Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 13th Jan 2014 10:06 UTC

Paul Thurrott on the next version of Windows and the future of the platform.

In some ways, the most interesting thing about Threshold is how it recasts Windows 8 as the next Vista. It's an acknowledgment that what came before didn't work, and didn't resonate with customers. And though Microsoft will always be able to claim that Windows 9 wouldn't have been possible without the important foundational work they had done first with Windows 8 - just as was the case with Windows 7 and Windows Vista - there's no way to sugarcoat this. Windows 8 has set back Microsoft, and Windows, by years, and possibly for good.

With even Paul Thurrott claiming Windows is in trouble, it becomes virtually impossible to deny it is so.

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RE[2]: Microsoft in transition
by davidiwharper on Mon 13th Jan 2014 22:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft in transition"
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If you ever saw Vista it was, UI-wise, also fairly similar to XP. While the 5.0 series (Windows 2000 and XP) was all about porting the UI & consumer features of Windows 98 across onto the NT codebase, the 6.0 series really has been, at least until Windows 8, all about the internals. A lot of what was bolted on to XP as they went along (Desktop Search, data execution prevention, .NET) was integrated properly into the OS, and added to this was a brand new security model, much better troubleshooting tools (automated start-up error repairs, automatic rollback of failed Windows Updates [which used to hose the entire system], ability to recover from a graphics driver crash without BSOD'ing etc.) and a far friendlier installer/recovery environment.

For all that Windows 8 went and "broke everything again", the fact that Microsoft felt able to focus almost entirely on the UI for NT 6.2 is a testament to the stable foundation of 6.1. That stability has not been a given in Windows history. People forget how bad XP GA was, and to an extent XP SP1 as well; it was really only when SP2 came along that XP became the gold standard. By comparison, Windows 7 GA was feature-complete and very stable; its SP1 was the most boring service pack of all time (a good thing really).

Regarding your personal experience of the Windows 8 desktop, if you ignore the tablet mode (and especially if you buy Start8) Win8 does indeed have some nice improvements over Windows 7. The problem is that most users are not power users; they generally find the whole split personality thing very difficult to handle and benefit from the advances you mentioned. Win7, as you pointed out, did a nice job of staying out of the way for people who comfortable using XP; Win8, not so much.

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