Feeds

Windows 8

Apple iOS 7 makes some users literally SICK. As in puking, not upset

Excessive zoom and 3D-effect graphics in Apple's latest iOS is leaving some users reaching for the sick bucket

Charge of the Metro brigade: Did Microsoft execs plan to take a hit?

Touchy-feely annoyance a plot to keep Windows relevant

High performance access to file storage

The Metro logic

The strategic thinking goes like this: Microsoft needs brute force to coerce a touch-based "ecosystem" into existence, and it's using Windows as the battering ram. Microsoft fears that if it loses "touch" to the iPad and iPhone and Android, then it loses its place in the consumer space altogether. These tablets are increasingly capable of content creation, it notes. And because of this, Microsoft is going to force-feed Windows 8 to millions of PC users on non-touch devices, for whom Metro is nothing but a hindrance, in the hope that the market provides content and applications "designed for Metro".

All this has consequences, though.

One analyst tweeted that Windows 8 will give a big benefit to Windows Phone – which must be music to Microsoft's ears, for WP is currently in the doldrums and needs a lift. But this reflects the theory rather than the reality. I see it working both ways. Users who have a bad time on Windows 8 aren't going to take a closer look at Windows Phone. The desktop experience may then act as a weird kind of aversion therapy.

If Metro 8 is not decoupled from the central non-touch Windows UX, then enterprises will simply shun the upgrade. They don't have the budgets to retrain their staff. In the days when you were moving thousands of people from DOS to Windows, you could argue for a bigger training budget. But the cost/benefit advantage just isn't there in Windows 8. Microsoft doesn't have the power to move its market in the way Apple can – the market would prefer to shun the upgrade, as it did with Vista.

Paul Thurrott of WinSuperSite goes further:

"Inside Microsoft, there is a related fixation on whether Windows 8 will succeed and, yes, there is a contingent of people stuck in a paradoxical position: They understand that the success of Microsoft is inexorably linked to Windows, and thus that Windows 8 must succeed. But they desperately want Steven Sinofsky, and thus Windows 8, to fail. That both can't happen is of course the unresolvable issue," he writes.

I haven't found that sentiment. Nobody I've spoken to wants Windows 8 to fail. But everyone expects it to fail in the enterprise, and fail so badly that it will make Vista look like a gentle hiccup. (Not tho' the soldier knew/Someone had blunder'd):

This is all quite puzzling. We must assume the Metro-centric core of Microsoft executives is thinking rationally. We must assume they have done some maths. Which means Microsoft is at least prepared to forgo the revenue that comes from one enterprise Windows upgrade cycle, just to jam Metro into the public consciousness in the long term.

Perhaps Microsoft has justified this with the thought that the mere $4.74bn in quarterly revenues that the Windows division brings in is fairly inelastic – it won't vary much whether Windows is a hit or a flop - and that OEMs have to keep building and buying PCs. So it must have also reckoned that it can afford to take a hit in the short term to preserve Microsoft's relevance in the long term. Perhaps this isn't so crazy. Microsoft's Entertainment division (led by Xbox) now makes almost as much money as Windows.

This, then, appears to be Microsoft's gamble. I just wonder if it has revealed all this to the shareholders? Perhaps it should.

Meanwhile the Metro boat sails steadily on to its fate. Better get the popcorn in. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.