Windows 8 Update

After getting off to a rocky start, Windows 8 is getting an update; Is this Microsoft finally admitting it was not a good thing? – well the answer is ‘almost’.

After a difficult start Microsoft is updating Windows 8.
After a difficult start Microsoft is updating Windows 8.

Microsoft announced today the ‘update’ to Windows 8 would be coming next month, but even though they said that they had listened to ‘feedback’ they refrained from letting us know just what would be included.

It is widely speculated that the Start button will be making a comeback, and that the ‘feature’ making you boot into that horrible, block based, start screen would be removed – allowing you to boot directly to the desktop. 🙂

Oddly Microsoft also announced that the next version of Windows – code name ‘Windows Blue’ would be released before the end of the year. This is the main point that pundits are picking up on to say that MS are admitting that Windows 8 was a flop.

Windows usually gets released on a more lengthy time scale, for instance, Windows XP was released on 25th October 2001 (and I still have clients using it!), and the next version, the much hated Windows Vista, was released on 8th November 2006. Only where the versions of the products have been terrible do we see a much shortened release schedule:

  • Windows Millennium – Bad – lasted 13 months  (6)
  • Windows XP – Good – lasted 61 months  😎
  • Windows Vista – Bad – lasted 12 months  (6)
  • Windows 7 – Good – lasted 51 months  😎
  • Windows 8 – Bad? – replaced in about 12 months?  (6)

The reasons for this are obviously open to opinion and speculation, but in my opinion the reasons are simple.

Message to Microsoft if you are listening to ‘Feedback’: Please try to accommodate both markets, the business and consumer markets, with products that work for the market targeted, and please stop following Apple and innovate!
There are 2 markets in the IT world: That which I’ll call the Consumer Market, and the Business Market. Product development is mainly driven by the Consumer Market, where it’s fashionable to have the latest gizmo, though the market spend is driven by the Business Market.

This means that if you release a bang whizz gizmo in to the Consumer arena, then it will need to appeal to the business users too, to maintain sales and traction.

There are several cases where the sales figures show that the traditional PC market is in decline, and that mobile and tablet computing is rising; but I think that this is due mainly to the ‘Apple Effect’, whereby it’s almost a social faux pas not to be sporting a cool phone or tablet socially. Thought this strongly affects the market, it’s not its sustaining force, it’s the businesses (in particular the businesses that buy ‘as needed’ instead of licensing) where the money is.

In business it’s not a good idea to keep pace with the ever-changing face of techno-fashion (unless that’s your industry), and instead, business users want stability and familiarity.

This is what Microsoft forgot. 💡

Windows 8 was primarily designed for a touch screen interface – great for tablets and mobile computing, bad for desktop computing. Imagine having to reach across you your monitor to click an icon all the time and you’ll get the picture.

Once you remove this from the Windows 8 package and its a great operating system; it’s faster and more stable than Windows 7 for instance, but the problem is you can’t get away from the touch interface, as it’s an enforced system.

In my opinion, Microsoft should release a consumer version of Windows and a business version; Windows Home and Professional anyone? Why they decided to abandon this model is anyone’s guess.

Let’s see just what Windows Blue brings to the table – given the flip-flop nature of good/bad Microsoft’s operating systems, this one should be good!