re: Windows 8: Microsoft's Progress Debated
Many comment on the difficulty or worthlessness of the new Windows 8 GUI. These are most likely the same people that would have cried foul when Microsoft introduced Windows 95 which was a vast improvement over Windows 3.1. Windows XP further updated the GUI, but the majority of changes were elsewhere, as with Windows 7. Microsoft has advanced the OS each time both in terms of GUI as well as underlying ability and security. Each time users have had to learn something new. And with each there have been annoyances, both minor and major, depending on any particular users tastes.
Further, most people making comments base their views on their own preferences. While this is natural it doesn't necessarily prove anything, other than the poster believes something or doesn't. This is especially obvious when facts are either misrepresented or simply blatantly wrong. For example, KitechSang's point of MS killing the PC is based on inexpensive upgrades which Microsoft ended on January 31. Low price upgrades for several months is hardly worth saying that Microsoft is killing the PC industry. Microsoft is in fact doing everything they can think of to keep the PC industry alive, not that it's really going anywhere any time soon. It's not even in decline, per se, as the article mentions the "floundering PC industry". It's GROWTH is in decline, but that's not the same thing. Yes, global sales are a small percentage less than the previous year (3-6% depending on the source) which does point out a fundamental shift in the end use of devices. But it doesn't require overly dramatic descriptions to convey this.
Personally I really like Windows 8 as well as Windows Phone 8. I've used Windows Phone since it first came out in 2010. I now have my desktop and two laptops running Windows 8. The uselessness of the touch screen is highly debatable. I have a Logitech T650 touchpad for my desktop, which I find I rarely even need to use. Keyboard and trackball more than suffice, even when dealing in the interface formerly officially known as Metro but which will probably keep that moniker due to media usage. The Metro UI can very effectively replace the start screen, and it's actually faster to find and run apps if you're not afraid of using the keyboard. If you have a touch screen then with a little learning that is also really easy to use. I can only wonder if those that complain just don't take the time to learn or simply don't wish to.
Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.I truly like the Windows "ecosystem", which I believe is hardly an "Apple-like" ecosystem. And while this article does make some valid points, overall I believe it takes the short term progress instead of looking at the long term, which is undoubtedly what Microsoft is doing. I'm sure Microsoft would be totally ecstatic if all sales of Windows 8 and Windows 8 devices blew past everyone's expectations. But simply put, that's not necessary. Microsoft is creating an environment that simply doesn't exist anywhere else. Time will tell if they're right, but I think they're headed in the right direction.