back to article Microsoft: All RIGHT, you can have your Start button back

Big changes to "key" parts of Windows 8 are coming after Microsoft admitted it “could and should have done more” on its big answer to Apple’s iOS for tablets. “Key aspects” of Windows 8 will be changed, head of marketing and finance for Microsoft’s Windows group Tami Reller has told the Financial Times (log-in needed). Reller …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We told you it was shit

    But it's still infested with the ribbon, can you get rid of that next please.

    1. Fuzz

      Re: We told you it was shit

      The ribbon in windows 8 explorer works really well, it takes a few seconds to get used to and then you realise that loads of stuff that used to be buried in menus like show hidden files and show file extensions are now one click actions on the ribbon.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: We told you it was shit

        Yeah I've come to feel MS were right and we were all wrong on the Ribbon front... cue downvotes...

        1. Peter Simpson 1
          Thumb Down

          Re: We told you it was shit

          The real question is: "Why can't we have both ribbon AND traditional menus?"

          Given that there are different types of users and strong feelings on both sides, why do Microsoft (and Canonical -- sadly, Linux isn't free of this silliness either) feel that it must be "their way or the highway"?

          And, as long as we're bitching, go ahead and move the "show desktop" button from the far left (XP) to the far right (Win7), if you feel the aesthetics of your new OS demand it, but for heaven's sake, make it so I can move it back to where it has been for the past umpty-ump years I have been using XP, if that's what I want to do!

          Honestly, this change of UI for the sake of change, with no possibility of user configuration is beginning to annoy me!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: We told you it was shit

            "Honestly, this change of UI for the sake of change, with no possibility of user configuration is beginning to annoy me!"...

            Exactly!

            But that's MS' dictatorial old-school thinking for you that IMHO is cementing their Fall-of-Rome moment!

          2. Another Justin
            Facepalm

            Re: We told you it was shit

            > Honestly, this change of UI for the sake of change, with no possibility of user configuration is beginning to annoy me!

            Nowadays its fairly well established amongst usability experts that having configuration settings for everything results in a poor and fragmented user experience. I've seen and used plenty of software where lazy developers couldn't decide what approach to take with their UI and so just did both and added a setting to change between the two - good UI developers identify which approach is best and focus all of their efforts on making sure that apprach works well.

            You also have increased training and support costs to consider whenever you have two approaches to the same operation.

            1. Ian Yates

              Re: We told you it was shit

              "good UI developers identify which approach is best"

              Best for whom?

              In my experience, existing users want new features to fit with the current style, new users don't know better.

              Over time, existing users may come to prefer new styles (I actually prefer 2007's ribbon to 2003's menu system now, mostly because of the visual cues, though I still have to hunt for some things) but they don't want to be forced to learn a whole new "user experience paradigm" (that's probably going to change in the next release) just to continue doing what they've always done.

              I think this fits perfectly with TIFKAM, which I've disabled on my only Win8 box as much as I could, and have never felt like I'm missing out on something.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: We told you it was shit

                "Best for whom?"

                Upvoted just because that sentence. With a user base counting in the hundreds of millions, it is incredibly unlikely, if not downright impossible, to find some default that makes everyone happy. Saying that the majority of users are happy with a change means leaving a few tens of millions of users unsatisfied. Which is not acceptable.

                Forcing a UI change for the sake of forcing it is pointless. Say you have a setting that makes 80% of Windows users happy, but irritates 20% of them. With a user base of 300MM users, that means 60 million people. Now imagine the entire UK population, about 63MM people, forced to drive in the right side of the road just because that makes the majority of drivers in the rest of the world happy. Extreme example, I know, but one that is quite appropriate.

              2. Tom 35 Silver badge

                Re: We told you it was shit

                "Best for whom?"

                Best to help sell phones and tablets, get people using the app store. So MS can be like Apple and get a cut of everything.

          3. El Andy

            Re: We told you it was shit

            @Peter Simpson 1 "Why can't we have both ribbon AND traditional menus?"

            Because then every feature has to be added in both places, training manuals have to incorporate both methods and the product test matrix expands exponentially. And almost nobody chooses anything but the default setup.

            1. James Gibbons
              WTF?

              Re: We told you it was shit

              Sorry to disagree, but most modern GUI design tools allow you to create one action (like Save As...), attach it to a handler and then connect this same action to a menu item, a toolbar icon, a ribbon icon, etc. as much as you like. Change the action features in the program and it automatically propagates to all the linked items. You can also easily show or hide all the linked items. No muss, no fuss and no expanded test matrix.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: We told you it was shit

            : "Why can't we have both ribbon AND traditional menus?"

            Stop pointing out the obvious. It's going to get you into trouble. We don't need thinkers here.

          5. JeffyPooh Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: We told you it was shit

            "user configuration"

            Hmmm... That would require the addition of some sort of programmable computational device with a user interface. Sounds difficult. ;-)

          6. moiety

            @Peter Simpson 1

            You may find this helpful (there is a show desktop button in the (disabled as default) quick launch bar):

            http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-7/add-the-quick-launch-bar-to-the-taskbar-in-windows-7/

            ...also this:

            http://classicstartmenu.com/

          7. cyberdemon
            Linux

            Re: We told you it was shit

            @Peter Simpson

            > Given that there are different types of users and strong feelings on both sides, why do Microsoft (and Canonical -- sadly, Linux isn't free of this silliness either) feel that it must be "their way or the highway"?

            The trouble is, I think, that any user configuration option can double the amount of testing that needs to be done in order for it to be considered rigorous.

            So for something like KDE3.5, where rigorous testing was considered secondary to power and functionality, and bugs were fixed on an "as soon as someone moans about it" basis, we could have a gazillion options, so long as we had the sense to change them back when they broke something.

            But now, where software is released by companies interested in profit margins and how many salaried software testers they can get away with laying off, we no longer have user configuration and this is a shame.

            It might also be why Apple is doing so well - They pick the optimal configuration for the majority of users and then make it completely inflexible. With Apple it really is their way or the highway, even if it for you it is a good way.

          8. N2 Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: We told you it was shit

            Exactly, Sir you are spot on,

            Whilst another person may enjoy & delight in the novelties thrust upon us in the latest greatest version of Windows, I just need to get stuff done & done fast without the friggin user interface or anything else getting in my way.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: We told you it was shit

          Yeah I've come to feel MS were right and we were all wrong on the Ribbon front... cue downvotes...

          Two years in and I still don't really understand it. Up until then I'd managed GUIs from various DOS shells through all Windows reincarnations, Mac OS, KDE, Gnome and countless phones. I guess it's just me.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We told you it was shit

        "[...] loads of stuff that used to be buried in menus like show hidden files and show file extensions are now one click actions on the ribbon."

        Those are usually one-off things needed on creating a new user. The default of hiding extensions always seems to confuse people when applications use a common base name with different extensions. Deciphering a filename's accompanying icon is not as easy as learning a few standard extensions.

        1. Anonymous Coward 15
          Devil

          It's a f*cking security flaw

          Think of the whole "LOVE LETTER FOR YOU.txt.vbs" thing.

      3. JP19

        Re: We told you it was shit

        "show hidden files and show file extensions are now one click actions"

        So cluttering the UI with options that I set once per install of the OS is supposed to be an improvement?

        1. Vince

          Re: We told you it was shit

          that you suggest it's cluttering the UI shows that you don't know or haven't tried the ribbon UI. The whole point is that it DOES NOT clutter the UI. It makes the UI relevant to the task in hand.

          Back to MS Bashing school for you...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: We told you it was shit

            @Vince

            Yes, we have tried the ribbon, and yes, Ribbons DO occupy far more real estate at the top of the UI than a couple of toolbars side-by-side.

          2. Daniel B.
            Boffin

            Re: We told you it was shit

            Interestingly, I've been able to work with Office 2011 w/o problems.

            Why? Because the OSX version kept the menus, so I don't have to search the Ribbon for stuff that isn't obvious. I still haven't found how to merge cells in Excel, that I do from the menu. Among other features that are nigh impossible to find in the awful Ribbon. But hey, at least the OSX Ribbon version isn't as huge as the Windows counterpart; it is small enough to not be a nuisance.

        2. John Bailey
          Boffin

          Re: We told you it was shit

          "So cluttering the UI with options that I set once per install of the OS is supposed to be an improvement?"

          Nope.. It's an excuse.

          It's t here, it's different to the old version, so it is an improvement.

          They have to figure out something that they can use to justify ribbonising stuff, so they are trying desperately to come up with stuff they can claim is better, but is really just different.

          Kind of like when Vista was being criticised, and some tame reviewer did a "top ten reasons to change to Vista" list. One of which was a free MahJong game.

        3. h3

          Re: We told you it was shit

          Well having border padding in the UI as opposed to be needed to be changed by using regedit is desirable for me. (I would prefer it if they just made it the default).

          The fact you need to be using the US locale to install the RSAT properly is really annoying as well. (Especially if you have a retail copy with the en-gb locale). I don't see why they cannot offer it from Windows Update.

          It could be them wanting to make using Hyperv Server 2012 as much as a pita as possible. (Or just them being stupid).

      4. Tom 35 Silver badge

        stuff that used to be buried in menus

        Is now buried in tabs.

        Show file extensions is two clicks, you have the select the view tab first. Assuming you know what tab it's on and don't have to go hunting for it.

        For something like Office where there are lots of settings the ribbon is no better then the old system of a tool bar for stuff you use all the time, and menus for stuff you only use once in a while. And the ribbon uses up way to much vertical space on a typical wide screen laptops crappy screen.

        With Windows 7 you had every program asking to create a shortcut on your desktop. With Windows 8 you get a whole bunch of crap on your "start screen". I used to laugh at people who had a desktop packed full of shortcuts, now that's how it's supposed to work, except now you have to scroll to see them all. No thanks.

        Full screen not-metro apps are fine for your phone, I don't want them on my full size computer screen.

        - Get rid of the not-metro start screen with all the invisible charm bar junk. (or at least make it an option you can turn off). Give me the start menu back (but you can keep the auto arrange feature.

        - Let me run not-metro apps in a window if I find any that are of any use.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: stuff that used to be buried in menus

          the problem is (like most things) the ribbon, toolbar and menu wont suit everyone for everything. So why couldnt they leave the CHOICE in? It isnt hard to do - look at the plethora of various companies toting plugins to work around it.

          It is the lack of choice when moving forwards that pisses people off the most. If you dont like ribbon then old fashioned menus will do. Need a prettier GUI? Ribbon is for you.

          I wonder how many people on rolling software assurance cashed in at windows 7 because of the clusterfuck. so sure, they sold many copies but corporations wont be upgrading for a while...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: stuff that used to be buried in menus

          Tabs full of stupid little multi-coloured pictures of what someone else thinks is representative of what they think it does.

          A ludicrous proposition, designed by someone who finds the cleaning aisle at Tescos appealing.

          1. Tinker Tailor Soldier
            Paris Hilton

            Re: stuff that used to be buried in menus

            You could just hover over the icon and see what it does, in your own language. And as far as I remember there is a key-press that actually shows all of the text at once.

            Then the rest of the time the icons actually save space. Dunno, doesn't seem all that crazy to me.

            TIFKAM's lack of integration into the rest of windows though... stupid.

            Paris because she is integrated into many functions.

        3. mmeier

          Re: stuff that used to be buried in menus

          @Tom35:

          How many regular use programs do you have on your box? A standard Modern screen can hold 72 program icons plus a box for some Modern apps (or another set of IIRC 12 Icons)

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We told you it was shit

        Yes I agree. I've always felt learning lots of new multi-coloured Chinese character type icons, which could be fucki*g anything, was so much easier than picking out words written in my own language.

        Of course I know you're trolling, but I need a ramipril anyway.

    2. Bob Vistakin
      Facepalm

      Re: We told you it was shit

      And Blamer *still* has his job? Are the shareholders all retards?

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  3. LinkOfHyrule
    FAIL

    Forget bringing back the start button...

    How about instead just a big ass FAIL button in the bottom left of the screen!?

    I think it would be well suited to Windows and I have even thought of an advertising slogan for it...

    Windows 8 - When all else FAILs.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Forget bringing back the start button...

      EADON!

      YOUR DAD'S HOME!

  4. ElectricFox
    Windows

    Will desktops still have the confusion between desktop programs and Metro "Apps"? Will we still be peddled software through the Microsoft store?

    This is just the "start" of a lot of back paddling...

    1. JDX Gold badge

      What's wrong with being able to buy apps through a store if you want to - Apple have this but it's unlikely anyone will go store-only for desktop apps as it would kill their sales.

      As for confusion, maybe that's just you.

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        And Apple weren't the first. Michael Robertson's Linspire was the first to have an app store in the form we are used to seeing today. That was an evolution from apt-get and other similar package management systems on linux and bsd family operating systems. It wasn't even the first app store for OSX, as App Bodega was available before the Apple App Store, also there are a few bsd ports based package management systems available.

        I think the main key difference between Apple's app store for OSX and the Windows Marketplace is that you can get actual proper desktop applications in the Apple, whereas on the Windows Marketplace, you can only get full screen apps that seem to be mostly website bookmarks.

        1. cybersaur
          Unhappy

          Linspire

          I had such high hopes for Lindows. 'tis a shame it didn't succeed.

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    1. Dave 15

      Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

      Classic desktop? What is wrong with that? It actually works fairly well if I'm pretty honest (I prefer command line for somethings, but the desktop is good).

      Blister was a pain - but mainly because of things other than the UI itself. I don't see the point of 'metro' from what I've tried it just gets in the way. Back to something that is tried and works.

      And as for suggesting linux - great idea if you don't mind spending weeks rewriting drivers and other crap to get it to work at all - while constantly being told by linux people that you are obviously too thick because somehow you weren't built with the instant knowledge of it and were stupid enough to ask.

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          1. Simon Harris Silver badge

            Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

            "It will be like giving people something that looks like a toffee apple to give them the familiarity of the toffee apple that they are used to paying for. BUT, instead of a tasty, familiar apple therewithin the toffee veneer, the victim discovers that it is an onion."

            But caramelised onions are so tasty.

            Damn, now I'm hungry... time for lunch I think.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

            What, MS are selling toffee apples now? Or are they selling onions disguised as toffee apples? I'm confused.

            1. Adam 1 Silver badge

              Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

              No, I think Apple are selling toffee onions.

              1. Danny 14 Silver badge
                WTF?

                Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

                I installed UBUNTU on a desktop once. Then found my domain couldnt map any printers, redirected desktops, my docs, power profiles, internet settings and it wouldnt apply the corporate backgrounds, screensavers. None of the shortcuts for network apps appeared either. In fact, even though it took me 15 minutes to configure one machine, it took me another hour to set it up for the domain. Not sure what im going to do for all the other 30 or what will happen when different OU users logs in with other preferences/privs

                The windows 7 machines all seemed to work just fine. Oddly enough, after creating a sysprep image on a VM and copying the driverpacks.net packages across with a single batch file (took 4 hours start to finish including research into using driverpacks and creating the initial sysprep) they now deploy and join the domain in under 30 minutes each!

                I suppose people can USE THE OS AS A TOOL instead of simply shouting "WINDOWS IS CRAP" or "LINUX IS TOO COMPLICATED". Windows 8 is shit for some users though (our W7 start menu is very long, the W8 tiles are not pretty).

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

                  Can the average 'Joe Sixpack' user create a sysprep image, even if they have the foggiest idea what it means?

                  No they can't so they are stuck with the

                  Find Driver, Install, Reboot, Apply Patch, Reboot

                  cycle.

                  One Install I did recently took 20 reboots and more than 4 hours to complete.(it did include .Net 3.5 & 4 though)

                  Could I setup a SysPrep Image? Well maybe but at this point in time, I have more important things to do like earning money doing my proper job. Upon reflection, it is probably not worth it as I don't do that many installs these days.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

                  "Then found my domain couldnt map any printers, redirected desktops, my docs, power profiles, internet settings and it wouldnt apply the corporate backgrounds, screensavers. None of the shortcuts for network apps appeared either"

                  So you were expecting Ubuntu to recognize your Windows domain policies, which are Windows specific and don't apply to Linux, apply them somewhat magically converting the Windows conceptos to Unix ones, be able to run a Windows screensaver (a Windows executable), and faithfully reproduce your shortcuts for applications?

                  You clearly have the wrong notion of what an operating system is, and are ill prepared to deploy Linux. Nothing wrong with experimenting, and in fact it is the best way to learn, but whoever/whatever made you set that level of expectations for Ubuntu is clearly needing more education than even you.

                  1. Danny 14 Silver badge
                    Stop

                    Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

                    No of course I didn't expect it to work. I knew it wasn't going to work; I was being facetious. The Linux brigade jump on any windows post with righteous fury. I tend to voice my opinion that Linux is not the be all and end all for everyone. I am aware of Linux in enterprise situations, however I do not have the manpower to implement, hence why paid Linux enterprise solutions exist. Guess what, they cost MORE than an M$ solution.

                    To implement a full replication of a domain based environment with Linux desktops and servers is a mammoth undertaking. To *migrate* from a windows network is nigh impossible short of doubling manpower and hardware whilst parallel tasking. I have at least looked into it. I've even begun moving quite a few systems over to Linux - all hosted on a 2012 hyperV box. Debian powers my apache, squid, dansguardian and now MySQL boxes. ClearOS replaced my TMG firewall but exchange remains. I am yet to find a solution to GPOs on Linux - essential for my school.

                    On the subject of viruses, my network has never had a virus either. WSUS keeps things updated on zero day and sophos enterprise endpoint for mail scanning and client AV - not exactly a powerhouse solution. GPOs lock down the rest (only admins have the ability to install anything, drivers, printers, apps, etc) so it can be done in windows too with a little forethought.

                    I do know what an OS is for. It forms the basis of productivity in IT. For me that is windows desktops - for the time being. In the future, who knows. simply slating windows isn't the answer, implementing the correct solution for YOU is.

                  2. robynsveil
                    Meh

                    Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

                    ...and that is probably the most common misunderstanding handicapping Windows to Linux migrators (don't think this is actually a word - I get a red underline and none of the suggestions work, but you get the idea)... they *expect* Linux to be a better Windows. And when it isn't: they growl: "what rubbish!" and dismiss it as non-functional when in truth, they've missed a key point. Linux *isn't* Windows at all.

                    Good job it *isn't*! :)

                    For the casual user who doesn't have domain/network/specific-hardware requirements, a simple install of GNU/Linux such as Mint is fine. Those trying to convert an existing Windows-based network/office/whatever had better do their homework. Sure, it can be done and it is worth the effort, but it will require some nutting-out.

                    1. mmeier

                      Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

                      @robynsveil

                      Ac tually it would be enough if it could be a 100 percent replacement for Windows. And Linux fails even that test both privat (games, reliable support for current generation hardware) and business (Lack of well integrated solutions like Outlook/Exchange, Sharepoint). Add in tablet pc and even if we count Android as Linux it is a fail since the tools are not there / not up to the Win7 / Win8 standards.

                      Win8 may not be the best desktop OS nor the best tablet pc OS. But it is damned good in both jobs AND it is "one set of tools" for ALL jobs. There is no way to pen notes on a N8010 (Note 10.1) and mail it to my co-workes that use Windows PC in a way they can edit/annotate/convert to text. With an Ativ 500 - no deal. The tricked out Powerpoint of our consultant barely runs on an iThingy (some effects are missing not to mention starting applications from PP). On a tired T731 it works like a charm INCLUDING the applications (Groovy and Java/Swing BTW not MS stuff - still no run under iOS or Android)

                3. Sam Liddicott

                  Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

                  You could have used a linux packaged for the enterprise/domain or used likewise's domain packages.

                  But you chose the long way around; - I know, it's knowing what there is to know

          3. Knochen Brittle
            Thumb Up

            ^^ The Toffee-Onion analogy ...

            ... is brilliant. Well done, extremely witty!

      2. mrfill
        Linux

        Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

        "And as for suggesting linux - great idea if you don't mind spending weeks rewriting drivers and other crap to get it to work at all - while constantly being told by linux people that you are obviously too thick because somehow you weren't built with the instant knowledge of it and were stupid enough to ask."

        I must be doing something wrong. Installed SUSE 12.3 on a desktop at the weekend. It took 15 minutes and when complete, the wireless worked, the printer worked, the webcam worked, the sound worked, and the graphics were just fine. All that and not once did I have to find a manufacturers CD or trawl the internet to get the appropriate drivers and it was set up as a UK machine with no interference. All the updates required took another 15 mins and it was ready to go.

        I also installed Win7 on another desktop. It took around 15 minutes but I then needed to get the drivers for wireless, the printer, the webcam and the graphics. It then took nearly 4 hours and many, many reboots to get all the updates - SP1 took a spectacularly long time to install.

        I've installed Win8 on a number of machines and the 'experience' is much the same as WIn7, perhaps a bit quicker initially and no need for the tedious SP1 but still had non-working wireless, printer, webcam and ropey graphics.

        Perhaps you are too thick to install an o/s using the default settings.

        1. Wardy01

          Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

          I disagree ...

          My hardware is fairly cutting edge as I'm a hobbyiest game developer and whenever i grab a linux distro and try it out for kicks I too have this headache.

          I have found that linux installs tend to be smoother on older hardware and even then you get a load of what might be considered "bloatware" if MS had done the same (probably some huge legal debate would ensue too).

          People rave about how great linux is, I find it "bitty" some of it ... really cool, other bits a complete nightmare.

          1. eulampios

            @Wardy01

            and even then you get a load of what might be considered "bloatware

            What is it? Compare the disk space requirement for win7/8 and disk usage after install (that grows wit time by itself) with that of an average GNU/Linux distro, you'll get which of the two has bloatware.

            I have found that linux installs tend to be smoother on older hardware... For newer hardware it is still not different. Even if you're having trouble with some bits of your newer hardware, on Linux upgrading the version of your kernel that contains ALL the drivers is MUCH easier, than gleaning up individual drivers on Windows, rebooting every time you find them. Nvidia might be one of the rare but still pretty ugly exceptions.

            1. Wardy01

              Re: @Wardy01

              @eulampios

              bloat is bloat however you look at it, windows requires about 15GB of space to perform an install but has a clean instal footprint of about 4GB, most linux distros i've seen install about 10GB of "extra stuff" that I didn't ask for. I think that many are getting better at this though and offering more "choose what you want" style installs so give it time and i'll happily conceed that for the most part i could one day find a "bloat free linux distro".

              My nVidia GFX card is usually the biggest headache (of many) with linux but I found even the very first step of the installer doesn't work for me unless I load the installer with some command line switch (its been a while so don't ask me what that is).

              The point is, options like that are usually point and click on a radio button or tick box in a windows installer but with linux you have to have some command line knowledge of the options available to get the install to work on my pc.

              I may just be unlucky in that I have hardware that for some reason is not considered important for linux distros but again, in a windows scenario I do nothing more than literally hit next a few times and type in a product key to get to my new desktop and I have never seen that with any linux distro.

              Needless to say, I do like what Linux distros stand for and the fact that linux support is improving is a good sign.

              1. eulampios

                @Wardy01

                Aren't you mixed it up with the installation footprint of a typical GNU LInux and modern Windows? Even Windows RT wants about 12 gb with office, while Android and iOS take about 1gb each. A typical Linux install with an office is between 4-6 gigs. My current LMDE uses about 12 GB with a 2gig postgresql db, and othe "bloat" I installed like full texlive suite (3gigs), perl modules, GNU Emacs, apache, nginx and much more. It won't be using 20 gig if don't install a lot of other stuff, just like Windows.

                I agree about nVidia, you're pretty much f*ed up if you have their hardware. Well it might be usable, but don't expect it to run perfect. That is why Linux flicked nVidia some time ago.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

          Isn't everyone's "child" is precious, good-looking and above average?

          Once you get past the veneer, Linux is still frequently a PITA when you have to use it in a capacity greater than browsing: often forcing you to the command line and Googling though error logs.

          Not to say there aren't things to like about Linux, but user friendliness and UI are not its virtues and never have been.

          1. eulampios

            @AC

            greater than browsing: often forcing you to the command line and Googling though error logs.

            Wow, let me say, because, Linux got a better command line and logging system is much more relevant, simple, useful than the Windows analog. You can ALWAYS do it without the cmd, though. You can google through error logs and that would never get you contradictory results, like

            -it's a virus, scan, clean your PC;

            -your hdd is dying;

            -call MS, it;s their fault;

            -call OEM, it's their fault;

            -reinstall Windows;

            -buy another PC.

            but user friendliness and UI are not its virtues and never have been.

            If by user-friendliness you mean treating a user as the last brainless idiot, than I agree with you.

          2. robynsveil
            Happy

            Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

            Up-voted: with this point... GNU/Linux *on* *occasion* can still be a bit difficult to make work as you might want to. For example: I use Blender. One could say I'm not just an avid user, rather, I'm a *rabid* user. To the point where I was compiling from source, doing "svn up"s and "make"s almost every day to have the absolute latest/greatest... and then, things changed, OiiO needed upgrading, which I had buried somewhere in /var or /opt, not sure, and it all got too messy and hard. So now, I let someone else compile it and simply download from ppa. All this to say there's usually a number of solutions out there for software (particularly stuff you're passionate about which might be going through a lot of development - like Gambas, for instance).

      3. Chemist

        Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

        "great idea if you don't mind spending weeks rewriting drivers and other crap to get it to work at all "

        You do a lot of that do you ? I don't seem to need to !

      4. historyb
        Linux

        Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

        "And as for suggesting linux - great idea if you don't mind spending weeks rewriting drivers and other crap to get it to work at all - while constantly being told by linux people that you are obviously too thick because somehow you weren't built with the instant knowledge of it and were stupid enough to ask."

        Maybe at one time but hardly now unless you build from scratch, this is FUD now

      5. Grogan

        Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

        QUOTE: "And as for suggesting linux - great idea if you don't mind spending weeks rewriting drivers and other crap to get it to work at all - while constantly being told by linux people that you are obviously too thick because somehow you weren't built with the instant knowledge of it and were stupid enough to ask."

        Actually, you'll be told by Linux people that you haven't a clue what you're talking about... it's not like that at all. If you were treated like that by Linux users, it's because you rubbed them up the wrong way with your attitude.

        Funny how, in 1999 when I started to use Linux, that I didn't have to spend weeks rewriting drivers to get it to work at all. I didn't have to be told much by Linux people, because I found plenty of discussions where helpful Linux users answered questions with the very information I needed. It's even better now, there are assloads of Linux forums. You don't even have to search mailing list and usenet archives anymore.

        I have edited drivers in the Linux kernel though. Probably the most significant was to get a framebuffer console to work exactly correctly on a very finicky CRT. This asshole monitor needed .inf files from the manufacturer even to work correctly at any resolution in Windows XP, yet it worked in X. I pulled the timings from an x11 driver that did work, converted the values to the format used and changed them in the source of the framebuffer driver. I'm not even a programmer, yet I was able to find my own solution by reading the driver's documentation to find out how the values worked, and by reading well indented, well commented source code.

        Because I can. Try that with Windows. It's proprietary and you can't.

      6. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        FAIL

        @Dave 15 Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

        Remember, Windows comes *pre installed* for the particular PC, or at least in a state where the required drivers for that PC are built into that specific OEMs windows build which is installed on boot up.

        I can't speak for Linux specifically, but load up a *generic* FreeBSD install disk, and most - if not all - drivers are included, and are configured automatically without issue.

        Try installing from scratch a *generic* windows system,and you'll be hunting all over the net for specific drivers (especially video and network)

        If you want to have a fair comparison between windows and FreeBSD (or Linux), compare it to an *already installed* FreeBSD (or Linux) system.

        1. mmeier

          Re: @Dave 15 Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

          Sorry but you are wrong. I have installed more than one generic Windows XP/7 (and one 8) on a non-OEM box and that works just fine for most hardware. Same for our IT that buys "blank" (non OS) boxes from Lenovo and puts an MS supplied Windows 7 on it (volume licence).

          1. swampdog

            Re: @Dave 15 Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

            "Sorry but you are wrong. I have installed more than one generic Windows XP/7 (and one 8) on a non-OEM box and that works just fine for most hardware"

            Had to reinstall my XP recently. Remembered too late my then £100 XP cd doesn't understand sata & I had to slipstream it way back. That cd had failed, vanishing dye syndrome. Laptop DVD writer failed during reinstall in any case. Bought new DVD, turned out laptop has sata disk but IDE DVD & ain't paying a ransom for an IDE writer. Plugged laptop into network, told it to network boot off my pxe server. 15 mins later Centos was on it. 10 minutes more & vmware was on it. Installed XP under virtualisation. Many XP reboots later & much time gone I discover the scanner driver would no longer install. Bet I should have done that before all the updates. The scanner was the only reason I needed XP on the laptop in the first place.

            So.. 25 minutes & zero cost for linux (fixed scanner to work under centos). Many hours & £130 (xp + useless sata writer) to end up achieving nothing with windows.

            That's a generic windows install for you. Leave it too long & it won't work!

      7. kissingthecarpet
        Trollface

        Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

        "Rewriting drivers" - oh grow up FUDboy

    2. El Andy

      Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

      They aren't "reverting to the classic UI" - they're putting a Start button back. Note, that is not the old menu, clicking it will still bring up the Windows 8 Start screen. It's a visual indicator and nothing more.

    3. Roger Greenwood

      "no alternatives at retail, e.g. PC world etc"

      Whilst dodging tumbleweed in PC world at the weekend I did notice they were selling both versions of the chromebook. No windows 7 or other desktop OS except Apple though, so I take your point.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          Re: "no alternatives at retail, e.g. PC world etc"

          "Once Google get around to making Chrome OS more fat-client like"

          That won't happen. Their business model is based on connected thin terminals so Chrome OS will always be fat-free. Heck, MS is slowly trying to figure out how to get there themselves and it won't be long before Apple get serious about moving their desktop market that way if they haven't already. If you want a modern full fat OS in ten years you'll probably have to roll your own.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "no alternatives at retail, e.g. PC world etc"

        I got the last Acer One from Tescos in (Windows 7.) and got home and immediately dropped a half gig SSD in it.

        Fantastic.

        Windows 8 is simply shit. It's like standing in a doorway, and f*cking the night.

    4. RyokuMas Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

      "MS is seen as something of a clown corporation"

      Careful what you say about clowns - look what happened with the Tories and UKIP recently...

    5. Vanir
      FAIL

      Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

      "unified UI across mobile and desktops"

      Eh? MS, how can one have a unified UI when a mobile has a visual display element around order of 100cm^2 and the desktop may have 1 to 6 monitors each of around 1400cm^2 or greater?

      MS is not the only one forgetting Fitts's Law.

    6. Vince

      Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

      "It turns out that this strategy has backfired badly. No one is buying Metro on phones, tablets, Surfaces, or, indeed, on Desktops, despite that people have no alternatives at retail, e.g. PC world etc."

      Nobody except all the people I know who have then. Can't imagine I'm somehow in the minority of seeing people buying new kit. You can stick Windows 7 etc, it's Windows 8 here for 6 of my computers/tablets that run Windows.

    7. Test Man
      FAIL

      Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

      "Remember windows 7? - This was praised because it was Vista with the some of its worst bits purged. (It is still worse than XP, but people praise 7 after the Vista devil. As I said at the time, Windows XP sold well after Vista because it wasn't Vista, and Windows 7's greatest selling point was that it wasn't Vista.

      So now we have Windows 8 - which is worse, in many respects, than Vista was when it was first released."

      You IDIOT. Windows 7 is and always will be better than XP. Get your head out of your arse.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

      TLDR

    9. --

      Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

      "It turns out that this strategy has backfired badly. No one is buying Metro on phones, tablets, Surfaces, or, indeed, on Desktops, despite that people have no alternatives at retail, e.g. PC world etc."

      The problem is that it is something new in a fairly developped world, for example Pre W8, and several OSés sporting a desktop. On the tablet/smartphone side both iOS and android have proven themselves and are the common choice. You simply cannot create something completely new and then expect it to immediately seell millions and take huge market shares with it, you might pull it off in a just starting market(for example WP is doing much better in countries where are smartphone isnt as common as it is in the US or parts of Europe). No, such things take time, and that is something people seem to forget(including Microsoft, who aimed way too high and talked way too big about it).

      It just takes time for a market to adapt to something new, but after a while the market gets used to it and nothing is going on.

      Whether anyone likes it or not, that is a matter of opinion, but one thing is that you need to "grow into it", something new seems frightening at first, and also at first use when you are just plunged into the water and you are expected to immediately swim.

  6. Nanners
    Big Brother

    As much as I hate to say it.

    Apple is peddling in circles until they can find a new visionary. We are now at the mercy of monkeyboy. All they have to do is throw things against the wall and see what sticks at this point.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: throw things against the wall and see what sticks at this point.

      If we get really lucky, it might even be monkeyboy.

  7. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Microsoft is also considering bringing back the abandoned Start button

    Why, did the users no longer know how to shut down?

    I'd rather prefer if they get rid of the time and space wasting ribbons.

    1. Dave 15

      shut down

      Frankly shut down should just be a power switch like it used to be... I hate all this stupid waiting when I want to stop the machine... it should start and stop instantly - and I do mean instantly - if it can't it Bulmer should put his not inconsiderable weight behind making the engineers fix that problem.

    2. AndrueC Silver badge
      Stop

      Why, did the users no longer know how to shut down?

      Er...no. They didn't, actually. Only last week I had to Google to find out how to restart a Windows 2012 server from an RDC connection. And it's not obvious when you're at a console even for a workstation. Several of our VMs now have shortcuts to 'shutdown -r' or whatever on the desktop.

      I've put Classic Desktop on the VMs I use most often.

      To be fair the few users I know don't have huge problems with Metro. What concerns me is that IT staff and developers hate it and avoid it. That could be storing up problems for the future if the people writing for the platform and the people supporting it rarely use it and dislike it.

      1. Stacy
        Meh

        Upvoted because, yes, that is annoying!

        But it's not limited to a single OS - that is more limited to the admin settings for the machines. We have a selection of servers here and some can be restarted normally, where as others have to be restarted using the shutdown -r command. And yes it is annoying. When I VPN from home to the office I also loose the ability to simply restart the workstation and need that command.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Group policy objects are your friend.

      2. JDX Gold badge

        I had to Google to find out how to restart a Windows 2012 server from an RDC connection

        That's a power-user scenario, you're supposed to RTFM FFS if you're on a server.

        1. Anonymous Coward 15
          Windows

          Re: I had to Google to find out how to restart a Windows 2012 server from an RDC connection

          Why are you at a console over an RDC connection? Sure, console might be the way MS want you to remotely admin servers now, but doing it over RDC sounds dumb. They ought to be running SSH.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. That Steve Guy
          FAIL

          Re: I had to Google to find out how to restart a Windows 2012 server from an RDC connection

          Why would they even put a touch screen interface on a SERVER? Does the stuff in the IT bunker really need a fancy schmancy touch screen to show off to people?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I had to Google to find out how to restart a Windows 2012 server from an RDC connection

            They didn't put a touch screen interface on a server, they put the standard interface for the OS on the server. Then they told you not to use the GUI, not to even install it, unless you absolutely have to.

            The sooner people stop getting hung up about the fact that the UI can be used by a touch screen as well as a keyboard/mouse the better. All recent GUIs have had some ability to be used as a touch interface, it's just that this is a little less rubbish at it than the other ones at it.

            Oh, "IT Bunker" never heard that one before, I presume you mean "Computer Suite" or "Datacentre"?

            1. Danny 14 Silver badge

              Re: I had to Google to find out how to restart a Windows 2012 server from an RDC connection

              to be fair, in NT4 it was shutdown /R so I can see how the ultra new command confused you.

              Oh and to the smart alec a few posts up, good luck with ALT-shortcuts on 2012 core.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's a server - you actually shouldn't really be using 2012 via the GUI anyway, but if you are, you should certainly know basic commands like this.

        You shouldn't be able to accidentally shut down a server via a remote desktop session, this is to protect you from yourself.

      4. BRAINPLAN
        Stop

        Why, did the users no longer know how to shut down?

        There are at least three ways to do it... can't be that hard.

        Try redirecting your keyboard commands to your remote sessions for a start.

        "What concerns me is that IT staff and developers hate it and avoid it. That could be storing up problems for the future if the people writing for the platform and the people supporting it rarely use it and dislike it."

        What is that comment based on?

        I can understand the frustration with Windows 8, but there is nothing wrong with server 2012 compared with 2008 R2 / 2003. It has been generally well received in the IT community and I can say definitely at our workplace.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's easy

        Just use the same keyboard shortcuts that've been around since Windows 95 - click the task bar, then use Alt-F4. It brings up a menu of restart/shutdown/sign out/switch user etc.

        This works in an RDP session and when you are at the PC/Server

        If you work in IT, and can't figure this out, are you in the right job?

      6. Vince

        Sorry, you are admining a Server 2012 box and you had trouble shutting it down? Wow, that troubles me a lot.

    3. Should b Working

      Have you tried office 2013? They're hidden by default. IE has gone to the other extreme where there are nearly no menu options taking up screen real estate.

  8. Mr. Nobby
    Thumb Down

    Once again...

    Microsoft are forced to shoehorn old features into new versions because some people are so frightened of change.

    Windows 8 doesn't need a start button. Boot to desktop will shave a microsecond off my wait though.

    1. gerryg
      Windows

      Re: Once again...

      <= not

      "Frightened of change"? Perhaps customers would like to buy what they like?

      While I have no idea why anyone uses anything other than open source software, it is difficult to believe they are so uncritical that they'll just suck anything up in the name of change.

      1. Dave 15

        Re: Once again...

        Open source is all very well IF it (a) works, (b) does what you want.

        In my experience (a) is at best that it works significantly less well than Microsoft - and the 'support' from Microsoft has got worse over the years but is still not as bad as the support you get from the 'community' (who by and large seem to believe you are stupid for asking, and even more stupid for not knowing without asking). (b) In many cases the open source stuff doesn't do what I want - sometimes yes, but really not that often.

        Now, some of this comes from a particularly poor experience when installing linux and having it tell me that the graphics monitor that had done graphics for the last 10 years wasn't capable, and the ensuing battle to try and get it all to work - a battle that I lost and gave up on after several months of wasted time and effort, but the fact is that it NEEDS to just work out of the box before the mainstream will be bothered.

        Struggling at work is what I am paid to do, when I get home I want my computer to work as the tool it is, rather like the spanners in my toolbox just work.

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Once again...

          Open source is all very well IF it (a) works, (b) does what you want.

          (c) continues to be developed.

          It's okay for geeks and people that like to get their hands dirty but not so much for unsupported end users. Off the shelf proprietary stuff might not have all the bells and whistles and might be bloated but at least most of the time it works and you can usually find help for it very easily. It's the difference between a Ferrari and a Ford. The former is technically superior, has better performance and is more 'fun' to use but no-one would choose it as a family car.

          Of course that analogy stumbles a bit on price but given the support costs of OS the gap may not be as large as some might like to think. Choose Open Source by all means but do so with your eyes open. It isn't always a panacea.

          We need a 'Careful now' icon. In the meantime that's me getting a placard out of my coat :)

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

            1. Pookietoo
              Meh

              Re: do not understand open source ... prefer not to be honest about it

              I expect a substantial portion of Reg readers are selling Microsoft products, or perhaps more significantly selling support for Microsoft products - their livelihoods depend on users not realising how effective open source solutions can be, because they don't understand how or just aren't willing to update their skill sets to work with "free" stuff.

              1. Wardy01

                Re: do not understand open source ... prefer not to be honest about it

                Microsoft sells solutions, very few companies build good competitively priced solutions that offer the same flexibility and the same ease of use so it makes sense.

                Canonical or Red Hat are some of the better names but they won't provide you an end to end solution without some big bucks and if they do ... it still aint "open source" so it's the Microsoft deal again.

                People seem to think "open source" means "not Microsoft" ... what gives?

                Let me put it bluntly ...

                Ubuntu is open source, but if you hire canonical to do something proprietary for your company that is not an open source solution. It simply sits on top of an open source platform.

                I don't think I've ever seen a company that can safely say "we are open sourced and everything we run on we provide the source code for".

                1. AndrueC Silver badge
                  Thumb Up

                  Re: do not understand open source ... prefer not to be honest about it

                  Ubuntu is open source, but if you hire canonical to do something proprietary for your company that is not an open source solution. It simply sits on top of an open source platform.

                  Thank you. That's what I was getting at in my downvoted post. It wasn't a dig at Open Source. I was asking 'how can it be Open Source if someone else is making all the changes'? The only way it could be Open Source is if we're saying this third party provides support and they do so by inviting the community to help. That doesn't sound like a sensible business relationship to me.

                  I've nothing against Open Source. I just dislike the evangelist attitudes it seems to foster. Open Source means fix your own bloody problems or hope to hell someone else does. That often has big advantages and I'm always happy to consider Open Source but it's dangerous to assume that Open Source is always the best answer. As with most things in IT - think first. Then have another think before committing.

                  1. NinjasFTW

                    Re: do not understand open source ... prefer not to be honest about it

                    if Open Source == fix your own bloody problems or hope to hell someone else does

                    Then Closed Source == hope to hell someone else does

                    Companies can provide open source software that you can download/install/use.

                    They still control the code for the project and provide fixes or features etc. If you don't like the pace/quality etc of the product then you can take the existing code base, fork it and run it as a community project if you wish.

                    OpenSource is not always a community of hippys doing things for the good of the IT world :)

                    As always disclaimer of use the best tool for the job applies :)

                2. Tom 13

                  Re: Microsoft sells solutions

                  No, Microsoft sell compatibility with the bulk of the installed computers. They may market them as solutions, but they sell compatibility. Which is where they went so wrong with the Windows 8 touch metaphor.

                3. Jes.e

                  Re: do not understand open source ... prefer not to be honest about it

                  “I don't think I've ever seen a company that can safely say "we are open sourced and everything we run on we provide the source code for"."

                  Not sure about that but I do seem to recall that for banks using IBM dinosaur big iron did get the full source code for everything that ran on the system. That's so they could work on their own solutions to their hardware/OS problems.

                  Of course this information would be fed back to IBM and it might become part of the next official release.

                  This was in the days where computers were only leased and not purchased.

                  The source code was *not* open source.

              2. Eeep !
                Meh

                Re: do not understand open source ... prefer not to be honest about it

                I suspect you are good with aspersions - but would be better with some facts.

            2. Wardy01
              Mushroom

              Re: Once again...

              @Eadon -

              "I'd say that open source is better for non-geeks. If you let non-geeks loose on the internet with an Windows box, then they will get hosed within 20 minutes. Linux systems do not have that problem, you can give a modern linux distro such as Linux Mint to a newbie and let then surf the web with Firefox or Chrome open source browser, and they will be much much safer. Because the open source solution just mentioned is of a far higher quality than the modern proprietary equivalents (e.g. Windows 8 / IE)"

              That may have been the case in the days of windows 95 / XP because MS had the monopoly so it made sense that hackers / virus writers would target the OS, lately Microsoft isn't so much of a monopoly and more and more hacks / viruses are turning up to exploit Mac OS and Linux.

              Safety is about assessing threat or risk, and the typical scenario is that the user with the least experience / technical knowledge will be using a windows machine thus the easiest to overcome, with that line fading fast so does the perception that a linux machine is inherently more secure.

              No system is impossible to compromise when it accepts connections from the internet, its only a matter of time and the hackers know that but until now they focused on what got them the highest impact (windows computers due to the monopoly) without that monopoly anyone is game.

              Some other comments I find questionable ...

              "On the server side, critical systems such as stock exchanges, use open source - e.g. Linux based systems."

              Linux based yes, open sourced no. You also forget that "Linux" is just a kernel not an OS.

              "People on The Reg either do not understand open source or for some reason prefer not to be honest about it."

              Yes you appear to be one of them.

              Open source = code is given away freely

              I have never seen any financial system (as you seem to refer to these as being "open sourced") source code just given away in this manner as it would be commercial suicide to do so.

              What you refer to as "open source" is actually "non commercial / not for profit" which has its merits but also has its drawbacks, the afformentioned "financial systems" fit none of these descriptions as they are both "profit based products" and "closed source" the developer being either in house or a third party contractor from some big name.

              I find it amusing how people like to think of large commercial solutions as "open sourced" ... find me a git branch with a banks source code on it and I'll admit I'm wrong here.

              I do however agree with this ...

              "As for comparing MS paid-for support with non-paid for support, it's a false comparison, that's disingenuous. You should be comparing it with *paid for* open source support, which is commonly available these days."

              Nuclear because you are soooo unbelievably wrong.

              1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

                1. This post has been deleted by its author

                2. Otto von Humpenstumpf

                  Re: Once again...

                  Eadon, please go and seek professional help. And I'm not joking.

                3. Wardy01

                  Re: Once again...

                  @Eadon

                  Wow that says a lot, the fact that you don't rate me actually means i'm pretty clued out considering some of your average blanket statements on here.

                  My point was simply ... "given away freely" and "allowed to see the source" are both considered part of the whole "open source" agenda and you bang on about how the world runs on code like this ... yeh maybe it does at a kernel level but that's about it, beyond kernels find me a company that can truely claim that they only run on open source solutions for their key business process.

                  If you can't do that ... STFU because you are so full of telling everyone else what you think you know you fail to realise how dumb you sound.

                  Now say something as equally childish as "Everything else you say is equally clueless." I can't wait as it will basically prove my point that you can't find such proof thus proving your stupidity.

          2. NinjasFTW

            Re: Once again...

            I think a lot of people have a world view of opensource that is a decade old.

            I'm my last 2 jobs I have architectured platforms that were open source that were worlds ahead of equivalent proprietary solution and that's not including RHEL that we use for all our servers.

            I will add the disclaimer that I had a significant budget and was happy to pay for support contracts to go with the open source software.

            Support for open source product X was about 3/4 the support cost of the proprietary software onto of the huge initial purchase price (don't even get me started on licencing confusion for load balancing VM clusters containing cpus with different thread counts and GHz)

            If you simply go to sourceforge and download any random project and expect community support equivalent to what you get throwing lots of £££ around then you will probably be disappointed. However if you do your due diligence and select well established projects backed by companies that offer paid support you will generally come out on top.

            1. AndrueC Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: Once again...

              However if you do your due diligence and select well established projects backed by companies that offer paid support you will generally come out on top.

              I'd agree with that but if you're going to rely on a third party company to provide the software and the support it's not much different to proprietary software.

              1. NinjasFTW

                Re: Once again...

                only if you discount

                A) the price

                b) the lack of vendor lock in

                c) the ability to download/compile/deploy the app ourselves from its source(we usually do that)

                d) the ability to move support in house if we want to go to the effort.

                e)no forced upgrade cycle (tired of raising a support ticket with IBM only to be told the bug is fixed in the next version and wont be ported back to the version we are using)

                f)the ability and general availability of tools to allow you migrate your data to a different platform (related to point b i guess)

                f) the ability to add features to the main codebase ourselves (granted, sometimes this does conflict with support agreements)

                Its not always the right way to go. Its something you have to evaluate on its merits but drawing parallels from paid support on a freely available opensource product and closed source purchase/support is pretty tenuous

                1. El Andy
                  WTF?

                  Re: Once again...

                  @NinjasFTW "no forced upgrade cycle (tired of raising a support ticket with IBM only to be told the bug is fixed in the next version and wont be ported back to the version we are using)"

                  Seriously? If you think that never happens with FOSS software, then I can only assume you've never actually used any of it at all, because "you need the latest build" is pretty much the modus operandi of every FOSS project going.

            2. RyokuMas Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: Once again...

              @NinjasFTW:

              "I think a lot of people have a world view of opensource that is a decade old."

              That's because - from what I see here at least - we seldom get anybody on here posting any decent explanation of why open source is so great - normally it's a few cursory lines to justify a massive "let's slag off Microsoft" rant.

              1. AndrueC Silver badge
                Stop

                Re: Once again...

                we seldom get anybody on here posting any decent explanation of why open source is so great.

                Indeed. Perhaps some of those downvoting my last comment would care to stick their heads above the parapet and explain what the difference is between buying an Open Source solution from a third company and paying them for support and proprietary software.

                Note: I was addressing a specific comment here. Of course being open means there are alternative support avenues but I replied to someone talking about handing all that off to a third party. If we can leave out the snide comments for a moment - what is the difference between me paying for support from Microsoft and me paying for support from Joe Soap? From my POV it's the same thing. I'm trusting someone else to sort out my problems. Either Joe can sort it out for me (in which case he's just a smaller version of MS) or else he palms the problems off onto the community.

            3. Wardy01
              FAIL

              Re: Once again...

              You are just as wrong as Eadon, unless you'd like to show me where the source code is for your corporate code that you have this "considerable budget" for?

              The component parts might be open source initially but the solution (which is Microsoft sells) is very much closed source.

              You still pay for support for each of the parts / the developed bit by a third party, and the third party developed bits are still not open source because the internet does not have them listed on a public repo like github.

              This is the same solution as buying several off the shelf Microsoft products and plugging them in to each other.

              The only difference is that instead of your product supplier and your support company being the same the chances are they are various companies.

              People really need to get a grip on what "open source" really means ... SHOW ME THE SOURCE CODE FOR YOUR SOLUTION THEN IT'S OPEN SOURCE!

              1. NinjasFTW
                Flame

                Re: Once again...

                Wow, way to reinforce my point of the view of OpenSource is a decade old!

                to be honest I have no idea what your talking about.

                I never said we created the corporate code, we use pre-existing projects as well as quite a few Apache products (many of them supported by RedHat directly)

                How about having a browse of https://github.com/apache. All the code for various projects is there to download and use at your leisure.

                We also use some open source identity management products that you can download the full source code directly from http://forgerock.org/openam.html. Its not on a public github server though so i'm not sure it stands up to your definition of OpenSource == Github !!!!

                We are currently looking to migrate some of our Oracle database to PostgreSQL (I can't be bothered to pull the source links, you do it if you want to froth at the mouth some more)

                Are you saying that if the source code for a project is not in github then its not opensource or that if there is a single proprietary component that talks to other open source components over standard communication channels then its not open source?

                Yes you pay for support for each part, again wtf are you talking about?

                I can agree that it means we have multiple support vendors for a solution as you put it. Its not currently caused us any problems but I could see that it may not be appealing to everyone.

                1. NinjasFTW

                  Re: Once again...

                  For the sake of clarity I should point out that the above post is in reply to Wardy1

          3. mmeier

            Re: Once again...

            Open source is basically useless unless it is actively developed by a steady core of programmers that stay with it for long times. Anyone who has worked on a living software project, even a commercial one where coding guidelines, commenting and documentation can be enforced knows that reading code is more complicated than writing it (Joel on Software had an article about it). And within a company there is a decend chance the author is still there or did a decend transfer job. With OSS he might. Or he just picked up and left.

            Used to program in a "pool" software developed by a group of companies with the same special needs and not a concurrency situation back in the 80s/90s. We had strict guidelines, used a very long term stable (15+ years) system in almost identical configurations and still we arranged regular trips and meetings to "talk about details". Now do the same over mail/chat with people who speak a different native language, are not held to well-defined and enforced standards in programming and testing(1) and more diverse systems...

            There is a reason the high quality OSS is

            Company backed

            Typically dual licenced and typically not using the full GPL (Apache is more common)

            Often part of a "value added" commercial package

            The backing company pays the core dev team and enforces standards. If the company pulls out - the software dies.

            (1) Our software needed government certification before we could use it in production - human lives depended on (and where saved by) it

        2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. sabroni Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: fixed that for you

            Ah, one of those helpful unix bods you were just talking about!

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. swampdog

          Re: Once again...

          @Dave 15

          "but the fact is that it NEEDS to just work out of the box before the mainstream will be bothered."

          Tada! Windows type answer coming up. All you need to do is upgrade your hardware. If only you'd had a modern linux with a dvi card and a dvi monitor it'd have booted up in max resolution.

          Not very useful though is it?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Once again...

        @Gerryg - I believe it was Henry Ford who said something along the lines of "If I make what my customers want, I'll be making faster horses."

        This seems to have very strong parallels with that situation.

    2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: Once again...

      Yes, how dare we criticise MSFT for forcing an interface designed to work only for colour-blind people on everyone?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Once again...

      You mean "Microsoft forced to shoehorn features that customers want". Whether it is 'old' or not is irrelevant, whether people want it or not is surely be more important. And as for, it being because they are 'frightened of change' - yeah, that must be the reason.

      Now - about that f**king ribbon (that I am apparently 'frightened' of) ...can we at least have a option to disable it please.

      1. lightknight
        FAIL

        Re: Once again...

        Indeed. MS appears to be having a midlife crisis -> no longer considered the darling of the Tech Sector or Wall St., MS is trying to 'reinvent' itself or 'innovate' to capture some of the attention it craves. It's like a teenage girl that is now 28, has fewer suitors, and is falling apart because she defines herself by how many men are waiting upon her. Hence the urge to do something new for the sake of doing something; MS feels an urge to change, but is unrealistic as to what needs to change, if anything. Who does MS listen to? Why, it's the same group of people ("the beautiful people") who would have been popular in high school; all looks, no substance, and of course the Tech Sector, aka the people who need to accomplish something for a living, would have such a vocal reaction.

    4. Bill the Sys Admin
      Thumb Up

      Re: Once again...

      I get along fine without it, but if it comes back ill use it ha!

      1. Pristine Audio
        Happy

        Re: Once again...

        I get along fine without it, but if it comes back ill use it ha!

        That's what I thought. Then I installed one of those third-party start-button mods only to find I never actually use it. I've got into the habit of launching and controlling things the W8 way and, frankly, prefer it. Didn't think I'd say that at the time...

    5. Infi 1
      Thumb Down

      Re: Once again...

      Agreed. I've been using Windows 8 quite happily since public beta, and I see no need to bring the start button back.

      Even my (long retired) parents have managed to get on with it with little to no problem.

      Some people unfortunately are just too stuck in their ways

    6. Vanir
      Facepalm

      Re: Once again...

      ' people are so frightened of change.'

      I'm scared poo-less when change cost me time and money, especially when there ain't no measurable ROI: companies are no different.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Once again...

      "Shoehorn"... now that's a catchy code name :)

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Windows

      @Nobby

      Microsoft are forced to shoehorn old features into new versions because some people are so frightened of change.

      Hardly. There is a huge difference between a change which actually enhances the whole workflow and a change which got implemented because of the change. That is the nature of this problem here.

      Microsoft opted to change the desktop in such ways that it would be fully optimized for touch screens, apparently not (willing to?) realizing that when it comes to a non-touchable environment the change is actually a huge setback when it comes to functionality. That is the main issue.

      Metro is a very solid environment which is in my opinion well designed when looking at mobile computing. But the problem is that it doesn't provide the same functionality as the start menu in Windows 7 provides. Think about jump lists (to quickly start a recently used file) or the "run as administrator" options. Those have become extremely awkward in Windows 8.

      I know many people didn't use the start menu to its full potential but only to blindly click stuff to, well, start it. These are often the same kinds of people who would easily fill their entire desktop with icons so that they could quickly start a program.

      But the problem is that there are also plenty of people who do know how to use the start menu to its full potential. And judging from the very weak acceptance of Windows 8 it's my believe that those form the majority.

      Don't treat a desktop as a mobile environment and don't treat a mobile environment as a desktop. That's the main problem at hand here. First Microsoft went one way (a start menu on the iPaq PDA for example) which was often extremely awkward, now they're merely going the other way around.

  9. Captain Underpants
    Meh

    Not being funny, but as with every other blog out there, I haven't seen any actual statement from MS that Blue is going to bring back the Start button.

    Is it a case of a click-baiting headline, or have I missed something from the article itself?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft had sold 100 million licenses of Windows 8

    I LOL at that statement.. most of these licences have probably be brought with the intention of Downgrading to Windows 7,

    So be honest now.. How many machines are actually running Windows 8?

    1. mrfill
      Happy

      Re: Microsoft had sold 100 million licenses of Windows 8

      Just checked the May stats for a couple of my sites.

      On one, out of 1595 windows hits, 848 from Win7, 573 from XP, 112 from Vista, 43 from Win 2003 and 8 from WIndows (unknown version)

      On the other, out of 8051 windows hits, 7840 from Win7, 190 from XP and 21 from Vista

      To answer the question... not many!!!

    2. fung0
      FAIL

      Re: Microsoft had sold 100 million licenses of Windows 8

      Not even the most desperate Windows 8 booster can claim that Win8 has been any kind of stimulus to the market. Windows 8 isn't helping to sell PCs, and it certainly isn't helping to sell Windows tablets, or Windows Phones.

      Microsoft could survive this kind of 'wet firecracker' release back when it really did have the world by the throat. But today, it's under the gun. PC sales are sliding, and companies like Apple are picking up the slack. At this point, 'good enough' just isn't good enough.

      Microsoft really needed to 'hit one out of the park' with Win8. Instead, it has failed to motivate droves of PC upgraders, failed to carve out a significant niche in mobile devices.... while at the same time alienating corporate customers and droves of die-hard fans. Just how much more epic could the fail have been?

      1. mmeier

        Re: Microsoft had sold 100 million licenses of Windows 8

        We'll see again in January 2014. The big companies basically missed the 2012 holliday season and PC sales are down across the board. They will hit the 2013 one perfectly. And with hardware/software combinations that makes iOS/Android tablet toys look like a Model-T next to a current gen Mondeo or Mercedes

  11. Rafael L
    Mushroom

    Windows 8 Start Screen haters

    TAKE THAT

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/10/11/reflecting-on-your-comments-on-the-start-screen.aspx

  12. Khaptain Silver badge

    Forced hand

    Their hand has been forced by poor sales rather than listening to the client. Regardless of the reason though the most important point is the fact that metro will disappear (or be made to disappear without 3rd party plugins).

  13. Gavin McMenemy

    "... close the knowledge gap."

    That's a phrase which causes me to invoke the "one channel up" hand TV control gesture. It's such a fine piece of management-speak that we should salute it appropriately.

  14. Magister
    Happy

    Widows 8?

    >>Reller conceded that Windows users have been struggling with the Widows 8 Metro touch UI,<<

    Widowmaker?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Re: Widows 8?

      I thought it was a reference to the crime drama, "She's out - in - out - in - out". Poor old Dolly Rawlings.

  15. mike acker

    looking deeper

    looking deeper, if the smart-phone user interface is un-acceptable then it's possible the PC ain't dead after all

    we face a nasty backlog of badly written software that only runs on a specific version of an o/s which is making it difficult to dump XP . and Win8 ain't gonna help none .

    in a very real sense an o/s IS a "hardware abstraction layer" . the o/s honors the system calls that an app needs in order to "do its thing"

    i think Linux has made usable progress on this issue in Torvalds First Rule of kernel coding: don't break the system calls.

    hopefully much of the obsoleted software can be ported to Linux.

  16. Vanir
    Devil

    'head of marketing AND finance '

    They're so screwed.

  17. sabroni Silver badge

    I don't get it.

    When I get into work I boot windows 8, the stupid metro thing pops up, I hit escape and I'm in the desktop. From there it's pretty much 7, all the things I use every day are docked to the bar at the bottom of the screen just like 7. From a user perspective Metro is shit, but it's not exactly getting in the way. I don't really see what all the moaning's about...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't get it.

      IT guys can't deal with change.

      They'll tell you that they can deal with change, but "this change is just for the sake of change" or some such weasel words.

      Here is a classic example: At my last place of work the UNIX team used to tell anyone who'd listen that Linux was the best thing since sliced bread. I got to listen a lot, because I worked in storage, so directly dealt with them. The company announced that henceforth they would not strategically deploy any proprietary UNIX, everything would be virtualised Linux on VMware. The UNIX team then started slagging off Linux because "it can't do x, y, z" "it's not scalable like proper UNIX", literally everything that you could imagine, some utterly piss-poor arguments, rather than deal with the fact that Linux is perfectly placed to take over from Big Iron UNIX.

      I've seen this time and time again, the people who do it stay in their place bitching away, those who don't become more senior and start making decisions rather than reacting to them.

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: I don't get it.

        Nobody minds change. If you don't, you can't work in IT.

        The fact is that you have to justify that change. Probably the Linux comments were right. But the argument there really is "it's too expensive to support all this UNIX stuff when we can get similar performance from Linux". Of course people find reasons to keep their jobs, that's not the focus. The focus is why they think that a bigger, more serious, pay-for system is better - either they don't have reasons, or the reasons will become clear when someone tries to chase up why they can't fix a problem / hire an engineer / find someone to support the system, etc.

        I deployed Windows 8 at my workplace because we needed to move off XP. Fact is, only Windows 7 was a real contender for all those years but in terms of what we got back - it didn't really justify it. The licensing scheme we were on was an ancient educational one and didn't count towards anything any more (so there was no "free" upgrade to whatever we wanted). Hence we stayed on XP until 7 was stable and proven. We eventually deployed on 8, because of various reasons out of my hands but also because it basically *is* 7 with knobs on, and we had ways to turn those knobs off (if we didn't, we've have deployed 7 this year).

        Fact is, I now have less working. Sure, it's old stuff that nobody cares about, but the time spent on the upgrade did little more than break software and get us into the 21st Century. We didn't gain anything we didn't really have before (hell, we were using GhostCast and the equivalent WDS setup we're forced to use now is actually MUCH slower and less intuitive and - hell - someone please tell me why I have to load up every 32-bit image into a 32-bit copy of the WDS tools on a 32-bit computer to create a catalog when the only servers are 64-bit Windows Server 2012 - they literally CAN'T build the catalog for 32-bit computers, even if they are the WDS server themselves! Just move everything to 64-bit? Then that's a whole-site hardware upgrade for little reason. And the recommended version of Office to deploy? 32-bit. It's all an ill-thought-out mess.)

        But, hell, I have touchscreens for little kiddiewinks with snotty fingers. And I have a menu they can't navigate and apps they can click on the front screen and not get out of without memorising magic incantations that only work 80% of the time.

        Change is frowned upon in IT. But it's also the fastest moving industry out there. Not many other industries where what you were doing 10 or even 5 years ago is COMPLETELY USELESS KNOWLEDGE now. We frown upon unnecessary and counter-productive change. And this article is hinting at the admission from MS that we were actually right about that - after billions of man-hours of wasted time - just because they couldn't put in a "classic" option or whatever.

      2. Gerhard Mack

        Re: I don't get it.

        IT people don't mind change for the right reasons, it's the end user that absolutely hates it. Just look at the noise Facebook gets every time it revamps it's interface.

        Now consider how upset users get with each minor change and you wonder why on earth Microsoft thought changing everything was a good idea. Users like familiar and tend to want retraining on each little change. They want those little step by step "click here now click there" guides they depend on to be accurate.

        With Windows 8 I'm hearing more noise from the people I know who least understand computers than I do from the IT pros. IT people just change settings and install addons until they have what they want.

  18. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Holmes

    Whatever...

    I've been using Win8 for the last couple of months... maybe it's because of how I configure, but I can't see what all the fuss is about, apart from aesthetics.

    Okay, boot-to-desktop: granted, I'd like to see that. Although it's only a Win+D away when I start my machine.

    But everything else? Meh. Pretty much everything I use has a shortcut on my desktop and is just a double-click away. I don't need a start screen or a start button, really.

    If I wanted to, I could quite easily switch those shortcuts to all be available from my start screen - but a) I'm too lazy and b) I don't like the auto ordering. Similarly, anything new I install automatically dumps an icon onto the start screen which can be transferred to where I want it on my desktop in moments.

    Nope, the only reasons I use Win8 at all is because I can develop WP8 and Android versions of my games in parallel. The metro apps stuff hanging off the back is just bloat from where I sit.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. NinjasFTW
        Thumb Up

        Re: Whatever...

        lol flamebaiting aside, I love the irony in that statement!

      2. sabroni Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Whatever...

        you don't need Win+D. Use escape, the classic "Get that full-screen shit out of my face now" button! That's not user unfriendly!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whatever...

      I find that my Win8 machine boots to desktop, having flashed up the start screen for about a second, I suspect it's something that I load at startup which does this, but it suits me fine. Maybe it's a domain member thing?

      Incidentally, I also find that "escape" gets you to the desktop.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm...

    My concern is that MS have done a lot of work researching how to improve the desktop and make it operate more efficiently. There are an amount of very shoutey people on forums such as this one who don't deal well with change and won't drop something, should they have re-enforcement around them that they may be correct. (It's an IT guy trait, I see pretty much every day at work - have a look round you you'll see people who exhibit it, making spurious arguments about why a new way of doing something is no good.)

    I remember the 3.1 to 95 interface change and at that time, I was the IT guy who objected to change. I ran 95 in the 3.1 interface for ages, until I stopped because every corporate machine I used had the other interface. Had the Internet been as it is now, at that time, I strongly suspect we'd still have the Win3.1 interaface. This is the nub of the issue - are we going to prevent new innovation in UI by objecting so vociferously to things which are only a little bit different. As I see it there are three changes in Win8 that people object to:

    No start button

    No start menu

    Metro Interface

    Every other problem that people have either doesn't really exist or is trivially worked around. I just don't see how we've moved to the point where these relatively small changes are akin to the end of the world.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm...

        @Eadon - Yes, like I said - doesn't really exist as a problem - I have a couple of UEFI machines, one runs linux one runs Win7, you just switch off secureboot. As for the key "problem", you can enter your own key, should you so desire.

        Again, your last para, you just go to show the perfect IT guy resistance to change (Ironic as you hate MS/Windows) It's the classic "It's not that I resist change, it's just this particular change.", you've no idea how formulaic this is as a defence.

        1. NinjasFTW

          Re: Hmm...

          Two things with that statement.

          a) it is correct currently but I suspect that it will change eventually. Baby steps to help them swallow the end goal and all that.

          b) it is still a barrier to a newbie installing their first non MS distro. Its daunting enough to make that first step sometime without messages that intimate that your machine will be a spam infested, zombie bot by not running the latest Windows OS*

          *Disclaimer: I haven't built a machine with UEFI so not sure of the message that pops up when you try and load a different OS.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hmm...

            @NinjasFTW - it's worth bearing in mind that the only MS desktop OS which supports secureboot is Windows 8, so it's not just installing any non MS OS, it's pretty much any OS.

            I have installed OSes, but I didn't get any message, because I switched secureboot off beforehand...

        2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hmm...

            @Eadon - I know you're ideologically opposed to anything you perceive as MS, but UEFI and secureboot are the whole industry. You'll always be able to switch it off. Any as things stand you don't need to switch off secureboot in order to install most current popular OSes, because MS will sign them for anyone who wants them to.

            You then go on to make the classic mistake of not understanding that UEFI and secureboot are different. Also that secureboot is DRM, which it clearly isn't, it prevents unsigned bootloaders from loading, it's no more DRM than signed drivers. ie: Not at all.

            And yes, you are resistant to change, had you ever bothered to actually use Windows 8, you'd know that it does neither of the things you accuse it of. Also, you still come up with classic "I'm not resistant to change, it's just that..." type of answers.

          2. Wardy01

            Re: Hmm...

            @Eadon

            "Second thing is this: switching it off means that newbies suddenly need expert knowledge to install a different OS, they can't just pop in a disk."

            What ... like virtually every linux distro you mean, yeh that would make a change wouldn't it?

      2. Wardy01

        Re: Hmm...

        @Eadon

        Um no ... UEFI is a global standard and does not require anything from Microsoft to work.

        Microsoft offer signing as a free service for those that want it, but it's definately not required.

        and this ...

        "Anyway, that list is not about people being resistant to change, it's about people being resistant to change that was instigated for marketing reasons - to get people familiar with Metro in the hope that those people will then demand it on phones and tablets."

        ... reminds me of the huge negative feedback people had about microsoft introducing the mouse.

        It'll sort itself out in time.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm...

      UEFI seems similar to the Office 2013 licensing and Office 365 strategies - a way of making life difficult for those of us who I like easy flexibility in our hardware platforms.

    3. Peter Simpson 1
      FAIL

      Re: Hmm...

      I'm from the school that says:

      "If it works, DON'T FIX IT!"

      The UI used on XP has been my interface to Windows for many years. I have grown used to it, and I use it to efficiently do what I need to do on my Windows machine. Now, in the name of "delivering what users want", Microsoft feels they must radically alter the UI I have grown used to. Not once (ribbon), not twice (Win 7), but THREE separate times (Win 8). What was initially an annoyance that could be handled, has become a constant barrage of UI changes, some minor (Win 7 has the "show desktop" button on the far right, as opposed to the far left in XP), some major (the ribbon -- no, I don't like it), but all without the option of going back to what was working fine for me in the first place.

      It's enough to make one wonder if Microsoft is TRYING to alienate their customers.

    4. Paul Shirley

      Re: oh dear AC, you forgot MS instrumentation...

      The fact they've waited so damn long to pretend to offer concessions (Start *button* not the *menu* we actually want for example), all the while denying there's a problem, all go to demonstrate they weren't listening to 'shouty people' when it was hatched, weren't listening to them after it launched and aren't pandering to them now.

      The underlying reality is: MS justified vandalising the XP then Win7 UIs based on instrumenting Windows installs and logging user usage patterns. If change is coming it will be driven by the same sort of feedback. Given the overarching 'by hook or by crook, Win8 everywhere' corporate plan, there must be a serious difference between actual usage and what was expected/planned to trigger any backpeddling.

      Can't help MS that the 'shouty people' are so pissed off this time many deliberately opted in to the usage feedback to make sure the weasels at MS can't hide behind the same excuses. The majority of users may well be using a tiny fraction of the UI or OS and careless about what their PC reports back to MS, that's still not an excuse to take it away from those that use more.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: oh dear AC, you forgot MS instrumentation...

        No, they specifically shouldn't have been listening to "shoutey people". People who shout when there's a problem, rather than looking at what they're presented with and trying to understand it are exactly the people who shouldn't define your systems.

        Just have a look at the bitch-fest sessions on various IT forums, they're full of people who have obviously either never used Windows 8 or used it for a few minutes, not instantly loved it and demand Windows 7 again. Why should the UI designers listen to people like that? Especially when they've got all the research that they've carried out backing up how users actually use the systems. Oh, yeah, there is a ton of research data that they've gone through, observing how people operate the desktop, how different groups of people react to changes and how different workflows are affected by the changes.

        I'll mention the Henry Ford comment again: "If I made what my customers wanted, I'd be making faster horses".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: oh dear AC, you forgot MS instrumentation...

          "I'll mention the Henry Ford comment again: "If I made what my customers wanted, I'd be making faster horses"."

          Ah yes - the same car maker who said "customers can have any colour they like - as long as it's black".

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: oh dear AC, you forgot MS instrumentation...

            Except he didn't, it's an urban myth and it doesn't change the fact that he was right. People often think they know what they want, but when they're not experts at designing the things they want they seldom know what's best for them.

  20. Shagbag
    FAIL

    MSFT still have the 'monopolist' mentality

    “We feel good that we've listened and looked at all of the customer feedback. We are being principled, not stubborn."

    "Microsoft hadn’t done enough to close the knowledge gap by training staff in outlets selling Windows 8 machines or by educating customers in the run-up to last October's launch."

    "Microsoft recognizes it slipped up by not doing enough to persuade PC makers to build hardware actually capable of using Metro’s UI"

    1. they back-track;

    2. they insult the intelligence of their users;

    3. they insult the intelligence of their hardware partners.

    As long as they keep with the 'hey we're a monopolist, we can do what we like' mindset, Google and Apple will continue to eat their lunch.

    MSFT == EPIC FAIL.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  21. Wade Burchette

    Halfway there

    What about the old Start Menu? I could care less about the Start Button, I care only about the smart, easy-to-use menu that appears when I push the Start Button in Windows 7. If it goes to that ugly "Metro" start screen, then you have not learned a thing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Halfway there

      "[...] I care only about the smart, easy-to-use menu that appears when I push the Start Button in Windows 7 [...]"

      Personally in Windows 7 I miss the Classic Start Menu option that was in XP. A nice clean menu without layers of "intuitive" abstractions.

      1. SleepGuy

        Re: Halfway there

        I agree...which sadly is what I like about Windows 8 the best....the fact that I can install startisback and have the fly-out style start menu back...the nested-scrolling start menu was a step backwards for usability since most times you have to scroll once you get to the start menu. Windows 8 is a BEAST under the hood and I hope they really get the UI fixed to match!

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. beachmunkey

    Windows 8? Sooo easy to fix

    The big problem is that a lot of OEM's are still shipping without touch interfaces.

    All windows needs to do to be good(ish) is boot to desktop by default - proper desktop, with start menu, et al.

    Metro should ONLY be activated when a touch interface is plugged in, or switched to on a hybrid tablet / notebook - and then only when the user has tapped/clicked a confirmation button.

    Simples

    1. mmeier

      Re: Windows 8? Sooo easy to fix

      That's okay IF I can disable that "boot to desktop" crap and retain Metro as my start screen. For my style of work the new interface is far more efficient that the "ton of programs pinned to desktop/taskbar" POS of Win7 and before.

  24. Paradroid
    FAIL

    It's not just a case of bringing back the start button

    They also removed all the nice chrome from the desktop, that needs to be reinstated in "desktop mode" or whatever they want to call it. Some of that stuff is actually useful, like drop shadows to frame a window on top of another.

    What I am really asking for is separate desktop and touch version of the OS, with the desktop version being a really polished and nice looking desktop experience, and then the touch version looking just like Windows 8 does today.

    That way there's a version that suits the various classes of device.

    Microsoft know this though, they forced Metro on all of us as a way of making sure it got out into the wider market and had a chance of succeeding. Not that the strategy worked...

    1. Pookietoo

      Re: What I am really asking for is separate desktop and touch version

      But that's not what marketing think they need - remember this isn't about making a good desktop OS, it's about leveraging MSFT market share to gain an advantage in the tablet and phone markets.

    2. mmeier

      Re: It's not just a case of bringing back the start button

      Thanks but no thanks. Been there, sold the Android tablet. The current system works well on both types of systems - desktops and penables and does so in exactly the same way. One UI, one concept, one set of software.

      If you want "specialist" UI - buy an iThingy

  25. Dr_N Silver badge

    It must only be me...

    ...who always thought the "Start" button on the Windows desktop was always a piece of ol' shite and completely counter intuitive for a GUI? (A big list of all the installed programs? Great!!!)

    Solaris OpenWin desktop running olvwm for the win!!!!

    1. Pookietoo
      FAIL

      Re: A big list of all the installed programs? Great!!!

      You do know you can arrange them hierarchically to suit your own needs?

      1. Dr_N Silver badge

        Re: A big list of all the installed programs? Great!!!

        "You do know you can arrange them hierarchically to suit your own needs?"

        It's still just a list. Whether you put them in folders or not.

  26. Stephen Channell
    Facepalm

    Start's a start

    The next bit in the puzzle is Metro apps that you can run a window or maxamise on a multi-display rig, just like ModernMix allows you to do.

  27. Lee D Silver badge

    Sigh

    MS can blame anybody and any one thing they like.

    The fact of the matter is that they REMOVED OPTIONS. I don't care if people want to use Metro. I don't even care if they want to have it as the default on a fresh install. None of that really affects people. What affects people is NOT having the option to go back how it was. Give me the option, and I don't care what you put as default or try to foist on users - if I don't like it, I can turn it off and go back.

    It's simple backwards-compatibility, simple user-choice, simple user-training issues. Moving to Metro did nothing for my Windows 8 users, except force me to put things back how they were by other means. When some third-party project on Sourceforge has options to make Windows work the way you want, that Windows itself doesn't have, then you have a big problem convincing your users that you are doing it "for them" (whether or not you actually are).

    And, honestly, the failure of Metro is really the failure of the Windows app store. If that had taken off, we'd be hearing that the next version of Windows would be Metro-only and you could only buy Office through the store. Fact is, it was a flop, nobody really used it, nobody really targetted it (even MS's games division sell the revamped AOE2HD only through Steam, not even bothered with Games for Windows Live or the Windows store) and thus the bet of placing millions of business desktops on it was stupid.

    Additionally, the removal of choice present a new problem for business users. Do you know I had to clear out Weather apps, Sports apps, News apps and other junk just to make a clean Windows 8 image for deployment? And how do you do that? You have to uninstall them from the control panel because otherwise they keep coming back up for new users. Did you know that you have to get to the personalisation screen and press the "no-hints-on-the-screen" Ctrl-Shift-F3 magic shortcut to actually use sysprep'ed images that you're deploying internally?

    They totally lost sight that not every Windows 8 deployment will be to a personal user, running on a touchscreen (?!), that is willing to lose all the ways that work without a touchscreen (and, I would argue, the Start Menu etc. was more intuitive than having to stroke from top to bottom of the screen to close a Metro app which - on the touchscreens we have here - works only about 80% of the time because the screen is flat and has a large border, but only the visible image is "touchable" and the software just doesn't see it as a proper swipe unless you know how to do it).

    I don't care what you do with the OS. Gimme an option to turn it off. You have the capability to put out an OS with fancy new features, put in an "off" button, and monitor how many people use it. If the number who use it is vanishingly close to zero, you can consider it a success and maybe remove the old interface in the NEXT version. But any fool will tell you that at least 50% of people on Metro would have wanted the option to turn it off from the start and would have pressed it. And that's a message - it means "stop faffing about with my computer and don't take this functionality away".

    And don't forget that what a guy deploying business networks wants is VASTLY different to what a elderly first-timer buying a new PC wants. People have different needs and, thus, need different options. I *DO NOT* want my users to be able to install or use Metro apps. There's no need for it and it's just another avenue for exploit and time-wasting. Making it difficult for me to exercise that option makes it difficult to sell me your product.

    It's not just Microsoft, either. But the fact is that they could have avoided almost ALL the negative press of Windows 8 by just putting in an off-switch or bundling Classic Start Menu as an option at the very least.

    It was literally a coin-flip whether we deployed 7 or 8 without Metro this year (after a long hiatus while we waited for MS to sort itself out). We only went with 8 because we could turn it back into 7 (effectively) and get longer-lasting support for it (so that when they mess up the next version, we can just ignore it like we did Vista, etc.).

    1. Bill the Sys Admin
      Mushroom

      Re: Sigh

      so much writing. Things change, don’t like it? Use something else or write your own OS!

      1. Red Bren
        FAIL

        Re: Sigh

        "so much writing"

        Did you bother to read any of it?

        "Things change..."

        Has the previous poster's business suddenly changed? Have the users he supports suddenly decided to change the way they do their jobs? No, because well managed change is done carefully, with the agreement of all affected. Instead, we have this paternalistic fait accompli where Microsoft are saying, "We will decide what's best for you!" when they should have said, "Why not give our new interface a try, we think you'll love it!"

        In the same way that the 95 GUI overtook the 3.1 GUI, Metro could have gained traction as people got used to using it at their own pace. Refusing to give users a choice suggests a lack of faith in the new UI.

        "...don't like it? Use something else"

        Two of my previous employers would allow you to choose alternatives to Windows on the desktop if you could present a reasonable business case. The enforced retraining that the Metro UI introduces makes that business case even simpler.

        "or write your own OS"

        That's why we have Eadon! :-)

        1. Bill the Sys Admin
          Thumb Down

          Re: Sigh

          No the posters business has not changed.

          But MS is changing their OS, either buy into it or don’t. You don’t like it use 7, stay with XP or use Linux. Rather than moaning about it still buying it. Your still buying it so your part of the people who have upgraded, as far as MS are concerned they got a sale. And probably not that bothered whether you like it or not.

          1. robynsveil
            FAIL

            Re: Sigh

            IOW: "that'll teach ya to tie in some vendor's product as a cornerstone of your business."

            This flagrant disregard and disrespect for business workflow is pandemic: I see the same thing in FOSS, unfortunately. Fortunately, however, there are more choices. Thank YOU MS for giving us the opportunity (by pulling off our OS-security-blanket and leaving us businesses in the cold) to actually seeing there *are* choices.

            1. mmeier

              Re: Sigh

              What choices? Many toolchains simply run on Windows only and can't be / won't be ported due to costs or the integration of MS products with no replacement (Sharepoint, Exchange/Outlook, Word + Word Templates/VBA. Excel with VBA etc.)

              Win8 when it comes to companies starting 2014 will run those stuff just fine and with limited training for the end user since Olav Officedrohne does NOT use an OS, he uses a program.

      2. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Sigh

        The point is that people are using something else - Windows 7, which doesn't cost them anything because they already have it. That means that Microsoft aren't making much money from selling Windows 8.

      3. 20legend
        WTF?

        Re: Sigh

        How about use CLASSIC SHELL to replace the missing start button and menu?

        Why so much gnashing of teeth? Microsoft fucked up and is looking like backtracking. Why wait for them when someone else has already stepped into the void with a free application that remedies it pretty fucking well, here, now, today, for free!

        Use it to get rid of lots of the irritating Metro UI aspects - to the point that you'd hardly realise that Win8 was plaguing your hardware.

        www.classicshell.net

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "address customer feedback"?!

    they consciously IGNORED the feedback provided by testers (no, I wasn't one of them), to the point of saying: yeah, yeah, but we know better, so shut up" long before W8 was launched. They kept ignoring the howling and whinging coming out of just about every review after the launch, regarding this petty interface issues of metro/start button / etc. But hey, they they have woken up to the term "learning curve".

    They could have done that in no time before the launch, and shortly after in no time. Instead - they put a middle finger up the air, and now they have the finger up their rectum as W8 sales are, in the marketing speak "uninspiring". Well, (...) them!

  29. Egons Proton Pack
    Happy

    I don't mind windows 8 to be honest.

    If I want to open something I can press the windows key and start typing and it appears.

    I did however show this to my uncle at the weekend as his XP laptop is getting near it's end and he was a bit unsure.

    The only thing that irritates me is Chrome, for some reason I can't get my taskbar to appear unless I minimise the window and I can't run it in windows 8 mode as then I can't seem to have 2 sessions open at once.

    Other than that I have no real gripe.

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Being able to type what you want makes it as user friendly as MS DOS, where you could type "lotus" or "wp" at the C:> prompt.

  30. Muskiier
    WTF?

    Windows 8: reliable, fast, feature-rich, horrible to use

    I capitulated, after struggling with the "modern" UI, and installed the Start8 start button utility. My next mission is to stop anything from automatically opening in one of those horrid, counter-intuitive, full-screen, "modern" apps. To think that I almost thought writing one would be worthwhile! On the other hand, what a great OS. Fast, smooth, never a lockup or BSOD. I'm guessing there was some bad internal politics that went on as the UI got developed.

    1. jason 7
      Facepalm

      Re: Windows 8: reliable, fast, feature-rich, horrible to use

      Erm just set the default apps to the desktop ones via the Control Panel.

      Takes about 60 seconds. I guess you are new to computers?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We feel good that we've listened and looked at all of the customer feedback"

    Pity you didn't listen earlier, it would have made you feel even better and saved you a whole heap of cash.

  32. John 156
    FAIL

    "The Register revealed in January that Microsoft was blaming PC makers for not building PCs with the right specs to actually run Windows 8 touch."

    From the introduction of the 386 by Intel in 1985 to the introduction of XP in 2001, Mincrosoft was offering non-professional users a 16-bit OS for their higher spec 32-bit devices. Now MS has decided that they, not the hardware manufacturers should specify the hardware that users can buy.. The OS exists to support the functionality of the hardware, not the other way round. Why anybody with a keyboard and mouse would wish to poke at a screen defeats me. However poking a screen would obviously be preferable, without having a keyboard or mouse, to e.g. shouting at it or possibly dropping it ob the floor and stamping on it until it selected the requisit function.

    The imposition of a Desktop designed primarily for the benefit of those who lack keyboards and mice is clearly a retrograde step.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err... Windows 3.1 could have 32bit extensions loaded into it and Windows 95 was 32bit.

      1. stuff and nonesense

        Windows 95 was

        dos 7 with a 32 bit windows environment. As I remember Mary Jo Foley praised it as the most advanced PC operatng system even though OS/2 warp and NT were around.

        I stopped reading articles by her at that time. She was/is too much of a Microsoft evangelist. Even Microsoft about faces are wonderful examples of their benign devinity... as written up by MJF...

    2. mmeier

      And John156 joins the "I never tried Win8 but I have a false opinion and shout it out" crowd.

    3. Arthur 1

      While I agree totally with you, there may be some cues being taken here from other units at Microsoft. The DirectX team, for example, has been working this way for over a decade. They lay down the spec, the GPU vendors then create the hardware to fulfill it. Don't have the hardware, DirectX will report as much and may emulate the behaviour if it's feasible.

      Of course an OS is wholly different, and there's no effort made to detect the lack of things like touch or deal with that lack by falling back to behaviours which work without touch. The whole thing leaves the OS interface team seeming... a little out of touch?

  33. Dazed and Confused Silver badge
    Facepalm

    They called it what!

    MS called a Window's release Blue FFS!

    That's like a Linux release being called PANIC

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They called it what!

      "That's like a Linux release being called PANIC"

      Or "Wheezy".

    2. Knochen Brittle
      Thumb Up

      Yes, "Windows Blew"

      ... so we went with [Linux ¦ other competitor's name]

      Handing ammunition to the enemy must be a new feature in MS's ongoing 'Operation Footbullet'

  34. Spoddyhalfwit

    @Eadon

    "I'd say that open source is better for non-geeks. If you let non-geeks loose on the internet with an Windows box, then they will get hosed within 20 minutes. Linux systems do not have that problem"

    Oh but they do.

    Linux is complicated, especially for the not so tech savvy.

    For example I've seen Linux boxes get compromised because someone was having permissions issues with a website so did CHMOD 777 and opened it all up.

    Is Linux inherently less secure? No, certainly not. The problem is users. On the desktop Linux is much less likely to get compromised because

    1) most users are tech savvy

    2) there are many fewer users, less fruitful to write malware to attack them.

    But on servers its a different story, Linux ones are more likely to get hacked. Again its not because Linux isn't secure - its the old story of

    1) clueless user actions

    2) old software that hasn't been updated.

  35. Steve Brooks

    Damn buggers, killing my money stream. Supply PC with windows, 4 more visits teaching poeple how to use it, can it be any more perfect as a moneymaker?

  36. Moeluk

    At least Lenovo are listening

    Well...last two pc's i bought for the company were Lenovo's with Windows 8 on them...we have a new starter next week..and thank god ebuyer have got the previous machine with Win 7 back in stock again! I guess it's a good thing that MS have slightly relented...although we aren't getting the start menu back...just the ability to boot to desktop.

    I do find it totally odd, that in my entire 15 years of using PC's, this is the first time ever I've wanted to go backwards, rather than forwards..on any sort of machine, be it Mac or PC, and if thats the case then MS have failed, and failed to provide a reason to go to them anymore.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: At least Lenovo are listening

      Planning for the demise of XP - my non-commercial users decided they didn't want Windows 8. They do like their tablets of various brands for their portability and couch surfing. However they want their main PC to be fully functional for serious work without additional learning curves just to stand still.

      So I'm currently buying up sturdy second-hand Dell laptops with Windows 7 - and raiding my stockpile of Windows 7 licences for the desktops. The use of MS Office is also being reviewed to see how well Libre Office will satisfy the users' required functionality.

      1. mmeier

        Re: At least Lenovo are listening

        Nonsense. Commecial buyers with an IT worth the name run extensive tests with the future OS to make sure all needed components run. And most of those tests where done in 2012(1) and therefor with Win7. That is all there is.

        Two of our customers (Think 4000 and 10K+ workstations) are currently testing Win8 for mobile devices (Dell and Lenovo tablet pc) since unlike iThingy/Fragmentdroid the Win8 units can run the full set of legacy software. Java Swing/SWT applications do not run on touchy toys but run fine on Win8. Same for Word and Symphony.

        (1) No, the 20+ percent XP are mostly NOT in companies. Those are mostly in countries where stealing software is more likely than buying it.

  37. QuietLeni
    Meh

    So... we will have Windows 8.1?

    Er, if Windows 8 is Windows NT 6.2 (after Windows 7 being Windows NT 6.1), then will Windows 8.1 be Windows NT 6.21 or Windows NT 6.3, or what?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So... we will have Windows 8.1?

      The name of the OS is different to the number of the Kernel.

      Just the same as in Linux, UNIX and pretty much all other OSes.

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: So... we will have Windows 8.1?

      6.2.1 or possibly even still 6.2. Under the hood it is still going to be the same operating system, just with some UI tweaks.

  38. no_RS

    Why keep changing things???

    This obsessions with constantly changing the user interface is just madness and makes no financial sense, it is like a car manufacturer deciding the put the steering wheel in the boot just because it is different.

    Microsoft should take a leaf out of Honda's book, all the controls in their cars are in the same place throughout the generations, this is why people (espeically older people) like them because there is no steep learing curve trying to find everything. We want to use the operating system not fight it just to get the basic things done.

    I took the plunge and built a PC to avoid Win8 and keep using Win7 as it just worked, quite frankly I don't believe a word of Microsoft insisting they have listened to their customer/users.The astonsihing arrogance they display just doesn't disappear overnight so I will sit back and patiently wait for MS dump their next offering over their customers.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "told the Financial Times (log-in needed)."

    ...Kudos for adding the Log-In warning.

    ......I wish all Reg writers would follow...

  40. vonRat
    Windows

    To get the 'Computer' icon on a Windows 2012 desktop, you simply enter "%Systemroot%\system32\rundll32.exe" shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,,0 on the command line. This is obvious progress and I'm saddened that people don't understand that Microsoft are simply trying to embrace the 1980's UNIX experience.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or, you could go to the desktop, right-click, personalise, then select "Change Desktop Icons" from the left hand side.

      This comment underlines the problems that MS are dealing with - Should they bother to take seriously anyone who can't follow some really basic steps to achieve something? It's exactly the same thing you did in Win7 to get the desktop icons changed and if I recall correctly in Vista as well. It shows up the person making the comment to be so desperate for the software to be the problem that they don't spend a tiny amount of time using their own initiative to solve the problem.

      1. stuff and nonesense

        (Speak in a kirk style voice) Whyyyyyyy?

        There is no reason to not put the computer icon on the desk top by default.

        3 steps to get the bloody thing back is a pain AND un-necessary...

      2. jonathanb Silver badge

        In Windows 7, you click the start menu, right click on Computer and click Show on Desktop. That won't work on Windows 8 because there isn't a start menu, and I don't think the start screen has a computer option on it.

      3. jason 7
        Unhappy

        Yes seems a lot of so called seasoned 'IT Professionals' can't actually fight their way out of a paperbag.

        "Wahhhh I'm stuck in Metro! I can't get out!!! Wahhh where is the Desktop??? I can't find the Control panel!"

        Makes you wonder how they get dressed in the morning. I take a new Windows 8 install for a customer, 5 minutes of tweaking, 10 minutes of quick instruction on how it works and they are set.

        No crying or raging. Just grateful happy customer. Not one of them has sh*t their pants over it and demanded I take it off.

        I guess MS are caving into the Tards and changing it back.

      4. vonRat

        @AC 7/5/13 15:42

        My lighthearted comment was a satirical observation that forcing people to learn new ways of doing things does not necessarily improve the 'User Experience'. Anyway, thanks for pointing out the bleedin' obvious, but do try not to get all red faced and angry about it.

  41. Avatar of They
    FAIL

    eh?

    My windows licence happily sits on the shelf, not used. Having three failed install attempts and an aborted blue screen when it did work, I realised that upgrade does not mean rebuild. Despite windows 8 being the cause of the rebuild. So please don't include my licence as one of the millions. I am not alone with this, every machine my company buys has windows 8, all are flatlined on purchase and made to be windows 7.

    Touchscreens and lack of are not hte downfall of windows 8.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: eh?

      Did you consider that it may be your hardware that's the problem? One of the few things people don't complain about in Windows 8 is the installer. If you got BSODs when you installed it, it's likely that you have dodgy hardware that wasn't being used in the same way with your previous OS. One thing Win 8 doesn't do is randomly BSOD all the time.

    2. jason 7

      Re: eh?

      You might want to get some better IT staff or kit then.

      Again a case of so called Pro's showing up their lack of experience or know how.

  42. squilookle
    Windows

    I genuinely like Windows 8. If I fire up the computer to play a bit of music, watch something on Netflix, speak to someone on Skype or check to see if that email I have been waiting for has arrived arrived (these tasks probably make up about 80% of the usage of my home computer) , it's more convenient and less fiddly than any old version of Windows or any Linux desktop I have used. If I need to get some real work done, the desktop is only one click away.

    1. Green Nigel 42
      Thumb Up

      I genuinely hate W8, but upvoted your post because I respect your integrity for merely saying it works for you & I suspect others. In my book your opinion on actual use does not merit down votes.

  43. Prowler
    Alien

    They'll mess this up also

    Lots of talk about backtracking, but what they will probably do is ...

    (1) Place a "Start Button" on the desktop and the thing will point right back at Metro.

    (2) Leave out Aero Glass and rounded corners and drop shadows rather than letting the user decide if they want flat 2D or fancy 3D themes.

    (3) Charge money for this half-assed service pack which ironically forces MicroSheep into a de facto Windows subscription model without ever announcing it!

    The incompetence of the post-XP Microsoft cannot possibly be underestimated

  44. PaulR79
    Holmes

    The award for the most obvious statement in history goes to.. Microsoft!

    ==Reller told Foley:

    “We feel good that we've listened and looked at all of the customer feedback. We are being principled, not stubborn," about modifying Windows 8 based on that feedback."==

    Isn't that what they should have done when people said the same things very loudly all through the release preview? How the hell can a company be so stubborn and blind to the problems they're thrusting upon users they expect to upgrade? If they dare try to charge for this 8.1 update or whatever it ends up being they can go fsck themselves. I got Windows 8 for my aging laptop purely for any performance boost it would give and I would dearly like to undo that mistake without going through a reinstall. I gained a bigger performance increase by upping the memory to 4GB.

    The best 'upgrade' I got is one that makes scrolling through directories some mammoth task that causes my entire system to sink to its knees and literally lock up for 2 - 10 seconds. Once it finishes loading them up it's fine until I try to scroll more and the same process repeats. It reminds me of an old Windows 98 (?) bug where icon shortcuts would fail to load and you had to rebuild the whole icon list to fix it. In this case it renders my laptop useless for the whole time it's doing whatever it does.

  45. Fenton

    Depends on the user

    However Linux in my experience had never been a hit with anybody but the geek.

    I support a number of user types and have tried various OS's on all,

    1. The wife. Form over function,

    Likes win7. Dislikes win 8. Hates XP hated Linux even more. Loves her Mac.

    2. 9 year old son. (Potential geek in the making).

    Within hours was teaching me how to use win8. Likes win 7. XP is just boring. Linux (why does it look shit)

    3. 14 year old step daughter. Brain washed by nerd dad that Linux was the way to go, but could not exchange files with friends. XP looked shit, win 7 great. Win 8 what's the point.

    Mac. Looks good but can't exchange files with friends.

    4. End users at work. Good generally care, but hate win 8 and must have office. Open office on Linux trial did not go we'll.

    5. Me. Office a must for work. So win 7. Fire up and rdp session for redhat and suse for system admin.

    Home. Win 7 for photoshop. And XP for a very propriety 8 in: 8 out recording interface. Which has never seen a Linux driver.

    Conclusion. Give win 8, which I like from a stability and performance point of view a win 7 front end (by all means if a touch screen is available start with metro)

  46. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Happy

    Wow, I didn't think the situation was THAT serious! :

    From the article:

    "Reller conceded that Windows users have been struggling with the Widows 8 Metro touch UI"

  47. Marty McFly
    Thumb Down

    So obvious...

    I can move my mouse 1" by 1" on my desk and command anything on my screen. Why would I want to lift my entire hand and arm to touch something on a Metro touch screen?

    Is it cool & sexy? Sure. Would I want to spend all day at work doing that? No way. Besides, I absolutely HATE fingerprints on my monitors....

    1. mmeier

      Re: So obvious...

      And McFly went out to tell the world that he has never used Windows 8 but has developed a lot of misconceptions about it anyway.

      1. Blakey
        FAIL

        Re: So obvious...

        Did you read the article? With MS complaining that vendors didn't push touch screens hard enough? That's what McFly's talking about.

    2. ben_myers
      Happy

      Re: So obvious...

      Maybe Microsoft should have recommended using another digit on the touch screen, having the band Finger 11 write a special Windows 8 song. And to get the nomenclature to harmonize with marketing theme, call it Windows 11.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So obvious...

      You don't have to move your arm, you can just use the mouse pointer and scroll wheel.

      Comments like these from supposed IT pros who claim to be in a position to make educated comments about software just make The Reg's comments forums look rather poor.

      1. magrathea

        Re: So obvious...

        Microsoft complained that vendors didn't supply the correct hardware (touch-screen) to show w8 off to its best - ergo Microsoft thinks that office workers doing Nazi salutes all day in front of their computers really is the preferred usage scenario for w8.

        1. mmeier

          Re: So obvious...

          Actually MS complained about TABLET hardware. And for MS based tablets - TOUCH is the bastard stepchild. Windows tablets have been and still are Pen first, touch second.

          The vendors all failed to deliver the Atom based penables they showed mid 2012 in time for the Win8 launch. Some started delivery as late as March 2013. THAT was the complain.

  48. IGnatius T Foobar

    What Google Must Do

    Anyone listening in Mountain View? Here's a one step, sure-fire way to prevent Windoze 8 from ever succeeding.

    A full Android runtime for Windoze. It should run *inside* of Windoze, right from the desktop.

    With the entire Android ecosystem available on Windoze, no one will *ever* write a Metro app again.

  49. RAMChYLD
    FAIL

    Even the touch UI is piss

    I ran the consumer preview on a systems hooked up to a touchscreen (An Acer T230H if you must know) and it's absolute piss- many of the gestures are difficult if not impossible to execute on said touchscreen. Especially since the gesture for bringing up the Metro UI requires me to swipe from the right corner of the screen, which is impossible to do.

    Start button must come back. Because even on touchscreens, Windows 8 fails.

    1. mmeier

      Re: Even the touch UI is piss

      Maybe due to the fact that Windows 8 thankfully is NOT optimized of fingerprint gathering units. The OS is well optimized for full-scale penables where most of the "smear to do" gestures are not needed.

  50. ben_myers

    Classic Shell

    Well, kind of sort of a mea culpa from Microsoft on Windows 8. Maybe they'll stop the blame game, fingering OEMs for not designing hardware that is right for Windows 8. Damned if I know how to design that hardware.

    Anyone who can't wait for 8.1 or Blue or whatever it will be called, if and when it is released, go get your start button back,

    http://www.classicshell.net/

    Ben Myers

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    one thing they do not understand ...

    "There also seems to be a hint Microsoft recognizes it slipped up by not doing enough to persuade PC makers to build hardware actually capable of using Metro’s UI, which is largely irrelevant on machines lacking touch screens." - please understand that people who use 23"+ screens on their desk never will use touch screens, because a.) they are too expensive in that size and b.) because of their size, they are positioned so far away on the desk that users CANNOT use the touch functionality in any comfortable way. So why would those users ever want an OS which has a UI designed for touch use?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: one thing they do not understand ...

      It's also complete rubbish, while it does work with touch screen, it's by no means a requirement. I've got Windows 8 at home and have no touch screen, but I do have a touch mouse and a normal mouse, I don't even use the touch mouse as a mouse with a scroll wheel works just fine.

      I really, genuinely, don't understand what all the fuss is about. The start menu takes up the whole screen and looks a little different and this has generated over 200 posts on this thread alone.

      1. mmeier

        Re: one thing they do not understand ...

        Touch is the part of "tablet" that thankfully is NOT emphasized by MS. Keyboard use (for desktops/notebooks) and pens (or mouse). Fingerprinting is a (IMHO useless no matter what OS) add-on for those who want to produce (Acer W-Series) or buy a cheap tablet instead of a useful tablet pc.

        Actually the systems works very nice on non-touch notebooks since the keyboard optimization reduces the need for trackpad/trackpoint (or external mouse)

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Rolling Stones

    Surely this only happened after intense lobbying by the Rolling Stones......?

    Maybe the pension pot was a bit low after the global slump.

  53. Wardy01

    It's purely because it's Microsoft

    If Apple released an OS that looked identical to tifkam (metro) people would be all over it saying how visionary it is but Microsoft with their "capitalist agenda to take over the world" (so 20 years ago) sad geeks stuck in a forgotten decade would rather just bitch and whine about it.

    It's optional, configurable, and if you really know your stuff ... TURN IT OFF!

    Idiots!

    Begin flame and down votes!

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you find WIndows 8 confusing, maybe a job in retail would suit you better.

    It's a hell of a lot faster than Windows 7 and who spends that much time in their start menu anyway? Mash the start button and type the app or setting you are looking for, The last ubuntu distro I used did the same thing pretty much.

    Downvote away.

    1. SleepGuy
      WTF?

      Sure

      I really want to go back to TYPING the application I want to run. I miss DOS 5.1. Ooooh, maybe Microsoft can make it so I have to fiddle with IRQ's and work at getting TSR's loaded into high memory also! Are you trying to say that typing the name of the app you want to run is PROGRESS? It's not. It's a workaround to make a shitty UI somewhat usable.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Consumers to Microsucks...

    ...You can stick Win 8, the start button and all the rest where the Sun don't shine.

    1. mmeier

      Re: Consumers to Microsucks...

      The SUN does not shine any more, it is in a drug haze with the Oracle these days.

  56. LoCatus

    Doesn't matter

    The nasty taste is already there...

    Doesn't matter how much you polish it, a turd is still a turd.And Microsoft can STILL keep this one.

  57. fung0
    Thumb Up

    Thanks, LoCatus! After 200+ comments, at last the perfect response.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    "Microsoft is also considering bringing back the abandoned Start button."

    Considering???

    It should never have gone in the first place...

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