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Microsoft, have you lost your mind again?

Level 15

For years I've been using Microsoft© products. I thought as the maker of the most well known operating system, Microsoft would ultimately get it right. I thought wrong, and here we are. Before we go any further, let's start at the beginning. (I'll omit some OS versions I deem less noteworthy for this exercise.) Let's pretend that Microsoft is in charge of building cars, in addition to operating systems. Below are some very brief reviews of the Microsoft operating systems over the years from a user's point of view, as well as their automotive counterpart:

Windows 3.1

  • The Good: For those of you who don't remember, Windows 3.1 was the new thing by grouping files in these things called Windows. The Apple Mac did the same thing really, but I won't argue the differences, technically or legally.
  • The Bad: Still in its infancy.
  • The Car: Basic 1966 VW Beetle. Does the job, but not too flashy or powerful.

Windows 95

  • The Good: This was the game changer. Some of the new features introduced were the Start button, the Taskbar, and desktop shortcuts. Simple to use and efficient.
  • The Bad: Stability was so-so. Needed more functionality.
  • The Car: 1966 Mustang. Flashy, cool, and powerful. Could use more uumph all around.

Windows ME

  • The Good: The only saving grace was that it still had the look and feel of Windows 95.
  • The Bad: Complete train wreck. This OS had more bugs than a NYC sewer. It got to the point where I actually began reading the text on the Blue Screen of Death because I saw it so often.
  • The Car: AMC Pacer. Functional, in between its frequent falling apart episodes. (Side note: Pop had this car and loved it. I called it the leper car because everything I touched fell off.)

Windows XP

  • The Good: At last, a stable version of Windows 95, Start button, Taskbar, and all!  I ran this OS as long as possible with nary an issue. Then, wanting to be on the bleeding edge of technology, I did the unthinkable. I bought Vista, and boy did I bleed.
  • The Bad: Nothing.
  • The Car: Corvette Stingray. Cooler, stable, and more powerful. More uumph found.

Windows Vista

  • The Good: Aero glass effect was introduced. The Start button, desktop shortcuts, and Taskbar, remained intact. USB RAM also introduced.
  • The Bad: After two long weeks of being stymied by countless security pop-ups and various other incompatibilities, I had had enough. Vista was garbage from Jump street. Out it came. This is what I should have done with Vista.
  • The Car: Undercover police cruiser, starting and stopping constantly. Not allowed to do anything. Had power though.

Windows 7

  • The Good: Aero glass effect still alive, as well as the Start button, shortcuts, the Taskbar, and the USB RAM. The ad campaign focused around the user building Windows 7, and it worked. It looks like actual users had input into this version. Best OS to date.
  • The Bad: Nothing.
  • The Car: BMW 3 series. Luxurious, stable, and powerful.

Windows 8

Well, here we are. Look at this screenshot for just a moment and really soak it in.

  • The Good: Faster boot time. Incorporated touch screen technology for supported devices.
  • The Bad: No Start button. The Taskbar is "hidden." The tiles are intrusive and annoying.
  • The Car: The Partridge family's bus. Looks funny, not easy to drive, but has power.
    windows 8.jpgbus.png

Let's take the new OS apart piecemeal:

  • Where's the Start button and Taskbar? These were introduced in Windows 95 and caught on quickly. Everyone loved them and every Windows OS since has had them. The removal of the Start button and Taskbar from the home screen in Windows 8 is like having built a new car and replacing the steering wheel with voice commands! I have to re-learn steering? Really?
  • Tiles as the home screen? This looks like my computer threw up! Anyway, tiles are supposed to provide you real-time information on just about anything from news to weather to sports scores. Do I need all of this information at once and in my face? I think not. Brain still works, don't need a computer for the obvious every second of the day. And what's with the random colors of each tile? Do the colors mean anything? Can I change them?  At first glance it looks as though Picasso had a cubist moment.
  • Where are my desktop shortcuts? Better still, where is my desktop?! Right-clicking the home tile screen solves the shortcut mystery, to a degree. Nothing is obvious though.
  • Desktop found, sort of. There is actually a tile for the desktop. Opening the desktop brings you to a half-@$$ Windows 7 view where you can view these things called windows. The problem is, you can't access your programs from the desktop tile without going back to the home tile screen first. Useless waste IMHO.
  • For an OS called Windows, all I see are tiles. Minimize, maximize, and close buttons? Who needs them? Umm, everyone. Put them back please.
  • The touch screen interface is cool, but not very practical for home or work computers, especially since we still type. The mouse is just too darn easy and efficient. Granted, we'd all love to have that cool holographic computer in Minority Report, but we're just not there yet.
  • A computer is not a tablet! People have to be more than entertained by their computers. They need to be productive.
  • How do I close apps short of launching the task manager?
  • Even turning the OS off is perplexing. You have to now navigate to Settings > Power > Shut Down to accomplish this minor miracle.

Linear thinking meets a fork in the road.

Windows has improved on itself over the years by adding new features and retaining the successful ones (ie: The Start button, the Taskbar, desktop shortcuts, etc.) They've also learned from their mistakes (the more stable XP replaced ME, the less restrictive 7 replaced Vista). After looking at Windows 8, I think Microsoft will have a great deal to overcome. I suspect "Windows 9" will look quite a bit like Windows 7 after the Windows 8 dust has settled. Whoever took the lead on this project (probably the same joker who introduced the ribbon to MS Office) hit a brick wall (most likely tiled).

Don't force us to relearn everything again and again.

Remember the ribbon episode with MS Office? Well in their infinite wisdom, Microsoft decided to put the ribbon in Windows Explorer for Windows 8. (I lost a lot of time and work because I couldn't find my file menu items because of that enormous idiotic ribbon - believe it or not, people can still read.) Build upon your successes Microsoft, add to them. Don't change them. Here are some tips just for you, Microsoft:

  • Don't remove features people like and use by replacing them with things you think are better. They're not. Remember Vista? Didn't work out too well, did it? I'm sure you'll catch a lot of flak for killing the Start button and killing our desktop with tiles. Be ready with a serious update, and soon.
  • Talk to a wide variety of your customers. Find out what they want, like, and dislike.
  • Let the user decide what's best. Everyone is different. Provide options, not requirements.

All signs are pointing toward world domination.

Windows 8 is now on computers, tablets, and phones. And that's fine. I'm sure they all work well together. But does that benefit the consumer? For me, it's all about control. If I cannot get what I want, I will go somewhere else. This is precisely why I ditched my Windows phone for an Android. Hopefully Microsoft will learn from this and actually get to know their customers like we do here at SolarWinds. Try less domination and more innovation Microsoft. But that's just me.

The Bottom Line

Microsoft took the least popular phone OS and threw it on a computer, with a Windows 7 knock-off lurking somewhere in a tile. The new OS upgrade costs $15-40. Take that money and grab a beer or 12. It would be better spent at a bar making jokes about Windows 8 with your geeky friends.

83 Comments
Level 13

Yeah, base devices I have my

  • Quad core I7 tribooting
  • Netbook
  • Nexus 7
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus
  • Galaxy S5
MVP
MVP

no love for '98...

Level 13

Yeah, at home I'm running a Dell poweredge 1850 server (2x 3Ghz Dual core Xeon processors) and I have a spare that I keep off (one is noisy enough), and another tower that I run my VMs off. I dont actually have a home desktop (well, it is but I'm not using it as one), but I do have a home ESXi server running Windows 7 with a desktop, styled VM. Lol. Those run behind their own router (cisco) in my Lab network (also cisco) where I have AD set up and I play and learn for things.

I'm pretty excited about the ESXi server and vsphere client, I'm taking a class on virtualization this semester at school and having my own, real lab is going to be nice. At school they do have their own setup, but my own private one at home is running fine on 8GB Ram with a I5 for everyday stuff.

Level 15

On a side note, I fought with the cable company this weekend after my "promotion period" of one year just expired and jacked my bill to nearly $200! I told them I am NOT paying $200/mo for friggin' TV and internet. Sooooooo, I canceled the TV portion altogether and can stream live TV through the internet via Chromecast (Requires another cable account like TWC, Comcast, etc, which I still have thanks to my parents being technically challenged.)

Note to cable companies: Get your act together and offer channels A La Carte (eg: pay $1/mo per channel you want) lest the internet and Google Fiber run you outta town! (I wish.)

Level 15

Ha, thwack thought F-R-I-G-G-I-N' was a dirty word. Stupid computers.

Level 13

I would totally go for a 1$/mo/channel option. Maybe even a few $ for some channels (movie channels and the like)

What would be really nice (and scary at the same time) is if the company behind each channel just started offering their own service, still just whatever is already showing but streamed. The scary part would be all the logins!

Level 15

Like I said, they do, just gotta have a TV account (or piggyback off of someone else).

Level 13

I hadn’t thought of the piggyback off someone else. Hmmm… (I’m a cord cutter too, no TV services, only internet)….(My parents still have TV Though)…????...TV…PROFITT!!!

Level 15
Level 15

meh

I do not know this Gates Blue Screen demo but I was in the front row for one Gates Fail. 

It was in Houston at Compaq Innovate at the George R. Brown Convention Center.  I think the year was 1999.  A colleague and I walked into the conference room about 30 minutes before the Gates Keynote and sat down in the front row.  They closed the doors and setup security right after we walked in.

Gates was doing a demo of a SCSI SQL 2000 Cluster.

They had a SQL client running to show that they could pull data from the database.  Then they pulled the power on the active node.

All too soon, before then other node took over....they ran a new query...that failed...and locked up the client.  In front of everyone the helper had to hit CTRL-ALT-DEL and kill the client.  Then they restarted the client and pulled the data.

Timing is everything.

RT

The Patching will Continue until Security Improves!

Level 10

Take my Money, Pleaseeee!!! Windows 95 Backpack

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Level 11

Microsoft skips 'too good' Windows 9, jumps to Windows 10

Bronx, do you know about the above subject? I'd love to see another post from you after the preview has been released.

Level 12

did you say WINDOWS 10 !!!!!!!!!!!!!! miseri

Level 11

Oh well esther,  Microsoft is always coming up with surprises.

Level 14

They should have just called it Windows 11 for the obvious SpinalTap value.

I also think the "We'll never be updating the base code again" thinking is going to come back to haunt them and quick.

Level 13

My guess is that they are remembering the legend of the Chevy Nova being unpopular in Spanish-speaking locales and so are trying to avoid a lack of Windows sales in German speaking locales ("Windows, Nein!").

Level 15

Please note: This is an April Fools' joke. - That was what I got from it. Still pretty funny though. When the next OS comes out, I'll be sure to be fair, just like I have been (harsh can still be fair).

Level 15

Up next, Windows Infinity!
inf.png

Level 11

Yeah, you're right. Harsh can still be fair. "Mean" is where unfairness starts.

Level 13

That link is an April Fools joke, but same name was being mentioned in new TheRegister articles yesterday.

Level 11

You're right wbrown. I got a mail from Microsoft Technet Flash team yesterday telling me about it. Y'all can check this link: Introducing Windows 10 for Business. This is no April Fool's Joke.

Level 11

Please stop, Bronx.....  You really need not give such ideas to Windows Marketing team.  Feels a bit too much like you are punking the rest of us.

Level 15

Maybe I should donate my ideas to Microsoft? Clearly they wouldn't pay for such genius!

Level 15

Enter HBO NOW into the ala carte fray! About $15/month from what I hear. Li'l pricey, but a good start in the right direction. I won't order that, but I will order other channels in this manner when they become available so I can ditch Comcast altogether.

Level 14

Supposedly Verizon is going to be doing some "a la carte" cable with their FiOS service where you can buy bundles of channels. I'll bet dimes to dollars that it'll be as or more expensive than the current offering though. Hard to see cable companies in general giving up revenue in any way...

Level 15

I just read the average TV watcher has about 200 channels but only watches about 15. Personally, I watch between 5 and ten, at most. I figure I would buy about 7 channels - and maybe something extra for my 4k UHD. 7 * $5/per channel = $35/month. I really don't want more than what I watch. (News, Discovery, A&E, History, Movies, TNT, TBS - that's about it.)

In other words, why be forced to pay for a buffet if you're on a diet and not very hungry? Milk/Cow thing.

Level 14

Bronx wrote:

and maybe something extra for my 4k UHD. 7

Show-off.  😜

Level 15

Hey, I like my toys. Got an Amazon Echo too. Now the Echo is interesting to talk to, and a li'l spooky. You wanna talk about show-offs and toys? Ask aLTeReGo‌ about his car!

Level 14

download (1).jpg

Level 15

Interesting posting.  Good historical.  How would Windows 10 fit into this mix?

Level 15

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Level 12

thanks for the article

About the Author
Who am I? • I met Robert Frost at the end of the road less traveled, and then pointed him in the right direction. • Einstein asked me to define "Up," and I did. • I cliff dive from airplanes. • On Christmas, Santa comes to me for gifts. • I play three-cushion billiards with one hand. • Lions ask for my protection (I speak Lion). • Bobby Fischer and I came to a stalemate while playing chess. • I have literally given a woman the shirt off of my back. • I have also helped an old lady cross the street. • I know what a dangling participle is. • Mozart bequeathed his Requiem to me, and I corrected it. • I was thrown out of an Eric Clapton concert twice in the same night for drawing too much attention to myself. • I am a verbose minimalist. • I am Bronx. Who are you?