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11/30/2012
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Paul McDougall
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5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8

Microsoft's new OS holds plenty of potential, but so far consumers aren't loving the radically redesigned desktop. Microsoft should consider these changes.

Windows 8: 8 Big Benefits For SMBs
Windows 8: 8 Big Benefits For SMBs
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Microsoft spent billions developing and marketing Windows 8, but by all accounts it's proving to be a tough sell. Consumers just aren't buying into the hybrid tablet/PC operating system. I've maintained all along that there's some great technology behind Windows 8, but Microsoft needs to do more to make it both user- and merchant-friendly.

Some background: Microsoft believes Windows 8 represents the best of both worlds -a full featured PC OS married to a touch-based UI geared toward tablets. That's great in theory, but many would-be purchasers are finding the combination confusing and difficult to use.

Microsoft has been mum on sales data, but considerable evidence has emerged over the past couple of weeks that Windows 8 systems aren't doing well at retail. The latest: an NPD report that sales of Windows-based systems are down 21% since Windows 8 debuted on Oct. 26, compared to the same period a year ago.

That's not good news for Microsoft. What follows are some steps the company could take to polish Windows 8 to make it more palatable to both users and stores that have to sell it.

1. Cut Prices

Microsoft needs to get realistic about how much consumers are willing to pay for a new, unproven platform, given the alternatives. The company introduced Surface RT starting at $499. For that amount, buyers could get the latest generation iPad.

Now, Microsoft will surely argue that Surface RT is superior -- you can run Office natively, for starters -- but that doesn't matter. The iPad is a megabrand. To compete with it, Redmond needs to take a page from Amazon's playbook and use its hardware as a loss leader to establish its platform. Kindle Fire HD 8.9" starts at $299, which would be about right for Surface RT.

2. Ship Surface Pro, ASAP

Microsoft made the inexplicable decision to keep its top-of-line Surface model off store shelves until after the holiday season. That may have been a concession to its PC OEM partners, who have shipped their own Intel Core-based Windows 8 systems in time for Christmas. But the decision is muddling the market.

[ Will Microsoft introduce more hardware products beyond Surface? CEO Steve Ballmer suggests it's likely. ]

Consumers can purchase Surface RT immediately, but if they want a Microsoft tablet that can run legacy Windows applications, they must wait. The quandary will undoubtedly push many to say "to heck it with it," and opt for an iPad or Android tablet. At the least, Microsoft needs to announce a specific launch date for Surface Pro. "Sometime in January" isn't good enough for those making buying decisions now. As for Surface Pro's starting price of $899? See above.

3. Get Appy

Microsoft now has more than 20,000 apps available for download from the Windows Store. But the number is meaningless. It's great that that there's Fruit Ninja and more than 300 photo apps, but serious omissions remain. Like, say, Facebook. Or Twitter. Or LinkedIn. The absence of the former is enough by itself to dissuade swaths of buyers whose primary use for a tablet is social networking. On the upside, the Windows Store is filling out with apps from leading brands. This week, ESPN released its Windows 8 app. Microsoft needs more of those.

4. Unify The User Experience

A major source of frustration voiced by early adopters of Windows 8 is the lack of consistency between Metro (or Modern UI) mode and the classic Windows desktop. Metro is what users see when they first boot up. It's got the Live Tiles and apps optimized for touch and tablets. From Metro, you can launch the Windows Explorer desktop, which is similar to Windows 7 (with some marked differences) and is geared toward mouse and keyboard computing.

It's understandable that there would be differences in how the two operate. But there's no good reason for the vast UI and performance gulfs between the Metro and Windows Explorer versions of the same applications. Take Internet Explorer 10. Even cosmetic differences -- like the fact that the navigation bar is on top in the desktop version and on the bottom in the Metro version -- are bound to flummox some users. But it's more than cosmetic.

On Thursday I tried to listen to the Webcast of Microsoft's annual shareholder meeting on IE10 Metro. "The site you opened is not on the Compatibility View (CV) list" is the response I got. Apparently IE10 Metro, Adobe Flash and Microsoft's own investor site don't play well together. I was able to get the Webcast from the desktop version of IE10.

5. Metro A Go Go?

If all else fails, Microsoft has one last, nuclear option, which I've previously suggested. It could ditch Metro, and introduce what I've been calling Windows 8 Classic. Windows 8 Classic would restore familiar features like the Start button and Task Bar, while retaining Windows 8's numerous new security and manageability features.

Among those is Secure Boot, a process designed to prevent malware from infecting computers during startup, even before Windows and all of its built-in safeguards are launched. It works by confirming that all components have the appropriate security certificates before they are allowed to launch. Secure Boot requires UEFI BIOS to run, which is only found on the newest PCs.

For companies that hire lots of consultants, contractors and other temps and need to give such personnel access to a corporate desktop image and apps without granting full server permissions, there's Windows To Go. It lets users boot a preconfigured, IT-certified Windows 8 image onto any laptop from a USB. It also lets them boot up a Windows 8 image on a Windows 7 PC. Metro notwithstanding, there's a lot more for enterprises to like about Windows 8.

But if the operating system and the devices on which it runs continue to languish, Microsoft will need to take bold steps to ensure it remains commercially viable. What do you think Microsoft should do to improve Windows 8? Let me know in the comments section below.

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Ks2 Problema
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Ks2 Problema,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 2:37:31 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Microsoft ignored what consumers wanted and just about everything usability experts have taught us and created a confusing, inefficient mess.

Consumers didn't want an 'all new computing experience' -- they have better things to do than learn new and confusing ways of using the computers they already have on their desks at home and work.

But MS's board sent down the word to be more 'Apple-like' so we have the all-new MS where backwards compatibility and consumer satisfaction take a back seat to chasing the short-sighted and, for MS, unattainable, goal of Apple-like verticalization and customer exploitation and,of course, the bottom line: obscene profits.
jabberwolf
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jabberwolf,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 4:39:48 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
No, MS has got it right. Its the i-tards that havent used Windows8 and dont understand why. It isnt a "NEW" experience.

Windows8 needs to be explained as what it is, a 2 MODE OS. One is desktop, the other is tablet. For the past year, there are only 2 or 3 things that I'd want on Win8.

And its simply to do with IE on Win8:
1- Put the start button back,
( I understand why they have 2 diferent IE modes and comparing the IPAD which has NO CHOICE - Win8 wins hands down. Having no funcionality/choice is not a feature and cant undestand the logic behind those that thing it is.)

2- Shortcuts - From tablet mode - Have a link to the desktop shortcuts as a permanent link button and nother to add as favorites. Some of us do have hundreds of favorites that we dont want to have to switch back to the desktop mode for.

Other than that - its working GREAT
So of the 5 ideas:
1- Its already really low
2- Agree- but you do realize that RT was to placate the ARM processors makers/ battery longevity. (though putting it in sleep mode my samsung series 7 will last a couple weeks when I open it up again. But constant use - ARM wins out. Not to mention, MS plan is to make all devices run the same OS. That includes future phones = thus they want developers to write for Win8/WP8.
3- Um DUH. They are doing this as fast as they can and its the fastest growing ecosystem ever. Captain Obvious?!
4-Because of #2 - YOU DONT GET IT, so please dont write another article like this until you do.
5- No - stupid stupid idea. Again you dont get it. BUT - they do have apps that put back the start button and launch you straight into Desktop mode. Again please use the damned thing before you make any "bright" suggestions!!
Greg7777
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Greg7777,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 5:21:01 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Ok, first of all, the author is not an i-tard. I personally hate apple products, but I gotta say the points that are being made are all valid, and you sound like the real tard with your defense. For example, the two different IEs? Come on. Choice is good, that's why I love Android, but Android has choice with a purpose. Choice that allows you to seek out different experiences. This is not about user choice. This is about Microsoft cramming two different OS's into one and creating a giant blob of a mess. And this problem is not just about IE, it's about the general issue of Metro apps not working in dekstop and vice versa. The average consumer wants things to just work, and doesn't want to get confused with a new product.

As for the price, how do you argue that it's low? As the author says, it's the same as the iPad, and how do you get consumers to buy a whole new platform with little familiarity to things they've used before when they could buy something familiar for the same price?

Whatever the reason for the RT release, I personally feel that having Windows 8 & RT is another blow to Microsofts attempts to get traction. Yes, it was necessary, because Windows 8 needs the x86 architecture to run legacy apps, but the RT (ARM) design is better for mobile, but the result is a fragmented mess that makes Android look positively unified by comparison. Again, the average consumer is not going to want this kind of headache.

Of course MS is courting (buying) app developers as quickly as they can, but the fact is people buy their mobile devices for the apps, and while I'm sure MS is working overtime to get a facebook app to this platform, the lack of one right now is a major blow to sales.

Now, every time the author criticizes the UI, you claim he "doesn't get it". Well, I'm sorry, but it's you who doesn't get it. Microsoft's new UI is a clunky nightmare. You've got Metro and Desktop, things that work in one don't work in the other, you're constantly jumping back and forth... I'm sorry, I've used on in a store, and while there are great shortcuts to help make this work better than I thought, I can't see myself putting up with that crap, and I'm a power user. Clearly, since the product isn't selling, more people agree with me and the author than with you.

This is the only place I may agree with you, Microsoft can't go back. But at the end of the day lots of people love the classic look, and even with that app you're talking about the user still has to deal with Metro.

Now, you clearly spend a lot of time criticizing the author, but I suggest you stop drinking MS koolaid (god, didn't even know anyone drank that) and shut the f@ck up. Take your rude and ignorant comment and shove it where the sun don't shine, which is where you should put your Windows 8 device as well.
Jeremy C.
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Jeremy C.,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 7:14:56 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
"I'm sorry, I've used on in a store" What?! You haven't even used it and you're making these gross generalizations?! While i agree with many of the authors points. I definitely don't agree with with any of yours due to that comment. You haven't even used the OS man. I use it daily on my laptop. I triple boot nix Mint/ Win7/Win8. Win8 is my OS of choice,its incredibly fast, its got native .iso and html5 support, the registry is more consolidated. Once you take an hour an learn metro its quite fun and efficient. I just really think people need to sit down and try the OS before they start spewing all this hate about something they clearly have no idea about.

bigness1970
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bigness1970,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 8:21:11 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I had also beta tested win8. Yes you have some good points about some of the benefits of win8...but the bottom line is that when it comes to ordinary pc users (ie..the elderly, kids, and people without a degree in comp csi) win8 is going to take a lot of learning. This is the age of adhd and no one wants to read an encyclopedia on how to make it function like windows 7.
PrefAnon
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PrefAnon,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 7:25:25 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Right...the OS just isn't enough to justify a purchase atm. Or spending an hour on it.

From what I've seen/heard, and using it for a bit in a store, what they really need to do is rework the Classic+Metro; neither is a bad UI but they just aren't integrated.

Beyond that I just don't think anyone's interested. Sorry Microsoft.
jabberwolf
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jabberwolf,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 7:44:53 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
There is no koolaid aside from the itards that seem to be hypocritical about it. People who use OSes and devices look for function - thats it. And Win8 is VERY functional and much more so that having 2 devices, 2 Oses, and 2 ecosystems.

I actually was thinking of Android having that functionality but its a bit buggy. I actually LIKE android but its a pain to manage and they dont have the business side (which is about 90% windows). And there is a reason for that: being able to manage endpoints. Now I like Android but its more like a toy OS, with very little to collaborate between programs, very little management, and kinda buggy, - it's devices make a good thin client though. But basically its a toy OS.

"it's about the general issue of Metro apps not working in dekstop and vice versa." This actually shows that you didnt read my comment. Its a 2 mode OS. Thats like asking iOS apps to run on OSX and vice versa which might be a good idea to have on 1 device but their GUI modes would be different.

One app is a desktop (not really made to be run in "touch/tablet" mode.) The other app is made to run on a desktop mode. But its the DEVELOPER that must make those changes, not MS. Saying otherwise is kinda, well, dumb. You're actually telling MS not to change and to have NO OPTION and to pick one or the other. They give you BOTH. Now in saying that, saying that not having a choice - is a good thing, is about as stupid as Apple saying having no flash and calling it a "feature".

I can understand MS's move to get developers to create apps for tablet mode but they have the desktop mode for "legacy" apps - and most run quite well. Again you should try it before criticizing it. And seeing as where you like to stick tablets - I dont think you're using them correctly.
KeepingThingsSane
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KeepingThingsSane,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 7:58:01 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
All the evidence points to Jabberwolf being a Wintard. The reality is, each new system that appears on the market will have its fans and its haters. So what? Who gives a crap apart from the vendors and any business that aims to make money from these platforms? As long as the latest bit of hardware and/or software helps users, even empowers them, to achieve what they need to achieve, the back and forth sniping that Jabberwolf appears to advocate, is pointless, even juvenile.

It is OK to criticize subjects of news stories, but verbal/written attacks on "...tards" is something I would expect from a four year-old. Oh, and full disclosure here - I use both Windows and Mac systems daily.
MarkNY
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MarkNY,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 2:35:53 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Can I just call you "K"?
Apple Like? 8 is disoriented junk, not fit for the market. But you just watch the next few years you will see this "stuff" in business, and especially in education. thereby making it "OK". then later the drones that bought and use it will suffer for 6 months then junk it.

The cartel wins again. Bill laughs and applauds Mr. Kim from Korea, Mr. Chang from China, all the while an 8 year old redneck 3rd grader tries to figure it all out.
wzorn972
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wzorn972,
User Rank: Apprentice
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.
dkooi430
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dkooi430,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 3:04:51 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Windows 8 just isn't complete, the build-in mail application does not allow you to save an email to a folder, printing a pdf does not allow a range of page to select for printing and I am sure there a plenty of other things missing. I got a copy since it was only $38 and if you go back to desktop it is ok, just don't see the advantage of the tiles for a mouse only pc. If I want to relearn how to use a pc why stick with MS, might just as well start using Linux , which is free.
Lodmot
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Lodmot,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 3:18:09 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I came up with a Windows 9 concept that tries to improve the UI without ditching Metro. What if they made something like this:
http://www.eightforums.com/chi...
misspeggysue
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misspeggysue,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 3:22:53 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Little ole lady from the lake thinks the tile system looks old. I just don't like it. I've got used to my Kindles, and I have note 1 and 2. My laptop and PC have run windows since beginning of time. I adjust to the technology pretty well as a basic consumer. The big factor is price for me. And since most of the world is in my economic range I'd say the Amazon way is the best take the loss to get the product out there. You will make it up once it's in the consumers hands. And just let me tell you, I'm mad as a wet hen about the drop of Microsoft Reader. I like that app and it should have been transformed into an app that segwayed into a tablet format that transfered all your books. You HAD A MONEY Maker right there. Don't you think I might have bought a tablet running your system to keep track of my 100's of books that I already had on the MSR. Technology gotta love it. I've got 2 kindles and I'm intrested in the new one that is bigger and has wired service included. Nothing wrong with the two I have I LIKE the idea of the bigger newer one. So does that tell MS anything. I'm the consumer they are missing ME. How many others are they missing cause someone doesn't look at the REAL consumers of tablets. The business field will buy what works for there company or who has the biggest kickback to the buyer. I replace stuff cause it's broke or I like something way better and it's affordable. Analize all you want it just costing you $$$$$$$$$$$$$$
R.Atkinson
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R.Atkinson,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 3:23:49 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I work in a gov't IT dept that supports 1500 highly educated, highly credentialed, medically trained users who are busy providing patient services non-stop. They just don't have the time, and certainly not the inclination, to again learn another interface just to do the same thing they were doing the day before with no problem. MS can and should make any and all security and other improvements under the hood, but the more major the interface changes the more major the setbacks to the users. Since MS Office introduced the ribbon, many of our users have just stopped using Office and do what they can in email only. If email can't handle it, they don't do it.
aprildyer
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aprildyer,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 7:39:36 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
You make an excellent point which should be emphasized a hundred times over for every business user: businesses use computers because it helps them to run their business better.

We already have computers that run just fine, they run programs that run our business, and our staff are fully trained to use them to make money for our company.

To have Microsoft release a new interface because it helps Microsoft's business is literally no concern of ours.

To obtain the mostly under-the-hood improvements that Microsoft trumpets with Windows 8 is a complete waste of time and money for us when it means we have to spend our time and our money retraining our staff to do the exact same thing they were doing yesterday, except having to use a different visual interface.

I still remember a wag years ago (perhaps he even wrote for IW) who told the old joke:

Q: Why is Bill Gates billions of dollars richer than you?
A: Because you pay him a hundred dollars for his product, and then he steals a thousand dollars of your time.
MikeBalmory
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MikeBalmory,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/20/2012 | 2:40:22 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
@aprildyer said: To have Microsoft release a new interface because it helps Microsoft's business is literally no concern of ours.

Exactly, the only reason I can think Microsoft did all these changes was to be able to advance their hidden agenda which is to "encourage" all of us to embrace their app store model. That's the reason they eve call the Windows Desktop an "app".

By making Windows 8 an app store based OS is supposed to get developer excited to create app store applications and the more app store applications the better it is for Microsoft.

At the end, this change is purely to benefit Microsoft, not the users.
ANON1248407580884
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ANON1248407580884,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 3:38:49 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Let's see. Microsoft now provides a panel with all your apps instead of a Start button. Yeah that's rough to learn.
Eddee
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Eddee,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 3:39:36 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I also think they should find a better way to determine the upgrade process they currently have online, I have a net book which was running Win7, that I had purchased on March/2012.
I decided to see if my net book qualified for the Win8 upgrade at the discount price, the system they have checked my net book online and relates it qualified for an upgrade to Win8 Pro.
Delighted with the results, I immediately made the purchase to upgrade my OS, after the update, it was determined that my video card did not support the required video requirement of 1024x768, my computer only suports 1024x600, and therefore I am unable to use all the features of windows 8, and now am running a crippled version of Win 8, I also am unable to open any of those tiles getting the message, to adjust video display to 1024x768 to have the tile/program open properly.
llynn
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llynn,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 3:40:06 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Windows 8 is NOT built and or made for a Desktop . This is strictly a tablet OS .
Microstupid once again showed us all that they could careless about what the consumer wants and they care ONLY for Insane Obscene ASTRONOMICAL Pofits .. which this time they willnot be getting because ANYONE who tried the beta on a desktop found out this ALL TABLET STYLE no one really cares for . Google has done it to gmail , you tube and all Google products , Microstupid & Yahoo are / have done the same . Its so flat and boring all over now.
Its like back to XP an OS with NO DEPTH .
The really stupid thing is we all have HD screens now so why on earth would we want to have a system that is so flat , blocky and boring .
Or is this just another way they TRY to do away with the PC ?
Another way of Tracking US all. All tablets have WIFI and GPS Pre-installed so.... well its really not too hard to see threw the BS .
I tried Windows 8's beta version I reinstalled Windows 7 within a week . its a very Confusing OS , For some non tech savvy people .. IT WILL JUST NEVER FLY !
I run all kinds of modified OS's on my desktop and my Galaxy Nexus .
So yes as a developer ..... I know the game they are going for .Microstupid You will never get me to get rid of my desktop !
As for what Microstupid has now done to HOTMAIL ... I wont even use it anymore and hate what Google did to gmail ..
treasure_hunter
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treasure_hunter,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 8:20:23 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Couldn't agree more with you. Felt the same when Google made the changes to gmail and youtube. Haven't used hotmail in a long time ever since they deleted all my emails. Changes should be more substantial than just playing around with the interface. Planning to buy a all in one pc but will wait till microsoft stabilizes the Windows 8 OS. Until then will keep using Windows XP.
GalacticCannibal
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GalacticCannibal,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 3:45:42 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
We installed Windows 8 BETA about six months ago . And found it totally confusing. And we sorely miss the START button and XP type format.
We use Dell and HP desktops. Hope that Microsoft will bring back the START button format or include it in their new TILE format.
We think Microsoft got it all wrong when they replaced their old XP and START button , with the Tablet and iPad systems
llynn
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llynn,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 3:55:26 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I almost forgot MICROSTUPID..If people want tablet they can get one for less than $100 bucks and NOT have to deal with the CONSTANT Security Flaws in IE - Only the MOST Unsecure Browser there has EVER been.. and for some of us ... WE DO NOT WANT TO BE SIGNED IN TO EVERY SITE WE FREQUENT FROM BOOT ... Shhhhh Another sign of TRACKING YOUR EVERY MOVE !
Sandman366
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Sandman366,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 4:33:10 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
The last version of IE that I tried was 8. The last version of IE that was good was 6 or 7. I find it repulsive that some sites require me to use IE because they're useless coders. It's slow, clunky, and fat. It's a landmark against Microsoft: they only make it for one OS and can't develop a version better than, say, Chrome, which works very well on more than one OS. (Don't think Microsoft is thinking straight anymore.)
BFRANKSTON000
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BFRANKSTON000,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 3:56:41 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
While it's not hard to think of the panel of apps as the new start button it would've been nice to have a more gradual transition. It would also be nice to have the Metro apps usable as desktop apps. That would go a long way towards unifying the experience and not forcing us into the problematic one app at a time mode - one of those really bad ideas that reduces a powerful device to a lame one. It would also help to allow full apps on the RT desktop.

W8 has many powerful features and the ability to move beyond their competition in having a single device that can be both a tablet and a computer - after all, a tablet is a computer. Power management shouldn't be a reason to rend the device lame.

The simplistic Metro experience should be available to some but Microsoft's strength is in sharing control with users and developers. It must not lose itself in Apple envy but instead should move ahead of the process.

The phone should also be more part of the experience as just another form factor and not a different world. Multiple login would allow the same kind of portable personalization for devices that aren't always single purpose one person devices.

A lot of this reminds me of tiled Windows in the 80's ... another attempt to be overly helpful.

For me, it's wonderful to have a single device that portable and powerful. It may take a while for people to appreciate the value.
globetrotta
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globetrotta,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 4:26:05 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I just bought an Asus laptop on Black Friday. It came loaded with W8. I'm learning to like the display but really wish they left the start button. I also think for people that use their computer for both work and personal use, W8 should have one screen for work files, apps, etc... and another screen for your personal items. I don't mind seeing my personal pictures scroll while I'm at home, but some could be embarassing or just distracting while at work. But, I the worst thing is we're having a big problem using the Internet with W8. We tried to use Priceline.com and JetBlue.com but could not get serach results to display. We called the Geek Squad and two very helpful tech support puys to control of the laptop, changed some setting, rand ran diagostics. The first person took and hour and a half and could not fix the problem. The second guy took 6 hours and ran his tools until 4 AM. He left a note that said to use Explorer on these sites, as Chrome had a bug on W8 and these sites. That worked for Priceline, but neither browser will pull up results from JetBlue.
Sandman366
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Sandman366,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 4:26:31 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Just do #5 and go back to the old Windows logo. If I wanted to look at hideous squares, I'd look at a real window. The old one was better because of one word: aesthetics. It looked pretty.

If I wanted a tablet version of W8, I'd buy the tablet version, not install my desktop version on my tablet. I don't want the same experience on a desktop/laptop/tablet/smartphone, I expect to have slight differences between desktop/laptop and slight differences between tablet/smartphone, but MAJOR differences between desktop/laptop compared to tablet/smartphone.

I was iffy on 7 at first, but I've grown to like it. I don't want to grow to like 8. The "start" menu is an eyesore (in the way staring at rotten anything is an eyesore) and the logo looks stupid. (Quick, buy a couple copies of 7, before you can't!)
jiminthelab
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jiminthelab,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 4:40:21 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Do the comments just get cut and pasted from one article to the next? its seems MS cant win here. If they kept the UI the same people would be saying that its tired and time to come up with something new.... and in this case they did change it and people are saying waaaaait a minute I miss the old ui. I think people just like to complain. Its changed deal with it. The new doesn't take that long to get used to, and once I did I find it much faster than the old start menu (mouse keyboard only). As for it looking flat, think of it this way. All that extra stuff that gave it depth and pretty (like glass) took a bunch of extra processing power from the video card resulting in unnecessary power drain and performance issues and honestly after a while you just don't notice it. Its still the same underneath and if you really want the start menu back there are 3rd party free apps out there to "bring it back". I switched to win8 and never looked back. Is there still bugs, yes, but that's what windows update is for.

Just as a test I loaded win8 + the latest office up on my Mom's machine and spent about 10 minutes explaining how the new ui works and then left her to it. She loved it. thought it was easy to navigate and use. Its been about a week now, she uses it on a daily basis and has had no problems with win8 or office.

jabberwolf
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jabberwolf,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 4:44:53 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Im still amazed at the stupidity of those that write articles that havent used the OS for long and dont get what MS is doing by trying to unify everything under 1 OS.
One login, one set of services, and one set of applications under one ecosystem.

Im also amazed at the sheeple that commnent that ALSO havent used it, but have alot to say. I know the comment - I dont have to jump off a bridge to know i dont like it. But - do you also say, you dont need to drive a car, to know how to?! What, you just know by watching? Thats thats a very stupid assumption, and most people would actually drive a car before knowing how it performs, yet alone comment on it.
NPCO
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NPCO,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 7:31:55 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
And I'm still amazed at the absolute blind allegiance some consumers have to what's in the best interest of an impersonal corporation.

We've had preview versions of Windows 8 in it's current form for the better part of a year. To suggest anyone hasn't had enough time with the OS to "get" what Microsoft is doing is both patently absurd and dishonest.

Second, who's to say that what Microsoft is trying to do, or the way they're going about it, is actually a practical, feasible and overall good thing to be doing? One OS... fine. One login... fine. One ecosystem... fine. But please explain how different UI's optimized for different devices and the entirely different tasks those devices facilitate is a necessary part of the one OS, one login, one ecosystem goal? All Microsoft would need to do it offer an option on install or first boot - Which UI would you like to default to, Classic Windows or Windows 8 Store App UI (the chaos surrounding the very naming and renaming of Metro should make it obvious that their strategy hasn't been well thought out).

And don't tell me people would be confused by having to choose a default, as they do it with browsers all the time - install any browser and the first time it's run, it asks if the user would like to make it the default. And I wouldn't even care if Metro was always installed and available... just give the user the preference of which UI they'd like to use.

The very idea that people would be confused by different UI's across different devices is absurd - they've had no trouble integrating iOS and Android devices into their lives, so why would Microsoft think people would self destruct when faced with one UI for desktop Windows and another for tablet Windows?

The truth is that they wouldn't, and Microsoft knows this. The forcing of Metro on the desktop is for one, and only one, purpose - to expose people into learning it's phone/tablet UI in the hopes that they'll go on to choose a Windows tablet or phone over iOS or Android. Well, Microsoft's Phone OS has been on the market for a sufficient amount of time to determine that the majority of people simply don't care for it. Instead of Microsoft working to figure out how to better interest the consumer, they've essentially said "No, you **WILL** use our software, whether you want to or not".

And finally, I'm not one of these sheeple people of which you speak. I've been using Windows 8 since the developer preview, I've upgraded 3 of my systems to the retail version and overall I like it very much. But after all this time, I still find Metro an entirely useless and near crippled interface for desktop use.

Microsoft's customers are not like Apple's customers. We don't take kindly to being told how to think, what to do and precisely in what way we may, or may not, use the products we buy.
KeepingThingsSane
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KeepingThingsSane,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 8:00:52 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
You continue to prove my point. And the 1 OS concept is not original.
yegurakakuru
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yegurakakuru,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 9:03:56 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
"what MS is doing by trying to unify everything under 1 OS"

Actually, that's what they're saying, but unfortunately, not what they're doing. Think about it: from a consumer's perspective, you have Win7 and Win7 Phone. For Win8, now there are three OS-es: Pro, RT and Phone. This is not 'unifying' in my book, it's actually fragmentation. And it only confuses customers even more.

I use Win8 on a non-touchscreen PC and I'm pretty happy with it. Thing is though that Metro is completely useless on a non-touch system and the desktop mode is equally useless on a RT tablet. If you use Win8 just as you have used Win7, it's OK, even a bit faster. But Metro is really an annoyance and MS should give users the option to disable it. Apparently MS is trying to play Apple's game and expect to win it. They won't. Look at the prices they came up with for the Surface! They're not in touch with the reality anymore.
pbaker232
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pbaker232,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 4:50:44 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Have been in the IT business since the early nineties and have been a loyal MS customer all that time. We ran Windows 8 for six months on a trial basis and decided it was a no-go. The OS is meant essentially for phones and touch screens. We haven't the inclination to make our employees suffer through the frustration. If we have to make that kind of decision and cause frustration, we'd rather it gave us something in the bargain. Unfortunately, we have already decided and told MS (although we are giving MS six months for a decision) we will be moving over to the MAC OS...and we are not alone.
msbpodcast
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msbpodcast,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 8:16:37 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
While you might WANT to move to the Mac OS, I don't think your accountants will let you. They like to evaluate competitive bids and there's only ONE Apple. You're stuck with whoever is the cheapest and they surely are tied to Microsoft (or Linux)

Apple can't be part of competitive bids, and they aren't interested in the enterprise space anyway.
international
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international,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 2:03:21 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I've always wondered whether the total cost of ownership of Apple isn't competitive, though. With computers costing thousands a year in support costs, why cheap out on the hardware (or OS)? My four-letter-word-brand company laptop has been black-screening pretty regularly now, as have others of the same model, meaning lots of IT time fixing, and (expensive) downtime for developers. It's amazing how many hits on Google for the same problem...but no recall. My home Mac (which I got after decades with MS OSes and Wintel boxes) is simple but chugs along reliably. Looking at reliability surveys, Apple is the only one at its level.

Indeed, Apple doesn't seem interested in the enterprise. But, apparently now lacking the knack for consumer products that Steve Jobs had, perhaps Apple should be. The relative solidity of their products, and high end nature, may be what enterprises need. (And it may not be hard getting employees to agree. My younger colleague has an Apple logo glued on the back of his four-letter-word-brand laptop.)
BobbyDeeJr
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BobbyDeeJr,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 5:06:22 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
As a person shopping for a new Windows desktop machine who's primarily going to use it for things such as: Video Editing, Architectural Drafting, 3d Rendering, Audio Recording, and Graphic Design, the LAST thing I want is an OS that is constantly trying to connect to the internet and trying to sell me "apps". I have never bought an "app" in my life and do not plan to.

I have read a lot of complaints about Windows8 but few coming from my perspective. I DO NOT use facebook, twitter, or any other social media site. Someone mentioned an OS to track your every move and that what it feels like.

Whenever possible, I revert any windows computer to the 'classic' look because that is what I want: a bare-bones machine that can run my programs and nothing else and eats up as little of the cpu as possible.

Even as a graphics person, I have zero interest in their 'hip' new interface. As many have suggested, they should have made that an option for people who want to have direct links to things, or, made it for portable devices only.

Maybe some people will find some joy in it, and that is fine, but for me who needs a computer to do high-end media, I am going to purchase a machine with Windows7, which is completely fine and totally usable (even if more dumbed-down and annoying than XP)...

Basically the ONLY way to save Windows 8 is to have a release that allows you to completely disable the so called "Metro" and lets you run your computer without trying to force a lifestyle choice and failed branding mission down your throat...
bubbab0y
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bubbab0y,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 5:16:43 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I'm an old guy and not as tech savvy as most of your posters. But I can't be the only one in this situation: I need a new desktop PC (currently using Vista, don't laugh). I would buy one tomorrow with Win 8 and I would probably be somewhat frustrated by all the problems you are noting. However I can't even get that far. The cost of a new desktop for Win 8 is WAY TOO HIGH because of the touch screen. BestBuy is not even advertising any desktops with touchscreens, probably because they know it would be a waste of time and only scare customers away. They want them to be in the store already when they find out. I don't want a laptop because I want a 22+" screen at home, I already have a work laptop and I want to be able to easily/cheaply upgrade components on my personal desktop over the next few years.

Bottom line: Win 8 does not seem to be aimed at all at the desktop market. Am I missing something?
msbpodcast
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msbpodcast,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 8:24:21 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I want a 22+" screen at home

I bought my wife a 27" iMac for home use. (I don't recommend PCs for home use, and I discourage people from buying anything but what the accountants will accept for office use.)

27" display, quad core intel i5 chip, 4 GB ram and 1TB disk should be enough for home use.
crushkittykitty
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crushkittykitty,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 6:15:22 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
meanwhile I'm sitting back on my Ubuntu watching as Microsoft tries to sell yet another operating system that will be plagued by viruses spyware, been using Ubuntu for years with no anti virus and have yet to get one all im saying is give it a try works for me
here is a good place to start https://www.youtube.com/watch?...
or if you would like to read more http://ubuntutheotheros.webs.c...
you do have a choice
krumdriller
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krumdriller,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 6:27:42 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I bought a new laptop even though I would have to have waited until after Christmas. The reason, get one while I could still get Windows 7. MS did not need a re invention they just needed to keep improving Windows 7. I have Vista on my old laptop and already like W 7 better but I was not going to buy one if I had to take W 8. In fact I was looking at Macs instead.
ajax2cle
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ajax2cle,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 6:38:35 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
<ctrl>+<esc>. Oh wait, now i have to bring my mouse all the way over to the right. Click Spy Glass. Go to internet explorer and search "Shutdown PC windows 8"

Really?? Really! .......Why??

Microsoft, you have created products and established rules for using those products over the years. Rules that, as users, we have all learned for better or worse to get our work done. By changing those rules(I am talking about the interface changes) you are creating an obstacle to getting our work done.

Most of us these days have to do much more with considerably less resources, and by you imposing yourself on us like this, makes us much more ready to search for alternatives.

Go ahead and enhance the old rules. But don't disregard the old and establish a brand new set. You have had great amount of success because we did our work and did not even know you were there.

</esc></ctrl>
Guy95
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Guy95,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 6:15:00 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
No, you don't have to do that.

Don't you have a power button on your PC ?

If that's too hard, all you have to do is drag your mouse alllllll the way over to the right corner, instead of alllllll the way over to the left in Win7...

then click Settings, instead of Start (remember how many people screamed about having to hit Start to shutdown?)...

then click Power instead of Shutdown and choose your option as before.

It's not harder, duh.

Oh, if you are a shortcut junky like me, just hit ctrl-alt-del and click the power icon.
Jnome
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Jnome,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 6:41:23 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Make metro an option but not default. Frankly there's just to much flipping, a person cannot concentrate with all those flashy boxes rotating content. Here's what I want. The desktop is the default with the search icon replacing the old start button and have the search button do what it does now. It would work the same on mobile. Per-haps give the option to add tiles to the desktop like widgets.. Oh shoot I just realized what I described is Android.. I dont know windows I hope you can figure this out!
NPCO
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NPCO,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 7:47:02 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Exactly. Metro should be just like Media Center has been (up until Windows 8) - an optional install that someone can choose, or choose not, to use. Heck, even make it installed by default, but give the user an option to default to it or the traditional desktop, and even an easy way to switch the default and/or run one temporarily even if the default is set to the other.

In other words, give the user the ability to determine for themselves which UI best serves their needs overall, or in each particular use scenario. Continually forcing the use of a UI ill-suited to one's particular and personal workflow only leads to resentment. By doing this, Microsoft is undermining what is by all other measures a very nice OS.

All that having been said, $5 solves all these problems in the form of Start 8. Your start menu is back, even more configurable than it's ever been and you have to option to disable (or not) the various gestures that invoke the Metro UI. With Metro entirely disabled, you essentially have what people are asking for - Classic Windows with all the benefits of 8. With none (or not all) of Metro disabled, you have the best of both worlds. Personally, I have all the corners disabled and I boot directly to the desktop. If I want Metro, I just hit the Windows key on my keyboard - I get to use it when *I* choose and for the purposes *I* find it's useful for, otherwise it stays out of my way.

Had Microsoft built in these few trivially minor features, they'd have avoided all the backlash and bad press they've received. It's honestly as simply as that.

Johnnythegeek
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Johnnythegeek,
User Rank: Strategist
12/1/2012 | 7:04:31 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
First off not many need Windows 8 on a PC. If you have Windows 7 and you don't have a touch screen. Then Windows 8 is pointless in many ways. As for the tablet, Apple has had three or more years to develop a app store and eco system of third party accessories for the iPad. It also has a more fluid connection between OS X and IOS. Neither OS tries to be what its not. Microsoft in a rush to play catch up tried to mold a tablet OS into a desktop/laptop OS and in my opinion failed to sell it to the public. Best thing Microsoft can do is what it did with Vista. Fix it.
Greenstone
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Greenstone,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 7:05:28 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
During Windows 8 installation, Microsoft should allow users to select if they want Windows Classic (or an updated version) installed or Metro on their devices. My wish list is simple: (1) make things easier to find, not more confusing; (2) see number 1. I know users won't initially know if they want the Metro interface, so make it so users can remove it.
ANON1252430315558
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ANON1252430315558,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 7:07:39 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Or they could just sell the company and give all the money back to the stockholders.
GoneToPlaid
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GoneToPlaid,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 7:56:48 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I will ask the one question which nobody, in any online article or review of Windows 8, seems to have asked: Why didn't Microsoft, when developing Windows 8, split the interface development into two nodes -- one node with the specific focus on reviving the home and business PC markets, and another node with the specific focus of gaining a substantial share of the tablet market? Instead, Microsoft entirely focused on the tablet market while providing PC compatibility as a poorly implemented afterthought.

Amazingly, the new Windows 8 OS isn't smart enough, upon installation or booting, to automatically use the touch screen interface if a touch screen display is detected, or to automatically use a more conventional mouse/keyboard and compatible Windows 7-like interface if the OS detects that the hardware does not have a touch screen display. Instead, the default for Windows 8 is to FOLLOW the general appearance of Android and MAC tablet operating systems, further exacerbated by a complete lack of any intiuitve instructions or help popups about how to use this new interface.

A business maxim: Lead, follow, or get out of the way. Following can lead to the latter. Mangling a "follow" attempt definitely will lead to the latter. Sinofsky completely mangled Microsoft's "follow" attempt. There is no other way to describe both the reviews, user experiences and general overall rejection regarding the new Windows 8 operating system. This is borne out by recent ads for new Windows 8 PCs and laptops which are now listed on retailer web sites as "clearance" items with blowout prices. This latter fact, above all else and regardless of Microsoft's reported sales, reveals the true picture of Windows 8. Overall it appears that public acceptance of Windows 8 is even worse than Vista. Nothing is going to change that, just as nothing changed things for Vista.

Microsoft's strategy has completely ignored the existing business world users, experienced users and the general public who still use PCs for a variety of tasks which just aren't suitable to perform on tablets. Microsoft also completely ignored the need to do something which would revive the PC market since that market is related to the aforementioned groups of users. Why didn't Microsoft decide to also focus on the PC market, instead of completely ignoring this market simply because many analysts think that this market might wither and die? When the first PCs were introduced in the early 1980s, many analysts said that PCs were merely a fad and that PCs were nothing but glorified calculators. How wrong they were. Regardless, PC manufacturers were and still are clamoring for a new OS which to revive the PC market segment since they know that PCs, for at least the next couple of years, will continue to outperform tablets. For the time being, tablets just don't have the screen size and workspace, raw processing power, and battery life to complete with high performance PCs.

Over the past months, both the PC industry and online media falsely hyped the Microsoft line that this new operating system would be revolutionary. In particular, both believed Steven Sinofsky's hard court press that this new Windows OS is what consumers really wanted. He was dead wrong, and of course he no longer is with Microsoft.

I recall the similar hard court press tactics which were associated with the pending release of Windows Vista, and I vividly recall the questionable tactics which Microsoft used to force consumers to upgrade to Vista. For the latter and most notably and when Vista's sales figures were very disappointing, Microsoft released IE7. After installing IE7 on an XP machine and when the user tried to use previously installed Win98 and XP programs which relied on two specific DLLs, Windows would report that those programs were trying to use DLLs which supposedly were "Vista only DLLs" and that the user should upgrade to Vista for "improved performance," when in fact the two DLL's in question had been included in all versions of Windows since Windows 95. Installing IE7 actually deleted those existing DLLs from the user's computer, all in Microsoft's effort to try to force users to upgrade to Vista for a better user experience. If an XP user skipped upgrading IE6 to IE7 and instead upgraded IE6 directly to IE8, then these DLL issues did not occur since, by the time IE8 was released, Microsoft had completely given up on trying to force users to upgrade from XP to Vista. Thus IE8's installer was not configured to delete these two installed DLLs since Microsoft by this point had totally given up on Vista.

With the above in mind, let's look at where Windows 8 utterly fails in terms of Microsoft's "assessment" that tablets are the wave of the future. Microsoft's assessment is clouded by Microsoft's desire to make strong inroads into the tablet market, but this rapidly growing market segment is merely one very distinct portion of of the overall industry market. Sinofsky totally missed this crucial point. Instead Sinofsky erroneously thought that the tablet market segment, rapidly growing as it is, is the ONLY computer industry market which Microsoft's new OS should be designed for. In short, Sinofsky completely disregarded the desires of a plethora of PC manufacturers who hoped that the new Windows 8 OS would help to revive the PC market. Sinofsky completely ignored both the home PC market. Most importantly and damnably, Sinofsky with his complete control of the Windows 8 development process, utterly ignored the needs of of one of Microsoft's largest, most important and most loyal customer bases -- the business market. This, in short, is Sinofsky's most striking and abysmal failure. No wonder he "left" the company on such short (one day) notice.
doggarn
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doggarn,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 2:42:42 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Well, I use Autocad Civil 3D for my work, and it seem that Autodesk must have an issue with Microsoft windows 8. None of the programs I use ( 2011) version work in any kind of mood, I'm not sure who to be mad at... Of my most recent experience with window 8 was on a workstation is that besides my autocad issues it seems to work, but I never use anything but desktop to do my work. So, for business application that I make my living on Windows 8 Pro is useless. I'm pointing fingers that both are acting like Replubicans and Democrats and the viscal cliff.... so now I can't work on a OS that I want to, but can't.... their is a proverb in this somewhere....

BobbyDeeJr
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BobbyDeeJr,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 8:04:13 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I had a post on here that got deleted for some reason--
same issue -Autocad user here..
Windows 8 is not fit for anyone doing anything related to actual computer performance...
mcg001
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mcg001,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 4:16:58 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I once owned a Triumph Trophy 500. You could drive it on the freeway and you could drive it on the trails. It wasn't the best at either, but for a person who didn't know just where they might be riding, I guess it was the right bike. So, my point being: why did Microsoft spend so much to build a dual platform that sounds like it is not really doing much for either the road or the trail? How is it that the author can spot these issues and the MSFT executives cannot? Is Microsoft the next old GM?
vince8
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vince8,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 4:24:55 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
You hit the nail on the head. I looked really hard for a reason to upgrade to win8. I could not come up with even one halfway decent reson to do so. If MS implements your suggestions, I might have one.
Guy95
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Guy95,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 6:35:32 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
There are 3 good reasons to buy Windows 8.

If none of these apply to you then there's no point to spend any more money for it.

1. Touch - this doesn't apply to me, I HATE smudges on my screen.

2. Apps - this is the way the world is going, if you have any need or interest in keeping up with it you are going to have to get on board.

3. Evolutionary improvements in the underlying OS - for me this is most apparent in performance/efficiency, to achieve this they sacrificed some glitz. I expect for all the work they did there is other good stuff in there too, hopefully including stability and security.
johnjoedan
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johnjoedan,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 5:52:55 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
As the Director of Technology of a small school district....my first concern is a device I can manage either through Altiris or even better perhaps an MDM like Meraki's. The RT does not appear to play well with either. The pro version shows promise.
Then PRICE/PRICE/PRICE... the current pricing reminds me that Microsoft is not necessarily my friend. The current pricing encourages me to move as quickly as I can to a Droid device that we can manage with an MDM and which will work with our active directory structure. And, for which there are about 500,000 current apps.
Also quite putting out that the screen resolution must be 1366x768...(note that that allows all features) when only a 1024x768 is actually required to run.

I have actually liked the system but to be the go to system for a school system (hook users like Google Apps have) or a small business then PRICE must come down to actually compete with the iPad or more importantly the very good Droid tablets. I don't need a top of the line system and device with Office7 or Office13 installed, just a solid and affordable system running on a quality tablet like the Acer W510 series.
snappy
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snappy,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 7:55:21 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
My monitor went out on my laptop and rather than repair it, I made the mistake of buying a new laptop with Windows 8. I was totally not prepared for how it basically just took over my Hotmail account; that was just the first annoyance. The OS is a pain in the neck and I returned the laptop as a result and instead bought one with Windows 7 already on it; no Windows 8. I NEVER want to deal with 8 again! Frustrating the way the apps slide around on the page without my touching a thing. If I want a tablet I'll buy an ipad; I don't need a combination laptop OS and tablet.
JymW
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JymW,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 8:00:26 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Microsoft should be giving customers what they want instead of trying to force them to use something that looks foreign to them, results in confusion, and disables things they are used to using. Visible changes, if any, should be incremental.

What customers really want is a beefed up, more secure, faster, and smaller footprint of Windows XP. What beefed up means is additional features integrated into the system but with the same basic interface. Windows 7 might have been a feeble attempt to do this but it is bloated.

Virtually any small office I go into that is using Windows is using XP. It is stable, relatively easy to use, supports many generations of Apps, and is something they are used to.

So despite what Microsoft threatens about end of life for XP, customers will either stay with it, maybe upgrade to 7, or switch to Mac. Windows 8 it just a bad idea, especially if their customers continually try to avoid it instead of embracing it. Some one once said that you can force a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. The same can be said for Windows 8.

Steve Balmer should be commended for doing such a great job of marketing Apple's products for them, considering his decision making for Microsoft.
bigness1970
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bigness1970,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 8:16:33 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I had stated these exact concerns on another website. Microsoft took a bad gamble and are going to lose a bundle on this one. I had beta tested the windows 8 os for a year. And like many other beta testers, we expressed our concerns over the ease of use and lack of being consumer friendly. To put a $900+ price tag on a system that will have a laundry list of problems as each of their other os had in the past, and on new hardware that is untested by consumers, is just bad business. I look forward to see which CEOs will be fired for this one.

Their best bet would have been to put out a $300 tablet to allow people to play with and get a feel for it, then put out a pricier tablet. The ipad was only $580 when it first hit the market...and the economy was better. What will be interesting is watching MSF stock plunge within the next year.
msbpodcast
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msbpodcast,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 8:34:52 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I look forward to see which CEOs will be fired for this one.

Balmy will throw a tantrum and a few chairs, do his Monkey Boy dance, and you're going to put up with it because you have no choice. Or you could go Linux.

Forger about Apple. They can't appear on any competitive bids. There's only ONE Apple and they aren't interested in the enterprise space.
Hristo
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Hristo,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 8:18:52 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
The problem is more one of calibrating expectations than anything else, I think. Microsoft has done a poor job of this by trying to sell a desperate, defensive move as a bold new era and the tech press has given doses of praise and criticism without doing much to frame the issue in the right way.

Microsoft cannot afford to simply cede the entire middle ground between a full-fledged laptop and a Kindle Fire to the iPad, Android and Chrome. Windows 8 is a fight to hold onto at least the most productivity or compatibility-minded consumers with slick ultrabooks and hybrid tablets. But this is largely a rearguard, defensive action since nothing that runs a greedy OS like Windows can compete with an iPad or Google Nexus for someone who doesn't care about productivity or compatibility and those are the people who have been abandoning laptops in droves.
beancube
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beancube,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 9:41:40 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
MS should leave user interfaces to various user communities by keeping the desktop as clean as possible and focus on modern hardware designs and performance. Apple is unlocking themselves right now because they know they have been trapped by lazy designers they have hired for years. Steve Jobs didn't even know he himself was being coerced into an evil by those who have no interest in technologies but know how to use naming enemies as tactics to make their livings. His life is now well known as a trouble maker used by those expensive law firms more and more like a Hollywood reality show because of those patent law sues around the globe in technologies fields.
parkit
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parkit,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 12:56:49 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Windows 8 looks and behaves like something Dr. Frankenstein would have created. It's not surprising from a company wanting a win so they try to be all things to all needs, which isn't new MS has bloated their applications with functionality. Of course MS has been on this trajectory for decades, in unison they all have the same speak.
Westland
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Westland,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 1:07:00 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Spot on Paul! I would encourage MS to do all of these ASAP. They will still be lucky to get out without destroying their own franchise. Personally, I think it is indicative of how completely dysfunctional have MS' internal politics become that they can come up with a technically competent product (Win 8 in all forms) that so completely misunderstands the market, as well as making no sense as a business model.

My prediction. Your advice will be ignored.
MarkNY
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MarkNY,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 2:29:56 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Paul, Paul, Paul,
When will people get it? Billy and his crowd would never build a product for USERS! all we do is provide all the money.

MS makes products on whimsical concepts that they then push on everyone by wrecking working devices and systems and forcing more investment in hardware, Intel, HP, etc. all are driving the market (or so they think).

GO with the Dopey Democrats on this one, Let it Fail, as it always does. even the bad things made money (read - every product MS ever launched was broken at launch then patched to death).

The cartel of Intel, AMD and all of the Communist Chinese Manufacturers are proof of that.

Keep your money, the technology will bury this useless stuff, after all combining my work and business lives is what I want to avoid. You sound like every college sophomore who thinks life is based on FB, the Twits, and your mantra.

It'll die, give it a chance
NPCO
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NPCO,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 4:39:54 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
MarkNY said "MS makes products on whimsical concepts that they then push on everyone by wrecking working devices and systems and forcing more investment in hardware"

While this is a popular line of reasoning, I'm not sure it really holds water. With very few exceptions, the only reasons I've ever seen people move to a newer version of Windows is because A- they simply bought a new system and it came with it, or B- some piece of software or hardware they rely on requires it. If all the hardware and software someone uses works under their existing version of Windows, they stick with it.

Microsoft doesn't force anyone to upgrade to the latest version of Windows, and the amount of systems still running XP prove this. *If* someone wants to upgrade, that's fine, but it's on them to make sure they meet the system requirements of the newer version. To find a system that would honestly have trouble running the latest version of Windows, you'd have to go back close to a decade.

I'm as critical of Microsoft's move regarding Metro as the next guy, but won't criticism them for what borders on conspiracy theories.
RTomas
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RTomas,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 3:04:17 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
In line with Microsoft's tradition of every other version being lackluster, W98 vs W-ME, Vista vs W7, we now have W8 vs ?The Next Great Thing?. I bought an ACER with W8 installed. At the end of the day I determind W8 is basically W7 with a poor window dressing over it. Solution: Update the W8, pull the the drive and set it aside, install SSD, install clean copy of W7 Pro (also elimanted all the crap ware)...I'm quite happy!!! Yeaaaa!!!

Does Microsoft simply have a bad software review program?...it seems like it.
Not sure how many folks are going to run out and get W8 when their machine isn't W8 touch screen capable...likely very few.

I'd assume W8 is cool and neat on a touch screen, but none of the 7 machines I have at home have touch ability. None of the 200+ at work have it (many still running XP, XP64 very happily).

Whats the solution? Hire me and I'll work on it from the consumer standpoint !!
antiautonomy
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antiautonomy,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 5:08:32 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
If you want a classic desktop interface Linux Mint has a nicely improved upon XP-like interface. It's free, stable, easy to install and comes with all the necessary codecs. http://www.linuxmint.com/downl...
And if you really need Microsoft Office, it's easy enough to run under Linux with Wine.
PeterO
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PeterO,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 5:32:00 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Perhaps I am a minority, but I LIKE the ability to swipe my laptop screen and applaud MS's encouragement of touch-sensitive screens. I often switch back and forth between an ASUS transformer (w keyboard dock) and a windows 7 laptop, and constantly find myself wanting to swipe my win 7 laptop screen. I also like/ am used to/ the win 7 interface, and find Metro aesthetically unpleasing (ugly!). So, what I would like to see is for the win 8 and metro interface be context sensitive (metro on a tablet, win 8 when docked or on laptop), and one or the other EASILY set up as a default by the user.

I also agree with author on most points, especially cost. MS needs to practically give our free the new OS to regain and buttress its market share. Otherwise, it is likely to follow RIM down the path to irrelevancy.
WrittenDescription
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WrittenDescription,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 7:09:40 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Microsoft should be congratulated for attempting an operating system that unifies touch and desktop environments, but the effort is rough at best. MS updated its XBox interface to the "Metro" configuration some time ago and I have never become comfortable with its visual cues and navigation paradigm (lots of side scrolling). No, it's not a hard interface to learn, but its "flat" appearance and sparse information displays leave me constantly double-checking selections, focus, and moving between tiles. Combine that with Metro's relative unsuitability for non-touch environments and you have the "Explorer Desktop," which is kinda but not exactly like Windows 7, which I like and which I already run on my desktop. I'll leave it to smarter people than me to explain why you'd have any interest in updating to Windows 8 for a non-touch desktop.
nomanzone
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nomanzone,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 7:20:29 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
It seems that Windows 8 is primarily an platform unifying project. It has a new user interface that provides a consistent user experience across devices. But for users with Android or iPhone, what are the incentives for them to upgrade? I have not heard a compelling selling point from Microsoft that makes me want to upgrade, even if it were free. There are just too many potential pitfalls in upgrading to a new OS particularly the OS has a drastically new code base. I am like most people using a computer to get work done. The novelty and associated learning curve do not attract me a bit. Tell me something that will increase my productivity that is so overwhelming to make it worthwhile to pay for it and take the risks of upgrading hassles and learning curve.
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,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 7:25:38 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I have many legacy devices on SCSI and XP drivers. They are expensive to replace. Can Microsoft assure me that my devices will still work under Windows 8?
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.
nomanzone
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nomanzone,
User Rank: Apprentice
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?
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
12/3/2012 | 7:43:45 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I'm not sure upgrading a Win o/s is ever a "productivity" decision. Why would you ever upgrade unless there was a benefit of some kind? The o/s itself does nothing, just runs applications that have benefits. If you have some special purpose PC which only runs one app using old legacy hardware, you might as well run DOS until end of time, you get same benefit. Just make sure you have plan how you are going to replace this old legacy hardware when it fails. Because it will fail, and Murphy will make sure it is at the worst time. :-)

I do understand your question though because we just went thru it. We had PC whose only job was to run software for our Spectrometer. We had to pay $7K to upgrade this software just to move to Win 7 because Corp wanted "std desktops" attached to domain. It still does same thing, no additional benefits using Spectrometer. Being $7K, we did it. We have another PC which drives our Tensile Tester. That upgrade was $40K. We said "No Thanks", we'll continue to run XP and just remove computer from AD. It's all about the business case and the $ of the particular situation. Like NPCO said, you need to be looking at your plan for this legacy hardware anyway, a time will come you won't be able to get replacements for it. And that is certainly not a Win o/s issue.
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.
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.
wht
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wht,
User Rank: Strategist
12/4/2012 | 12:51:06 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
It's not Microsoft or Window 7 fault your scanner stop working, it's the manufacturer of the scanner who needs to create a compatible driver for Windows 7. If it was a cheap or offbrand scanner, you got what you paid for. Most devices will work or have updated drivers available on their company website.
Terabyte Net
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Terabyte Net,
User Rank: Apprentice
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.
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.
JohnnyFair
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JohnnyFair,
User Rank: Apprentice
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).
wzorn972
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wzorn972,
User Rank: Apprentice
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.
gfish66
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gfish66,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/3/2012 | 6:50:46 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Fix the user interface - meaning Metro is optional, and a Windows 7 style interface is available, for Win 8 and also Win Server 2012 - and I'm all in.
JerkyChew
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JerkyChew,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/3/2012 | 8:38:43 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I'm a Windows systems admin. Have been since 1997. I started with NT 3.5.1 and have used every single desktop and server OS Microsoft has released since then. I have tried multiple times to use Windows 8 and have come away angry and frustrated every time.

First, I tried it in a VM. Metro on multiple monitors is non-usable. Sometimes apps open one one monitor, sometimes another. Sometimes the desktop version of the app will work and sometimes it won't.

I eventually gave up. I recently purchased a new personal laptop - A Macbook Pro - And loaded up Windows 8 in BootCamp. I am by no means an Apple fanboy but the trackpad "just works" so it's what I got. I thought that on a one-screen environment with a multitouch trackpad that W8 would be usable, but it wasn't. I forced myself to try and use it while on vacation but when I couldn't even figure out how to change the wireless settings other than start - run - ncpa.cpl, I gave up.

W8 needs the Start Menu, and Metro needs to be reduced to an option. If MS wants to coerce users to use its unified Metro interface, that's fine. But don't force it as our only option. Make it an add-on. I could see myself using live tiles and bringing up Metro when I only want to switch between a couple of apps. But when I want to - crazy talk here - Get some work done, I'm going to use something that actually works.
bvan buren303
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bvan buren303,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/3/2012 | 8:50:19 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
So I bought and installed windows 8 on my kids laptops and in 30 minutes (without my help) they were playing games and using it with ease. Installed office and no problems. I use it at work and everything works, office, development tools, photo editing etc.
Despite what is being written here, the upgrade is no big deal and the tile interface Is nice and easy to use. Only improvement that is need: I wish I could window the apps instead of always displaying in full screen mode. I mean like it is called windows right!!
However. I then go to a Big Lots and buy a Google touch Tablet 4.0 for $79.00 that does everything my kids want with regard to gaming, camera and social media. And there is the challenge as pointed out in #1. Microsoft is priced to compete with apple but needs to focus at the mid-market and low end. It cannot overcharge for its products like apple, ( apple may not be able to do that much longer).
If Microsoft is really is about services, it should give away its OS, beef up the app market and build with third party suppliers devices that can be built and sold inexpensively without letting the product line fragment as google has done.
fuzzedagain
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fuzzedagain,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/4/2012 | 3:33:39 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Please please bring back Windows Classic!!! ASAP!!! As a $24.95 product!!!!!!
Mike_Acker
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Mike_Acker,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/4/2012 | 12:27:08 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
It's Twilight Time for x86 and for the Windows O/S . both are sinking under their own weight

tchengtcheng
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tchengtcheng,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/4/2012 | 4:55:19 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I was Microsoft Support. I installed Window 8 Pro as good OS system.
But Marketing/Pricing was very important. You cannot sell price as APPLE iPad noble logo
such as LV or Swiss watch. Window 8 need control marketing shares and use other income such as Microsoft Office Starter ADV --300 billion marketing per year.
In short, Apple file law sue for Samsung/Google because of Gobal ADV marketing shares.
Who control tablets marketing share...Who control ADV income.
Why Window 7 sold very well -not only good OS because of Microsoft Office Starter free
and ADV got income to Microsoft ltd.

In short, Microsoft should sale $199.00 Window RT and worked with your partner for Window 8
intel tablets such as HP/other Microsoft Partner network like Window 7!!!!
note : Window 8 pro desktop PC/notebook plus free Microsoft Office Starter version.
Window 8 pro should Win or Lose upper to CEO Steven now
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
12/7/2012 | 12:14:56 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
+1 on prices because you cannot just run native Office apps on the Surface. You have to purchase the desktop version of Office as well. Another major expense. And Microsoft should sell the Surface with the better keyboard as a standard. The touch keyboard is horrible.
I agree on unifying the experience, IE as well as any other app should look and work the same no matter from where it was started.
JPolk
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JPolk,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/7/2012 | 3:11:20 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Surface is a non-player. You can't go out and buy one and its buggy and sluggish, if users are to be believed. Windows 8, despite all those using it and lauding it's graces, is too much of a change too soon. Taking the start button away and hiding the desktop was a mistake, pure and simple. You're alienating the vast majority of your user base and writing off your enterprise users altogether.
getRdone
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getRdone,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/8/2012 | 2:13:25 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
As a Small business owner I used to love MS products. As our company grew I found out just how buggy many of the MS products can be and also how expensive it can be to maintain a MS network for the local and remotes workers. I resent that the solution to something is usually reboot or better, Buy our New Improved version. Really? In a lot of cases the old version did not work entirely right. GǣMS you are going to the $$$ well too oftenGǥ...

Windows 8 is a nightmare for business owners that were on XP or Win7Pro. This looks like a GUI on top of a GUI. I can share from many years of experience that employees HATE having to learn something that is this big of a change from previous versions and business owners dread the labor Cost associated with lost productivity and IT retraining. We Dread the flurry of what will likely be Buggy new applications until the new developers get ramped up with this new OS, new development tools and dev environment. This headache is beyond your OS... the flurry of buggy new apps is to probably going to follow.....

MS PULL YOUR HEAD OUT!!! Why would businesses want all the clutter, training curve and headache on Win8? Put your ego aside and GǣQuit trying to take a shot at Apple and hurting the small business sector of your businessGǥ for many of the features in Win8, business owners could give a rip less about, why would we want employees having access to some of the Win8 apps and the ridiculous interface that is clearly not for most businesses.

Steve Naidamast
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Steve Naidamast,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/17/2012 | 3:15:54 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
The poor sales of Windows 8 is hardly surprising. The development community as a whole has been entirely negative towards the Metro interface on the desktop and laptops. However, as developers were more vocal about their desires to keep the "Start Menu" (I wish people would stop calling good technology "classic".), Microsoft seemed to become even more determine to eliminate it from the OS.

The Metro interface is quite a nice, clean interface for smart devices but for desktops it was destined to become the annoyance and inconvenience it has. Nonetheless, as solid and stable as Windows 8 is (I have tested it with Visual Studio 12), for most it was a completely unnecessary advance to the current Windows 7 OS.

If Microsoft wants to see Windows 8 succeed it will have to do what most serious users of Windows want, which is return the "Start Menu" interface as a default option to the installation process. Barring that, there is absolutely nothing Microsoft can do to salvage the poor but expected sales results...
INetSensei
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INetSensei,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/17/2012 | 8:14:23 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I sense a disturbance in the internet...
It's as if thousands of Windows 8 users are installing Firefox... And only using IE10 on sites that require it.
Beyond that, the space requirement in Win 8 is ridiculous. I tried the Beta, and my 150 GB hard drive was nearly full within a month. I even keep my media on an external drive, so it's all the OS.
Found the tablet mode totally useless on my laptop, reverted back to Win 7.
dleippe
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dleippe,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/17/2012 | 9:54:36 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I have been using PCs since the Apple II. When the Atari ST/TT machines were on the market the big innovation was the standardization of the explorer window menus for all different applications. Then Windows came along and excelled at supporting and tweaking the Explorer window ever so slightly over time.

When the ribbon interface came along, I dropped MS Office for Open Office/LibreOffice and haven't looked back. The Windows desktop, Start Button, and Start Menu have been the comfort zone for decades for Windows users of all skill levels.

Windows 7 is the best OS so far to come from MS. W2k was the second best.
The idea that MS is forcing Windows PC users to jump into a touch screen UI and find their way to the desktop that doesn't have a Start Button or Start Menu is ludicrous. If MS were a business, they would realize that currently 98% of the PCs are non touch screen machines and in order to sell Windows 8 they should give the users the choice of booting to the standard desktop complete with Start Button and Menu, or the Tiled Metro UI if they are curious or the 2% that have touch screens.

I am not an Apple fan, but I appreciate their keeping the desktop OS and the tablet OS separate.

To tell 98% of the PC users that you have to start with Metro and discover the Charms and Hot Corners to get anything done is perhaps related to the departure of Sinofsy from MS.
70% of MS profits come from business clients. That is the group that is most resistant to change because of the high training costs it imposes on IT departments.

I teach my basic PC classes on the promise to take some of the mysteries out of Microsoft some of the time. Now with Windows 8, I am going to change my classes to literature where the first required reading is The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

infliction
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infliction,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/18/2012 | 6:41:28 AM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I've personally spent the past two weeks on this OS and I have to say, I cannot wait to wake-up and just dump the HDD off this two week old laptop and put a combination of Win7 and Linux on this thing. I have wasted more then enough time on this not only horrible looking OS, but also non user friendly OS. I personally am certified in every version of the MS OS's but this is one I am going to skip right over. When someone purchases a new computer, they expect that after a few simple setup requirements that they are able to just go and run with it. However, Win8 simply does not allow that. As an expert in Windows, I am done using it and I certainly am not recommending it to any of my customers. I've already lost enough money over this OS with my customers. I've already ordered the product off my shelves as it has been an extreme embarrassment to my business and my customers. MS should seriously consider recalling all systems with Win8 on it immediately. This is mine and roughly 3100 of my customers opinion. You are free to think what you want.
Somedude8
50%
50%
Somedude8,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2012 | 4:20:42 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
"2. Ship Surface Pro, ASAP"
Couldn't agree more. I am starting a new job mid January, and need a tablet, or tablet type device for it. Had the Surface Pro been available now, I would have bought one. I ended up buying a Lenovo Yoga. I would have even waited a week or two if I knew the Surface Pro was going to be out on say, Jan 10.

In the brief time I spent so far playing with the Yoga, a hybrid Ultrabook/tablet, I have to say that Windows 8 is amazing for tablet use, quite good for touch laptop use, and just about the same as Windows 7 for conventional keyboard/mouse/laptop use.

The folks making all the noise about how bad Win8 is with the Metro interface, they do know that there is a traditional interface as well right?
Steve Naidamast
50%
50%
Steve Naidamast,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/29/2012 | 4:42:28 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
With the exception of the disparity between working with the Metro interface and the standard desktop, I found the pre-release of Windows 8 to be solid, stable, and rather quick even running
in a VM partition. However, I have to agree with the overall developer community that forcing the Metro interface on every user and hardware type was a very poor decision. As many have noted,
you cannot force people to change when there is no goo reason to do so and Metro on the desktop and laptops simply does not work well. For smart devices and tablets I find it to be superior to that of the Apple and Apple-like interfaces, which now present way too much eye-noise but that is only a personal preference.

No one has to save Windows 8. It just needs a minor tweak to the interface that will allow users to select their own style. And we professional developers practically to a person as well as other very serious users of computers still prefer the standard desktop with its multitasking benefits to that of the Metro single-task style interface. The original interface is simply far more efficient for serious work on machines. Metro may be great for consumers who are seemingly in love with the non-stop fluff that is being promoted as serious computing experiences as well as those where it is actually a superior model to work with such as running the bridge of a star-ship but overall the standard desktop is "Still the one!" and will be for quite a while to come...
dleippe
50%
50%
dleippe,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/29/2012 | 4:54:06 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
It is as simple as Apple pie, apple has iOS for touch screen devices and OS x for MACs...It seems to work really well for a company with some marketing saavy.
sbacerra456
50%
50%
sbacerra456,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/3/2013 | 7:06:08 PM
re: 5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
I just received a Lenovo IdeaPad laptop running Windows 8 as a gift over the holidays. My experience is this: the first day I was frustrated by two things, the inability to change the date and time in Metro and trying to use Metro without a touch screen.

The second day using it, my experience was very different. I actually realized that I enjoyed using the touchpad almost more than a touch screen. It seemed faster, more responsive, and more accurate than a touch screen (comparing it to my iPad II). I also discovered that I really enjoyed Metro once I got the hang of it. I found I could move very quickly and easily between screens, and I found myself enjoying it quite a lot.

There is no doubt that it requires a learning curve, much tougher for some than for others. (As one commenter pointed out, his kids had no problems rapidly figuring it out!) If you stick with it and use the help menus and shortcut keys, you should be fine. If that's too difficult for you, then stay with Windows 7, since there is really no point in using Windows 8 if you're only going to use the desktop.
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