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September 12, 2011

Windows 8 Week

Filed under: News — admin @ 6:51 am

Microsoft is preparing to sell Windows 8 this week. Not to you, of course, but to its big customers.

From what I can glean from the article (link below), Windows 8 is a radical departure for Microsoft. And it will be a radical departure for the users, too.

I predict: Chaos!

For anyone who doubts that the iPad had an influence on the computer industry, you need only look to Windows 8. It’s not a computer operating system, it’s a tablet/phone/mobile operating system.

Honestly, I don’t want to see TMZ news when I first turn on my computer, or my friend’s Facebook pictures, or blog updates, or some animated glob that tells me the weather. It’s a computer, dammit.

Or is it?

My observation of Microsoft over the years shows a consistent and dedicated misunderstanding of what the user wants. That’s because of Microsoft’s Usability Labs.

The Usability Labs is where most of Microsoft’s disasters are born. It’s where they haul in jokers off the street and ask them, “Do you like this?” questions. It’s the birthplace of the Office Paperclip, of the ridiculous Microsoft BOB program.

The problem with the Usability Labs is that people like to give positive answers. The Man-on-the-street is not an expert and really doesn’t know what he wants. He likes everything. Witness the popularity of McDonalds and Taco Bell.

Further there is no inspiration with a setup like they have in the Usability Labs. You’re not going to get brilliant ideas from the Average Joe. People with brilliant ideas already work for companies or themselves because — stand back — there’s lots of money to be made from brilliant ideas.

Contrast Microsoft’s Usability Labs with the crazed genius of Steve Jobs at Apple. Steve knows what he wants. He doesn’t have to ask random people in Seattle whether they like it or not. His insight tells him what will work and what stinks, and he goes with that. Not so, Microsoft.

So my fear is that Windows 8 looks cool, and Microsoft has very smart people working for it, but they lack the “insanely great” aspect of Apple. They imitate, not innovate.

Everyone will have to wait to see how Windows 8 does in the market. This week, however, Microsoft will be receiving some valued feedback regarding that success.

Article Link


  1. I can’t really see the point of having it on a desktop PC all the Metro stuff, I expect most people will have it turned off anyway. Which begs the question why did they decide that all versions of Windows 8 should be the same. I can understand the tablet OS having the Metro feature but desktops, not so much does this means it will be an expensive update to Windows 7 which at them moment doesn’t really look all that much different. The price better had be reasonable like the latest Mac OS which I believe was actually quite cheap, I’ve never owned a Mac so I am only going on what I’ve read.

    Comment by chiefnoobie — September 16, 2011 @ 6:38 am

  2. Mac OS X Lion is trying to do the same thing that Windows 8 does, though Windows 8 leapfrogs OS X (at least that’s my take on what Microsoft is doing).

    As a Mac user, I’m not updating to OS X Lion. In fact, if I could, I’d downgrade to Leopard, which was more Unix-like than Snow Leopard.

    Comment by admin — September 16, 2011 @ 6:50 am

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