Skip to comments.Windows 8 Died at Launch, Microsoft Moves on to Windows 9
Posted on 07/28/2014 4:25:25 PM PDT by markomalley
Microsoft attempted something different and daring with Windows 8. It introduced a whole new interface and means of interaction with your PC that was identical to a smartphone or tablet. It threw out the Start menu and mouse-driven interface people had used for decades in favor of a touch-driven interface with tiles, some of which received active information updates.
And people hated it.
They tried to get their entire audience to jump from a UI [user interface] they were comfortable with to a brand new one with a serious learning curve, California-based Creative Strategies tech analyst and president Tim Bajarin said. Had they done a more transitionary product, especially keeping the Start button, I dont think the impact and perception would have been as bad.
By removing the Start button, which had been a Windows fixture since Windows 95, Microsoft wasnt just introducing a new way of using the operating system it was trying to force people away from the only one they had known for two decades.
The result was that Windows 8 was slaughtered in the court of public opinion, often compared to the much-maligned Windows Vista released in 2006. It was an incorrect comparison; Vista was a technological hairball, a truly awful piece of software that often failed when people tried to install it on their PCs.
Windows 8 was technically sound. No one complained of crashing, slow performance or old apps not working on it. People noted it was actually a tad faster than Windows 7, they just hated how it looked. The result was slow sales for Windows 8, but Windows 7, the OS it was supposed to replace, kept selling like hotcakes.
Its distinguishing feature was support for touchscreens but also legacy applications, Endpoint Technologies President Roger Kay said. Endpoint is a Boston-based market research firm. It ended up being a Frankenstein. So the good parts, like being a little faster and more reliable and more secure were almost totally invisible to the end user. So you could tell people it was faster and more reliable and they said I dont know how to use it.
Kay said the beating Windows 8 took in the tech press hurt, but users also hated it. Microsoft released a public beta for anyone to download and use on February 29, 2012, and released the product in October, 2012. During that time, in all the public Windows forums, consumers were gnashing their teeth and stomping their feet about it. It was vilified in public forums, Kay said.
The old guard who came up with Windows 8 and refused to listen to beta testers are gone and Microsoft has more or less given up trying to rescue its slandered OS. There will be another significant update to Windows 8.1 (called Update 2) later this year. After that, the new management are focusing their efforts on Windows 9.
Windows 9, which Microsoft internally calls Threshold, should ship around the second quarter of 2015. It will put the Windows 8 interface on the back burner but not throw it out, since applications written for Windows 8 would be broken. The familiar desktop with the Start button will be back.
Bajarin expects Windows 9 will return all of the familiar elements of Windows 7 and prior operating systems, with the new UI relegated to the back burner while new features are added to bring people forward.
I dont think it will be radical at all, Bajarin said. I think they will make it easier to work with user interfaces of the past and provide better transition for those with older operating systems to come into this era.
That could include tighter cloud services integration. One feature widely rumored but not confirmed by Microsoft is that it will offer seamless, tight cloud integration into the OS. Your OneDrive storage will be as easy to access as the C: drive, so all of your documents, personal files, photos, etc. will go right to the cloud without having to think about it.
Apps might also be potentially stored in the cloud as well. Say you log on to another Windows 9 PC using your login and password not only will your data files be accessible from your cloud storage, but also the apps you use.
Kay expects more cloud-oriented features as well.
It would be good to move to a cloud-oriented OS to do updates more frequently and keep the OS alive, Kay said. That way you would check in to the cloud at login but run locally, so you could work anywhere.
He also doesnt expect Windows 9 to be a major departure from the operating systems of old.
Youd expect them to do more in order to justify all of the effort of creating a new OS other than fixing the old one. There will be a lot of it will be bells and whistles, but a lot of that stuff tends to fall into Who-Cares? territory, Kay said.
Another rumored addition to Windows 9 is Cortana the digital voice assistant currently being rolled out to Windows Phone users. Cortana is like the iPhones Siri: ask it a question and it fetches the proper contextual answer. Microsoft has made comments in recent weeks about bringing Cortana to Windows PCs, and Windows 9 would be the most logical candidate to get its own answer to J.A.R.V.I.S.
At this point, its all speculation, but one thing is for certain: Microsoft needs to get Windows 9 right. Kay noted that Microsoft has had only one good operating system in its last three releases over the last eight years. Windows 7 (2009) was good, while Vista (2006) and Windows 8 (2012) were bad.
Those are not good odds for software. Maybe for blackjack, but not operating systems. I would love for [Windows 9] to work great and do the right thing, but they are one for three in recent releases. So Im a bit cynical, Kay said.
Was it the same people that did the obamacare website?
Microsoft should go back and use Windows XP for a base...so people can use their own programs and tap into new stuff.
On my kvm switch are:
winXP, win7, win8.1, and a ubuntu box.
Gotta keep up with everything.
I have Win 7 at home and Win 8 on my work laptop. I find them both to work great. I had no problem switching to W8 and do not understand the problem others are having. IMHO it’s become sort of a custom to badmouth every other Windows release and quite a few of these people are just jumping on the bandwagon.
My company is poised to migrate (to Win-8) right around the release of Windows 13 ;’)
I’ll go to the new O/S when it comes out as Warp 9.5
Had my new Sony laptop for work and it crashed, called Sony and when the tech answered, his first comment was: are you calling because your computer crashed? MS sent out an update last night and crashed Windows 8 all around the world. After 2 more crashed, I had Windows 7 installed and not one problem since.
MS: Stop fixing something that isn’t broke!
I didn’t care for Win-8 until I found Classic Shell start menu. I haven’t had any problems with it otherwise.
sound like brain dead ppl are still working at MS. We don’t want a transition to that garbage of a windows 8 interface for windows 9. Everyone been telling MS that windows 8 was UGLY months before release! They didn’t listen
I second that
I am very happy with 8.1 but it was a mess to get it the way I liked XP. Now if they would only allow me to hack into the Powerball?????
It’s usage went from nothing to nothing and a half.
just another one of those articles that mirrors the “death of the Tea Party” cliche.
Windows 8 is supposedly so terrible, so little used, and so hated, these nerds have to keep repeating it every month because reality isn’t playing along.
>>IMHO its become sort of a custom to badmouth every other Windows release and quite a few of these people are just jumping on the bandwagon.<<
I am an ultra-techie and I can’t stand W8. I just run it in W7 mode and pray the whole damn screen doesn’t fill up (meaning I tripped a W8 landmine in an application).
W8 sucks the sucked sucker.
“The old guard who came up with Windows 8 and refused to listen to beta testers are gone and Microsoft has more or less given up trying to rescue its slandered OS.”
Hallelujah! Hopefully the departing ‘old guard’ include the idiots who came up with the Office Ribbon, the Outlook.com interface, and other recent MS UI nightmares.
MS was never the best company when it came to design, but at least they applied a fairly consistent and intuitive UI standard to their products, until a few years ago. They really need to get back to focusing on their strong suits instead of trying to be something they are not.
If it ain't broke don't fix it.
Dittos! Mrs p6 and I were concerned when she bought a nice new laptop with W8. Both of us used XP at work. Within a week no problems. I did install Classic Shell but there is no need for it. Both our workplaces are now on 7 or 8.
In fact we both prefer W8 now.
I still have XP on an older deskktop that I used mainly for my wireless webcam and wireless weather station but XP stumbles and locks several times a month. When I run them from her laptop no problem.
Same with photoshop and several other programs we use.
Looking forward to building an up to date desktop with W8 or maybe 9.
Say you log on to another Windows 9 PC using your login and password not only will your data files be accessible from your cloud storage, but also the apps you use.
XP officially went out of support last April (or thereabouts).
I’m thinking of grabbing an old XP from a comp shop near me. I have some old programs and was force to buy windows7 pro to run them. With no support, I might as well go for an old XP since it won’t be hooked to the web.
"Just A Rather Very Intelligent System", in case anyone was wondering.
Thank you for the heads up on the Shell. I just ran it and like it a lot.
Other than getting used to the layout of 8, it has worked very well so far. Having a W7 type feel is a big improvement.
Weird since I have had absolutely no problems with it at all. I program in Visual Studio and SQL Server all day and no issues. Oh well, to each his own I guess.
This whole thing with cloud based apps is trying to get you to pay a hundred a month on a regular basis like broadband providers receive.
They figure if we are dumb enough to continue to pay for the cost of broad band at the rates out there, why not lock us in for software and also control our data and files.
MS got to be too troublesome. My wife didn’t want a new computer but hated and bitched constantly about her eight year old out of date and glitchy windows machine. I bought her a Mac Air and after about an hour of fiddling and asking, she is now a happy computer user again.
I detest apple prices but at least the stuff works year after year. I have business computers that others maintain and pay for to use with business apps.
“When a greedy company has to change its product regularly to sell new stuff and say we will under no circumstances help with the old stuff because we want to make money on a new one, it is time to step back and look for something else.”
What else are you going to find that is any different? I guarantee if you called Apple looking for security updates for Mac OS 7 they would laugh at you.
XP officially went out of support last April (or thereabouts).
It still works better than windows 8
I recently got a "smartphone", and hate it. I'll keep my desktop, thank you very much, and use a laptop when away from my desk.
Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
and Willard Mitt Romney’s ORCA...
That is what I am thinking also.
I agree, I just do not understand the hate. I use it for 8 to 10 hours a day and like it a lot. I had almost no learning curve either.
Haters gonna hate. =)
Have a question for you...
Do you still get help on your 1979 Television set? Or did you go out an buy a newer version of what is called a television set today?
Software, just like every thing else in this god given world, after a time becomes obsolete. The effective cost to keep supporting a 1979 television set is just too much so the television company probably dropped support on it.
Microsoft does the same thing as every other software company does, it takes a look at the usedful service life and determines a kill date for support. XP has served its useful service life and Microsoft now puts its efforts and monies into servicing and supporting a newer product.
Microsoft is not greedy in this regards people are resilient to change. The OS changes are not so much driven by software companies more so by the changes in newer hardware technologies. I don’t hear too many complaints when Apple changes its OS. Sometimes a business is a hit or miss. However you never really know until you put the product on the market and get feedback from that. Study groups are supposed to be a microcosm of that feedback but in the end it all boils down to can you make money off it. If you can you got a good product, if not its time to go back to the drawing board.
I am sure you will find support for a VIC 20 or Commodore 64 from the companies that designed and mass produced them.
Technological change is theoretically supposed to be good.
The Win8 features I don't like have to do with those stupid new full-screen apps. You know, the ones that take up the full screen on launch, with absolutely no window frame visible - like the old DOS apps. Isn't this supposed to be "Windows"? If so, where are the windows? Seems like a major step backward to ancient DOS days to me.
Trying to remember how to get out of one of those stupid new full-screen apps is a pain. You "swipe in" (with a mouse?) from one of the sides of the screen - just can't remember which one. Not intuitive at all.
It was the OS version of “New Coke”
I’d be cool with a Windows J.A.R.V.I.S, but I want to be able to pick from a list of celebrity voices. Cause Morgan Freeman telling me directions or reading me a recipe for blueberry muffins on demand would just be awesome.
Agreed. My only experience with Windows 8 was in repairing a friend’s computer that had it installed. My impressions of it, and admittedly, they’re limited, is that it was a dumbed down piece of garbage. I hated it.
Twenty years from now will be a generation that never even heard of Microsoft. Lucky them.
Give me an update and support for XP and I’ll pay for it like it’s a new program and immediately “upgrade” out of 8.1.
Then you are in a very tiny minority. I have used Windows since before Windows actually existed (it was run-time environment used to run a graphical application called "In-A-Vision" (later "Micrografx Designer")). Window 8 simply sucked. Big-time. NOTHING worked in any familiar fashion.
Trying to use a "phone oriented" interface on a desktop machine was simply ridiculous. And having a "touch-screen" on a desktop machine is equally ridiculous.
Thanks God M'soft is FINALLY getting a tiny clue about what it's customers actually want.
That makes me cringe. The entire idea of Windows is second rate. Always has been.
I normally use Mac OS X, however I have VM running Win 7 for the time I need it. I have tried Win 8 and can’t stand it
As a tablet OS Win 8 would have worked, as a desktop/laptop OS it was bound to fail.
Windows Vista was hilarious. I remember the first person I know who got one. I was the big computer savvy guy who was going to show them how to use it. It literally took about 15 minutes to boot up. Then it just got stuck all over the place. People were taking them back. What a train wreck.
But the beauty of Microsoft is that the foundation was built so well by such a ruthless competitor that none of that mattered. It was new technology that everyone wanted and the way it broke was exactly the way it was supposed to work.
If you Argued against microsoft products it was like telling everyone that you were stupid and you just didn’t know how to use it.
Win 8 was the final straw for me (Windows user since 2.11)...been a happy full-time OSX user for little over a year now. I keep a Windows 7 box around for a few non-OSX games I have.
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