re: What Microsoft Windows 8 License Numbers Don't Say
As another aging consultant, I beg to disagree. Yes I remember punch card but had not actively used it, so may be you had, more power to you.
As for moving on, that punch card analogy is really a fallacy. Punch card to Windows 7 is not the same as Windows 7 to Windows 8. You claimed that there is not a problem for people to love it, but for the majority of the people who already are satisfied with Windows 7, why do you force them to either buy an upgrade licence, install it, or buy a new computer that comes with Windows 8, and then need to migrate everything else over (I don't care if you are fluent with MS MDT or whatever tools, I am talking about the majority of other people).
Hesitant to buy? Because they heard stories? People hear stories that cigarette smoking can kill you and they still keep buying it so stop that kind of blame game here. Why would you entice your clients to upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows 7? So you get more consultant fees right? If so, at least admit it. If not, then you are doing users a disservice, actually.
You know, you drive a MINI, and your wife drive a MINI. Do you upgrade your car every 2 years (that's because that's the approx time frame between Win 7 and Win 8), because I am sure in 2 years, any mass produced automobiles have some kind of improvements, and nobody would say the newest model is "terrible". But may be you do, so more power to you. But don't lecture the rest of us who can't do the same thing, because we can't afford it, or simply there is no need.
This is exactly the reason for Windows 8 not being needed. Unless you have a touch screen, which is the main reason why you would want the (no longer) Metro interface, to most people, there aren't enough difference (I give you the Classic Shell as a free point) to most people. The slightly higher efficiency because they threw out some stuff (like tons of drivers) is noticeable to only hobbyists, not to most people. But most people do not have a touch screen, nor they would need to. There is simply no advantage if they are running Office or most popular programs.
Another thing I don't understand is why you would compare Metro interface with Android and iOS, because the latter 2 are mobile platforms, not desktop platforms, while WIndows 8 is a desktop platform. You might want to argue Windows 8 RT is a mobile platform, but let's not go there (for another day). (and RT is not mentioned in this whole discussion here either).
You are making a big leap on your argument, in that "Windows 8 is not that hard to use, and not as bad as people claim" which I personally do not necessarily disagree (you might find this interesting but I am a fair person). But your next statement is a conclusion based on the former argument "thus you don't understand why people do not purchase the upgrade / new computer", and you can see, I have made a counter argument earlier. Just because something is rather good, or not bad, is not justified enough to upgrade.
Everyone has been burned in the past by the upgrade game, there is no easy and foolproof way. The best practice in IT, of course, encompassing planning, backing up everything (data, app config / data, system image, just in case), deployment (upgrade / fresh install / whatever you can use), restore data (static data, app config / data), system adjustment (some stuff might not migrate perfectly, you never know), system updates, etc. And when everything is done, another backup of new system (image / data) etc. As an IT consultant, you must understand this better than most other people, that there is a cost to upgrade, (money or labour or both). So it is not just the $15 to $150 cost on the licensing itself.
Sure you can argue as one should simply buy a brand new computer, but still the data migration plus new system config and adjustment still needs to be made. So if this is not a big difference, why would anyone bother to make the jump?
I have explained clearly why most people would not bother, and it is completely not because of what you said, that all these people have read articles such as Information Week (most people don't even know this), or on CNN, and then made a decision to save the money when they go visit the computer store next week. It is not like that, it is not like buying the latest coolest toy for Christmas. This is not something entirely new, and most people have computers already.
And nobody can deny that both Android and iOS tablets have eaten away the desktop and laptop market a whole lot. Especially in the consumer space, the people are simply satisfied with the touch interface and the overall experience on these affordable portable devices. So as long as they have a Windows 7 laptop or desktop to do the serious stuff, why bother to upgrade to Windows 8?
As a matter of fact, many people, and organizations are not even upgrading to Windows 7 from Windows XP, as XP runs well enough for most of them. Official support ends in a year (extended again), and still many orgs are sticking w/ it. I guess you would call all these IT departments and individuals users stupid or something.
Don't get me wrong, I buy lots of new stuff, but I also keep a lot of old stuff. They all have their places. But I would never push my clients to buy and use the latest and the greatest as they are not necessary the best (for them). I don't want to make that kind of money off them. I want to help them get the best bang for their bucks (not mine). That's why I have yet to advise one single client to buy into Windows 8 because none of them as such a need. (the only type I can see with that need is software developers who need to test their wares, or hobbyists who want the latest for their experiments, but both do not employ my services).
Sure 8 runs well. I don't deny it. But it is expected. It is just not compelling enough. May be if they do what OS X does, charges only $10. for the upgrade. And also make the effort seamless and effortless. May be that would be an incentive. And should also make the rollback as easy as one click.
History shows that Vista is a bloatware haven, even though it also runs well. Not every single version is that great, and even MS admitted to that (only you haven't). When the newer version comes out, they will admit their last wasn't that great (a big change of tone). But they are the manufacturer so I forgive them for saying some lies. But as an independent consultant, please don't say all these journalists are all doing everyone a disservice. Or may be the news about smoking causes cancer you also tell people it is a lie too.
I will wait for Windows "8.1" and see. No need to hurry at all.
(Disclaimer: My friend who works at MS has reserved a Win 8 Ultimate for me, and I am not even in a hurry to pick it up. I did test the beta and the RTM version briefly. To me it is no big deal.}