The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #147774   Message #3427281
Posted By: JohnInKansas
28-Oct-12 - 12:24 PM
Thread Name: Tech: Windows 8 - reviews of general release
Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8 - reviews of general release
A recent commentary on the directions Microsoft has been going doesn't say much specifically about Win8, but might be of interest relative to whether something other than Microsoft might be worth considering.

Microsoft's biggest gamble yet: risking the name 'Windows'.

The premise of the article is that Microsoft has applied the name "Windows" to so many different (some trivial, and quite a few useless(?)) things, that "Windows" doesn't really mean much any more, and the "brand identity" has been lost.

"But Microsoft's made a big mistake: they've stretched the Windows brand so thin that it's going to confuse customers -- and maybe even drive them away."


"Yet a quick look at recent history makes one thing clear: Microsoft is making it up as they go along. And that might not be good enough anymore."

Microsoft identified the market potential for "mobile devices" fairly early, and development of systems and programs for that market has given them a significant boost; but they've made the grossly inappropriate assumption that everything has to be "mobile."

By trying to make existing programs conform to "mobile device" limitations, they've pretty much destroyed their appeal to the market base that made them rich enough to blunder ahead, and have made their former "flagship" programs, used by large numbers of people for purposes in which "mobility" is of secondary importance, incredibly more difficult to use and impossible for any new users to learn what they can do.

If your interest is only in being "mobile" and you've got one of the "mobile toys" to put it on, Win8 may be interesting enough to try. If you still use a keyboard and mouse, but are fairly casual in your computer uses, Win8 probably is okay if you're willing to relearn quite a few basics.

If you still work at a desktop and communicate mostly by mail or email, and read from websites to find something to think about and not just giggles to "forward to friends," I can't see any significant benefits - and quite a few difficulties - with switching to Win8.

A somewhat special area of uncertainty is that prior versions of Windows have included quite a few "accessibility aids" that are pretty well known, and useful to some people with difficulties of sight, coordination, and other special needs (i.e. lots of our "elders?"). I've seen absolutely nothing related to Win8 that admits that users may include anyone not perfectly coordinated and between ages 12 and 20. The new system is sufficiently different to merit some consideration of the capabilities of the intended users, especially if plans are for donation where there may be a variety of users of varying abilities. I've drawn a complete blank looking for built in consideration of "special needs" users in the "new interface." Third party programs can probably provide some such features, but I don't know a lot about any of them.