Win 7 is stable as a rock. It does everything I can think of that I need it to do very easily (and we run a networked home office and several personal PCs here). Many of Windows’ basic utilities are done by third-party programmes (e.g. WinAmp), but those that I do use are excellent (e.g. MSSE). I have an Android tablet and phone (and a large touch-screen PC mounted on our kitchen wall) , so I’m familiar with screen gestures, but I can’t imagine I’d want to duplicate any of those larger movements with my mouse or reach across my desk to swipe around on my screen.
So who is their core market? I have a bunch of quirks and whatnot that make me a special little snowflake, but I don’t think I’m unique that way. Maybe my lack of engagement with social media, but if the primary drivers of new PCs are businesses, I don’t see their social networking features as an incentive for IT departments to upgrade. Is there primary market going to be new PC installations?
Microsoft has a lot of presence in the consumer space but it makes very little actual profit there. Microsoft makes the lion’s share of its profit from selling its OS and its office suite to enterprises (and it makes okay money on its server & tools division, which also mostly just sells to enterprises.) Retail sales will never be the primary market for Windows in general. Windows 8 has probably been released too soon after Windows 7 to get huge adoption from the enterprise customer, that has nothing to do with whether it’ll be a good OS or not. Enterprises just do not like to be upgrading operating systems very often. Ideally you can get a big enterprise to upgrade OS across the enterprise every 5 years, but many have clung to Windows XP for over 10 years now.
I haven’t looked much into Windows 8, but my understanding is unless it’s being run in “tablet” or “touch” mode, aside from getting rid of the start button it should still function like a normal desktop OS, won’t require any special gestures or etc to use. It’ll be suitable for enterprise users just like Windows 7, but again, because Windows 7 is still relatively new (new to an enterprise user) I doubt adoption of Windows 8 in the enterprise will be significant.
I’d say Windows 8 is probably more of a “getting our toes wet” and necessary OS release. I heard Ballmer said some crazy stuff about predicted sales, but in reality I don’t see how Windows 8 is anything other than “get the technology in place for Windows 9, which our real customers–enterprises, will probably be ready to buy by then.”
The tablet market is so difficult to break into at this point I don’t know if Microsoft can be seriously believing that Windows 8 is going to make Microsoft a major player in tablets. I could be wrong, but I think if Microsoft has any sense they see Windows 8 as something that at least allows them to have some presence in tablets but it gets developed in the same product that will make them all their real money (and then from people using Windows 8 in a traditional form factor) with cross-compatibility.
I’m not really interested in upgrading my current computers to Win8, but I have high hopes for new hardware that will appear. Specifically, tablet computers suitable for business use.
I think there’s a huge untapped market for business tablets. The iPad has limited functionality, and most people use it to complement a laptop rather than replace it. Android isn’t much better. Win7 isn’t easy to use on a touchscreen-only (“slate”) device, which is why most Windows tablets are convertibles.
I currently use a ThinkPad X201t tablet as my main work computer. It’s almost perfect - I can walk around with it and take handwritten notes, or lie on the couch marking up documents. Or connect it to a big monitor and do more serious work. It would be perfect if the keyboard were removable (so I don’t have to hold the whole 3.8-lb weight when using it as a tablet), and if it were easier to use in tablet mode. Admittedly the former doesn’t require a new OS, but I think Win8 provides enough incentive for hardware manufacturers to do it.
I used to get excited about new MS OS’s up till and including XP, since XP however no not really not even a little bit. What I think is the difference is the OS became ‘mature’ at XP for me, it did everything I needed and did that pretty well. Sure Seven is nicer in some respects and does handle more memory via being a 64 bit OS, but I would be just as happy with XP as long as it kept up with newer hardware.
Windows 8 is more about Microsoft moving into the Tablet market and buttressing its xbox & Windows Phone offerings than it is about offering something to the traditional PC environment. As a consumer and a dedicated PC gamer, I don’t want to be an early adopter on this version of Windows. In fact Win7 is so good, I might skip 8 entirely unless we suddenly see a bunch of games or software that needs it (and I’m not expecting to see that, actually.)
OTOH, I’m seriously interested in seeing the Windows 8 tablets and how they would work with my large stable of current Windows software.
I’m not really paying attention to it. I’ll just wait and see what the word of mouth is like after it comes out. I skipped Vista, and I imagine that skipping Windows 8 will be easy if it comes to that. If the word of mouth is good, I guess I’ll get it with my next computer.
I can’t say I’m really too excited about it, this seems to be the UI release, and running the consumer preview in a VM has been kind of a disappointment for me. I don’t see the point for traditional mouse/keyboard users in the Metro UI, just like I didn’t see the point of adding Launchpad to OS X, or half the features in Unity in the latest release of Ubuntu. I am looking forward to Mountain Lion and task/notification syncing with my other iOS devices through iCloud, but there’s not a lot for me, the end user, to get excited about in Windows 8. Other posters have it right, Microsoft is targeting the needs of the enterprise, I’m more excited there for the release of Windows Server 2012 and Visual Studio 2012, although the latter looks like a step in the wrong direction. I’ll probably get flack for being off topic and spinning this out of control, but Apple does a better job of adding features to each version of OS X that the average person will actually care about than Microsoft will ever do again.
So what about the so-called “Ivy Bridge” Intel chip? Does it make sense for the ordinary user to put off a new purchase to wait for this? Would I be able to tell the difference between this and the present “Sandy Bridge” chip?
The chip isn’t unique to Windows 8, if that’s what you’re asking (I couldn’t tell). It all depends on what you’re doing. At this point, the average user is going to get more mileage from switching to a solid state HDD than upgrading from Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge… as it’s not really the speed of the processor so much these days as it is the number of cores/threads.
Long story short, if its just basic email/web browsing and some light gaming or media playback you’re after, the Sandy Bridge i7’s that are out there now are more than sufficient to suit your needs. Media really comes down to the graphics card and overall OS speed is bottlenecked by I/O operations (SSDs help this a lot). RAM is so cheap these days that it’s negligible.
As much as I like to bash Microsoft, they’ve been pretty useful when it comes to providing easy upgrade paths for the user. Since W8 is still sitting on the NT framework, I don’t think you’ll have too much trouble upgrading. Just follow the instructions on the screen and remember to backup important stuff beforehand. A shop is likely going to charge you upwards of $100 for a procedure that really isn’t that hard to get through. If you’re having trouble, check around the neighborhood. One of those kids mowing lawns will do it in about an hour for $20 or so.
Of course, being on XP Pro, you could have a slower machine… Windows 8 will run on pretty much anything, they’re not as restrictive as Apple about hardware, but some of the Metro UI might be sluggish on a single or dual core chip.
I might, if if the $15 upgrade works. Supposedly it runs well on even WinXP machines. I don’t like the Metro UI, but I expect they aren’t going to make it impossible to start and stay in the desktop mode, even if I have to change a bunch of options or even download a program.
The reason? The big thing is the fast boot, and the fact that Windows XP is so long in the tooth. I don’t trust Windows 7 on machine, but if Windows 8 is as fast as they say, then it would be a good investment for such a low price.
If it costs $100 like all other versions, then no way. The main reason I haven’t upgraded XP at this point is that cost.
With my tablet, yes - in fact, I’ve been running the Consumer’s Preview on it, and I like it.
Anything else - nah. It doesn’t offer anything that Win7 doesn’t already do, and the Metro isn’t a useful thing for a desktop or a regular notebook, I think.