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Windows 8: Make-or-break moment for Microsoft CEO
Boston Globe ^ | 10/25/2012 | MICHAEL LIEDTKE

Posted on 10/25/2012 8:58:59 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer can’t afford to be wrong about Windows 8.

On Thursday in New York, Microsoft will unveil a dramatic overhaul of its ubiquitous Windows operating system. If it flops, the failure will reinforce perceptions that Microsoft is falling behind competitors such as Apple, Google and Amazon as its stranglehold on personal computers becomes less relevant in an era of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.

If Ballmer is right, Windows 8 will prove that the world’s largest software maker still has the technological chops and marketing muscle to shape the future of computing.

‘‘This is going to be his defining moment,’’ said technology industry analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy. Ballmer’s ‘‘legacy will be looked at as what he did or didn’t do with Windows 8. If Windows 8 is not a success, a lot of people will be looking for Microsoft to make a change at the CEO level.’’

Windows 8 is designed to run on PCs and tablet computers, heralding the biggest change to the industry’s dominant operating system in at least 17 years. It also marks the first time that Microsoft has made touch-screen control the top priority, though the system can still be switched into the familiar desktop mode that allows for control by keyboard and mouse.

Ballmer sees Windows 8 as the catalyst for a new era at Microsoft. He wants the operating system to ensure the company plays an integral role on all the important screens in people’s lives — PCs, smartphones, tablets and televisions.

‘‘We are trying to re-imagine the world from the ground up with Windows 8,’’ Ballmer told The Seattle Times. He declined to be interviewed for this story.

(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet; Society
KEYWORDS: microsoft; steveballmer; windows8


Early reaction has been mixed. Some reviewers like the way the system greets users with a mosaic of tiles displaying applications instead of relying on the desktop icons that served as the welcome mat for years. Critics say it’s a confusing jumble that will frustrate users accustomed to the older versions, particularly when they switch to desktop mode and don’t see the familiar ‘‘start’’ button and menu.
1 posted on 10/25/2012 8:58:59 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
Someone had a thread the other day where they posted a video of a 3 year old boy navigating around no problem. My son has had the beta version on his laptop for a few months. I played around on it and had most of it figured out in 10-15 minutes, and I'm not an IT software guru. I also read that pre-sales are through the roof. People will finally get a productivity tool in a tablet. The problem they will have is limited apps and finding people willing to develop those apps rapidly enough that Surface won't become irrelevant in a short period of time.
2 posted on 10/25/2012 9:08:04 AM PDT by castowell (I am Andrew Breitbart!)
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To: SeekAndFind

The business world has not even adopted windows 7 in most places. I do a lot of work for medical insurance companies and hospitals. Almost all of them are still running windows XP.

If anything this might push them to windows 7 but I highly doubt the business world will be in a huge hurry to adopt windows 8.


3 posted on 10/25/2012 9:14:05 AM PDT by cableguymn (The founding fathers would be shooting by now..)
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To: SeekAndFind

Every time there’s an operating system change, there’ s a bunch of cranky geeks who swear they’ll never upgrade. And for a lot of folks, there’s no need to. “I can do all I need to do in DOS and Wordstar.” Fine. Shut up and enjoy it.


4 posted on 10/25/2012 9:21:24 AM PDT by Leroy S. Mort
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To: cableguymn

I’m not sure that quick adoption is the expectation. We’ve been looking at the Beta for a while and it is pretty much aimed at the coming of touch technology both in tablets as well as laptops and desktops. In that respect this might be what encourages users to begin the move toward touch screen technologies. Win 7 will be around for a while. I still use XP pro on at least one desktop.

The release tomorrow of Win 8 unfortunately does not include the Surface tablet with Win 8. That will be coming after the first of the year. The Friday release will be Surface RT for ARM processors and there is not any Win 7 to RT compatibility. It will have some of the same appeal as the iPad has and appears to do some things better. When the Surface with Win 8 Pro comes out there might be a pretty good uptick in sales and interest as buyers see what it will do.


5 posted on 10/25/2012 9:22:17 AM PDT by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: Leroy S. Mort

DOS and Wordstar, way to live on technical edge. Real geeks use CP/M or Unix and use ed or VI!!

I liked Wordstar until I used Word. Wordperfect had to be one of the worst word processors around, anyone remember reveal codes and their macros?

I still go to the DOS session in Windows 7 and the various server versions. I was going through some old boxes and found a 1.44 version of DOS6.22 and DOS 5.0! Good times.


6 posted on 10/25/2012 9:32:22 AM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: Lx

Dos 5.0 - I believe that was the last MS operating system that came with a real, comprehensive manual.


7 posted on 10/25/2012 9:37:24 AM PDT by meyer (It's 1860 all over again - the taxpayer is the new "N" word)
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To: meyer

I was a beta tester for 5 and we all got great manuals. I think after DOS 5.0, they had a little pamphlet compared to the past as you used to get a DOS manual and a BASIC manual.


8 posted on 10/25/2012 9:41:11 AM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: SeekAndFind

From what I read, and see, Win8 is written for tablets and sux big time on a regular PC with a mouse. I am one of those “cranky” old pharts and never had a machine with:

Windows ME
Windows Vista

My current lap top has Windows 7 and I like it. My previous one had to be special ordered with Win XP but at least I got it before they started charging extra for it. I’m going to be in no hurry to try Win 8 and one of the reasons I bought this laptop now was so I could still get it with Windows 7.


9 posted on 10/25/2012 9:43:43 AM PDT by MtBaldy (If Obama is the answer, it must have been a really stupid question)
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To: SeekAndFind

You can have both. There are shell applications for Win8 that create a start menu and other features from 7.


10 posted on 10/25/2012 9:46:59 AM PDT by Thunder90 (Kick Obama out of the White House in 2012.)
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To: Leroy S. Mort
Listen. my PDP-11 with the 9x6 dot-matrix TTY is all the computer I need.

All of y'all with your fancy Intel 286 and 386 machines and 9x15" VGA monitors...... PSHAW!

11 posted on 10/25/2012 10:01:24 AM PDT by Lazamataz (The Pravda Press has gone from 'biased' straight on through to 'utterly bizarre'.)
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To: Lazamataz

Nothing beats bootstrapping in your own word processor in binary in the morning.


12 posted on 10/25/2012 10:19:58 AM PDT by DaxtonBrown (http://www.futurnamics.com/reid.php)
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To: SeekAndFind
Microsoft is taking a huge gamble on attempting to establish an 'ecosystem' that will span all devices. Unfortunately for desktop/laptop users, the GUI and overall zeitgeist is heavily weighed towards mobile computing, i.e.: phones and tablets. And most of that is geared towards media consumption, not business apps.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, that's going to become an issue very quickly, because productivity apps are still the mainstay of computing. So I would not be surprised if, in about two months from now, we see a Service Pack that brings the full desktop back for those who still need to work with a keyboard and mouse, and leave the Metro behind.

13 posted on 10/25/2012 10:20:59 AM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: Lazamataz
Hey, we need all the fancy hardware so we can watch Steve Ballmer jump around like a loon. $;-)
14 posted on 10/25/2012 10:23:09 AM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: Lx

Everyone agrees that WordPerfect for Windows was the best word processor ever made. It sounds like you only used the pre-mouse dos version.


15 posted on 10/25/2012 10:32:01 AM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: SeekAndFind

“Make” for the new crop of automatic transmission, latte when you want it, yelpy-googley-facebookey-livingsocialey, don’t care how it works, just want to hop-skotch through the coffee shop acces points slacker hipsters....

“Break” for anyone who has changed his own oil, owned a british sports car, built his own computer/bicycle wheel/cabinet/tree house, used a command prompt, installed a driver, installed a program, installed a linux distro....

The market will decide.


16 posted on 10/25/2012 10:55:03 AM PDT by petro45acp (The question isn't "are you better off?" it should be "is it really the government's job?")
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To: SeekAndFind

do not want.


17 posted on 10/25/2012 11:02:18 AM PDT by ExGeeEye (Wait a minute! Romney doesn't suck? I'm trying to keep up.)
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To: Joe Brower
an 'ecosystem' that will span all devices.

I think that's where we're heading. In fact, I suspect in five years that tablets, desktops and notebooks will be largely obsolete.

Or rather, all three categories of hardware will (sort of) still exist, but will be largely merely entry/display units for your personal computer, which will be your phone.

You always have it with you. It has the potential to be able to do all the data storage and manipulation of any of the other three devices, the only inherent advantage of which is the aforementioned data entry and display.

So in the future the desktop, notebook and tablet will just be "dumb" entry and display units that will connect wirelessly to your phone, which of course will back up seamlessly and continuously to the cloud.

Until, of course, somebody invents the virus that crashes the whole cloud.

An OS that allows one to switch seamlessly and conveniently from one device to another is of course essential. Nobody's going to want to learn three or four different operating systems.

18 posted on 10/25/2012 12:05:23 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: SeekAndFind

Looks like desktop icons to me... Just a bit bigger and organized.

Wouldn’t you rather have a nice screen picture?


19 posted on 10/25/2012 12:59:04 PM PDT by Pikachu_Dad (Impeach Sen Quinn)
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To: SeekAndFind

Looks like desktop icons to me... Just a bit bigger and organized.

Wouldn’t you rather have a nice screen picture?


20 posted on 10/25/2012 12:59:04 PM PDT by Pikachu_Dad (Impeach Sen Quinn)
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To: Sherman Logan
One big problem that no one seems to want to acknowledge is that such OS-ecosystems will be highly, if not completely, dependent on cloud services. How solid is a cloud again?

The assumption that a vast transmission architecture will be available everywhere with 100% uptime is, in my estimation, a laudable goal but an impossible dream. Far too dependent on other infrastructure (power, transmission lines, satellites) and too easily sabotaged. A huge set of vulnerabilities.

21 posted on 10/25/2012 1:54:43 PM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: Joe Brower

Quite right. But many people presently have a desktop, a notebook, a tablet and a phone. I suspect the number in this situation is growing.

The notion that they will want to continue indefinitely with this silliness, complete with constant manual syncing, is just ludicrous to me.

What does a tablet inherently provide, aside from size which just means data entry and display ease, over a phone? Nothing, as far as I can see.


22 posted on 10/25/2012 2:11:16 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: SeekAndFind

Have tried installing it 5 times on a 3 month old computer with touch screen, 8 mb memory, 1 terabyte drive. It gets to 58% installed and a “windows 8 installtion failed” message comes back with no explanation.

Seems the tech boards on the internet are full of these problems.

Released too early?


23 posted on 10/27/2012 3:39:23 PM PDT by illiac (If we don't change directions soon, we'll get where we're going)
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To: illiac
“windows 8 installtion failed”

I suspect the spellchecker program caused the crash!

24 posted on 10/27/2012 3:41:51 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: illiac

Is that really 8Mb of RAM?


25 posted on 10/27/2012 3:42:29 PM PDT by Reily (l)
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To: SeekAndFind

Windows 9 is supposed to be a killer. I’ll wait.


26 posted on 10/27/2012 3:48:10 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: Reily

Sorry....8 GB...thanks


27 posted on 10/27/2012 3:50:05 PM PDT by illiac (If we don't change directions soon, we'll get where we're going)
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To: Revolting cat!

I’m on my laptop and have fat fingers.....


28 posted on 10/27/2012 3:51:13 PM PDT by illiac (If we don't change directions soon, we'll get where we're going)
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