back to article 'Not even Santa could save Microsoft's Windows 8'

Once upon a time any problem at Microsoft could be magically resolved with a new Windows release. Since Windows Vista, however, that formula hasn't worked. In fact, according to new sales data from NPD Group, it may be getting worse. In late 2012, departing Microsoft board member Reed Hastings called Microsoft's Surface tablet …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Netbooks destroyed Windows?

    I'd go the other way and say Windows destroyed Netbooks.

    Small, lightweight but slightly underpowered machines, they ran Linux distros and XP well, but struggled a bit under Win 7, even the Starter edition (which couldn't even change wallpaper!).

    Most of the netbookers have moved on to tablets. The laptoppers aren't convinced by Windows 8's dual personality tiles / Win7desktop.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

      Yep we all shouted the GUI was crap when we got hold of the pre-releases but would Microsoft relent and give us DT users a proper legacy mode ?

      Nope the arrogant bastards wouldn't listen so FU Microsoft and watch your sales slide, then maybe you will actually listen to your customers.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

      Right on! It's not that Windows Starter Edition could not change wallpaper, it was that Microsoft did not wanted you to be able to change wallpaper on a netbook. And not to mention other things like making sure netbooks were underspecced by forcing OEMs to limit netbook CPU clock, memory size, screen size etc. in order to make sure they remain underpowered. So I guess we can call it a bloody murder.

      1. Al Jones

        Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

        I think you'll find that it was Intel that was forcing OEMs to limit netbook specs, not Microsoft. OEMs didn't have to put Win7 Starter on their netbooks, but that was the market they thought they could make a buck selling to.

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

          > I think you'll find that it was Intel that was forcing OEMs to limit netbook specs, not Microsoft.

          No. It was Microsoft.

          http://www.tomshardware.com/news/microsoft-windows-netbook-hardware-limits,7889.html

          > OEMs didn't have to put Win7 Starter on their netbooks,

          They did if they wanted to retain their 'loyalty' discounts on _all_ products. Of course they could have put Win7 Home Premium or Ultimate on but that would have doubled the price (OK not double but certainly lots more$).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

            Wow, you guys really go out of your way to avoid the facts when they don't paint Microsoft into a bad light, don't you.

            Microsoft didn't set Maximum specs for Netbooks. They set Maximum specs for Windows 7 Starter, which was cheaper for the OEMs than Windows 7 Home Premium. Given the very slim margins on netbooks, it was OEMs who decided that it didn't make sense to sell netbooks with Win7 Home Premium - they'd cost the same as slightly larger and faster laptops, and the OEMs didn't think that there was a profitable niche for a "premium" netbook (just as there wasn't a profitable niche for a Linux netbook. FFS, even the Chinese sweatshops gave up on that idea, and they didn't have any mythical "loyalty bonus" at risk).

            1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

              Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

              > Microsoft didn't set Maximum specs for Netbooks. They set Maximum specs for Windows 7 Starter, which was cheaper for the OEMs than Windows 7 Home Premium.

              That is not true. OEMs could install Windows 7 Starter on full laptops or even on desktop PCs, it was cheaper than Home on all those and there were no restrictions on, say, screen size.

              It was actually in the days of Vista that XP was resurrected for Netbooks and limits were set. The netbook edition of XP was cheap (alleged $25) and could _only_ be installed on netbooks. To be counted as a 'netbook' there were limit set by Microsoft on screen size and resolution, CPU type, RAM size and disk size.

              With Windows 7 release the netbook XP was withdrawn and OEMs had to use W7 and pay the same price for each edition regardless of what it was installed on, so netbooks lost a pricing advantage.

              Now you may argue that the 'maximum specs' were for XP Netbook edition rather then a hardware spec for netbooks themselves which were then able to install XP, but this is rather a pedantic difference. The point is that this had _nothing_ to do with Windows 7, Starter or not, because the distinction, and the pricing difference, did not exist for W7.

    3. Paul Shirley

      Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

      Lets also remember how much MS must have hated having to postpone killing XP because nothing later would fit on the initial netbooks. Finally bitten by the bloated monster they created and the need to stop Linux stealing an entire market.

      Just a pity they went on to destroy the true netbook market with ever increasing hardware requirements ;(

    4. Daniel B.
      FAIL

      Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

      Oh yes. Netbooks were selling pretty well when they were running Linux, and were gaining traction. Of course, they start selling 'em with Winblows and suddenly they started being crap. I unfortunately bought one after they had started sticking Win7 on 'em, and well, it's the junk netbook that we use when none of the other stuff is available.

      Maybe I should outright rip out Win7 and stick Linux on the thing. Uh-oh, it has no DVD drive ... oops...

      1. Rattus Rattus

        @Daniel B

        It has no DVD drive?

        http://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multiboot-usb-creator/

        You're welcome.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

          Re: @Daniel B

          Or go to Tesco or similar and buy a USB DVD drive for about 40 quid or so. I did for my netbook (along with a 4GB RAM upgrade from Crucial) and between the two it's a fairly usable machine for everyday stuff and one I take on business trips as a secondary machine for a little gaming, coding and iPlayer desktop (via HDMI output).

          The drive is powered by the USB (twin port cable) and works perfectly under both Win7 and Lubuntu (and was used to install the latter).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Daniel B

            Out of interest what netbook do you have that can take 4gig of RAM and has HDMI out? And what is the screen resolution on it?

            Most I have seen are maxed out at 2gig of RAM and don't support HDMI out

            1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

              Re: @Daniel B

              @AC 11:03

              Presuming that was to me, an Acer Aspire One 722, with Win7 Home Premium pre-installed (and Lubuntu added in). The battery came from one of the Hong Kong places and is an 8-cell job which lasts for 6-8 hours or so. It's quite chunky (the laptop sits at about a 10 degree angle rather than flat as it did with the original 2-cell battery), but it's actually easier to type etc on it like that as it acts like a keyboard stand.

              1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

                Re: @Daniel B

                Forgot an answer - screen res 1366 x 768 on an 11.6" size. Not the highest, but enough to do the job and as noted has HDMI output to drive a suitable HD telly for streaming.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @Daniel B

                  One more quick question is your Acer Aspire 722 the one with the C-50 processor or the C-60 processor? One of them seems to have a 1366x768 screen and the other screen only has a 1024x600 display

                  1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

                    Re: @Daniel B

                    Mine is the C60 version. It also came from Tesco.

                    That one came with the 2-cell small battery, but other places do a 4-cell one for a little more cash. But given I replaced it with the 8-cell one anyway (or maybe 9-cell, the biggest one I could find basically) that wasn't really a concern but I mention it just in case you may want to stay as-is.

                    The memory was from Crucial, and cost about £20 or so. Exchanged in literally a minute, one screw from the base, slid the bottom cover off and swapped the card over.

                    As with any netbook it does struggle a little if you push it too hard (stream a movie or iPlayer whilst web surfing and having email open and the stream stutters a little) but for general work and normal usage it does the job fine. The keyboard is nice to type on for mails and coding, overall I'm very happy with it.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: @Daniel B

                      Thanks for your reply. I'm totally confused here though I don't know what Acer are playing at releasing two netbooks with the same model number, but different specs.

                      Tesco don't have this one in stock - http://www.tesco.com/direct/acer-aspire-one-722-netbook-amd-c50-2gb-320gb-116-hd-display-red/215-3215.prd

                      Which is a C-50 and it's listed as a HD display, so I assume thats the one with 1366x768

                      They do however have this one in stock - http://www.tesco.com/direct/acer-aspire-one-722-netbook-amd-c60-4gb-320gb-116-display-red/471-1555.prd?pageLevel=&skuId=471-1555&sc_cmp=pcp_GSF_Computing_471-1555

                      Which is a C60 like yours however it has double the RAM that yours shipped with and by the looks of it only has a 1024x600 screen although they haven't listed the resolution at all, but the lack of a mention for HD and a quick Google shows people in other countries have been burned by the screen resolution on these two machines.

                      Ah well I guess I'll just cancel my order since I only wanted to upgrade to get a 1366x768 netbook. I don't want another with the same screen resolution

                      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

                        Re: @Daniel B

                        Mine was purchased a fair while ago (something like 16 months ago), but I know what you mean. In detail the machines have different full names (722-xxxx where xxxx is the detailed spec) and that did vary quite significantly in RAM, disc size and battery. I hadn't seen variants with different resolutions or processor though for the 11.6" ones (there was also a 10.1" or so model at the time).

                        My one isn't either of your listed ones, at least to look at (mine is black and the disc is 250GB). So as you say I guess things have diversified a bit since I got mine. Shame really, as it's quite a nice little machine in the guise I have. The link below is as close as I can find to my one, but as noted it's not currently available so may have been superceded:

                        http://reviews.argos.co.uk/1493-en_gb/5086380/reviews.htm

                        Sorry to hear you're having troubles though, but at least you're seeing the differences before purchase.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Daniel B

                Thanks for your swift reply Anonymous Custard. I'm after a replacement for my EEE PC 1001HA. Love the form factor, but hate the 1024x600 resolution lack of HDMI out and the 2 gig max RAM. The slightly better specc'd ASUS Models are like gold dust to get a hold of new, but the one you have quoted there is available in Tesco for 279 so that is my next purchase sorted. Good choice with Lubuntu I run it on the 1001HA and wouldn't run anything else it's brilliant.

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Thumb Up

                Re: @Daniel B

                > Presuming that was to me, an Acer Aspire One 722, with Win7 Home Premium pre-installed (and Lubuntu added in). The battery came from one of the Hong Kong places and is an 8-cell job which lasts for 6-8 hours or so. It's quite chunky (the laptop sits at about a 10 degree angle rather than flat as it did with the original 2-cell battery), but it's actually easier to type etc on it like that as it acts like a keyboard stand.

                Same for us also. Those larger battery packs are really quite neat and have small rubber feet to make it non-slip.

                Battery life is about 8 hours for us also. Very nice.

                It's currently running Ubuntu very acceptably.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows? @ Daniel B.

        Congratulations,

        you have just shown yourself up to be completely ignorant, you are probably a newly qualified MCSE.

        For the benefit of your education go here:

        http://software.opensuse.org/122/en

        This where you can download a live KDE or Gnome distro of opensuse that can be run or installed from USB.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

      Maybe the point of the author was that Microsoft's quite successful plot to destroy netbooks backfired because it helped teach consumers associate Windows with cheap and nasty. So Windows destroyed netbooks, now the corpse of netbooks is destroying Windows.

      And, as someone who's been watching the IT landscape for 30 years or so, I might add: not a moment too soon.

      1. Chika
        FAIL

        Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

        To blame netbooks for associating Windows with the cheap and nasty is a bit strong as not all netbooks were cheap and nasty. Mine is quite a nice one, though it is getting a bit tatty these days given its age now, though I can honestly report that it has never seen any Windows software beyond the occasional use of Wine or the occasional connection to a Citrix session.

        The biggest problem was that Microsoft, true to their track record since the 1990s, decided to bloat every successive release they did, relying on advances in hardware support to prop up its code. They were, therefore, caught out when the netbook popped up with a feasible working OS (whichever Linux distro it was) because they only had XP that could possibly run on it and they wanted to kill that. Microsoft effectively misread the market then, thinking that they could impose Vista on us, and they misread the market since, both with regard to Windows 7 Starter and to Windows 8.

        Point fingers at whoever you like in Microsoft that could be blamed for it (Ballmer gets my vote) but the insistance that we must have a new OS every three years or so and it must be a complete paradigm change each time which requires more bloat or whatever without checking with the consumers is never going to be a reliable way to go. That's regardless of what the hardware is.

      2. Zack Mollusc
        Meh

        Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

        I think netbooks might have got consumers to associate Windows with cheap-ish, they already had a strong association with nasty.

        1. David Glasgow

          Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

          OK, OK, enough bickering.....

          Why don't we just agree they destroyed EACH OTHER?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    may I be the first to...

    ... whinge pointlessly about the lack of start button?

    Seriously though, if they haven't got the balls to kill XP properly then what do they expect?

    Upgrading is painful.

    1. Oldgroaner
      Thumb Down

      Upgrading -- so called

      Win 8 isn't upgrading, that's the problem -- ok, faster start-up, better security (but you get both of these with Linux) -- dreadful interface will kill it. Bring on Win 7 SP2.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Upgrading -- so called

        And who has ever really cared about start up times? Well start up times that are sub cup of coffee time anyway.

        1. Patrick R
          Windows

          Re: who has ever really cared about start up times?

          Are you in IT ?

        2. Blitterbug
          Happy

          Re: who has ever really cared about start up times?

          Well, I'm no W8 lover as you may know but boot times are pretty important in the field. Which is why I was excited to scarf the last W7 SSD Ultrabook from John Lewis in the Jan sales. 15 second bootup and boy am I chuffed with it. Sadly my wallet and my wife, not so much.

          1. Synonymous Howard

            Re: who has ever really cared about start up times?

            Boot up times are important for Windows because of the monthly patching + reboot.

            However I find the only time I need to boot up my laptops is after I perform a hardware upgrades otherwise they just stay in sleep mode but that could be because I use MacBooks.

      2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Upgrading -- so called

        > Bring on Win 7 SP2.

        W7 SP2 may be Plan B. If W8 doesn't make not-Metro 'familiar' enough for people to _demand_ it on their mobile devices then W7 SP2 will include a compulsory, unavoidable not-Metro UI.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Upgrading -- so called

          >W7 SP2 may be Plan B.

          Perhaps they may need a Plan C - Release XP Second Edition which under the hood is effectively XP-SP4 plus the stuff that should of gone into XP but MS decided that it's customers would much rather go through the 'joy' of upgrading to Vista, 7 and now 8. I suspect many in the Enterprise space would take this up without blinking. Yes XP could be considered to be a bit dated but then so what? when it is buried under SAP/R3 or other core business applications with their highly functional user interfaces.

    2. 404 Silver badge

      You're not the first, however

      I'm not getting this 'issue' with TIFKAM, I use Windows 8 Pro everyday on my work laptop (HP Elitebook 8440p) and I hardly ever see tiles, I live on the desktop almost exclusively.. I check it now and again to see if there's any 'apps' from the MS store that need updating.

      Which brings up a question: Why all the emphasis on developing 'apps' that imitate the functionality of what used to be simply accessed via browser? Yes, perhaps small devices, small screens, but why oh why do you need them on laptops/workstations?

      IDK man...

      ;)

      1. jason 7

        Re: You're not the first, however

        Same here. The Tiles appear then its hit enter and into Desktop for the next 7 hours.

        Cant see what all the fuss is about really. Set your program defaults to the desktop ones and get on with it.

        I have also mentioned to some about why have 10 different apps to do what I do in one browser application.

      2. Tom 35 Silver badge

        I'm not getting this 'issue' with TIFKAM

        It looks to me like you do get it. TIFKAM is as useful as Active Desktop.

        All MS had to do was not remove the registry setting to tun it off, or better provide a check box to turn it off. Let people have a standard, supported way to turn it off, but still be able to call it up manually if they want to.

        But no, MS has thrown Windows under the bus to try and sell phones.

  3. Levente Szileszky
    Stop

    Again and again: BALLMER AND HIS ENTOURAGE MUST GO first....

    ...and ASAP or MSFT will pay the price and dearly - he is TOTALLY INCOMPETENT, along with his ilks sitting everywhere.

    Mandatory piece from Vanity Fair's last August issue about Microsoft's "lost decade", about the cold-headed killer internal culture where people were deliberately pitted against each other triggering paybacks and backstabbing even within teams, instead of fostering collaboration, where committee design is the normal, where bureaucrats were butchering creativity (look at *ANY* game dev firm bought by MS Game Studios: all dead in a couple of years - only Bungie managed to break away in the 24th hour!) and still running the show:

    How Microsoft Lost Its Mojo: Steve Ballmer and Corporate America's Most Spectacular Decline

    http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2012/08/microsoft-lost-mojo-steve-ballmer#1

    1. The BigYin

      Re: Again and again: BALLMER AND HIS ENTOURAGE MUST GO first....

      MS can't lose what they never had.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wishful thinking

    I expect Matt Assay is not the only person who only sees the world through the lens of wishful thinking. A month or two of uninspiring sales figures for Windows 8 and he concludes he "can't see much of a future for Windows outside core enterprise infrastructure".

    1. GregC

      Re: wishful thinking

      I'm not so certain he's wrong.

      My use of tech has changed massively in the last 2 years - my Windows PC at home used to be on 24/7, these days it's hardly ever used. For what I need/want to do at home my tablet is more than capable of covering everything. Granted, at home I'm not "creating" anything more complex than the odd forum post - but that's kind of the point Matt's making. In my personal life I'm already in the post-PC world, and I know I'm not the only one. I can't see any reason why I might ever buy myself another Windows device.

      Work is a completely different story of course, there I'm running a Windows laptop just like almost everyone else, and that's not likely to change for the foreseeable future.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: wishful thinking

          To spell it out, my point about wishful thinking is the way blokes like Assay extrapolate some minor piece of information to draw an inflated conclusion that suits them. As opposed to reasoned argument and useful points of interest. People who think like that rarely have much to contribute to discussion, we see this all the time on web forums, fans, haters and all.

          Sure its more than possible that the relevance of Windows will decline at a faster rate this year or next. Even likely. But Assay gives no evidence meaningful in supporting his conclusion that Windows is doomed in consumer. A Windows evangelist may point out there's been little hardware available in the shops so far that takes advantage of Windows 8. To conclude when better hardware arrives Windows 8 will grab consumer attention and boost the market would be equally wishful thinking.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Denarius Silver badge

        Re: wishful thinking

        have to agree. Also, the UI change is so great the highly clued people I hang around at aero clubs and so on have complained that using Win8 and the later M$ Office abominations is just too hard. These sort of people have been known to make decisions that change buying and upgrade at large organisations. Making the switch to something else is still expensive, but is it as expensive as changing to OpenOffice or Mac now, given how much retraining is required to use the new Office, let alone Win8 UI ? Frequently use the line," I am not the cleaning lady, I don't do windows".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wishful thinking

      ohhh love your down votes.

      Don't you know 2002, no, 2003, sorry 2004.....hold on 2012, no hang on definitely 2013 will be the year of the Linux desktop.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Happy

          Re: wishful thinking

          because you dared point out to the rabid Linux nutjobs that an article by someone with a vested interest in seeing Open Source grow, may be slightly biased.

          See it's like me pointing out, that still after a decade of people declaring 20xx being the year of the Linux desktop, it still barely registers on the stats.

          1. jason 7
            Unhappy

            Re: wishful thinking

            A lot of tech journos seem to forget its Microsoft that gave them a career.

            It wasnt linux or Apple. Microsoft did more than anyone to push cheaper affordable computing into the mainstream so that now most western households have probably more than one computing device.

            If it had been down to Apple it would still be £3000 for a simple computer. As for Linux....

            I'm not saying that means a slavish devotion to MS. Not at all, criticism where it's due at all times. However, MS gave the journos an audience that is interested enough to want to read their articles.

            If MS goes then I don't think it would be the great computing nirvana that many here think it would be.

            Apple's prices would skyrocket, computing/internet advancements would be restricted and I bet they would then turn their cash reserves and lawyers on hunting down linux and picking that off one by one.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: wishful thinking

              "A lot of tech journos seem to forget its Microsoft that gave them a career."

              A lot of policemen forget that it's criminals that gave them a career.

              We need MS to save us from Apple - good grief !

            2. Anonymous Coward
              WTF?

              Re: wishful thinking

              Good point, i'm off to buy a Windows 8 license, just to keep someone in a job....

              1. Spoonsinger
                Happy

                Re: just to keep someone in a job....

                No need, I bought two licences and only ever going to be using one for testing. So no need for you to buy it.

            3. Nuke
              Thumb Down

              Re: wishful thinking

              Jason7 wrote :- "It wasnt linux or Apple. Microsoft did more than anyone to push cheaper affordable computing into the mainstream so that now most western households have probably more than one computing device."

              That is a myth. Cheap affordable computing was going to happen with or without Microsoft. Back in the 80's all the young techies I knew had some kind of non-MS home computer - Amstrad, Sinclair, Commodore, BBC etc. We were the early adopters, and such computers were already cheap, and less technical people who saw them were getting highly interested - for home businesses, games, typing etc. Friendlier interfaces such as GEM were emerging.

              Do you seriously believe that no further advance would have occurred without Microsoft?

              I maintain that Microsoft set computing *back* by at least 5 years while it was pushing its awful Win9x/ME line of operating systems, long after it could have been promoting a lite version of its at least half-decent Windows NT. MS gave most home users (and PHBs) the impression that computer unreliability was unavoidable and perfectly acceptable.

              1. Ian 16

                YOU HAVE FORGOT

                ABOUT WINMODEMS!

                How could you?!?! =O

              2. jason 7

                Re: wishful thinking

                I see where you are coming from but even though I went through the joy that was the 8 bit period and had some fun in the 16bit (had a 512K Fat Mac) I look back at what was basically a period of toys. I didnt know many people that were trying to run their business off a C64 or Spectrum. A few tried on a BBC B but when you had the money to buy a BBC B.......you know what I mean.

                We could have had a situation by the late 80's to early 90's where we had -

                Apple churning out expensive Macs.

                IBM still pushing PCs running DOS (would they have created a new front end? Would OS2 have occurred had Windows not existed?)

                Amiga still pushing out their ever transforming line up. They never seemed to have a clear vision.

                Atari?

                The UK computer industry? I still think it would have imploded. A couple might have limped on a bit longer.

                Sure things could have evolved differently, we'll never know but I still don't think Microsoft's influence was all bad. A lot of us here are having very nice careers because of them whether good or bad or we use it or not.

                Would linux have become what it is without MS helping to get a load of PC kit into the hands of folks and enthusiasts? Or would linux been enough to fill the gap had MS never existed? Would there have been the need to 'create' linux had MS not existed?

                Oh we could debate this down the pub for ages. A forum like this isn't good enough really.

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: wishful thinking

                Not 5 years, 20 years.

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. David Glasgow

              Re: wishful thinking

              Why do people invest energy in an OS?... Because if you are using an OS as a foundation for making money, what it is and remains capable of is of critical significance. Once you have your workflow established, you don't want to change anything, apart from making it faster or more efficient. However, even those aspirations fade into insignificance compared with the need to not break anything, or incur increased costs.

              Changing any part of the software is a far from trivial decision, and changing OS - even following the upgrade path of the manufacturer, is fraught with risk. Maintaining multiple OSs does offers some resilience and flexibility, but very substantially increases costs.

  5. Shagbag

    Bill Gates

    Bill Gates is a smart guy - we all know that. Ever since he announced he'd be stepping down as CEO of MSFT, I've always believed he could see the writing was on the wall.

    MSFT experienced fantastic growth and profitability for decades but history has shown, time and time again, that nothing ever lasts.

    1. b166er

      Re: Bill Gates

      I'm sure you're not as smart as Bill Gates if you think he left because Microsoft might have a fight on their hands.

      I imagine he left because he figured out that, as world's richest man, he might be able to do something a whole lot more useful for mankind than run a technology company.

      People with drive and vision, rarely leave in the face of a challenge (even if that is sometimes detrimental to the facing of the challenge).

      It's a good point about netbooks, that gave people a lacklustre Windows experience for a very cheap price. But I don't think people are short-sighted enough not to realise that. I now know several people who have the new interface and are getting to grips with it OK. Some in fact prefer it to the desktop version of Windows they've been used to. Times are changing, which is good, and Microsoft are learning to share, which is good. All Microsoft need to do is keep focussed on writing good code.

      1. asdf Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Re: Bill Gates

        >as world's richest man, he might be able to do something a whole lot more useful for mankind than run a technology company.

        I am no Microsoft nut hugger as you can see from my post history but I do like the quote I heard that a century from now few people will know who Steve Jobs was but most people will have heard of Bill Gates simply because his foundation will have largely eliminated malaria and other diseases.

        1. Eric Hood

          Re: Bill Gates

          I think you are wrong.

          John D. Rockefeller is known for oil & not usually remembered for his funding of research for Boll weevil or for his funding of the teams that found cures for yellow fever, meningitis, and hookworm.

          If Rockefeller is not remembered then Bill Gates probably will not be remembered either.

          1. Ian Johnston Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: Bill Gates

            Carnegie is remembered for libraries and scholarships, not steel. Nobel is remembered for prizes, not explosives. Who the hell was Fulbright?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bill Gates

          Nice if true, but charity has also been a very good business avoiding tax and adding "rules" as for instance using Windows when receiving "charity" for libraries for instance.

          http://www.latimes.com/news/la-na-gatesx07jan07,0,2533850.story

          If Gates was serious he might, for instance, try to break the monopoly on aids medicine to help Africa.

          1. Osmosis Jones
            Stop

            Re: Bill Gates

            You can slam Gates the CEO of microsoft (and there is much to be said here) but his philanthropy is pretty good. I would have said peerless except Warren Buffet decided to give away his entire $40bn odd fortune....the bright spark he is, gave it almost all to the William and Melinda Gates charity...and it was none of this create a foundation to honour my name in perpetuity crap, they have to spend every buck they receive the year they receive it so that the foundation is wound up....So i would say thats a pretty massive vote of confidence (indeed the biggest in recorded history) in Gates' work.

            so there is no need to sling mud at Mr. Gates when there is plenty of real dirt at hand.

      2. Nuke
        FAIL

        @ b166er - Re: Bill Gates

        b166er wrote :- " I imagine [Gates] left because he figured out that, as world's richest man, he might be able to do something a whole lot more useful for mankind than run a technology company.

        BS. He left because he was approaching normal retirement age and wants to try repairing his massive negative karma before he gets old and snuffs out. He is doing what some similar nasty businessmen have done in the past - such as Carnegie, Rockefeller and Nobel. For example, Nobel was described in his time as "The Merchant of Death" but managed to get remembered mainly for his Peace Prize. What else does a man do with more money than would be physically possible to spend on himself in the remainder of his life?

        As for good works for humanity, the six greatest inventions in the world are anaesthetics, refrigerators, the wheel, spectacles, electricity, and the water closet toilet. Of these, Gates is trying to uninvent the water closet.

        Gates said (of, basically, chemical toilets he is sponsoring) : " ... these innovations will ..... help transform our dependence on traditional flush toilets in wealthy nations"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bill Gates

      As I remember Bill Gates handed the helm to Ballmer as he wanted to become the chief architect and prove he could invent something himself. That did not happen and there was no return except as chairman.

  6. James 51 Silver badge

    I agree with Sir Wiggum, microsoft (and intel) killed the netbook. I have a netbook and a tablet. The keyboard is going on the netbook and the tablet is no replacement. Not going to buy another netbook because they are disappearing fast but don't want to carry a full sized laptop around wtih me and can't afford an ultrabook.

  7. stephajn
    Unhappy

    How things have changed....

    I remember back in the early days of .NET thinking Windows Forms was going to be where it is AT for years and years and years to come. Especially with some of the things Microsoft was introducing like ClickOnce and even the ability to run a WinForms app in the browser. Although I never did get that to work just right....

    But even now it seems that it just isn't the company it used to be. It feels like they have a bunch of young rookies working there who can't get their act together with anything. Thinking about the MYRIAD of security updates for .NET 4 and the complete fail that is Metro. I have been using Windows 8 on my laptop which dates from the early days of Windows Vista. Yes it runs decently and I respect that. But that Start Screen and the whole Metro design principles just annoy the hell out of me. I installed the Register's app for Windows 8 and it made me want to gag. White text on a busy blackish background? REALLY guys???

    Anyways....I have been firmly opposed to Mac OSX and still am. But it frightens me to think of Mac OSX becoming mainstream for everyone if this continues on. I am really starting to think that I should buckle down and really get serious about learning Linux so I can recommend it confidently to my friends and family when the time comes...

    1. TonyHoyle

      Re: How things have changed....

      Install StartIsBack (if Start8 if that's more your style). Banishes TIFKAM to a distant memory (although you can still invoke it if you really want to).

      Win8 without the metro bloat is a pretty competent upgrade to Win7.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: How things have changed....

        Win8 without Metro is like a day without Ballmer.

      2. nematoad Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: How things have changed....

        "Install StartIsBack (if Start8 if that's more your style"

        And I still hear people banging on about how hard Linux is to get working!

        For the most part Linux "does what it says on the tin" i.e just works.

      3. Schultz
        Stop

        Why hate for win8?

        There is so much vitriol flying around here, but I think it is badly misplaced. I run win8 on a thinkpad X230. After installing classic shell, it looks and operates just like the good old winXP it replaced, and it runs all the legacy software. The system flies, it is a real pleasure to use.

        Ooh, and before you get ready to downvote, let me add that I type this from a diskless ideapad, running bodhi linux on a 4 Gb SSD. There are different tools for different jobs, just find out what works for you and be happy.

        No need to trash other people just because they found enlightenment elsewhere.

    2. Spearchucker Jones

      Re: How things have changed....

      Interesting point about WinForms. I write apps for Windows desktop, WinRT, Windows Phone and of course WCF to connect them all together. I still do desktop dev using Windows Forms, and given it's purist OO basis, direct rendering (GDI+ as opposed to the indirect WPF model) it's far and away the best dev model. Also, the tools behave a lot better because WinForms is a lot more mature.

      In the dev environment, Windows Phone breaks when an async service call is made without a network connection. It doesn't in WinForms, and shouldn't. If you want to encrypt anything on WinRT and read that on the desktop or the phone, you have to refactor your symmetric crypto code in .NET and on Windows Phone. These are just some examples.

      I guess in conclusion that the current mix of Silverlight for Windows Phone, .NET WinForms or WPF on the desktop, and WinRT is making for a development identity crisis. There's no clear direction coming out of Microsoft.

      Annoying, because I've based my dev career entirely on Microsoft's tools and technologies - from GW-BASIC and Macro Assembler in 1986 to .NET 4.5, WinRT and Windows Phone today.

      1. petboy
        Thumb Up

        Re: How things have changed....

        Agree completely about Microsoft's loss of direction for developers.

        They seem to be throwing a rising volume of half-finished development "platforms" out the door at a frantic pace hoping that one will stick. The forums are full of people asking how to get XYZ framework to function, or wondering why a call that works in "A" fails on "B" even though they appear identical. The days when Microsoft had a reputation for "making it easy" are long gone - it's now the same sort of "Knife and fork the install, then pray it hangs together" as the worst flaky platforms of the past. Add to the that the predilection for dumping anything which doesn't grow as fast as the Ballmer bully wants ... Silverlight has managed to go from "next big thing" through "wunderkid" to "deprecated" in the blink of an eye.

        It is not just annoying, but also deeply worrying. As programmers we cannot "just switch" to Java, or gtk C++, or whatever. It would take time and effort - and a degree of fudging on the CV.

        Right now it would be a very brave professional who decided to bet their career on sticking with "the Microsoft. way"

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge
          Happy

          Switch to Qt C++ then

          Cross-platform, and can use pretty much any compiler you like. Qt Creator is also one of the best IDEs out there - not perfect, but pretty damn good.

          Then you can simply forget everything MS invents developer-wise.

          1. Someone Else Silver badge
            Alert

            Re: Switch to Qt C++ then

            Not quite. Qt Creator still requires a compiler. If you're doing Windows development using Qt, you'll still need a C++ compiler that compiles and links code to a Windows .exe. You need to hook your compiler of choice to Qt Creator, and that usually means Visual Stupido ...er... Studio. There are gcc/g++ compilers out there that compile directly to Windows, but that usually means mingw, and, well... the additional plumbing can be rather daunting, especially when all you want to do is get your app working and out the door.

        2. bailey86

          Re: How things have changed....

          Agreed.

          I would say that the writing was on the wall RE MS dev stuff when I had to work with .NET for eight months a few years back.

          Supposed to be cross browser - was not - a major feature was IE only. Could not write anything with nice clean code - had to let VS do some unknown behind the scenes dll compiling to even write basic apps. Portability was another huge problem, trying to get .NET even working was difficult enough. Install 1.1, then 1.2 then hotfix x then Windows SP x then .NET 2.0 then etc etc. I had to reinstall from bare metal several times before the magic sequence was found.

          Final straw for me was that installing VS broke .NET on the dev server.

          I managed to get data loaded by a combination of horrible work-arounds. But then lost money as the company went bust. They'd decided to switch to MS for all their telecoms kit for all their 400 staff at the call centres - and it never worked properly. After losing thousands per hour due to the MS servers the bank eventually pulled the plug. Four staff all laid off on their payday - without receiving their pay.

          The Unix dialler they originally used had worked flawlessly for years.

          1. apjanes
            Meh

            Re: How things have changed....

            I'm no Microsoft fan (tend to like what does the job for me), but I think the two keys in your post bailey86 are "work with .NET for eight months" and "a few years back". I've been developing .NET for 10 years and find it a fully featured, stable and easy to use platform. Sure, it's not perfect, but I've certainly found it good.

            I also think that (as much as many people would like it), Microsoft still has some way to go before being dead. Sure, it's been pretty crap in the consumer market, but many business systems are still Microsoft based and, in my experience do pretty well. Sure, you can argue licensing cost vs. open source but the fact remains that, like it or not, Microsoft is firmly entrenched in corporates. It's also pretty well known that corporates move pretty slowly and so, while the end user might forget Microsoft for Apple, Facebook or Google, I don't think their main profit base is dead yet.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: How things have changed....

            @bailey86

            To be honest, your horror story sounds much more like the result of poor project management and general incompetence (not directing that at you though!).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How things have changed....

        Yes, I would like fries with that. And cheese.

      3. Tom 79

        Re: How things have changed....

        That's a very insightful post. Microsoft has been throwing mud against the wall to see what sticks for a while now. A guy I work with spend several years mastering Silverlight, and now moving to HTML 5.

        I think their throwing so much mud is making the mud less sticky. If I'm writing a management console for an engine, I prefer WinForms over WCF or web, simply because I'm fastest at it. WIth ClickOnce, that whole install at every workstation business is a thing of the past.

  8. Longrod_von_Hugendong

    You got the title wrong...

    Should be even Satan couldnt help windoze 8. Its such a bad fail we will point out for years how a tech company like M$ could create should a pile of shite.

    1. Spearchucker Jones

      Re: You got the title wrong...

      I'm no fan of what Microsoft is doing at the moment (see my post above) but Microsoft's shite today is still a lot more palatable to me than Linux shite (bleeuch!) or the vomcano-inducing OSX.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: You got the title wrong...

        All OS suck donkey balls, you just have to sit down and decide if you want warty, hairy or crusty.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You got the title wrong...

        I did see your post above.

        It suggests you know sod all about anything other than VBS, Silverlight or .NET.

        Really setting the world alight, eh?

  9. Tom 35 Silver badge

    They want...

    Intel wants everyone to buy an Ultrabook with not just an i5/7 CPU but the complete set of intel chips. They think everyone will want to spend $1000 on a computer if they make it cool like a Macbook Air.

    MS want to sell Phones and tablets locked to their own apps store. They thing making Windows look like the phone will some how sell phones.

    They seem to think this will some how magically get people with a $400 laptop running 7 or even XP to spend double that amount on a new Ultrabook running ugly OS. Surface? If they are going to spend that much they will just buy an iPad, everyone else will be an android.

  10. Bob Vistakin
    Pint

    2013: Microsofts' year of hell

    And so it begins.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: 2013: Microsofts' year of hell

      Why didn't they listen?

      1. Potemkine Silver badge

        Re: 2013: Microsofts' year of hell

        Arrogance?

        In the higher spheres people don't experience the same reality that we the common people have to endure...

    2. Wibble
      Windows

      Re: 2013: Microsofts' year of hell

      Or anus horribilis

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 2013: Microsofts' year of hell

        An anus is pretty horribilis.

        Annus maybe?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 2013: Microsofts' year of hell

          Nope, it was right first time.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 2013: Microsofts' year of hell

            Considering the context you could be right!

  11. streaky Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Too much touch stuff.

    I like the idea of the artist previously known as metro but without a touch screen it's a bit null & void - for me the thing that's probably going to save windows 8 aka make me buy it is when my leap motion finally arrives.

    1. Silverburn

      Re: Too much touch stuff.

      Exactly.

      Sell OS upgrade on touch capability to a market where 99% of customers have no touch hardware. Even if they wanted to, there's almost no touch hardware updates other than complete machine replacement.

      Ergo: Upgrade sales in the toilet, causing a full depedency on the natural machine replacement cycle for licence sales. Which is also in the toilet.

      1. streaky Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: Too much touch stuff.

        It's not even that so much as the system doesn't seem to be that usable *without* touch. If there was options a) it's basically windows 7 with a new kernel and new directx etc and option b) what windows 8 actually is, and you can switch between them - they might have sold more copies. That's my argument. But also yes to what you said.

  12. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Office for Linux?

    Really, I would pay £100-200 for a proper working version of Office for Linux (minus the ribbon, which should have been a user-choice against traditional menus). Would save me having to run a windows VM for that.

    How long until they do it for iOS? That is a real market (even if you think Linux users are all freetards) and the only reason I can see for them not doing it is to protect Windows and try to encourage it for fondleslabs. They might regret that...

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Office for Linux?

      That's exactly why you'll never see an Office for Linux - you need Windows to run it. MS is not stupid, why should they release an Office for Linux and lose OS sales? Probaly Oracle will become open source earlier...

      There's another loser in the mobile market, and that's Linux. Sure, Android is Linux based but is not Linux. And tablets are making Linux irrelavant as well as a cheap OS for those who don't need more than web and email.

      That's why Asay wish MS would release Office for Linux, to keep Linux alive on the client side, not to help MS - but it won't happen...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Office for Linux?

        "That's exactly why you'll never see an Office for Linux - you need Windows to run it. MS is not stupid, why should they release an Office for Linux and lose OS sales?"

        You are aware of "Office for Mac" right? - https://www.microsoft.com/mac/products

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Office for Linux?

          > MS is not stupid, why should they release an Office for Linux and lose OS sales?

          That's the kind of thinking that will wipe the Microsoft Festering Horror off the face of the market once and for all. Carry on, Ballmer. I can't wait.

        2. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Office for Linux?

          They have an agreement with Apple dating back to many years ago. And Macs cost more than the average cheaper Windows machine, while its OS can't run but on Apple hardware. It's not a real competitor in the desktop space, and it's not a competitor at all in the server one. Linux might have treated MS if enough decent desktop software had been available, and it's fully MS interest to ensure there's not an Office for Linux - and even iDevices as long as MS has to push its own ones in the mobile space. You may not like it, but from a MS perspective that's a wholly right decision. Should Canon offer its high lenses for Nikon or viceversa? Of course as a photographer you may like it, as a camera maker you know your bodies push your lenses sales and viceversa. Why lose sales? Some people writing here should try to run a company (and make money, not exhaust VC ones), one day...

        3. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Office for Linux?

          Yes, and why Asay don't ask Apple to let install OSX on non Apple hardware as well - legally? Or license iOS to other hardware companies? It would be exactly the same thing that asking MS to release Office for Linux.

          All of you just hate MS and would like it to commit suicide killing its golden egg chicken. Ballmer is stupid but not that stupid, and anyway someone else at MS would stop it before doing such a bad move.

          Moreover, believe me, mobiles and tablets are driving people to easy to use GUIs and easy to update devices - and that in the long term will kill Linux on the desktop faster than it can kill Windows... after using a tablet who wants to mess with a Linux system? Maybe MacOS, but not Linux... Linux should be thankful to Metro, but MS can correct mistakes...

      2. Daniel B.
        Boffin

        Re: Office for Linux? @LDS

        "That's exactly why you'll never see an Office for Linux - you need Windows to run it."

        I'm using Office right now ... on Mac OS X. They do release stuff outside their M$ ecosystem, they just haven't added Linux to the mix. And they actually should go on an Office for Linux; it could give them an escape route when Windows finally comes crashing down. I don't think it will happen soon though; it'll take a couple of years before Windows loses the OS wars. Hell, if Apple were to open up, they might even take over the Windows market entirely at this rate. The Mac version of Office still has menus (and the Ribbon) because the OS doesn't have menu-less apps, by the way.

        1. Ian Johnston Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Office for Linux? @LDS

          Office up to Office 2010 runs on Linux using Crossover, which is, I gather, a tweaked derivative of Wine.

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Office for Linux?

        "That's exactly why you'll never see an Office for Linux - you need Windows to run it. "

        Traditionally MS has never been too worried about OS sales as the real money is in apps. It's one of the reasons that they didn't bother going after piracy in a big way until the last few years ("If they're going to pirate stuff, they should be pirating our stuff" is a backdoor way of cornering the market used by many players over the years and is one of the reasons used for justifying the proprietary formats)

        If OS sales tank, then they'll have to reconsider the platform-portability of Office (FWIW office for mac is pretty awful), but to be honest if they're serious about sorting things out then they'll need a fairly major purge at Redmond in order to remove 90% of the bloat that's preventing them doing anything rapidly.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Office for Linux?

          MS needs to control the whole stack - OS, middleware, and desktop applications. One boost the sales of the other. Windows on the desktop means also to boost the sales of Windows in the server room, which has fairly higher margins (server licenses and CALs....). The you have integration with Exchange, Sharepoint, etc. etc....

          You should not see it just from the home user point of view, home users are just a way to make people used to MS software and wanting it in the office as well - because it's there real money are made. Letting people use the software they need on Linux will mean lose the desktop licenses, the server ones, the CAL, and the all the MS ecosystem - Exchange, SQL Server, Sharepoint, Visual Studio, etc. etc. which bring in a lot of money. And that's exactly what the Linux companies would like because it would boost the sales of the thei products, because most companies don't run unsupported or "community-supported" software, and thereby by licenses and support - why should MS help them to get more revenues and lose its own?

    2. Osmosis Jones
      WTF?

      Re: Office for Linux?

      Ribbons!? ffs..get over it man.

      I despair at the number of people that want to remain stuck in the past when it comes to UI.

      and the rest of the people hung up on lack of start button or garish windows, colours etc. the world has changed as much as we dislike it (yes i hate non physical keyboards and most touchscreens are crap compared to a half decent mouse), we need to enter this scary place at some point.

      1. Steven Roper
        Facepalm

        Re: I despair at the number of people that want to remain stuck in the past when it comes to UI.

        I know, right? I mean, steering wheels and accelerator/brake pedals are just so 1890s aren't they?

        Car manufacturers should get with the program and build cars that you steer by sliding your finger left and right, and accelerate and brake by sliding your finger up and down, on a touch-sensitive pad hidden conveniently out of sight under the dashboard. Then you can control the car with just ONE FINGER leaving your other hand and both legs free for more important things than driving!

        So much more efficient and innovative than the ancient and antiquated steering wheel and pedal crap, no?

        And don't even get me started on that goddamned stone-age circular design shit we're STILL using for wheels...

      2. Obvious Robert
        Stop

        Re: Office for Linux?

        "I despair at the number of people that want to remain stuck in the past when it comes to UI.

        ...we need to enter this scary place at some point."

        But why? Surely we should be fighting back against having this crap foisted upon us and instead insist that we get something that's actually fun and intuitive to use. For example I've been with Android since the G1 came out (before it even had an on-screen keyboard!) and have watched it develop, improve and become more enjoyable to use with every iteration. The same should be true for PC operating systems as well, we shouldn't have to put up with rubbish primarily produced with a sinister ulterior motive, i.e. attempting to increase MS's share of mobile by placing a thoroughly unsuitable mobile OS on PC's.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Office for Linux? @ Osmosis Jones

        Ribbon Schmibbon!

        It's the fact that the ribbon takes up 30% of the screen space.

        That 30% of the screen space is wasted having "shit constantly stuck in your face" that people do not want, need, or care to see OR use.

        Many people prefer menus.

        And they were stupid arsehole enough to REMOVE your right to choose... the MENUS or the RIBBON.

        That is why people hate it.

        And they still fucking hate it.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    Lack of vision and feeling the heat...

    I think that best sums up the current situation. Microsoft has crown jewels in their possession (IMO that is) but seems to totally and completely lack the skills to promote and exploit these.

    Not that surprising I think considering that in the past Microsoft never had to; whatever they said or did happened. But times have changed. And if there's one thing I learned from having to deal with enterprise environments; implementing a certain change can take major efforts. And then I'm not even talking about the change itself; but to suggest, promote, explain said change. In other words; getting people's attention.

    But even if you can get people's attention then it still depends on the upper brass if new company courses will actually be seriously investigated. And when looking at the (relatively recent) past; why should they?

    I also get the feeling that the company culture is involved with "follow the leader" no matter what. I completely agree with the author; Microsoft should have investigated and expanded their Office line for example. They already have their Office environment available on Apple (afaik) so why not take it from there and expand? Actually trying to open new markets. But that's not happening; instead they devise a new magic keyword, 'touch' in this case, and after that everything needs to follow up on that.

    It goes right up to a point where solid products (once again, IMO that is) get heavily disabled where functionality is concerned. I tried previews of the upcoming Office version and quite frankly I'm no believer, even though I heavily favour their Office 2010 product line. The problem; the whole thing seems to evolve around touch; simpler GUI's, controls which are easier to 'touch'.

    All fine and well; but what about "touchless" people?

    Microsoft is reaching a point where they should think more about what their customers want instead of fully going for what they want and think to be best. Taking away all colour from their Visual Studio went relatively well in the end; but the way this is going I foresee a situation where people may actually dish VS entirely should they pull stunts like that again in the future.

    MS is reaching a point where they can no longer afford to tick off people with dumb changes like that.

    And this is happening on all fronts; from Office to development environments right to operating systems.

    If they don't wise up then things can go worse for them, and such developments go much quicker than most people expect.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      Re: Lack of vision and feeling the heat...

      The law of unintended consequences.......

      And MS is making plenty of BIG nasty irritating fuck ups....... and has been for decades.

      Satan - She just LOVES Ballmer.

  14. ElsieEffsee

    Want to know how much I hate Windows 8?

    I hate Windows 8 to the tune of just over £2,000 as that's what I've just dropped on a 27in iMac.

    Now before anyone takes the Michael (as if you lot would?!) at spending much money on a PC, I've admired the iMac range for a long time, I've saved up the money and it'll probably be my last ever computer so I wanted it to be a good one and one that could be used (or at least worth something) after I don't need it.

    Windows 8 annoys the he'll out of me and the final straw was when my wife needed a new laptop and decided to get a W8 one from HP. She was prepared to give it a try but when I tried to connect Microsoft's latest OS to my Windows Home Server 2011 guess what? It can't be backed up! W8 is installed using a EFI / GPT disk partition that WHS2011 cannot handle.

    So yes, I maybe mad for spending so much of my own money on an iMac but its one of the things I wanted to do before I depart this earth!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Want to know how much I hate Windows 8?

      So were you able to back up your iMac to your WHS2001?

      Inquiring minds want to know!

      1. ElsieEffsee
        Unhappy

        Re: Want to know how much I hate Windows 8?

        Nope, I wish I could though and it would have been nice if that worked. AFAIK, backups coulde be done with older versions of OSX but it's no longer possible so it's Time Machine to an external USB 3.0 HDD for now. WHS2011 on a HP Microserver is great for the rest of the Windows machines in the house, backing them up and holding media for streaming around the house.

    2. Daniel B.
      Boffin

      You aren't the only one.

      I didn't spend *that* much in my W8 h8, but I did buy a 13" MBP instead of a "regular" laptop because of Win8. It was getting stuck with that POS or doing the mighty jump to OSX. And given that a former boss managed to skip Windows entirely thanks to choosing OSX since day one (he mostly used Solaris, so he didn't even use windows at work) and the UNIXy aspects of OSX well... it was worth jumping back to Mac. (I stopped using it sometime around 1997. Previous to that, we were a Mac house.) Ironically, my jump to Windows/PC had been on dev grounds, MS being more "open" than Apple for development stuff. Currently, MS is a broken ecosystem where something you might learn will be deprecated in a couple of years.

      Thankfully, my main dev platform these days is Java.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ElsieEffsee - Re: Want to know how much I hate Windows 8?

      DD is your friend. It can back up any kind of disk or partition. If you're lucky, you might even find a win32 port.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Want to know how much I hate Windows 8?

      "I hate Windows 8 to the tune of just over £2,000 as that's what I've just dropped on a 27in iMac."

      We stopped buying most of the flat-panel imacs due to an utterly shite reliability record (100% death rate over 4 years on 40 machines - mostly in year 4, outside the "extended warranty" period). Nice case but appalling thermal design.

    5. OrsonX

      Re: Want to know how much I hate Windows 8?

      So, how's the photo slideshow screensaver on your iMac?

      [he says typing from his MBP, where it ain't working properly since ML]

  15. jon 68
    Holmes

    TIFKAM

    I'd love to see where that came from originally.. what's the oldest version of it that you've seen?

    1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

      Re: TIFKAM

      "I'd love to see where that came from originally.. what's the oldest version of it that you've seen?"

      The Artist Formerly Known As Prince was my inspiration, and I found others had beaten me to it.

  16. Vince

    Failure / Supposition / Baseless waa waa here.

    It's really getting a little dull all the "Windows 8 is a failure" nonsense - based on nothing of any meaningful substance.

    Yes, it's different. That's right. Different. Because what worked in 2002 isn't working in modern IT. But if you stopped moaning for 5 seconds about the mildly different "start screen" part, there's little different in terms of "doing what you did before" - but there is a boatload of "can do more than you did before" stuff.

    As someone who is ACTUALLY using Windows 8, in all its forms (eg Windows 8 RT on my Ideapad Yoga, Windows 8 Enterprise at work, and Win 8 Pro with media Pack at home), and with both touch and non-touch devices, I can't say I've had any real problems at all.

    If anything life is easier now - my home PC and ideapad now share settings - so I setup my e-mail on one, and voila, both have it setup, my stuff is sync'd and shared quite nicely, even down to colour schemes. For work, I can use all the latest everything (and do, including Office 2013), but my old apps (even my preferred e-mail client that is really really really long in the tooth) work just like they did before.

    So I've lost nothing, but gained a lot, and we're finding lots of customers adopting Windows 8 too (especially at home). I suspect Surface Pro will be popular in business, cause like, y'know, it's a tablet which is all the rage, but actually more like a laptop too, runs all the stuff you already have, want to run and know, but gives you the flexibility of tablet style use with the power of a normal laptop, and the ability to use it like one of those too. I can think of a zillion different use cases. For me, the yoga makes more sense - one device, multiple use options (tablet for sitting reading browsing, laptop for doing work, e-mail, intensive input stuff), and nothing is removable - plus I like the long battery life and lightweight etc of the RT Yoga.

    I reckon with the right hardware options for your intended use, Windows 8 is ace.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: Failure / Supposition / Baseless waa waa here.

      And then you awoke, and the MS bag of gold was just a dream.

      Sad.

    2. Keep Refrigerated
      Angel

      Re: Failure / Supposition / Baseless waa waa here.

      Wow, that read as a marketing piece. If you don't work for MS marketing, you should send them your comment because I'm sure they're spending a lot of money for fluff like that and be interested in negotiating a better rate with you.

      If you do work for MS marketing then try harder, I suppose...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Failure / Supposition / Baseless waa waa here.

      It can detect tachyon field emissions too!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Failure / Supposition / Baseless waa waa here.

      You seem to be some kind of expert maybe you can help me out with something.

      Is there any way to make those buttons any BIGGER? I'm having trouble finding my way around.

    5. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Failure / Supposition / Baseless waa waa here.

      " Because what worked in 2002 isn't working in modern IT."

      Strangely enough, I have the same hands, fingers, and general motor-skills now that I had back in 2002.....

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bought a Samsung Chromebook and it's brilliant...

    It's also right at the top of Amazon's Best Sellers list, which may surprise many...

    Windows 8/ Windows Phone 8/Surface/Zune/XBox/Kinnect all a massive string of disasters, how much longer can Microsoft continue to churn out crap?

  18. Thorfkin

    Windows Dominance

    @Matt

    I think your assertion that Microsoft needs to "Think differently" could be expanded on. The problem, as I see it, is that Microsoft tried to create an interface that works for both desktop and tablet computers rather than creating two separate interfaces optimized for each task. They should have provided a way to active switch between "Desktop Mode" and "Tablet Mode" with a clear desktop oriented interface based on what has worked historically for desktop mode and the new Notro interface for tablet mode. This would have made Windows 8 into an OS that could easily slot into a wider set of usage scenarios. Instead by trying to create this hybrid interface they've done the opposite, narrowing the effective usage scenarios.

    Desktop users want a Desktop OS not a tablet OS and this new interface suits tablets to the exclusion of effective desktop use.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Re: Windows Dominance

      In a sense, I recon it could just be simplified to:

      Microsoft needs to think.

      ... but personally, I hope they don't.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Optional

    Microsoft's problem is the same now as it always has been - they lack the ability to innovate.

    The entire company is based upon the theft of others' work, abuse of its market position (or the purchase of smaller companies that do innovate.

    QDOS, WIMPs, disk compression, PowerPoint, Access (R:Code), etc, etc, etc.

  20. The BigYin

    Give it time

    Windows 8 will be in almost every home and office. Not out of choice, but due to the fact it's pre-installed and you have no choice. You will have Windows, and you will like it. Unless of course you are rich, in which case buy an Apple and enjoy a different walled garden.

    1. William Donelson
      Go

      Re: Give it time

      No on ever considers "resale value" of Apple kit. I just sold an 8 year old PowerPC Mac for $400... Not bad!

      Try that with an 8 year old PC.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Phantom Windows 8 sales

    I bought a new PC over Christmas and it came with Windows 8.

    I bought it because the hardware was good for the price. But an OEM copy of Windows 7 went on it. So it never once actually booted Windows 8, despite it having Windows 8 stickers on the tower and registering as another happy Windows 8 user in Microsoft's sales books.

    Am I alone? Unlikely. And what about all the people who keep Windows 8 because they can't justify the cost of a Windows 7 licence but install things like Classic Shell and tweak it to hell until it resembles Windows 7 as soon as it's out of the box? technically they're Windows 8 users and count toward the number of 'happy users', but in truth they've gone out of their way to make their PC effectively Windows 7, giving a big thumbs-down to Win8.

    Seriously, MS have made a cottage industry out of the Start button. If that happens when you remove a feature, it's clear you've made a mistake and people are genuinely unhappy, rather than just moaning at change for the sake of it.

    And removing DVD support was just a trick to save money. They know that most off-the-shelf PCs come bundled with some kind of DVD creation software that the manufacturer pays for, so why include their own licensed DVD software. Just leave it to the manufacturers to deal with, though don't lower the cost to them.

  22. Acme Fixer

    It's the Apps, Stupid!

    People don't care about what operating system the thingy uses, all they want to do is get a job done, and be able to share what they do with others. if there's an app on iTunes or marketplace that does it, then they're happy. Corporate will succumb to this too, as soon as they realize that they can do it, too.

  23. sam tapsell
    Linux

    Cant stand microsoft, because...

    I have long suspected the only people who like microsoft are people who profit from them. If my job depended on the success of microsoft, I would be getting behind microsoft too.

    Sorry to those of you are invested in microsoft to support your family and pay your mortgage: a slow decline awaits.

    As an end user, I cant stand microsoft. As a monopolist, they have spent years copying then destroying any threats. They did well in Office software, Browsers, Games consoles and of course Windows itself, but they have never failed to abuse their position, by charging huge amounts for what they delivered.

    They have failed in Search, MP3 players and along into mobile. And worst of all, they failed by teaching their customers to hate them by their sharp operating.

    Apple didn't want to do mobile (they were planning the iPad) but when they just realised the iPod would be destroyed by the next generations of mobile phones they switched attention to the iPhone. They destroyed iPod, along with nokia, RIM and others. They sucked away most of the profits in mobile, by making a device consumers enjoyed.

    Next came the iPad.

    Microsoft realised that its OS would lose relevance, as people innovated with tablets and mobiles. It has tried to take the same idea of truly innovating, but its too late. Windows 8 on a normal laptop is a mess, though I can see it might work with touch. If I wanted it.

    But i'm very happy with apple and ubuntu now.

    Microsoft could still earn a fortune in the coming decade by doing a competent job with Office, Windows and XBOX, I suspect they will blow most of their billions in trying to stay relevant and making bad purchases.

    I wonder if developers out there are more excited by an ubuntu phone, than what windows phone bring next year? Maybe its just me...

    1. Bob Vistakin
      Holmes

      Re: Cant stand microsoft, because...

      WP8 has shockingly tiny sales figures - it's entirely possible a Ubuntu handset would outsell it. And wouldn't that be lovely - it might even get Nokias attention, since as soon as that looked remotely possible Blamer and his trojan Flop would have both been given the boot by then, and an alternative would be needed.

      Actually ... hey now there's a funny thing ... why suddenly the announcement of all these alternative mobile OS's - Tizen/Ubuntu/FirefoxOS etc? It's almost as if these are waiting for someone big to announce a major change in direction...

      1. Philip Lewis
        Alert

        Re: Cant stand microsoft, because...

        Does Samsung's Bada still outsell it?

  24. madmalc
    FAIL

    All they need to do is put the start menu back on as standard

    I would love Windows 8 with a start menu on a desktop or regular laptop, and I'd love it in native mode on a tablet. I shouldn't need to install 3rd party software to use it with a mouse

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All they need to do is put the start menu back on as standard

      Then stop paying attention to the nay-sayers who haven't even used Windows 8. It works just fine with a mouse, because it was designed to work with a mouse if there's one present.

      1. madmalc
        Terminator

        Re: All they need to do is put the start menu back on as standard

        I have tried it on my Acer convertible tablet and, whilst its great in touch mode, it is cr*p with a mouse & keyboard

  25. Mark 110 Silver badge

    I quite like . . .

    I quite like Windows 8 . . once you have everything to hand it works. Obfuscating the start menu seems a strange thing to do but life is much easier without it once you get your head around it.

    I actually think it will work wonderfully on a tablet. A Windows 8 RT tablet is now on my shopping list as I think its gonna make a much better experience than an Andriod one (girlfriend has a Transformer).

    Anyway - write Microsoft off at your peril - its not so long since Apple nearly went bust and Sony were top of the world.

    1. Silverburn
      Facepalm

      Re: I quite like . . .

      Obfuscating the start menu seems a strange thing to do...

      Possible replacements for "strange":

      - Ludicrous

      - Suicidal

      - Insane

      - stupid

      - idiotic

      - brainless

      - arrogant

  26. Kev99 Bronze badge
    Thumb Down

    What gets me is pretty much every PC manufacturer marches in lock-step with Microsoft when it comes to OS. Microsoft could come out with an OS powered by a drunk hamster and PC industry would be all over it. I've yet to see any review that finds the upgrade to Win8 worthwhile, even when preinstalled. And people seem to forget that with a touch screen you need to touch the screen with your dirty, greasy fingertips. How many screens will crap out because of this dirt or people trying to push thru the screen to the other side. I personally believe this is restraint of trade at its worse.

  27. William Donelson
    FAIL

    Windows pain pain pain

    Windows is such a total pain, people are just finally feeling like they own Windows 7, somewhat. Moving to Windows 8 is like asking people who haven't slept in 40 hours to wake up and get out of bed and into another bed which is only slightly better.

    Feck Off, they will say.

  28. Arachnoid
    Thumb Down

    Very nice.......now compare the sale price for comparable PC and Apple devices and equate it as a percentage of the purchase and get back to me if you still think you had a good deal.

    1. sam tapsell
      Thumb Up

      its not just a spec sheet

      How about comparing the resale price 3 or 5 years later?

      My iMac i am writing from is now >5y old. Still a great machine. Still valuable to me. If a product is enjoyed and used, the cost is OK and worth it to me.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. DougS Silver badge

    Cannibalize your own market or someone will do it for you

    Apple declined 6% in unit sales. Like Windows PC's 11% drop, that is likely because of people using tablets and smartphones for some of the tasks they used to use their Windows PC (or second PC) for. The sales decline for Macs hasn't hurt Apple, they're still raking it in with the sales of iPads. It does hurt Microsoft and Intel, because they aren't participating in the sales of tablets or smartphones to a degree that matters - certainly not enough to replace the sales they have lost and will continue to lose in greater numbers as the PC market continues its two year long decline.

    Interesting that Apple saw a $100 increase in ASPs. That's almost certainly due to the product mix favoring the higher priced Retina Macbook. People like to complain about Apple's high prices, but Apple produced a product that's even MORE expensive, but obviously consumers believe the Retina screen and other features present on that model are worth the upcharge as they are buying it in great enough numbers to push up the ASP $100. PC OEMs would sell their firstborn for a $10 ASP increase, they can only dream about a $100 increase.

    1. Daniel B.
      Boffin

      As an MBP owner...

      I think the Retina MacBooks are for posers and/or gamers. Maybe. I'd probably strike out gamers, because the Retinas aren't upgradable, and thus you can't up 'em to 16Gb like my non-Retina MBP. Apple can sell overpriced Retinas because people still drool at the fruity stuff and will spend $$$ if they can on that.

      That said, regular, non-Retina MacBooks are pretty much worth their price. I do wish they had user-replaceable batteries, but on the rest, they're pretty much customizable. And even if a Mac is more expensive than a typical PC Laptop, knowing I am not paying the M$ tax is a huge plus for me!

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: As an MBP owner...

        Well, as a non MBP owner, I'd pay a few hundred extra for a 2880x1800 resolution screen on my laptop, but only Apple offers that. Or for that kind of resolution on the 27" monitor I have instead of the 1920x1080 it has. There are some 2560x1600 monitors out there, but they cost nearly $1000 versus under $300 for the same size in 1080p. Clearer more easily readable text is a good thing, and I'm willing to pay for it. Apple's sales of the Retina MBP shows I'm not alone in this.

        Laptops and desktop monitors are far more in need of resolution increases than TVs and phones. Yet all we hear about are pointless hype about 4K TVs and 1080p phones that serve no purpose. I'm not hearing anything from anyone about higher resolution laptop screens aside from Apple, and even 1600p desktop monitors cost 3-4x what the same size panel in 1080p costs. Stupid. At least 4K TVs will have the side benefit of eventually making 4K resolution desktop monitors reasonably priced!

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: As an MBP owner...

          ... but you're worth it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cannibalize your own market or someone will do it for you

      The whole sector declined but Apple declined less and actually increased it's ASP so overall revenue was probably about the same. The others suffered bigger drops and in a market where prices and margins were falling as well = double bad.

      All laptops will be affected by the success of the iPad and other tablets - netbooks especially but for many people a tablet will do all they needed a laptop to do at lower cost, weight and size. My iPad can get me on the network, I have SSH, access to email and a web browser and most of the time that's all I need - I'm sure I'm not alone.

  30. FuzzyTheBear
    Pint

    First Impressions

    Perhaps . like many others around me . the feeling that win 8 is a media consumption system and not an operating system for serious work is what turned so many away. It looks cheap Feeling i had was written cheap all over . I don't need a media consumption device. I need a computer with serious oomph to do serious work. XP fills that need when i have windows only programs that i need. XP remains a stable os. If they were to sell licenses for it they'd still sell it. Nice to have new products.but having GOOD products that look and feel professional is even better.

    ( yes im a linux user .. and ill refrain making smart remarks about trying linux bla bla crunchbang !# bla bla for serious work and great performance and a professional feeling bla bla lol )

    Cheers , Have a great computing year

  31. David Strum
    Unhappy

    No, the vast majority of us are sick of buying new

    It’s alright for a few gadget addicts, with plenty of cash to burn. But I suspect schools who have just shelled out a couple of grand on desktops, just can’t jump on the band waggon and throw them away for tablets. There is an uneasiness that starts to become obvious to us punters, that MS and the rest, are taking the mick; having a laugh at our expenses as they rip open our dwindling wallets.

    I’m just sick of being told my PC is now 6 month old, time for a new one. Sick to death; sc****w you MS. I’m not playing or paying anymore.

  32. Semaj
    Facepalm

    There's a Good OS in there Somewhere

    I installed it on my small, low powered laptop (mostly to test) and tbh - it's not an awful OS, it's just crippled with awful, arbitrary design choices. The biggest one of which for me is that apps won't run in a lower (netbook) res and this is impossible to change, even though all of those apps have vast amounts of white space. There are a number of other issues as well but that's the one that winds me up the most.

    There are a lot of low powered laptops (mostly people who don't give a toss about whether something looks good or not), which could have generated quite a number of upgrades if nothing else. If only they hadn't totally ignored their Beta and RTM feedback.

    And I think this res issue is going to bite them even more in the coming months / years because surely you could produce a much cheaper tablet with a low res screen, which would be ideal for the netbook market (i.e. those who want to pay <= £200).

    Ah well - at least coding Android apps is pretty easy.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's that funny smell

    Kinda sweet and sickly... like a woodchuck that's been sunnin' itself

    on the highway after a few days. Couldn't happen to a nicer pack

    of thieves.

    Fubar (anonymous 'cuz I dig the masque)

  34. Corborg
    Meh

    How it should be

    I never really got OS's launching to fanfare. A good OS should be slipping by unnoticed, doing its job. And that job is to protect us from the complexities of the machine, and allow us to run the tools we need on it.

    In one way Windows 8 achieves this really well with its more streamlined and modular (alright not Linux modular yet but getting better) code base.

    It then fails miserable with a slap in the face when you press the start button.

    I hope all releases of Windows from now on are low key, iterative updates that try to be nothing more than it needs to be. No movie makers, social networking apps, UI rehashes or attempts to build a foundation for a walled garden (thanks for that Apple)..

  35. This post has been deleted by its author

  36. Sil

    A success in the long run?

    All true but on the other hand look at CES, 99% of innovation is linked to Windows 8.

    We may have the Office 2010 effect, disliked at the beginning but a huge success widely appreciated in the end.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  37. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  38. Mark Leaver
    Thumb Up

    Linux or Windows 7

    I am on the verge of buying myself a new laptop. As most of the ones that I am interested in these days is Winblows 8 only, I can see myself buying a copy of Windows 7 to install on the thing or downloading a copy of Linux and then I may consider running Winblows 8 in a virtual machine. And as I usually build my own home PC's I would seriously consider dumping Windows 7 on the home machine and going full Linux and run Windows 7 in virtual machines for those times when I have to do something in Windows...

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NO shitze!

    Win8 is the shitze and not in a good way. People are voting with their wallets and the resounding"NO" is being reported by everyone including Microsucks.

  40. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Devil

    Santa?

    I think you've misspelled the name of the one character with whom Microsoft could contract to turn their prospects around.

  41. The Godfather
    Coat

    Holy crap...

    Nothing riles the populous more than Microsoft....(mind you, I can see their angle)...!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Holy crap...

      Apple are a close second.

  42. The Grump
    Facepalm

    I want to go back to Win XP

    At least Win XP could remember where you closed the last window for each program you use. Ever since Vista, all the windows for every program open on top of each other, and there is no way to stop it short of registry brain surgery - and I'm not a Windows brain surgeon.

    Microsoft's mission: If you have something that works, fix it until it doesn't work, then call it a "feature", not a programming bug. Too bad MS is the only game in town. Linux isn't really a player in the game.

  43. soliduss

    Odd one out

    I, for one really enjoy using Windows 8 except for the intrusive "metro". At work, on a touch screen all-in-one pc it makes sense and functions well, on my laptop its more annoying and ruins it, as previously mentioned I am hoping that microsoft in their next Service Pack of windows 8 enable users to disable "metro" on machines without touch screen.

  44. Ponmyword

    Anything but

    Corporates have no reason to "upgrade" from Windows 7, indeed W8 is a disincentive. Laptoppers similarly. Those using iPads or Android equivalents wouldn't want W8 on anything. Netbooks are ok with Linux.

    There is no real market for W8 (except for a few fanbois and microserfs).

    Shame (+irony).

    1. EvilGav 1
      Thumb Down

      Re: Anything but

      Not sure everyone is in such hived off silos as you believe.

      I have a W8 desktop, an Android phone, a linux file server and a Win XP Netbook (not decided whether to switch it to Linux or W8 yet). The only OS I will have no part of is the one from the fruity firm.

      So, whither does that leave me in your eyes?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anything but

        atypical?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Linux

        Re: Anything but @ EvilGav1

        It leaves you as a 50% Linux user - in the hardware stakes, and time wise?

        Probably about a 90% Linux user.

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