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The Metro-Interfaced Turd

May 13th, 2013
Microsoft is getting fed up with people telling them how badly Windows 8 sucks. Frank Shaw, a Microsoft VP of communications, said:
In this world where everyone is a publisher, there is a trend to the extreme -- where those who want to stand out opt for sensationalism and hyperbole over nuanced analysis. In this world where page views are currency, heat is often more valued than light. Stark black-and-white caricatures are sometimes more valued than shades-of-gray reality. So let's pause for a moment and consider the center. In the center, selling 100 million copies of a product is a good thing. In the center, listening to feedback and improving a product is a good thing.
“Nuanced analysis” being sales-talk for “I'm about to lie to you.” Hate to carp on this, buddy, but you didn't sell 100 million copies. That may be the pipeline number, but as for actual copies sold and in use, the number is closer to 60 million. Some of the licenses have been shipped but not sold, and a good many are simply not used—users even pay a premium so they can downgrade to Windows 7. Not to mention that of the 60 million probable actual sales, it is more than likely that most were not willful, but instead were people who simply bought computers and Windows 8 happened to be on them. Not to mention that Windows 8 is now on tablets, which cannot downgrade to Windows 7, and tablet sales are included in the numbers reported, inflating the overall numbers and yet making the picture more dismal for the Desktop. This all means that instead of matching the adoption rate of Windows 7, Windows 8 is doing probably only about half as well, if even that. Which, of course, is in line with reality, as most people agree: Windows 8 sucks on desktop computers. I get the same vibe from W8 users that I got from Vista users. If Vista was a Chrome-Plated Turd, Win 8 is a Turd in a Metro interface. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not just trashing Windows, else I would call W8 a total failure. The fact is, for a tablet, 8 is supposedly a sweet ride. But that's the problem: Microsoft designed 8 for tablets, and apparently figured that it would be perfectly fine for desktops as well. Which raises the same question I had on the first day of the Windows 8 public beta release: What the frack is Microsoft thinking? It took me all of five minutes to conclude that Windows 8 was a complete and total frack-up on a desktop. It was not an act of genius on my part, it was simply stupendously obvious. I mean, really: changes to the basic user interface without even a hint to users about what to do? No tutorial? No step-by-step? Are you kidding me? And then later, with the official release, still no compensation? And even if Microsoft had decided to keep the Start menu in it, the OS was hardly a worthy upgrade for desktop users in the first place. Shaw's complaint comes across as… well, let's just say that if we pause for a moment and consider the center, the center is realizing that you have seriously screwed up and so you have to cover your ass with excuses. Which explains his corporate ass-covering statement. Microsoft has had four OS releases in the past 12 years. Two have been successful, stable, and well-liked releases. However, the other two have been breathtaking pieces of crap. That's not really a very good track record.

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  1. Tim
    May 13th, 2013 at 07:53 | #1

    My geekster oriented friends treasurely guard the XP that they have installed on their high powered desk top systems – though I’ve heard some resignation about moving on to 7.

    I’ve always been on the wrong foot with Microsoft. My laptop in Law School had millenium on it. The machine I currently use has Vista on it.

  2. Troy
    May 13th, 2013 at 14:40 | #2

    I boot into Windows 8 (well, Server 2012) on my MBP and the difference between 10.8 and Windows is always stunning.

    There’s no drop shadows, the dock sucks, kanji rendering is total ass, Apple’s sticking with the single menu bar paid off now that I’m always on a laptop with one 15″ display.

    Oh, Window’s CLI terminal is utter crap too.

    I am looking forward to what they do with the xbox though. That’s the only thing that Microsoft is doing that matters any more.

    How much more MS moves the ball compared to the PS4 remains to be seen I guess.

    Sony is aggressively looking for Indie ISVs for their mobile platform, and they’ve hinted they want to extend on this for the PS4 marketplace, so Microsoft may have to up their game wrt Indies.

    Being a wanna-be indie, that’d be good news for me.

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