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-   -   Why Haven't You Bought Windows 8 (https://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19326)

TheMadGamer January 24th, 2013 18:46

Why Haven't You Bought Windows 8
With the holiday insanity behind me, I took a moment today to read up on how Windows 8 is selling. From the top 5 google articles I came across, it looks like it is not doing too well. Microsoft claims they've sold 60m licenses. But skeptics question the details: How may of those licenses have been installed on actual machines versus sitting on retailer shelves or otherwise not being used. Microsoft is mum on this emboldening the skeptics views.

While all this is intersting to read about - for me personally, I don't really care about much of the chattering by the pundits. I've never been one to carry any company's technology flag. If Microsoft puts out an O/S that provides the kind of experience I'm looking for and runs applications I'm interested in then I'll get a Microsoft product. If it's Apple then I'd get an Apple. I really don't care who the manufacturer is. When Intellivision's graphics became second to the Atari 7800 I didn't care becasue I was more interested in the kinds of games on the Intellivision than the 7800. When it became hip and cool to bash Microsoft I refrained. Now it's hip and cool to bash Apple and again, I don't care. What I care about is, 'what can it do for me that I'm interested in?'

Windows 8 is the first MS O/S I didn't buy within the first few weeks of its release. In fact, I happened to notice it by accident on the shelf at a computer store in December and thought to myself, 'wow, it came out and I didn't even know.' That's a remarkable thing considering I went to the midnight release of Win95 and happily made lots of lemonade out of all the Windows ME and Vista lemons. When I think to myself why I know only a little about the goings-on of Windows 8, it's because for me it just doesn't have anything to offer that Win7 doesn't alerady deliver. In fact, for me, Win8 wants to trivialize my desktop and that's probably my biggest problem with it. It's kind of the same reason I haven't run out and bought a Wii U - I don't see anything about it (yet) sufficiently compelling to move on from my Wii.

From my admittedly little knowledge of Win8 - it seems to be focusing on non-computer users - let me explain what I mean:

Back in the 80s and 90s computers were NOT mainstream consumer devices. They were expensive and counterintuitive. And they were also fairly unreliable and when they broke it was a nightmare to troubleshoot - it's easier now with the internet but before the internet it could be a nightmare to find out about a single piece of information about your motherboard or anything else inside your computer. And when you did finally figure out the problem you were told to go to a rented hotel ballroom where the apparently just-started-up-hardware-company setup a makeshift warehouse where you could pick up a 3.5" floppy disc with the driver you needed - yes, that happened to me. Twice. True story.

In general, consumers did not associate a computer with any kind of need or want. So computers mostly stayed in the realm of the business/industry environment. Then there was that small nitch of 'nerd' consumers (like me) who very early on recognized that great gaming could be had on these machines and that's where it started for me - though it didn't end with that. As a young adult I was able to recognize computer solutions for small companies I worked in and became as excited about productivity software as I was about gaming.

As the 90s came to a close, computer technology had advanced sufficiently enough to introduce 4 things that would ultimatley draw in the masses (the non-computer users - for lack of a better term). These four things are:

- The web (which would also eventually include the almighty powerful social media services like the evil MySpace - oh how I hate you MySpace I could never get my employees off of that damn service)
- Email
- Photos/Videos
- Music.

As a result, laptops and desktop sales soared through much of the 2000s as all these non-computer users came to love their computers for basically these 4 things.

Now we are in the smartphone and tablet era. These devices are perfect for 'The Big 4' and to boot allow you to do these 4 things on the go. And so the masses are transitioning to those devices more and more. But in my view, the masses who are interested mostly in just these 4 things are not and never were 'computer users.'

Computer users are people who:

-Game (and not the shallow gaming found in app stores - as much as I can get distracted by angry birds when I'm waiting for my kids' taekwondo class to end - it's only entertaining in brief stints, but real gaming like Gothic 2 gaming)

-Use Productivity software from spreadsheets to C++ to word processing to database creation to CAD/CAM to photoshop to you name it.

-Use Professional Industrial Based applications from MRP systems to archetecture to the medical industry to making sure the satellites don't fall from the sky.

And the market for desktop sales is now shrinking back to what it really should be - the market for computer users - which still includes businesses and industry but now, to a lesser degree (though NOT insignificant), consumers.

I think MS (and pundits alike - there are many 'PCs are dying' priests and priestesses out there) might be making a mistake with viewing shrinking desktop sales as a sign that perhaps desktops are going the way of the dinasour.

However, I personally cannot imagine doing any serious gaming or work on a tablet. That might change in the future, but right now I woudn't even consider doing a major spreadsheet project on a machine where I had to use my fingers for the inputs - that kind of inputing would add an unreasonable amount of time to complete the project. I might as well go back to writing a paper by hand instead of typing one at 100 words per minute. In short, the market prophets seem to be creating a self-fullfilling prophecy that desktops are dead while at the same time there is this glaring absence to recreate or better the desktop efficiencies (big screen, crazy fast processing speeds, lots of hard drive space, mouse, keyboard to name the easy ones right off the top of my head).

So while smartphones and tablets are all the rage, espeically by the non-computer users who always were non-computer users despite their brief flirtation with desktops/laptops for a time, there is still a sizeable demographic of people like me, who use computers for a lot more than just web, email, photos/videos, and music.

While smartphones and tablets have their uses, the small screens, lackluster speeds and finger inputting are absolutely NOT better (from a computer user perspective) or more efficient than my 27" screen, i7 processor, mouse, and keyboard. For a computer user, the tile layout is absolutley NOT more efficient than a desktop layout. And now that I am given a real choice of one over the other, I really want nothing to do with a trivalized desktop when I already have a Win7 desktop that is quite awesome.

So when I look at Win8, I see an O/S that wasn't really designed for me. It's designed first and foremost for the non-computer users. A tile layout works for my mom, grandma, and the cool hipster high school kids and adults that never grew up who live out their lives mostly on Facebook. But for me, it's clunky and inefficient. And that's why for the first time I probably will not ever buy this O/S. And that's the first MS O/S I will ever have NOT purchased.

Jaz January 24th, 2013 18:52

That's an interesting read, TNG …
…I bought it, anyway.

joxer January 24th, 2013 19:50

I didn't buy win8.

1. My PC is not a big smartphone nor will ever be
2. I don't have a touchscreen monitor
3. My company tested it and decided there is nothing in win8 so important that we should spend a fortune to get 3+K licenses

Will I ever buy win8? I don't think so. Till the time I'm in a desperate need for a new OS, win9 or win10 will be out.
The shortened loadtime is not enough for me as the next thing I'll buy is SSD so I really don't see the point of faster boot process win8 has.

TheMadGamer January 24th, 2013 19:52


Originally Posted by Jaz (Post 1061181108)
That's an interesting read, TNG … …I bought it, anyway.

That is how I always used to be until now. When the hate speech started up with WinME, I bought it anyway. When it happend with Vista, I bought it anyway.

Back then, I was more curious to experience for myself, hands-on just how the O/S had evolved than than I was afraid of the all the stated problems.

But I have to say, this Win8 is a strange one. I'm not at all interested in it. Even at a computer store I stopped to tinker with Win8 on a PC they had there and it was maybe 2 minutes before I lost all interest. This is new for me. I REALLY dislike the desktop being turned into a tablet.

Jaz January 24th, 2013 20:02

Well, it keeps my senses sharp while I try to figure out the details of how it's supposed to work.

I bought it because … well, because my machine had just given up its ghost and I was just too lazy to reinstall Win7 after the HW exchange. Win8 was cheap and looked like the surface of my XBox. While I prefer the XBox's speech recognition to the PC's scrolling orgy, I quite like my new Win8 … all the important programs that worked under Win7 work under Win8 as well. The task manager got a huge facelift and became a really useful tool (but be advised .. you'll actually need it), and IMO Win8 is rather fast when compared to its predecessor.

darkling January 24th, 2013 20:13

Why haven't I done what? I did. It was $15 and is superior to what came before. Totally worth it. So why wouldn't I?

Most of peoples diatribes about Windows 8 seem to not be based on fact, either. It's all "WHAT IF MS does THIS?" and "WHAT IF MS did THAT?" and not actually paying attention to what is actually happening. Metro is optional. The desktop is still there. The app store is only as relevant as you make it. Whining about the removal of the Start menu is silly. It opened the door for a wide variety of third party plugin Start menus that power users can enjoy and customize to be exactly what they want. From excellent free ones (ClassicShell) to boring pay ones (Stardocks Start8) to ones that do weird new things (Pokki). What did MS do? Open the door for more easy to use options? Heaven forfend!

It's tiring to read disinformation, pointless conjecture and utter lies being spread about things as silly as an operating system. Stop justifying your own personal inflexibility. We're all getting older but it doesn't mean we have to become that old inflexible curmudgeon who can't embrace the present. Not even the future, just the present.

Lucky Day January 24th, 2013 20:13

I never bought WinME but did have to deal with it on a support basis. It was the same for Win2K, and it was because of WinME I believe no one bought W2K for their home - it was a glorified WinNT.

Win8 is a hybrid OS and I'm getting used to it only because I have to. I haven't tried it on a tablet yet but I believe even there I won't like it. I have some experience WinCE/PocketPC/Mobile so I am not certain there was a need for a complete overhaul.

They've basically replaced the Start menu with Metro. After years of training your customers to do things one way, why would you tell them to do it another. The Start menu was the result of millions of dollars spent on focus groups for W95 showing that customers didn't know what to do with faced with a Mac like GUI. Now you want to unteach them that after 18 years? Its not the new WinME - its the new Office 2010 with its ribbon menus.

JemyM January 24th, 2013 20:23

From what I have seen …
… windows 8 remove things that I like …
… add nothing that I need …
… which means I do not see it's purpose.

Windows 7 have few things that annoys me;
- With thumbnails enabled you can't delete folders with images and movies via network since the thumbnail generation marks the folder to be in use.
- Swapping monitors and audio-output could have been easier to do.
- I would like double-line task-bars.
… but I guess I can live with that.

CrazyIrish January 24th, 2013 21:40

I tend to upgrade every other cycle with software and every three or so for hardware. I feel this gives me the most "bang for my buck" without ever leaving me technologically irrelevant.

DArtagnan January 25th, 2013 10:34

I haven't detected a reason to upgrade yet, which is why I haven't.

That said, I admit I have only very limited knowledge of Windows 8 - and I haven't done much research. I think the Metro interface is a slap in the face of desktop users - because it's default and can't be removed without fiddling. That's an insult, actually.

So, I have no plans to upgrade - but I will do it when some game or application that I need won't run at its best without it.

I'd have no qualms pirating it - if I feel forced and gain no actual benefit, beyond artificially needing it to use some game or application.

I'll pay for it if I recognise that it's an actual upgrade.

Gaxkang January 25th, 2013 11:03

If it's true that W8 is a closed ecosystem and nothing can be developed for it without MS' approval (ie no more free little aps), then I'll hold on to W7 until support and drivers run out, and then migrate to Linux. Hopefully Wine will be more developed by then, or MS will have seen sense and released a less fascist OS.

I have no intention of paying PC prices and getting XBox-type restrictions on what I can and can't do.

coaster January 25th, 2013 11:14

My other half has Windows 8 and she had to buy Start8 from Stardock to restore the start menu and have a sensibly located power off button. It also allows you to boot direct to the desktop instead of that stupid app screen.

In other words, she's had to turn it into Windows 7 to make it usable.

GhanBuriGhan January 25th, 2013 11:21

I had only just switched to 7. Generally it seems good advice to skip every second windows iteration, until next time they should hopefully have ironed out the wrinkles a bit.

wolfgrimdark January 25th, 2013 11:46

I have installed it on three machines at work so getting use to it. I have a copy for use at home and I was going to install it over holiday break … but decided to use my time playing Skyrim instead :)

As to why I haven't installed it? I have a custom built machine (by a company) that was specially configured and over-clocked with some custom software. I do not want the hassle of a fresh install unless A) I have to for some reason, B) the pros far outweigh the cons. It would be a big project.

Now I might consider an upgrade. I am testing out the upgrade functions at work. I have never done an upgrade at home - I like clean installs. But an upgrade might give me some of the speed boosts without the hassle of reformatting.

But as of yet I simply haven't seen any real need other than the "oh look a new shiney I must use it". It has some nice features overall - I am not put off by the new interface as you can learn that very quickly. But if I have a perfectly working, fast, and efficient system now why spend an entire weekend upgrading with some risk that certain things may not work?

Its one thing to not upgrade because of fear of change, another thing to not upgrade because there simply isn't any real need to. Change can be good but one shouldn't change just for the sake of changing.

There is also some evidence that waiting a while to update any software tends to be a good thing, versus always having to be first on the wagon, because some kinks and patches get released that may improve your experience.

BillSeurer January 25th, 2013 16:49

I like Windows 7 and having read a lot about Windows 8 when I recently built my new gaming rig for at home I just stuck with 7. The new interface is just…off. Desktop machines are NOT "big smartphones" and having a universal user interface is not a good idea.

"- I would like double-line task-bars."

JemyM, you can do that with Window 7. Just grab the top of the task bar and drag it up a bit. Make sure it's not locked.

TheMadGamer January 25th, 2013 17:20


Originally Posted by BillSeurer (Post 1061181309)
Desktop machines are NOT "big smartphones" and having a universal user interface is not a good idea.

I tend to agree with this. MS has stated that one over-arching strategy with Win8 is to bring a common O/S to all devices.

For years they have had spin-off versions of their O/Ss for different devices so I can certainly see their point of view.

However, really nobody else does this with their product lines. Car manufacturers don't make just one model of a car and then try to market it to all demographics. Ok probably not the best analogy but perhaps you get my point anyway.

Back in the days of pocket PCs, I never saw a problem with a Windows Ce as a slimmed down, different sort of windows.

My biggest problem with Win8 is perhaps a superficial one - I really just can't stand that metro interface. It's not even that it's all totally terrible, but the bottom line is I don't like it. Back to the lame car analogy - you might stumble across a near perfect model of a car with all the features you want. Except that it's pink and you really don't want to drive around in a pink car.


Originally Posted by wolfgrimdark (Post 1061181265)
Now I might consider an upgrade. I am testing out the upgrade functions at work. I have never done an upgrade at home - I like clean installs. But an upgrade might give me some of the speed boosts without the hassle of reformatting.

From the era of WinXP on back, I used to gamble with upgrading older Windows O/Ss to newer ones all in the name of saving time. It never worked out and ended up costing me more time because of the time I wasted on trying to upgrade and then having to just do a full install anyway.

Because of those experiences, I never bother with upgrading anymore because frankly I'm always afraid that road will lead to yet another chunk of hours of my life snatched away (I think the time I've dedicated in my life to watching status bars slowly creep from left to right can be measured in months - the thought is horrifying - worse even than time spent stuck in traffic - at least being stuck in traffic is outdoors and real life). Perhaps these days upgrading is just fine, I've just been to skeptical to even try.

If I were you, when the time comes, just bite the bullet and do a full reinstall. Hard drives are cheap now and a great way to do risk-free upgrades is to keep your current hard drive(s) and install clean to a brand new one. If you have problems you can always plug in your old hard drive to check out settings and what-not until you get things right on the new drive.


Originally Posted by BillSeurer (Post 1061181309)
There is also some evidence that waiting a while to update any software tends to be a good thing, versus always having to be first on the wagon, because some kinks and patches get released that may improve your experience.

I agree and that is fantastic advice. On a side note, I was just watching a video review of the Wii U and there are/were all kinds of problems and promised features missing from the Wii U - at launch. Kind of lame for people who ran out and bought one for Christmas.

Lucky Day January 25th, 2013 17:35

Are PC's dying? As long as people need to develop and use a spreadsheet, no. How many people use an XBox to write an XBox game.

Are they hurting? Consider that Dell may be up for sale soon and MS might buy a piece of it. It will also likely go private.

I was under the impression that the Metro interface could be rolled back.

Its silly, MS and other OS's do best when they co-op existing popular products. DOS 5 killed the growing compression software market, XP killed PC Anywhere, etc. QT TabBar looks great - its something I've wanted in my browser even.

One problem with Metro is it doesn't address the growing integrated TV market. No one walks up to their flat screen to change the channel.

BillSeurer January 26th, 2013 00:16

Desktops aren't dead but they are ailing. The numbers sold is close to holding firm but slowly declining. For a while notebooks were where they growth was (and sales surpassed desktops) but they've been holding steady for a while now too. All the real growth is in tablets.

CountChocula January 26th, 2013 00:22

I upgraded from Vista to Windows 7 because it was supposed to make my PC run faster, which it did.

I haven't read any information about Windows 8 that would suggest the same, so I have no need to upgrade.

Drithius January 26th, 2013 00:50

Because I enjoy Windows 7 too much to go out and spend $100 to be subjected to some cumbersome touchpad UI for 4 year olds.

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