Okay, okay, it hasn’t happened just yet – but let me put a prediction out there: Microsoft has finally made a choice leading to its rapidly impending doom. I’ve already received the “get over it” comments from other posters when I complained about the UX, but now it isn’t me (nor has it been for a long time) saying it alone. The classic question, “If a tree falls and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?” might be appropriate for my comments – but there can be no doubt that when a forest collapses – folks will hear it, and folks will see it, and folks will feel it.
Think I’m making things up? Take a look at two veteran bloggers and tech industry analysts on Microsoft Windows 8. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes Final thoughts on Windows 8: A design disaster. Then read Joe Wilcox’s Windows 8 is like a bad blind date.
Honestly, I want Microsoft and Windows 8 to succeed. I’m not a Microsoft-hater, I might even be a groupie. Some folks belong to the Apple cult, I might belong to the Microsoft cult. So, it really cuts me to the heart to write this post…not just b/c I like Microsoft and I like Windows, but b/c I really like a LOT of Windows 8 – but not enough to overcome a horrific UX.
“Dave, what features?” Well, most of them are geeky features – the sort of stuff system administrators drool over…but, hey, that is what I am, so I am legitimately drooling…and at the same time sobbing, b/c I know I can’t have what I want without being painfully punished with the Metro UX.
For example the cloud connectivity that moves your profile around between devices seamlessly – and not just on your own domain or workgroup either. The auto-selection of mobile broadband versus wifi hotspots to save you money while being a road warrior. Did I fail to mention Windows To Go? DirectAccess? BranchCache? AppLocker? The lightning speed? Built-in antivirus? An actually useful built-in browser? An enhanced task manager? No, I’m not going to mention everything, go download the Product Guide PDF to read all the details…
Okay, okay – a few more. Quite honestly, I’m a file buff. Working at Collages.net I managed at scaling from 5 TB to 80 TB (who knows what they are at now). Working for PBU I’ve undertaken something similar…from 2 TB to perhaps 60 TB now…and no, I don’t just buy storage b/c I love it…I buy it b/c the world is changing and our needs for storage are growing exponentially.
So, take a look at these FANTASTIC enhancements to Windows 8. First there is Kiran Bangalore’s post, “Redesigning chkdsk and the new NTFS health model.” Then Ilana Smith’s “Acting on file management feedback.” And don’t miss one of my favorites, Surendra Verma’s “Building the next generation file system for Windows: ReFS.” You’ll also find thrilling reading in Steven Sinofsky’s “Virtualizing storage for scale, resiliency, and efficiency.” I could go on and on, but instead let me encourage you to explore for yourself the wonderful blog by the Microsoft team “Building Windows 8.”
Now, you might justly say, “Dave, you haven’t shown how Microsoft will implode?” You are right, I haven’t. Microsoft has numerous other businesses besides Windows, but the point is that over the next few years it seems likely that Microsoft will hand off a massive amount of its market share on core products – such as Windows – to competitors including Apple, Google (Android), and Ubuntu (Linux). By the time they get their act together, no one will need them any more. Microsoft has long thrived on the legacy needs and familiarity of its customers…with this push that will alienate users heavily, they are going to lose this traditional cash cow.
Some might say, “The UX isn’t that bad…Dave you just like to whine.” Maybe I do like to whine. Andrew Vogel certainly thinks so….be that as it may, I’ve been using computers for a few years – the Commodore 64, Apple II, II+, IIe, IIgs. The 286, 386, 486, PI, PII, Celeron, and all the chips in-between. I’ve run DOS, Windows 3.1, 95, 98, Me, XP, Vista, and 7. I’ve messed around with various flavors of Linux and tried out a number of those ever-disappointing cloud OS’es. I’m not someone who is opposed to change – I live for it and love it….so when I say the UX is horrific, I am not saying, “Wahhh…Don’t make me learn something new.” The end.