M$ Kills “8”

Not content with changing the user interface, M$ is making it difficult to bypass:

“Microsoft has taken away the UI people know, crippled it with the removal of the Start button and minimize/maximize/close buttons, and put in its place a UI that looks like it was designed by a 10-year old.”

see Microsoft Explorer : RTM builds of Windows 8 reveal Microsoft blocked any bypassing of the Metro desktop.

Thank you, M$. It’s great to see you finally innovating and inviting users of PCs to make a choice. Do they want a familiar windowing scheme or the same interface seen on gadgets that fit in a pocket? I expect this means “7” will be the last hurrah of the desktop monopoly and that “8” will never be mainstream at least with business who resist change so much they cling to XP and IE6.

Of course innovation is important and useful so that we can have choices and develop IT that works for us but M$ has not been about that since the days of DOS 2. M$ has always tried to change only so that users will have difficulty changing to other operating systems. That strategy presumed the sheep would always follow to the next step. I do not believe the sheeple will accept “8” cripple-ware just as they did not accept “phoney 7”. Some users will accept “8” but they will be a small segment, likely in the range 20-30%. Certainly the ISVs, who have slaved for M$ all these years, are not going to adopt a new way of operating just because M$ demands it. M$ has gone out on a limb and on October 26 will cut it off. Enjoy the show.

There was a time when Lose ’95 was at the peak of its hype and people did line up to buy it. The bloom was off the rose by the time XP was swamped by waves of malware. Vista cut the monopoly down to a stump. All the pain people endured to change hardware to run the fancy graphics was a total waste. “7” was regrowth and might actually still save the monopoly somehow but “8” will cut down the tree again and poison the root, lock-in. This time, there is no backwards compatibility and forward lies only ugliness. If one is forced to choose a tablet-centric OS, there are many choices: GNU/Linux, Android/Linux, WebOS, etc. “8” is a sinking flagship of the monopoly.

Another crucial matter with “8” is bundling. It used to be that to sell x86 hardware, OEMs had to ship that other OS because the ISVs only supported that other OS. Those days are gone. ISVs not wanting to be cut down with M$’s axe may well adopt GNU/Linux because they can control it instead of being controlled by it. OEMs see that ARM sells without that other OS. The benefits of openness that governments and schools have seen for a decade are now visible to all.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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22 Responses to M$ Kills “8”

  1. ch says:

    “but I expect to live long enough to see GNU/Linux on local retail shelves.”

    I think I still have that SuSE 6.0 box I bought from a local retail shelve way back when. (I had bought several other distros before, the first being an Yggdrasil Linux 0.99whatever.) Today I could just buy some magazine with a Linux DVD in it – heck, in fact my favorite IT magazine had another Linux distro on it’s DVD just recently, must be somewhere …

    But apart from some geeks, nobody gives a youknowwhat.

  2. Brillo says:

    but I expect to live long enough to see GNU/Linux on local retail shelves.

    Someone was obviously locked in a cryogenic chamber in the late 90s.

  3. Chris Weig wrote, “Fortunately dinosaurs cannot adapt to rapid change well and die out.

    So will you, Mr. Pogson, so will you.”

    Not likely. The Pogson clan is evolving. We are on multiple continents. Short of a global calamity we will outlive M$. This site has backups and multiple individuals involved. Of course, bad things happen, but I expect to live long enough to see GNU/Linux on local retail shelves. I expect that will happen in a year or two. The stagnation of the PC market has inclined retailers to see what better use they can make of their shelves. The local Walmart already has ~25% of shelf-space for Android/Linux. It is a small step to supply GNU/Linux.

  4. Chris Weig says:

    Fortunately dinosaurs cannot adapt to rapid change well and die out.

    So will you, Mr. Pogson, so will you.

  5. Michael Rudas wrote, “Interesting that you point out DOS 2,”

    Yes. DOS 2 was the second product of M$ that I used. The first was BASIC on an Ohio Superboard II.

    In those days, M$ was about providing software at an affordable price. It was an ordinary business, not a blood-sucking monopoly. A decade later and M$ was a monster, killing IT. Two decades later it was a partner of the malware artists using people’s IT against them globally. Fortunately dinosaurs cannot adapt to rapid change well and die out.

  6. oiaohm wrote, “it might be just as cheap to go sideways to Linux and never pay MS again.”

    Not just cheap. Easy. Users going from XP to XFCE4 and GNU/Linux require very little training once they can find the icons/applications. Within applications, there’s very little difference. The directory layout and logging in are the only strangenesses users find. M$ told the world that transparency and rounded corners and DRM were important and left the world wondering what they were going on about. Now M$’s going to “8” and very few care at all. Certainly OEMs, retailers and consumers are not interested. “7” is now a deprecated OS. M$ and “partners” are telling folks that “8” is the next big thing.

  7. Chris Weig says:

    If upgrading to Windows 7 worked for your father then good for him, …

    It was an anecdote and clearly marked as such.

    … now try doing that with a large customer base or a SMB with countless variable iterations.

    So this is basically admittance on your part that you’re unqualified to handle such things.

    Or how else did you get from a very general statement, which implied that Windows’ upgrading mechanism is somehow faulty, to large customer bases and SMBs? You’re telling me that you’re running from computer to computer with a Windows install medium and manually upgrading the OS? No wonder you can’t get work done.

    BTW, if you have a SMB “with countless variable iterations”, you’ve done something very wrong in the first place.

  8. Chris Weig says:

    Hitmanpro and NOD32 is snake oil?? What would your recommendation be then?

    Wait, let me think… how about nothing at all!? Antivirus software is pretty much useless as it can only detect known threats with any kind of certainty. Once it has to rely purely on heuristics you’re SOL. And let’s not forget that antivirus software can itself be insecure:

    http://lock.cmpxchg8b.com/Sophail.pdf

    As for Hitman Pro, you only need to read the description on their web page to realize that it’s snake oil.

    – Questionable analogy (“second opinion”)? Check.
    – Using “Research shows …” without citing any such research? Check.
    – Claiming to fix what went undetected by all other security measures that came before it? Check.

    Honestly, if you willingly sell your customers this stuff, they should seek out a new computer professional.

    Antivirus software is software designed to make the clueless user feel safe, but it wasn’t actually designed to make the user’s computer safe.

  9. oiaohm says:

    ch “It uses the same Drivers as Win7, so what?”
    To be correct no it does not.

    Few older printers and scanner drivers will not work. Interface dialogues dependant on the old interface that windows 8 has stripped.

    So please don’t state same drivers as Win7 its not true. Most windows 7 drivers work there are some that don’t due to being dependant on the old GUI design.

    ch
    “4. XP and 7 Market Domination

    For now, right. What’s the problem for MS?”

    Problem here a lot of company programs are dependant XP in fact. They work in 7. They don’t work correctly in 8. Why a lot of them use embed IE and other things that have been changed.

    So due to the cost to migrate forward to windows 8 it might be just as cheap to go sideways to Linux and never pay MS again.

    ch
    “5. Windws 8 Tablet Pricing

    Depends on OEMs.”
    Part depends on Microsoft. Android is just the cost of Patent licenses. I don’t see MS doing that cheep. OEM has to recover the Microsoft OS price.

    ch
    “7. Locked BIOS Disallow’s Repairs

    No, it doesn’t.”

    On the arm devices o yes it does. Same problem with some android devices. You wish to perform a memory diagnostic or limits OS hardware diagnostic and you cannot because the bootloader is locked.

    ch
    “8. Competition with OEM’s”
    Is how the OEM have taken it. Since they were hoping to release high end devices as well.

    I could go on but most of them are valid when you understand why.

  10. Interesting that you point out DOS 2, Mr. Pogson, since that was the last Microsoft project that Paul Allen was involved with before he got squeezed out. Everything since then has been marketing-driven—the software itself has taken the back seat, and suffered for it.

  11. ch says:

    2. Poor Support For Old Hardware

    It uses the same Drivers as Win7, so what?

    3. Enterprises Will Be Slow To Adopt or Skip

    That should actually work in MS’ favor: Businesses will be busy moving to Win7 and can safely ignore Win8 on desktops/notebooks. However, they will look closely at tablets with Win8.

    4. XP and 7 Market Domination

    For now, right. What’s the problem for MS?

    5. Windws 8 Tablet Pricing

    Depends on OEMs.

    6. People Despise Change

    so they will stick with XP/7 for some more years, except when they buy a tablet.

    7. Locked BIOS Disallow’s Repairs

    No, it doesn’t.

    8. Competition with OEM’s

    No: They don’t offer anything premium like the Surface line is intended to be. (Which is MS’ reason for bringing them out in the first place.)

    9. Forcing a Unwanted Interface

    Not really. I am using Win8 on my (non-touch) Notebook, and although it could have some improvement for non-touch use, it is still useable with the old dekstop UI.

    10. Too Little Too Late

    What’s too Little about it exactly?

    11. Losing Domination in PC’s

    And that would happen why? Because people who don’t like the new UI (which they don’t have to use, except for the Start Screen, which is just a full-screen start menu) will love Unity? Or lxde?

  12. Brillo says:

    The proper way is to image the drive and install clean, then pull your personal data from the existing backup image, this works EVERY TIME and leaves no headaches for me or the end-user.

    Installing clean for what exactly? I am actually pretty stunned to find out that this is the kind of pointless exercises that you ask $50-$200 for each time.

    Reset IE and all the useless plugins will just stop bothering you in an instant.

    Uninstall major memory-resident programs (Norton AV, etc.) and less CPU time will be spent doing stuff in the background.

    Most crapware can be easily taken care of in Programs and Features.

    Make sure the drivers are up-to-date and up to scratch and no hardware problems are showing up on the system.

    The reinstalling ritual is often a sign the person is unskilled in maintaining a Windows system properly. If you don’t know what you are doing, don’t bother charging someone even a cent for the result. That would be obscene.

    And don’t get me started with that registry “cleaner” thing.

  13. dougman says:

    Thank you Mr. Weig for your colorful response.

    I never, EVER-EVER, recommend that people upgrade from their existing install base. The proper way is to image the drive and install clean, then pull your personal data from the existing backup image, this works EVERY TIME and leaves no headaches for me or the end-user.

    Sometimes I even recommend upgrading the hard-drive if it is over three-years old, but I digress.

    If upgrading to Windows 7 worked for your father then good for him, now try doing that with a large customer base or a SMB with countless variable iterations.

    Regarding items 2-11, please enlighten us with your tactful knowledge, disproving my assertions.

    Hitmanpro and NOD32 is snake oil?? What would your recommendation be then?

  14. Chris Weig says:

    1. Upgrades Won’t Work Well

    Chain of Fools : Upgrading through every version of windows

    You can do this with any old Linux distribution? Hell, no. This alone makes your other claims already worthless.

    Anecdote time: my father — a really untalented man when it comes to computers — was able to upgrade his computer to Windows 7 all by himself. And Windows 7 worked perfectly fine after the upgrade.

    As for 2–11: you got it all wrong.

    And perhaps you shouldn’t ridicule yourself by offering snake oil like “Hitman Pro” and “eset NOD32 antivirus” on your website, dougman. Seems like Windows users are paying your bills.

  15. lpbbear says:

    I can’t add anything to dougman’s list. He pretty much nails it. The interface formerly known as “Metro” is a huge mess and I can’t see anyone but the most sadomasochistic of the MS fanbois saying they love it. Most users will absolutely hate it. It is a disaster for the entire tech sector and will certainly cause much pain to many who make a living off of tech support, computer service/sales and computer systems building/parts manufacture.

    It does not matter whether you are a fan of Linux or Microsoft. Being honest enough to call out a really crappy interface for what it is…crap….has no OS bias. The interface formerly known as “Metro” is garbage and users will be pissed off at having it shoved down their throats.

    Over the years Microsoft has pulled some real boners but this one….this one is beyond belief. Perhaps as a result we will finally see shareholders dump “Monkey Boy”.

    Hmmmmm…..at least some good may come of this after all.

    Go Metro! 😉

  16. dougman says:

    Windows 8 will be hailed with bribed reviews, pissed off OEM’s, pissed off developers, a 1:4 ratio of apps, features will be errors and anti-features will be innovations and all the while providing a superior gaming experience on Linux.

    Do not get me wrong 8 *looks* good, but lets not forget a famous saying shall we? If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.

    Upcoming problems:
    1. Upgrades Won’t Work Well
    2. Poor Support For Old Hardware
    3. Enterprises Will Be Slow To Adopt or Skip
    4. XP and 7 Market Domination
    5. Windows 8 Tablet Pricing
    6. People Despise Change
    7. Locked BIOS Disallow’s Repairs
    8. Competition with OEM’s
    9. Forcing a Unwanted Interface
    10. Too Little Too Late
    11. Losing Domination in PC’s

    Conclusion:
    Windows users waste all their money and computer budget on Microsoft bugs, malware, insecurity software, and repair services which mandate re-installing Windows.

  17. Chris Weig wrote, “Windows 8 will do better than all of your fabulous Linux distributions combined.”

    That may happen if they clear the retail shelves of them at great discounts or an industry springs up rewriting them with */Linux. After a few quarters the channel will be cleared and the world can go on changed forever with the Wintel treadmill broken.

  18. kozmcrae says:

    Robert Pogson wrote:

    “M$ has gone out on a limb and on October 26 will cut it off. Enjoy the show.”

    Expect to see wildly optimistic numbers of installations reported by “independent” sources just prior to and just after the release of Windows 8. There will be a “spike” in the graph and Microsoft will point to it as proof that Windows 8 is what the public demands.

    As the weeks and months wear on it will become apparent that the reported spike was just more of Microsoft’s shenanigans. Most likely they were counting all the prior installations up to the release of Windows 8 as if they were installed upon the release date.

    Slowly it will sink in that Windows 8 is a total catastrophe and Microsoft will go into disaster recovery mode. That will include everything they do to get people to do their bidding from bullying, pleading, threating, colluding, creating a new marketing push, and throwing a lot of money around.

    None of it will work because it’s all been done before and people are tired of it. Windows 8 is a dead horse and kicking it will not revive it.

  19. Chris Weig says:

    Robert Pogson, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary.

    This is great stuff. You should’ve become a comedian, Mr. Pogson.

    My prognosis: Windows 8 will do better than all of your fabulous Linux distributions combined.

  20. Ivan wrote, “Let me know when software I purchased for linux in 2000 will work in a modern distribution, will you?”

    Nothing in the licence prevents you from saving all the software that application uses including the OS forever and running it on a future PC or virtual machine unlike that other OS which requires you to pay forever for the privilege. The GPL has no expiry. The EULA of that other OS expires when you connect too many machines, your motherboard dies or M$’s servers go on the blink…

  21. Ivan says:

    This time, there is no backwards compatibility and forward lies only ugliness.

    pot -> kettle -> black

    Let me know when software I purchased for linux in 2000 will work in a modern distribution, will you? The libc, xlib, and gcc incompatibility errors are killing me.

  22. Mats Hagglund says:

    It might be that whatever Microsoft is doing now on there will be no return to Windows monopoly. Times They Are a-Changin. Some 31,5% of new devices were non-mobiles in Q2 2012 (Canalys, IDC) and that share is becoming much smaller later this year, next year and in future. I see the future (2017-18) where hardly even 10% of devices with internet connection are traditional pc’s (desktop, laptop, notebook). The desktop is in your pocket not in your table with 21 inch screen.

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