Intel CEO thinks Windows 8 isn't ready, insider claims
But at least it will ship before the holidays
To hear Microsoft tell it, work on Windows 8 wrapped in August and the final version of the new OS is already shipping to PC makers. But according to a source close to Intel, Redmond's closest hardware partner thinks the current Windows 8 code is still only half-baked.
At a recent company meeting in Taipei, Taiwan, Intel CEO Paul Otellini told staffers that Windows 8 is being released before it's fully ready, Bloomberg reports, citing an unnamed source who attended the event.
But although Otellini thinks the Windows 8 code needs improvement, the source claims, he still believes that releasing it before the 2012 holiday season is the right move and that any needed fixes can be made post-launch.
Microsoft has said Windows 8 will hit retail stores on October 26, the same day that it plans to release its Surface tablets running Windows RT, the ARM-based version of the OS. Neither announcement has been met with particular enthusiasm by analysts and industry bigwigs, however, several of whom have voiced doubts similar to Otellini's.
In July, Gartner research director Gunnar Berger said that the Windows 8 user experience on PCs without touchscreens was "bad," and that when the analyst firm asked its clients whether they were evaluating the new OS, "most laughed."
That same month, gaming mogul Gabe Newell told conference attendees in Seattle that he expected Windows 8 to be "a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space," and that top-tier PC makers would be forced to exit the market when consumers stopped buying their goods.
While Newell's view may be a bit extreme, Otellini's remarks will surely stoke the fires of those critics who are already comparing Windows 8 to the much-maligned (and commercially disastrous) Windows Vista.
For its part, Microsoft denied that there's anything wrong with Windows 8. "With over 16 million active preview participants, Windows 8 is the most tested, reviewed and ready operating system in Microsoft’s history," the company said in a statement.
But although "active preview participants" has a nice ring to it, we here at El Reg's West Coast aerie might suggest another term, based on Otellini's reported comments: how does "guinea pigs" sound? ®
Metro: The computer boots and you see an unorganized grid of tiles, a few with some useful information but the vast majority with nothing more than the same icons we've seen for decades. No useful information, all strewn over a scrolling screen with no ability to collapse groups to save space. Throw in no ability to run anything in anything but full screen or a fixed 80/20 split (staying in Metro). Throw in many UI elements and tasks totally hidden off screen and many requiring a multiple of mouse actions to accomplish common tasks. And finally throw in the necessity to jarringly return to this screen from the desktop, over and over, to accomplish common tasks.
Explorer: The computer boots to a familiar desktop with an efficient task bar and start menu which holds all installed programs and system activities in a small, optimized, collapsible, efficient list. You can run one or many applications full screen, windowed and in any combination a user chooses to make optimal use of desktop/monitor space. Files can be held and organized on the desktop to the user's liking, or the desktop can be kept clear... again, to the user's liking.
So how's that for feedback? And what, pray tell, will your rebuttal be? More of the same - you're not using Metro right, you haven't given it enough time, you're sticking your head in the sand? How about actually addressing any of the issues any of us have raised over the past months? And might you work for Microsoft? You seem awfully critical of complaints about Metro.
I did say why it sucks - I said it feels shockingly incomplete, which it does. And what hope would any of us "Preview Participants" have that our feedback would be valued when despite countless accounts of usability issues, Microsoft has done nothing but march forward, release after release.
And I did try to get used to the Metro interface. I installed it without modification on a system used by the entire family, and it was only after several months of daily use and continuous frustration and complaints by family members did I work around Metro. We all learned how to use Metro, so this isn't an issue of not understanding the new paradigm, it's an issue of the new paradigm just sucking in real-world use.
We're not sticking out heads in the sand, we've been explaining exactly why Metro sucks on a desktop system, and Microsoft's reaction has been clear - tough luck, get used to it. So with Windows 8 now RTM, it's pointless to elaborate beyond simply saying it sucks.
If anyone is burring their head in the sand, it's the pro-Metro folks who have done nothing but ignore scores of specific and detailed feedback.
We all gave feedback as to the issue. The interface is best suited to a touch screen environment and for people who primarily want quick access to a relatively small number of applications and who would benefit from 'at a glance' previews of social media \ email. That is not everyone. There is also a group for whom their phone and tablet already do this therefore they take a hit for no gain.
Just because some folks are resistant to change doesn't mean all criticism is invalid. Metro is great, just not for everyone in all circumstances. I really don't see the issue in allowing people to just use a standard desktop & start menu if they wish? I'm not trying to deprive anyone of metro, I just find that for work, I am quicker on the older gui.