Microsoft Windows 8 Will Not Fail


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

Rumors of Windows 8’s impending failure are greatly exaggerated. It is a safe bet to say that Windows 8 will not fail

Windows 8 won’t fail and in several ways it could be a huge success. To understand this, you simply need to think about how new versions of Windows are adopted and who the core audience is for this release. Of course this is not to say that parts of Windows 8 won’t be perceived as failures, but having small flaws is simply a part of most software products today.

Who’s the Audience of Windows 8?

One of the first things to consider about Windows 8 is its audience. You might think that a new release of an operating system is targeting everyone – consumers and business users. While this is true to an extent, it is my belief that each release of Microsoft Windows leans towards a primary audience, which might be consumers, business people, or others.

Windows 8 is again a big update, and as a result, I don’t believe that corporations are the primary target audience (yet). Consumers initially will be. With the large amount of change provided, most companies will take a “wait and see” view in order to know what kinds of support and learning issues they will have to address.

Does Microsoft expect enterprises to run out on October 26th and start upgrading machines? I sincerely doubt it. I do believe the expectation is that Windows 8 will get enterprises to run out and upgrade their Windows XP systems to Windows 7. As stated, I expect most enterprises will wait to see how stable Windows 8 is before even considering it.

The “Big Box Store” Effect

Starting around October 26th, you will start to see a transition on what is offered on machines that are being sold. Windows 8 will quickly become the default operating systems on machines sold through normal channels. If you go to a big box store, you can expect that Windows 8 machines will be what they have displayed and what they push. Windows 7 machines will start disappearing from the store shelves.

Windows machines will still be priced better than some of the competitors that are offered. I believe most people will still buy them over more expensive Apple machines and over the some-what unknown Linux machines. When a consumer goes to buy a computer, Windows 8 is what they will likely get.

This was the groundwork that made Windows Vista a financial success. Vista sold because it was the option consumers were given.

The simple mass of consumers buying new machines will suck Windows 8 into the market. This is a key to why Windows Vista was a success, and it is why Windows 8 is destined to succeed as well. This will be enough to give it the foothold it needs. If you recall, Windows Vista was riddled with issues around drivers and FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt). Even so, the operating system was sucked into the market and is believed to have been a financial success.

Consumers with Windows 8 on their home machines will start getting used to it. With time, they will start asking their companies to upgrade to the same. With time, consumers will help push it into the enterprise.

FUD around Windows 8

There is a lot of FUD being posted on Windows 8. This falls right in line with many previous releases of Windows. A lot of the negative comments about Windows 8 come from one of several groups of people:

·         People who have never even used Windows 8 – they are commenting on hearsay.

·         People who have used Windows 8 for a few minutes, but have not spent enough time to understand how it actually works

·         People who are anti-Microsoft (pro-Apple, pro-Linux people)

At first glance and at first use, Windows 8 can be daunting. The mere fact that you are greeted with a Metro interface instead of the comfortable desktop is enough to reduce comfort with the system. More so, the hype around touch might scare you into thinking you have to have touch. You don’t. In fact, once you are into Windows 8, you can click on the desktop tile and be back to near where you were in Windows 7.

The Start button will seem to be gone, but a Metro button is still there, plus you’ll still have the ability to do most of what you could do in earlier versions. In some cases, you might even be able to do more. One of the issues with the Metro interface that greets you is the lack of information on what you can actually do. The paradigms we learned to live with are gone and new ones are in place.

If you think back – way back—there was a point in time when people grumbled about a line meaning minimize, a box meaning maximize window, and an x meaning close. Today, most people simply “know” that this is what these items do. You had to learn that you could move a window by clicking on the title and dragging. That is not an action that is obvious. When Vista released, people had to learn that the Windows emblem on the bottom left was still the Start menu.

With the Metro interface, the same is true, there are a lot of actions to learn that are not obvious. Worse, there is nothing to indicate that you can make these actions. Once you learn these actions, and what they do, you’ll find that the operating system actually gives you access to quite a bit. Until you learn these actions, you’ll likely question the value of the interface, just as some people questioned whether the little Windows emblem on the bottom left still accessed the start menu even though it didn’t say start!

What I am finding is that people who have worked with Windows 8 (with mouse or with touch), have a much more positive opinion than those that have not. It is the learning of these features that I believe is the difference.


Touch and Mobile Devices

The other factor for Windows 8 is mobile. Fewer people question the idea of the Metro interface on a mobile device. Additionally, the Windows 8 core will be applied to phones. Having a single operating system core across these platforms will make it easier to develop an application once that can run on the phone, a table, or a desktop. This commonality will help in the long run.

Of course, mobile devices are generally expecting a touch interface.

Metro: The Big Pain Point

The big pain point that most people point out with Windows 8 is Metro. Again, on mobile devices, it makes sense. On the desktop is where most people raise questions. The desktop still exists in Windows 8, so to some extent life can go on.

Of course in the long run, there is more about Metro that is important than meets the eye. Metro is a result of a fundamental shift in how we use – or will use—computing devices. It is a beginning point (or really a beginning of the middle point) of a paradigm shift that is occurring. This shift is as the one that happened two decades ago that was dubbed “client/server”.

Things are changing and Metro is a part of it. If you are tied to the desktop and think that Metro is a joke that will never fly, then my recommendation is that you go talk to a mainframe developer from 1990 who said that PCs are simply toys that will never be able to replace or do what is needed. I’ve heard a lot of people say that Metro is an nice interface for little portable devices, but will never do what desktop apps need. There are a lot of parallels.

I’ll write in a future blog post about the paradigm shift I believe we are experiencing. Things are changing and Microsoft is making the shift. Windows 8 is just one piece. As things start to solidify, more people will begin to realize that changes are needed and that Windows 8 is closer to what is needed than previous versions of Windows. For that reason, Windows 7 will at some point not be able to deliver what corporations will need, and thus they will also upgrade.

In Summary

Consumers will drive Windows 8 to success. This was not my idea originally, but rather came from a discussion with a couple of Microsoft guys around drinks. The argument is solid. When you look at the paradigm shift happening in the computing world (which I’ll write more about), the chance of greater success goes even higher.

One Parting Comment

There are a lot of comments about Windows 8 failing. Many of them indicate that Apple or Linux will benefit from this failure. If you are in tune with the industry and the paradigm shift, then you are likely to realize that this is a bad assumption. If Windows 8 fails, then I would bet that the company that benefits will be Google, and more specifically, Android and Chrome.

The computing world is changing. (again)

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  • For the first time in my computing life, I have no obvious idea where to go now!!

    Posted by Andy on 04/24/2013 10:14pm

    So I must say I have been incredibly loyal to Microsoft for about 20 years, in both business and personal computing. I despise Apple with a vengeance as they have tried to rule the world with their selfish, pompous and proprietary ways over the years. BUT now I am at a crossroads I never thought possible. My 3 Windows XP Pro computers are just about dead, and it is time to upgrade. Problem is, what do I upgrade to? I bought my 11 year old son a desktop computer with Windows 8, and I find it almost impossible to help him with even the most basic requests. Yes I am an old dog, but my computing tricks enable me to be incredibly productive as a freelance marketer. I couldn't find or figure out anything on W8, and regard this as a poor attempt to modernize an operating system. I bought an ASUS Android tablet + keyboard, thinking that might be the answer, but I must say that I can do 10% max of my daily job with that device. Email, web surfing, games, photos, that's it. Once I tried to edit a Word doc, and the Android word app completely butchered the formatting, lesson learned. I still hate Apple, and really don't want to have to learn a completely new operating system, but I like their hardware. So, right now it looks like I might buy an Apple MacBook, and try and figure out how to install XP Pro to run virtualized or something like that. Am I alone at this crossroad, or has anyone found a path and can show me the way?! Thanks in advance.

  • Windows 8 is the Stupidest Windows Version to Date

    Posted by EG on 01/18/2013 08:03pm

    Window 8 is a piece of crap, designed to waste the users time and try to drive you to time and money wasting sights to subscribe. I have wasted so much time on my computer and quite frankly rarely use it, preferring my cell phone instead. (That's pathetic when I have a 22" monitor and I prefer to use my 3 1/2" phone screen.) There is nothing user friendly about this software. I thought Windows Vista was a nightmare, wasting my time with all of it's forced updates, shutting your computer off when you least expected. Windows 8 makes using Vista appear great. I'm also disappointed with your taking out the DVD playing ability....again, another rouse for the customer to spend more money. Now I actually have to go back to the store and PAY Tech Support to create shortcuts to make it more compatible to Windows 7 use. I rue the fact that I missed Windows 7 by 2 months.... I would have gladly paid more for my computer than gone through these past two months of wasted HOURS, AGGRAVATION and witness the evolving stupidity of Microsoft.)

  • Windows 8 will fail

    Posted by David Morris on 11/04/2012 03:06pm

    windows 8 will fail, not financially, but from lack of takeup. dell computers will most likely offer a downgrade path to windows 7 which is most likely be most popular. M$ still get paid and Dell sell a pc. windows 8 however will not drive any new organic growth business and m$ will forced to put the put back the start button and make metro ui an option. The Metro ui will sell ok on tablets.

  • fa

    Posted by Nicole Lee on 10/15/2012 02:30am

    Thanks, This is a good article.I liked this article, great!

  • Excellent Article

    Posted by LBowling on 08/12/2012 06:02pm

    I'm glad to see at least *one* person isn't regurgitating all the tripe flying around the blogsphere. I've been saying this ever since the first preview build of Windows 8 rolled around; people knocking this simply don't know enough about it or haven't used it at all to see the benefits. I use a greatly modified version of the Windows 7 interface (rainmeter, rocketdock, and so on) which is quite similar to Windows 8, and it has saved me oodles of time -- I already knew from the outset that the Windows interface was in need of great change. The whole "don't fix what isn't broken" is cool and all, but eventually you keep something around for so long that actually becomes broken by simple virtue of advancements.

  • Partially True

    Posted by Sunny on 08/12/2012 05:21am

    This article, in my opinion, is partially right. The whole assumption about this article is based on mere fact that windows comes pre-installed on all new computers purchased by consumers which is true. But bringing this assumption to next level is little bit immature. Most technology illiterate and common consumers will definitely not bother much and after some groaning and grunting and fooling around will give up and will figure it out ways to get desktop and carry on their usual business. The main point of having metro interface is lucrative apps business where Microsoft get a big profit cut. The real success of metro as well as win 8 depends on users spending time with Microsoft apps and purchasing them. In my opinion 80% of users even the common users will be spending their maximum time on desktop environment rather than spending time on looking for apps. It's for sure they will look around apps and will download some free apps but the question will be how many apps common users are willing to purchase. In my opinion not much. The reason for success of mobile apps on smartphone environment is lack of conventional programs for mobiles. If you just look at list of mobile apps what you will find is apps for small low intensity games, apps for some picture and video programs, apps for news and apps for some productivity suits. Now lets see where do people use most of their smartphones which is when they are not at home in front of their computers. It is very logical to conclude that when people are at home and have easy access to their laptop and desktops with uncapped or higher cap high speed internet connection and user friendly keyboard and mouse its more likely they will be using their desktop computers. While on desktop people will be either using regular desktop environment to use high powered full feature program rather than using some stupid apps to play games or looks for news or use full Office suites rather than apps based for mobile. Vista was not a huge departure from conventional desktop UI environment. Vista has its main issues regarding drivers and UAC but it was still a desktop environment and we all know many consumers as well as enterprise environments downgraded to XP. Same thing will happen with win 8. People will upgrade to win 7 rather than working with crappy ugly colored tiles. Besides consumers buying win 8 with new computers and some rather odd people upgrading their win 7 to win 8 not many people will buy win 8 which means a fail. In conclusion, even if people upgrade to win 8 particularly metro environment they will be still spending their most times in the regular desktop environment rather than using apps which will defeat the purpose of MS having metro on desktop settings. So no matter how you look it Metro on desktop will remain fail.

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