Would Windows 8 have been more warmly received if...

There is now a wide range of relatively powerful, well-specified small tablet devices on the market that run a full windows OS (not just RT). Some of these are almost throwaway prices - I have seen them on sale for as low as 50 GBP.

If the market had looked like this at the time of Win8 release, woukd Win8 havebeen more widely acceoted?

I reckon it might have done - and that in turn might have trickled back to wider acceptance on non-touch devices (that is, people might have gotten over the change more readily on a small tablet, then softened to the idea of using it as their primary OS)

I’m on windows 8 now, well 8.1
It seems to me it would be a nice format on a tablet
I really dont see the point of it on a laptop or desktop
You seem to know more about it than I do

I have no particular opinions on Microsoft either way and I suppose I’m an ‘average PC user’ and I find Windows 8 completely unintuitive and almost unusable. It may be OK on a touch-screen device but as the primary OS on a non-touch screen device its absolutely awful, even with a download to add a start-menu I recently spent an increasingly confused and frustrated few minutes trying to locate a folder which was literally one click away on Windows 7.

So while I don’t disagree that Win 8 may have been more popular if more people used it on touch-screen devices I don’t think it would ever have gained acceptance on ordinary PC’s.

And screw touch-screens anyway, several websites have gone to a ‘reactive’ format to cater for them, the BBC News website is the latest and has apparently also taken the opportunity to dumb itself down and become more tabloid at the same time.

I’m buying a new PC and I’m going to ask for an installation of Windows 7 with it with the intention to upgrade to Windows 10 later. That’s assuming Win 10 isn’t also primarily touch-screen orientated of course.

The antipathy towards windows 8 was not because people were unfamiliar with using touch screen interfaces. Most windows 7 users have Android or Apple smartphones they are quite comfortable with. The anger was because they placed a completely unintuitive interface for mouse and keyboard users as the front end of the Windows OS and moved key familiar OS interface access points when the users finally got to the desktop. All this was done in service of an integrated platform fever dream/wank fest that threw mouse/keyboard productivity users into a pond where they were told to sink or swim.

Yes, you could eventually “get around” these difficulties with some practice but making your OS an obstacle course for a large chunk of your user base vs a smooth transition was a mind bogglingly stupid thing to do.

I really don’t think so. The issue, IMO, is that many PC users do not know much about how to use their computer, so UI changes can completely destroy their ability to do anything. There were some fussy people who want everything to look like Windows 98 too (who I bet will be overrepresented in this thread), as well as some Apple fanboiz who will seize on any Microsoft problem, but IMO the main driver of the Windows 8 hype was people who only use computers at all because they absolutely have to and have only acquired the knowledge they absolutely need. And I know this description sounds snarky, but I think it’s a real problem Microsoft should be more considerate of in the future. The experience of the person who barely knows how to get into their email really is important too, given the importance of access to the Internet in 2015.

I hear what you’re saying, but my memory of sdmb reaction to Win8 was many people saying ‘sucks on anything but a tablet’ (I personally find it perfectly fine and usable on a non touchscreen laptop), but when it was released, pretty much the only tablet hardware was:
Spendy Surface Pro
Useless Surface RT
A few third party convertible laptops (also not cheap)

If there had been sub $100 full-windows touchscreen tablets, capable of running win32 application (regardless of the win8 tiles), people would have bought them as second/third computing/media devices - and this would have eased them past the shock of using something different.

I think its more than just the fact that its different though, its simply not user-friendly and intuitive (at least on a non-touchscreen device, I’ve never used it otherwise). You shouldn’t have to struggle to do simple tasks or learn entirely different processes and methods of doing things when the previous method worked just fine.

Not that I’m accusing you of this but it reminds me of the user reactions when BBC News recently moved to the reactive website system, to those making what I consider to be legitimate complaints and concerns the reaction of others was simply, ‘you just fear change’. Ummm, no, despite what we’re told change isn’t necessarily good in and of itself, and not progress, throwing out a pat phrase like that simply removes the necessity of the powers that be to actually think about things, explain and justify their decisions.

In my experience most people don’t like Win 8 and most people don’t think it was an improvement, but actually a step backwards in many ways. Again as an ordinary user people seemed to like Win XP, disliked Win Vista and liked Win 7. That was certainly my personal experience and preference.

I dont want to turn this into yet another thread where we cant agree on whether win8 is unusable, or if people are unreasonable. I am happy to argue with you elsewhere on that if you like.

I don’t think that would be the difference. If Microsoft had simply thought ahead enough to have a “desktop” default setting and a “tablet” default setting that could be set during installation by the user/manufacturer or perhaps set by hardware detection, I don’t think there would have been any real problem. The design that works rather well on a tablet or phone is just not useful on a full-fledged desktop with keyboard and mouse. I’m running Win 8.1 now and find it to be a perfectly fine operating system once I had it defaulted to the correct mode and installed Classic Shell. The one thing I would say is that I shouldn’t have had to install something like Classic Shell to restore functionality and it should have been in there as part of the OS.

Well I wasn’t intending to argue, just giving a viewpoint on why Win 8 didn’t catch on. Long story short, I don’t think more widespread access to tablet devices at the time of release would have helped, it may have been suited to that format, it wasn’t suited to desktop PC’s, and I don’t think experience with the former would have eased use of the latter for that particular OS.

I’ve been using Windows 8 on a desktop since the day it came out. Your repeated posts and your insistence that it was “unusable” is direct evidence of what Lord Feldon was saying in Post #5, that the real problem is people who don’t really know what they’re doing and don’t want to take thirty seconds to google it.

And yeah, no, different hardware wouldn’t have helped.

When an OS does everything I want and does it well (I’m talking about XP), why would you want to change to something completely different? This is a tool, not an educational device where you are left to find everything yourself. I found everything on Win 8 harder to do than on Win 7. On the laptop I am currently using, I had to pay an extra $50 just to get win-7 instead of 8. And it was a special order, not on LeNovo’s web site. They absolutely hate us old farts.

Well congratulations, I’m impressed. However most of us don’t want to have to do ‘research’ to use a product for basic tasks that should be obvious straight out of the box or with a little trial and error at most.

I’m perfectly willing to give a new OS a chance, I’ve used the common new Windows versions from Win 95 to Win 8 and while I’ve preferred some more than others I haven’t struggled with any of them in the same way as I have with Win 8. And my experience is the common one, not yours.

But this thread isn’t about the merits or otherwise of Win 8, Mangetout had a specific question he wanted to ask, so I won’t derail things any further.

No, because it has nothing to do with the primary problem (the idiotic decision to put a small-touchscreen interface on a big-non-touchscreen desktop monitor). From what I hear, they learned their lesson and plan to do it right with Win10 (small-touchscreen interface on devices with small touchscreens, desktop interface on devices with large monitors).

Windows 8 was an absolutely epic fuck up that will be written up in business case histories 100 years from now. It was so bad it has been blamed by manufacturers for depressing Windows based desktop and notebook PC sales across many quarters. The real pity is that underneath the hood Windows 8 actually is a real leap forward technologically but the arrogant insistence on bolting it to the touch oriented Metro interface for all windows 8 users was baffling.

The Metro interface yielded virtually no benefit to mouse/keyboard users and initially had minimal useful interactive instructions as to how to navigate the new interface. If I am investing in staying with the Windows OS with my dollars I am expecting a certain level of smooth, logical transition from OS to OS from a company with billions to spend consumer research and marketing. I got over the desire to want to be an OS and hardware tweaker hero many years ago. It’s not fun or magic anymore I just want to get from point A to point B.

These days Windows is (for me) an appliance. I have been using Windows since Win 3.1. At this stage in the game I want my Windows productivity OS to be like a new car. I want to sit in the seat, admire the fancy new features, turn on the car, press on the accelerator and pull out into traffic. I spent many thousands of man hours developing the most efficient way to use Windows 7 and it’s antecedents. I refuse to apologize for the expectation that there will be some common sense attention paid to my needs and expectations as a Windows consumer. The utility of the Metro to UI to mouse/keyboard users is nonexistent.

This article “Windows 8 designer: Why Microsoft forced Metro on us all” is one of the most seemingly logical explanations of Microsoft’s reasoning but in IMO I have to question their assumptions. Windows has been king of the hill for almost 30 years now. Is there really this huge underserved population of people who are baffled by the Windows OS in 2012-2015? Is not losing grannies to the Apple tablet really a business priority?

probably not. at release, Win8 still required too much interaction with the Desktop in order to do routine things; e.g. the “PC Settings” modern app was incomplete and you needed to go to Control Panel for many tasks.

trying to do that on an 8" touchscreen would have been an exercise in frustration.

The devices I’m talking about are small touchscreens :confused:

Does any of this relate to the thread topic?

there’s a huge difference, and it baffles me that people don’t see it. A user interface designed primarily for touch input is still usable with a keyboard and mouse. ffs, Android has kb&m support. almost all typical “touch” actions can be handled by a mouse with a scroll wheel. Tap=click, two-finger tap=right click, swipe=scroll wheel or grab & drag, etc.

on the other hand, a traditional GUI meant for kb & m is practically unusable with a touchscreen. even with a stylus it’s bad.

I suspect a lot of the hate for Windows 8 (at release) was three-fold:

  1. it’s unfinished-ness
  2. People would see the Start Screen, go “dafuq is this?” and give up immediately, and
  3. people who hated Windows 8 because “Everyone says it’s bad, so I hate it.” similar to Vista.

I hate Windows 8 because of all the features that has been available in earlier versions that were left out of the base product. I have been told (right here, in fact) that much of these can be obtained for free from Microsoft’s App Store, but that just pisses me off more - they’re basically trying to drive you to their store so you can be exposed to other products they wish to sell, in order for you to get the product you should have been able to expect to have.

To me, an “upgrade” means you add features or functionality, not take them away. Sure, the interface is different, but I can accept that (though I dislike it). What I can’t accept is that this is an upgrade over the OS I already have. Quite frankly, it’s not.