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5/8/2013
07:19 PM
Mike Feibus
Mike Feibus
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Windows 8 Users See Red: Is Microsoft Listening?

Microsoft's Windows 8 update, Windows Blue, must give PC users a more familiar way to work. Microsoft used to manage transitions better -- instead of opening the door for its rivals.

8 Things Microsoft Could Do To Save Windows 8
8 Things Microsoft Could Do To Save Windows 8
(click image for slideshow)
For more than a month now, the unrelenting flood of news, gossip and opinion surrounding Windows 8 has been focused on Windows Blue, the code name for the upcoming Windows 8 refresh, and what it can do to repair the ailing PC platform.

This week, finally, Microsoft formally acknowledged Windows Blue and confirmed that the Windows 8 follow-on, which comes closer to a service release than an all-new Windows version, will make its way to the market by year's end.

Bloggers already have spent weeks combing through the various leaked builds of the upcoming refresh and exposing new features, performance enhancements and UI improvements. Company representatives haven't yet confirmed any of those discoveries, saying only that Microsoft has been listening closely to customer feedback and will be giving a full-on demonstration at Microsoft's Build 2013 developer conference at the end of June.

[ What else can Microsoft do to mollify Windows users? Windows Blue: Restoring The Start Button Isn't Enough. ]

The tech press has been fixated on discerning just how closely Microsoft has been listening. Indeed, it has written so much lately with so little to go on from Microsoft that the coverage has taken on the tenor of an Access Hollywood report before a Kardashian wedding.

I'm making light, but in many ways the onslaught of articles is justifiable. Certainly, it underscores just how much is riding on Windows Blue. With all the hype and glitz surrounding smartphones and tablets, it's easy to lose sight of how critical a role the PC still plays in many of our lives. No, it's not the same role it played last year, or the year before. But for many of us -- certainly for most of us in IT -- a Windows PC is still a go-to device in our quiver of electronics tools. And because of the pace of change in the enterprise segment, Windows is guaranteed to play a central role for several more years at least.

In that sense, Microsoft isn't just gambling its own fortunes. It's messing with how many of us get things done every day.

That's why the anger over Windows 8 has been so palpable, and why fixing it has become so important. Forcing us to take longer, more circuitous routes to what we do every day feels like starting breakfast one morning only to find that your roommate has rearranged the kitchen. The more often you reach for a fork in what's become the towel drawer, the angrier you get.

If Microsoft is really listening to customers, then Windows Blue will give users a way to do things the way they're used to. Microsoft understood that wisdom back in the early days of Windows, when it used a two-step process to woo Lotus users over to Excel. For years, Microsoft gave diehard Lotus fans their old menus and keystroke combos. So those users came over to Excel. And eventually, those users got to know Excel and they dropped their demands for Lotus commands.

In the same way, Microsoft needs to let customers do things the way they've always done them if it's ever going to engineer a successful migration to its Modern UI. Apparently, though, that institutional knowledge has been lost at Microsoft. When the incumbent forces customers to change in ways they don't want to, as Microsoft has been doing, it opens the doors to competition. Of course, the Mac is always welcoming frustrated Windows users. Some Linux bundlers, successful in the server space, increasingly are setting their sights on the PC client. And now Google is readying an assault on Windows' turf with a new generation of Chromebooks due out in the second half of the year.

A larger desktop tile on the Start screen, as Windows Blue reportedly has, won't placate long-time Windows users. Microsoft will have to give folks who have no use for tiles a way to work the way they do now. If Microsoft doesn't do this, users will keep seeing red -- until, eventually, this issue won't be important to them any more.

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Faye Kane, homeless brain
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Faye Kane, homeless brain,
User Rank: Strategist
5/17/2013 | 6:46:52 AM
re: Windows 8 Users See Red: Is Microsoft Listening?
==--
Hey, right on!
Faye Kane, homeless brain
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Faye Kane, homeless brain,
User Rank: Strategist
5/17/2013 | 6:44:48 AM
re: Windows 8 Users See Red: Is Microsoft Listening?
==--
" Ignore it if it doesn't apply to you."

It doesn't apply to ANYBODY because it's B.S. That's the whole point, see?

The community has spoken: 8 sux dix. We told you that during the preview, but you didn't care. Now the chickens have come home to roost.

Deal with it, because denying it makes you look either ridiculous or stupid.
Faye Kane, homeless brain
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Faye Kane, homeless brain,
User Rank: Strategist
5/17/2013 | 6:37:19 AM
re: Windows 8 Users See Red: Is Microsoft Listening?
==--
"The fact that you can get to any of your old favorite apps and utilities via Search..."

But you shouldn't HAVE to, shill! Two clicks on the start menu structure is far, far easier. I don't want to have to remember the names of all my utilities; forget it!

"...is why Microsoft canned the Start button in the first place."

No it's not. It's because your boss, Ballmer, decided to force us to use a smartphone touch interface on our desktops because he thinks we will want the same interface when we buy a telephone or a tablet.

He thinks he can get away with it! In some meeting he said "The HELL with what the users want! They *have* to use Windows, so we can do what's good for our company instead of what's good for our customers".

He thinks there's a difference, see?

It's called corporate arrogance, and it's killed outfits bigger than Microsoft (like IBM with their microchannel bus).

Metro is his latest mistake in a stream of them he's made ever since he took over. Ballmer is a mismanagement mistake engine.

_______

I'm sure glad I don't have to do YOUR job! Telling lies would be hard for me, but in order to tell obvious, ridiculous ones about how swell Windows 8 is would require me to drink on the job.

Some of you shill commenters appear to do that.

--faye kane G÷« girl brain
Faye Kane, homeless brain
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Faye Kane, homeless brain,
User Rank: Strategist
5/17/2013 | 6:21:02 AM
re: Windows 8 Users See Red: Is Microsoft Listening?
==--
" I find my productivity has risen two to three fold."

Even when Microsoft's marketing shills try to tone down their obviously fake posts, you can still always tell it's them. They don't just say "8 works great for me"; they always have to tell how Wonderful! and Exciting! and Magical! it is.

The only thing THAT wonderful and exciting and magical is sex.

--faye kane G÷« girl brain
http://tinyurl.com/kanescave
Faye Kane, homeless brain
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Faye Kane, homeless brain,
User Rank: Strategist
5/13/2013 | 2:37:08 AM
re: Windows 8 Users See Red: Is Microsoft Listening?
==--
Aww, calm down! Those guys are PAID to tell everyone how great 8 is and that nobody complains about it. They're lying, marketing lowlifes in either Redmond or India.

Genuine positive comments about 8 will NEVER praise Microsoft for its "brilliant, amazing, forward-looking innovation of the future!" Real comments will just say "8 is okay" or "8 works for what I need to do", etc. And whenever you read someone insult people who don't like 8, that's a smoking gun. I;m talking about "you're afraid of change", "cling to the past", "fear of anything new", "you're an unprofessional and irresponsible IT manager", etc.

Note how few of those genuine positive comments there are. Virtually all the positive comments about 8 are paid for by unethical, ugly Microsoft.

-faye kane
Sexiest astrophysicist you'll ever see naked
JBURT000
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JBURT000,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/11/2013 | 4:43:43 PM
re: Windows 8 Users See Red: Is Microsoft Listening?
Efforts to revive the PC market are ongoing. Here is the video--

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...
Ramon S
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Ramon S,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/11/2013 | 12:48:27 PM
re: Windows 8 Users See Red: Is Microsoft Listening?
I disagree, I use Win8 on a regular basis alongside Win7 and XP. Win8 just stinks, Win7 is usable, and ironically XP has the best performance of them all. The dislike of Win8 is there in the real world, not just in blogs and articles. Win8 is just craptastic.
Chronicle
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Chronicle,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/11/2013 | 9:45:14 AM
re: Windows 8 Users See Red: Is Microsoft Listening?
About the time Windows 8 was released, I saw a joke cartoon showing a side-by-side comparison between the Metro interface and the GUI present on AOL - as it was in 1996. It was uncanny how the two images looked alike. And underneath the cartoon was the comment, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

I've been using a Windows 7 Home Premium system for about a year now. And the more I use it, the more I miss Windows XP Pro SP3.
graxspoo
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graxspoo,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/11/2013 | 4:14:05 AM
re: Windows 8 Users See Red: Is Microsoft Listening?
Windows 8 suffers from the same hubris that the Lion and Mountain Lion versions of OS X suffer from. They feature changes that reflect the strategic needs of the company, rather than the needs of users. No end-users to my knowledge have been asking for a desktop OS that works more like a smartphone. Apple at least had the taste to do it with some subtlety that can be mostly ignored. Microsoft could fix this issue without a complete backtrack fairly easily: make the PC boot straight into the desktop, and replace the old start menu with a miniature version of the "UI previously known as metro" in a largish bubble window. Imagine Apple's "Launch Pad" feature, but with the old start-menu's features added.
Anonomouser
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Anonomouser,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/11/2013 | 4:12:06 AM
re: Windows 8 Users See Red: Is Microsoft Listening?
Windows hit an optimization high point at XP. So when the M$oft designers started changing things just for the sake of change it had nowhere to go but downhill. So that's how we got Vista, Win7, and Win8 with all their usability issues. On the upside, it forced M$oft to keep XP alive for well over a decade since they couldn't produce a better alternative. We used XP as the foundation for a medical product and have been lucky because it was stable and available for so long. But M$oft won't let that happen again. They want to update Windows a minimum of once per year, and are headed towards a subscription model for all their products including, I assume, the Windows OS. That's the main reason we are done with Windows and are moving to Linux, and leaving behind the usability issues the new Windows software just makes that much easier to justify.
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