Skip to comments.Five reasons why Windows 8 has failed
Posted on 03/05/2013 8:24:48 AM PST by ShadowAce
Windows fans will whine, but Net Applications' desktop operating systems numbers don't lie. Windows 8's pathetic user adoption numbers can't even keep up with Vista's lousy numbers.
Windows 8 usage can't even keep up with Vista/s poor numbers. (Data from Net Applications)
The numbers speak for themselves. Vista, universally acknowledged as a failure, actually had significantly better adoption numbers than Windows 8. At similar points in their roll-outs, Vista had a desktop market share of 4.52% compared to Windows 8's share of 2.67%. Underlining just how poorly Windows 8's adoption has gone, Vista didn't even have the advantage of holiday season sales to boost its numbers. Tablets--and not Surface RT tablets--were what people bought last December, not Windows 8 PCs.
Windows 8, and its relatives Windows Phone 8 and RT, make no impression at all in the smartphone and tablet markets. (Credit: Net Applications)
Windows 8's failure is actually greater than it appears. The tablet and phone markets in 2007 were next to non-existent. Now, in a market where NPD expects tablets to out sell notebooks by year's end, neither Windows 8 nor its cousins Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 even appear on NetApplication's mobile and tablet reports for February 2013. How bad is that? Android 1.6, with is tiny 0.02% of the market, does make the list.
I predicted that Windows 8 would be dead on arrival last year, but it's flopping even more than I thought it would be. So, why has Windows 8 been such a failure? Here's my list:
I said it before, I'll say it again: Metro, or whatever you want to call it, may make an OK tablet interface, but it's ugly and useless on the desktop. It requires users to forget everything they ever learned about Windows and learn an entirely new way of doing things for no real reason. To quote a popularly held opinion, Metro is "awful."
True, you can use a more traditional Windows interface, but you know what would have been a lot better? If Microsoft had just kept the Windows 7 Aero interface for the desktop version of Windows 8 and give up this idea that the Metro touch-friendly interface is for every device.
Can you tell me one new thing that Windows 8 brought to the desktop that was truly innovative? Exciting? Engaging? I can't. Windows 8 is faster than Windows 7, but that's about it -- and that dual interface mess makes it slower for practical purposes.
I said all along programmers wouldn't like throwing out their hard-won .NET, Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) expertise to work natively on Windows 8. I was right. Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director of video game company Valve, said it best: "Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space." He then started moving his Steam game empire to Linux.
We saw this happen before with Vista and XP. Then, as now, the new operating system -- Vista -- was not better than the old operating system -- XP -- so very few people moved to it. We're seeing it again now.
In addition, in an economy that's still not moving forward quickly, who really wants to move from tried-and-true Windows 7 to new, expensive Windows 8 PCs? As Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu observed, the $500 to $1200 price tags slapped on Windows 8 hardware makes it "uncompetitive" in a world where people want iPads and Android tablets.
If you are going to buy a new computing device in 2013, chances are it's going to be an Apple iPad, an inexpensive Android tablet, or a Chromebook. The PC desktop isn't dead, but it's not very profitable either -- and Windows 8 isn't helping PC sales.
Microsoft has to know this. If Microsoft does indeed start selling, or rather renting, Microsoft Office for iPad, you'll know they've seen the light. Microsoft's future then will not lie in operating system and application sales, but in services.
And Windows 8? Like Vista before it, Microsoft will re-release an older version of Windows, Windows 7 this time instead of XP, and start talking about wonderful Windows Blue, the next version of Windows, will be.
Apple is going to start coming up against this as well.....The stuff they build now will be “good enough” for years....10 years ago, things changed so quickly and new value was indeed added with each upgrade....Now, not so much.
I can think of one reason: Steve Ballmer
Last night I saw a commercial where they actually had to explain how to use Win8. I knew then, it was over.
I don’t really have a dog in the fight, but I’ve been to a local mall twice in the last 3 months.
The Apple store looks like a Nike shoe riot, and the loneliest guy in town is the fellow running the Microsoft Surface kiosk.
When you starting airing commercials saying that Best Buy Blue Shirts like it, it’s gotta be awful
The power of marketing.
This entire idea that you can build an OS on a desktop, then port it to a mobile device, is a failure.
Whether they like it or not, a desktop computer and a mobile device serve different functions. Sure, some are the same, like email for instance.
But as far as powerful CPU speeds, memory, and high end display, a desktop is a desktop, a mobile device is a toy.
I decide to buy a new laptop recently before they all had secure boot, and it came with winblows 8, and boy does it suck big time. With Secure Boot turned off in bios, No matter what I tried it would not let me install Linux, or a different version of winblows. I Took it back and exchanged for one with Win7, formatted and installed Ubuntu. Screw Winblows.
How bad do you have it?
And BTW, I love Windows 7..and I love having a desktop at home as well as my wife and I iPhones and a iPad..
I like using a mouse.. I like storing things to folders, extra hardrives ...etc... I find that quite easy on Windows 7 which was a godsend after Windows XP.
If we are sitting at the TV, we use a cellphone or an iPad to check headlines... but I still love going to the other room to sit at the computer... I suppose that’s old school.
Recently, I had to buy a new laptop. I was out of town and my Vaio died. At the store, I was confronted by a myriad of new laptops. The salesperson showed me Windows 8. It looked like my smart phone.
I already have a smart phone. I already have a tablet.
I want a computer.
I bought one of only two laptops left in the store with Windows 7, and haven’t regretted my decision.
Not only do I hate the new way of doing things in widows 8, but I can’t get firefox to work with it without crashing all the time. And I hate all the other browsers.
I think it’s too many new OSes too soon. Only serious tech dweebs upgrade the OS on a machine that’s already working, new OSes are for new machines. As the technology jumps slow down people hold onto PCs longer new OSes will take longer to get traction.
It's a liberal cesspool of pro-death, pro-fascism, pro-Obama maggots that believe they own your hardware.
If you have to use Windows 8 on a desktop, take a few minutes to learn some keyboard shortcuts like WIN+X, and you’ll need the old standby, ALT+F4 to close a window.
Just a few of these will help you maintain your sanity.
It’s okay if you run it on a tablet or phone, but it really sucks on a something without a touchscreen. XP is about as far as I go with windows, because the OS’s keep “obsolete-ing” the motion control and CAD/CAM software that I run.
Just took delivery of a new toshiba laptop a couple days ago, first new comp since early vista. My initial impression of W8 was, this really sux. After a few days my opinion hasnt changed
They never quit, don’t they?
Keep telling the same “it’s failed” story in hopes someone other than the loons buy it.
meanwhile, its usage keeps going up.
When any sizable portion of your user base refuses to upgrade and when they need new hardware demands the old OS you’re cooked.
No way I would upgrade and damned if I wouldn’t try like hell to get Win 7 instead of 8 if I had to get a new machine.
I looked at this thing and though “Who the hell wants a touch screen interface on a desktop?”
Seems tons of people agree with me.
It’s terrible. It came with a new notebook I got about a month ago.
It gets frequent BSOD’s while using Chrome or Firefox with just basic web page browsing. No viruses, no malware, no spyware, clean system that just doesn’t play well with basic internet surfing. More complex internet apps seem to work great though.../boggle
The Metro interface is a clunky mess at best on a notebook/desktop platform and couldn’t compete with Android on a tablet. Legacy apps that worked fine on Vista or Win7 have more problems working on 8 than old 95/98 apps had working on Vista.
I actually had to google how to do basic computer things like closing a program and properly turning off the computer. The only good thing about Metro is the search function is great...which ironically never worked properly on previous versions of windows.
Decided I had to go back to windows 7 but unfortunately since you don’t actually get install discs anymore I can’t just install a windows 7 with license I have unused on an old computer, so will probably have to go to grey market sources for the install disc and use on of my legitimate licenses.
I want to smash Windows 8 far more than I ever wanted to smash Vista, and I don’t think any amount of “service packs” are going to solve some of the problems.
At some point, if for nothing else than the PR value, Bill Gates is going to have to return.
This is highly topical for me, as I just started using a Windows 8 tablet today. I can run all my office apps and I’ve got all that one-touch connectivity.
I haven't seen them do that much with Windows 8, so I guess even they realize it is a turd.
I’ll be staying with Win-7 Pro 64-bit, until they carry me out in a bag, feet first. Plenty of OEM CDs, a couple of Upgrades, and Win-Xp Pro to upgrade from, if needed. Bite it, 8!
I think this is the most important one on the list. Windows 7 is a solid, fairly usable OS. Windows 8 offers no compelling reason for anyone to upgrade from Windows 7, and anyone looking to upgrade from XP or Vista has likely already gone to Windows 7.
Someone upthread mentioned Mac/OS X -- for better or worse, Apple has decided to go with smaller, more frequent, and cheaper upgrades. That means fewer bells and whistles with each new version, giving the (correct, IMO) impression of incremental upgrades rather than anything to specifically crow about. It's quite possible to skip an upgrade or two and still be using most of the latest and greatest stuff (though I do need to do the Lion -> Mointain Lion update at some point to get full benefit of Mac/iPhone synchronization).
The same crowds at the Apple store also line up to vote for Obama thus proving that Apple users are dumbasses.
I can’t imagine business users being forced to use 8. Productivity would crash in a free fall.
I’m sure as a FReeper you understand the only “FR acceptable” platform is Linux, LOL.
While I agree that it's a tad early to claim "it's failed", the article does provide this rather compelling data:
Its usage is going up, but it still lags the much-maligned Vista (a/k/a "best thing to ever happen to iMac") in adoption. That can't be a good sign.
“You think you hate it now, wait til you use it.”
Hopefully, businesses will have learned the lessons from the completely pointless "ribbon" "upgrade" for Office some years back, that completely changed the Office UI for no good reason.
And there it is. You've hit the nail on the head, Stu.
Microsoft is adopting this garbage, Agile (project management) style of development, and now they're pushing out unfinished garbage instead of polished software.
I'm actually a bit incensed by the characterization of Win7 as "legacy." Windows 7 is far and away the best operating system Microsoft's put out since Windows XP. It's stable, universally accepted, easy to configure, and it's functional. They're trying to compete with Apple in ways that Apple dominates the market while neglecting everything they've done right in the last 10 years.
Vista was an unmitigated disaster, and the fact that MS was so quick to market with Win8 after Win7 was just beginning to show strong market adoption indicates to me that they're competing with market forces in an attempt to "dominate," but the fact remains that Windows is not and never will be an accepted mobile platform, something they've been trying for years but never manage to get off the ground.
To make matters worse, Microsoft is pushing Server 2012, which provides very little in the way of upgrades to Server 2008 R2, and it comes with a touchscreen interface native, something that no server engineer, myself included, wants to deal with considering most servers are installed in racks inside of lights-out datacenters.
And finally, the coup de grace to Microsoft's stupidity is this very hard push on enterprises toward Office 365 and Azure, both cloud platform "applications as a service" that have proven to be costly to early-adopters due to outages caused by network latency and even outright downtimes.
Microsoft seems to be pushing to maintain some level of market relevance in a market that's not trying to make them irrelevant. They fit in their very neat little position as workstation (desktop & laptop) OS leader and dominant server OS across most major IT organizations. Why it is that they'd push their users (consumer and enterprise) into products that they don't want or need it beyond my understanding. Microsoft needs to innovate on existing products and provide feature enhancements such as better integration with smart devices (i.e. televisions, media centers, etc.), better gaming experience (native graphics APIs and platform enhancements), and support for the newest devices such as graphics cards, SSDs, and biometric devices.
Windows will continue to dominate the desktop market, even with the abysmal performance of Vista and Win8, but if they continue to pump out garbage from Redmond and Chennai, they're going to find more people going to OSX and Linux platforms before considering that discount laptop with Windows 8.
I am happy with Windows 8 except it has disabled all of my built in card readers on all of my computers.
I bought a Dell laptop for my wife, it came with W8, I sent it back after 3 days. After a week of looking, I found the same machine with W8 and bought it.
W8 wanted me to abandon my POP3 email I had for over 20 years, save my stuff to the “cloud”, and there was no start button.
I’ve figured out every version since W3.0, but this new thing was totally unusable for me. I have no patience for those who change things just for the sake of change.
In short, Windows 8 sucks!
> It’s a liberal cesspool of pro-death, pro-fascism,
> pro-Obama maggots that believe they own your hardware.
This is true for Microsoft, Apple AND Google.
Of the three, Google is the worst, because its Android OS is really just a phishing expedition. Don’t you know why you must have a Google account to operate your Android appliance? Virtually every keystroke you make is echoed to a Google archive. Even worse, Google freely hands over data to the communist US government.
Buy a computer that has a flavor of Linux pre-installed, or buy one without an OS and install Linux on it.
As much as is humanly possible, do NOT do business with companies that support all the things you oppose and oppose all the things you support.
It’s all part of MooseChelle’s “Let’s Move” program.
“This is highly topical for me, as I just started using a Windows 8 tablet today. I can run all my office apps and Ive got all that one-touch connectivity.
I have to agree with the above post. My wife and I purchased 2 HP 23 inch touch screen PCs to replace our 6 and 8 year old desk tops running XP. As this also resulted in our having to replace Office 2003 with Office 2010, we were expecting bad experiences. What we have found is that Windows 8 has been easy to use once you learn the various shortcuts. Plus, it is good at self-diagnosing and correcting problems. We also found the move to Office 2010 quite easy. Both of us are long time users of PCs.
As to crashes and other experiences listed, we have had none. I use Firefox and it works just fine.
On the other hand, we spent some time at Best Buy researching tablets, thinking that the Surface Pro which runs the full Windows 8 might be a good choice for tablet use. Wow, the weight of it is staggering compared to other tablets, and it is larger as well. Plus the price. Same goes for the Apple Ipad as to price. It looks like we will be purchasing two Samsung tablets but have not decided as to full size or mini.
Are you talking about MicroSloth, Abfal, or Scroogle?
Because it sucks and the interface is to Darwin.
I prefer Paleo Windows and my next computers, PDA, tablets, etc will get divorced from MicroSuck® everything.
I’d rather use less bloated OS and Office.
MS has a history of over correcting. They allowed XP to hang around too long, now they’re kicking out OSes too fast. While I don’t like the look of the metro interface I understand the concept and I think it’s a good idea, we know that most users use less than half a dozen apps regularly, might as well make it super easy for the user to get to them, it’s the quick launch bar writ large. But it’s also really an FP1 feature not a new release feature.
I don’t throw much blame at them for 365 and azure. I don’t like them as I think the cloud is overrated, but I don’t blame a company for being buzzword compliant. And they don’t seem to me to be any worse than anybody else’s cloud solutions.
LOL! Take your pick.
You can use Windows 8 in desktop mode. It is almost identical to windows 7. Trying to use the new mobile interface on a desktop is next to useless especially if your desktop doesn’t support swipe technology.
How does that work?
They actually locked you into Bill OS and you couldn’t install Linux?
Hell, Windows XP users are not moving. I just bought my wife a new laptop - with Windows XP Professional.
Windows Vista, 7, and 8, stink on ice.
Touch screen is optional and I don’t use it.