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'Stunning' start for Windows 8: Microsoft chief

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© 2012 AFP

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4 million in first weekend is actually quite good. http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/computers/windows-8-sales-rate-higher-than-windows-7-microsoft-ceo-20121030-28gj6.html That's faster than the 600 million unit sold W7.

Microsoft’s online shop is stocked with more than 120,000 applications tailored for Windows 8 phones and the number is growing, according to Belfiore.

AFP just needs to quit the business, it's Windows Phone 8, not Windows 8. VERY big difference.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Ballmer confirmed that we can expect the advertising onslaught for Microsoft's new product line-up to be nothing short of relentless.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/30/ballmer_build2012_keynote/

2 ( +3 / -1 )

let's face it, windows 8 is five years too late. there is no compelling reason for users of android and apple to switch phones and tablets. playing catch up in this crowded field is almost impossible.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Yes, it'll sell to the home owners to some degree, but businesses are going to hold off on it for a couple of years or until Windows 9 comes out. In any case, people are not buying desktops in any quantity any more and this is a desktop OS.

The interface is confusing, the touch gestures are confusing and it looks like it was designed by Toys'R'Us.

This is Vista 2.5.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@ Bertie, says someone who has not used the OS for a minute. Stick to ur dumbed down OSes bro. This is not for you.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

There are over 1.25 billion Windows users worldwide...4 million is stunningly pathetic.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

@rickyvee: While I'm not defending the product windows 8 is for regular PC and tablets.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

BertieWoosterOct. 31, 2012 - 09:37AM JST

Yes, it'll sell to the home owners to some degree, but businesses are going to hold off on it for a couple of years or until Windows 9 comes out. In any case, people are not buying desktops in any quantity any more and this is a desktop OS.

Actually, the business end made up a good chunk of the purchases. Especially developers, since they will want to be able to try out their programs on Windows 8 to make sure they are working 100%, or even add support for new features, on top of all the app developers.

However, considering businesses like to drag their feet as long as they can (hell, most are still using XP rather than W7), you shouldn't even bother discussing it when there's over a BILLION consumer computers running Windows.

The interface is confusing, the touch gestures are confusing and it looks like it was designed by Toys'R'Us.

As Engadget stated: "No one is a dummy: everyone can, and will, figure it out. It just takes a little time before using Windows 8 feels truly effortless."

Touch gestures are actually the easiest and most fluent ones you can find anywhere. No finger orgies trying to switch programs (ios), or a million clicks either (android), just simple things you can do with your thumbs or two fingers. And the UI has been almost universally recognized as a vast improvement over the Microsoft Bob copies (ios/osx10.6+/android), and anyone who actually uses it realizes it works just fine, no speed issues, no struggling to find your apps in nested folders, nothing of issue at all.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

April of 2012 Windows XP remained the most widely used OS coming in at a whopping 46.08% of total desktops.

"Windows 8 is, frankly, more of a consumer platform than it is a business platform, so it's not something that makes any sense from a business perspective at this juncture," said Doug Johnson, head of risk management policy at the American Bankers Association, whose members are among the world's biggest technology buyers. "There is really no additional business functionality that Windows 8 gives you that I see."

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/most-companies-wont-early-adopters-041449207.html

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Touch gestures can't be used with all the apps/software and some like Microsoft Office need the classic interface.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

A CanadianOct. 31, 2012 - 10:23AM JST

There are over 1.25 billion Windows users worldwide...4 million is stunningly pathetic.

Estimated up to 1.4 billion. However, Win8 has been out for half a week, it took Win7 more than a year to hit critical mass, before that it was about 16 million a month ("only" a quarter of the entire mac install base every month), and then in 2011 it spiked quickly, nearly doubling it's install base. Windows 8 starting off faster is a very good sign, and also a sign that it's no Vista (which was 60% lower than the "failure" XP). Unlike cellphones and minor software revisions (free service packs on windows, expensive service packs on osx), people tend to wait on upgrading PC oses, since there's always the chance your drivers or programs won't work properly.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

And regardless of what some people say, Windows 8 apps ALL have the same OS interface. Extra features can be in some but missing in others (i.e. live tiles), but all support the charms menu, opening/closing, and side-by-side. If you've ever actually used a real Windows 8 touch device, you would see how much more fluid it is than any other system out there, and apparently a good deal of people already have.

And notice these are UPGRADE numbers, not new devices, because when you add that it could be significantly more.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Business will go on with XP until they are forced to upgrade. XP will be supported for another 2 years.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@gogogo

i believe it's also a platform for smartphones:

http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/news/article.asp?docKey=600-201210300337KRTRIB__BUSNEWS_45005_15702-1&params=timestamp%7C%7C10/30/2012%203:37%20AM%20ET%7C%7Cheadline%7C%7CWindows%208%20phone%20debuts%20with%20cool%20crowd%20in%20mind%20%5BThe%20Seattle%20Times%5D%7C%7CdocSource%7C%7CKnight%20Ridder/Tribune%7C%7Cprovider%7C%7CACQUIREMEDIA%7C%7Cbridgesymbol%7C%7CUS;MSFT&ticker=MSFT

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@gogogo

sorry, i think you're right after all. i'm getting it confused with windows phone 8 because some websites are also saying windows 8 phone.

carry on, then :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ zichi, I have a feeling that soon those usage numbers will slide in the direction of windows 7 which is a best of all worlds OS for a professional office environment.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I must be missing something here. He said they sold 4 million upgrades to Windows 8 but later he says that "Ballmer added that tens of millions of businesses have also switched to the latest version of Windows."

10's of millions? Only 4 million sold so far?

??????

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Matthew Simon

I agree with you on that. Tried Windows 8 for several months during the beta period but I prefer Windows 7 for what I do.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

rickyveeOct. 31, 2012 - 01:22PM JST

sorry, i think you're right after all. i'm getting it confused with windows phone 8 because some websites are also saying windows 8 phone.

Yup, very confused on not only windows, but android and iOS too!

Windows Phone 7/8 is for phones, Windows 8 is for PC/Laptop/x86 tablet, Windows RT is for ARM tablet. All features of RT are supported in Windows 8, Windows Phone is entirely separate. All windows phones support all features of WP7/8, all RT devices support all RT features.

Android has 1-2.4 and 4.0 for phone, 2.2-2.4, 3, and 4 for tablet. Some features of os 4 are restricted to tablet only despite the same version name (but different builds). While most devices support most functions, there is some variability in performance and availability of functions based on hardware, especially older models.

iOS has 1-6 for phone, 4-6 for tablet. Some features are entirely for tablet, some entirely for phone, highly dependent on hardware type and almost useless to tell what features are present. Available functions can only be listed if both hardware type and OS revision are known.

While not all Windows 8 computers support all the features directly, there are mouse and keyboard analogs to all touch gestures except rotate and pinch (though ctrl+scroll works for pinch in most cases).

Don't feel bad though, AFP made a far bigger mistake by actually printing this article without checking with someone that actually has used the devices talked about.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

You go Mr. Ballmer!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm flabbergasted.

Otherwise known as blue-screen-of-deathed.
0 ( +1 / -1 )

@zichi: You need to define touch gestures, non tech peeps should understand that touch to click works on every app (assuming you have a PC with a touch screen or a tablet).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Stunning start will be replaced by the stunning shock that most get once they realise just how much Win8 sucks donkey arse. Sure if you are using Win8 on a phone, tablet or touch screen device it maybe cool but if you've tried to use it on a desktop PC with a mouse or trackball and no touchscreen, WTF?!? M$ has taken yet more control away from the user and made this new OS less "useful" to someone who actually knows how to use a PC. Dumbing down for the "DUH" generation and those who have no clue what to do other than diddling their screen with their finger. The same DUHs that apply for a job using text messaging short hand to write a cover letter. M$ will see this come back to bite them in the arse soon enough. Just wait until XP is no longer supported and all the big INCs have to figure out that Win7 is too heavy and swiss cheese like for enterprise application security. Not looking forward to the next two years in the corporate IT world.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Deplore-san,

You put the problem in a nutshell.

Get rid of the monkey-san, and MS might look up a bit.

Ballmer's attitude seems to be "I'm going down and I'm taking y'all with me!"

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"Ballmer added that tens of millions of businesses have also switched to the latest version of Windows."

I call TOTAL BS on that statement as no self respecting IT director or manager would EVER, EVER sign off on Win8 for an enterprise installation. Ballmer is full of $hite and is the most clueless d!ck around. 95% or more of all big business that I have worked IT at to date are still running XP. Win8 is SOOOOOOOO Fisher Price we all laugh when anyone mentions it in the same sentence with work related upgrades.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

KnowBetterOct. 31, 2012 - 02:09PM JST

Stunning start will be replaced by the stunning shock that most get once they realise just how much Win8 sucks donkey arse.

If you even bothered to use it for an hour you would realize how stupid you sounded an hour before.

Sure if you are using Win8 on a phone, tablet or touch screen device it maybe cool but if you've tried to use it on a desktop PC with a mouse or trackball and no touchscreen

It doesn't work on a phone, that's a completely different OS. But obviously someone who's never touched the system knows more than the microsoft FAQ....

M$ has taken yet more control away from the user and made this new OS less "useful" to someone who actually knows how to use a PC.

Really? So right click access to control panel is harder than start=> control panel? Or a task manager that lets you easily view everything you had to check at three different programs in 7 (Task manager, performance monitor, services)? Oh, maybe it's the power shell access that you used to have to install yourself, we all know you're not a pro user unless you know how to download from microsoft.com. I know, I know, it's the fact you need to click "show administrative tools in start screen" once instead of start=>more programs =>accessories=>system tools every single time, because power users LOVE roundabout things and fifty million mouse clicks. Unlike Linux's Unity interface, Win8 interface gets rid of nothing, and in fact makes all power-tools EASIER TO ACCESS.

Just wait until XP is no longer supported and all the big INCs have to figure out that Win7 is too heavy and swiss cheese like for enterprise application security. Not looking forward to the next two years in the corporate IT world.

Just BitLocker alone is worth the upgrade for most corporations, and if not the new integration with Server 2012 will make it cheaper to replace computers than hire more IT "professionals". As for Windows 8, it's actually smaller than Windows 7, just 2.5GB install for x64, and unpacks to about the same size as Windows XP x64 (both including page file, hibernation, etc, i.e. default settings).

KnowBetterOct. 31, 2012 - 02:21PM JST

"Ballmer added that tens of millions of businesses have also switched to the latest version of Windows."

I call TOTAL BS on that statement

Actually, only AFP is stating that.

The ACTUAL statement is a bit different, as techcrunch stated:

In addition, Microsoft noted, the company has shipped “tens of millions of copies” to its partners. http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/30/steve-ballmer-microsoft-sold-4-million-windows-8-upgrades-since-launch-interest-in-windows-8-and-surface-has-been-stunning/

Those are OEM keys for PC makers mainly, not tens of millions of businesses. AFP is a horrible, horrible wire source, and their lack of journalistic integrity and simple incompetence is beyond unacceptable.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

"I call TOTAL BS on that statement as no self respecting IT director or manager would EVER, EVER sign off on Win8 for an enterprise installation."

I'm inclined to agree. Without making any value judgements about the actual quality of the product itself, the hubbub across the web leading up to and into the release of Windows 8 paints a picture quite different from Microsoft's enthusiastic report.

In general, the buzz has been that the learning curve for people who used to pre-Windows 8 products is very, very steep. Furthermore, there hasn't been anything in the reviews I've read so far to indicate that it brings anything better to the table. Different, yes. But not necessarily better.

Why the conflicting views out there?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

LFRAgainOct. 31, 2012 - 04:38PM JST

I'm inclined to agree. Without making any value judgements about the actual quality of the product itself, the hubbub across the web leading up to and into the release of Windows 8 paints a picture quite different from Microsoft's enthusiastic report.

Read my post and check the link to techcrunch. This article is mistaken due to AFP's inability to speak the English language. It's not millions of businesses, it's millions of COPIES to business PARTNERS (i.e. PC makers MDSN subscribers, etc).

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

LFRAgain,

Without making any value judgements about the actual quality of the product itself, the hubbub across the web leading up to and into the release of Windows 8 paints a picture quite different from Microsoft's enthusiastic report.

I noticed that too.

PR from MS and very little good from those who've actually used it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Basroil,

Regardless of TechCrunch's report, between what I'm seeing across the web from tech reviewers and what I'm reading up above about Microsoft's reported "stunning start," there's a very noticeable discrepancy between viewpoints.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

LFRAgainOct. 31, 2012 - 05:23PM JST

Regardless of TechCrunch's report, between what I'm seeing across the web from tech reviewers and what I'm reading up above about Microsoft's reported "stunning start," there's a very noticeable discrepancy between viewpoints.

Well, if Win7 is any example, it's doing quite well. Win 7 had less than 16 million a month for the first year, which puts it a bit lower than Win8.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Yeah, "stunning", like a taser gun perhaps. 4 million (even though Ballmer said tens of millions of businesses have switched over... guess he uses 'Microsoft math'!) out of all the Windows users in the world? I'd say that's rather sad. No surprise really, given how badly it seems to suck.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

smithinjapanOct. 31, 2012 - 07:01PM JST

even though Ballmer said tens of millions of businesses have switched over... guess he uses 'Microsoft math'

As I said before, that's AFP's mistake everyone is stating, not microsoft's. They only said millions of copies given to partners, i.e. manufacturing companies. Either you are very slow at responding or you just like to troll. I would say the former for the sake of being nice.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Microsoft is being sued for using tiles in its new OS.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What was he going to say? He'd say something wonderful even if placements were in the gutter. That's what CEOs do.

I have to admit I'm intrigued but not sure I'm going to splash out for Win8. My XP desktop is doing well for the calculations I do. Since I'm not using a lot of real time high video content stuff I don't need much. Besides, I'm still waiting for code that can actually use the parallel processing cores on the chip set.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Basroil,

It's interesting that you should mention Windows 7's release. If you go back and compare the buzz leading up to both W7 and W8, it's clear that Windows 8 hasn't enjoyed even a fraction of the positive press that Windows 7 did and still receives.

Also, it's a bit early to make any comparisions between Windows 8's 4 million downloads in the past 5 days and Windows 7's overall sales in a month. Windows 7 sold more than 150 million copies in the first year. If Windows 8 can make the same claim after a year, then Microsoft will have something to crow about.

But for now, color me dubious.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

gelendestrasseNov. 01, 2012 - 01:41AM JST

Besides, I'm still waiting for code that can actually use the parallel processing cores on the chip set.

What, like DXVA? Or OpenCL? Or Direct Compute?

The fact of the matter is that windows itself running on GPU would increase overhead (i.e. waste more energy), make it less secure (due to pooled memory on GPU) and decrease code portability (you have to design for both nvidia and amd, and for all the people using integrated graphics). Instead, windows has code in place to allow software designers to use those tools with DXVA and DirectCompute to speed up their own programs. If your favorite program still doesn't accept it, blame that program's staff, not microsoft. In fact, many professional programs (MATLAB, ANSYS Workbench Suite, Premiere Pro, etc) already make use of these features (though in the case of MATLAB and ANSYS it's limited to certain CUDA capable cards), as do certain free programs like Blender (Both CUDA and OpenCL for certain functions)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

having 4 million at start is a good start for them, but we will see the problems at the middle, still not convinced yet.

http://www.satellitephonesales.com.au/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

good job defending Win8, Basroil . Just got back after 2 days without power and heat thanks to Sandy

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Really stunning, but stunning in a bad way, from reviews online. Only die-hard fans think it's worthy.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"Really stunning, but stunning in a bad way, from reviews online."

That's what I'm talking about. There's some pretty negative press out there.

So, it begs the following: Is there anyone here who's actually installed it and are using it currently? If so, what's the low-down? Which hype does it live up to, the good or the bad?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

LFRAgainNov. 02, 2012 - 08:52AM JST

So, it begs the following: Is there anyone here who's actually installed it and are using it currently?

I did, clean install took just 15 min. Took longer to set up the flash drive actually. Post install takes another 15 min, mostly of getting used to the new screens.

If so, what's the low-down? Which hype does it live up to, the good or the bad?

Lives up to all the good hype, and the bad hype is just people pissed off about losing something no power user ever cared about anyway (who the hell has time to actually look through start menu folders, I used search almost exclusively, which still works). You can use all aspects of the interface with just a mouse, it's not hard unless you have parkinson's.

Sure there's still some quirks, like graphics drivers still being slow (well, on par with Windows 7 in most cases, which is slow compared to what they claimed), and programs by default running with reduced privileges (file association in program can be a pain until you learn to right click then run as administrator) and other small changes in WinAPI. The first is being worked on, ATI has a nice new beta driver that improves graphics, and the latter depends on your program creator.

I haven't seen a single program that simply doesn't work, and the few with issues are far better off than they were in the XP to Windows 7 switch over. And as someone who likes to standby or turn off the comp during the day to save energy, the literally 1 second standby to login screen time is perfect (probably takes less and my monitor is just hiding it), as is the 6 second cold boot to login screen (3 seconds of which are ISRT's disk setup screen)

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Thinking of buying a Surface, read this first, http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/23/microsoft-surface-rt-review/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Basroil,

Thanks for that. The 30-minute instal time doesn't sound too far afield of what I'd expect. Although to be honest, that wasn't really high on my list of worries, although I know it was an issue for some tech writers. Also, I wouldn't expect there to be any negative surprises as far as how W8 interacts with the hardware of most computers.

It's the interface that I and many others have been wondering about, the new Tiles layout being the main thing. One of the reviews I read started off with a caveat somewhere along the lines of, "We've had a year to play around with it since Microsoft gave us an advance copy" followed by the conclusion that it was pretty good.

And the first thing that popped into my head was, "I don't have a year to sit around 'getting used to it.' I need it to help me be more productive right out of the box."

I never had that issue with Windows 7, or XP, or ME when I upgraded to those OSs. So again, I'm left wondering, "Why upgrade to Windows 8 when Windows 7 isn't broken?"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

LFRAgainNov. 02, 2012 - 10:30PM JST

The 30-minute instal time doesn't sound too far afield of what I'd expect. Although to be honest, that wasn't really high on my list of worries, although I know it was an issue for some tech writers. Also, I wouldn't expect there to be any negative surprises as far as how W8 interacts with the hardware of most computers.

Yes, most hardware should be fine. Only issue is those quirky ones like my Asus laptop that has over/under clocking (700mhz to 3.2ghz) that need special drivers that aren't even fully compatible with W7, let alone 8.

It's the interface that I and many others have been wondering about, the new Tiles layout being the main thing.

Tiles itself is simply icons. The icons can sometimes show more information, but that's it. Press windows to get your most used programs, just like XP and all after that have pin to start menu, and just right click and press all programs (almost) like everything since XP. If you searched from start menu in W7, that's still there.

The other programs (Windows 8 Metro/Modern UI) are just programs, and like any program you have to learn it. The good thing is that most use the same set of buttons and shortcuts. No different than browsing though most websites actually.

Charms bar is the interesting one. It doesn't really NEED to be there on desktop, but doesn't hurt either. I find I mostly ignore it except to find the time (awesome feature since I tend to hid taskbar) and change change dual-screen settings when i feel too lazy to press windows+p.

The left side is a bit trickier, but again you can ignore it if you just use desktop (in fact, there's nothing to do other than start screen).

One of the reviews I read started off with a caveat somewhere along the lines of, "We've had a year to play around with it since Microsoft gave us an advance copy" followed by the conclusion that it was pretty good.

And the first thing that popped into my head was, "I don't have a year to sit around 'getting used to it.' I need it to help me be more productive right out of the box."

If you use mainly desktop, you'll be 100% as fast out of the box, and within a week you'll creep up to 105% if you like to multitask. The W8 snap feature plus aero snap lets you do do three programs with just the right fit on wide screen monitors, though I prefer to mix pleasure and work by putting music on background, email in snap, and whatever desktop program i'm using centered. It's really simple to switch out the three programs, though usually just swap out the two W8 programs by dragging one over the other.

I never had that issue with Windows 7, or XP, or ME when I upgraded to those OSs. So again, I'm left wondering, "Why upgrade to Windows 8 when Windows 7 isn't broken?"

Many new features and best to just learn it ahead of the curve. Actually, nothing really, it's not like apple where you can't even install new programs a month after a new os comes out.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Thanks, basroil. That's a pretty useful overview and something I can chew on for a while.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

LFRAgainNov. 03, 2012 - 10:35AM JST

That's a pretty useful overview and something I can chew on for a while.

Hopefully long enough to save you over until you have time to hit the nearest yodobashi/biccamera/yamada and take a look at it yourself. On tablets, it's a whole other system, you'll probably end up ignoring desktop quite a bit, but at least you can see the possibilities.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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