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back to article Biz users, hard-up punters: Nobody loves Windows 8

Windows 8 was never expected to set the business world alight in the short term - maybe not even in the long term - and indeed it hasn't, official sales figures from distributors reveal. In the consumer PC space Microsoft and its hardware adversaries mates did a quick job of transitioning from Windows 7 kit, with roughly three- …

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So...

"Vista was a raging cock-up," said Davies.

I hate to think what that makes Windows 8 then.

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Silver badge

Re: So...

Limp; flaccid, a non-starter.

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Linux

Re: So...

As a Windows user of 20 years, and as much as I hate Apple and will never personally buy a Macbook, I see this as the case.

The Linux guys really need to get their asses in gear and add the required polish to exploit this situation. I'm hoping KDE5 will deliver.

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Linux

Re: So...

The mainstream Linux desktop is like an Iranian Nuke.... We're always being promised its going to happen next year... 20 years on....

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Linux

Why the MacBook hate?

I mostly use Linux, with Windows when customers or Microsoft Office require it -- but I run them both on a MacBook Air. I just haven't found anything else comparable in terms of size, build quality, and silent operation -- especially around the $1k price point -- so why should I cut off my nose to spite my face, simply because I don't like Steve Jobs?

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Windows

Re: So...

... Windows 7 ... which is really Vista Service Pack 2, is looking awfully dated and boring.

Isn't that how an OS should be, though? So boring that it never does anything exciting ... like crashing or losing your data?

There's a reason that "May you live in interesting times" is considered a curse.

<-- This guy, because he looks pretty "interesting", and I wouldn't want him running my datacentre!

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Holmes

Re: So...

@Chad H. Linux on the desktop can never happen whilst Microsoft controls the OEMs. People tend to stick with what is installed on their computer when they buy it.

Even Win 8 is selling, even though at a lower rate. If OEM's were to put Linux Mint on computers and sell them at the same price as Windows on the same spec hardware, then the Linux on the Desktop paradigm would happen.

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Black Helicopters

Re: So...

@dajames - an OS an look good an stylish in the same way a building can, and still be perfectly functional. Windows 7 looks kind of dated though, and though that wouldn't bother you or me, execs usually like to use more modern, stylish kit. Cars, computers, etc, these are status symbols and a dell running Windows is more chav than exec.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So...

You know the second that someone describes an OS as 'boring' that they have nothing worthwhile to say. OS's aren't the interesting bit and they never will be ... it's the games, programs and apps that are the interesting bit ... I'm guessing you were the kind of child that took your toys apart rather than playing with them and like the dickhead you've grown up to be you didn't (READ couldn't) put them back together again.

Just to put you straight. Win8 was always going to have problems because of two important factors. (1) There's a global economic downturn so people are putting off buying new computers. (2) Win8 has been sold as a touch screen OS and most people don't have TS's and if they were getting a new computer would want to save money by keeping the old monitor rather. So why would they upgrade the OS to Win8?

Interesting point to note thought is that they aren't upgrading their OS to anything else either. They're just buying tablet toys to make themselves feel better about having no money.

My son has a really nice touch screen, so I'm betting he'll upgrade to Win8 sooner rather than later (as it turned out that Win7 sucked with a TS). However, I wont simply because I'd rather get a new TV than a TS monitor that I'm not sure I'd want to be touching all that much anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So...

It'd have to be a heck of a lot cheaper as I don't want to be paying for something I can get for free!

I'm always testing Linux, but every time I quickly go back back to MS ... until a Linux distro can run all my MS programs or has better alternatives - and yes crappy Office alternatives are a definite deterrent - I wont be changing any time soon.

However, I suspect that if the Steam port to linux works and all those old and new games can be played, then Linux will have a lot more converts.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why the MacBook hate?

Steve Jobs might have been one of the most evil people ever to walk the planet but he knowed how to make decent labtops.

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Re: So...

"And Windows 7 come to that, which is really Vista Service Pack 2, is looking awfully dated and boring."

3 year old Win 7 dated and boring? Unlike say, the over-a-decade old Mac OS X? Yes we may have had Lions and Tigers and Ocelot Spleens (get 'em while they're hot) but it essentially looks pretty much the same as it did 10 years ago. (And the look of iOS has been static since a couple of years before Win 7 arrived.) Not saying Windows didn't need a facelift of some kind, but suggesting that OSX somehow doesn't look dated and boring by comparison is just plain daft.

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One thing

One feature windows 8 has which is useful is the native support for USB 3. The USB ports on my desktop refused to work with the Windows 7 supplied drivers but under windows 8 they speed along.

I still have 75% of my supported install base on Windows XP and they'll be moving to either 7 or Server 2008 R2 over the next year before support is retired.

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Re: USB3

'bout time they supported it, been using USB3 on my Linux HTPC since 2010...

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Linux

Re: USB3

@Euripides Pants:

Quite right - I do get fed up of Windows drones whining on about all their fab new feature that has just been quietly working in Linux for years. I mean the important shit that does useful stuff and makes systems dependable, fast & efficient, not the bollocks bling and other ephemera.

Same with iPhone fashion victims continually bleating the myth that their extortionate hand-candy is innovative and technically superior - though I grant that from a marketing perspective it may be. Meh...

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Linux

Re: One thing

One feature windows 8 has which is useful is the native support for USB 3.

Over here, on the Linux desktop, we've had "native" USB 3 since it was added to the kernel about four years ago.

I really do wish those Windoze sluggards would make some kind of effort to keep up....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: USB3

Same with iPhone fashion victims continually bleating the myth that their extortionate hand-candy is innovative and technically superior - though I grant that from a marketing perspective it may be.

Yawn. On a site with predominantly tech readers, a phrase that labels users of any smartphone OS as something instead of the result of a normal reasoned choice demonstrates more about the person who makes the statement than about the users. Be careful you don't hurt your wrist.

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A little misleading

There weren't many Windows 8 machines out - mostly Windows 7 with a free or discounted upgrade to Win8Pro. Hell I bought a clearance Gateway laptop with free upgrade for $239 out the door Dec 2nd from Staples. Had a $100 off coupon for clearance machines.

;)

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Unhappy

Re: A little misleading

Hmm - quite the opposite here in Blighty, actually. Nary a Win7 machine to be found since around a month before Xmas. So on balance, not misleading at all. Every UK channel seemed to have its orders to bury W7 kit. It almost happened overnight as I recall; the weekend following the W8 launch there were no W7 jobbies in the local megastores. Not even discounted end-of-line stuff. It was very, very spooky and cunningly orchestrated...

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Re: A little misleading

Yes agree with you over the speed with which the UK high st. (including PC World Business & Staples) went wall-to-wall Windows 8, along with no Win7 machines in the clearance section.

If you want a Win7 machine, you have to either go online (to Dell, Lenovo, Misco etc. but not to PC World or Staples etc.) and buy a 'business' range machine or visit a local system builder.

The catch is that whilst you may have downgrade rights with a Win8 Pro machine, it isn't made easy - suggest reading the article:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2015107/downgrading-from-windows-8-to-7-what-you-need-to-know.html

Basically, you are likely to be better off buying a system with Win7 pre-installed rather than attempting the downgrade yourself...

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Bronze badge

Re: A little misleading

Not sure what to tell you, my local Staples still has some Win7 laptops in their clearance section.

I was the one wondering where all the preloaded Win8 machines were in December.

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Linux

Re: A little misleading

Basically, you are likely to be better off buying a system with Win7 pre-installed rather than attempting the downgrade yourself...

Actually you're much better off buying a system without the Windows Tax (you'll save about £150) and stick Linux Mint on it. After about 10 minutes acclimatisation, you'll wonder why you ever paid Microsoft anything for their brokenware....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A little misleading

That is until you come to do some work requiring Office and you start to wonder how all these supposedly intelligent people get by using crappy substandard Office software. So you do a clean install of Win7 followed by MS Office, get a cup of tea and relax now that the world has regained it's sanity.

Using Linux 'MS Office' clones is a little like becoming one of those purists (READ twats) that think that coding HTML by hand (rather than making a well designed site that is a joy to use) is something to be proud of.

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Another day, another win 8 hater story on the reg

complete with the usual hater comments... It's like groundhog day.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another day, another win 8 hater story on the reg

yep, win 8 is really popular with buyers, selling really well, winning hearts and minds, taking over the world - in your head

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Windows

Re: Another day, another win 8 hater story on the reg

Agree, the people who hate on win 8 either have not used it at all, arent smart enough to learn it or cant be bothered. The trolls just say it sucks, we all know who they are e.g. @Eadon and The Reg writers obviously do not complete much partial journalism unless it comes to something ending in *ix or *ux or *droid

I used to love this site but it appears to be seeing a take over from a bunch of hacks who just want to act on personal agendas half the time.

Not sure but definitely searching for an alternative to ElReg in the near future.

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Unhappy

Re: Another day, another win 8 hater story on the reg

As an MS fan of more decades than I care to count I always feel disconcerted when my huge disappointment and frustration at Balmer's intransigence gets me labelled a H83r on a site with an otherwise high-quality level of commentardos.

There was even the time I got accused of deliberately lying and distributing misinformation about Windows 8, as if I were a rabid fanboi. So I'd have to say there are also 'hater haters' (or if you prefer, haters2 or possibly even haters3 ) out there!

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Unhappy

Re: Another day, another win 8 hater story on the reg

... the people who hate on win 8 either have not used it at all, arent smart enough to learn it or cant be bothered.

I think you mistake frustration for hate.

There are a lot of people commenting here who use Windows every day, many of us have to manage and administer Windows networks and cope with the problems of far less expert users than ourselves. We have some understanding of what these people find easy and what they do not.

It is frustrating to have to explain to users that in this new Windows things must be done in different ways. It is frustrating to have to explain to the same users, time and time again, what those new ways are. It is frustrating to have to try to explain why the new way exists, why the old way no longer exists, and why someone thought it was clever to change -- especially when there is no reason apart from Microsoft's desire to force a new fashion on the world.

Windows 8 does do a few things that are valuable and worthwhile that Windows 7 doesn't -- USB3 support is an example that's easy to spot, but most of them are improvements in security and reliability behind the scenes -- but there are also a lot of things that Windows 8 doesn't do, that Windows 7 does ... and that's frustrating, again.

So, no, most of us don't hate Windows 8 -- we despair at it, and we hate Microsoft for foisting it on us.

These comments aren't just sneers from Apple and Linux users, they're cries of pain from Windows users who see Microsoft ruining an OS that used to be usable (flawed, yes, but usable).

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Re: Another day, another win 8 hater story on the reg

Well said sir. Have an upvote.

Phil.

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FAIL

Re: Another day, another win 8 hater story on the reg

@The_Regulator - There are plenty of Microsoft-apologist sites / blogs out there where everyone is sycophantic towards Windows (to garner ad revenue). ZDNet for example.

If something is simply a bad product, like Windows 8 evidently is, experts and the market both agree - then it is not balanced journalism to say 50% good things and 50% bad things about it. It is balanced journalism to say that a bad product is bad. It's called telling the truth.

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I really like Windows 8...

...granted, I use Classic shell and largely bypass the Start Screen entirely. Windows 8 runs better for me than 7 did on the same hardware, and the new file maintenance functionality makes the whole thing worthwhile!

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Re: I really like Windows 8...

Careful, any even vaguely positive comments about Win8 upset The Register's hivemind. My limited experience matches yours, FWIW.

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Happy

Re: I really like Windows 8...

I agree. I'm a Linux user for everything except games. Windows 8 + Classic Shell provided me with a way of getting DirectX11 on my aging Windows XP games machine for 25 quid.

It Just Works. With Classic Shell it bypasses the Metro UI (which I neither like or dislike, because I've never used it for more than the 2 minutes it took to install Classic Shell) and gives me a Start menu.

Windows 8's UAC is pretty sensible. It's not annoying like Vista, and I'd say it's even slightly less naggy than Windows 7. And it seems fast and responsive; I seem to be getting about 5 FPS better performance in 3D games than I did on exactly the same hardware under Windows XP.

If the one and only thing this does, is to allow me to install GTA:V when it comes out, then it will be considered 25 quid well spent.

Even for the sole purpose of getting off Windows XP before it becomes unsupported, it's a good deal. Add Classic Shell and consider it a cheap way of getting Windows 7, if you want to think of it that way.

Will I still consider it a good deal when the 25 quid offer ends after 31 Jan? Dunno. Don't care. I've only got one Windows machine and that's upgraded now. For anyone else looking to upgrade from XP... fill yer boots, get in while you can.

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Linux

Re: I really like Windows 8...

"my aging Windows XP games machine"

Just how 'aging'? I have an Asus Pundit AH2 desktop that will be going to a friend and needs to have a windows version on it. AMD Dual core, nvidia integrated graphics, 2Gb ram, runs XP sp3 pretty fast.

I'm glad to see Microsoft making the underlying system faster and more efficient. And I say this as a fully signed up Penguin.

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Re: I really like Windows 8...

"Just how 'aging'?"

Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 (2.53GHz overclocked to 3.5GHz), 4GB RAM, Asus P5Q Pro motherboard, 500GB SATA HDD, ATI Radeon 5770 graphics.

Running on 1600x900 display.

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Silver badge

Re: I really like Windows 8...

"Careful, any even vaguely positive comments about Win8 upset The Register's hivemind. My limited experience matches yours, FWIW."

I'm just amused by the "I love Windows 8 once I've made it look like Windows 7" comments.

Most of the complaints are about the user interface, not that they finally support USB3. They're foisting something made for fondling with your fingers into an environment where the 20 to 50 inch screen is sat out of arm's reach in a lot of places. It just doesn't work as well or as easily as what it has replaced, and all in a glory-or-bust attempt to make 2013 the year of Microsoft on the Fondle Toy.

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Happy

Re: I really like Windows 8...

I slapped Windows 8 (£25) on a old Tecra M7 from 2005/6. I upped the CPU to a 2Ghz C2D (£15 on Ebay) and it had 4GB of ram already. I also slapped a 64GB Samsung SSD in it (£65)

Absolutely flies with 8 on it. In fact I took it along to one of my small business meetings to show it off to let folks know that they didn't have to buy a new laptop to get decent performance. Managed to get several SSD/Win8 upgrade orders out of it as a result. They all didn't seem to mind Windows 8 either.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I really like Windows 8...

What the fuck do you want? A medal?

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another reason

Businesses aren't spending money and have just spent most of what they have transitioning to Windows 7 from earlier versions.

But if they weren't expecting to sell many, shouldn't this article be titled

"Microsoft sales of Windows 8 to business much as expected

- nothing to see here, move along, move along"

less punchy I suppose and less likely to draw attention and comment. But if the Metro-haters, or anti-Linux crowd want to express their opinions they will whatever the subject of the article.

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Re: another reason

I think MS knew that Windows 8 wasn't going to be the Enterprise/Corporate refresh OS of choice. That runs on far longer cycles. Chances are the next one wont be till 9 or even 10.

Hence why they went for a more domestic orientated OS with 8.

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WTF?

You guys are nuts

Windows 8 is great, I preferred the old UI but the new one works fine if you stop crying long enough to try it.

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Unhappy

Re: You guys are nuts

Actually, Mr Nobby, my home desktop is a W8 all-in-one. I really like the USB3 support mentioned above, the new 'fast start', the way my selection of 'More Details' is remembered between copy operations and the ability to flip hidden files on/off fast via the ribbon. I like many, many things about W8. I'd probably be a raving W8 fanboy if it weren't for the things I hate with a passion, such as the hard-to-discern current window focus, the loss of a process counter in Task Manager, the occasional bug where bulk copies of many gigs can result in a crash, the loss of UI beautification and (of course) the un-turnoffable tiles and the relegation of the desktop (the meat-and-potatoes part) to the status of a bloody app.

But balanced praise and critique gets me the tag of crybaby, it seems. Ho hum.

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Wut?

The reason that loads of people were buying Win8 machines was that you couldn't buy anything else in the shops. When you strip out all the Win7 stock, it's hardly surprising that everyone buys Win8.

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The problem for Microsoft and PC sellers in general is that the most basic low end box you can buy these day can happily do what the majority of business customers require which is Office, email and internet. You don't need a monster power system to do these task so there is little margain to be made out of business customers anymore. And Windows 8 doesn't really bring any new features that business would want on a desktop pc so aren't interested in purchasing it and if a pc comes with it preinstalled it will probably get replaced with Windows 7

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Facepalm

There is nothing wrong with Windows 8. It's actually very good, and most people who have actually used it seem to agree that the problems are massively blown out of proportion.

The reason why businesses haven't moved over is because businesses NEVER move over to an OS that is only a couple of months old. That would be crazy, no matter how good or bad the OS is.

The reason why consumer Win8 hasn't taken off yet, is that the OEMS are only just starting to come out with decent Windows 8 machines.

It's going to take a couple more quarters to gauge how well Windows 8 is going for the consumer, and years before we can see its impact on business.

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Anonymous Coward

There is EVERYTHING wrong with Windows 8. You sound decidedly like the old Microsoft Gold Partners banging on about how good Vista was on here when it came out.

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Hmmm - agree that this will be knee-jerk down-voted - but there's an undercurrent getting little comment. All the reviews of the new generation of hybrid laptop/tablet PCs (less so Surface RT) have a consensus - yep, the new systems are are really functional - use 'em for business like a regular LT, then use 'em as a tablet in front of the TV, on the train etc.

The underlying trend - more and more touch-enabled hybrids - actually makes Win8 look like a product with a future (albeit one where the Wintel PC market share is in structural decline). Another version of Windows without touch would have been a far worse choice.

I've got a Win8 setup running Hyper-V so I can call up Win7, W2K12, and even (gasp) Mint - all at the same time if I want to, and it works A-OK. Very functional for someone with power user techie requirements - and I look forward to the next round of work-laptop hardware refresh when I'll be in line for a decent hybrid.

Yes - recent Mint versions work out of the box, a huge step forward for Linux, no struggling to get it up and running half-decently with popular hardware - props

Yes - as a user of a no-touch desktop, after six weeks I concluded that I'd prefer Start8 to keep the TIFKAM stuff out of my face. (And Start8 at $4.99 works an absolute treat).

Yes - MS is facing a structurally-declining market for Wintel laptops, there will be no glory-days sales boom for Win8

But actually it's a decent effort, and the benefits will emerge over a period of time, as the user-base shifts to hybrids. The immediate jarring shock of dual-GUI will fade into the background, and the users will actually like it.

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