Back in January, Tami Reller, our Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer, joined me in a Q&A to provide an update on progress since the launch of Windows 8. Here we are now just past six months from general availability, so we thought it would be fitting to provide another update.
Brandon LeBlanc: It’s been several months since we announced that 60 million licenses of Windows 8 had been sold since general availability. Where are we now?
Tami Reller: We recently surpassed the 100 million licenses sold mark for Windows 8. This number includes Windows licenses that ship on a new tablet or PC, as well as upgrades to Windows 8. This is up from the 60 million license number we provided in January. We’ve also seen the number of certified devices for Windows 8 and Windows RT grow to 2,400 devices, and we’re seeing more and more touch devices in the mix.
As we talked about in our last Q&A, Windows 8 is a big, ambitious change. While we realize that change takes time, we feel good about the progress since launch, including what we’ve been able to accomplish with the ecosystem and customer reaction to the new PCs and tablets that are available now or will soon come to market.
Brandon LeBlanc: There’s been a recurring theme talking about the PC’s demise. What’s your take on that?
Tami Reller: The PC is very much alive and increasingly mobile. The PC is also part of a much broader device market of tablets and PCs. Windows 8 was built to fully participate in this broader and increasingly mobile device market. The PC part of the market is rapidly evolving to include new convertible devices and amazing new touch laptops, and all-in-ones. These new PCs are hitting the market now and into the Back-to-School season, and they are more affordable than ever.
Brandon LeBlanc: There’s been a lot of speculation about Windows Blue. What can you tell me about it?
Tami Reller: Windows Blue is a codename for an update that will be available later this year, building on the bold vision set forward with Windows 8 to deliver the next generation of tablets and PCs. It will deliver the latest new innovations across an increasingly broad array of form factors of all sizes, display, battery life and performance, while creating new opportunities for our ecosystem. It will provide more options for businesses, and give consumers more options for work and play. The Windows Blue update is also an opportunity for us to respond to the customer feedback that we’ve been closely listening to since the launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT. From a company-wide perspective, Windows Blue is part of a broader effort to advance our devices and services for Microsoft.
Brandon LeBlanc: Last time we talked about the Windows Store and momentum you were seeing there. Will you update our readers on progress?
Tami Reller: Apps momentum has been steady as the number of apps in the Windows Store has increased 6x since launch. Comparatively, that’s already passed what iOS had in store, in its first year of app development. We’ve also surpassed 250 million Store apps downloaded in the first six months, and almost 90% of our app catalog has been downloaded every month.
Additionally, we’ve delivered hundreds of updates to first party apps (apps from Microsoft), including a major update for Mail, People and Calendar. We also updated IE10 so that Flash works by default, which makes it easier for people to enjoy all of the rich content on the sites they love. And the Bing Team updated their apps as well. This, combined with the touch capabilities of Internet Explorer 10, delivers a much more immersive web experience than what’s possible on other devices.
Brandon LeBlanc: And we’re also seeing good momentum with our services like SkyDrive and Outlook.com, right?
Tami Reller: That’s right. Earlier today, we announced that we now have more than 250 million people using SkyDrive. We also continue to add exciting features to our new personal email service, Outlook.com, including the recent announcement about integration with Skype – starting in the UK immediately, in the U.S. and Germany in the coming weeks, and worldwide availability in the coming months. It’s also worth noting that we have already completed the update to Outlook.com for all of our Hotmail customers, much earlier than our original estimate of later this summer. We already have 400 million active Outlook.com accounts.
And key to the experience behind all of these great services and apps is having a Microsoft account, of which we now have over 700 million active accounts.
Special thanks to Tami for taking the time to answer questions about where we are with Windows 8 and what’s coming next. We are excited to see the steady momentum in the product and in the ecosystem and look forward to the coming months.
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Will IE 11 bring back the sepearte search bar?
I also forgot to mention that the scrollbar in windows 8 (not metro) had become very unusable? Why make it so difficult to spot and/ or use? How can I explain to my 70 year old mum that that thing on the right which is very difficult to spot is a scrollbar. Even the colour is very similar to the background. Compare this to the previous versions, easy to spot easy to use. I can hardly believe that 20 years of good interface design has been thrown out of the window!
Microsoft pls get real, even your fans had enough with these pointless changes. The detail makes the difference. I am one of them.
Flash works by default, it is time for Silverlight in the next step.
That got to be awsome for how many device is on the platform of windows 8 am glad to see that. I still use Windows 7 on my tower computer because it cant run the new update of windows 8 I dont know why. But I have windows 8 on my HP laptop am glad to have it and glad that microsoft made it. Good work Developers:)
LOVE WINDOWS 8 BUT PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE bring back the the start button. Yes change is not easy, but the virtual start button just destroys the fervent passion. Please take time to reconsider placing back the START BUTTON.
Happy user of Win8 since Oct25 but looking forward to the 8.1 update also.
IMHO this is an OS that works very well on non-touch devices (keyboard+ touchpad/scrollbar) too, like my old laptops. (I have however noticed that a few modern UI apps don’t have support for touchpad/mouse to my liking, but these seem to be issues with specific apps since it works smoothly in the OS itself and in the Bing apps that come with it. For example compare scrolling in TechCrunch app with Bing News Reader.)
I also missed the start button for the first couple of days but never looked for it since then! Found a few useful tips from Windows.com site’s How-To section that make it a breeze to navigate: (Win+X, Win+C, Win+C esp.). Here are few:
Mouse & Keyboard – what’s new in Windows: windows.microsoft.com/.../mouse-keyboard-whats-new
Keyboard shortcuts – Beyond the basics: windows.microsoft.com/.../new-keyboard-shortcuts
Having both the old and new UIs in Win8 with different feature sets - one of which is targeted for touch - is really nice and in my view this allows users to choose their usage – continue to use the old, smooth transition from Old to New in due course, or take the plunge and cut-over to the new UI if the apps one needs or equivalents are available.
Glad to also see the gradual increase of 'native' Win8 modern UI business apps from companies like SAP - apps that are seem to take advantage of the modern UI features. Still a limited set of business apps in the Store but it is a good start and will help those looking to increase business productivity thru a variety of devices (Stationary/Mobile, Non-touch/Touch) and a variety of apps (Legacy, touch-enabled etc.) – all of which build on to their existing investments in infrastructure, applications, and custom development. With Win8 I think one is not confined to using just one type of apps, or one type of devices for that matter!
Anyways looking fwd to 8.1, to the GA date of 8.1 more so than the preview date actually. Hope to see it soon, rather than a lengthy multiple-month wait after the preview release, and along with it lot more biz apps! Thanks!
I Guarantee you will not see a start bar or start button reappear If Microsoft was going to bring that back they would state it. There was a lot of complaints about the changes from Windows XP UI to Vistas UI. Microsoft brag that they were listening But in all actuality there's very little difference between Vistas UI And windows 7. Like it or not The new UI is the new standard. Microsoft will say they are major changes but again they will only be minor cosmetic changes. Besides the fact that Microsoft makes more money off the UI Of Windows 8 and that's what really drives The new UI.
Es bueno estar enterado de cambios. Se vendieron unas 100 millones de licencias para poseer esta versión de Windows 8. Antes de fin de año espero anuncien que para los que compramos y estamos dentro de los 100 millones, sea gratis y como una actualización. En mi situación, desde Argentina, para un usuario doméstico la licencia tiene un costo elevado y para tener Windows legal, como promociona Microsoft, espero no ser defraudado de pagar y luego volver a pagar por una actualización como dicen en los comunicados oficiales.
Muchas gracias por este espacio de comunicación.
I sure hope that the Start Button isn't added back to Windows. I seem to run just enough applications that my Task Bar needs to space to not carry over to two rows in the Task Bar.
Anyone that I've introduced Windows 8 to hasn't had a problem finding the Start Screen.
etacarinae - we are working to improve the comment functionality on the site. Stay tuned but I think you'll like the improvements.
I do think Windows 8 proved to be better than Windows 7 in various ways. The File Explorer, for one, is by far more intuitive and useful. Also, I quite like the new Task Manager.
I must say, though, when I first tried Windows 8, still in beta stage, I got confused. It felt like a whole new experience using my PC (and that doesn't always means a good thing). I had to learn how to use it from scratch. I actually had a hard time learning how to shut down my machine!
Being one of those who bought the upgrade on release date, I was actually excited for the new UI and hoped Microsoft had taken their customers' feedback into account before reaching the final version. Sure, I had a good time playing some lame games from the Windows Store or browsing the Photos app for a change. Hell, I even took my time trying to make my Start Screen look better by filling it with more Metro apps (for Desktop apps look ugly on it).
After a few months, I realized Metro apps were just taking some unnecessary space on my hard drive. And I would hardly use them at all. All I still need to keep things working on my PC is the "old" Desktop environment, which gives me freedom on how I can use and personalize my machine.
If I want games, I will just get REAL games that make full use of my the processing power my computer can handle. If I want to surf the web, I will get a Desktop browser that make things easier for me productivity-wise, allowing me to do all I want without much effort. And that goes for everything else I do in my everyday life with my PC.
Don't take me wrong. I love my iPad and couldn't do without it anymore, but that is exactly because of its mobile environment and simple "app" interface. I can just get that far with a mobile OS and hardware.
If I want PRODUCTIVITY (and I don't mean it as work, but for my personal use and entertainment, really) and get things done, I can get nowhere with such simplified interface. I need a full-fledged OS that can be straightforward and doesn't take "detours".
The whole way we are using our computers are changing and I appreciate you are making efforts in that direction.
Please just don't force a choice on your customers. There are thousands, if not millions, like me, who want the Start Menu back. Make efforts into improving even further the proven Desktop experience (like you did with File Explorer and Task Manager) instead of forcing me to look at that ugly Start Screen every time I turn on my PC.
IMO, like everyone said, you must know that there are two type of users: people who want a touch-friendly interface on their mobile devices and people who want a full-fledged desktop OS. Don't just throw us a jack of all trades. Let us do the choice on how we use our own computers.
Being a long-time user of Windows (from 3.0) I have 2 words for Windows8, the Bing apps that come with it, the Music app, and some 3rd party apps like Fresh Paint – ‘Stunningly Beautiful!’.
Even on my 2 old non-touch laptops these look & work so beautifully that for me Win8 is a joy to use and I feel like my laptops got a new lease of life. I like and use both the desktop UI (Win7+) and the modern UI extensively – all my old applications run as well as they did in Win7, and I like the apps and games for the new UI too. In fact keeping both the old UI and new UI living side-by-side is a great idea by Microsoft, it helps smoothen the transition. For me the Old UI “= Work”, and the New UI “= Play”, at least for now. Initially (back in Oct) I used to spend most of the time on the Desktop but since then saw myself gravitating towards the modern UI more and more. Love the 2 IE versions too. Great value, the $40 I spent on this upgrade I must say!
Whenever I pass by the Electronics section of the stores I stop and play with touch-enabled devices big and small and the modern UI seems to work even better on these! (I don’t have a need to buy a new gadget at this time however).
May be the transition was no big issue for me since I am used to the ‘Live Tiles’ since Windows Phone 7 – don’t know.
Start button - What Start button?! Just kidding – Sure the lack of it shocked me first and missed it for the first couple of days, but not ever since. My kids didn’t notice it was missing even once! They have their own child accounts and from the get-go took to the new UI like baby fish to water. (I love the enhanced Parental control settings too, they don't!). For me - I found Win+I, Win+X ( ), Win+F, Win+Q, Win+W and other such keyboard short-cuts in the Windows site, and boy don’t these make getting around so simple! For some reason these shortcuts don’t seem to be widely known however. I myself found these only by accident and I think these are very very handy - to shutdown/sleep, to find WiFi networks, to search, adjust volume/brightness etc. Thought you could use the Settings charm from the Start screen to show all administrative tools if necessary!
All in all - no major complaints right-now, but thanks for listening to specific feedback with various apps and rolling out updates to these rapidly! Good job! Keep it up!
Forget the start button.
What moron decided to hide the Shut Down command behind the Settings charm, and take away the "manage wireless networks" interface (leaving us to use netsh on the console or download a third party utility instead) ?
Whoever made those calls needs to be fired.
And SkyDrive Pro is junk - maybe 80% finished. Stick an excel or powerpoint file in your Skydrive, and share via guest link with someone outside your company. Guess what? They can "view" or "edit" the file, but they can't actually download a copy.
Sharepoint needs to be renamed LookButDontTouchPoint. "Sharing" means somebody who needs a copy of the file can actually get a copy of the file.
Could you also share data on customer satisfaction, e.g. NPS or other? The numbers are great indication but the acceptation of W8 is also determined by perception, thanks
I cannot understand Microsoft. Windows 8 has been designed and marketed as though Microsoft wants to destroy itself.
It was ALWAYS an easy win to provide a desktop interface based on XP and Windows 7 - a no brainer.
Anyone buying existing PCs or upgrading a PC are being left in a situation of not having a viable upgrade path and having to make the choice of waiting it out or buying into a technology they don't want. Yes DO NOT WANT because if they did they would have already bought Apple before Microsoft's product was ever launched.
Microsoft has just ignored every PC user in a vain attempt to gain Apple market share and business model.
Microsoft knows there is a very large corporate base still using XP.
Brand positioning of Windows 8 is not good. Brand loyalty by customers and their investment in hardware over time has been totally ignored by Windows 8. Why would someone install a desktop PC with a huge HD screen only to get pastel coloured boxes as their main interface and touch as the default - very, very, very poor design. Some people have actually invested in many HD screens with multiple graphics cards and even media PCs for a cinema experience.
I don't think Microsoft knows who it's customers are nor, amazingly, what they want - despite decades of sales figures to graphically demonstrate exactly what it is.
Microsoft's websites now look as though they have been designed by a child with a bunch of pastel crayons - and are full of a product I don't want and minus the products I do want.
The biggest thing Microsoft could have done for programmers is to get your software documented with good clear examples to save people time and money. It is very telling that the most useful website for programming Microsoft software are external sites,,, you've lost control of your user base and are no longer a source of information IMHO.
However the cat is now out of the bag that Microsoft doesn't care about it's customers and thinks nothing of railroading them.
Temi, I am a windows 8 user and have a degree in computer science. These are the main gripes I have with windows 8.
1. Start button, when I first installed Win 8 I couldn't find the control panel, very simple stuff. Now me being a programmer I found the way, but imagine a 70 year old who knows windows 7, how do they get back to windows start menu?
2. Please reveal the scroll bar on the right. After windows 8 there was another update which made the scroll bar on the right to disappear if inactive. I don't understand this obsession with making Metro appear as it's not a window. Why do I have to hover over the bar to appear, and also I find the scroll bar very difficult to spot with just rectangles You can keep it flat but also needs to be usable. Outlook 2010 is an example of flat scrollbar but it remains usable.
3. Please go back to the basics of good interface design. Microsoft taught this to the world in the 90's don't forget your roots. Why do I have to click on the right to get the search function if I am in my contacts metro app and need to search for a contact. Why not have a search field within the Metro contacts Screen. Even in contacts the address links to Bing Maps. But I do want to see the actual address cause I may need to send them a xmas card. OK make it clickable but why hide stuff. There are similar examples of bad interface design in almost all Metro Microsoft apps.
4. And finally please stop tinkering stuff just for the shake of tinkering. Concentrate on adding more features and making stuff faster if need to make changes, this is what users want.
5. Employ people who have critical thinking and are not programming robots.
"Tami Reller: Windows Blue is a codename for an update that will be available later this year"
Does this mean current Windows 8 users get a 'Windows Blue' service pack ?
In general, I find Windows 8 to be an excellent desktop PC OS, except for the New UI. I've installed 3rd party tools to boot straight to the desktop, provide a Windows 7 style Start menu, and desktop widgets.
I've found very few New UI tiled apps that are usable. Most seem severely limited in functionality and fatally slow to load. Fortunately, there are third party tools to allow the few usable apps available to run in windows on the desktop.
I have similar remarks as an engineer: XP was very good product and Seven user experience was an excellent. Most of people are very satisfied with W7, customer feedback was very good and selling also. That's why I totally do not understand decisions to release W8, so fast and to stop support for W7 so quickly. It's like killing the goose that lays the golden egg in the name of greed. But sly loses twice... Everyone knows that W8 is main reason (not an economical down) for the tragic sales of PC hardware and laptops. Hopefully some business OEMs (HP, Lenovo, Dell) have enough sobriety to sell the notebooks with W7 option.
Windows 8 has some nice features I really like (faster installation and boot), but forcing Metro as a new standard of Windows interface was really bad idea. It seems that Microsoft addressed this idea to young generation, but most of corporate/business users require old, but good start menu and desktop mode as default. Since Samsung offers a special "Start" menu launcher caller "QuickStarter" via SW Update for free this means something!!!
That's why I really stopped to think about buying a new notebook - W8 is definitely not for me and I do not tolerate some non-native software solutions to emulate "Start" menu.
Touch experience is OK, but for tablets or smartphones. I can not see a sense to put a touch displays to extremely light and mobile Ivy Bridge / Haswell ultrabooks with keyboard (the most efficient data input interface we currently know). Unfortunatey touch display in ultrabook/notebook generally means a glossy screen which is real disadvantage due to screen reflections. This is definitely bad industry trend if we take into corporate/business users. I am also scared what OEMs do with forcing Full HD LCD panels without taking into consideration i.e. eye strain problem and loosing a time to make some tweaks in Windows to change font size etc. You may play in scaling but in Apple OS X where final result is an excellent.
@MS its quite simple to sort out this mess.
There are two types of user: Desktop & Touch (mobile & desktop).
For Desktop users, we want the ability to sidestep metro completely. If the desktop user wants to go into metro mode for any reason, then fine, make it accessible, just not the default.
The majority of Desktop users do not want the Start Screen, they want the old Start menu ala Win7. Make it a toggle. This change is a good few years too early for simple desktop users to get used to.
The majority of desktop users also do not want to boot into the Start Screen, they want to boot to the desktop. Again, make it a toggle.
After this is corrected, then you could start a campaign to convince people to migrate to the metro UX.
This would also benefit you, because it will lead to improvements.
I do hope that with Blue you don't just create a Start button that in reality is just a link to the Start Screen like i have been reading - if you do, it will not solve the bigger problem.
I am a businessman who uses a desktop. I was forced to upgrade (actually, downgrade) to Windows 8 because my Win 7 computer died.
I’m commenting on the off chance that a monopolist will listen to its customers while it destroys the PC business it created. Windows 8 is a prime example of how an owner of a standard - effectively a monopoly - can abuse its position to the detriment of its customers. I don’t need my 28 inch monitors to be optimized for touch screens. I don’t want a substandard, unwanted app to handle my email, ignoring the program preferences I selected in the Control Panel.
I’ve been a Microsoft customer since the late 1980’s, and had less problems with DOS than Win 8. At least DOS behaved the same way all of the time. With Win 8, sometimes Windows Live email was my email program, and other times the mail app was my email program, though not of my choosing. Same with Skype. Same with Skydrive, where the app in Win 8 is unusable. And, why oh why did Microsoft eliminate Live Mesh, a simple flawless program replaced with the less reliable Skydrive?
No enterprise in their right mind would subject their organization to the pure hell of using this inferior operating system. It took me a month of wasted time before I figured out that I had to uninstall the crappy apps that came with Win 8 and install Classic Shell (freeware that emulates Win 7) before I had a usable computer.
And thus the question- Why did you subject your business desktop user base, and ME, to this torture? My guess is that some genius thought that an app store would allow Microsoft to sell music, books, and apps, thus mimicking Google and Apple. Well, guess what! I use my computer for business, and I’m not a buyer of any of that stuff from any of the firms mentioned.
But you did make me some money! I realized from my horrible experience with my new PC that my Dell stock was a sale, so I no longer own the stock of any maker of PC’s that depend on Microsoft. When I next upgrade, I’ll be VERY skeptical of any product that Microsoft sells.
My firm have brought two of them. However deliberately downgraded to Windows 7. How many of the other 100 million have been downgraded to Windows 7?. Why? Apart from the minor issue that third party software applications are not Windows 8 ready the main issue is the UI. Touch screens are fine for mobile phones and tablets but are impractical for most Office functions - i.e data entry which is still done by keyboard. Touchscreens will have a role in graphics and such areas are CAD, but not for Accounting functions. Let alone the question about how unhygienic touchscreens are - at least a keyboard can be cleaned if the user wishes which is not often and has a lower risk of being damaged in the process.
For most offices the keyboard and mouse will remain king. Why tiles? I quite like looking at my personalised desktop of a Greek Island view. Why get rid of the start button? Why lose basic tried and tested navigation folders that are now common sense and enable an IT savvy person to root out a problematic file or even to find an old favourite? There is an old adage if it ain't broke don't fix it!
Windows has evolved through to Windows 7. Windows 8 tears up the script. The learning curve for Windows 8 is too high for many small businesses to endure especially when many will be making the leap from old reliable XP! Business cannot afford to have two people not working because one more IT savvy person is showing a less IT savvy person how to do something
As for Office 2013 well who on earth came up with Blue for Outlook? Its been orange for years. I know its only a colour but little things matter. Oh and why change all the icons and make everything so white that you cannot see anything. Yes even computer users get old and find if difficult to see things that they could have seen years ago. The quick print icon - why does it no longer look like a printer?
Windows 8 is fine for mobile and tablet but can we move on quickly to Windows 9 as a true successor to Windows 7 for PC? Something that builds on the theory of evolution -good enough for Mother Nature - by all means change the engine and the behind the scenes bits to make it work quicker but leave the UI alone!
If you must have touch screen how about a separate utility for PCs launched from the desktop by touch or click where all other touch functions and tiles are hidden away from most users who would probably not go near them.
So long as we're all complaining about Windows 8, I'll take this opportunity to gripe about the lack of windowing flexibility. The main issue is this: I often use some combination of desktop and metro apps when getting work done (e.g. photoshop via desktop and onenote via metro), and it can be a pain. I'd love to be able to view both apps at the same time using a 50-50 screen split. And the number of clicks required to organize the screen in this fashion should be minimal.
Other than that, the only issue I can recall is that some of the metro apps are a little sluggish and sometimes painful to navigate (e.g. xbox music/video).
Overall, I've enjoyed using Windows 8 very much and I would never want to go back to Windows 7. I find the start screen intuitive and useful, and really enjoy using metro apps. Looking forward to hearing more about Blue.
This whole thing reminds me of when MS found themselves behind everyone else on the Internet and forced that crappy Active Desktop on us so they could catch up. Same thing here, just with tablets instead, and it's going just as well
No offense, but maybe Marketing and Finance shouldn't be the driving force behind Windows. I really can't believe I'm saying this, but my next machine will be a Mac if Win8 doesn't change.
I'm not a fan of the limited amount of customization I can do on any of the screens. I'm ok with "Desktop" being treated as a single item, although I find it funny that when I open Excel or Word, the OS "goes" to Desktop (I mean that really should tell you something). My singular quandary is that I use messenger with my other colleagues when I telecommute. And while I can have it open on the side in desktop, I can't actually adjust the size of that window. It's predetermined. Also, it doesn't go to the background, behind other windows I might have open, like Excel or Word. It just feels like it's all or nothing. I can't have messenger and email and a spreadsheet or a website all open at the same time like I could before, which is just too restrictive. I just think if Win 8 provided more flexibility in that regard, it wouldn't feel like we were being force fed the changes that you guys seem to be all fired up about. It wouldn't feel like it's just change for change's sake.
I really hope you are addressing the issue surrounding external GPS on "Metro" apps - i.e. these devices can't be used at all. On RT, the Serial Port Profile doesn't even exist for Bluetooth, a huge oversight that I am anxiously waiting to see fixed.
As a developer, I am also curious as to whether there will be API changes, or just cosmetic changes to the OS?
I'm not sure why people are hung up on the Start button, it is very simple to press the Windows key and either start typing or click the program you want, I've never had a problem with this model. Some just don't like change I guess.
TOTALLY agree with poster above about Search - if there are no app results, search should default to file search, it is aggravating to have to manually click "Files" when searching for a file.
Brandon LeBlanc You'll acknowledge our feedback, but as was displayed with the disaster that is Windows 8, you won't take it into consideration in your development. You reward user feedback by stating a bug is now a feature and is "By Design".
Secondly, the functionality of replying to specific comments on this blog is quite unintuitive. We have to trigger the @ and start typing a username... and this calls the entire database of Windows Blog commenters. Instead, one should be able to reply to a comment/user by simply invoking the drop down menu on the right, currently reserved for "flagging as spam" and adding "reply".
samir - thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and your feedback!
I would recommend that your company "start" listening to your customers. I realize what you're trying create the same experience across devices, but it's clearly not working for many users. You need to give people the option of a windows 7/xp like experience. If you continue to shove this new UI down peoples throat they just won't buy a new PC. I personally need a new PC, but I won't buy anything new until the start menu, and desktop user interface which works perfectly fine especially for a keyboard/mouse computer is available. It make it unavailable is completely INSANE, (not insanely great) and like trying to sell a car without a motor. I completely get that a touch screen device requires a new UI, but most PCs still use a keyboard and mouse... I honestly don't even know why I'm wasting my breathe writing this to you because it's clear that you've made up your mind and won't enable the user interface that most people want, know and understand. The irony is that by missing the mobile wave that apple and google understand you are overacting and accelerating your own demise.
I'm not anti-microsoft, or pro apple or google at all. I just start from the user experience, and listen to what people say. There is a way to implement your strategy, and not ruin windows, but for some reason there isn't enough corporate creativity, or autonomy left in your organization to make that happen. I"m writing this note in hopes that someone in your organization will actually listen and do the right thing for millions of customers. It's amazing that in 20 years microsoft has now become the IBM of 1980s. So sad, all you had to was listen to the voice of the customer, but I guess listening is possible when your just yelling and screaming about how awesome windows 8 is. If this isn't fixed correctly you need a new CEO. I"m fairly confident that neither of these things will happen which will only be to the benefit of Google and Apple. This could be a future chapter in this book if a new edtion were written --> www.amazon.com/.../0062060244
Maybe Steve Ballmer should read about some of these concepts:
Please tell us SPECIFICALLY what you plan on doing to resolve and restore the start menu, taskbar, and desktop functionality that has become core to what windows is. From everything I've read you are STILL not going to fix the real underlying issue, even when people tell you what they want!!
OK, I have complained on so many places about the Win8 interface and always felt like nobody was listening. I am hoping that Tami, or you Brandon would take my comments seriously.
First, before you think I am anti Windows here is some background about me, I think Windows 7 is by far the best desktop OS, I have built software on Windows that is in use by millions of people. I also use Android and iPad, so it is easy for me to get used to a new interface.
I do like many things on Windows 8, it is not a bad overall, it is amazingly fast compared to anything else I have seen, and it is great for power users, you can tinker with the settings as you could on previous OSes, plus it has the benefits of the Store, something didn't exist in previous Windows.
BUT it has many interface decisions that I find strange. I am going to list few pf them here:
1, Start Button:
I do understand the new paradigm with the Start Screen, in fact I don't mind it (except perhaps it needs the ability to make the icons smaller), but I don't understand the whole concept with removing the start button and making it virtual (hover)
Hover should never be part of a common UI, it is just horrible UX. Hover means you have to wait for the element to show up then you continue your task, waiting should never be part of common task (even if it was few 100 milliseconds). Also hover means I really have to concentrate on a hidden element, that is distraction, it reduces productivity.
Oh, wait it gets even worse, if you have multiple monitors, you actually have to hover on a specific pixel because if you overshoot the mouse by a couple of pixels it goes to the second monitor.
Of course I can use the windows key, but usually my hand is on the next key ready to type, you see experienced windows users are just very productive and you don't want to slow them with poor UI decisions. I might also be holding something else in my hand (A phone, or a child on my way out of the house) and just have one free hand to use the mouse.
Also, the current start button is very glitchy on RDP, sometimes I have to move the mouse many times over the virtual pixel before it shows up (I even have recorded a video about this)
BTW, the same issues with the virtual Start Button apply to the Charms Menu
So imagine that you hover on the bottom left to get the start button, you click it to get the start screen and you start typing something like "services" or "programs and features" well nothing will show up, so you will have to move the mouse all the way to the top right and click "Settings" then it shows up on the top left, and you can click it (or hit enter).
How did this work before,
1. Click start bottom left (unhidden)
2. Type services, Enter
Search should be just search, it should never be segregated into apps, files and settings, it is just counter productive.
3. File search:
In Win7 file search was as simple as clicking start button and typing whatever path you want, it auto completes for you, and allows you to navigate easily. Now, it is almost like going in a dark room, you start typing in the start screen and suggestions might show up, and they might not, and whey they do show up they are very limited. Worse off, the suggestions are not clearly visible, and it took me months before I realized they are there! The same applies to going to network locations.
Navigation is just not as easy.
4. Backup, I like the new backup method, but I don't understand why there is no way to provide system images as well as incremental backups. I want to have the ability to keep a historical archive of my data + system images every month in case things go badly. Windows will always need to offer system image as long as legacy apps are supported, it is not an option.
I am very fast when I use Windows, if you look behind my shoulder you would probably get dizzy how fast I move around the OS, and I imagine that there are thousands, if not millions of people like me who are just so used to Windows being a productive OS, Windows 8 just pulled the rug from under our feet, it cannot be used in a productive way, it is not simply a learning curve problem, but a productivity one too. This is a HUGE problem, and is one of the main reasons why Windows is the dominant OS, it is very productive environment, and if you remove that, people will find other environments that are more productive, so please bring Win7 productivity back.
pirast saldriass - we'll have more information to share about Windows Blue in the coming months so stay tuned!
Vero - can you tell me more about your problem? With Windows 8, you have access to the system files the same way you were able to in Windows 7 via File Explorer. Just type File Explorer on your Start screen and open it up. Not sure what else you mean by your PC's "internal systems".
by the way, with windows 8.1 you could show that you still care for the normal desktop. what about updating third party applications with microsoft update? currently, every application ships with its own update program, be it adobe flash, adobe reader, java, firefox , ... it would be really nice if there was a central place to update those, as it is the case with linux distributions.
Looking forward to seeing a low cost 7 inch Windows 8 tablet, I love my Surface but the £200 7 inch Surface would be great and drive sales.
my only problem really about windows 8 no matter how many sold is the fact that i cant look at my own computers internal systems with it well i mean i can just its so difficult that i end up going back and forth and its very frustrating if windows 8 came out with an update on that like with blue and such, it'd be tremendous, i can understand the fact of the new series of computers coming out but everyone still likes the old feel plus the liberty of freedom with their own computers.
The Win 8 trouble was foreseeable. Why don't you ask e.g your MVP's beforehand?
And it was totally unnecessary. Seriously, you should -lets say- "find a better suited job" for the guy responsible for the decision of removing (hiding) the old desktop and startmenu.
Its beyond my comprehension how one could misinterpret the success of Apples iOS devices (because thats what triggered the whole mess, isn't it?) in such a way as to make it mandatory(!) to use a touch gui on a PC desktop.
iOS is so extremely successful because its:
1. clear and easy to use! easy!!
and 2. because its on mobile(!) devices. MOBILE!!
That is seemingly also the explanation why people accept all the limitations, reductions and boundarys Apple sets.
Because for a large ammount of users its obviously enough if that what IS there, works nicely.
But you cant transfer that to a normal desktop. Ever wondered why Apple didn't tried that? Did you honestly thought they did not think of that and you could be first?
its seems interesting but what i am confused about is ..do we need to buy windows 8.1 again after buying windows 8.
and how much it will cost?and how many new apps windows Blue will bring?it become so famous even it still didn't went out yet.. example of new app that i found :www.windowsbleu.com/.../assigned-access-on-windows-81-to.html
so, will Blue be pushed as a windows update or do I have to buy another Windows license for 90$, just to get a usable Windows?
Automatic Desktop Display Scaling seems to be included in the Windows 8 Blue update. Please see: winsupersite.com/.../blue-automatic-desktop-display-scaling
If you ask me the number one feature in need of upgrade in Windows 8 is scaling.
There should be an intelligent scaling to any % desired, with a tool to measure how big a finger is on the tablet to resize control elements (such as Windows close button) to be easily touched/activated.
Better scaling would make it easier for people with high res display to fully enjoy the Windows experience on Superior display. Today it's not the case, the interface is generally too tiny when at full res and rescaling options are not optimal, neither is running a high res display on a lower display setting.
Thanks for the information Brandon and Tami. :)