Believe it or not, thanks to Windows 8, PC sales have just gone through the biggest decline in the past 20 years. These sales, combined with the increasing popularity of tablets, beg the question: is Windows 8 going to destroy the PC Market?
I own a PC that came with Windows 8, and I can tell you, I wasn't pleasantly surprised when I began to use the operating system. Lets take a look at why or why not PCs might be on their way out.
Windows 8.1 is coming out soon and Microsoft is detailing some of the changes that are going to be present. One of the most looked for changes is a return of the start button. This one feature is so missed by users that a booming trade in third party software for add-in start buttons has developed. The problem is that the start button Microsoft is putting back does not mean the start menu is back. Instead clicking this button will only get you back to the Modern UI. This makes the change cosmetic in nature and does not actually address the issue that most people have with Windows 8 and the Modern UI. This is the same as the option to boot to the desktop, if you do not have a real start menu, what is the point. People were not looking just to get the start button back, but the actual start menu with the ease of access that it brought. The rest of the improvements all appear to be related to the Modern UI and show that Microsoft is simply not read to listen to reason or even the consumer.
According to unnamed sources close to Microsoft, Redmont giant will in the coming update of Windows 8, colloquially called Windows 8.1, restore the Start button to its original position - first spot in the taskbar. Ejecting the Start button from the taskbar has been one of the most controversial releases of Windows 8, and in parallel with the release of a new version of Microsoft operating system appeared a great number of applications that have brought it back (Start8, StartIsBack, Pokki, StartMenu8 and others).
Microsoft is being sued over the ideas behind the company's entire visual identity, which is the base functionality of their new operating systems. The lawsuit is about the "live tiles" on the Windows Phone and Windows 8 interface. Two years ago, while advertising Windows Phone 7, Microsoft introduced the concept of "live tiles" that were used as a building block of the mobile interface of the OS and associated applications. The concept has now been extended to both Windows 8 and Microsoft's entire visual identity is based on the principle of simplicity, promoting "live tiles“.
Microsoft is working very hard to make a fresh start of things. After announcing that they were doing away with their Zune player and eventually their music service (both of which were arguably better than their Apple counter parts, but Microsoft failed to market them properly) they are now moving in on Hotmail. Today they launched their replacement for the Hotmail service called Outlook.com. This is not the first time that Microsoft has tried to rebrand Hotmail though and might not be the last. Before they tried to change Hotmail into Windows Live mail (which failed) as a way to remove the old outlook express application from Windows and provide it as a service to those that wanted it (in a bundle with a bunch of other Microsoft apps). Still Hotmail survived and continued to be one of the most popular free webmail services in the market.
Gamers there is great news for you! According to Microsoft your text will now render up to 336% faster than in Windows 7! This means that if you are playing a text based game you are going to get blazing fast performance. Although not related to gamers the announcement that Windows 8 now renders text faster than Windows 7 due to DirectWrite has been used to create headlines that read Windows 8 Smokes Windows 7. Unfortunately Microsoft is only talking about 2D graphic and the user interface. Microsoft has also done something that is very disingenuous; they used percentages instead of raw numbers.
It seems that Microsoft might actually be listening to some of the criticism that has been flowing about their next generation operating systems. A few days ago we reported that Microsoft had made the decision to ship Visual Studio Express 2012 with support for Metro Apps only. This upset a large portion of the development community and was lambasted across the internet as a very dumb move.
This just in from the Microsoft is being foolish again desk. We have told you that Microsoft is seriously pushing their vision of the PC again. They have dropped all pretenses that the PC is all about you and are now rushing headlong down the tunnel with the thought of monetizing your PC usage with the cloud. To do this they are shoving their new UI Metro down your throat whether you like it or not. There have been some that like Metro calling it sleek and slick. However, while Metro is manageable it is also very dull and lacks any kind of elegance or class. It looks like a kid designed it and like XP brings images of Fischer Price to mind instead of a high-performance operating system.
So Microsoft is trying to defend their decision to cripple Windows 8 right out of the box. We told you a few days ago that Microsoft has chosen not to include Media Center or DVD playback support in the shipping version of Windows 8. To get either of these you will have to pay for some sort of upgrade. If you have the standard version of Windows 8 you will need to buy an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro and if you already have Pro you will need to buy the Media Pack upgrade.
After our initial story of Microsoft’s idea to remove DVD playback and Media Center support from core installations of Windows 8 (you can still get it with an upgrade purchase) we find out a bit of news that simply makes no sense in light of what we are hearing about its crippled media playback functions. It appears that Microsoft is going to lean on Dolby Laboratories for enhanced audio in Windows 8.