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PGTS Humble Blog

Thread: Microsoft (Decline Of)

Author Image Gerry Patterson. The world's most humble blogger
Your Most Esteemed And Very Humble Blogger

Windows 8 - What On Earth Were They Thinking?

Chronogical Blog Entries:

Date: Thu, 16 May 2013 23:49:32 +1000

In the past few months rumours of a "new" release of Windows have spread around the Internet. As the whispers became a steady background rumble, more rumours surfaced about "Windows Blue" ... Now it transpires that the new release will be called Windows 8.1 ... And it will be given away as a free update. Some Microsoft shills have opined that Microsoft is doing the "right thing" ... But it is more correct to say that Microsoft is taking the only sane course of action remaining ... After so diligently painting themselves into a corner with the ill-advised and over-applied metro interface.

Of course there have been the usual flim flam about the "great" sales figures. And your humble blogger encountered very similar puff pastry during the great "Vista Debacle". If is very easy to inflate your sales figures when all global retail arms ship only your product by default. Despite the supposed sales figures, the actual number of Windows 8 computers seen on the Internet was minuscule. Here at PGTS the share of Windows 8 computers as calculated from Agent String statistics had grown slowly to just under 3%. Brian Robson, the webmaster who runs the Bondi Beach website reported similar limp results for Windows 8. This was far worse than the lackadaisical growth of Vista many years earlier which had at least crept up to 10% before it flat-lined.

When the rubber hit the road there just weren't that many Windows 8 agent strings in the global traffic ... Many consumers who knew better, were back-grading their installation to Windows 7 ... And there were even a couple of them such as your humble blogger, who simply reached for his Ubuntu Installation disk. To make matters worse for Microsoft, the sales performance of the mobile versions were dismal.

On the odd occasion your humble blogger has made a less than complimentary remark about some of Microsoft's initiatives in search and "New" operating systems. Windows 8, however was a direct assault by their own marketing arm on the cornerstone of Microsoft's hegemony ... The computer desktop ... It was a remarkable "own goal", which left your humble blogger bemused and wondering "What on earth were they thinking?" ... What is it that they put in the water in Redmond that allowed an idea like foisting an interface designed for touch devices on all desktop users whether or not they have a touch enabled screen, to surface ... Let alone to float, on the warm bubbly froth of Sales and Marketing.

As Microsoft enter the final phase of their market dominance it should not surprise us that Sales and marketing apparatchiks now have such influence on the shape and scope of the technology. It should be obvious to anyone who understands the fundamentals of computing that if development of a kernel is well planned, it is easy to create quite different looking (and behaving) interfaces for the same underlying operating system ... And insisting that the kernel look and behave the same on different interfaces with different controls is just unnecessary and more than a little thick-headed.

Your blogger has in the past offered his humble opinion that the new Microsoft double knit trousers were manufactured mostly from hubris. And if you accept the premise that a grand Universal Operating System to run on all platforms is desirable (and achievable), then a Sales and Marketing person might mistake this quest for the one operating system to rule them all ... Or at the very least one that will make the operating system "appear" to be universal ... In other words that there should be one Universal interface ... Or one grand universal API to rule them all ... Because as any Sales and Market expert knows, appearance is everything ... Much more important than reality (whatever that is).

It was only in the last few months that the cold reality of where this lunatic policy was headed has sunk in. The decision to ship Windows 8.1 as a free upgrade wasn't so much a matter of Microsoft doing the right thing as it was of doing the only thing left open to them.

Your humble blogger expects the regular Windows 7 menus and buttons to make a comeback in the upcoming release of Windows 8.1 ... Perhaps it should have been called Windows 7.3? At least that would dissociate it, in the minds of consumers, from the now widely reviled Windows 8.

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