Thursday30 June 2022

Microsoft Is Trying Very Hard to Kill Interest in Windows 8

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win8logoredesignedTime for some Windows 8 news and there is plenty this morning some of which is going to make a few people that were considering Windows 8 a little hesitant. We have been covering the next operating system from Microsoft as it begins to develop its identity and the engineers hone in on performance and the shipping feature set. During this process the design flow feels less like a direction and more like a group of kids arguing over the remote.

When Windows 8 was first announced with the MetroUI we had a few concerns. One of the biggest ones was that Microsoft would begin to whittle away at the experience that users have come to expect. This has been highlighted recently by the removal of the “start” button from the desktop mode. Although we will admit that once you get used to the new hot-spot in the lower left-hand corner it is actually a little easier to use there is still the learning curve for the average consumer. Especially considering that many new users might even be confused by how to get back and forth between the two when using the OS (we watched this in action on our tablet that still has Windows 8 CPP installed).

But there is more to come than just the new layout and UI. Microsoft now appears to be removing Media Center from the core OS. When you install Windows 8 (supposedly a more media oriented OS) you will not be getting media center. Instead it will be made available as an upgrade option. You will have to buy it as a media pack or purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. There is no word on pricing and in addition you might be interested to know that Window Media Player will not have DVD playback support either. Microsoft is claiming that this is due to the cost of maintaining CODECs etc., but this is a big deal considering that it DVD playback in Media Player is a feature that has existed since Windows XP.

“Given the changing landscape, the cost of decoder licensing, and the importance of a straight forward edition plan, we’ve decided to make Windows Media Center available to Windows 8 customers via the Add Features to Windows 8 control panel (formerly known as Windows Anytime Upgrade). This ensures that customers who are interested in Media Center have a convenient way to get it. Windows Media Player will continue to be available in all editions, but without DVD playback support. For optical discs playback on new Windows 8 devices, we are going to rely on the many quality solutions on the market, which provide great experiences for both DVD and Blu-ray.”

On top of the crippled media system in Windows 8 we are also finding out that Microsoft is planning to kill off Windows Live as a separate application for Windows 8. Instead they want to combine them into a single cloud based approach for the new OS. We have talked about this one before and now we are seeing the results. To use the cloud services (at this time) you have to log into your Windows 8 system using a Microsoft Account (your existing Live account). There is no other way to access all of the cloud services at this time. You can get into messaging and mail, but things like Music, Videos, SkyDrive and a few others will not let you use them unless you log in with that Microsoft Account. It seems that Microsoft feels that this will be a benefit to users in some fashion (we are not sure where they got that). This is certain to kill or chances for integration into many businesses unless there are drastic changes to this system.

With this new information we are eagerly awaiting the next CPP release (which should be in June) just so we can see what they are really doing with these changes. As it stands it really looks like Microsoft is trying very hard to kill this operating system before it even hits the market.

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Last modified on Friday, 04 May 2012 09:32

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