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windows 8 microsoft admit failure

07 May 13 - 03:10 AM (#3512463)
Subject: windows 8 m/soft admit failure
From: GUEST,chris

just heard on the news that microsoft have windows 8 isn't as popular as they hoped.
the question is - do people who had no choice about having windows 8 on their computer get help getting rid of it? Can microsoft come up with anything better??? While they are at it perhaps they can do something about the new Outlook debacle!

07 May 13 - 03:21 AM (#3512465)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Acorn4

..and compensate those who installed Vista?

07 May 13 - 04:12 AM (#3512471)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

Then re-think their intention to kill off the best OS they ever made, Windows XP.

If they would concentrate on keeping the basic platform, while updating the capabilities, they would save a bloody fortune. Why do these people always think they must have something new every five minutes?

Scrub that! It's the Munnneeee!

Pretty futile if it doesn't sell!

Don T.

07 May 13 - 04:49 AM (#3512478)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: JohnInKansas

When Win8 first appeared, Microsoft sort of bullied the OEM computer makers into putting it on all their new machines as the default. Quite a few OEMs had unsold Win7 that they offered as free, and later as lower cost "downgrades" so that people could easily switch back.

If you bought a new machine with Win8, it might still be possible to persuade the manufacturer to swap you back to Win7, or to sell you an OEM licensed Win7, although I haven't seen any advertising that says they can still do it.

Few corporate IT departments have made the switch to Win8, which may partly account for the rather sluggish initial sales. The "big guys" that have stayed in Win7 probably have the clout to make Mickey continue support - and sales - of Win7 to them but no recent reports have said much about whether you can by the FRP (full retail package) new Win7 from any, or many, storefront sellers.

(Some "discount" web retailers may be selling OEM licensed copies, but Microsoft won't support an OEM copy and if you buy from a retailer neither will the OEM who "owns" the license, so some caution is advised when looking at "bargains.")

It's not new news that Win8 new installations have lagged even behind Vista initial distros. Anyone who's been watching has known that since they started shipping to the OEMs several weeks before they let anyone start selling/shipping Win8 to users.


07 May 13 - 04:50 AM (#3512480)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: GUEST,JHWstill on XP and still with a full height

I didn't buy one

07 May 13 - 05:00 AM (#3512484)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: buddhuu

I haven't run Windows on my personal laptops for ages. I have it on my machines in the office, but only because they're company-owned, not actually mine.

I use Linux: Ubuntu to be precise. It is smaller and faster than Windows. It is very secure, to all practical intents and purposes it is free from viruses, it has a built in firewall, It is FREE, the software is FREE, it is easy to use.

I do office work, video editing, music production, photo editing, web design, graphic design, DTP, watch DVDs and videos, listen to music etc etc etc. None of the software costs me anything and it is stable. I can open and edit Microsoft Office files and Adobe Photoshop files.

Seriously, if Windows pisses you off, there are excellent alternatives. Personally, I find Ubuntu many times better than Windows. I can't remember the last time I swore at my computer - how many Windows users can say the same?

Check it out...

07 May 13 - 03:49 PM (#3512697)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: JohnInKansas

A rather long article that appeared today clearly indicates that Microsoft "still doesn't get it" but maybe they're gonna try again ... ???

Microsoft retools Windows 8 to address gripes

Michael Liedtke , The Associated Press – 07 May 2013.

Microsoft is retooling the latest version of its Windows operating system to address complaints and confusion that have been blamed for deepening a slump in personal computer sales.

The tune up announced Tuesday won't be released to consumers and businesses until later this year. The changes, part of a software package given the codename "Blue," are a tacit acknowledgment of the shortcomings in Windows 8, a radical overhaul of Microsoft Corp.'s ubiquitous operating system.

With the makeover it released last October, Microsoft hoped to play a more prominent role in the growing mobile device market while still maintaining its dominance in PCs. But Windows 8's design, which emphasizes interactive tiles and touch controls, seems to have befuddled as many people as it has impressed. One leading research firm, International Data Corp., says Windows 8 contributed to a 14 percent decline in worldwide PC sales during the first three months of the year — the biggest year-over-year drop ever. ...


The article is too long to post here, even if edited to the most glaring indications of "what they ain't got yet."

A clear separation between desktop computers still used and very much needed by large numbers of people, and return to menu driven software without all the pachinko and pinball bullshit could possibly maintain or recover most of the customer base that built them - if it's not already too late.

The current management who obviously discovered "you can't beat a pinball machine if you don't shake your ass right and everybody has an ass" should be permitted to create a new product line absolutely and completely separated from thir prior base products for the pinball/pachinko and the tweet/twitter/twat business where Win8 might be competitive with the competing products in that distinctly different kind of product.

Wiggling, waggling, swiping, and waving probably actually work for the new customers they seem to think are the only ones that matter (because there's a lot of them and they've got money).

Comments at the link on the effect Win8 has had on computer manufacturers should be noted by the 3 people who actually click the link. It's easy to predict that many (more) hardware sellers will soon be pushing a 'nix OS with gimme bundles to replace all of what most people want of what Microsoft used to offer very soon, and Microsoft will be just another smart(-a**)phone pimp.

(Of course that's just one opinion.)


07 May 13 - 03:57 PM (#3512700)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Bill D

It seems their business model is: "We must put out a new system every few years, and get everyone to switch to it, whether they 'need' it or not."

This time people had more options and read and asked more questions rather than automatically saying "Oh boy~! New stuff!"

07 May 13 - 04:58 PM (#3512732)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Joe Offer

For about 6 months, I've had one computer with Windows 8 at the women's center where I do volunteer work. I found it to be an advantage, because it's our best-equipped computer and I would rather not have our college student interns messing with it. They were scared off by Windows 8, so they left the computer alone - and our graphic artist has had no trouble learning Windows 8.

But we needed an additional computer for the interns, and I bought one with Windows 8 - so now the interns are going to learn Win 8 and my protection of the artist's computer has ended (maybe my buying another computer will encourage the interns to stay off staff computers).

After setting up the computer, I took some time setting up the user profile for the interns. On the "start" menu, I moved all the most-used programs to the left side of the page; and I also pinned those programs on the Taskbar on the desktop. Then I left these instructions:
    This computer has Windows 8.
    • Use the Windows Key (Win) to access the "Start" Menu
    • Use Win+D to access the desktop
    • Use Win+C to access the "charms," which control settings and other things like shutdown
    • You can just push "On-Off" button to shut the computer down

If you use those few pointers, Windows 8 is actually very easy to use, and it works very well with a mouse and and all the keyboard shortcuts I've used since Win 95.


07 May 13 - 06:10 PM (#3512747)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: GUEST,Arkie

The "On Comp" column in my Monday paper recommended Classic Shell as a solution for dissatisfied Windows 8 users. This freeware restores the XP interface to Windows 8.

Classic Shell info

07 May 13 - 06:22 PM (#3512752)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: JohnInKansas

The release of new versions at regular intervals is probably reasonable to keep up with new useful things that can be done with new hardware and with new software ideas.

Microsoft has generally maintained "support" for each version for at least ten years, and nothing prevents anyone from continuing to use stuff well beyond that as long as they can keep compatible hardware running. The hardware does "wear out" and replacement about every ten years is fairly common. Based on advertised MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) it can be predicted fairly reliably that for computers run 24/7 for ten years, at least 30% will have had at least one hard drive failure (if they're running one HD). Other things like the integral graphics chips appear to have had somewhat shorter average useful life but reliable reports are pretty sparse.

New OS versions intend to take advantage of new kinds of hardware, but the more important changes probably have been changes in "security." It's an unfortunate consequence that changing how the OS manages the programs frequently makes it very difficult to allow continued safe use of a program that uses an old feature that malware distributors have learned to manipulate.

While the "security patches" still keep coming, it might be worth noting that the vast majority of successful malware attacks now get in through the nut in front of the monitor, because even Windows has made it the only really easy hole left for those who want to attack individual users, and it can't be patched as long as the user is the only one who can do anything about it.

IFF you can use an old enough setup, you might actually see a degree of "immunity" even if your stuff is full of holes. Malware distributors who want to take over your machine to do something with it don't particularly want anything "old and slow," and the others may assume "Nobody using junk like that has anything worth stealing."

(Some statistics support the last remarks, but I won't try to present proofs. - Don't ask.)

[Maybe more later, after I take care of business.]


07 May 13 - 06:37 PM (#3512757)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: GUEST,.gargoyle

Joe - for the sake of the nuns - try a stable system ... GNU ... or the others ... they come in magazine punch-outs. (reminds me of Mad Mag and "Its a Gass")

There is a symbiotic-relationship between CPU chips and software handshakes.

If Moore's Law holds....every three years there will be a new break-through system...requiring new programs...requiring new programers...requireing new university grads...requiring higher salaries...feeding the loan corporations.

"Like centipede, which
Was quite happy

Until, the toad in fun, said,

'Which leg comes after which???"'

Which raised his mind to such a pitch...

He lay distracted in the ditch...

....considering....HOW TO RUN... ???


Posted from a P-III,using Knoppix, masking as Win-5 OS

07 May 13 - 06:54 PM (#3512764)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Richard Bridge

Thank you Arkie - I had been looking for that.

08 May 13 - 01:50 AM (#3512860)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Joe Offer

I dunno, Garg. Win 8 seems pretty stable. It just has a five-minute learning curve, and many people aren't willing to take that jump.

One other thing I was going to say - I have never had an easier time setting up peripherals, than I've had with Windows 8. It found and installed my networked printers flawlessly. [Maybe it helps that I had to get rid of all my 32-bit peripherals when I got Windows 7]

I keep home computers for three years, and then pass them on to my stepson. He installs Linux on them and keeps them for another four or five years.

I keep office computers about five years. I have one laptop with XP Pro that we use mostly for presentations; and I have one desktop with Windows Vista, and nobody seems to have ever liked that computer. We needed a computer in a theft-vulnerable location, so I had my stepson install Ubuntu on my boss's old XP laptop - it's used for Internet and e-mail only, and it serves us very well. I have six computers with Windows 7, and two with Windows 8. I'm tempted to put Windows 8 on the Windows Vista computer, to extend its lifetime - I can get the Win 8 upgrade for $12.


08 May 13 - 11:53 AM (#3513043)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: GUEST,leeneia

Joe, if I had to get Windows 8, could I still use my Noteworthy Composer? Does it handle MIDI files? Download them, save them, play them?

I ask because a tech at my computer shop told me smugly that Microsoft is going to stop supporting Windows. He seemed to get a kind of malicious glee from the idea ("Who does she think she is, being different from us mp3 lovers?") so I don't know whom to believe.

I'm still using XP, but in 2014, they say, Microsoft won't be updating it against threats.

08 May 13 - 12:49 PM (#3513055)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: GUEST,Ed


I really think you need to reconsider who you listen to (and possibly shop elsewhere).

I recall that a few years back, you were convinced that Windows would stop supporting MIDI, because someone told you so.

Many people here mentioned that it was nonsense. And guess what? It was...

Microsoft are NOT about to stop supporting Windows. XP support will no doubt end at some point, but I really wouldn't worry about it.

If XP does all that you need, keep going and enjoy. I can say with a fair degree of certainty that you won't be under attack.

All the best,


08 May 13 - 01:29 PM (#3513066)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Stilly River Sage

Art Thieme is one of our guinea pigs, he's using it on his touch screen laptop, so perhaps he'll report in. He told us when he first got back online that his son is working with him to learn to use Win8 well.

Meanwhile, here is an article about it: ZD Net.


08 May 13 - 04:27 PM (#3513142)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Richard Bridge

I hate Win 8 so far, I can never find anything, it takes ages to find teh settings to turn it off adn I'm not sure I trust the rumour that you can just power off. The drag a thing south across teh screen to close an app works about 10% of teh time. Skype used to freeze it until I uninstalled it - and boy what a fucking mission to find out how to do that - and the approved method of finding the control panel does not work it simply isn't there.    I am teetering on the brink of having the local cut-n-shut change it over to Win 7.

08 May 13 - 05:25 PM (#3513165)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Artful Codger

The problem is that they want PCs to resemble phones and touchpads, but if I wanted that kind of interface, I'd just get a touchpad and ditch the computer altogether. I like having a large screen, a clean (fingerprintless) screen, and visible controls I don't have to remember cryptic sequences to access. I'm an adult, and I have other things to do with my time than to relearn how to do basic stuff each time they come out with some snazzy new design concept I could care less about. My parents become completely befuddled every time they're forced to "upgrade" their systems to a new version, where everything has been rearranged primarily to make it look like the OS now does things "better".

I particularly hate how everything has gone icon-mad. There's little standardization, so one has to learn (and relearn, with each new interface release) what goofy symbols mean what. And the detail differences are often so small you need to put a magnifying glass up to the screen to distinguish them. To overcome this, they then blow up the icon size, which means you have less room for actual content and waste more of your time hovering or scrolling. Good grief, is this really progress??

08 May 13 - 05:57 PM (#3513178)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: JohnInKansas

I'd have to look stuff up to be sure, but recollection is that WinXP has already passed the "no support" mark on the calendar.

This means that there will continue to be CRITICAL UPDATES for security issues, to patch vulnerabilities that Microsoft decides could cause "significant" problems for "large numbers of users."

It does mean that there will be no new "convenience patches" just to "Make WinXP nicer." These are the things that often appeared as "optional updates" in previous "patch day" notices or if you went to the update website.

Microsoft maintains sites where you can check whether any program is "compatible" with a particular Operating System version. These sites will show as "compatible" only programs whose makers have submitted their programs to Microsoft for testing with that particular OS, or where the makers have submitted "proof" of their own compatibility tests.

Since Microsoft only lists programs that they've "verified," lots of other programs may run quite nicely on a new OS even if they're not listed. Also, SOME OF THE ONES MICROSOFT LISTS AS "COMPATIBLE" SIMPLY AREN'T.

All recent "new OS" versions have included ways to make most "legacy" programs that were fine in a prior OS "mostly usable," although they won't necessarily work with all the old stuff. Some of the "compatibility" methods have been complex enough to be "less than helpful" for users with inadequate "geek gene expression" in their mindsets.

For many "incompatible" legacy programs, Win7 greatly simplified the fix, since many (but not all) problem programs will run just by right-clicking the desktop icon and choosing "run as administrator." This is a lot simpler than "creating a WinXP virtual machine in a separate partition" to run an old program in, as was frequently recommended in Vista.

I have one program, Microsoft Streets & Trips, that I purchased new, clearly labelled on the box as Win7 compatible, that ISN'T COMPATIBLE with Win7. It is listed as "compatible" at the Microsoft Website. It will "run as administrator" but it's such a piece of CRAP that I consider it "unuseful," even after spending about three weeks getting it to run.

I have one "early WinXP" PhotoShop Elements (version 2) that I run as administrator in Win7 because it's very good. Two later versions of PSE are really pretty, but don't do anything helpful (so I let Lin try to use the latest one).

I do have a number of "utility" programs, some of which date back to Win3.11WG OS days, that run just fine in Win7 without any special measures.

I can't comment on Win8 as I don't see an advantage to trying to do books on a telephone.


08 May 13 - 06:15 PM (#3513184)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Richard Bridge

I am also struggling with an android tablet - can anyone tell me in words of one syllable how to update to the latest android without bricking the damned thing?

What would I like to do with it? NB I don't want to PAY for any of this.

Get email like with a blackberry.
Look at fakebonk and use fakebonk messaging (I think I have cracked that but it does not exactly workalike).
word processing and spreadsheets. I think I MAY have cracked this.
in a perfect world pick up phone txt mssgs.
sat-nav (with vocal commentary). Quite important to me, so far system - 1:   Bridge - 0.
Wi-Fi - I think I have cracked this.
Use with a mobile internet dongle occasionally - this seems to be very hi-tech and not easy.
Use as camera/videorecorder/skype terminal.

Go on, I'll go for the big one - voice recognition - which seems to have got steadily WORSE on PCs since IBM Viavoice disappeared.

Oh - can I make it work as a 'phone?

08 May 13 - 07:03 PM (#3513191)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: RichM

Here's what I wrote on another forum about Win8:

"Bought a new notebook (win8) in January,because my 2007 era desktop with XP was acting up. (internet problems that my ISP couldn't fix, and blamed on my computer).
Old fart me was happy with XP and 5 year old desktop--mainly used for email, internet access and a small music composition program. So I pulled the trigger on buying a new puter, gonna be modern as all hell, and get a laptop...
With win8. Big mistake.
Don't mind the tablet-y approach, hell I use an iPad and iPhone too. But---what in hell were those supposed experts at microsoft thinking, when they didn't offer some version of the previous main screen?
I don't need to be saddled with extra gestures, commands, to get to the start screen, thank-you-very-much-you-marketing-driven-idiots!
But,in the meanwhile,my old 'puter smartened up somehow, and is back to its old happy ways.
The new, shiny 'puter sits beside it, doing... nothing. I crank it up about once a week just to glare at my shiny new toy. And think of new names for those microsoft asshats..."

09 May 13 - 02:46 PM (#3513485)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: JohnInKansas

An off-topic comment dropped in a newletter article suggested that some Win8 users might need to know that - according to that reporter - the methods used in previous versions to create a "virtual machine" (VM) so that you can run multiple Operating Systems at the same time cannot be used on Win8.

Microsoft has "something new" that's incompatible with the old methods. No details given, but if you know it's there it should be easier to look it up than if something just doesn't work and you don't know why.

Note that a VM capability is not the same thing as a "dual boot" setup that allows you to run one OS or another OS, but not both at the same time. I'm sure we have a few here that are set up to run any one of several systems, but probably fewer run VMs.

WinXP and Vista did recommend setting up a VM with an older OS to run some "legacy" programs in the "virtual machine" - invariably in a separate Window, without shutting down the main OS; but I've seen few reports of anyone doing it, so this may not be much of a problem.


11 May 13 - 05:38 PM (#3513981)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Stilly River Sage

Richard, you probably have to navigate to Play Store where the Google android apps are listed and search for apps. Read the reviews and decide to use a free one or a fee one.

My Google phone is stuffed full of things that Google put there and if I could I'd delete them. It is a single-core phone that they have sent out OS updates for to the point that it is now incredibly inefficient. The current OS is intended for dual core phones so mine labors to do anything. I can't go back to an earlier OS without hacking the phone but I don't know how to do that. I've moved stuff around to try to free it up, with little success. If you end up with too many apps in there you may want to evaluate and eliminate those you don't use much, or at all.


11 May 13 - 09:17 PM (#3514042)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Joe Offer

John in Kansas had trouble running "Microsoft Streets & Trips" in Windows 7. When I switched from Vista to Windows 7, I also was switching from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. I found that some peripherals, particularly scanners and printers, and many software programs would not work because my computer had a 64-bit system. They probably would have worked with 32-bit Windows 7, but 32-bit operating systems have become rare with the advent of Win 7.

So far, I have had no problem in Win 8 64, with anything I had that worked with Win 7 64.


12 May 13 - 12:43 AM (#3514088)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: JohnInKansas

Joe -

The Streets and Trips packages claimed, in the listed "System Requirements" to be "fully compatible with Win7 32 bit and 64 bit.

It does run in my Win7 64-bit, but only if I "run as Administrator."

As to whether it's worth running, we spent most of a day trying to find 3 addresses using it on the laptop we took along, and found 5 different local streets that Streets and Trips said were more than five miles from where they're actually laid on the ground.

Search and trip planning are about the clumsiest I've seen in any of a half dozen roadmap programs I've used (in about 20 years), and I just can't trust it to get me anywhere. Fortunately, I don't have GPS hooked into it, or we'd never have found our way home.

"Points of Interest" as included in most map programs, that you can show or hide on the maps, include only a limited number of the most highly commercialized businesses - and a few churches. No historical places, parks, etc to be found.

Nearly all the "incompatibilities" we've found have been tied into "Security" changes. In very old Windows versions, an individual program could access the hard drive directly, but a number of "protection layers" have been added, with different flavors. It's possible that in a "library setup" where anyone can access anything to do anything the problem with S&T install might squeeze in, but we run with "identified users" able to "do anything" with no "guest privileges" that we've intentionally created.

As usual, Microsoft explanations are nonexistent.


12 May 13 - 10:57 PM (#3514420)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Rapparee

I'll be swapping out my desktop for a Win7 desktop one of these days. We bought my wife a netbook with Win7 on it because we did NOT was Win8...and I think that was a wise decision.

12 May 13 - 11:37 PM (#3514426)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Stilly River Sage

I don't want Win8 - I'll wait till the next one come out before considering an upgrade.

The Win7 Ultimate is a great program, but it doesn't play nicely with some of the older devices and software. I have to use the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer, but the other browsers seem okay with 64-bit. I had to retire a couple of peripherals (a backup hard drive, and something else, I don't remember what now.) I should probably go back and see if there are drivers for those older devices now, but the Western Digital external drive was relatively small compared to others I'm using now. Probably not worth the trouble. I had to upgrade my version of Nero to work with the Win7/64bit system.


13 May 13 - 12:38 AM (#3514437)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: JohnInKansas

The change from 32 bit to 64 bit is almost a separate thing from the switch to Win7, since lots of people went through the change with WinXP and Vista, and had similar difficulties with drivers and programs.

The earlier OS versions that offered 64 bit in the OS may have made some additional effort to recognize 32 bit programs and automatically "run as" 32 bit, which is reported as being a fairly simple trick. It could be that more legacy (32 bit) programs failed with Win7 64 bit just because they "dropped off the list" of ones the OS was supposed to recognize.

Drivers for "legacy hardware" are a little more of a problem, especially since the hardware builders seldom produce new drivers for existing hardware - they just release a new model of the device that has the new drivers so you'll buy a whole new kit.

An external drive shouldn't care what OS you use it with, if it's a compatible format and the common USB connection. Nearly all such drives are USB connected, and that's completely outside the OS. If you had a "Firewire" interface or something else moving to a new OS might have been a problem, but it doesn't seem too likely.

Western Digital DID produce a number of drives in which they incorporated "their grand new idea" without indicating a change on the packages, and their "grand idea" made the drives unusable with anything, so that it will be a l.o.o.o.n.g time before I'll buy another of theirs. (I don't care if they don't do it any more. They P****d me off and I won't go back - until they apologize personally to me.)


13 May 13 - 06:28 AM (#3514504)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure

Richard, if you want to stay in warranty I think you are stuck with what the phone maker offers in terms of Android os upgrades.

That said, there seem to be ways but as far as I can make out, they tend to be device specific so google around for instructions for your device.

The only thing along that line I have considered doing with my devices is rooting them. I've resisted the temptation so far but I feel a time may well come when I want to get more inside Linux than an unrooted Android device allows.

As for apps, I've mostly found what I wanted (I'm using AquaMail for email btw) but I was unable to find a cups printing app that worked as I desired.

For that one, I was able to modify the java cups4j package and cobble up an app. It's JfCupsPrint at the play store.

13 May 13 - 07:16 AM (#3514516)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Midchuck

I just sold the tablet I'd had for a year or so, since I wasn't using it because trying to type on the virtual keyboard drove me nuts, and I was too lazy to really learn two operating systems.

Used the proceeds (and some additional bucks) to buy a fairly high-end netbook "leftover" with Win 7.

I'm very contented at the moment.


15 May 13 - 04:49 AM (#3515218)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: GUEST,Jon

For word processing, spreadsheets, etc. on the Android, it may be worth keeping an eye on Libre Office as an Android version is being developed.

It seems to be in alpha/experimental state at the moment and is not available on Google play but if anyone wants to try and have a look at the current state and see if they can get anything to work, daily builds are available at

15 May 13 - 09:38 PM (#3515571)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: JohnInKansas

The question of how to get new features in an old phone, in this case Android(?), may be something you can do with updates downloadable from on of the "official" stores, or it may require one of those "shadow world" methods that seem to be popular with some.

While it doesn't specifically address the question asked as far as I can see, some might be interested in "whatzitallabout" in this world we don't see too often out here in civilization.

15 technology tricks that are naughty but nice

> They're fun but you shouldn't do them, right?
> By Dan Tynan, InfoWorld | PC World | 05 November 10

> Rules were made to be broken, right? And technology is no exception. We've rounded up 15 awesome things relating to technology that you really shouldn't do. Break these rules at your own peril. ...

Note that I don't have any need to do any of this, so can't give any advice. These are just examples of some "tricks" given by a source that has been usually otherwise reputable, so you can see a little of the kinds of things at a "safe" place.

As the article says ... "at your own peril."


16 May 13 - 07:24 PM (#3515959)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Stilly River Sage

I asked my computer science major son if he has done any hacking on his phone. Apparently not, but he is going to look around for suggestions and see if we can set my phone back to an earlier OS that was much better suited to this single core device (Google phone made by Samsung, it is the Nexus S).


16 May 13 - 07:55 PM (#3515971)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

Some of us pensioners just can't afford to keep up with, not only the newest software, but also the hardware upgrades needed to run it.

With almost all government sites requiring digital by default, how the hell are we supposed to get whatever benefits this government allows us, when we can't afford, or can't access government websites because they are innaccessible to those who can't see.

David Cameron, I voted for you. Was that a mistake, or do you genuinely care about the genuine disabled and blind voters.

Please answer so that we will know who to elect next time.

Microsoft just doesn't cut it! XP DOES!

Support it!

Disappointede Tory
Don T.

17 May 13 - 03:03 AM (#3516059)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: GUEST,Jon

Don, provided you don't have some specific need that really does require Windows, you could eliminate all your software costs by switching to Linux.

Hardware requirements vary (although I think it's typically lighter than Windows) but if were on an older machine that for example struggles with the KDE desktop, you could always opt for LXDE or perhaps XFCE desktops.

17 May 13 - 03:10 AM (#3516060)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: GUEST,Jon

If you do decide to try Linux, my recommendation is to download and try a few distributions on live cds (there's no need to install anything at this point) and see if there is one that really takes your fancy.

A lot of people just recommend their favourite (commonly Ubuntu) but I'm not sure that leads to the best solution for an individual. Ubuntu for example is not for me.

Popular distributions include Ubuntu, OpenSuse (with the KDE desktop, this is my favourite), Mint and Fedora.

17 May 13 - 05:33 AM (#3516082)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Bonnie Shaljean

Hi Jon (if you're the Jon I'm thinking of) (or even if you're not...)

How come you don't like/prefer Ubuntu? I really do, but it's the only Linux one I've tried. Unfortunately, I *have* to have Windows for various programmes I need, chiefly Sibelius (yes, I know, there are a lot of good & much cheaper alternatives out there, but for reasons I won't bore everybody with, It. Has. To. Be. Sibelius) music software. And Sib upgrades don't even support anything later than Mac OSX 10.6.8, though Apple is now in the ascendant, so I need a PC.

I bought a Mac when my XP puter bit the dust, rather than infect myself with Vista, and then later a Windows 7 laptop. Looks like I better sit W8 out too. And I don't like 7 as well as XP. Do they not realise what economic suicide change-for-the-sake-of-change can be? Especially now that nobody's got money. Agree totally w Disappointed Don -

17 May 13 - 06:19 AM (#3516094)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: GUEST,Jon

I think I am that Jon, Bonnie.

Some of it is because I prefer KDE to the Gnome and Unity desktops (both the desktops themselves and the applications that go with them, eg kwrite vs gedit, k3b vs the gnome CD burner, etc). Ubuntu do offer a KDE version, Kubuntu but I found it always (at least used to - I've not tried it in a while) felt to me as something rather clumsily bolted on. By contrast I find the OpenSuse KDE version feels quite polished.

Another factor is that although Ubuntu seems to be regarded by some as the easiest to install, I find I can get to the final installation I want more easily with OpenSuse. Some of that of course is because I'm more familiar with the latter but I am a fan of Yast as a setup/configuration tool.

One thing with OpenSuse that I don't think is obvious (at least up to and including 12.2 - I've not installed the latest version from CD.DVD) is that you need to do a couple of things after the initial install for multimedia. dvdcss repository needs adding for libdvdcss for dvd reading. Also, packman repository needs adding and I'd suggest switching the system packages to use that - doing that will mean you would get the mp3 enabled versions of audacity,k3b, etc.

I also add the nVidia repository for my PC to get the (proprietary but) accelerated graphics for my graphics card.

17 May 13 - 06:53 AM (#3516098)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

My main problem with changing to Linux is the distinct likelihood that my old and much loved software programs will not survive the change, besides I actually LIKE XP.

I'm so well versed in the intricacies of XP that I can do anything I'm ever likely to want, without constant reference to the help menu, including a few things Microsnot never intended.

It can't be all that expensive to continue support in order to keep the loyalty of customers who will undoubtedly have to upgrade at some point in the future.

I have actually tried Ubuntu and didn't like it at all. I think I may look at the other three, but there's no point if I have to buy new programs.

Don T.

17 May 13 - 07:13 AM (#3516104)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: GUEST,Jon

Don, I think it would be more a matter of assessing whether the Linux programs would meet your needs. Depending on your requirements, LibreOffice can substitute for MS Office, GIMP for Photoshop, etc.

As for continuing support of older products, I'd think any company would be limited in how many versions they can maintain.

btw, the software I use has a much shorter life cycle - around 18 months. The upside is that I can have a free new version roughly every 8 months.

17 May 13 - 07:42 AM (#3516106)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Bonnie Shaljean

How different is it from the old one, Jon? Is there a learning curve or new hardware requirement?

I like XP too, Don - am just worried about the uncertain situation re their update support. I don't think it's the expense that worries them, but that they want to discourage users from clinging to XP. Reliable supply of security updates is the main reason I went for W7 when buying a new laptop. Also, it was what was being sold (if you wanted something retro you had to hunt for a source) and I had heard good (or good enough) things about W7 to go ahead. And it DOES do the job, it's just annoying in a lot of ways. But it was what I could get without hassle, and the support seems solider.

But XP still rules IMHO. That's why they have to try to kill it, I guess. Means you're not going to spend ££$$ on something new. (Vista made me spend money on something new, alright - a MacBook. Never regretted it. My Mac is now my daily brain, with the PC reserved for specialist tasks like music-scoring. So the result of their murdering XP is that I now use Windows far less, and don't plan to change back.)

17 May 13 - 08:45 AM (#3516121)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: GUEST,Jon

I'm not following the first part of your question Bonnie - please elaborate.

As for learning curves, obviously you would have to learn which programs you want for what but I think KDE itself is reasonably similar to Windows like XP, etc. My parents who are in their 70s had no problems changing from Windows 2000 to OpenSuse. They actually found they preferred it as better reliability meant reduced the occasions they had to call me for help considerably. That said, I do install it for them.

Hardware wise, Linux continues to improve but I think it is advisable to do a bit of research to ensure a device is compatible before buying a new device. As for existing devices, you should be able to test some things with a live CD/DVD.

Some things need additional steps (eg. I have to follow these instructions for our laser printer, our Epson scanner needed a driver from the Epson download site) but a fair amount (including our Epson P50 printer, HDHomeRun TV tuner, Yamaha mixer, Zoom H4 recorder, UM-2 midi interface, etc.) "just work". I was even able to find something called Plug to work with my Fender Mustang amp!

17 May 13 - 09:10 AM (#3516126)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Bonnie Shaljean

> the software I use has a much shorter life cycle - around 18 months. The upside is that I can have a free new version roughly every 8 months.

I only meant how different is the new version from the previous one, and did each step up involve much of a learning curve. Lotsa info there to ponder, thanks!

17 May 13 - 09:24 AM (#3516131)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: GUEST,Jon

Ah. Upgrades have occasionally brought niggles (in particular I don't believe KDE4 was ready for production when OpenSuse switched to it) and, yes, there can be changes to the way things work that I need to look up but I've never been anywhere near to feeling I'm dealing with a completely different operating system or user interface.

17 May 13 - 01:16 PM (#3516230)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: gnu

M$8.1; M$ Blue vid; sorry if it was posted above.

17 May 13 - 01:32 PM (#3516234)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: GUEST,leeneia

Things I learned at

Mainstream support for XP ended on April 14, 2009.
Extended support will end on April 8, 2014.

(But it's not clear what the difference between mainstream and extended is.)

"Without Microsoft support, you will no longer receive security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software that can steal your personal information. For more information go to Microsoft Support Lifecycle."

There is a page where one can look up an old program and see if Windows 8 will support it. I looked, and it will support Noteworthy Composer 2. However, they call it a 'Music and mp3 program' and they don't mention MIDI. I hope they know what they're talking about.
Somebody said something about Microsoft making 'change for the sake of change.' I don't think that's what they are doing. They are changing software because people are changing. People age 10 to 40 want everything at their fingertips, they want it immediately, and they want to communicate in 140 characters or less.

Microsoft needs to realize that the person who is designing an interstate or composing a song wants to work at a different pace from the teenager who desperately needs to text a buddy with "Wotcha doin?"

Have you ever noticed how many chord requests we get from people who have a problem but don't explain anything about what they need? I figure they were raised on Twitter. Regular catters have to log on and tell them it's okay to talk about themselves for a bit.

18 May 13 - 04:20 AM (#3516380)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: gnu

Good point, leeneia. Also, I think M$ may have wanted to make the screen feel like the handheld quip. Kids are used to it but many of us older kids got peeved almost immediately because we didn't see a desktop when we turned on the PC and wondered where the heck the user manual was for this strange looking machine. Took me a fair few minutes to get to my desktop and I started building it. When it came time to go to bed... WTF!? How do I turn it off? At that point, I was more than peeved. First impressions DO count.

18 May 13 - 09:06 AM (#3516442)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: JohnInKansas

I might clarify that the reason Win7 forces me to run Photoshop Elements 2 as Administrator is only because it tells me the "security certificate" has expired and the stronger "protections" in Win7 prevent it from loading unless I override them to get it up.

No explanation why Microsoft Streets and Trips requires being "run as Administrator" unless it's just so bad that even Microsoft really believes no one should be allowed to run it. I didn't get any "signature" or "certificate" warnings when I tried to install it. It just wouldn't install. It's possibly less annoying that it's a piece of CRAP than the fact that Microsoft said, on the package and on their "compatibility website" that it wouldn't have any problems. It was installed for me by a Microserf support person, who set it to "run as Admin" (on his third try to get it installed) without telling me he was doing it.


18 May 13 - 10:19 AM (#3516453)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""(But it's not clear what the difference between mainstream and extended is.)""

I believe it means that they extended the period in which they offer full support. I am still getting optional hardware and software updates from Microsoft update, as well as critical security updates.

AFAIK, that is exactly what I was getting on "Mainstream".

I still think they have to be mad as a box of frogs to throw away the only truly stable platform they ever managed to produce, in favour of trendy gimmicks and grease smeared screens. The uptake (or rather lack of uptake) of Windows 8 should have given them pause, but the dumb bastards are determined to tell US what we want, whether it works or not being of far distant secondary importance.

Don T.

18 May 13 - 10:26 AM (#3516456)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: GUEST,leeneia

I agree, John. To a group of people for whom RTFM is the eleventh commandment, it seems terrible that somebody sells a major item with no manual.

There are problems with all these new devices that one is supposed to operate by touching. My hands are so cold that the device can't seem to figure out where I touched it. My husband had a client whose hands were so warm that her smartphone would start doing crazy things when her finger was still an inch away.

Recently I was a passenger in the car, trying to use a smartphone to find a home in a new neighborhood with complex, curving streets. I wanted to orient the phone the same way we were headed, so I carefully rotated it in a flat plane. It was no good. The phone completely lost its place on the map, decided to show me Beirut Lebanon instead of Overland Park. That's a lot of help...

18 May 13 - 11:34 AM (#3516478)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: GUEST,Chris Hughes

Well, I for one have no problems with Win8, having used it for a couple of weeks. I can't see what is upsetting people. Mind you, I never used the Start menu much in XP, so bypassing it is no big deal. The Windows key + D gives me the desktop and away I go.

18 May 13 - 11:36 AM (#3516479)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: JohnInKansas

Under "mainstream support," you receive all the "critical updates" to keep the system secure, and additionally you may receive "optional updates" to improve or extend what your programs can do.

Under "extended support" you can ONLY receive updates and patches that Microsoft decides are "critical" for security and are sufficiently widely used by malware to be of concern to Microsoft.

When Win98 reached "end of life" Microsoft ceased "full support" and declared a date when "extended support" would end, but found that there were very large numbers of users who persisted in using it. The "extended support" (Critical patches ONLY) was continued for a rather long time after it officially expired, despite the fact that a very large majority of those still using Win98 were in countries where US export laws prohibited distribution (easily) of any subsequent versions, and where the majority of remaining users were using pirated/counterfeited copies. Reports are that there still are large numbers of Win98 users, virtually ALL using bootleg/counterfeit/illegal copies, but the status of support is unknown.

So far as has been reported, there are far fewer illegal users of WinXP, insufficient to force continued support in the same way they did for Win98, so significant extensions of the "extended support" period are unlikely. Any extensions beyond what has been announced would probably come only from "corporate users" with large numbers of WinXP installations still in use, and there's little information on how extensive those may still be.

If anyone still using WinXP can find a convenient way to upgrade to Win7 I would recommend doing so before it becomes impossible, as Win7 is "more secure" and better equipped to run 64-bit programs. There are some "inconveniences" in the change, but Win7 is arguably the best that's ever come out of Microsoft. The real problem is that it may force you to use "new versions" of some significant "productivity" programs that Microsoft has crippled to obscene levels (i.e. Office). Some "security setup" is a little different, but shouldn't present major problems for most users. The "quirks" mostly affect those on large local networks with lots of "user ident" problems.

Due to the inevitable "bit bloat" significantly more RAM and much bigger hard drives are advised for Win7, so new hardware is probably indicated if/when that switch is made. For Win7 a 64-bit processor also is very highly recommended.

It is impossible to say when WinXP will become "unusable," but it's unlikely to happen in a very short time if you want to be a little "stubborn" about keeping it up; but if you wait too long the only options for a "next system" may be quite horrid.


18 May 13 - 04:39 PM (#3516540)
Subject: RE: windows 8 microsoft admit failure
From: JohnInKansas

What Win8 (and other "gadgets") are doing to you?

Students can't resist distraction for two minutes ... and neither can you

By Bob Sullivan, Columnist, NBC News

Are gadgets making us dumber? Two new studies suggest they might be. One found that people who are interrupted by technology score 20 percent lower on a standard cognition test. A second demonstrated that some students, even when on their best behavior, can't concentrate on homework for more than two minutes without distracting themselves by using social media or writing an email.

Interruptions are the scourge of modern life. Our days and nights are full of gadgets that ping, buzz and beep their way into our attention, taking us away from whatever we are doing.

We've known for a while that distractions hurt productivity at work.

Depressing research by Gloria Mark at the University of California, Irvine, says that typical office workers only get 11 continuous minutes to work on a task before interruption. With smartphones reaching near ubiquity, the problem of tech-driven multitasking — juggling daily tasks with email, text messages, social media etc — is coming to a head.

Multitasking has been the subject of popular debate, but among neuroscientists, there is very little of that. Brain researchers say that what many people call multitasking should really be called "rapid toggling" between tasks, as the brain focuses quickly on one topic, then switches to another, and another. As all economics students know, switching is not free. It involves "switching costs" — in this case, the time it takes to re-immerse your mind in one topic or another.

Researchers say only the simplest of tasks are candidates for multitasking, and all but one of those tasks must involve automaticity. If you are good at folding laundry, you can probably fold laundry and watch TV at the same time, for example.

Overestimated abilities

Despite this concern among brain scientists, many people overestimate their ability to multitask, such as the college student who thinks he can text and listen to a lecture simultaneously. He cannot, says brain expert Annie Murphy Paul, who writes "The Brilliant Blog."
"Multitasking while doing academic work — which is very, very common among young people — leads to spottier, shallower, less flexible learning," Paul warned in a recent column.

The two studies mentioned above underscore this point.

In the first, Alessandro Acquisti and Eyal Peer at Carnegie Mellon University's Human Computer Interaction lab recruited 136 college students to take a standard test of cognitive abilities, and invented a controlled method of distraction. Test-takers were interrupted via instant message, which they were told contained important additional instructions, during the exam.

(The research was conducted in concert with research for The Plateau Effect, a book I recently co-authored with Hugh Thompson.)

The interrupted group answered correctly 20 percent less often than members of a control group.

The Carnegie Mellon test might seem a bit contrived, however, because the control group was pretty unrealistic. It's hard to find a group of college students who could take a test without being interrupted by gadgets.

Larry Rosen, a professor at California State University-Dominguez Hills, published a study in the May issue of Computers in Human Behavior that attempted to quantify how often students of all ages are distracted by technology while studying. Even under ideal circumstances, the results were dismal.

Rosen's observers followed 263 students into their normal study environments — bedroom, library, den — and told them to work on an important school assignment for 15 minutes. Even knowing they were being watched, the students couldn't resist texting or using social media. So-called "on-task" behavior started declining at about the two minute mark, and overall, only 65 percent of the time was used on schoolwork.

"We really assumed we set up a situation where people would try to impress us," said Rosen, an expert in the psychology of technology. "Frankly, I was appalled at how quickly they became distracted."

'Problem built into the brain'

The two studies, published closely together, generated strong reaction, particularly from students.

"Yes, we text in class, but if my grade in that class is and A or a B I don't see why it's a problem," wrote one student to Paul.

It's a big problem for both students and adults, Paul counters, for plenty of reasons. Assignments inevitably take longer when learners split their time between tasks, she says. All that task-switching wears out the brain and makes learners more tired and less competent. Most important, several studies have shown that information learned while partially distracted is often quickly forgotten, so the learning is tragically shallow.

The key to transferring new information from the brain's short-term to long-term memory is a process called "encoding." Without deep concentration, encoding is unlikely to occur, explained Nicholas Carr in his book "The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains."


When you deliberately create things most easily useful to the dumb, they make everyone who uses them dumber?