Early look at Windows 8 baffles consumers (Update)

Oct 19, 2012 by Peter Svensson
In this Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, file photo, the new Microsoft logo is seen above the entrance to a company store in Seattle. Microsoft Corp.'s net income fell 22 percent in the latest quarter as it deferred revenue from the sale of its upcoming Windows 8 operating system to PC makers, and as PC sales in general took a dive. The software company's net income was $4.47 billion, or 53 cents per share. That was down from $5.7 billion, or 68 cents per share, a year ago, and exceeded analyst estimates, which had been in the 50-52 cent range. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

The release of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system is a week away, and consumers are in for a shock. Windows, used in one form or another for a generation, is getting a completely different look that will force users to learn new ways to get things done.

Microsoft is making a radical break with the past to stay relevant in a world where smartphones and tablets have eroded the three-decade dominance of the personal computer. Windows 8 is supposed to tie together Microsoft's PC, tablet and phone software with one look. But judging by the reactions of some people who have tried the PC version, it's a move that risks confusing and alienating customers.

Tony Roos, an American missionary in Paris, installed a free preview version of Windows 8 on his aging laptop to see if Microsoft's new operating system would make the PC faster and more responsive. It didn't, he said, and he quickly learned that working with the new software requires tossing out a lot of what he knows about Windows.

"It was very difficult to get used to," he said. "I have an 8-year-old and a 10-year-old, and they never got used to it. They were like, 'We're just going to use Mom's computer.'"

Windows 8 is the biggest revision of Microsoft Corp.'s operating system since it introduced Windows 95 amid great fanfare 17 years ago. Ultimately, Windows grew into a $14 billion a year business and helped make former Chief Executive Bill Gates the richest man in the world for a time. Now, due to smartphones and tablets, the personal computer industry is slumping. Computer companies are desperate for something that will get sales growing again. PC sales are expected to shrink this year for the first time since 2001, according to IHS iSuppli, a market research firm.

The question is whether the new version, which can be run on tablets and smartphones, along with the traditional PC, can satisfy the needs of both types of users.

"I am very worried that Microsoft may be about to shoot itself in the foot spectacularly," said. Michael Mace, the CEO of Silicon Valley software startup Cera Technology and a former Apple employee. Windows 8 is so different, he said, that many Windows users who aren't technophiles will feel lost, he said.

Microsoft is releasing Windows 8 on Oct. 26, and it doesn't plan to cushion the impact. Computer companies will make Windows 8 standard on practically all PCs that are sold to consumers.

In this June 18, 2012, file photo, Microsoft Corp.'s new Surface tablet computer is displayed at Hollywood's Milk Studios in Los Angeles. Microsoft is making a radical break with the past to stay relevant in a world where smartphones and tablets have eroded the three-decade dominance of the personal computer. Windows 8, set to be released Oct. 26, 2012, is supposed to tie together Microsoft's PC, tablet and phone software with one look. But judging by the reactions of some people who have tried the PC version, it's a move that risks confusing and alienating customers. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Speaking to Wall Street analysts on Thursday, Microsoft's chief financial officer Peter Klein said he isn't very concerned that user confusion could slow the adoption of Windows 8. When Microsoft introduces new features, he said, people eventually realize that "those innovations have delivered way more value, way more productivity and way better usability." That's going to be true of Windows 8 too, he said.

Instead of the familiar Start menu and icons, Windows 8 displays applications as a colorful array of tiles, which can feature updated information from the applications. For instance, the "Photos" tile shows an image from the user's collection, and the "People" tile shows images from the user's social-media contacts. (Microsoft is licensed to use AP content in the Windows 8 news applications.)

The tiles are big and easy to hit with a finger—convenient for a touch screen. Applications fill the whole screen by default—convenient for a tablet screen, which is usually smaller than a PC's. The little buttons that surround Windows 7 applications, for functions like controlling the speaker volume, are hidden, giving a clean, uncluttered view. When you need those little buttons, you can bring them out, but users have to figure out on their own how to do it.

"In the quest for simplicity, they sacrificed obviousness," said Sebastiaan de With, an interface designer and the chief creative officer at app developer DoubleTwist in San Francisco.

Technology blogger Chris Pirillo posted a YouTube video of his father using a preview version of Windows 8 for the first time. As the elder Pirillo tours the operating system with no help from his son, he blunders into the old "Desktop" environment and can't figure out how to get back to the Start tiles. (Hint: Move the mouse cursor into the top right corner of the screen, then swipe down to the "Start" button that appears, and click it. On a touch screen, swipe a finger in from the right edge of the screen to reveal the Start button.) The four-minute video has been viewed more than 1.1 million times since it was posted in March.

In this Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, file photo, a new Microsoft Corp. logo, left, is seen on an exterior wall of a new Microsoft store inside the Prudential Center mall, in Boston. Microsoft is making a radical break with the past to stay relevant in a world where smartphones and tablets have eroded the three-decade dominance of the personal computer. Windows 8, set to be released Oct. 26, 2012, is supposed to tie together Microsoft's PC, tablet and phone software with one look. But judging by the reactions of some people who have tried the PC version, it's a move that risks confusing and alienating customers. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

"There are many things that are hidden," said Raluca Budiu, a user experience specialist with Nielsen Norman Group. "Once users discover them, they have to remember where they are. People will have to work hard and use this system on a regular basis."

Mace, the software CEO, has used every version of Windows since version 2.0, which came out in 1987. Each one, he said, built upon the previous one. Users didn't need to toss out their old ways of doing things when new software came along. Windows 8 ditches that tradition of continuity, he said.

"Most Windows users don't view their PCs as being broken to begin with. If you tell them 'Oh, here's a new version of Windows, and you have to relearn everything to use it,' how many normal users are going to want to do that?" he asked.

The familiar Windows Desktop is still available through one of the tiles, and most programs will open up in that environment. But since the Start button is gone, users will have to flip back and forth between the desktop and the tile screen.

There's additional potential for confusion because there's one version of Windows 8, called "Windows RT," that looks like the PC version but doesn't run regular Windows programs. It's intended for tablets and lightweight tablet-laptop hybrids.

Budiu believes the transition to Windows 8 will be most difficult for PC users, because Microsoft's design choices favor touch screens rather than mice and keyboards. Alex Wukovich, a Londoner who tried Windows 8 on a friend's laptop, agrees.

"On a desktop, it just felt really weird," he said. "It feels like it's a tablet operating system that Microsoft managed to twist and shoehorn onto a desktop."

Not everyone who has tried Windows 8 agrees with the critics.

In this Monday, June 18, 2012, file photo, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer comments on the Windows 8 operating system. The PC industry is in a slump, as consumers show more interest in tablet computers and smartphones. Officially, PC makers say they expect Windows 8, which launches Oct. 26, 2012, to get buyers to open their wallets, but industry watchers and analysts are skeptical. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Sheldon Skaggs, a Web developer in Charlotte, North Carolina, thought he was going to hate Windows 8, but he needed to do something to speed up his 5-year-old laptop. So he installed the new software.

"After a bit of a learning curve and playing around with it a bit more, you get used to it, surprisingly," he said.

The computer now boots up faster than it did with Windows Vista, he said.

Vista was Microsoft's most recent operating-system flop. It was seen as so clunky and buggy when released in 2007 that many PC users sat out the upgrade cycle and waited for Windows 7, which arrived two and a half years later. Companies and other institutions wait much longer than consumers to upgrade their software, and many will keep paying for Windows 7. Many companies are still using Windows XP, released in 2001.

Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Financial, is optimistic about Windows 8, pointing out that it's snappy and runs well on PCs with limited processing power, making it suited for compact, tablet-style machines. But he also notes that through Microsoft's history, roughly every other operating-system release has been a letdown.

Intel Corp. makes the processors that go into 80 percent of PCs, and has a strong interest in the success of Windows. CEO Paul Otellini said Tuesday that when the company has let consumers try Windows 8 on expensive "ultrabook" laptops with touch screens, "the feedback is universally positive." But he told analysts that he doesn't really know if people will embrace Windows 8 for mainstream PCs.

"We'll know a lot more about this 90 days from now," he said.

Explore further: Beyond GoPro: Skiers and snowboarders can measure everything with apps, hardware

4.2 /5 (11 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microsoft gives further peek at Windows 8

Aug 30, 2011

Microsoft on Tuesday provided another glimpse at changes coming with the next-generation of Windows software that powers most of the world's computers.

Microsoft to release Windows 8 on October 26

Jul 18, 2012

Microsoft on Wednesday announced that its next-generation operating system tailored for a world shifting from personal computers to smartphones and tablets will be available on October 26.

Windows 7 to make public debut May 5

May 01, 2009

Microsoft said Thursday that a nearly-final version of its next-generation Windows 7 operating system will be publicly released on May 5.

Recommended for you

Team infuses science into 'Minecraft' modification

18 hours ago

The 3-D world of the popular "Minecraft" video game just became more entertaining, perilous and educational, thanks to a comprehensive code modification kit, "Polycraft World," created by University of Texas at Dallas professors, ...

Microsoft's Garage becomes an incubator of consumer apps

20 hours ago

For five years now, The Garage has served as Microsoft's incubator for employees' passion projects, an internal community of engineers, designers, hardware tinkerers and others from all different parts of the company who ...

Students win challenge for real-time traffic app

21 hours ago

Three University of Texas at Arlington Computer Science and Engineering students have won a $10,000 prize in the NTx Apps Challenge for a smart traffic light network that adjusts traffic light schedules to ...

Blink, point, solve an equation: Introducing PhotoMath

Oct 22, 2014

"Ma, can I go now? My phone did my homework." PhotoMath, from the software development company MicroBlink, will make the student's phone do math homework. Just point the camera towards the mathematical expression, ...

User comments : 64

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

mmstick
3 / 5 (19) Oct 19, 2012
Why don't these people just install and try out Ubuntu 12.10 that just released yesterday? By far the best OS right now, even the most user-friendly. I switched all my relatives to Ubuntu a year ago and they love it, I don't have to worry about fixing Windows problems anymore since it works, and works well, don't have to worry about viruses either.
antonima
4.4 / 5 (17) Oct 19, 2012
just stick with windows 7 if you don't like the new one... i'm no computer expert but the operating system you use doesn't really make much of a difference for 95% of users.
Deathclock
3.3 / 5 (30) Oct 19, 2012
"Why don't these people just install and try out Ubuntu 12.10 "

Because normal people like to be able to use applications that they download from the net and hardware that they buy at the store without worrying about whether their non-standard free OS supports it...
ValeriaT
3.6 / 5 (20) Oct 19, 2012
Why these new features cannot be optional? Let the people decide which they want to do work with. MS just demonstrates the same arrogance toward users, like the Apple in this matter.
Deathclock
3.2 / 5 (18) Oct 19, 2012
Why these new features cannot be optional? Let the people decide which they want to do work with. MS just demonstrates the same arrogance toward users, like the Apple in this matter.


Agreed. I don't know why the new interface has to be mandatory, it wouldn't be much more work (but would result in a much larger OS) to include the windows 7 interface and allow the user to choose.

The troubling thing is that new OS releases almost always only focus on the interface... or at least that's all that's ever spoken about in the media. It is one of the least important components of the OS, but the most visible one by far.
christ_jan
3.2 / 5 (18) Oct 19, 2012
"Why don't these people just install and try out Ubuntu 12.10 "

Because normal people like to be able to use applications that they download from the net and hardware that they buy at the store without worrying about whether their non-standard free OS supports it...

Linux downloads software from the net way before windows did.
Also linux supports much more hardware than windows does.
Deathclock
3.2 / 5 (23) Oct 19, 2012
"Why don't these people just install and try out Ubuntu 12.10 "

Because normal people like to be able to use applications that they download from the net and hardware that they buy at the store without worrying about whether their non-standard free OS supports it...

Linux downloads software from the net way before windows did.
Also linux supports much more hardware than windows does.


I don't think you understood what I said... when I go to instertwebsiteaddresshere.com and download an exe file I know it will work on windows... can't say that on linux. 99% of application downloads on the internet are for windows OS.
dschlink
3.9 / 5 (19) Oct 19, 2012
"Why don't these people just install and try out Ubuntu 12.10 "

I've been in the IT field for 46 years and using UNIX/Xenix/HP-UX/Linux ect. for over 20 years and I still find it annoying the loops you have to go through to get an application installed and running. Linux developers have a very bad tendency to use the absolutely newest version of everything, libraries, graphics, other apps. To get one thing working can require 20 or 30 additional upgrades.

And, no, yum doesn't fix that.
axemaster
3.3 / 5 (14) Oct 19, 2012
Still waiting for Microsoft to release a version of windows that actually runs at a decent speed. And doesn't require defragging because of a horribly mutilated file system. And doesn't become incredibly slow after a year or two. And doesn't contain hordes of services and uselessly open threads sapping system resources...

Oh what's the use. Microsoft will never release a good operating system.
kochevnik
1.7 / 5 (18) Oct 19, 2012
Because normal people like to be able to use applications...
By "normal" you mean "lazy?" Fine if they want to waste hundreds for being too lazy to read a supported hardware list, which BTW is vast for Ubuntu. Moreover peripherals are much more accessible in UNIX shell, which is great for projects that are too intricate to work out of the box.
R2Bacca
3 / 5 (6) Oct 19, 2012
I don't think you understood what I said... when I go to instertwebsiteaddresshere.com and download an exe file I know it will work on windows... can't say that on linux. 99% of application downloads on the internet are for windows OS.


You can always run windows and most linux distributions side-by-side. For me, Linux is better for day-to-day use. It's light, it's snappy and (at least with Ubuntu) is very user friendly. I also like the volume and variety of applications available for Windows.
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (8) Oct 19, 2012
just stick with windows 7 if you don't like the new one...

Yes. I make a habit of skipping every second OS by Microsoft - and it's so far been a fortuitous road (skipped Windows95, WindowsNT, Windows Vista,... and I think I'm about to skip Windows 8)

I do like Linux (and every once in a while install a flavor), but for software development Visual Studio is still the sine qua non.
Sean_W
2.8 / 5 (17) Oct 19, 2012
Hey consumers, don't tense up. It'll hurt much worse. We're ramming it through whether you want it or not. Who can stop us? Bwahahahaha!

Seriously, this is never going to get better. MS is already working on the next big hoop we will have to pay to jump through. At a time when we have an aging population--many of whom are not all computer literate despite all the commercials showing how hip they are--and at a time when the third world is trying to catch up, we are suddenly told that an unfamiliar and non-intuitive operating system is going to be forced upon the world. Nice. BTW, PCs are not suitable for touch screens and neither are most video games. Is MS trying to kill off PC gaming to benefit it's consoles?

They keep saying that Linux is not "ready for primetime" but maybe primetime is ready for it. I'm sticking with Windows 7 until I need to upgrade and then I might just make the sacrifice on compatibility and go with Linux.
Deathclock
1.9 / 5 (13) Oct 19, 2012
Still waiting for Microsoft to release a version of windows that actually runs at a decent speed. And doesn't require defragging because of a horribly mutilated file system. And doesn't become incredibly slow after a year or two. And doesn't contain hordes of services and uselessly open threads sapping system resources...

Oh what's the use. Microsoft will never release a good operating system.


You're blaming the OS for your personal inability to maintain your PC... Windows 7, when properly configured, has a commit charge of under 60mb and it FLIES. I've never experienced this slowdown over time thing either, and I am 100% sure it is due to the differences between my usage habits and those of others.

"And doesn't contain hordes of services and uselessly open threads sapping system resources..."

Disable them if you don't need them...

I will grant you the point about the file system, however.
gwrede
2.1 / 5 (12) Oct 19, 2012
The interesting thing is, whatever I learned 30 years ago about Unix, is still applicable _as such_ on today's Linux computers! The same goes for everything I've learned since then. Of course, there's a whole lot of new things, like a GUI, security, etc., but I don't have to unlearn stuff!

Unices were always developed by the smartest guys around, with no pressure, while W was developed by flocks of uSerfs. And even worse, every line of code was written when the Boss said do this my way, and by Friday, or you're not on the Company Field day on Saturday. Unix is Done Right(tm) the first time.

With Windows, *especially* if you're an admin, you have to relearn most of the stuff every other release. Think of the wasted hours studying brick-size books, wading through M$ support pages, and crying on private support forums. And attending expensive classes.

The hordes are divided. There are producers, and then Consumers. The latter pay, the former get paid. Guess who *don't* use Windows.
baudrunner
1.5 / 5 (12) Oct 19, 2012
Windows is treading on dangerous territory with their new logo, which is too similar to the Google Chrome logo, which uses the same four colors in the same order when counted clockwise - red, green, yellow, blue. Even with Chrome's blue in the center and its logo being circular, there is fodder for considering a law suit.

And by the way, whatever happened to Microsoft's court ordered RISC based-styled downsized OS? Not that I don't like Windows 7, but who said that Microsoft has to employ every new instruction added to Intel's CPU's into the operating system for basic home computing? That's just bad business sense. Microsoft could have any number of OS's available for specialty applications in the workstation world. Instead it's providing everything to everybody with every new release for generic computing. Doesn't make sense.
gwrede
2.2 / 5 (13) Oct 19, 2012
Deathclock,
You're blaming the OS for your personal inability to maintain your PC... Windows 7
To some extent I agree. But then, Windows is (at least implicitly) touted as a maintenance free OS (as in For Regular People). So, if you have to exceed the workload of a Unix server guru just to maintain decent horse power, then why not switch to a real operating system.
Osiris1
2.7 / 5 (14) Oct 19, 2012
Golden Opportunity for linux to take windows down and break them for good.
VendicarD
5 / 5 (8) Oct 19, 2012
It is because you are the cattle, and Corporations are the rancher.

"Agreed. I don't know why the new interface has to be mandatory" - Deathclock
Deathclock
1.8 / 5 (10) Oct 19, 2012
Deathclock,
You're blaming the OS for your personal inability to maintain your PC... Windows 7
To some extent I agree. But then, Windows is (at least implicitly) touted as a maintenance free OS (as in For Regular People). So, if you have to exceed the workload of a Unix server guru just to maintain decent horse power, then why not switch to a real operating system.


Yeah, but it's more an issue of setting it up properly once and then having sensible usage habits rather than an issue of constant maintenance.
VendicarD
3.8 / 5 (12) Oct 19, 2012
"Golden Opportunity for linux .." - osiris

It is. But since Linux is even more user hostile, it will probably fail - as it has always done.

Linux is the never ready for prime time OS.

Deathclock
2.2 / 5 (13) Oct 19, 2012
"Golden Opportunity for linux .." - osiris

It is. But since Linux is even more user hostile, it will probably fail - as it has always done.

Linux is the never ready for prime time OS.


I like Linux, but I agree with you, because I am not an "average" person and "average" people do not want to deal with Linux's bullshit anymore than they want to deal with windows 8's new bullshit.
gwrede
1.4 / 5 (11) Oct 19, 2012
who said that Microsoft has to employ every new instruction added to Intel's CPU's into the operating system for basic home computing?
I don't know if you've noticed, but M$ and Intel are increasingly feeling like Hansel and Gretel, in the increasingly Grimmian Forest. They depend on each other, and even feel that they only can trust each other.

Intel was always scared of AMD (more than they'd ever publicly admit!), and u$ has always been scared of Linux. (And boy, with good reason!) And things are getting worse, by the day. Soon we will have more tablets than PCs around, and (almost) none of them run Intel processors, and definitely, u$ is not the first choice when a vendor wants an OS.

Marrying the Intel instruction set's even smallest intricacies with W, are targeted at AMD. I woudln't be surprised if Intel paid u$ for it, like u$ pays Nokia for choosing Windows. (Google "microsoft pays nokia".)
gwrede
1.6 / 5 (12) Oct 19, 2012
Yeah, but it's more an issue of setting it up properly once and then having sensible usage habits rather than an issue of constant maintenance.
Err, actually not. For example, on this computer, I'm running Ubuntu 11.10 oneiric. I installed it about a year ago (on a 5-year old Fujitsu mid-range light laptop, bought second-hand from a brick-and-mortar store), and I never "tweaked" anything. Straight out of the CD-ROM that I downloaded from their site.

Things I've never done on this one:

- "Set it up" in any way, whatsoever!
- Tweaked _any_ admin settings!
- Did anything that is related to Viruses, or the like.

I don't even have to adhere to Sensible Usage Habits, because I use Firefox and a secure OS. Were I to go to a Bad Site, FF would warn me, because somebody else was there already! All I need, is to have a decent password for me and root.

Now, I've been at the keyboard since the 1960's. And that gives me the confidence to not Try to Appear Cool by unnecessary tweaking.
PosterusNeticus
5 / 5 (10) Oct 19, 2012
The single biggest problem with Windows 8 is not the look & feel of the new Start screen/menu. It's the fact that even the desktop version manages application windows as if it were a phone or tablet OS. Software for the new API can run in full screen or it can run "snapped" over to one side. But you cannot have an arbitrary number of windows arranged however you like. Basically they took the windows out of Windows, which is the stupidest thing they've done in a long, long time. That is what people will hate most.

Adding insult to injury, they've already started referring to all "regular" Windows software, which can still run outside of the little mobile-like sandbox, as "legacy". That's a word that automatically comes with negative connotations. Yet many software products will simply not be able to function in the new environment, thus they will be branded "legacy". People need to be fired at MS.

kaasinees
1.6 / 5 (13) Oct 19, 2012
You're blaming the OS for your personal inability to maintain your PC

Isnt that the argument you use against linux? average joe cant use linux? Hypocrite.

... Windows 7, when properly configured, has a commit charge of under 60mb and it FLIES.


Linux... a couple of MBs, your arguments are invalid.

Because normal people like to be able to use applications that they download from the net

Most software doesnt work anymore on windows 7 let alone windows 8

can't say that on linux. 99% of application downloads on the internet are for windows OS.

Linux runs more windows applications than windows does. WINE does a better job than windows xp "emulation" on the newer releases.

Ahhh gotta love the nonsense death puts out.

Bottom line is consumers needs tech support, period. And what do tech people rather use linux or windows?
A2G
1.9 / 5 (11) Oct 19, 2012
I agree that MS is screwing up on this one. But for the other OS gurus, I have a question. I run some programs which I am wondering will truly run on anything properly and not in emulation mode.

1. Autodesk Inventor 2012? Been using for years and won't switch.
2. Powerdirector 11? The best inexpensive NLE out there.
3. Are there drivers for my 3d Systems rapid prototyping machine?
4. Coreldraw x4. Not willing to change as I know this inside out.

So there is the problem I see with alt OS systems. I have work to do and I don't have time to spend trying to get things to work.

For me Win7 runs like a champ with all these apps and no crashes.

If you are a computer guru then maybe you like to do the extra work to make it all happen, but for those of us who are not interested in all that extra work, what are we to do?

MS really has done a good job in capturing the market. Not saying that I love it all, but Win 7 runs all my apps without me having to spend extra time searching for drivers
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (8) Oct 19, 2012
Software for the new API can run in full screen or it can run "snapped" over to one side.
This is feature, which is trivial to disable. If you're unable to google a solution of such problems of Windows, then you shouldn't even think about Linux and similar open source alternatives, the effective using of which depends on the agility of their users even way more. But the latest versions of Windows have many other features, which aren't so easy to disable at all, like the support of themes.
ValeriaT
1.8 / 5 (10) Oct 19, 2012
Linux runs more windows applications than windows does. WINE does a better job than windows xp "emulation" on the newer releases.
I seriously doubt it, because WINE doesn't support even new versions of MS Internet Explorer (6 and higher) - which eliminates most of web applications requiring this browser (typical for corporate intranets), not to say about DirectX-accelerated programs (9 and higher), which automatically eliminates most of recent Windows games. Do you use the WINE at all?
VendicarD
5 / 5 (2) Oct 19, 2012
Basically they took the windows out of Windows, which is the stupidest thing they've done in a long, long time.

Windows 8 is Ball Boy Ballmer's baby.

He is the genius behind Microsoft's rapid decline.

Here is monkey-boy in action...

http://www.youtub...-6VIJZRE

http://www.youtub...amp;NR=1

"Come on for me"

Filth.
Etreum
2 / 5 (8) Oct 19, 2012
People, don't forget, Ubuntu is free...
SuicideSamurai
2.9 / 5 (8) Oct 19, 2012
Totally agree with the person promoting Ubuntu. Its free, its easy to use. Sure its not that simple to set up: Generally people don't even quite understand OS install processes. But once set up and if all you do is go online, its literally perfect. Most of the people I know who are computer illiterate all have tons of malware on their computers just from going to gaming sites and the like. Also windows tends to slow with age and lack of maintenance. The malware and the inability for many to perform computer maintenance is what kills the windows experience. On Ubuntu if a program is running fine and you leave it alone, it will do so for a very very very long time. As for advanced users, Ubuntu does miss out on some things (photoshop) but there are workarounds and Wine. I LOVED building stuff, and finding that little extra oomph in a program.
VendicarD
5 / 5 (3) Oct 20, 2012
The last time I installed Ubuntu, it pestered me for a week to update. When I updated it kacked all over itself and refused to boot.

At that point it was uninstalled.

It is becoming more usable as it becomes more windows like.

But now that it has a tablet interface like W8, it has no future.
jimbo92107
3.2 / 5 (6) Oct 20, 2012
Has Microslop finally made an OS so dorky that it makes Linux look good?
JoeBlue
1 / 5 (11) Oct 20, 2012
Love how the article fails to mention that you can disable that touch front end and the OS looks exactly like Win7.
JoeBlue
1.3 / 5 (13) Oct 20, 2012
People, don't forget, Ubuntu is free...


This is simply not true. It's free until you have to fix something that doesn't work as it should, or if you want to install something that is not prepackaged with it. This whole idea that I should already understand and know how Linux works and how PC's work is simply ridiculous. It's the same as me pointing out to you guys that my time is not "FREE" and that having to spend it fixing Ubuntu is a waste of it.

See, you guy's do *nix, I do Economics. You fix it well enough that I'm not pulling hairs out of my asshole to get LaTeX to work properly, then I can write an Econ book in plain English for you.
Pkunk_
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 20, 2012
"Why don't these people just install and try out Ubuntu 12.10 "

Because normal people like to be able to use applications that they download from the net and hardware that they buy at the store without worrying about whether their non-standard free OS supports it...

Actually the problem with ubuntu and all linux distro's is they work well only with standards compliant hardware and software. With Winderz, hardware makers are free to make proprietery non-standards compliant binary drivers and software which will only work well in Winderz.
I frequently face problems with non-standards printers and scannes in Ubuntu where the manufacturer releases only binary drivers for Winderz. Search around a bit and you can get open-source drivers which work just fine. The mentality of "Insert CD" to install "standards compliant" drivers will probably take a generation to go away.
VendicarD
not rated yet Oct 20, 2012
Apparently you can't do that. At least according to the people I know who are running it.

"Love how the article fails to mention that you can disable that touch front end and the OS looks exactly like Win7." - JoeBlue
JoeBlue
1.8 / 5 (12) Oct 20, 2012
Apparently you can't do that. At least according to the people I know who are running it.

"Love how the article fails to mention that you can disable that touch front end and the OS looks exactly like Win7." - JoeBlue


This is simply not true. It's a simple script to disable, and MS has already stated that it will be a direct feature in the full release version.

The amount of *nix BS in this thread is ridiculous. I have worked on *nix since Slackware 3. Some of you have to get to the point of understanding that not everyone want's to learn *nix, and not everyone should have to. I agree with Steve Jobs that some stuff should just work, as in you turn it on, and it do exactly what you expect it to do every single time. Not a single person here can say that about *nix, without lying to themselves and everyone else. One lib update can break *nix, and the non-initiated would have no clue what to do about fixing it.
kkroy
4.2 / 5 (5) Oct 20, 2012
Microsoft is trying to copy all others at the same time & failing miserably. They tried to copy Mac OS with Vista. Now they are trying to copy Android.
Windows 8 is an OS for touch-enabled tablets, not a PC. What Microsoft has forgotten is that there is world outside the US & affluent countries. And people in these less privileged parts use a cheaply assembled pc with windows os. They can't buy a new tablet every year & pass their opinion on the latest software.
What Microsoft has forgotten is that there is a large number of elderly people all round who depend on good old Windows to have a look on the outer world. They will find it difficult to learn new tricks. They will also find it cumbersome to operate a dainty tablet.
What Microsoft has forgotten is that there is a very large number of people who does not have access to fast internet. The 'Cloud" is very distant to them. Still they use Windows.
Microsoft, in their insane zeal to copy, is alienating these people.
IronhorseA
1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 20, 2012
@gwrede

"Now, I've been at the keyboard since the 1960's."

Card puncher? ;P
kaasinees
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 20, 2012
I seriously doubt it, because WINE doesn't support even new versions of MS Internet Explorer (6 and higher) - which eliminates most of web applications requiring this browser (typical for corporate intranets), not to say about DirectX-accelerated programs (9 and higher), which automatically eliminates most of recent Windows games. Do you use the WINE at all?

I use WINE daily for high end games and new applications.I use WINE daily for high end games and new applications.
DirectX9 installs and runs fine here under WINE, sure there are a couple of bugs that can slow down games, file bug, write patch, fixed next release.

And yes a lot of older games and applications run perfectly under WINE, which do not run under windows7 let alone windows8.

But now that it has a tablet interface like W8, it has no future.


That is why i use Xubuntu, runs pretty good on my 3 year old netbook.
kaasinees
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 20, 2012
This is simply not true. It's free until you have to fix something that doesn't work as it should


More loads of nonsense, you are free to join the IRC channel on freenode or go to their forums or other linux forums/channels.
There are loads of people and places out there that give you free linux support.
Argiod
1.7 / 5 (12) Oct 20, 2012
Here we go again. Just as we're getting used to Win 7, they switch up on us. Now we have to learn all over again, where everything is, and what they're calling it this time. Every time they 'upgrade' Windows, they move every common routine and change the names. This is all a new money grab; with the cost of the new OS, the cost of updating all your old software (those that are willing to pay MS' license fee for the codes to make dll's to run apps), and new third-party utilities (that also have to pay license fees to MS)... Inevitably, most of our existing software will be rendered useless... again.
PosterusNeticus
1 / 5 (2) Oct 20, 2012
Software for the new API can run in full screen or it can run "snapped" over to one side.
This is feature, which is http://www.techul...re.aspx. If you're unable to google a solution of such problems of Windows, then you shouldn't even think about Linux and similar open source alternatives


You are mistaken. Disabling "snap" in no way changes the way the new window manager works, which is precisely as I described. The Windows Runtime / Metrow window behavior is built into the framework.

I have been a professional engineer for 13 years. You on the other hand are making things up based on something you read once on the internet and misunderstood.

Again, disabling "snap" does not in any way change the way that Win8 manages application windows, such as forced termination, the suspend/resume behavior; these are built in.
PosterusNeticus
1 / 5 (3) Oct 20, 2012
Metro, not Metrow.
VendicarD
not rated yet Oct 20, 2012
I've seen a script that runs after you get the tablet screen that then switches to the W8 conventional desktop that is missing the start bar, the task bar, etc, etc. etc...

"This is simply not true. It's a simple script to disable, and MS has already stated that it will be a direct feature in the full release version. " - foofie
jimbo92107
1 / 5 (5) Oct 21, 2012
"Why don't these people just install and try out Ubuntu 12.10 "

Because normal people like to be able to use applications that they download from the net and hardware that they buy at the store without worrying about whether their non-standard free OS supports it...


The desktop interface is evolving away the Windows model. Who wants to keep photos in folders nested 4 or 5 levels deep? Who cares if your word processor has a thousand obscure features? Who wants to wear out their index finger clicking or their thumb flicking a ball?

Ubuntu's current Windows-style interface isn't the future, but neither is Windows 8. People want simplicity, but not a leap backwards into the clueless, spelunking days of DOS, but with brighter colors. I wonder if designers will ever realize that the only thing in life that's intuitive is...falling down.
MrRubbs
1 / 5 (8) Oct 21, 2012
There is enough bloat in the windows OS, to have easily allowed the user to pick the user interface they like, satisfying everyone's needs, it could also feed back data via Microsoft customer experience program, to show which was favoured!
Do they realise how much time is wasted across the world getting used to a new user interface!
We waste enormous resources designing interfaces that don't infringe on someone else's intellectual property,What a Joke!
How many Billions of man hours are wasted trying to work out how to use a different App/Phone/PC?
We really need to work out how to work together as a global community!
Osiris1
1.5 / 5 (8) Oct 21, 2012
I can see a whole new lease on life for the hopes of linux to be the premiere desktop operating system.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (8) Oct 21, 2012
We really need to work out how to work together as a global community
This is essentially the idea of communism, just applied to the area of computer SW. It would work only in the world of perfectly altruistic people - at the moment when someone would attempt to cheat it with introduction of competitive behavior, whole this system would collapse. The evolution of patent law in the USA goes apparently against this trend, as it changed from first-to-invent (FTI) to first-to-file (FTF) paradigm, which diminishes creativity even more. In this case it's primarily the patent office and patent lawyers, who are willing to parasite on human altruism.
discouragedinMI
1.4 / 5 (10) Oct 21, 2012

Linux downloads software from the net way before windows did.
Also linux supports much more hardware than windows does.


So that is why the last time I upgraded by linux box it was so easy to get all the hardware to work. Umm, not really. It's free and if you know what you are doing its great but really only works for those that don't need Windows wide range of available programs. I use it for my science work. My home computer is for gaming so I need Windows to run every game I play. Most people live in a world that needs windows since few applications are written for windows, mac, and linux.
Foolish1
1 / 5 (1) Oct 21, 2012
With these major vendors it is all about ringing every last drop of value they can possibly get away with while making us think they are somehow delivering "the future".

Loud and unambiguous message from testers and early adopters was ignored for political reasons to save their smartphone and tablet markets. The simple fact of the matter is no developers are willing to waste their time on a platform with no users. This above all else has directed MS decision making.

Don't let anyone get away with time honored "change adverse" line..it is not a falsafiable statement and can be used to justify ANYTHING. Force them to enumerate specifically the additional value they are getting by upgrading.
derfolo
1 / 5 (1) Oct 21, 2012
Here's the problem with OSes in general (MS, Linux, iOS, etc): a sufficiently advanced OS would ideally be invisible to the user. This is why everyone has gone to the "app" model--people want the apps, and only tolerate the intervening OS.
extinct
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 21, 2012
Micro$oft : No. Linux : Yes.
Deathclock
1 / 5 (9) Oct 23, 2012
Yeah, but it's more an issue of setting it up properly once and then having sensible usage habits rather than an issue of constant maintenance.
Err, actually not. For example...


Sorry but you don't have a clue what I am talking about, and I don't feel like explaining it. I'm glad you've been using computers since the 60's or whatever you said... I'm a software engineer that has written everything from low level bootloaders for TI DSP's to proprietary user interfaces on the "big 3" OS's and everything in between. I am most recently focusing on Android development using the native SDK (trying to get it running on our custom hardware...)
Deathclock
1 / 5 (8) Oct 23, 2012
Isnt that the argument you use against linux? average joe cant use linux? Hypocrite.


There is a difference between using it and using it well...

Linux... a couple of MBs, your arguments are invalid.


Memory in my home PC: 8GB

Your argument is archaic and irrelevant.

Most software doesnt work anymore on windows 7 let alone windows 8


This is simply not true, and anyone that isn't delusional knows it.

Linux runs more windows applications than windows does. WINE does a better job than windows xp "emulation" on the newer releases.


Normal people don't want to fuck around with emulators, normal people don't know what the word "emulator" means... when was the last time you watched a normal person use a computer?
Deathclock
1 / 5 (9) Oct 23, 2012
People, don't forget, Ubuntu is free...


This is simply not true. It's free until you have to fix something that doesn't work as it should, or if you want to install something that is not prepackaged with it. This whole idea that I should already understand and know how Linux works and how PC's work is simply ridiculous. It's the same as me pointing out to you guys that my time is not "FREE" and that having to spend it fixing Ubuntu is a waste of it.

See, you guy's do *nix, I do Economics. You fix it well enough that I'm not pulling hairs out of my asshole to get LaTeX to work properly, then I can write an Econ book in plain English for you.


Well said, most rabbid Linux supporters are either in the tech industry or their time is literally free as they live in their parents basements and their support of linux is due primarily to their inability to acquire a commercial OS.
Deathclock
1 / 5 (9) Oct 23, 2012
What Microsoft has forgotten is that there is world outside the US & affluent countries. And people in these less privileged parts use a cheaply assembled pc with windows os. They can't buy a new tablet every year & pass their opinion on the latest software.
What Microsoft has forgotten is that there is a large number of elderly people all round who depend on good old Windows to have a look on the outer world. They will find it difficult to learn new tricks. They will also find it cumbersome to operate a dainty tablet.
What Microsoft has forgotten is that there is a very large number of people who does not have access to fast internet. The 'Cloud" is very distant to them. Still they use Windows.
Microsoft, in their insane zeal to copy, is alienating these people.


Yes, and these people are all but irrelevant to Microsoft's bottom line... Just because W8 is out doesn't mean XP won't work anymore on these poor SOB's computers, so I don't see your point.
Deathclock
1 / 5 (9) Oct 23, 2012
This is all a new money grab; with the cost of the new OS, the cost of updating all your old software (those that are willing to pay MS' license fee for the codes to make dll's to run apps), and new third-party utilities (that also have to pay license fees to MS)... Inevitably, most of our existing software will be rendered useless... again.


I write commercial applications for Windows using the Windows API, the DirectX libraries, and .NET... I have never paid a dime to Microsoft for royalties or license fees. You don't know what you're talking about.
Pkunk_
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 23, 2012
@Deathclock said -
Yes, and these people are all but irrelevant to Microsoft's bottom line... Just because W8 is out doesn't mean XP won't work anymore on these poor SOB's computers, so I don't see your point.

The funny thing is - Those "poor SOB's" who will be 90% of Microsofts potential customers in the future , CANT buy WinXP from Microsoft since they have stopped selling WinderzXP ! So they either pirate XP or use another os like Lubuntu / Fedora etc.
Soon MS will stop selling Win7 and encourage everyone to "upgrade" to a touchscreen PC.
Well said, most rabbid Linux supporters are either in the tech industry or their time is literally free as they live in their parents basements and their support of linux is due primarily to their inability to acquire a commercial OS.

As they say,where the tech industry leads everyone follows.Already more devices/servers run on non-MS BSD(yes all macs run on BSD) or linux(all android devices) OS's than MS OS's by orders of magnitude.
Deathclock
1 / 5 (8) Oct 23, 2012
The funny thing is - Those "poor SOB's" who will be 90% of Microsofts potential customers in the future


Citation needed...

MS is one of the most profitable companies in the world... I tend to believe they know what they are doing more than you are giving them credit for. When you can post proof that you are a multi-billionaire entrepreneur I'll weigh your business insight on the same level as Microsoft's, deal?

Soon MS will stop selling Win7 and encourage everyone to "upgrade" to a touchscreen PC.


Nope, MS deprecates their old OS versions at regular intervals, 7 will be officially supported for a decade or longer, as was XP, as was 98, etc etc.

The difference between you and me, you spew forth propaganda and misinformation that you've pulled straight out of your ass... I tend to deal in verifiable facts.

Already more devices/servers run on non-MS


Yeah that's great, we are talking abut the desktop OS market though... not phones or servers.
Pkunk_
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 24, 2012
@Deathclock
MS is one of the most profitable companies in the world... I tend to believe they know what they are doing more than you are giving them credit for. When you can post proof that you are a multi-billionaire entrepreneur I'll weigh your business insight on the same level as Microsoft's, deal?

By the same logic why would anyone give two hoots about your MS butt-kissing opinion ?
The difference between you and me, you spew forth propaganda and misinformation that you've pulled straight out of your ass... I tend to deal in verifiable facts.

Everything I said before is based on facts, and the whole worlds doesn't revolve around Microsoft no matter how much fanboys like you insist. MS has already failed in the mobile, the tablet, the ultrabook and the desktop isn't too far behind.
Deathclock
1 / 5 (8) Oct 24, 2012
By the same logic why would anyone give two hoots about your MS butt-kissing opinion?


Because I agree with the opinion of one of the most profitable companies in the world regarding their business practices... logic is not your strong suit is it?

Everything I said before is based on facts


You said that soon windows 7 will not be supported, this is objectively false. You also said that 90% of people using windows XP will not upgrade to a new version of windows, this is also objectively false... that's just from memory, I'm not going back through all of your stupid nonsense to point out everything you've said that is wrong.

MS has already failed in the mobile, the tablet, the ultrabook


Big surprise, Microsoft makes a desktop OS...

and the desktop isn't too far behind.


You're delusional, Linux is not gaining any ground and hasn't in a long time.