Software // Operating Systems
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3/4/2014
12:45 PM
Michael Endler
Michael Endler
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Windows 8.1 Update: Can It End The Rut?

Microsoft users have been surprisingly indifferent to Windows 8.1. The company needs this spring's Win 8.1 update to reverse the trend.

As a free update for Windows 8 users, Windows 8.1 has had only a modest impact. (Image: Net Applications)
As a free update for Windows 8 users, Windows 8.1 has had only a modest impact. (Image: Net Applications)

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j0el
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j0el,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/5/2014 | 12:28:19 PM
What is wrong with Windows IMHO
I mostly use a Mac, and my wife uses Windows.  She bought a new laptop that came with Windows 8 and had a horrible experience.  Let me tell you why, but first my personal observation is that WIndows 8, as it stands, will never work for the above average user.  It is clearly designed for people with one window open to browse, email, facebook or play a game.

 

The first problem with WIndows was the bloatware.  The thing came loaded with games, backup software, security software, trial versions of things.  And there was no easy way to wipe it all off.  I had to patiently delete all the crap she did not want.  I know the haardware people get money for inconviencing their customers, but aat some point they will have to decide whether customers or software partners are more important.

 

The second problem was the conflicting software.  Having Microsoft and Intel and HP software trying to control the wireless is not a good idea. Likewise the printer.  I deleted all of that stuff and went back to basics.  The energy saving and so on is just not worth it.  Too many problems and delays in resuming, reconnecting to wireless and so on..

 

The third problem is the often criticised main wondow.  The laptop has a touchscreen, but frankly I use ctrl-x and ctrl-v to cut and paste so I do not have to move my hands to the ouse.  No way am I going to reachout to swipe the touchscreen.  It takes time, effort and makes the screen smudgy.  I have an iPad and if I was just going to read or browse I would use the iPad.

 

The 4th problem is that it was too different form what was before.  Had to leaarn new ways to invoke programs, find files and so on even though there was no advantage to the new way.  It may have been slightly better or slightly worse, but it waas different, and that is a problem.

 

So then I decided, screw it.  I will install Windows 7.  That was a trip.  First I had to discover quasi-secret BIOS settings to change the boot and the behavior of some on-board devices.  Then I had to find drivers and that was not so easy either.  Took me 5 hours to finally get 7 running, everything configured, and all her files restored.  ANd I have been in this industry as an engineer since 1972.  

 

SO to sum up.  Too much bloatware that I did not want.  Too confusing to use various control software from HP and Intel and Nvidea and the touchpaad vendor.  Nop benefit form the new UI.  No benefit form the touchscreen.  Eventually decided it was not worth it and found MSFT and HP did everything they could to makae it difficult to install Windows 7.

 

I had none of these problems with my Mac.  No bloatware.  SOme difficulties with UI enhancements, but not major.

 

My wife will continue to use Windows because a number of apps she needs either need Windows or Internet Explorer.  I will continue to use Mac, but I will admid that I run Parallels and Windows 7 on it for one reason.  Ecxel for WIndows is superior to Excel for Mac and I need Excel for work.

 

I think a brand new person buying their first PC will still have trouble with Windows 8.  That is too bad.

 

My servers at home run Linux by the way and I doubt I would ever change that.  And the Mac has enough compatiiblity with Linux that I do not need a Linux laptop.  
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
3/5/2014 | 8:21:46 AM
Re: Windows 8.1
Another point is that, people get used to treat Windows as pure desktop OS. Nobody really considers it as OS for portables and pads. Furthermore, Windows 8/Windows 8.1 itself do not look very attractive. From first glance, there is no significant difference compared to Windows 7, which is dominating at the current stage. There is no attractive features/app that can lure users for upgrading.
ANON1254157396540
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ANON1254157396540,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/5/2014 | 12:30:58 AM
Re: Windows 8.1
Who cares?

As a previous commenter wrote, if they gave it away for free to XP users, people might care more about it -- but only if it runs well on those older machines, which isn't particularly likely.

Compare http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_XP#System_requirements with http://www.pcworld.com/article/2058683/new-windows-8-1-requirements-strand-some-users-on-windows-8.html and http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/system-requirements

Computers older than six years might have trouble running Windows 8.1, and I bet a lot of those XP boxes are older than six years.
himanshusingh
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himanshusingh,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/4/2014 | 11:58:25 PM
There are other aspects which make Windows 8 story a little better
One of the things that is currently going against Windows 8 (all versions of it) is that it is nearly impossible to have a pirated version. Pirated versions of all previous version were readily available and there are pataches which make them function as genuine OS and even recieve updates/upgrades from microsoft. In countries like India, China etc. this would result in much lesser sales. 

However for Microsoft, the revenue coming from Windows 8 would not be so low.

Secondly, Windows 8 presents a paradigm shift from normal windows OSes. For enterprise adoption it presents dual challenge: train IT guys and employs on the new OS and secondly ensure that employee productivity is not lost due to plethora of apps etc.

It will take time for users and IT departments to resolve these two issues. Only once they are confident of resolving these two, will they think of benefits  of Windows 8. Till such time most users of XP will migrate to windows 7 and not windows 8.

Microsoft needs to be patient. The new OS is good and over a period of time, it will become the OS of choice for most. It will take time though to happen.
anon5281862239
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anon5281862239,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/4/2014 | 11:48:33 PM
Windows 8.1
If updates of 8.1 is allowed for Windows XP , even with nominal charges, it may become extremely popular
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