Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Windows: It's over

Most people in our recent debate over the future of Windows 8 thought that the operating system could be saved. I'm sure many people in 1491 thought that the Earth was flat, too.

If Windows 8 continues the way it has been, it will be the end of Windows.

The very day the debate came to an end, this headline appeared: IDC: Global PC shipments plunge in worst drop in a generation. Sure, a lot of that was due to the growth of tablets and smartphones and the rise of the cloud, but Windows 8 gets to take a lot of the blame too. After all, the debate wasn't whether or not Windows 8 was any good. It's not. The debate was over whether it could be saved. 

Indeed even Microsoft defenders are no longer talking about Windows 8 in terms of a stand-alone project but instead they're spinning it asWindows 8 being "more like a living organism, made partly from familiar bits that have evolved over the last two decades, with several new strands of DNA tossed in. It's due to be updated for more often, and it's part of a much larger hardware-apps-services ecosystem that is also changing quickly."

Please. Changing too fast for the user-base was what turned many former Windows fans into Windows 8 haters. Some people think I've put too much emphasis on Windows 8's dismal Metro interface for why Windows 8 has failed. I don't think so. This isn't a matter of judging a book by its cover; the user interface (UI) is everything for computer users. If the UI alienates users, you lose them. It's as simple as that.



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