April 20, 2013


stop Windows 8?Companies make money by enticing us to buy stuff that looks “new and improved” but really isn’t. Windows 8 falls into this category. Windows 7 still works very well. It’s quick. It’s stable. What’s missing?

Microsoft is hardly successful at innovation. Did you buy a Zune MP3 player, Windows tablet, Windows phone or switch to Bing (reached an all-time high of 16.5% market share in January  compared with Google’s 67.0%). The world is moving online where Microsoft hasn’t made a penny since 2005. In Q1, Microsoft’s online operations lost $262 million. That’s considered an improvement.

In 2012, five of the top six mobile apps in the US came from Google. Where was Microsoft?

At the same time, Microsoft continues making lots of money because of the prevalence of  Windows and Office. Times change and Microsoft tried to catch up with the launch of Windows 8. As usual, they created confusion with the various edition for different devices. Should you get Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro for your desktop. What is Windows RT and why can’t it run the programs you already have?

In Q1 2013, Windows 8 only reached 3.31% market share, despite promotions like a $15 upgrade offer (now over). Even the horrible Windows Vista has more market share (about 5%).

try turning off your computer (click to enlarge)Forced Upgraded

I recently got a new notebook computer with Windows 8 and started detesting the operating system within hours. I don't mind change as long as change makes life simpler or better.

Windows 8 may be appealing if you have a computer with a touch screen. Many of today's high end computers still rely on a touchpad. Many users still use a mouse. Why force us to use an interface designed for touch? That’s unnecessary and annoying. This new interface called Metro slows work down.

Common features like the button to shut down your computer are now hidden away under settings. Shutting down your computer is an action its not a setting.


You can switch to desktop mode but the Start button is gone. This is progress?

Full Scream

Applications designed for Windows 8 take up the whole screen. Where are the windows?

There is rarely a reason to run Skype in full screen mode. There are many reasons to run Skype in a window while you're working on other windows. On a small screen like a tablet, having an application fill the whole screen is fine. On a computer designed for productivity, the restriction is silly. I have a full HD screen with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. I have no good reason to devote all that space to Skype or Weather or Messaging. What is Microsoft thinking?

Better But …

Overall, Windows 8 feels faster than Windows 7. Maybe this is because of the operating system or the newer hardware. The upgrade does not do anything important that I could not do before. The initial annoyances are gone. I’ve restored the Start button with Start8 ($5 from Stardock), which blends the old and new elegantly.

When companies tell you something is new and improved, be wary. You may not get the benefits promised. The time you spend learning how to use the new could be better spent mastering the old. You'll also save money.

The very same applies with financial products and services. You may not know what you're giving up. Maybe there is more fine print. Maybe prices are higher. Maybe guarantees are worse. Buyer beware.


Podcast 216

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PS When you get your next computer, Windows may not even matter much since we’re spending more time on our tablets and smartphones.

1 comment:

Ken Macdonald said...

Hi Promod:

I have heard many complain about the Win8 look. I can't say I like it but I adapted by learning a few keystrokes (Win+D=Desktop, Win+X=Control, Win+F=Search). A friend (actually my Chiropractor) pointed me at ClassicStart (http://www.classicstart8.com/) - a free start button.

Apparently MS is working on 8.1 which will bring back the start menu.
Generally I have found Win8 reliable and faster than Win 7.