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[4]: Microsoft in transition
by davidiwharper on Tue 14th Jan 2014 00:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Microsoft in transition"
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True story: I met a fellow the other day who is still using Windows 98 as his primary OS and doesn't see any reason to get rid of it. He is an outlier, and chances are you are too - although for different reasons.

In the case of the '98 guy, he rote-learned his computer skills and thus finds it difficult to contemplate upgrading. He's an extreme case, but there are lots of people who use XP, don't have great proficiency, and have no desire to learn a new OS every few years. Classic Shell exists for people like that, and we should all be thankful it exists - especially now because most people will be forced off XP when it goes EOL in April.

In your case, you clearly know what you are doing, know what you want out of your PC, and aren't going to be stung by most 'average' problems. But trust me on this, Microsoft didn't spend billions of dollars rewriting Windows' internals just for the fun of it. They were responding to flaws in NT 5.x - particularly security issues and problems with the driver model.

By way of an anecdote, I know a lady who rote-learned Windows XP and Outlook Express, but somehow managed to miss the lesson about not opening attachments from strangers. So literally every few months her poor brother has to disinfect the machine and sometimes wipe it entirely. While it's not impossible to infect Windows 7 in a similar manner, it's definitely harder in general and specifically *much* more difficult for malware to hijack the underlying OS without some kind of payload being voluntarily installed by the user. If and when she upgrades to 7, my friend's relative will notice this difference and likely appreciate it enormously - as will my friend!

Another anecdote, this time about the UI: when Microsoft released Desktop Search 4.0 for XP, most people never installed it (it was opt-in) and because the widget lay outside the Start Menu, where users are trained to look, many people who had it installed for them didn't understand how to use it. In Windows Vista this was moved into the Start Menu proper. I personally don't use it all that much, because I know where my files are, but your average user generally has crap all over and can't find things easily. So having "Search" right there in the Start Menu makes a huge difference, because now with a tiny bit of training (essentially being told, "if you've lost something, type the subject here and it will magically appear") they can be much more comfortable using their PC.

IMHO it's all too common stories like these that help to explain just why Windows 7 is so highly regarded. For a lot of people it genuinely is a much better experience than XP.

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