There is a certain breed of tech fanboy out there who views technology products much the way a snooty art student sees the works of famous avant-garde painters: That is, a tech product must be superior if it has been rejected by the masses of consumers who are too stupid to appreciate its true brilliance. Nowhere has this phenomenon been more apparent than with diehard fans of Windows 8, Microsoft’s attempt at fusing a desktop operating system with a touch-centric OS that has been so polarizing that Microsoft employees have reportedly started calling it “the new Vista.” More →
Microsoft and Apple have been exchanging blows in TV commercials for years. In recent history, Apple’s “I’m a Mac” ad campaign was the height of the advertising rivalry, but the Mac maker has since backed off as its focus shifted to its more recent mobile devices. Microsoft isn’t done throwing friendly jabs toward its longtime rival, however, and its latest ad suggests that Apple’s Mac computer lineup should be more like… Windows 8. More →
Microsoft didn’t make a lot of waves at Mobile World Congress this week but TechCrunch has spotted a little-reported detail from its MWC presentation that shows how Microsoft’s Windows Store has made some very strong gains over just the past six months. At MWC this week Microsoft said that Windows Store is now serving 4 million app downloads a day, which TechCrunch estimates is a 135% increase from the 1.7 million daily downloads it averaged this past October. This is extremely impressive growth, especially when you consider that Apple’s App Store last year was averaging daily download volumes in the 5.5 million to 6 million range. If Windows Store’s numbers keep growing like they have been then Microsoft should have much less trouble getting app developers to sign onto its platforms going forward.
Microsoft knows that Windows 8 has been very polarizing to much of its user base but it feels that it had no choice but to try to implement some kind of touch-centric OS in a world where smartphones and tablets are eating into PC sales. Neowin has spotted some comments made by Microsoft UX designer Jacob Miller, who recently took to Reddit to explain why Microsoft made a lot of the design choices it did with Windows 8, including the original decision to make the Metro UI the default boot-up screen. What emerges is a portrait of a company trying its best to please two different audiences by trying to make two completely different operating systems and stapling them together. More →
Although Windows 8 license sales appeared to be keeping pace with Windows 7 within the same time frame for the first several months, updates from Microsoft became less frequent as time passed. As Windows 8 approaches a year and a half on the market, The Verge reports that Microsoft has taken the stage at a Goldman Sachs technology conference to announce that sales have finally reached 200 million. To put that number into perspective, Windows 7 had reached 240 million license sales in a single year, and that number has been climbing by the hundreds of millions every year since. From what we’ve seen of Windows 8.1 Update 1, Microsoft is moving in the right direction, but tweaks and bug fixes won’t be able to right this train alone.
A recent report suggested that Microsoft is seriously considering adding support for Android apps to both the Windows and Windows Phone platforms. As it turns out, however, Microsoft might be able to solve its app problem without turning to Google’s dominant mobile platform for help. More →
Longtime Windows enthusiast Paul Thurrott has been holding back no punches lately when it comes to criticizing Microsoft over Windows 8. And although he thinks that Windows 8.1 delivered some much-needed improvements to Microsoft’s touch-centric operating system, he now believes the company has taken a step back based on what he’s seen of the latest Windows 8.1 update that’s scheduled to release in the near future. More →
The once-indomitable Windows empire is in a phase of slow decline. While Windows still is far and away the world’s leading desktop software, the growth within the computing industry has shifted over to smartphones and tablets that run on iOS and Android. However, just because Windows is no longer the only major computing platform doesn’t mean that Microsoft is in trouble. The company is still insanely profitable and can practically print money from its Office and Windows Server sales, which means that it can easily afford to shrug off $900 million write downs for unsold Surface RT inventory. More →
The impending demise of Windows XP is seen as a great opportunity for PC and tablet vendors to boost sales… unless, that is, they’re selling machines that run Windows 8. Research firm Canalys, which counts tablets along with traditional laptops and desktops in its data on PC sales, says that PC shipments should rebound nicely in 2014 as more companies look to upgrade from their old Windows XP machines. There’s just one problem for Microsoft, however: Canalys thinks that most of the Windows PCs sold to companies upgrading from XP will be Windows 7 machines, not Windows 8 devices. More →
Whenever an exciting new trend in the tech world arises, analysts are quick to declare that every other company must quickly follow this trend or else be left in the dust. We’re seeing this right now with analysts declaring that Apple “needs” to release a phablet and we’ve seen it in the past with analysts declaring that Microsoft “needs” to build a more touch-centric version of Windows to compete with the iPad. I admit that I’ve certainly fallen for this line of thinking many times myself since it’s easy to get caught up in looking at sales trends without taking a step back to look at the bigger picture. More →
If you’re still scratching your head over why HP is pushing Windows 7 over Windows 8, this might give you a clue. Shawn Allaway, the CEO of Windows migration assistance firm ConverterTechnology, tells Network World that the impending death of Windows XP has led many of his customers to ask about upgrading their systems… but not to Windows 8. In fact, Allaway says that none of his customers have chosen Windows 8 so far and most of them will likely upgrade to Windows 7 instead. More →
A big fuss was made over HP’s recent declaration that Windows 7 computers were “back by popular demand.” Why? Because Windows 8’s reception has been beyond disappointing to PC makers and industry watchers alike. HP moving back to Windows 7 would be yet another sign that computer buyers want nothing to do with Windows 8 but according to ZDNet’s Ed Bott, the entire ordeal was “manufactured.” More →
Public opinion on Windows 8 seems to be in an unending state of flux, but at least one PC manufacturer has decided to take a stand on the matter. HP has announced via the front page of its website that Windows 7 computers are “back by popular demand,” signaling yet another delay to what Microsoft must have assumed would be an inevitable shift to the latest operating system. More →