Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Feb 2014 00:03 UTC

The reason this happened is that while Sinofsky had the maniacal power and force of will of a Steve Jobs, he lacked Jobs' best gift: An innate understanding of good design. Windows 8 is not well-designed. It's a mess. But Windows 8 is a bigger problem than that. Windows 8 is a disaster in every sense of the word.

This is not open to debate, is not part of some cute imaginary world where everyone's opinion is equally valid or whatever. Windows 8 is a disaster. Period.

Paul Thurrott shares some of his inside information, and it's pretty damning. According to him, Sinofsky's team - even up to his major supporter, Steve Ballmer - were removed from the company after it became clear just much of a disaster Windows 8 was.

I agree with his conclusion: razor-sharp focus on productivity, Windows' number one use. The desktop side of Windows 8.x is pretty good as it is, and has been progressively getting better with every update. I would go one step further than Thurrott. Windows 9 (desktops/laptops) and Windows Metro (tablets/smartphones). These two can still be one product (e.g., connect a keyboard/mouse/monitor to your x86 smartphone and it opens the desktop), but they should be entirely separate environments.

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RE[4]: this is what is happening:
by Brendan on Mon 10th Feb 2014 09:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: this is what is happening:"
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Nobody cares about desktop? Then Microsoft is just saying goodbye to the about 27% of all personal computer users that still use XP. (That info comes from Avast!)

I don't believe that any company, even one of the richest, can afford to kick about 360 million customers
in the head and say something like "effyu we don't want your business." That's what MS is doing, and it won't serve them well.

The normal problem with new OSs (e.g. where you can't just rely on backward compatibility) is that you don't get market share until there's good apps, and people don't write good apps until there's market share. It's a "catch 22" thing. For example, if Microsoft created a "mobile only" OS then it'd have no applications and probably die.Note: There are exceptions to this - e.g. if you're the first in a completely new market

By forcing metro onto their existing desktop users they break the "catch 22" problem - there's already market share for desktop, so developers are more likely to write metro apps, which help to get mobile/smartphone market share. They also annoy their desktop users, but this is irrelevant...

For years now, for a new version of Windows the biggest competition is previous versions of Windows. This means that Microsoft can completely screw up a version of Windows without actually losing much (any?) market share, because users that don't like the new version just keep using (and keep buying) the older version.

I don't think Microsoft made a mistake with Windows 8 at all. I think it was a deliberate strategy to use a monopoly in one market (desktop) to improve their chances in a different market (mobile/smartphone), that had a "low risk" theoretical disadvantage (e.g. less people upgrading to Win8 and more people continuing to buy Win7).

- Brendan

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