing software on a tablet, even a Windows tablet - they'll be quick to tell you that that's not what tablets are for. As long as there's a significant price gap between Wintel8 tablets and Win8RT tablets, they'll see the price premium as a logical reason for the difference in capability. And that's probably the biggest problem for Win8RT - it costs too much.

    The key issue will be the availability of the sort of apps that people buy tablets for, and the ordinary customers perception of value in having the same apps on their "real computer" (desktop or laptop), their tablets, and their phones.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: I don't think ordinary customers are as stupid

      And the punters are going to tell the difference between a flat screen hinged to a flat keyboard = laptop and a flat screen hinged to a flat keyboard = tablet?

      Suppose WIndows7 pro could only run on a workstation while Windows7 home could only run on a PC - and only home apps would run on home and only business apps could run on workstation.

      And the workstation and PC looked identical except for the processor architecture?

    2. Tom 13

      Re: I don't think ordinary customers are as stupid

      You mustn't deal with ordinary punters often. Every time MS does a paradigm shift I went into ctrl-F4 mode for almost every customer explaining how their old apps won't run on the new system.

  13. Tom 35 Silver badge

    MS could have avoided the whole problem

    Just don't call it Windows. Since it's not windows, and can't run windows software.

    But too late now, MS Marketing can deal with what they created.

    1. Craigness

      Re: MS could have avoided the whole problem

      They already have Windows Phone, so having a different name for the product in the middle would still be confusing. And whilst calling RT the Tablet Edition might make a bit of sense, Windows 8 can also be in a tablet form factor.

      1. Tom 35 Silver badge

        Re: MS could have avoided the whole problem

        Calling it Windows Phone was a bit of a stretch, but at least the "phone" tells you what it is.

        Windows RT? There is Windows NT, XP so RT has no built in meaning. They already have Windows XP Tablet Edition, and it runs Windows software.

        Windows RT just sounds like another version of Windows to anyone who is not following tech press.

        But it's not Windows, and will not run the Windows Software they expect to run on something called Windows.

  14. bill 27

    It's Win-sanity for

    Win-8, because

    it's innate!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just dumb

    I as an IT pro had to google up how to power down the system. That is just dumb if an educated computer IT pro has to look up the answer on google to find the answer to just shut down the computer. MS is going to be facing the wrath of the general consumer. Really and having most programs claim the screen and not let you hit a restore or minimize button? WTF is with that? I call it suicide. I feel that the "Start" screen is insulting me the moment it starts up and then I feel like I'm fighting it the whole time to just get it to kinda work the way I want it to. This is just dumb.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just dumb

      Just dumb - Alt-F4 and Ctrl-Alt-Del work as before, as for other methods how did anyone ever think of using the start button to shutdown in earlier versions of WIndows? IT pro, educated, hmmm...

    2. Steady Eddy

      Re: Just dumb

      You're educated and an IT Pro and you use Google? You really should know better.

    3. Tom 13

      Re: Just dumb

      I think Otter out-dumbs them with their phone cases: Instructions for how to open the damn thing are on the inside of the brochure which is stuffed inside their case. But not by much.

  16. Raz

    There's not going to be any confusion

    Because no one will buy Windows 8, right? :)

  17. Asylum Sam

    doesn't matter

    It's not that big a deal, the two versions, , most people are going to use it for faceschtick, youtube and a bit of music and video. Just like mobiles, most of the average users daily tasks are available on any platform.

    Anyone that uses some software that isn't available in one form or another on all the platforms probably already knows the difference, or is at least very likely to go and find out the difference before they buy.

  18. Senior Ugli

    Windows - BSOD edition

  19. Paul 135

    I can think of many things that will confuse punters about Win8...

    ... And the differing versions doesn't come anywhere near the top of the list

    1. Tom 13

      Re: I can think of many things that will confuse punters about Win8...

      It may not be top of the list, but it will be the first.

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