Windows 8, Finally a Flop?
Citing the generally frigid reception by consumers to the latest Windows operating system, most pundits will point to the radical change to a touch centric interface. The question that hasn't been asked is: is it really a case of outright rejection of the Windows 8 Modern (Metro) interface or just bad timing.
It's no secret that sales of Desktop PC's have been declining over the past few years and the rise of portable devices like the IPAD and the Smartphone have largely been responsible for it.
After all, if you just need to get your email and do some web browsing even the cheapest tablet will do. It's also no coincidence that most tablets also happen to occupy the same price point as entry level PC's with the added convenience of portability.
So it's no mystery that Microsoft went all in on an interface that favored touch. As much as the pundits may hate to admit it, the days of the desktop are numbered. The popularity of tablets has shown that. Still, is it reasonable to expect anyone to compose a novel on an IPAD or an ASUS tablet? Of course not but that's a temporary condition.
What's surprising is that the tech pundits, those champions of all things new and techie don't see it. Forgive me if I sound like a futurist but I don't think it's a stretch that gestures, predictive keyboards and voice will be the primary input devices by the end of the next decade.
That's the future Microsoft was betting on. Unfortunately, OEM's weren't exactly on board with Windows 8's new interface and released hardware that couldn't leverage the touch based UI.
Corporations, long the bulk of Windows sales, had deferred upgrade cycles and many had only recently deployed Windows 7. To corporate IT departments there was no compelling reason to put their users through another round of upgrades so soon. Doubly so when you consider the learning curve of the Windows 8 UI without a touch screen. Pairing Windows 8 and traditional PC hardware was just never going to fly in cubicleland.
If you want to say Windows 8 is a flop you'd be justified to blame it on the new UI but not because it's necessarily a bad design. OEM's had been warning Microsoft since the spring of 2012 that they wouldn't have hardware ready to take advantage of the new touch UI. When October came around most chose to release hardware meant for Windows 7. That resulted in making Windows 8 seem more cumbersome than revolutionary and virtually guaranteed its failure.Continued on the next page