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article imageOp-Ed: Surprise, surprise — Microsoft panel beats Windows 8

By Paul Wallis     May 8, 2013 in Technology
Sydney - It’s common consumer knowledge that any new operating system will have bugs galore. It’s been a long time since Microsoft put out an OS that wasn’t panned by experts and consumers alike. Win 8 is no exception.
The boot polish is now gleaming, let’s see what happens.
Sydney Morning Herald’s article on the subject includes a built in link on fixing Windows 8 problems as well as the current state of Screwups Central.
Microsoft isn't saying much about what the new Windows 8 will have, nor will it say whether it will charge for the upgrade. What the company will say is that it's responding to customer feedback in developing the update.
Some people, including me, panned the gizmo factor in Windows 8. Mobile, schmobile. For real work you need a computer, not a cutesy platform. A better move would have been to pre-empt iPad in its next likely incarnation as a de facto PC and create a healthy competition again.
Marketing seems to have got in the way again. When the geriatric sales guys finally figured out how to spell “mobile”, core business went app-happy in all the wrong ways. Win 8 now has less than 10% of the apps available for Apple products and Android. The fact that most apps desperately need the appropriate “cr” in “crapp” added to their descriptions appears to have been ignored by the market, but Microsoft went one better and ignored the apps as well.
Windows 8, in fact, has a few ideas in it. It’s supposed to be an “economic” OS. Those ideas have been buried in a kid-zone presentation and are almost allergy-producing for those of us who use custom machines. Why is this damn bit of food coloring supposed to be taken seriously?
The current fixes are apparently designed to manage something less exotic than tech issues, too:
Although Windows 8 has matched Windows 7 sales three years ago, it looks unlikely that the new system will see progressively rising demand, as Windows 7 did, hitting 240 million sales in its first year.
Reller said Microsoft still realised changes need to be made to make Windows 8 easier to navigate and capable of taking full advantage of technology improvements that have come out since October.
“…since October…” Wow, someone remembers way back then, when dinosaurs were buying things like that? Nice to know that actual consumer issues aren’t being given much priority in the face of the last seven-eight months of doubtless brilliant innovation.
The fixes are now seen as a “relaunch” of Win 8. (Who says there’s no such thing as a free launch?) Microsoft should know that if they weren’t Microsoft, they’d be a very dusty footnote to history by now. Nobody else pulling this sort of stunt would be tolerated.
One of the obvious issues is to be found in Windows 8’s two-system approach. It has an “old” style system and “new system” for new platforms. Er… so what? The rationale for systems has been a progressive, cursing approach to streamlining and simply homogenizing systems. It’s inevitable. If smartphones turn into default platforms for PC-type operations, what sort of stuff will they need? Exactly the same stuff as the computers, and vice versa. The “how” seems to have been sabotaged by “what do we use to do this?” thinking.
It’s all too obvious that the next gen of OS will be using a hybrid system. It’s necessary, it’s unavoidable, and it makes more sense. The iPads, in theory, only need more memory to become the new PCs and maybe (gasp) a few admissions that people may want their iPads to do more than star in iPad commercials. Microsoft could produce something similar, easily, and has so far made a colossal hash of it.
The fix? Simplify, familiarize, move on. Never mind the hardware, that’ll change tomorrow. To hell with the gizmo effect, focus on what consumers actually need and use. The rest is easy.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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