IDC isn’t optimistic about Windows 8’s success

Microsoft is betting on tablets and touch input big-time with Windows 8, but how will users of conventional PCs respond to the new operating system? Not so well, according to IDC predictions quoted by ZDNet. Take a look:

IDC analysts didn’t mince words about Windows client. “Windows 8 will be largely irrelevant to the users of traditional PCs, and we expect effectively no upgrade activity from Windows 7 to Windows 8 in that form factor,” according to IDC’s prediction document. (IDC is predicting Windows 8 will be released to manufacturing in time for new Windows 8 PCs to emerge by August 2012, at the latest. And they are very bullish about Windows Server 8’s prospects, for what it’s worth.)

IDC doesn’t expect Windows 8 to be a runaway success in the tablet market, either. The market research firm predicts "disappointing" results for 2012.

It’s certainly true that Windows 8 tablet vendors will enter a crowded field next year. In a way, Windows 8 reminds me of Windows Phone 7, which also shipped long after Apple’s and Google’s next-gen smartphone platforms. Windows Phone 7 certainly isn’t a bad product—in fact, it’s much less fragmented than Android, and users are having an easier time getting software updates. Nevertheless, recent ComScore data posted by Engadget suggests Microsoft is a distant fourth behind Google, Apple, and RIM in smartphone usage share.

Comments closed
    • Ashbringer
    • 8 years ago

    Windows Phone 7 isn’t doing well because Android has a lot more going for it. The OS fragmentation isn’t necessarily a bad thing, except that a lot of phones don’t get software upgrades. If you’re using Froyo, then Froyo it is. Then again, that’s where the software community jumps in, like CyanogenMod.

    #1 Bigger software library
    #2 Customizable
    #3 More freedom
    #4 Cheaper

    As for Windows 8’s predicted failure, it has a lot to do with their move to the tablet UI. This could all be fixed by releasing a version for Tablets and a version for Desktops, but that won’t happen. Microsoft wants to cash in on the software market, by collecting 30% of sales.

    To be honest, tablets are starting to fade already. Only companies want these products in consumer hands, just to collect 30% of sales. People are moving to laptops once again. This is mostly due to the amount of shovelware that smart phones and tablets have. People are starting to find that these devices aren’t practical for anything beyond web browsing and email.

    Though I want Microsoft to release Windows 8 cause I want Windows to fail. I wanna see the world move towards Linux. This will give Linux another opportunity to try and do something right, and produce something that can actually take the place of Windows.

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    Windows 8 will do fine. It really just Windows 7 Tablet 2.0. Most of the changes are simply UI and making the code slimmer to fit the needs of tablets and smartphones. It fare well against Android and iOS because it has access to rich collection of Windows-based applications.

    Windows 8 isn’t going to replace Windows 7, it is going to complement it.

    Windows 7 = Desktop/Workstation market

    Windows 8 = Tablets, portables, smartphones.

      • cynan
      • 8 years ago

      [i<]It fare well against Android and iOS because it has access to rich collection of Windows-based applications. [/i<] That's only for tablets/PCs with x86 processors, no? Core i5 tablets are heavier and, currently, 2x-3x more expensive than their Android counterparts (and close to 2x the the price of the Ipad). Unless Microsoft plans to heavily subsidize x86 tablets, or Intel's new Atoms finally start appearing in tablets (and even they will purportedly be expensive - more than atom-based netbooks), I can't see how they'll compete against ultrabooks (which go for the same price), let alone other tablets. Perhaps if Intel feels sufficiently threatened by Arm, it will initiate an "ultratablet" program and heavily subsidize their new Atom chips for tablet makers so that manufacturers can sell x86 tablets, with quality displays, peripherals, etc for < $500. Otherwise, I don't see what all the fuss will be about Windows 8.

        • cygnus1
        • 8 years ago

        You’re forgetting that there will be an ARM version of Windows 8. It will run on basically the same hardware as Android. And when it comes out a year from now, a quad core tablet with 2GB of ram and 32GB of flash will be perfectly economical at $500. That should run Windows quite nicely.

        And if the rumors are true about MS eliminating the desktop and only allowing the Metro interface on ARM versions, the install size could get quite small. Possibly small enough to where a 16GB tablet is perfectly workable.

          • cheesyking
          • 8 years ago

          yes but the ARM version of win8 won’t run the “rich collection of Windows-based applictions”, it’s metros apps only and the collection of metros apps isn’t exactly “rich”.

          Even if you could have run that “rich collection of Windows-based applications” on ARM windows they’re all designed for mouse and keyboard rather than touch so they’d be virtually unusable.

    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    And why not? In my opinion MS really set the bar high with Windows 7. It’s probably not good for tablets at all, and Windows 8 could be more well-suited for that purpose, but for desktops, I think Windows 7 pretty much has it nailed. I would even go as far as to say that it could be the next Windows XP in terms of longevity.

    • Chrispy_
    • 8 years ago

    I’m with IDC on this. Most of the market is desktop PC or laptop, and Microsoft is making a tablet-OS with desktop pc compatibility thrown in for ‘fun’.

    They should just call it Windows7 tablet and it’d probably sell better too.

    With Windows 8 [s<]introducing a new[/s<] forcing us to use a tablet-optimised UI, I see and hear a lot of angry power-users already flat-out bad-mouthing Windows 8. We're still miffed that they cluttered up Explorer, ruined the search feature, 'All-programs' start menu, and made the navigation pane about as useless and unintuitive as possible for actually navigating [i<]a file system[/i<].

    • LiquidSpace
    • 8 years ago

    I agree with IDC on this one.
    Nokia’ worst venture was dumping everything they had and going with that crappy win 7 phone and it’s horrendous ui.
    they should’ve kept Meego and gone with Android. Look at Android 4.0 icecream sandwich it totally owns anything win 7.5. win 7 phone can’t even compete with the old kinda outdated IOS. Meego on the other hand was a great OS and it could’ve been really big and great, it has an amazing Ui and great utilization of gestures without the need for home button, search button, back button, menu button and so on.
    all this trolling about win 8 and how it’s gonna change the tablet and phone market is BS.
    Microsoft is too late and by the time they release something notably good; Android 6.0 and probably Ios 6.0 would dominate that easily.

    • Vulk
    • 8 years ago

    IDC is also largely correct on the Big Business IT Front. I’ve been reaching out to a lot of other companies as we forge our IT strategy for 2013 and no one I’ve talked to was interested at ALL in Windows 8 for anything but servers (where the server OS upgrade for 2012 looks very compelling actually). The general consensus was that there was somewhere between no and almost no upside for going to Windows 8, and a lot of downside since they would be compelled to retrain a number of non-technical users to deal with invasive OS changes as well as revalidate business line software for yet ANOTHER OS (since most just finished the transition to Win 7 in the last year or two, while some are STILL transitioning off XP).

    Windows 8 may eventually succeed, but it’s going to be a slog for them. I know we’ve already mustered licenses, and are combing through our support contracts, so that we can downgrade computer purchases going forward to at least 2014 with Win 7 to avoid any attempt by MS to force us onto an upgrade path, as they’re did with us from XP to Win 7.

    So my prediction is that you won’t see Win 8 on many corporate desktops at all for a lot of years, which is bad news for their sales numbers since corporate PC’s currently make up about 55% of their overall licenses. However it does in the consumer market place, this OS upgrade isn’t likely to be the same success Win 7 was for MS.

    Just my two cents.

      • PeterD
      • 8 years ago

      And W7 was primarily a success because lots of people shunned Vista.

    • Noigel
    • 8 years ago

    Win8 will be fighting on two fronts:

    1) It will bully itself into the consumer (and later, the server) PC market with pre-installations on new PCs. No real surprises there. Will probably be a slower roll with “already existing” PC adoption since Win7 is so loved. I think consumers will be dragged kicking and screaming until eventually Win8 on PC is considered a success.

    2) It will attempt to live on tablet hardware too.

    When I think of tablets… I think of a reduced and highly focused system with limited human input… I can’t imagine Win8 being successful with a large majority of the “PC” code sitting there not being utilized. They may severely bastardize the Win8 structure to live on a tablet but then it really isn’t Win8 anymore… it’s Win8 “Tablet Edition” and they are just reaping brand recognition.

    On a sidenote: I bet they are scared to brand it anything but “Win 8” on mobile platforms because MS has never really had a widely adopted and favored portable edition with a separate name… Win 7 phone = accepted, well reviewed. WinCE = never quite met expectations.

    • rogthewookiee
    • 8 years ago

    Funny, because what is keeping me from buying a tablet now is the possibility of getting one with a “real” OS.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 8 years ago

      the reality of the OS is that it won’t be the real version on smart phones, lol. without compatibility for non metro apps the arm version will face plant and so will all of win 8 with most of the new improvements being aimed at that market.

      • PeterD
      • 8 years ago

      Be ready for a disappointment.

    • d2brothe
    • 8 years ago

    I stopped reading at “IDC analysts”

    • PeterD
    • 8 years ago

    That’s was an accident to happen.
    Everybody reading the comments on the TR already new that W8 wasn’t loved by desktop pc users.
    Worse is that it seems it won’t even be a big hit in the tablet market.
    Maybe that was an accident to happen too.
    People buy a tablet to have fun. Windows is not associated with having fun.

      • khands
      • 8 years ago

      Windows is associated with the entire PC gaming market, that automatically associates it with fun.

    • Geistbar
    • 8 years ago

    Here’s another report: Geistbar isn’t optimistic about IDC’s predictions.

    I wish there was a way to phrase that so it’s still funny (at least to me) without coming across as someone who perennially speaks in third person.

    • steddy
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t agree. I’ve installed the developed preview (only to, uh, you know, develop things) and, aside from a few bugs here and there, I think it’s an excellent operating system. Its memory usage is a considerably better than that of Windows 7.

    Although I do know that quality and success don’t always go together.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 8 years ago

      Out of curiousity, what’s the benchmark you use to judge “considerably better than that of Windows 7” performance? It’s easy to say, but I’m curious what you’re seeing in performance improvements that has you saying this. Especially when considering that AMD Bulldozer scheduler improvements are apparently slated (per AMD at HardOCP) to be added to Windows 7’s scheduler…

      Or are you just talking about your boot time improvement (via Windows 8’s half-hibernation/half-shut down scheme)?

        • steddy
        • 8 years ago

        Sorry, I should have been more clear: It uses considerably less memory than Windows 7. The “considerably better performance” might only apply to my computer, which is somewhat starved for RAM at the moment.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 8 years ago

      Is it possible to never use metro?

    • wierdo
    • 8 years ago

    I think that’s an idiotic prediction.

    Regardless of how good or bad Win8 will be, it’ll be bundled in PCs from major OEMs, ensuring its proliferation into the market. Worst case scenario a Vista launch, and some companies wish their stuff was as successful as that supposed “failure” story.

    And once it takes off on the PC the inertia from developers working on it will likely spill over into the tablet market.

    It’s the power of a monopoly, end of story.

      • blastdoor
      • 8 years ago

      this is so obviously correct. Very weird that IDC would suggest otherwise.

        • HisDivineOrder
        • 8 years ago

        IDC knows that computer purchases are going to slow as Intel reduces emphasis on performance in favor of battery life and heat production. They suspect, as I suspect, that many users in this tough economy will see very little reason to upgrade a 2012+ computer sold with Windows 7 for any time in the near future.

        And if new computers aren’t getting those new copies of Windows 8 out there, then the only way to have Windows 8 penetrate the market in a big way is to outright offer a compelling feature in Windows 8 that will drive users out to upgrade their Windows 7 computers to 8.

        Unfortunately, Microsoft’s so busy making this thing work with ARM and tablets, despite crippling it for both by removing desktop, they’re not giving PC users any reason to buy into this OS upgrade.

        If users aren’t buying Windows 8 on their own and they aren’t buying new computers because there’s little reason to because even most computers by then are playing games easily, then I suspect you won’t see incredible penetration of Windows 8 into the market.

      • relmerator
      • 8 years ago

      I don’t disagree with you, but the point of the article seems to be that *upgrades* will be weak.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 8 years ago

      The point isn’t that no one will buy Win8, obviously many will. The point is that it’s going to sell worse than people are expecting.

        • wierdo
        • 8 years ago

        That can be dabated sure, but the wording of the report is kinda vague. When they say Win7 to Win8 upgrade, do they mean software-wise, or does that imply/include upgrades by way of a new PC purchases?

        If it’s just an OS swap then maybe that’ll be true, but that would be a relatively small market segment, I don’t think this means much when looking at the big picture or taking long term view on the product’s future.

        Most upgrades will come through new PC purchases, which the average Joes usually go for when they say they wanna “upgrade” their PCs, even more so in the case of laptops obviously, and those are becoming a bigger slice of the PC market every year.

        edit: oops, supposed to be more of a reply to relmerator’s post.

      • Vulk
      • 8 years ago

      And Vista was an unmitigated success as well in the 5 years they were promoting that OS using the exact methods you’re discussing here.

      The fact of the matter is, that if users don’t want to use your product, they don’t have to. And there is little you (as a company) can do to really compel them. At this point just about everyone knows someone who can ‘help them out with a computer issue’, and for a lot of years that meant reformatting the HDD to remove Vista and to reinstall a hacked version of XP.

      Also your viewpoint completely ignores the #1 sales mechanism for computers these days, which is corporations, and Not One Corporation I’ve talked to plans on moving to Windows 8. Not one. Most of the IT managers look at it with dread, and I can’t blame them. There are just enough changes to force software re-validation with it (read expensive waste of manpower), and so many changes that retraining users for it will be a headache of epic proportions.

        • wierdo
        • 8 years ago

        That may be the case in the short term, but in the long run corporations will be forced to move whether they like it or not, Win7 support ends at some point. I mean what alternative would they have at that point in time? MacOS? Linux? Android? Doubtful, but we’ll see I guess.

    • swaaye
    • 8 years ago

    They are nuts. 😉 I don’t see why Win 8 will be any different than any other Windows launch. It’s always pretty exciting to see what’s new. Win8 sounds like an improved 7 but with that new optional tablet interface. I also don’t think there’s a lack of demand for new notebooks and desktops, if Best Buy is anything to go by.

    The Win8 tablets should be interesting since Win7 is not quote there in that respect.

    • blastdoor
    • 8 years ago

    What does this prediction really mean? Most PC users don’t upgrade the OS on an existing computer anymore anyway, they upgrade (whether they want to or not) when they buy a new computer. With Windows 8 coming out relatively shortly after Windows 7 there will inevitably be few people who just bought a Win7 computer running out to buy a Win8 computer, and that would be true regardless of the features of Win8.

    Unless Win8 is an actual step backwards from Win7, I doubt many users will opt to “downgrade” a new computer from Win8 to Win7. But even if they wanted to, MS could make it very hard to impossible. Same thing applies to corporate users — they might prefer to stick with Win7, but MS can force them to take Win8 on new machines (the IT guys at my employer would still be running win2k with SP 9 if such a thing existed).

    So basically, the only way for Win8 to be a major flop is if MS chooses to pay attention to people who they can easily ignore and chooses to sell Win7 when they can force people to take Win8. That being the case, I bet Win8 does just fine.

    • jjj
    • 8 years ago

    Based on the info we have,i don’t see much of a reason to upgrade from Win 7 on traditional PCs and if M$ sticks to it’s initial intentions and doesn’t allow for the Metro UI to be disabled it can get rather annoying.I’ve been wondering for a while if this isn’t Vista 2,we’ll see soon.
    On tablets,it will start with no apps,will add to the cost of the tablet and it’s Microsoft so it will evolve painfully slow.

      • jstern
      • 8 years ago

      I’m pretty sure there’s going to be an option to disable it. I mean I can even disable it now in the developer’s preview, and if they worked on the regular start menu, why have it so that it’s inaccessible? Would be a waster of man hour.

      Have you read somewhere that they plan on making it so that users can’t disable it?

        • Vulk
        • 8 years ago

        Yes. In the developer Log they’ve been explicit that in their eyes Windows 8 is the Metro UI, and the Desktop is an app that runs inside it. It’s a sign of immaturity on the developer preview that the Metro UI can be disabled, not an indication of their intent for the OS in general. Here is a link where Win8’s lead developer explains this and then goes into why (Instead of guessing they tell you pretty much exactly what they’re going to do and why on the rest of that site, fyi):

        [url<]http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/10/11/reflecting-on-your-comments-on-the-start-screen.aspx[/url<]

    • Ryu Connor
    • 8 years ago

    Silly.

    If there’s a reason it will be largely irrelevant, it will be because the vast majority of organization will have just finished their migrations to Windows 7 next year.

    None of them will be looking to spend the money to move to 8.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 8 years ago

    I think Windows 8 has one thing going for it –if it runs well on tablets, it would make a good choice in managed environments, such as schools.

    Current tablet devices have limits to deployment/management in some environments. Also, if Win8 supports standard Windows printing methods, printing from wireless to a printer through a Windows print server (or direct-IP printing) will be a plus. Finally, some mainstream MS apps used in managed environments will likely be available on this platform.

    I don’t see Windows 8 in its current form bringing anything to the desktop environment –but it has potential in the business and education market in tablet form. Whether that equates to sales in the home-user market, I don’t know.

      • PeterD
      • 8 years ago

      Candy for the kids….

      • Vulk
      • 8 years ago

      Umm, that may be true. Historically since NT98 they’ve had good enterprise management. However they’ve also had a very porous ability to prevent super users (i.e. most kids) from accessing the fundamentals of the OS, to the point where many can disable or at least circumvent the remote management features meant to remotely control the systems.

      So yeah… It’s a possibility. Probably better than Android, and possibly iOS which is already locked down hard for any user. We’ll certainly have to see how the modularization of the OS plays on Tablets, and then how it plays with GPOs, and NetSec.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 8 years ago

    I’m actually kinda looking forward to Windows 8. Seeing a little of what they’ve been doing, it looks like a lot of minor tweaks that should really enhance the user experience. I’m really interested in seeing what they can do with Kinect and Windows 8. That would be sweet to be able to control your HTPC with gestures. No more remote/wireless mouse.

      • mcnabney
      • 8 years ago

      You want to try to do some gestures, stand-up, speak to the Kinnect to do things as simple as hitting the channel or volume button on a remote control. Do you know what Microsoft should do for HTPCs? How about supporting all of the frequently used video files and codecs?

    • internetsandman
    • 8 years ago

    Is Windows 8 gonna be the same as 7 in terms of pricing? More than half the cost of the device it’s meant to run on? Seriously, the pricing of a single W7 licence is horrendous

      • relmerator
      • 8 years ago

      Compared to game prices, it’s a bargain.

        • Umbragen
        • 8 years ago

        I don’t know, I haven’t paid over $10 for a game in years.

      • Joe Miller
      • 8 years ago

      Ubuntu is free.

    • Deanjo
    • 8 years ago

    Windows 8 is going to be the best news for Apple since Vista. It will just drive people to the alternatives even more.

    Maybe Microsoft can create a few commercials staring Balmer and Charlie Sheen since those Gates / Sienfeld ones worked so well last time.

      • willmore
      • 8 years ago

      “Windows 8 is going to be the best news for Linux since Vista.”

      There, fixed that for you.

        • Anarchist
        • 8 years ago

        I still don’t get what the problem is/was with vista other than the fact that it needed at least 2G of memory to run well.

        • Deanjo
        • 8 years ago

        It didn’t need fixing. Linux’s biggest problem isn’t Windows. It’s biggest problem that it battles against itself with various factions duplicating efforts resulting in a split up of the talent pool and producing products that struggle with basics, unrefined and master of none.

          • Anonymous Coward
          • 8 years ago

          [quote<]Linux's biggest problem isn't Windows. It's biggest problem that it battles against itself[/quote<] I think division is a strength. Unified projects like Windows or OSX are only one "clever idea" away from driving off into the weeds. Linux is free to try everything at once within the limits of its resources.

          • Krogoth
          • 8 years ago

          QFT

      • BaronMatrix
      • 8 years ago

      You have to understand the power of Windows in the ENTERPRISE. If IT departments can give people inexpensive tablets with USB, they can save millions. Because the same apps work, good code is just a new UI away from being a Metro app. You still have the Windows login and security.

      I’d have to say IDC MAY mean “consumer.” But even then, if people can use Word and IE, it’s a wrap.

    • AlvinTheNerd
    • 8 years ago

    IDC also said that the Wii would lose the console generation, even worse than Gamecube, and that the PS3 would see about twice the sales as the Xbox.

    IDC said that dual core processors would be a dud and people would continue to look for the fastest Ghz chip. They then said quad core would be a dud.

    IDC has a very good system of projecting sales based on current trends and buying reasons. It has a very poor record of anticipating how a different product will modify purchasing behavior, predicting changes in trends, and seeing how informative marketing (You move, it moves with you, dual core for multitasking, etc) can change these things.

      • khands
      • 8 years ago

      Agreed, I don’t know how well MS will enter the tablet market, but I don’t think Win 8 is going to flop like Vista. Especially since the old desktop is stil there, new PCs will come with 8 and MS will be a strong force (though it may just reside in 3rd, I expect at least a respectible showing) in the tablet market.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        it will do fine. people like pretty, and that’s why they bought 7, so if 8 is prettier, which it is, then it’ll sell. what else are they going to use? retail sales of the software have never been a major part, it’s always new computers. the biggest risk to MS is the slowing economy.

          • khands
          • 8 years ago

          Well, that and Apple amassing enough cash for a buyout…

    • geekl33tgamer
    • 8 years ago

    Well, if the dev preview was anything to go on, then it’s not going to make a great desktop OS – Yeah, I get it’s geared towards tablets, and FWIW the tile thing it has going on does look nice (and should work well in it’s target market).

    I just don’t want any of that with my mouse and keyboard equipped desktop or laptop, unless it offers something pretty substantial over W7 in other areas that will make it a must have upgrade…

    • appledelhi
    • 8 years ago

    And we all know IDC is usually accurate when it comes to software sales. (Not to mention, the computer industry in general) : )

      • PeterD
      • 8 years ago

      Is that meant ironically, or do you mean it? (my question is not ironically, I ask because I just don’t know)

        • appledelhi
        • 8 years ago

        I was being sarcastic.

          • Firestarter
          • 8 years ago

          Isn’t that ironic?

          (dumdumdududiedum)

    • gmskking
    • 8 years ago

    That’s exactly what Windows 8 is, a tablet O/S, not a desktop O/S. I would certainly not pay Microsoft any more money for an O/S that fundamentally is the same thing as Windows Vista and 7 but with more tablet features. As a tablet O/S it may be very good. Time will tell.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 8 years ago

      Windows is dead. They’ve long since moved from making a normal desktop OS, to a dumbed down tablet interface that locks out the user from making any meaningful personalization. Linux is the only worthy alternative, but still isn’t ready for gaming. Perhaps Microsoft should license out directx to linux, and stop making windows altogether. PS. Ballmer needs to leave.

        • bcronce
        • 8 years ago

        Most users don’t customize their desktop beyond the wallpaper.

        While one can easily say that MS hasn’t done a whole lot as far as UIs go, one could also easily say the same about OpenSource.

        The biggest changes to Win8 is to the kernel/etc, nothing most users won’t see outside of slim computer and servers. Like others are saying, the regular desktop won’t see anything really special.

        Other big changes for Win8 is for IT.

        In the end, the desktop is already a mature market, you can’t expect large changes, but Win8 will do well with the growing markets, like Datacenters, Tablets, and Phones, plus many large IT depts will love it.

        • Malphas
        • 8 years ago

        Delusional nonsense.

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 8 years ago

        …how does Windows 8 lock “out the user from making any meaningful personalization”? It’s not even in beta yet – how would anyone in their right mind make that claim?

        Also, do you realize that the people who want to fuss with the low level functionality of their OS are a tiny, irrelevant, fraction of the market and mean nothing to the success or failure of a product on a global scale?

      • WaltC
      • 8 years ago

      Sorry, but no ceegar, senor. Windows 8 is an x86 desktop OS which will sport some new and compelling features for x86 just like has been true for every major release of Windows. It will offer, in addition to its normalized/expected/new-and-advanced x86 desktop/server environments, a new GUI for some upcoming tablet hardware, as well–which is simply one more difference in this newest upcoming version of Windows. Windows is *expanding* its hardware support base to include tablets and other devices–in no way is it [i<]contracting[/i<] its hardware support in any way...;) The desktop/server x86 environment is still by far the meat and potatoes of Windows 8--no change there at all. Metro is an addition, not a replacement, etc. I find it amazing that some people might conclude that traditional x86 desktop/server markets worldwide are being usurped and replaced by what they think of as "tablet OSes" when all that is happening is that tablet hardware is simply going to be absorbed into the traditional x86 software OS environment matrices (whether ARM-based or not.) But far more importantly--the "tablet" market as we think of it is still very, very new and is in formative flux. No one can really say with any authority whether in five years "tablets" as we know them today will even exist as solid additional markets in and of themselves. Today's "tablet" could well prove merely a stop-gap on the way to something far different, and as such, a fad whose longevity is anything but assured and might prove quite temporary--a flash in the pan. OTOH, should the "tablet" format prove durable in the market place, then it may be that the current tablet formats (ie, iPad2/3, etc.) will fail behind tablet formats like Nook/Fire, Ultrabook formats, etc., which will come to eventually dominate that particular market segment. At the moment, the so-called "tablet" side of the software--the Metro GUI and so on--is new and is therefore garnering the lion's share of attention, despite Win8 being easily 1-2 years away from shipping. Some people are confusing the current focus of attention on those narrow aspects of the upcoming Win8 OS with the notion that [i<]that's all there is, or is going to be, in Windows 8[/i<]...;) That's an unfortunate failure of analysis and many fronts, but sometimes I guess it's the best this sound-bite attuned generation can conjure up...;)

        • HisDivineOrder
        • 8 years ago

        Just because Windows 8 supports tablets and is not “contracting its hardware support in any way” doesn’t mean that Windows 8 will offer compelling value to current Windows 7 users, any more than Vista offered enough advantages to sell it to most consumers who were already running Windows XP. If consumers don’t see much value in Windows 8 (and thus far there IS no compelling feature in Windows 8 for PC users), then they won’t upgrade. With computers getting really fast with few advances in CPU’s except in battery life and heat production, a lot of consumers might well NOT upgrade their computer very soon at all.

        If they don’t upgrade their computer, they aren’t going to be getting a new OEM copy of Windows 8 for a long, long time UNLESS they see some major feature in Windows 8 that they simply must have.

        So far, that doesn’t exist. Metro UI may be great for tablets, but it looks like a total kludge on PC’s without touch interface. It is hard to convey boot time advantages (via their half-hibernation/half-shut down scheme). And if consumers don’t have Windows Metro apps to start off with, then they won’t go buy a tablet that offers them the advantage of using apps across both their PC and their tablet because quite a few by the time Windows 8 shows up will already be locked into iOS or Android.

        There must be a reason consumers will want to “buy in” to another ecosystem and Windows 8 is far from a compelling upgrade for PC users, so the Metro apps will become a big feature for the OS. Except very few have any on Windows 7/7.5 Phone and Paul Thurrott is busy telling us that Windows 8 for tablets is going to be crippled compared to its PC variant (no desktop), meaning there’s very little to sell Windows as a tablet OS except Metro (for the person who has no Metro apps already).

        Microsoft has already tried to sell a Windows upgrade by bonding it to IE and DX. Those two on their own won’t sell it. And simple interface upgrades to file copying, etc, won’t sell it either when anyone who cared THAT much would likely have already found a free way to do the same in any Windows they like.

        No. Windows 8 is not yet compelling to the PC user. Nor is it showing much that sells it over a current tablet OS beyond the Metro interface. UI’s can be copied. Microsoft knows how this goes QUITE well. After all, what was Windows? Copying the better parts of a UI and bringing them to a cheaper, more prevalent system. Don’t be surprised when the better parts of Metro UI show up on Android (ie., gestures, icon grids, etc) and/or iOS (ie., notifications, multitasking implementation, etc.); don’t be surprised when Metro shows up and all it has going for it are the apps no one has bought in the Windows app store available only to Windows 8 users (artificially limiting growth) and an interface that is more or less represented on other mobile device OS’s with far greater marketshare.

        Have no fear, though. I’m sure Microsoft will make enough on every Android device sold to help keep them in business, RAMBUS-style.

        • dropshadow
        • 8 years ago

        bravo. this.

        • cfroese
        • 8 years ago

        I’m curious WaltC, have you tried using Windows 8 as a desktop OS? Have you experienced the pain of using a tablet-optimized OS on a desktop? I have and as a result I have no intention of downgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8. Windows 7 was intended for people to interact with it via keyboard and mouse (you know, the traditional desktop thing). Windows 8 is designed for touch and sacrifices keyboard and mouse usability for touch.

        Microsoft may be touting it as the all-in-one OS but the interface is pure touch and that makes the desktop experience painful.

      • cygnus1
      • 8 years ago

      I’m gonna disagree with you. I’ve been using Metro in the developer preview on a regular laptop. I think it works great. It’s simply a replacement for the 15+ year old Start menu concept. Because it uses your entire screen, it’s actually more efficient. And once you get used to it, it can be a lot faster because the places you click are much larger. I honestly think it will be easier for novices to use and will make power users even better.

      On top of it being a good replacement for the start menu, you also get other benefits. Like live updating tiles. Besides the obvious uses for consumer apps I think these will be put to great use with line of business apps in the enterprise as well. And given how easy a replacement it will be from a hardware requirement and software infrastructure point of view, I could see a lot of businesses switching sooner than they have with past Windows versions.

      • BaronMatrix
      • 8 years ago

      Windows is just a platform for developing applications. The better it is the less you “see” it. Win8 will have Hyper-V which fixes Win 7 for devs (teams). They are also trying to virtualize applications so no more “XP Mode.”

      Windows makes most of its money from Enterprise IT, not consumers. If it still plays CrySis and adds better multi-threading, it will be an automatic hit. That’s probably why they released the Dev Preview – to get Metro apps.

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