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back to article 'Not even Santa could save Microsoft's Windows 8'

Once upon a time any problem at Microsoft could be magically resolved with a new Windows release. Since Windows Vista, however, that formula hasn't worked. In fact, according to new sales data from NPD Group, it may be getting worse. In late 2012, departing Microsoft board member Reed Hastings called Microsoft's Surface tablet " …

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Stop

Netbooks destroyed Windows?

I'd go the other way and say Windows destroyed Netbooks.

Small, lightweight but slightly underpowered machines, they ran Linux distros and XP well, but struggled a bit under Win 7, even the Starter edition (which couldn't even change wallpaper!).

Most of the netbookers have moved on to tablets. The laptoppers aren't convinced by Windows 8's dual personality tiles / Win7desktop.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

Yep we all shouted the GUI was crap when we got hold of the pre-releases but would Microsoft relent and give us DT users a proper legacy mode ?

Nope the arrogant bastards wouldn't listen so FU Microsoft and watch your sales slide, then maybe you will actually listen to your customers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

Right on! It's not that Windows Starter Edition could not change wallpaper, it was that Microsoft did not wanted you to be able to change wallpaper on a netbook. And not to mention other things like making sure netbooks were underspecced by forcing OEMs to limit netbook CPU clock, memory size, screen size etc. in order to make sure they remain underpowered. So I guess we can call it a bloody murder.

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Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

Lets also remember how much MS must have hated having to postpone killing XP because nothing later would fit on the initial netbooks. Finally bitten by the bloated monster they created and the need to stop Linux stealing an entire market.

Just a pity they went on to destroy the true netbook market with ever increasing hardware requirements ;(

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Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

I think you'll find that it was Intel that was forcing OEMs to limit netbook specs, not Microsoft. OEMs didn't have to put Win7 Starter on their netbooks, but that was the market they thought they could make a buck selling to.

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Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

> I think you'll find that it was Intel that was forcing OEMs to limit netbook specs, not Microsoft.

No. It was Microsoft.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/microsoft-windows-netbook-hardware-limits,7889.html

> OEMs didn't have to put Win7 Starter on their netbooks,

They did if they wanted to retain their 'loyalty' discounts on _all_ products. Of course they could have put Win7 Home Premium or Ultimate on but that would have doubled the price (OK not double but certainly lots more$).

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FAIL

Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

Oh yes. Netbooks were selling pretty well when they were running Linux, and were gaining traction. Of course, they start selling 'em with Winblows and suddenly they started being crap. I unfortunately bought one after they had started sticking Win7 on 'em, and well, it's the junk netbook that we use when none of the other stuff is available.

Maybe I should outright rip out Win7 and stick Linux on the thing. Uh-oh, it has no DVD drive ... oops...

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@Daniel B

It has no DVD drive?

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multiboot-usb-creator/

You're welcome.

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Re: @Daniel B

Or go to Tesco or similar and buy a USB DVD drive for about 40 quid or so. I did for my netbook (along with a 4GB RAM upgrade from Crucial) and between the two it's a fairly usable machine for everyday stuff and one I take on business trips as a secondary machine for a little gaming, coding and iPlayer desktop (via HDMI output).

The drive is powered by the USB (twin port cable) and works perfectly under both Win7 and Lubuntu (and was used to install the latter).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows? @ Daniel B.

Congratulations,

you have just shown yourself up to be completely ignorant, you are probably a newly qualified MCSE.

For the benefit of your education go here:

http://software.opensuse.org/122/en

This where you can download a live KDE or Gnome distro of opensuse that can be run or installed from USB.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Daniel B

Out of interest what netbook do you have that can take 4gig of RAM and has HDMI out? And what is the screen resolution on it?

Most I have seen are maxed out at 2gig of RAM and don't support HDMI out

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

Maybe the point of the author was that Microsoft's quite successful plot to destroy netbooks backfired because it helped teach consumers associate Windows with cheap and nasty. So Windows destroyed netbooks, now the corpse of netbooks is destroying Windows.

And, as someone who's been watching the IT landscape for 30 years or so, I might add: not a moment too soon.

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FAIL

Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

To blame netbooks for associating Windows with the cheap and nasty is a bit strong as not all netbooks were cheap and nasty. Mine is quite a nice one, though it is getting a bit tatty these days given its age now, though I can honestly report that it has never seen any Windows software beyond the occasional use of Wine or the occasional connection to a Citrix session.

The biggest problem was that Microsoft, true to their track record since the 1990s, decided to bloat every successive release they did, relying on advances in hardware support to prop up its code. They were, therefore, caught out when the netbook popped up with a feasible working OS (whichever Linux distro it was) because they only had XP that could possibly run on it and they wanted to kill that. Microsoft effectively misread the market then, thinking that they could impose Vista on us, and they misread the market since, both with regard to Windows 7 Starter and to Windows 8.

Point fingers at whoever you like in Microsoft that could be blamed for it (Ballmer gets my vote) but the insistance that we must have a new OS every three years or so and it must be a complete paradigm change each time which requires more bloat or whatever without checking with the consumers is never going to be a reliable way to go. That's regardless of what the hardware is.

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Re: @Daniel B

@AC 11:03

Presuming that was to me, an Acer Aspire One 722, with Win7 Home Premium pre-installed (and Lubuntu added in). The battery came from one of the Hong Kong places and is an 8-cell job which lasts for 6-8 hours or so. It's quite chunky (the laptop sits at about a 10 degree angle rather than flat as it did with the original 2-cell battery), but it's actually easier to type etc on it like that as it acts like a keyboard stand.

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Re: @Daniel B

Forgot an answer - screen res 1366 x 768 on an 11.6" size. Not the highest, but enough to do the job and as noted has HDMI output to drive a suitable HD telly for streaming.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Daniel B

Thanks for your swift reply Anonymous Custard. I'm after a replacement for my EEE PC 1001HA. Love the form factor, but hate the 1024x600 resolution lack of HDMI out and the 2 gig max RAM. The slightly better specc'd ASUS Models are like gold dust to get a hold of new, but the one you have quoted there is available in Tesco for 279 so that is my next purchase sorted. Good choice with Lubuntu I run it on the 1001HA and wouldn't run anything else it's brilliant.

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Meh

Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

I think netbooks might have got consumers to associate Windows with cheap-ish, they already had a strong association with nasty.

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Re: @Daniel B

> Presuming that was to me, an Acer Aspire One 722, with Win7 Home Premium pre-installed (and Lubuntu added in). The battery came from one of the Hong Kong places and is an 8-cell job which lasts for 6-8 hours or so. It's quite chunky (the laptop sits at about a 10 degree angle rather than flat as it did with the original 2-cell battery), but it's actually easier to type etc on it like that as it acts like a keyboard stand.

Same for us also. Those larger battery packs are really quite neat and have small rubber feet to make it non-slip.

Battery life is about 8 hours for us also. Very nice.

It's currently running Ubuntu very acceptably.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Daniel B

One more quick question is your Acer Aspire 722 the one with the C-50 processor or the C-60 processor? One of them seems to have a 1366x768 screen and the other screen only has a 1024x600 display

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Re: @Daniel B

Mine is the C60 version. It also came from Tesco.

That one came with the 2-cell small battery, but other places do a 4-cell one for a little more cash. But given I replaced it with the 8-cell one anyway (or maybe 9-cell, the biggest one I could find basically) that wasn't really a concern but I mention it just in case you may want to stay as-is.

The memory was from Crucial, and cost about £20 or so. Exchanged in literally a minute, one screw from the base, slid the bottom cover off and swapped the card over.

As with any netbook it does struggle a little if you push it too hard (stream a movie or iPlayer whilst web surfing and having email open and the stream stutters a little) but for general work and normal usage it does the job fine. The keyboard is nice to type on for mails and coding, overall I'm very happy with it.

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Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

OK, OK, enough bickering.....

Why don't we just agree they destroyed EACH OTHER?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Daniel B

Thanks for your reply. I'm totally confused here though I don't know what Acer are playing at releasing two netbooks with the same model number, but different specs.

Tesco don't have this one in stock - http://www.tesco.com/direct/acer-aspire-one-722-netbook-amd-c50-2gb-320gb-116-hd-display-red/215-3215.prd

Which is a C-50 and it's listed as a HD display, so I assume thats the one with 1366x768

They do however have this one in stock - http://www.tesco.com/direct/acer-aspire-one-722-netbook-amd-c60-4gb-320gb-116-display-red/471-1555.prd?pageLevel=&skuId=471-1555&sc_cmp=pcp_GSF_Computing_471-1555

Which is a C60 like yours however it has double the RAM that yours shipped with and by the looks of it only has a 1024x600 screen although they haven't listed the resolution at all, but the lack of a mention for HD and a quick Google shows people in other countries have been burned by the screen resolution on these two machines.

Ah well I guess I'll just cancel my order since I only wanted to upgrade to get a 1366x768 netbook. I don't want another with the same screen resolution

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Re: @Daniel B

Mine was purchased a fair while ago (something like 16 months ago), but I know what you mean. In detail the machines have different full names (722-xxxx where xxxx is the detailed spec) and that did vary quite significantly in RAM, disc size and battery. I hadn't seen variants with different resolutions or processor though for the 11.6" ones (there was also a 10.1" or so model at the time).

My one isn't either of your listed ones, at least to look at (mine is black and the disc is 250GB). So as you say I guess things have diversified a bit since I got mine. Shame really, as it's quite a nice little machine in the guise I have. The link below is as close as I can find to my one, but as noted it's not currently available so may have been superceded:

http://reviews.argos.co.uk/1493-en_gb/5086380/reviews.htm

Sorry to hear you're having troubles though, but at least you're seeing the differences before purchase.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

Wow, you guys really go out of your way to avoid the facts when they don't paint Microsoft into a bad light, don't you.

Microsoft didn't set Maximum specs for Netbooks. They set Maximum specs for Windows 7 Starter, which was cheaper for the OEMs than Windows 7 Home Premium. Given the very slim margins on netbooks, it was OEMs who decided that it didn't make sense to sell netbooks with Win7 Home Premium - they'd cost the same as slightly larger and faster laptops, and the OEMs didn't think that there was a profitable niche for a "premium" netbook (just as there wasn't a profitable niche for a Linux netbook. FFS, even the Chinese sweatshops gave up on that idea, and they didn't have any mythical "loyalty bonus" at risk).

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Re: Netbooks destroyed Windows?

> Microsoft didn't set Maximum specs for Netbooks. They set Maximum specs for Windows 7 Starter, which was cheaper for the OEMs than Windows 7 Home Premium.

That is not true. OEMs could install Windows 7 Starter on full laptops or even on desktop PCs, it was cheaper than Home on all those and there were no restrictions on, say, screen size.

It was actually in the days of Vista that XP was resurrected for Netbooks and limits were set. The netbook edition of XP was cheap (alleged $25) and could _only_ be installed on netbooks. To be counted as a 'netbook' there were limit set by Microsoft on screen size and resolution, CPU type, RAM size and disk size.

With Windows 7 release the netbook XP was withdrawn and OEMs had to use W7 and pay the same price for each edition regardless of what it was installed on, so netbooks lost a pricing advantage.

Now you may argue that the 'maximum specs' were for XP Netbook edition rather then a hardware spec for netbooks themselves which were then able to install XP, but this is rather a pedantic difference. The point is that this had _nothing_ to do with Windows 7, Starter or not, because the distinction, and the pricing difference, did not exist for W7.

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Anonymous Coward

may I be the first to...

... whinge pointlessly about the lack of start button?

Seriously though, if they haven't got the balls to kill XP properly then what do they expect?

Upgrading is painful.

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Upgrading -- so called

Win 8 isn't upgrading, that's the problem -- ok, faster start-up, better security (but you get both of these with Linux) -- dreadful interface will kill it. Bring on Win 7 SP2.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Upgrading -- so called

And who has ever really cared about start up times? Well start up times that are sub cup of coffee time anyway.

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Re: Upgrading -- so called

> Bring on Win 7 SP2.

W7 SP2 may be Plan B. If W8 doesn't make not-Metro 'familiar' enough for people to _demand_ it on their mobile devices then W7 SP2 will include a compulsory, unavoidable not-Metro UI.

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Windows

Re: who has ever really cared about start up times?

Are you in IT ?

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Happy

Re: who has ever really cared about start up times?

Well, I'm no W8 lover as you may know but boot times are pretty important in the field. Which is why I was excited to scarf the last W7 SSD Ultrabook from John Lewis in the Jan sales. 15 second bootup and boy am I chuffed with it. Sadly my wallet and my wife, not so much.

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You're not the first, however

I'm not getting this 'issue' with TIFKAM, I use Windows 8 Pro everyday on my work laptop (HP Elitebook 8440p) and I hardly ever see tiles, I live on the desktop almost exclusively.. I check it now and again to see if there's any 'apps' from the MS store that need updating.

Which brings up a question: Why all the emphasis on developing 'apps' that imitate the functionality of what used to be simply accessed via browser? Yes, perhaps small devices, small screens, but why oh why do you need them on laptops/workstations?

IDK man...

;)

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Re: You're not the first, however

Same here. The Tiles appear then its hit enter and into Desktop for the next 7 hours.

Cant see what all the fuss is about really. Set your program defaults to the desktop ones and get on with it.

I have also mentioned to some about why have 10 different apps to do what I do in one browser application.

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Re: who has ever really cared about start up times?

Boot up times are important for Windows because of the monthly patching + reboot.

However I find the only time I need to boot up my laptops is after I perform a hardware upgrades otherwise they just stay in sleep mode but that could be because I use MacBooks.

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Re: Upgrading -- so called

>W7 SP2 may be Plan B.

Perhaps they may need a Plan C - Release XP Second Edition which under the hood is effectively XP-SP4 plus the stuff that should of gone into XP but MS decided that it's customers would much rather go through the 'joy' of upgrading to Vista, 7 and now 8. I suspect many in the Enterprise space would take this up without blinking. Yes XP could be considered to be a bit dated but then so what? when it is buried under SAP/R3 or other core business applications with their highly functional user interfaces.

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I'm not getting this 'issue' with TIFKAM

It looks to me like you do get it. TIFKAM is as useful as Active Desktop.

All MS had to do was not remove the registry setting to tun it off, or better provide a check box to turn it off. Let people have a standard, supported way to turn it off, but still be able to call it up manually if they want to.

But no, MS has thrown Windows under the bus to try and sell phones.

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Stop

Again and again: BALLMER AND HIS ENTOURAGE MUST GO first....

...and ASAP or MSFT will pay the price and dearly - he is TOTALLY INCOMPETENT, along with his ilks sitting everywhere.

Mandatory piece from Vanity Fair's last August issue about Microsoft's "lost decade", about the cold-headed killer internal culture where people were deliberately pitted against each other triggering paybacks and backstabbing even within teams, instead of fostering collaboration, where committee design is the normal, where bureaucrats were butchering creativity (look at *ANY* game dev firm bought by MS Game Studios: all dead in a couple of years - only Bungie managed to break away in the 24th hour!) and still running the show:

How Microsoft Lost Its Mojo: Steve Ballmer and Corporate America's Most Spectacular Decline

http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2012/08/microsoft-lost-mojo-steve-ballmer#1

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Re: Again and again: BALLMER AND HIS ENTOURAGE MUST GO first....

MS can't lose what they never had.

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Anonymous Coward

wishful thinking

I expect Matt Assay is not the only person who only sees the world through the lens of wishful thinking. A month or two of uninspiring sales figures for Windows 8 and he concludes he "can't see much of a future for Windows outside core enterprise infrastructure".

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Re: wishful thinking

I'm not so certain he's wrong.

My use of tech has changed massively in the last 2 years - my Windows PC at home used to be on 24/7, these days it's hardly ever used. For what I need/want to do at home my tablet is more than capable of covering everything. Granted, at home I'm not "creating" anything more complex than the odd forum post - but that's kind of the point Matt's making. In my personal life I'm already in the post-PC world, and I know I'm not the only one. I can't see any reason why I might ever buy myself another Windows device.

Work is a completely different story of course, there I'm running a Windows laptop just like almost everyone else, and that's not likely to change for the foreseeable future.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: wishful thinking

To spell it out, my point about wishful thinking is the way blokes like Assay extrapolate some minor piece of information to draw an inflated conclusion that suits them. As opposed to reasoned argument and useful points of interest. People who think like that rarely have much to contribute to discussion, we see this all the time on web forums, fans, haters and all.

Sure its more than possible that the relevance of Windows will decline at a faster rate this year or next. Even likely. But Assay gives no evidence meaningful in supporting his conclusion that Windows is doomed in consumer. A Windows evangelist may point out there's been little hardware available in the shops so far that takes advantage of Windows 8. To conclude when better hardware arrives Windows 8 will grab consumer attention and boost the market would be equally wishful thinking.

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Bronze badge

Re: wishful thinking

have to agree. Also, the UI change is so great the highly clued people I hang around at aero clubs and so on have complained that using Win8 and the later M$ Office abominations is just too hard. These sort of people have been known to make decisions that change buying and upgrade at large organisations. Making the switch to something else is still expensive, but is it as expensive as changing to OpenOffice or Mac now, given how much retraining is required to use the new Office, let alone Win8 UI ? Frequently use the line," I am not the cleaning lady, I don't do windows".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: wishful thinking

ohhh love your down votes.

Don't you know 2002, no, 2003, sorry 2004.....hold on 2012, no hang on definitely 2013 will be the year of the Linux desktop.

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Happy

Re: wishful thinking

because you dared point out to the rabid Linux nutjobs that an article by someone with a vested interest in seeing Open Source grow, may be slightly biased.

See it's like me pointing out, that still after a decade of people declaring 20xx being the year of the Linux desktop, it still barely registers on the stats.

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Unhappy

Re: wishful thinking

A lot of tech journos seem to forget its Microsoft that gave them a career.

It wasnt linux or Apple. Microsoft did more than anyone to push cheaper affordable computing into the mainstream so that now most western households have probably more than one computing device.

If it had been down to Apple it would still be £3000 for a simple computer. As for Linux....

I'm not saying that means a slavish devotion to MS. Not at all, criticism where it's due at all times. However, MS gave the journos an audience that is interested enough to want to read their articles.

If MS goes then I don't think it would be the great computing nirvana that many here think it would be.

Apple's prices would skyrocket, computing/internet advancements would be restricted and I bet they would then turn their cash reserves and lawyers on hunting down linux and picking that off one by one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: wishful thinking

"A lot of tech journos seem to forget its Microsoft that gave them a career."

A lot of policemen forget that it's criminals that gave them a career.

We need MS to save us from Apple - good grief !

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