First off I personally think that Windows 8 is far superior to Windows Vista. It is more secure and much faster and on a touchscreen it is a pleasure to use. It seams though that quite a few people just do not like it as shown by the market share figures for June 2014. So what is the problem?
The main problem with Windows 8 is its split personality. It is designed for touchscreens but at its launch there weren’t many about and on a traditional laptop or PC it can be clunky. Then there is the Start screen (which I actually like) which a lot of users just hate and users having to retrain to actually use the new interface didn’t go down well either.
Put Windows 8 on a touchscreen tablet (where it really belongs) and it does start to make sense. I have a client with a Surface 2 (yes the Windows RT one) which is lovely to use. The swipe gestures and moving around the OS with your finger is a joy. Yes it does have its issues with lack of apps but that is another blog!!
Microsofts biggest problem is that business customers were never going to switch to Windows 8 in huge droves due to the retraining costs and have instead switched to the tried and tested Windows 7. This leaves the home market where tablets have overtaken laptops and PC’s thereby squeezing out Windows. Windows 8 should have been developed purely for PC’s and laptops (businesses would have preferred this and uptake would have been higher) and develop a separate OS for tablets (and do not call it Windows). Windows RT can (and possibly should) be used for this purpose but it would need a complete rebrand as people still expect to run Windows programs on it.
At this point people generally bring up the Surface line of hybrids stating that Microsoft got it right and Surface is the proof. The Surface Pro 3 is a cracking piece of kit and if I had the money I would seriously consider buying one but that is the problem – they cost too much. Pricing something in MacBook Air territory generally doesn’t work as Windows is seen as “for everyone” whilst Apple products are seen as “premium”. Maybe I will be proven wrong (it won’t be the first time) but somehow I doubt it.
Windows 9 is due to be released early next year and when it does I can honestly see Windows 8’s market share start to go the same way as Windows Vista, which would be a shame as it does have some good qualities but it just can’t make its mind up what it wants to be.
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