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5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
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wzorn972
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wzorn972,
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12/3/2012 | 6:14:57 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Depends which consumers. The Surface is exactly the new experience I'm hoping for IF it performs as hyped. And while there may not be enough consumers like me, there are some.

I suspect the issue won't be whether MS ignored what consumers wanted but rather how successfully they addressed the fundamental desire. My sense is with the disconnect between Metro and the "traditional" interface they have made a mistake, but that mistake is one of execution, not the recognition of what some significant consumer segment wants.
wzorn972
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wzorn972,
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12/3/2012 | 6:12:56 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
While I see the reasonable arguments made for most of these points, I can't see cutting the Surface or Surface Pro prices by much if at all. These aren't "tablets." They're hybrid tablet/laptop devices in a high risk bid that MS is making to define another form factor. That anyone, including this article, continues to compare the Surface to the iPad speaks to a combination of at least three variables: the lack of recognition by the public due to the newness of the device; the failure of MS to properly market and raise awareness to begin with; and that it's simply so new that anyway it takes time for the market to appreciate the use cases and determine if (and if so how) it will adopt the technology.

I don't know that the Surface Pro will be worth the price I'm seeing, but IF it delivers on being a strong laptop and a strong tablet and IF it is shown as durable and well supported, then indeed I'll gladly pay over a grand, also assuming that the use cases I expect I want are performing as I tend to think they will. But there's a lot of "ifs" here and while I hope for the best I am see a number of risks.
JohnnyFair
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JohnnyFair,
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12/3/2012 | 5:51:04 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I am a long time windows user and supporter, desktop, laptop, mobile, server. I am impressed by much of the great work done by Microsoft, and feel that a lot of folks use their technology and then badmouth them unfairly. I've used Windows 8 quite a while, and after my initial impressions of near horror, my feelings haven't softened much about this new version.

A new version of anything should be better, easier, or cheaper, and you shouldn't have to spend weeks learning how to make it work. I do see some "better" with Win8, and maybe even enough to buy a copy, though I hesitate. It annoys me that you have to look so hard to find what is better. It should put a smile on your face, instead of prompting a headache. I've been using the beta versions (off and on for months), and reading lots of books/blogs from other Windows experts. I'm still trying to decide if I should put a release copy on one machine just so I'll force myself to learn it well enough to support it if and when my company adopts it in the next five years. We skipped Vista, and will probably stay on Win7 until MS improves/changes Win8.

I didn't think MS did a good job on Vista because it was slower than XP, and it was not very compatible at first. Windows 7 is pretty good, but is really just a nice upgrade to Vista, fixing some of the worst problems. I think Win8 brings some similar nice performance improvements to Win7, but is a giant step in the wrong direction with the user interface. It is NOT easy to use (except mobile/touch..Windows Phone 7.5 & 8 are very nice). I expect that they will fix it, but they would have done much better to have done a better job up front. Much as in the case of the ribbon interface, MS has given us a lot of new stuff that's just not clearly better.

If vendors want to make a change in order to sell more new software, they need to get smart enough to make it really better, not just different. If it doesn't make me smile, they don't deserve to smile depositing my money. MS had plenty of internal and external warning that they weren't doing the best thing with this new release, but some very hard headed and arrogant executives apparantly thought that nobody was as brilliant as they, and that we would be falling over each other rushing to buy their scheme and sing its praises. Now we all see their lack of brilliance, and they will blame each other for the uproar until they remember that humility is a great and necessary commodity. True brilliance doesn't have to be hyped, it is clearly seen....but not in Windows 8 (yet).
Terabyte Net
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Terabyte Net,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/3/2012 | 4:19:55 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
In addition to my previous comment, we also might just need to realize that MS couldn't care less what we think. They stuck us with the still-ugly and still-cumbersome Ribbon bar in Office 2007 and I still will bet ANYONE at MS next week's paycheck that I can type a 2,000 word Word document, include tables, graphs, and tons of other formatting in 1/2 the time in Word 2003 than anyone at MS can do it in Office 2007, 2010, or 2013. Being tied to the mouse is a killer but they claimed they couldn't keep both and yet for $30 you can add menus back to Office. MS needs to learn the words "consumer choice" but I believe their product managers' mantra is "everyone is entitled to our opinion and if you don't like our opinion change your opinion to match our's". MS, fix 8 or your days on the desktop are numbered and this from a multi-decade Microsoft customer and partner.
Terabyte Net
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Terabyte Net,
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12/3/2012 | 4:13:11 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
#5 is the ONLY way to save Windows 8. Metro is a laughable joke. If I'd wanted a smartphone GUI for my desktop I'd have had an HDMI cable connected from my RAZR to my monitor along with a bluetooth keyboard since it shipped but alas I don't even own the cable to connect my RAZR to a monitor. The only way I'll install 8 at a clients' location is to use the opensource Classic Shell, otherwise it's Win7 until Balmer and crew wake up from our nightmare. I know of no MS Partner who said, 'oh, man, I love Metro, ditch Win 7's fantastic interface for this sorry excuse of a kid's app.' It's probably time for Balmer and crew to go and as a stockholder I'd vote for that.
NPCO
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NPCO,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 9:03:39 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I get the idea of a unified UI, but I think the biggest issue is the necessarily "lowest common denominator" limit on capabilities when implemented in such an absolute manner as Microsoft has.

It's not that Metro is a bad UI, on a phone it's fine and on a tablet it's probably pretty nice. But on a desktop, where you typically have multiples (and sometimes many, many multiples) of resources and very different input devices available, Metro pretty much ignores all of it. I have a 30 inch monitor, yet am limited to the same amount of information on screen as a 10 inch tablet. Every time I see a live tile, especially the mail one, I want to hover over it with my mouse and use my scroll wheel to scroll through the latest e-mail subjects displayed... but of course, this won't work because tablets and phones don't have scroll wheels. Examples like this are numerous.

Metro on a tablet is fine, and Metro on the desktop could follow the same overall style but offer more capabilities and be better optimized for the input methods typically and traditionally found on desktop systems. Touch screens are nice, but they simply aren't ergonomic on a desktop system and I don't think anyone can seriously make the argument that they are. The very idea of constantly lifting your arm and hand up to your monitor to move windows, flip through screens, select buttons and scroll lists is preposterous. Support it, sure, but not to the total exclusion of the input methods 99% of the people will have and use 99% of the time.

I don't hate Metro, but I do think it's fatally crippled by it's necessity to be one, single, near identical UI across all possible device types. I just think Microsoft should have been capable of much, much more in the 3 years since Windows 7 was released.
nomanzone
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nomanzone,
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12/2/2012 | 8:54:42 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Of course Microsoft has not obligation to support any legacy devices. it is their business decision. At same time, they are making trade offs. You just confirm that for certain users, it is actually counter productive to pay and upgrade to Windows 8. Remember Microsoft threatened to pull the plug on Windows XP? So what happened?
Jagro
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Jagro,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 8:44:59 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
As long as it appears that my software, specifically Intuit's professional tax and bookeeping products are not compatible, I will not be upgrading. When I went to Windows 7 I lost compatibility with my scanner, nearly $1,000 of investment less than 5 years old that was working perfectly. I need to be able to open and access at least 7 years' worth of tax returns using prior tax years' software versions. I don't think I can do that, and I don't want to fight the operating system to find work arounds.
NPCO
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NPCO,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 8:42:44 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I have a 5.25 inch floppy drive and a bunch of programs on floppies... can Microsoft assure me my 2 decade old hardware and software will still work in Windows 8?

Come on dude. First of all, it's not up to Microsoft to support every device ever made, but they *do* do this better than any other company. Backward compatibility is one of Microsoft/Window's strong points, but there are limits.

Second, it's up to you to research your system and check for driver support. Check with the manufacturer of your device and see what *they* support, since it is *their* hardware.

Third, technology becomes obsolete over time. SCSI is one of these, and the reality is that it's an obsolete technology when compared to USB2/3, Firewire, E-SATA, etc. I have thousands of dollars worth of SCSI drives, which happen to total all of about 32 gigs... I've long since replaced them with SATA drives of higher performance and VASTLY greater capacity for a few hundred dollars.
kcrosley
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kcrosley,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 8:23:37 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I am currently a Windows 8 user. I love the layout design. There was a little bit of a learning curve, but once I figured it out, it was amazing! There are some adjustments that could be made, but the same goes for all versions of windows.
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