Software // Operating Systems
Commentary
5/22/2013
04:32 PM
Mike Feibus
Mike Feibus
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong

Windows 8.1 should be coming out now. Here's why Microsoft can no longer afford to target the fall for new releases.

8 Things Microsoft Could Do To Save Windows 8
8 Things Microsoft Could Do To Save Windows 8
(click image for slideshow)
It is going to be very difficult for Microsoft to succeed with Windows 8.1, and that has little to do with whether the official build will include a Start button or boot-to-desktop option. Rather, it's because Microsoft picked a terrible time to release the upcoming follow-on to Windows 8.

When it comes to weaving the saga of Windows 8.1, the media has pretty well vetted three of the Five W's. Most of the analysis goes like this: Microsoft (Who) must improve on Windows 8 by doing X (What) to bring more computer users into the Modern UI era (Why). The other two W's, though, have been largely ignored. One of them, Where, isn't really relevant to the story. But it's curious that the question of When has barely been touched, because it's tremendously important to the prospects for Windows 8.1 success.

Microsoft hasn't come out and said when Windows 8.1, code-named Windows Blue, will be commercially available, although Digitimes reported last week that the official release will come in late October. Judging from the state of development activity, the timing sounds about right. This much is certain: Windows 8.1 will not be available in the next six weeks, as it needs to be to make it into the first batch of next-generation PCs.

[ When it does arrive, will Windows 8.1 increase acceptance of Microsoft's beleaguered OS? Read Windows 8: 5 Hopeful Signs. ]

Those cool new systems are being released in June and early July for a reason: to intercept the critical back-to-school selling season. An October launch for Windows 8.1 means that back-to-school PCs will be saddled with a lame-duck version of Windows. (I've written before about how important it is for the PC OEMs to update in lockstep their entire product: hardware, OS, and aesthetics. That means we'll see fewer PC sales than we would if PC makers were able to pair their latest hardware with the latest operating system.

In some ways, releasing a new version of Windows in October, which Microsoft has tried to do since Windows XP, makes sense. Microsoft has three primary channels for distributing Windows: Retail, for standalone copies; government, enterprise and other large buyers, which install Windows themselves onto the computers they buy; and the PC makers, which bundle Windows with new systems. October is ideal timing for selling retail copies to customers who want to install the latest onto their home PCs. And large customers don't much care which season Microsoft picks to release Windows, because they're not going to rush out and buy it anyway.

So it's only the PC OEMs that get stung by an October release date. And they still have time to regroup and address the holiday season, even if they risk losing back-to-school sales. They've even got a chance to recoup those delayed purchases.

When Microsoft was forced to push out the Windows Vista launch to early 2007, for example, the final period of 2006 ended up being the PC market's worst in the 22-quarter stretch from early 2003, when consumer notebook purchasing lifted PC shipments out of the post-Y2K slump, through the end of 2008, when the financial crash stalled sales. According to IDC, PC shipments grew just 8.3% in the fourth quarter of 2006, the only period during the stretch that didn't log double-digit growth. But sales bounced back the following period, jumping 15.3% over the first quarter of 2006. Of course, there weren't any tablets around to siphon off holiday spending in 2006. You couldn't even buy a Kindle for another year.

The landscape has changed, and there's far more at stake now. Today, consumers don't just sit and wait until PC vendors get their act together. They spend their holiday budget on other things. Tablets, mostly. And if they buy tablets, the loss to the PC business doesn't end with missed seasonal sales. That's because these consumers aren't the same PC users they were before they got the tablets. Their tastes have changed. And their usage patterns have changed. They do less on the PC than they once did.

Some of them won't come back to the PC. More commonly, though, consumers who opt for a tablet because the stable of available PCs doesn't compel them eventually will return to buy a PC. They'll take longer to do that than they otherwise would have. And they probably won't spend as much on it as they once would, because the PC isn't as essential to them as it once was.

That cuts to the core of the PC OEMs' business. But it's also a nick in Microsoft's bottom line, and one the company can't afford to ignore any longer.

An October release date for Windows 8.1 won't do as much damage as the Windows 8 release caused a year ago. For one thing, Windows 8.1 is a comparatively minor release, so Windows 8 won't feel quite as lame-ducky on back-to-school systems this year as Windows 7 did last summer. For another, there are fewer PC users who've never owned a tablet to alienate. Not after last summer.

It's been tempting for Microsoft to time new Windows releases for the holiday season, but the company is going to have to change its mindset -- and do it soon. Eventually, its planners will come to realize that consumers aren't going to upgrade a PC to the next OS if they didn't bother to buy a PC that came bundled with the last version.

And that, my friends, is the Why behind the When.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Terabyte Net
50%
50%
Terabyte Net,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2013 | 2:29:25 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
So let's see. Microsoft should just snap their fingers and release 8.1 when you deem it convenient? Last time I checked most people would rather have a stable, fast, and test version released not something that's not ready. The press, including pretty much everyone at Informationweek, continues to slam Microsoft and you're a big reason why people don't "like" Windows 8. They don't like 8 not because they've actually spent an hour using it, but because they've been told they don't like it. I've yet to deploy a Win8 box where with 10 minutes of introduction users, both young and old, haven't taken right to it. The press makes $ on visits and the public doesn't read feel-good articles, they read articles about blood and guts so that's what you guys give them. It's really a shame that the press has to dig so deep for low value articles like this - seriously, what did you expect to gain by your insight? - and can't focus on what's actual news. Informationweek needs a new set of writers IMHO.
LorinThwaits
50%
50%
LorinThwaits,
User Rank: Guru
5/23/2013 | 4:03:14 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Totally disagree. With as badly as MSFT has screwed the pooch on this one, there is not much time to make amends with consumers and OEMs alike. Never mind the corporations, who didn't even give Win8 the time of day in the first place!

They had better hope for a win with the Haswell wave of product, and to achieve that they need a hierarchical start MENU and not just their crackpot start screen. How embarrassing is it to have the majority of your users rely on third-party products just for base usability of your OS???
TubaOrNotTuba
50%
50%
TubaOrNotTuba,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/1/2013 | 4:16:38 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Really? You don't need any 3rd party apps to make Win7, Apple OS/X, Linux, etc... usable? Hmmm.... How do you create documents, browse the web (unless you use IE, Safari, Linux has no native browser), send an e-mail, etc...??? Come on people, an OS is useless unless without add-on programs whether they come from MS (Office, SQL, etc..) or from a 3rd party (OpenOffice, Firefox, Chrome, Classic Shell, etc...). People need to get over this claim, it doesn't hold water.
sjacks982
50%
50%
sjacks982,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/2/2013 | 1:57:37 AM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Did you like how Microsoft tried to ram Vista down our throats? Win8 is the same 6.x codebase, including the same bugs!
Tronist
50%
50%
Tronist,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2013 | 5:09:46 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Uh, yeah, only InformationWeek readers think W8 is crap.Guess what...most computer users don't read InformationWeek...it's a specialized trade mag!
So, you've taught people to surf the Web, read mail, listen to music, etc. by clicking on a tile. Other than entertaining themselves, is there anything of substance that you've taught them?
MFeibus
50%
50%
MFeibus,
User Rank: Strategist
5/23/2013 | 6:03:21 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
And yet here you are reading it ...

Seriously, if I gave you the impression that I thought Microsoft should rush to market whatever build they're on, then I didn't do a very good job explaining. Of course the release-to-market build has to be stable! Targeting midyear for releases means changing the production schedule, so when it's time to go to market you've got a build that's market-ready. If MS had had the foresight to sync the Win 8.1 release with the new stable of systems coming out, the final product would necessarily be less ambitious than it would be for an October release. Hopefully, they'd be able to include enough enhancements at least to make Win 8.x more accessible. Other features that didn't make the cut would just go into Win 8.2 next summer!
AustinIT
50%
50%
AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2013 | 7:20:23 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
What would really help is if MS would start a bi-annual update cycle and release them in July and January. Then, they can hit the back to school and the Christmas season. Those who don't get a new toy from Santa can get a January refresh to their last years model. Everyone goes home a winner.

In addition, once a year is not enough to deliver new features and fixes that users expect.
moarsauce123
50%
50%
moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
5/25/2013 | 11:49:07 AM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Agree! And I should read comments before posting my own...didn't want to plagiarize.
TubaOrNotTuba
50%
50%
TubaOrNotTuba,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/1/2013 | 4:11:32 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Wait, those who need back to school computers are going to buy no matter what. Christmas is optional buying season. That's the season they need to hit. That's why October is the target date.

As for bi-annual updates, clearly most here don't seem to realize just how many lines of code Windows has. There are lots of estimates out there for XP/2003 that range up to 50,000,000. Vista/7/8 almost certainly have more. Just as Apple doesn't release a new OS for their desktops every year, neither can Microsoft, it's just not possible to first code any changes then test. iOS is a toy OS as is Android. They're tiny code base makes changes easier, though Apple and Google have both proven how badly they can screw up by rushing things to market too soon (iOS 6.0 and Android 4.0 were both bug laden). Get over the desire for twice yearly full updates, they're not going to happen.
Michael Endler
50%
50%
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
5/23/2013 | 9:10:35 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Sure, the media has had influence on Windows 8's woes. But it's not
like journalists forced high-ranking executives from Microsoft's OEM
partners to publicly express their doubts. Journalists also didn't force
those same OEMs to establish prohibitive prices last winter.

To be clear: Windows 8
offers unique and legitimate benefits. It can do things none of its competitors can do. But to get some of those
benefits, you've had to shell out $1000 for a tablet with lousy battery
life. Is your contention that factors like high prices and trash-talking CEOs - never mind the UI itself - really haven't affected
Win8's path?

For what it's worth, Windows 8 articles of any sort
are usually met with divisive user comments-- even on websites that
cater to targeted professionals, as opposed to general consumers. If an
article criticizes the Start Screen, you can be sure a few people will
pop up to explain why the Modern UI is still better than the old Start
Menu. If an article details a successful Windows 8 deployment,
meanwhile, you can expect some commenters to describe, with great
passion and precision, why they don't like the new interface. Some of
this is fanboy trolling, but when I look at the most specific and
detailed complaints, I don't get the sense that they're coming from
people who've been swayed by the media; rather, I get the sense they're coming from people with hands-on hands-on experience. This dichotomy doesn't discount Win8's merits, but it suggests the OS's flaws are real too.
Palpatine
50%
50%
Palpatine,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/24/2013 | 6:42:36 AM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
The real w8 problem is that "It can do things none of its competitors can do." is not true in its crumbling stronghold, the desktop.

Desktop PC market is dying because here the "new way" offers a worse experience for most users than W7, so sales dropped a dramatic 25%.

Desktop users does not want to waste screen space.

Desktop users does not want to be schizophrenically switched to a mono task mono window mono focus world every time they start the PC, or need to launch a program, or click on a file associated wit a cr4ppy Metro app.

Desktop users does not want to be told their multi windows, free distribution software world is the past and the future is a single focus, dictatorial single Store distribution "you would better register" app centric world.

Desktop users does not want to pay hundreds of dollars more for a 30"touchscreen to work in the least ergonomic way ever conceived.

Desktop users perceives W8 as an huge step back in terms of usability and freedom.

W8 is definitely not offering a "It can do things none of its competitors can do." experience to the largest MS users market, and if MS thinks tablets did not changed the game and people will not flee from W8 PC platform in flocks (as they are already doing), they are deluding themselves, and are showing us they want to copy a wave they don't really understand.
As you correctly say, people are using PC less, that is the first and foremost MS problem: they are boosting non windows tablet usage alienating the bulk of PC users from their next generation system.
moarsauce123
50%
50%
moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
5/25/2013 | 11:51:18 AM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Can't state it any better. It is a big usability issue and especially Metro goes against all the UX guidelines Microsoft crafted the past decade. Yes, Microsoft is so arrogant that they ignore their own advice.
CopyingAppleIsDangerous
50%
50%
CopyingAppleIsDangerous,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/25/2013 | 5:58:34 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
What is remarkable is that, in trying to change the public's mind about Windows 8, people who attempt to excuse Microsoft and blame the media actually make things worse.

If an OEM attempts to sell a vehicle that has an interior that smells like horse manure, and instead of replacing the leather, they say that there is something wrong with our collective noses, or that we don't know how to buy air freshener, or that we will "get used to it", or that it is the media's fault for brain-washing us, after a while we start to become personally offended. Not smart. There is such a thing as customer good-will.

I wonder if Microsoft realizes that they are making matters worse by trying to convince us that we are the ignorant and stupid ones.
Terabyte Net
50%
50%
Terabyte Net,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/1/2013 | 2:13:13 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Michael, was Windows 8 a surprise to Dell, HP, Toshiba, Sony, etc...? NO. It was on the horizon for years. I recently bought a $600 Dell Latitude 10 running Win8 Pro that's 10x the tablet that my $600 iPad ever was. I can run Office 2013 and essentially any other app I want. Yes, it has a slow Atom CPU, but tablets are not extreme gaming systems. I also deliberately did not buy a keyboard to force myself out of the traditional keyboard/mouse world. For the past month I've used it exclusively for things I would have used my iPad for as well as for mundane tasks like e-mail and web browsing. I've also used it to edit Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and even a couple of PowerPoint presentations. I also remote to my desktop and have toyed with, though admittedly not very successfully, Sibelius 7 to edit a couple of music scores (that really requires a mouse for ultra fine dexterity).

Anyway, I've said this before, the press has more to do with adoption than anyone else. If you guys had taken the time to use Windows 8, customize it, and share what works with the public rather than just deriding it from day one people would be much happier. Take Vista for example, you guys jumped on board with the Apple commercials hook, line, and sinker and yet if you were running the right hardware Vista worked, and continues to work well, but positive press has been proven to not drive viewers. If it did CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc... would report on good things going on in the world instead of jumping from one negative story to the next day after day minute after minute.
moarsauce123
50%
50%
moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
5/25/2013 | 11:47:36 AM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Sales are down, usage share is dismal, the stats are worse than for Vista, the dozens of blog and forum posts rip Win8, and businesses buying Win8 licenses instantly replace it with Win7. Sure, the millions of Microsoft customers banded together to feed the media lies.
When you deploy Win8, can these users make an educated choice between Win8 and something else? Or is it that you push Win8 and that's it. In that case they surely 'take to it' because there isn't any other option. You should give them at least two systems, one with Win7 and one with Win8 and hand them a set of tasks to perform. Then let them add their own tasks that they need to accomplish. Time task completion and get obviously subjective feedback. Have them alternate which OS they use first and have the tasks be limited to apps that come with each OS, such as copying files, adding a mailbox account, personalizing the desktop, etc. They will succeed on either system, but it will take longer on Win8 because there are just more clicks and interactions for everything. Win8 is a productivity killer, even worse than the ribbon is.
sjacks982
50%
50%
sjacks982,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/2/2013 | 1:45:15 AM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
"Last time I checked most people would rather have a stable, fast, ...version released not something that's not ready." Isn't that why users want Windows 7 instead of Win8?
jonesk
50%
50%
jonesk,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/23/2013 | 2:07:03 AM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Most people don't like change. The biggest problem with Windows 8 is the UI change, which I believe is hindering wide spread adoption. An OS should be intuitive enough that anyone can start immediately using it without a 10 minute introduction. That is why the iPad is so popular - a 2 year old can figure out how to use it in a couple of minutes.
When I rolled out Office 2007 with the new ribbon interface, my users were ready to kill me, especially the person editing publications who did not have time to learn a new interface. Windows 8 has the same problem. It should have been built with the option to use the new interface or maintain the original Windows 7 interface.
DDURBIN1
50%
50%
DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
5/23/2013 | 5:28:16 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
I'd argue October releases don't make sense either but since it takes Microsoft three months to get a release to market we are stuck with this cycle July/Oct. There's not really enough time between October and December for the public to "get on board" with a revamped operating system. And in the case of Window 8, most took a pass. I did as I purchased two computers at the holidays but purchased online to get Windows 7 because only Windows 8 computers were found at retail stores.
proberts551
50%
50%
proberts551,
User Rank: Strategist
5/23/2013 | 6:49:45 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
This is a really great article that hits home on many truths about Windows 8 and 8.1. If Microsoft will only take a lesson from this and not try to completely change an operating system interface that is productive and familiar to the majority of its users.

It was a good idea to have a new UI interface for the new MS Tablets, but definitely a wrong move to shove this cumbersome UI on Seasoned Windows 7 and previous OS users. In fact, it was one of the most lame brain ideas ever conceived in the computer industry. You never force your clientele to do a GǣYou have no choiceGǥ because you will find out fast....they always do have a choice.
AustinIT
50%
50%
AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2013 | 7:25:21 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
The irony here (for you) is that you DO have a choice in which UI you want to work with. It seems to me that you don't actually use the product. Instead you just post your "thoughts" based on what you read or hear from someone else. Do a bit of critical thinking on your own for a change.
Palpatine
50%
50%
Palpatine,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/24/2013 | 6:50:20 AM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
It seems you do not know how w8 works.
You have not the choice to skip Metro UI.
You cannot uninstall it, live with its burden of bloat in terms of space and code with potential vulnerabilities: it is installed and you cannot get rid of it.

You cannot disable it.
You cannot start in desktop, for this you must use third party products that MS can in any moment snuff, as they already did for straight to desktop tricks enabled in the betas: MS do not provide you a choice and systematically snuffed the way to do so, and can continue snuff in updates the way you actually rely on.
You cannot avoid to jump to Metro world each time a Metro apps start, good luck in finding them and changing them to desktop apps.
You cannot access to controls MS decided to move to Metro, if you don't want to deal with Metro.

MS spent thousands developers/years work to NOT let you choice of skipping metro, and if you don't understand it you are deluding yourself, or working for MS marketing (which is quite similar nowadays).

EDIT: and don't forget to buy the new wonderful MS mices that integrates a button for getting you straight to Metro!
CopyingAppleIsDangerous
50%
50%
CopyingAppleIsDangerous,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/25/2013 | 5:35:59 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Not to mention that it is very offensive for Microsoft to keep saying...

"But you have a choice!"

...while 10's of millions of users are looking at theirs Windows 8 screen and asking themselves...

"Does Microsoft think that we are that stupid? I wish they would stop saying what is clearly not true."

It's insulting.
Terabyte Net
50%
50%
Terabyte Net,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/1/2013 | 4:50:54 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
The fact is Win8 users DO have a choice, you're just unwilling to make that choice. It's the same choice EU users have with IE, if they don't like what comes with Windows install Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc... It should not have been Microsoft's problem if users were too lazy or not keen enough to know how to change how they browsed the Internet, but MS was slammed for not allowing others to make $ on their OS (when was the last time a EU car maker was forced to use non-OEM filters, glass, seats, brakes, etc... in their vehicles?). Come on, if you don't like Metro change it. You DO have a choice.
AustinIT
50%
50%
AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/25/2013 | 5:41:43 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
@Palpatine, I appreciate your comments. However, I have been working in the computer industry since Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were young lads. I can assure you that I completely understand how the various Windows OSs work. If you are really honest about it, you would then agree that the Windows OS is an open platform that is "purpose built" for running third party apps. So, adding a free or very low cost app from a third party in order to bring back the Start button/menu is not straying too far off the path now is it? Just because MS has one implementation of the UI does not mean you are completely stuck with it forever. Certainly not worth foaming at the mouth over now is it?
In the Modern UI, you can always change the file association to the equivalent desktop app (if it exists) rather than using the Modern app. I'll give you an example. Take the Adobe PDF reader app. If you don't like the Modern version, simply set the .pdf file association to use the desktop version. The same is true for many apps. The modern UI is best used for touch, tablets, phones, and small form factors. The desktop for all other cases. Having a single OS that can do all of the above is imho a better solution than say Android that cannot do desktop and iOS vs. OS/X where the two are completely different from each other in code base and in UI.
At least with Windows, you have a tremendous amount of native and third party customization via software that you can do to "build" your own working environment. Like I said previously... you have choices. Many more choices than you have on other platforms.
CopyingAppleIsDangerous
50%
50%
CopyingAppleIsDangerous,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/25/2013 | 5:45:38 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
What you said is irrelevant, and shows the hypocrisy of Microsoft. Since you are an industry veteran who knows how a computer works, we know how easy it is to allow the user the choice to boot to desktop or Metro, ~done by Microsoft~.

Furthermore, we also know that, when hackers discovered in mid-2012 a way to boot to desktop via a registry hack, Microsoft deliberately went in and killed the hack.

Let's think about that. A registry hack. Microsoft actually deliberately went in and killed a registry hack, to herd everyone to Metro.

If that stunt is not an indication of Microsoft's motive to take away choice, I don't know what is.
Terabyte Net
50%
50%
Terabyte Net,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/1/2013 | 2:03:11 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
The ability to skip Metro is alive and well despite your claims. Every Start button replacement product, including my favorite Classic Shell, does this. So while MS may have changed the registry, you forget that it is THEIR product NOT your product, but they clearly allow it or Classic Shell wouldn't work.
Palpatine
50%
50%
Palpatine,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/27/2013 | 6:17:35 AM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Wow, I've rarely read a similar bunch of nonsense and propaganda. You miss the whole point of W8 and its related MS business strategy, but don't worry, they will not last long.

BTW, I'm not exactly a toddler, at least if you not consider S/38 and S/36 youngling toys, it buys nothing trumpeting you are in the business by a couple of century, I'll gladly trade my (and your) experience for half the tech and business talent of Mr Gates, Jobs, Brin, Page, or Zuckerberg.
Terabyte Net
50%
50%
Terabyte Net,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/1/2013 | 1:59:02 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
@Palpatine, really? Care to wager on some of your claims?

1) "You have not the choice to skip Metro UI." I skip Metro on every Win8 desktop I touch. It's called Classic Shell. So you ABSOLUTELY have a choice to skip Metro.

2) "You cannot disable it". While technically true, I NEVER see Metro on any Win8 desktop I see and Win8's shell uses less RAM than Win7's shell so you don't need to disable it.

3) "You cannot avoid to jump to Metro world each time a Metro apps start, good luck in finding them and changing them to desktop apps." What Metro app can't be changed to a desktop App? Acrobat opens PDFs for me. IE 10 or Chrome, depending on my mood, open websites for me, and not the Metro version of IE (I'm writing this in Chrome BTW). The only Metro apps I ever see are ones written for Metro like Weather, but then again you can't avoid the Weather Channel's GUI if you want to use the Weather Channel app!

4)"You cannot access to controls MS decided to move to Metro" Which controls would that be? The complaints have been the opposite. Many of the controls for Windows can only be accessed from the traditional Control Panel. Yes, some of the controls like connecting to a Wi-Fi network have the "modern" GUI, but who cares what the GUI looks like when you need to enter a PSK, just enter it and go on.

5)"new wonderful MS mices that integrates a button for getting you straight to Metro" Hmmm... I guess MS should make their mice for Apple and Linux fans huh? Come on, you're just grasping at straws here. If you don't like Microsoft's mice don't buy them. There are an endless array of options out there for mice.

In the end, if you don't like Metro there are ways to customize it. Just like you could write that latest business proposal in Notepad, you're much more likely to use an add-on product like Office or OpenOffice, adding something like Class Shell to skip Metro is NOT a stretch despite what some detractors would demand you believe.
elleno
50%
50%
elleno,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/26/2013 | 9:59:34 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Others have commented on your ignorance. I won't.

I'll simply point out the REAL IRONY is that you are commenting on W8 without having used it.

Pretty embarrassing for you.
Palpatine
50%
50%
Palpatine,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/2/2013 | 6:23:51 AM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
It was funny 12 months ago ballmerboy. Now each time Redomnd PR says "you have not used it" it means "MS is not relevant anymore". Have fun on TechNet... oh, sorry, ballmermonkey just killed it...
moarsauce123
50%
50%
moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
5/25/2013 | 11:39:30 AM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
What Microsoft should do is have major refreshes in spring and a major release in the fall every year. They should just continuously deliver what they got and not have folks wait three or four years for something new. That way Microsoft can try something for six months, get feedback, listen to feedback (yep, that will be a radically new concept for Microsoft!), and then fix or replace or drop features. Microsoft needs to be more agile and deliver what customers want. Customers do not want Metro, they do not want charms, and they do not want stuff to be renamend and rearranged for no reason.
Terabyte Net
50%
50%
Terabyte Net,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/1/2013 | 1:43:38 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Then you'll just complain when products don't work. Win8 is rock sold, stable. I've yet to have a a customer complain that a Win8 box crashed or BSOD'd. Why would you want to rush release schedules?

Customers want one thing above all else. Reliability. They will not tolerate anything less. What you're advocating will lead to instability and that's bad for everyone.
redwards077
50%
50%
redwards077,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/25/2013 | 1:11:28 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Excellent analysis on the timing of Microsoft's release schedule. What the article doesn't mention is the fact that Microsoft has never really cared about their hardware vendors. They make an operating system that's had the largest market share and they know vendors will put it on the machines they sell because there is no acceptable alternative. This is true even though versions of Linux have been around for years. Sure, they catch a niche market but they have never been a serious threat to Windows, even in the dark days of Vista. The only real threat to Windows has been Windows. Customers have chosen to keep XP rather than upgrade to Vista, and now to keep Windows 7 rather than move to Windows 8, but that changes when the support for the older OS runs out. Anyone who tells you that Microsoft cares about their hardware vendors needs to be reminded that those vendors found out Microsoft entered the tablet market with Surface at the same exact moment the general public did. That showed the vendors how little regrade Microsoft has for them.

Microsoft will only adjust their release schedule when it becomes advantageous for themselves. The reason for that may very well be to get more back-to-school sales for Surface.
bloy761
50%
50%
bloy761,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/28/2013 | 3:38:38 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Actually, for someone that has been a Unix/Linux fan most of his life I find that I really like my new desktop system with Windows 8. The system is up and running within 10 seconds of being powered on and I need only one click to get to the desktop. The OS is obviously designed for touch screen use which is the up and coming technology so no real complaint there. I have associates that have trouble transitioning from their tablet to their desktop and fingertip to mouse which can be kind of amusing to watch. The only real option that was needed was to skip the tile screen (for desktop users) and go straight to the desktop screen. However, with the time I save on booting the system the one click that is needed is still a substantial advantage over previous versions of Windows and actually beats Linux hands down. I'm curious to see what Win8.1 has to offer.
Terabyte Net
50%
50%
Terabyte Net,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/1/2013 | 1:17:09 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Install Classic Shell, open source & free, and you get to skip the Metro start screen.
Terabyte Net
50%
50%
Terabyte Net,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/1/2013 | 1:36:18 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Wait just a second. The OEMs and component manufacturers either are living in a cave or they know that MS releases products in October too. Make NO mistake, Intel, AMD, ARM, Dell, HP, etc... ALL are here today because of Microsoft. How is it all of the sudden Microsoft's fault that the OEMs decided to jump the gun? Microsoft has RTM'd products on a predictable schedule for over a decade. Why are you slamming them for sticking to their schedule? If they rushed 8.1 to keep up with new hardware you'd just as quickly slam them if something didn't work wright.

Let's see. Do vendors who make fuel pumps, air bag control systems, traction control systems, etc... release their wares to the public before Ford, GM, Toyota, BMW, etc... all come out with their latest models? While I get that this isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, my point is the hardware folks understand, or should understand, when MS is going to release the products that actually justify new hardware, so why are they releasing things months early?

Now, for all the Linux fans out there, and there seem to be many here despite the dismal % of actually installs in the real world, NO, Linux does not, has never, and will not in the foreseeable future drive hardware sales and no Linux is not an alternative for 99.999% of desktop users. No, Linux doesn't make Intel, AMD, ARM, HP, Dell, etc... any $. In fact, I would venture to say that every hardware vendor would just as soon see Linux go away so they didn't have to support the bazillion different flavors out there. Go ahead and flame away, but the truth hurts. Linux is not an alternative so don't push it as one.

In the end, Microsoft is doing what they've done for over a decade. Hardware vendors are biting the hand that feeds them and writers like Mr. Feibus don't seem to get it. They've blasted Windows 8 and yet I doubt many have actually used it for long enough to justify the lambasting they've done. I've championed it many times in these forums, but if you don't like Metro, I don't on desktops (it's acceptable on my 8 Pro tablet), just install Classic Shell (there are others but none like CS) and stop whining. 8.1 doesn't give you the Start button you're looking for and very few other 8.1 changes are actually make-or-break updates. 8.0 is just fine if you take 5 minutes to learn your way around. Is it perfect? Absolutely not, but then again someone has found a reason to complain about every product that every vendor has ever produced.

As they say, you can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but you can't please all of the people all of the time. The problem is it doesn't seem possible to please any of the reporters/writers just about any time and when the deride a product the brainwashed public just follow along. They killed Vista and yet with the right hardware Vista works just fine. Maybe they bit the hand that feeds them for too long because they didn't slam Win7 too much and yet there are plenty that I heard customers didn't like. Then comes 8 with a GUI that works if you spend 5 minutes to learn and tweak and it was just too much for the old writers used to Windows 95's GUI.

In the end, again, is Windows 8.0 perfect, no, does it work well, absolutely, IF, and that's a BIG IF, you have an open mind and spend the 5 minutes it takes to learn and configure it for daily use.

Let the flames begin...
Terabyte Net
50%
50%
Terabyte Net,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/1/2013 | 1:41:48 PM
re: Windows 8.1 Timing All Wrong
Oh, BTW, October just happens to be just in time for every vendor to prepare for the BIGGEST sales period of every year, when most resellers in every category from computers to clothing make 30-50% of their yearly profit, Christmas. Why would any vendor release a product at any other time of the year? Consumers spend BILLIONS of $ every year from November 15 through the end of December. 50% of profit in <2 months. Hmmmm... The only ones making $ on in July are grill makers and beer companies (and some back to school sales, but it's not like students can wait for computers if they're going to school so they're buying anyway).
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - July 22, 2014
Sophisticated attacks demand real-time risk management and continuous monitoring. Here's how federal agencies are meeting that challenge.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.