Wednesday, December 7th 2011

Windows 8 'Irrelevant' For PC Users

Well, it looks like the Windows 8 flagship feature, the Metro interface, isn't going down too well with PC users, according to leading market research firm International Data Corp. On top of that, there aren't really any killer improvements in the operating system that make shelling out for a new version compelling. The Metro interface, while suited to a smartphone or tablet, really doesn't do anything for a desktop PC, because it's operation is very restrictive compared to the standard desktop that's been around for over 15 years on Windows and is now a very refined and sophisticated user interface. Also, the fact that many organizations have only recently migrated to Windows 7 and are not looking to spend money in the current economic climate and go through the pains of another upgrade cycle again isn't helping. The poor economy looks like it will hamper sales of Windows 8 on its target devices, tablets, too. Finally, IDC said: "(T)here will be intense scrutiny on Microsoft’s ability to deliver a successful tablet experience aboard both x86-based tablets and on devices running ARM processors. This is a tall order for Microsoft, and while the x86 tablet strategy makes sense as a transitional solution for today’s PC users, it will be the ARM-based devices that need to shine and clear a high bar already set by Apple."

Sources: xbit labs, zdnet
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150 Comments on Windows 8 'Irrelevant' For PC Users

#1
Prima.Vera
Funny thing is that Win 8 runs so much better on my old laptop, with 3GB of RAM, than Win 7. It boots faster, loads faster the programs, not so much RAM usage, nice copy file status, but that's about it. Downside is that it takes double the space, and have to install a tom of 3rd party programs to mak it functional, like Start button, skip Metro, re-add gadgets, etc, etc. But for my desktop, I wouldn't add it, not for 1 million years!
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#2
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: Prima.Vera
Funny thing is that Win 8 runs so much better on my old laptop, with 3GB of RAM, than Win 7. It boots faster, loads faster the programs, not so much RAM usage, nice copy file status, but that's about it. Downside is that it takes double the space, and have to install a tom of 3rd party programs to mak it functional, like Start button, skip Metro, re-add gadgets, etc, etc. But for my desktop, I wouldn't add it, not for 1 million years!
That's the thing, Microsoft made some really nice improvements to the underlying OS, but then ruined everything with that Metro interface/removing the Start menu and by removing Aero. I'll bet the actual developers who were told to do it were cursing this decision every step of the way. :shadedshu

They also forced key entry right at the start of an install, which I find massively annoying and inconvenient - they had it perfect with W7 and its deferred key entry and activation.

Finally secure boot actually is shutting out Linux as recently reported on several sites, just like I said it would in several articles on TPU (I can dig them out). I've seen recent articles about this, plus a friend told me how bioses from the likes of Dell, HP etc oddly don't have the option to turn secure boot off when it's trivial to implement...
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#3
D007
Which is why I never got it.. Win 7 x64 ftw.
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#4
eidairaman1
IDK 7 ran perfect on an Athlon Machine with 2 GB of ram, so Im not sure about all the bashing, Joe blow only sees the interface not the underhood work.

by: qubit
That's the thing, Microsoft made some really nice improvements to the underlying OS, but then ruined everything with that Metro interface/removing the Start menu and by removing Aero. I'll bet the actual developers who were told to do it were cursing this decision every step of the way. :shadedshu

They also forced key entry right at the start of an install, which I find massively annoying and inconvenient - they had it perfect with W7 and its deferred key entry and activation.

Finally secure boot actually is shutting out Linux as recently reported on several sites, just like I said it would in several articles on TPU (I can dig them out). I've seen recent articles about this, plus a friend told me how bioses from the likes of Dell, HP etc oddly don't have the option to turn secure boot off...
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#5
TRWOV
by: qubit
That's the thing, Microsoft made some really nice improvements to the underlying OS, but then ruined everything with that Metro interface/removing the Start menu and by removing Aero. I'll bet the actual developers who were told to do it were cursing this decision every step of the way. :shadedshu

They also forced key entry right at the start of an install, which I find massively annoying and inconvenient - they had it perfect with W7 and its deferred key entry and activation.

Finally secure boot actually is shutting out Linux as recently reported on several sites, just like I said it would in several articles on TPU (I can dig them out). I've seen recent articles about this, plus a friend told me how bioses from the likes of Dell, HP etc oddly don't have the option to turn secure boot off when it's trivial to implement...
You can activate after installation. Same as in W7. W8 nags you more though.

As for secure boot, you can thank the UEFI Forum for that: http://www.uefi.org/about/
This has been pointed out several times but somehow only MS gets the blame. :rolleyes: Besides the only thing preventing Linux from running with Secure Boot is not implementing it. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and Fedora 18 can run with SB just fine.


edit: You can turn off Secure Boot on Dell PCs: http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/extras/m/white_papers/20278835.aspx page 11

edit2: Dell XPS 8500 from 3 months ago with W8 preinstalled can turn off Secure Boot. Not sure what PC did your friend test. Can't tell for hp's though.

edit3: An option for disabling SB is required in the UEFI 2.2 spec and up.

edit4: I'm sure you'll selectively forget all of this after closing the browser. :ohwell:
Posted on Reply
#6
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: qubit
So, my huge ego has once again crushed your tiny one? That's hardly surprising, is it? :laugh:

Also, every tech pundit out there is reporting how sales have fallen off a cliff, it's doing even worse than Vista, yet our little frick is oblivious to all this (he admitted this just now in public, no less!) and thinks whining at me yet again is the way to go, lol.

Here's an excellent example of what I'm talking about : Windows 8 pushes PC sales off a cliff
Yes. My ego is very crushed.

And of course I knew about the tanking PC industry, which has little to do with "non-OEM revenue", which is what the image TRWOW posted is about, and was sort of what I was talking about. If you think Windows 8 sucks then yeah it's easy to draw quick conclusions and close the case, as you do, and as that writer does. Nevermind that people don't want desktops because they don't need them and people are tired of those boxes and wires going everywhere, and even the laptop is going the same way. Do people hate Windows 8? Yes. Some people even have good reasons to not like it, but it feels like most people hate it because they are supposed to. Like they did with Vista.

Did MS do some less than enlightened design decisions? Totally yes. But UI overhauls generally attract a lot of hate, no matter how good they are, like with Vista and even XP. And 95. Is the Metro UI suited for desktop use? Not Metro apps (because of the way it does fullscreen and not-quite-fullscreen) IMO, but the rest of it is totally usable. I even know people who likes it better than 7 and think their workflow has improved with 8. And those are people who work with their computers all day.
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#7
SK-1
I upgraded my kids pc from xp to 8. Now I cant seem to get any games to run... Issues with BF3 and Skyrim.
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#8
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
For more fun, here's the actual quote from IDC:
Despite some mild improvement in the economic environment and some new PC models offering Windows 8, PC shipments were down significantly across all regions compared to a year ago. Fading Mini Notebook shipments have taken a big chunk out of the low-end market while tablets and smartphones continue to divert consumer spending. PC industry efforts to offer touch capabilities and ultraslim systems have been hampered by traditional barriers of price and component supply, as well as a weak reception for Windows 8. The PC industry is struggling to identify innovations that differentiate PCs from other products and inspire consumers to buy, and instead is meeting significant resistance to changes perceived as cumbersome or costly.

"At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market," said Bob O'Donnell, IDC Program Vice President, Clients and Displays. "While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the UI, removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices. Microsoft will have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if it wants to help reinvigorate the PC market."
It is true that the PC is failing to attract people, obviously. What is the core IMO is this: "The PC industry is struggling to identify innovations that differentiate PCs from other products and inspire consumers to buy". According to most people disliking Windows 8 the solution to this ("identify innovations") would be to ... keep it the same? I don't think that is a solution at all. It is all speculation obviously, but people are sort of tired of a traditional desktop. I'm not talking power users, gamers and professionals obviously, but avarage Joes. I truly believe doing nothing wouldn't really help PC sales either. But that sort of discussion is all speculation either way, as I said.

Is Windows 8 The Perfect Solution to the problem of innovating the PC? Probably not, but I'm not really sure what would be. Certinaly not doing more of the same.
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#9
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
@frick

As long as you keep acting like a total douchebag towards me, embarrassing yourself in public like on this thread and the many others you've crapped to take a lame pop at me, I won't waste my time engaging in conversation with you, regardless of the merit of the points you make.

Got that?
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#10
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
by: Frick
Is Windows 8 The Perfect Solution to the problem of innovating the PC? Probably not, but I'm not really sure what would be. Certinaly not doing more of the same.
Unless it is installed on a tablet windows 8 looks and behaves stupidly. Using a mouse to click on giant icons is flat out retarded. I will take my normal desktop over Metro's bull any day. As I said in my last post so does everyone else I know that isn't to lazy to add a simple icon.
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#11
digibucc
by: Mussels
because it was sold for the low low price of $15, of course the sales figures are skewed. the dropped the price and had heaps of discounted sales to make the numbers look decent.
i've said this many times and it just gets ignored! I bought two $15 copies that I'm not even using atm save for a broken laptop. You think others didn't jump at a legit version of 8 from 7 for $15? it's kinda silly not to if you are an enthusiast.

by: Frick
According to most people disliking Windows 8 the solution to this ("identify innovations") would be to ... keep it the same? I don't think that is a solution at all. It is all speculation obviously, but people are sort of tired of a traditional desktop.
that's ALL speculation, point a and b. you are taking your opinion and trying to word it in a way that makes it seem factual. the problem with windows 8 is that it is designed for a touch screen. it is obtrusive and nonsensical to use that design on a desktop or laptop without a touch screen. the fact that you have to hack it to fully have metro ui removed, and then it still doesn't work as you'd want is ridiculous.

I'm all for improvement. 7 is AWESOME! and i stuck with xp sp2 through vista. I'll upgrade when it's worth it and when an OS offers a sensible change. Windows 8 is not that sensible change.
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#12
AphexDreamer
by: cdawall
Unless it is installed on a tablet windows 8 looks and behaves stupidly. Using a mouse to click on giant icons is flat out retarded. I will take my normal desktop over Metro's bull any day. As I said in my last post so does everyone else I know that isn't to lazy to add a simple icon.
It is visually more appealing and regardless it substantially changes nothing in terms of anything really.

When you hit start you hit start to look at start, so it just happens to take up the whole screen in Windows 8 versus a small portion of it and not to mention when you hit all apps, you no longer get any "giant" icons. Also if you consider searching for apps through start (which is what I would do since Vista) the concept of size doesn't even pop in to mind. Not to mention if you have your PC hooked up to a TV, it makes a world of a difference even with a mouse.
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#13
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
by: AphexDreamer
It is visually more appealing and regardless it substantially changes nothing in terms of anything really.

When you hit start you hit start to look at start, so it just happens to take up the whole screen in Windows 8 versus a small portion of it and not to mention when you hit all apps, you no longer get any "giant" icons. Also if you consider searching for apps through start (which is what I would do since Vista) the concept of size doesn't even pop in to mind. Not to mention if you have your PC hooked up to a TV, it makes a world of a difference even with a mouse.
I don't have my PC hooked up to a TV and at the rate things are going neither will anyone else. Smart TV's integrate the small stable Android OS for a reason.

Heck even on a tablet I would much rather have Android's OS over Surface. It works better and the application base is open source, not to mention the kernel itself has been modified by tons of people for the better.

There is honestly nothing you can say or show me about windows 8 on any platform that will steer me. My personal opinion is that it sucks. I have tried it disliked it and found the "intuitive" OS to be the most asinine thing I have had to ever deal with on a PC. Plenty of other people agree with me and the vast majority are pissed their laptop came with Windows 8 on them without the ability to swap to 7. There is a reason for that and you cannot argue it. Windows 7 flat out works. Windows 8 is new weird and clunky to use. I am sticking with what works.
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#14
rtwjunkie
by: Frick
Nevermind that people don't want desktops because they don't need them and people are tired of those boxes and wires going everywhere
This is news to me. I prefer a machine that can run cool, be upgraded and expanded. And apparently alot of other people feel the same way, because online retailers like Newegg who sell pc parts for building have had extremely good sales figures for the last several years. So, SOMEbody wants these desktops, don't you think? It can't all just be entusiasts, gamers and power users. Average joes are buying motherboards and cpu's and memory, etc for desktops, or the sales wouldn't be phenomenal. I think it's just lore, like urban legend, that the desktop is not popular. That's what most of the anti-desktop media and Microsoft WANT us to believe.
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#15
Prima.Vera
by: cdawall
Unless it is installed on a tablet windows 8 looks and behaves stupidly. Using a mouse to click on giant icons is flat out retarded. I will take my normal desktop over Metro's bull any day. As I said in my last post so does everyone else I know that isn't to lazy to add a simple icon.
Agree. But frankly is stupid even on mobiles and tablets also. I mean, iOS and Android are using icons since the beginning, and are so much easier and pleasant to use, why does stupid M$ needs to re-invent the wheel??:shadedshu
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#16
AphexDreamer
by: cdawall
I don't have my PC hooked up to a TV and at the rate things are going neither will anyone else. Smart TV's integrate the small stable Android OS for a reason.

Heck even on a tablet I would much rather have Android's OS over Surface. It works better and the application base is open source, not to mention the kernel itself has been modified by tons of people for the better.

There is honestly nothing you can say or show me about windows 8 on any platform that will steer me. My personal opinion is that it sucks. I have tried it disliked it and found the "intuitive" OS to be the most asinine thing I have had to ever deal with on a PC. Plenty of other people agree with me and the vast majority are pissed their laptop came with Windows 8 on them without the ability to swap to 7. There is a reason for that and you cannot argue it. Windows 7 flat out works. Windows 8 is new weird and clunky to use. I am sticking with what works.
I'm not trying to steer you, I could careless about what OS you use. I'm merely commenting on some of the ridiculous statements you are spewing out such as, "It doesn't work for a none touchscreen."

People are stubborn and scared of change, change even as subtle as windows 8. Case in point, "Windows 8 is new weird and clunky to use."
Posted on Reply
#17
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: digibucc

that's ALL speculation, point a and b. you are taking your opinion and trying to word it in a way that makes it seem factual. the problem with windows 8 is that it is designed for a touch screen. it is obtrusive and nonsensical to use that design on a desktop or laptop without a touch screen. the fact that you have to hack it to fully have metro ui removed, and then it still doesn't work as you'd want is ridiculous.

I'm all for improvement. 7 is AWESOME! and i stuck with xp sp2 through vista. I'll upgrade when it's worth it and when an OS offers a sensible change. Windows 8 is not that sensible change.
Everything is specualition. I even said so. Everything beyond hard figure sales is speculation, no matter what you think.

Abot desktops and compnent sales: more people might build their own systems, but i dont think it maks up for the loss of OEM sales. Also speculation obviously, would be nice to see a deeper story about it. Btw, i can only go with what peope around me do, but almost literally everyone i know dont like desktops. They are all on AIO's, tablets and laptops. Doesnt prove anything of course.
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#18
digibucc
by: Frick
Everything is specualition.
by: Frick
They are all on AIO's, tablets and laptops. Doesnt prove anything of course.
I think the problem then comes in the fact that you present this information as though it refutes others' equally valid experiences.

I see a LOT more desktops than laptops, tablets or AIOs and they are all for small offices. they'd rather replace a $300 desktop every 3-4 years then go with a $800 laptop or $800+AIO, or a tablet that's too small to do their job.Offices are probably the leaders in market technology, as they buy everything in bulk and upgrade on a semi-regular pattern.

so there is what i see, it doesn't negate anything you see or experience but it is another side to the coin. my point being, stop pushing your experience as though it's the only valid one. and if you don't realize that is what you are doing, i'm letting you know so now you should realize that, it is in fact what you are doing.
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#19
WhiteLotus
by: digibucc
I think the problem then comes in the fact that you present this information as though it refutes others' equally valid experiences.

I see a LOT more desktops than laptops, tablets or AIOs and they are all for small offices. they'd rather replace a $300 desktop every 3-4 years then go with a $800 laptop or $800+AIO, or a tablet that's too small to do their job.Offices are probably the leaders in market technology, as they buy everything in bulk and upgrade on a semi-regular pattern.

so there is what i see, it doesn't negate anything you see or experience but it is another side to the coin. my point being, stop pushing your experience as though it's the only valid one. and if you don't realize that is what you are doing, i'm letting you know so now you should realize that, it is in fact what you are doing.
I agree with Frick when I see people buying ultrabooks and iPads. Desktops are being more and more a business thing, with the average user finding that the tablets and light weight portable laptops having more than enough hardware to look up facebook.
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#20
digibucc
again, I would argue that the business sector counts for more purchases overall, so even though you may see a decline in the consumer sector that doesn't point to an overall decline AS LARGE as is being proposed.

I don't for a second argue that they are not becoming less popular, or that there will not be a time relatively soon where they are relegated to mostly just enthusiasts. but to say that time has already been reached is simply false.

I work with offices and end users, and I still have plenty of consumer clients that do not want to go the way of a laptop or tablet. that's generally the "stick with what you know" mindset, but it's real and it has an effect that i think should be recognized.
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#21
WhiteLotus
by: digibucc
again, I would argue that the business sector counts for more purchases overall, so even though you may see a decline in the consumer sector that doesn't point to an overall decline AS LARGE as is being proposed.

I don't for a second argue that they are not becoming less popular, or that there will not be a time relatively soon where they are relegated to mostly just enthusiasts. but to say that time has already been reached is simply false.

I work with offices and end users, and I still have plenty of consumer clients that do not want to go the way of a laptop or tablet. that's generally the "stick with what you know" mindset, but it's real and it has an effect that i think should be recognized.
This is true, perhaps the offices of the future will be developed with the iPad generation of users in mind though.


Oh god that would be awful.
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#22
rtwjunkie
by: WhiteLotus
Desktops are being more and more a business thing, with the average user finding that the tablets and light weight portable laptops having more than enough hardware to look up facebook.
But just who IS this average user? Point in fact, the myth of PC gaming dying has proven to be false, as now that PC games are downloadable everywhere, not just on Steam, PC game sales have been taking an ever-larger market share from consoles. And the average desktop might only be able to play half the titles, with laptops that can play them as they are meant to be played being an even smaller percentage. So what do people do? They are building desktops or upgrading them. Someone is buying desktop memory, GPU's, cases, motherboards, and cpu's by the truckload, and its certainly not businesses. So between businesses and all these self-builds, as well as people buying these desktop components to upgrade their OEM computers, the desktop is not on the wane.

What we DO see is people being more mobile, and buying tablets and laptops and phones and using these things in addition to their desktops they have at home. Because a desktop lasts longer, with only the occasional component upgrade here and there, the illusion is created that they are not as popular, simply because the mobile devices must be replaced in their entirety most of the time in order to upgrade. That equates to more sales than desktops yes, but it doesn't tell the whole story.

Just my two cents.
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#23
WhiteLotus
by: rtwjunkie
But just who IS this average user?
People who use the internet to send/receive emails, social networking, and occasionally typing up letters/word documents.


If you got all the students in a University and questioned them, you'd find that the majority would be using laptops for doing work, maybe with the addition of a Tablet because why not, and using xbox360/PS3 for gaming.
(Yes I am well aware of the comparatively small group of those that would use PC for games, but that is what it is, a small group.
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#24
digibucc
by: rtwjunkie
What we DO see is people being more mobile, and buying tablets and laptops and phones and using these things in addition to their desktops they have at home. Because a desktop lasts longer, with only the occasional component upgrade here and there, the illusion is created that they are not as popular, simply because the mobile devices must be replaced in their entirety most of the time in order to upgrade. That equates to more sales than desktops yes, but it doesn't tell the whole story.

Just my two cents.
I think this is a REALLY good point.
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#25
kid41212003
Imagine reaching my 27" touchscreen monitor to use Windows 8 the way it was meant to use.

Are you fucking serious?
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