Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet writes:
Reports from a couple of different forums from this past weekend raised the possibility that Microsoft might be moving toward allowing users to skip booting into the Metro-Style Start menu and instead start their PCs in desktop mode. (Winbeta.org noted the thread about this on April 14.)
One of my sources confirmed this is now looking like the plan and added that Microsoft is also considering bringing back the Start button as an option with Windows Blue.
I’ve said this all along. Windows 8 has been a disaster for users without touch screen devices. This backtracking means that the vocal minority is finally getting its voice heard.Last week we got bad news that PC sales are declining and many vendors are pointing their fingers at Microsoft’s latest bungle. Lenovo, on the other hand, is not showing a decline in sales, it’s actually increasing and doing so by not going with Windows 8 as the default.
Lenovo has learned from the Windows Vista experience that the official Microsoft “downgrade” path can be painful. So the machines are “downgraded” to Windows 7 by default. Of course, that’s exactly what customers want – and Lenovo is reaping the benefit of listening to those customers.
The computer maker even throws in a Start Menu for Windows 8, which is installable from the Lenovo software bundle. The company wouldn’t be drawn on the exact ratio of Windows 7 to Windows 8 machines shipped.
I think that Lenovo has the right move here and Asus and HP will soon start to explore these options. We are seeing a forced upgrade that nobody wants. If you look around college campuses and coffee shops, everyone is working in the desktop. The tiles aren’t compelling enough and Microsoft knows this. Microsoft is attempting to rectify this.
An upgrade to Windows, codenamed Blue, could give Microsoft a chance to fix some of the problems. But early leaks of the software do not point to any significant changes and Microsoft has argued that the problem lies not in the software but in a shortage of appealing touchscreen hardware that takes full advantage of the operating system. In a statement, the company said the PC market was “evolving and highly dynamic” and that, along with PC makers, “we continue to bring even more innovation to market across tablets and PCs”.
That has not been enough to silence critics who see Windows 8 as Microsoft’s New Coke: an attempt to reinvent one of the world’s most familiar consumer products that was rejected by customers, leading its owner to reverse course and turn back to the older, “classic” version.
Waters and Nuttall made an apt comparison for sure. Microsoft’s New Coke experiment isn’t resonating. Instead of forcing the unfinished product consumers, course correct and take away the tiles. After 4 months, no one will even remember. After earning reports Thursday evening, we’ll have a clearer picture of what Ballmer’s Microsoft Windows division has performed.
Analysts on Thursday may press Microsoft for more details about the response to its Surface tablet, which is supposed to showcase the appeal of Windows 8. Microsoft so far hasn’t released any data about Surface sales, feeding speculation that the device isn’t faring well against the iPad or competing tablets that run on Google Inc.’s Android software.
The second-guessing about Windows 8 has amplified the pressure on Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who doesn’t usually participate in the company’s conference call about quarterly earnings. That, as usual, wik be handled by Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein.
I’ve used the Surface and it’s a niece piece of technology. Nice enough to dethrone the iPad? Certainly not. It could be, but Microsoft bungled the idea, by making the touch cover keyboard a necessity and the stylus was an afterthought. Windows 8 will get better. Microsoft isn’t evil, it’s just made a big mistake. They tried to out innovate Apple and Google and never stopped to see the bigger picture. Touch is here. Tablets are here. Do they work together? Absolutely, but the Desktop and touch should stay far away from each other unless less we get stylus implants to replace our fat fingers.