Steve Heller at fool.com posted an article on April 27th, listing 3 ways Microsoft can save Windows 8. Now despite what some fanboys in denial *cough* Marshal *cough* will say, the fact of the matter is this – Windows 8 sales suck. It’s selling worse than Windows Vista did.
There we said it, it’s out in the open, now we can move to task at hand. And that is; How can Uncle Billy’s Magic Workshop fix their steaming pile of Metro?
According to Mr. Heller, step one is to kill Windows RT. Now for most techie people, Marshal and I included Windows RT was never all that confusing, but for the average consumer it’s been a nightmare since launch. For those that don’t really know what RT is, it’s basically a version of Windows 8 that’s designed for “ARM” devices, such as the Microsoft Surface RT and ASUS VivoTab RT. Now the catch is, legacy Windows applications aren’t compatible with ARM, and thus cannot be used. So the average consumer, see’s this tablet and OS, that looks just like the one on their PC, but can’t run anything from their PC even though it looks sounds and reacts pretty much the exact same way.
To add to the confusion, there’s the Microsoft Surface Pro. Now this tablet/laptop-wannabe, is powered by a normal Intel i5 processor and not ARM, and thus does not run Windows RT, it runs a “full version” of Windows 8 Pro… which looks exactly the same from an average consumer’s point of view. From Microsoft’s website the Surface Pro is $899 and the Surface RT is $499, while I’m sure if you read every word on the pages it will explain all the differences and limitations, average consumers do not do that. They see “Oh this one is cheaper, gets better battery life, is thinner and looks the same.”
Next up Mr. Heller states that Microsoft needs to introduce a $200 tablet. The major thing that Windows 8 (not RT) based tablets have going for them, is that they can literally become a spur of the moment laptop. While my Gen. 1 Galaxy Tab 10.1 can get into Open Office and I can do some editing and such on there if I need to, it’s not fully realized simply because it’s running a different architecture. With Intel launching the new Bay Trail processors soon, we’ll see if Microsoft is able to make this happen.
The last thing Mr. Heller mentions is that they need to bring back the Start Menu. Bottom line with this is the Start Menu as we know it has been around for 17 years. That’s longer than most teenagers. The Start Menu has become Windows. I’m sorry, I know Microsoft wants to “innovate” and not be stuck in the same rut, but when people think of a Windows OS, they think Start button. In version 8.1 it’s rumored that they’ll introduce some bastardization of a Start button that simply routes you back to the Metro Interface (which for the record I HATE!). Which to me is kind of a slap in the face. It’s like Microsoft saying “Oh you guys want the Start Menu back? Oh OK, here’s the Start button back we’re sorry…” *User clicks on new Start button* “HA! Fooled you! it takes you right back to the interface you were trying to avoid! NO START FOR YOU!”
Check out the full article here for Steve Heller’s opinions on the whole thing.