“8” Implodes

A guy walks into a store to look at the “8” machines on display and sees they all are grinding on a failed update… Chuckle. M$ spends so much on their advertising and yet they do this. Amazing.
see story on Google+

What will they do for their next trick, apologize to Earth for having released their malware so many years ago? “8” certainly is a flop.

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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37 Responses to “8” Implodes

  1. eug linked to an article containing “Have Linux people lost their moral ground? Have they turned from victim to victor? Or have the influx of new people leaving microsoft brought their bad habits over and are being the few apples spoiling the barrel?”

    Hah! That’s the pot calling the kettle black. If GNU/Linux users are only ~1% why are they even talking about this? I have spread good words about GNU/Linux far and wide. I have also denounced M$ regularly. The two activities are not mutually exclusive. By my count there are ten GNU/Linux-haters for every M$-hater…

    I was having chicken diner with my daughter and her family this evening. The grandchild was busy using GNU/Linux to play educational games and the parents were surprised to see a three-year-old using a mouse deftly. If my grandchild can be happy with GNU/Linux a wide spectrum of users must be happy, those with little or no interest in the OS wars, just wanting to get the job done. That alone entitles GNU/Linux to a decent share of retail shelves but it hasn’t happened because the biggest hater of all, M$, has sabotaged competition at every opportunity.

  2. ram says:

    Arguing with a Microsoft shill is like mud wrestling a pig — sooner or later you come to realize the pig enjoys it!

  3. Dave wrote, “It’s good enough for VERY BASIC computing. It is not a professional workspace unless you’re a programmer or server administrator.”

    Absolute nonsense. I am many things beside a programmer and administrator. My wife is definitely not technical except in her profession. There is no such thing as very basic computing once a PC is web-enabled as most are these days. The sky is the limit on the complexity and volume of computing a thin client can demand.

    Professional artists, teachers, doctors, lawyers, business-people etc. all use GNU/Linux without knowing the intricacies of the OS. It’s a GUI for pity’s sake. Everyone and their dogs have been using GUIs for decades.

    I doubt I have any software on my PCs that is more than a few years old unless I wrote. I have Linux 3.7.2. My wife has 2.6.32 from two years ago. The software is quite new. The protocols that worked 20 years ago are still good. New ones come along from time to time and are available on GNU/Linux.

    So, again, Dave is publishing nonsense. For all manner of users except the very locked-in GNU/Linux works.

  4. Dave says:

    Robert, you’re just talking semantics. It’s good enough for VERY BASIC computing. It is not a professional workspace unless you’re a programmer or server administrator. Its like being in a cubicle at a call center; you can do work there, but its not conducive to doing your BEST work.

    D- Mint isn’t bad. But its essentially Windows XP with a little updated polish, at the same time. I’m beginning to think that a lot of the issue here is that I’m talking to people who haven’t extensively used Windows SINCE XP. It’s a world away from that now, with a lot of excellent innovation.
    Regarding LXDE, you can prettify it to a point, but its still pretty hideous and archaic.
    And your last point is most telling of all…sure, I can change it–if I want to devote a great deal of time to developing software. However, despite experience in that field, I don’t particularly enjoy that, nor do I have time to take away from my current work to do so. I’ve tried every window manager I could get my hands on in Linux; Gnome 3 was probably the best, for all its many warts, but the fact that it was a disaster at multi-monitor–to which the developers bluntly stated, “who cares?”–made it not feasible, and the rest are all stuck in the past in one way or another, to varying degrees. Gnome 3 is, too, but less than the rest. And KDE has some good concepts, but they aren’t executed very well.
    Innovation for the sake of innovation can be bad–but the innovation everyone is lambasting MS for right now is part of the future of computing, even if they made a mess of it. People jumped all over MS for smartphones, too, until Apple copied them and brought them from the business world to the mainstream. Linux developers should be doing what Apple has been doing all along–grasp the spirit and direction of what MS conceives in brilliance and implements horribly, and turn those concepts into something polished and varied and amazing. But no…the computing environment of 20 yrs ago is more than good enough. :/

  5. d. says:

    I believe its called LXDE? If I recall correctly? A window manager that looks a little more outdated than Win95?

    Oh boy… You complain about all of these things that only show that you don’t even know what you’re talking about. LXDE is a very versatile and flexible desktop. You can make it look like whatever you want, and work the way you want. It doesn’t have to be like a windows clone with a start button in the corner, because you can configure the panels and widgets any way you like, just like you can in GNOME2/MATE. Also, the multi-monitor support on LXDE works great. You can also configure it to your liking with xrandr.

    If we’re talking about polished desktop environments, go take a look at linux mint. It’s damn beautiful yet also effective and usable. Compare it to the ugly piece of crap that is windows 8 – what were they thinking? Now THAT is something that looks bad and dated. I know it’s new, but it’s so crappy it became old right after it was released. Everything is flat, no visual cues for ui elements… they try so hard to “innovate” that they borked it to all hell with the convoluted controls, built-in adware, schizophrenic interface that forces you to hop between two different desktop paradigms… ugh, it’s just plain horrible. Windows is a toy os, if you really need to get things done you need linux.

    “Innovations” are not always good. If you have to change things just for the sake of changing them, you’ll usually end up with shit. That’s the life story of windows.

    The best thing about linux is that you can configure it to your liking. Don’t like something? Change it. You’re free to do it. No one’s stopping you, by obfuscating code or hiding controls or locking down software with DRM.

  6. Dave wrote of GNU/Linux being useful, “It’s not.”

    I guess the hundred million people using GNU/Linux with no problems are deluded then. Why can many individuals, Google, Cities of Munich and Largo, huge school divisions, and many businesses run GNU/Linux on clients and servers if it’s not “good enough”? It’s more than good enough. It works without paying homage to M$, re-re-rebooting, crashing/freezing, malware and all the other crap associated with M$.

  7. Dave says:

    I’m well aware of what Linux can be–I actually have a server running Linux, an Android phone, and I’ve even done a little programming for Android in the past–but I was referring to desktop use. There’s a real need to break out of the mold of a basic window manager and innovate, and its lacking in Linux, even though its the most viable base for innovation (and why Google used it for Android.) Essentially, Linux severely lacks vision, and thus why it gets the “for geeks” label. Look no further than how many people have raved about um..I believe its called LXDE? If I recall correctly? A window manager that looks a little more outdated than Win95? I mean, come on. Sure, you can run it on anything and it performs its basic function with minimal resources. But its essentially staring myopically into the past. A computer is a workspace, and maybe its just me, but I’d rather not have a workspace that resembles a bare, concrete cubicle.
    Right now, the best workspace you can get in Linux is approximately like a cubicle with a corkboard and a few pictures on the wall. Mac OS is a workspace in a sealed box in a corporate basement. Windows is similar, except its a little closer to a McDonalds play place with a professional workspace it in, at the moment. But while I see Apple and Microsoft at least trying to innovate, Linux just kind of yawns and clicks the app launcher. And talks about search engines and databases, which is akin to saying the cubicle comes with a desk and a roladex.
    In the end, I can still do less, less quickly, and in a much more drab workspace, with Linux, and that’s why its a non-starter for most people. Polish and additional function are a big part of getting things done–why do you think people have nice desks and organizers on them? Why do you think there’s an entire industry built on gadgets and organizers for your desk that are meant to increase productivity? Yet most development in Linux continues to insist that as long as you get a large, sturdy sheet of plywood and prop it up on cinder blocks–and your materials are free–well that’s a good enough workspace for anyone.
    It’s not.

  8. Dave wrote, “The PC model of Windows and Mac that Linux largely emulates is a consumption model–you use your device to consume the content of others, in some cases for a price, in some cases not, but the core principle of the model is to keep users in that box–itunes, cloud products, app stores–and thus software has reflected that, with Windows 8 taking it to an extreme.”

    There’s no emulation involved. A PC running GNU/Linux is a real general purpose computer which can run servers, databases and search engines at the drop of a that. That other OS clogs up all kinds of applications by means of the EULA so it may well be considered not to be a general purpose OS. Indeed, M$ needs a server and a client version because of the crap it throws out, whereas a GNU/Linux machine can be both a client and a server simultaneously (see the EULA).

  9. Dave says:

    I love the free and open source concept; however, I still have work to get done, and when my upgrade cost a whole $15, it more than pays for itself in productivity. In no way did I say Windows is fantastic; but its polished, for the most part, and it trying to look towards the future, however muddled Microsoft’s vision might be. But ultimately, I work for myself, and time is money.

    As Pogson said, what I do might not apply to “average” users…however, most “average” users would do a LOT more with their computers if they realized they could. The PC model of Windows and Mac that Linux largely emulates is a consumption model–you use your device to consume the content of others, in some cases for a price, in some cases not, but the core principle of the model is to keep users in that box–itunes, cloud products, app stores–and thus software has reflected that, with Windows 8 taking it to an extreme. Because of this, “average” users just take whatever their computer and linked services shove at them, and Linux can do that out of the box as well as any others.

    However, copying that paradigm should be the last thing Linux should be aimed at. Average users, outside of extreme cases, would do a great deal more if it were more accessible to them. That’s where my weariness of Linux comes in. I am a content creator, and, without getting into what sort of content, my computer is set up both for creating content as well as for a working environment that fosters creativity. I have multiple monitors as well as multiple audio devices and input devices, with a focus on productivity as well as the ability to provide a rich multimedia experience that uses the full extent of my hardware. With Windows, I can set it all up, set input, outputs, ASIO modes, etc, in a jiff, no command line, no hunting for a program that actually has a full feature set and controls, etc, while on Linux, well…everything fails. Multi monitor support, atrocious. Multitouch touchpad? Better pack lunch–and dinner–if you want to get much use out of that. And we won’t even get into trying to get audio devices to behave without constantly changing settings manually. Or the atrocity that is driver modules for add on graphics cards under Linux.

    Linux offers a platform and structure where, theoretically, you could have an OS that can do anything and everything you need, but also be fairly modular rather than an all in one bloated monstrosity. But very very little is polished, or progressing towards anything once it hits a point of “good enough.” In software, there is no such thing as good enough, really, as the exponential growth in processing power begs for more and better utilization. Unless you’re in Linux. Then its about being good enough, lightweight, and backwards compatible. Awesome if Im using a salvage PC in a dank basement. Otherwise…its just not good enough, however much I wish it could be.

  10. d. wrote a colourful analogy between soaps and OS, “The choice between soaps is a no-brainer.”

    Yes. There are many reasons to change OS after the plagues of M$. I include DOJ v M$, Lose ’95’s willingness to crash, re-re-reboots, etc. Each reason may be sufficient to cause a migration. For me it was Lose ’95 crashing that did it. After that I discovered the other 49 reasons to leave M$. It’s seems to me the only ones sticking with M$ are the addicts and prisoners. I don’t know anyone who likes M$. Even some of dear departed trolls expressed respect but not liking…

    For most consumers price should be the obvious reason to choose GNU/Linux but the monopolists arranged to bar GNU/Linux from a lot of retail shelves so Wintel did not have to compete on price/performance until recently. Thank Goodness the drought is ended.

  11. d. says:

    Ok Dave, for the sake of argument let’s say you’re correct (although you’re not). Let’s say windows was the best OS ever. Guess what? I still wouldn’t use it.

    I like to use something I call the soap analogy. I made it up myself. It’s like, how the nazis used to make soap out of the corpses of gas chamber victims?

    So let’s say there were two brands of soap available. The first one is made in concentration camps from people’s corpses, millions of people were killed to make it. It’s also expensive. And every cent you pay goes towards supporting more concentration camps and murders. I wouldn’t use that soap even if it was the best soap in the world.

    The second soap is made by environmentally friendly, sustainable methods and it’s dirt cheap – or actually, you get it for free from a charity that uses volunteers and donations to supply people with soap. No sweatshop labour is used, the entire production chain is ethical and sustainable. Now even if this soap wasn’t all that great, but still got me clean and didn’t cause any allergies, I would use it instead of the nazi soap.

    And guess what – the nazi soap gives you a rash, and never quite gets you clean, it always leaves you with this vaguely dirty feeling, like you never showered at all. Also sometimes you find dead flies inside it. And it kind of smells funny.

    The nazi soap is windows. The other, ethical soap is linux. Linux is the fair trade OS. People who care about the future should use linux instead of windows.

    The choice between soaps is a no-brainer.

  12. Dave wrote, “yada yada yada…”

    None of your objections apply to real people like my family. Why the Hell does it take you 30 minutes to set up your PC? They turn it on and it works for them out of the box. People don’t use anything like the full features of Linux or KDE or that other OS. They just run a few applications and store some files.

    I use CLI a bit not because I have to but because I want to. Users who don’t want to do that don’t have to. They can install apps and devices from the GUI. They have been able to do that for many years.

  13. Dave says:

    1. No, Grandma doesn’t have to use the command line, but I have yet to try a distro where I haven’t had to almost immediately. And I don’t really run anything exotic. I can set up my system to do everything I need out of the box with Windows 8 in about 30 mins. I have yet to be able to set up a Linux distro to do everything I need, period.

    2. Most people want features. Viruses and malware have nothing to do with features. Linux would have its own issues in that regard, were it as popular as Windows. Windows has malware because its the top target. And an OS that “slows down over time” is due to the user, not the OS. What people complaining about Win8 are failing to point out is that the newest window managers on Linux are mostly a disaster as well. Ubuntu’s interface is a joke, unless you’re both left handed and schizophrenic; Gnome 3 is a vaguely good idea, implemented terribly (something common with Linux software, which is often “good enough” vs polished); KDE would be fantastic–if this were 2002. And the rest are pretty much all “super light” window managers. I have a multitude of cores, GBs of RAM, an SDD; I don’t care about being super light, I care about being the most productive. I want to see software that leverages the power of my system to greater things, not software that tries to not make use of it at all.

    3. How does Linux look forward when the hardware baseline most distros use would have been a budget system around the year 2000? Most of what you see in Linux is “how can I make a WinXP clone, but better?” Who cares–it’s not 2001. Ubuntu sort of tries to innovate, but mostly they just make MS look good. Android is pretty awesome, but, while Linux-based, its really a different sort of animal. Computers are changing–not how MS see it, not as this dumbed down, play time touch tablet interface suited for an 8 yr old, but the days of the old, standard interfaces is passing, too.
    Forget touchscreens for a moment, the factor MS erroneously focused on; Android is the solution there, by and large, and it should be. But while the keyboard looks to be here to stay for plenty longer, the day of the mouse is passing, for sure. Multitouch touch pads offer a dramatically better experience, though they are still in their infancy, and the near future, I think, is with motion detection interfaces like the upcoming Leap device. And this is where MS WAS ahead of the curve–the start screen is a great idea….implemented horribly. But it is vastly more appropriate than a start button and a cramped, cascading menu. The same goes for the hot corners aspect. Five years from now, power users will be able to interface with their computers dramatically faster than a mouse and keyboard…but Linux will still be playing around with XP clones.
    Aside from that, there’s another growing factor that Linux COULD offer the best solution for, by far: device synergy. MS and Apple are playing to the cloud, but the cloud is a poor option, really. There are much, much better ways to go about device synergy, and Linux could steal the show with a polished distro that can integrate the various device platforms into a central computing hub, if you will, which is what the future of the desktop computer really is.

  14. dougman says:

    Windows 8? Eh, not so great. “Microsoft Windows is now a misnomer. They need to rename it Microsoft Window”… LOL

    This behavior is so depressing that I lay the Win8 laptop aside for a few days, because I have to do some actual work. During this time, I reflect on the situation and realize that what Microsoft has done is to attempt to create one operating system for dissimilar categories of computing devices – traditional microcomputers, both desktop and laptop, tablets, and phones, in spite of the fact that these devices are used in radically different ways for different purposes. But in fact, what they have accomplished is to staple one OS, with one set of conventions, on top of another OS, with a different and in fact incompatible set of conventions.


  15. Dave wrote, “The reason why 8 will survive and Windows will carry on with no threat from Linux is the same as always. Windows looks forward, even if with a skewed perspective. Linux stares into the past.
    -Command line will never be popular outside of people conversant with programming, yet Linux still clings to it.
    -People don’t want “light as possible” OSes – they want full featured OSes that just work, and are configurable through the GUI with nothing more complicated than drop-down menus. Linux shuns both.”

    1. Ordinary users do not need to use the commandline. It is quite possible to set up a GNU/Linux system without a terminal emulator for users. My little woman and my grand daughter use GNU/Linux here every day with no help from anyone but their mouse and keyboard.
    2. People don’t want systems that slow down with use like that other OS. They don’t want malware and re-re-reboots either. That’s why smartphones and tablets running Android/Linux are so popular, far more popular than “8” on anything.
    3. GNU/Linux definitely looks forward. Android/Linux looks forward too. With no dependency on a stagnant M$ that’s easy to do. There’s no EULA holding users back.
  16. Dave says:

    The reason why 8 will survive and Windows will carry on with no threat from Linux is the same as always. Windows looks forward, even if with a skewed perspective. Linux stares into the past.
    -Command line will never be popular outside of people conversant with programming, yet Linux still clings to it.
    -People don’t want “light as possible” OSes – they want full featured OSes that just work, and are configurable through the GUI with nothing more complicated than drop-down menus. Linux shuns both.

    I could go on, but those two points are really all that needs to be said. I have yet to see a distro that really looks FORWARD, asking what can be done to revolutionize the PC experience by harnessing the power of modern machines. Instead its all about running on old hardware and so on. Who cares. Its great to have something light to put on an old computer that I never use, but my primary machine is a powerhouse that I want to be able to do as much as possible with at once, both in terms of entertainment and productivity. Having to manually add basic functions and dick around with the command line is tolerable to me, as I’ve coded in the past, but it’s still an absurd anachronism in my view.
    Windows 8 gets a lot wrong – a lot – but I can still get more done, faster, with Windows 8 than I can with any Linux distros I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried all the major and several minor ones. Until that changes, Linux is not a viable alternative. I wish it was. Perhaps someday I’ll have the resources to sink into a viable distro on my own, but until then, I’m stuck with Windows.

  17. d. says:

    Haha, love the image on that article.

  18. Quite reasonable but there are still retail shelves not brimming with GNU/Linux although Android/Linux is there. I recently visited Wal-mart and found about half a shelf was dedicated to “7” and “8” about equally while half a shelf was dedicated to tablets. Strangely, the batteries of most of the tablets had run out… I saw that other OS displaying an error message that was encouraging, “No Drive” it said to passers-by. I attempted to use a machine running that other OS but it wanted a password… I think Wal-mart is not trying hard to sell IT. There was a pronounced vacuum of customers around both shelves. I could have jogged there and not had to dodge anyone. I noticed that “accessories” for smart-thingies occupied several shelves.

  19. eug says:

    I tried mint 14 mate and cinnamon on my jurassic notebook, but it has not enough power to it. Then I installed mint 14 xfce and it is fine!

  20. I liberated one of my last two Ubuntu GNU/Linux systems. I now have widgets in the top right corner, where they belong, and my video plays without stuttering… I pulled compiz and unity* and replaced that bloat with xdm, xfwm4 and xfce4. It’s still Ubuntu GNU/Linux but it’s trivial to replace it with Debian GNU/Linux. I may do the other but so far it is performing reasonably well. Both are Atomic and running huge displays. It took five minutes. The only glitch was that I had to put the user into the “audio” group for some reason… I just don’t like Ubuntu GNU/Linux. Lately they have been going backwards in performance just to include “features” that make them wonderful in Canonical’s mind. I like to search for data, not applications, for instance.

  21. eug says:

    Which distribution can I download and install that will just work out of the box on my new certified Windows 8 machine?


  22. analogtek says:

    All I can say is, HA! HA!. The same is happening here in my home. I am the only linux box. All the windows box (5) are lock-up/puke, from a little win upgrade. At least I can enjoy having all of the band-with for a while.

  23. I have long felt that both Apple and M$ are companies with which I do not want to do business and I recommend others ignore them but at least Apple does not have multiple anti-competition convictions and damning e-mails on-line. Neither does IT the way it should be done with information being FREE. Software is information.

    In particular tying software to particular hardware suppliers is an bad extension of copyright law. If they insist on including that in their licence, boycott them. If they insist on excluding valid software from their “app store”, boycott them. I refuse to give them control over my IT.

    M$ has similar but different restrictions on their licence and protocols. That’s a stupid restriction on what I can do with my hardware and networks. I am not stupid so I boycott M$ as well.

    They are both evil but in somewhat different ways. I can use */Linux and ARM and x86 and amd64 with very few restrictions on what I can do in IT. I don’t need Apple nor M$. Of course they still have tentacles like CUPS and some popular fonts but at least the restrictions are few on those. I don’t allow either of them to restrict with whom I do business.

  24. Kevin Lynch says:

    Canonical made the same mistake of baking ads into Ubuntu 12.10. Fortunately they were relatively easy to remove.

  25. procsky says:

    In regard to being “locked in”. I went to a local and new to me apple store. I looked at the ipads and then asked for an assistant to help me. I asked can I install other software other than apple on here such as libreoffice. The answer was that you cannot install software other than what is in the apps store. So I said so a person is locked-in. Yes the reluctant reply came from the assistant.

    Its all very well having a go at microsoft for joining apples band wagon. But the fact is that apple is more guilty than microsoft for this practise as they have been doing it for longer. Goes to show what good marketing and media image will let you get away with.

    I am not saying that apple or microsoft are right for doing this.

  26. dougman says:

    Mark Martin, a spokesman for Microsoft, declined to comment, referring to past statements by Microsoft executives arguing that because Windows 8 is such a big shift, its roll-out cannot be fairly judged over one shopping season. Nice try Mark, LOL.



    Also do remember that you do not control or own Windows 8!

    “Windows 8 has been confirmed to not only ignore, but also modify the hosts file. As soon as a website that should be blocked is accessed, the corresponding entry in the hosts file is removed, even if the hosts file is read-only. The hosts file is a popular, cross-platform way of blocking access to certain domains, such as ad-serving websites.”

    I use the hosts file to block all ads: http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm

    With Windows 8 it not only comes baked in, but the OS will not let you block them and where does malware come from? Ads!

    M$ apologist Ed Bott thinks Ads are ok and you shouldn’t be complaining about it.


  27. eug says:

    Then, I spent a few days on Windows 8. That experience was traumatizing. It was 10x worse than the switch from Gnome 2 to Gnome 3.


  28. eug says:

    Software freedom is a noble concept that many of us try to adhere to as much as possible, even though we might take a shortcut or two from time to time. Still, most of us appreciate the enormous amount of good work the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has been doing to promote its goals and to protect us from commercial interests of big software monopolies. Last week FSF even gave away free copies of Trisquel GNU/Linux to the visitors of a Microsoft store: “Today, FSF activists visited a local Microsoft store during its “Tech for Tots” session to wish passersby happy holidays with copies of the Trisquel GNU/Linux operating system, a free software replacement for Windows 8. The activists were accompanied by a gnu (free software’s buffalo-like mascot) and sported Santa hats in the spirit of the season. Their action drew smiles from mall-goers who had expected to see costumed people giving gifts, but not quite like this. On its campaign site, the FSF criticizes Windows 8 for restricting computer users’ freedom to modify and share the software on their computers. This action follows a similar one at a Windows 8 launch event in October, when the FSF made international news announcing its campaign to ask computer users to skip Windows 8 in favor of free software.”


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