Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Windows 8 - XP or Vista?

The initial press on Windows 8 has been negative. Some of it very negative.

More recently there has been some push back, reminding people that Windows XP also got some initial bad press. Obviously, XP overcame the initial problems but after twelve years, three service packs and innumerable hardware upgrades, XP seems rock solid.

Compare that with Windows Vista. Vista also got a lot of bad press when it came out. After a service pack and a new set of drivers it became stable but it already had a bad reputation. It was also a memory and CPU hog at a time when the big thing was low-end net books that could not run XP.

So, where does that leave Windows 8?

It has a lot of problems and most of them relate to the user interface. They can probably be fixed with a service pack but in the meantime it has the reputation of being hard to use and of removing functionality.

It doesn't help Microsoft that businesses are still running out Windows 7. It will be a couple of years before most businesses seriously consider Windows 8. Microsoft might have Windows 9 out by then. At minimum, they will have a service pack or two out.

It is possible that Microsoft will continue to push Windows 8 long enough to iron out its many problems. By most accounts, the underlying operating system itself is very fast and stable but Windows 7 is also fast and stable. The issue is in the user interface and Microsoft's goal of having one interface for PCs and tablets. If they abandon that goal then there are no other issues with Windows 8. If they continue to make a workstation act like a touch-screen then the complaints will continue. Dredging up old articles will not affect this.

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