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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Taking stock of the Windows 8 versions




    TOP STORY

    Taking stock of the Windows 8 versions


    By Woody Leonhard

    Microsoft just released details on the versions of Windows 8 it'll offer when the OS ships most likely sometime in October.
    Although the company will simplify the current huge array of Windows versions with Win8, the choices are really not any simpler at all.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/top-story/taking-stock-of-the-windows-8-versions/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
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    Microsoft are already in a hole, and with this kind of nonsense they are just diggi.ng deeper. I want MS to succeed, but they won't if they keep on ignoring real users who matter.

  3. #3
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    I won't be bothering with it until it been out at least 2 years.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

  4. #4
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    Microsoft's Office 2003 versions compared to fishing.

    I never understood all of the intricacies of Microsoft's different versions until I read the this Guardian article, where Office 2003 is compared to fishing.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11...11_episode_18/

    Sadly, it makes all too much sense.

  5. #5
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    One more reason I'm so happy with my switch to a MacBook Pro 3 years ago. I now have 3 macs in my business, just wish I could scrap the 28 windows machines. Although I primarily love it for the increased efficiency and productivity, when it comes to new software versions, $29.

  6. #6
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    Long Live XP!!!!!!

  7. #7
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    [Rolling eyes]

    Just a continuation of Microsoft's long tradition of failing to grasp even fundamental marketing savvy. For most of us, those "I'm a PC, I'm a Mac" commercials just resonate. I think the MS marketing department watches them and thinks "I don't get it".

    Apple makes things simple and cool. It releases a single version of its operating system and calls it "iOS" or "OS X Lion". Its browser is "Safari". Its phone is "iPhone". Its MP3 player is "iPod", and its music player "iTunes". Simple, elegant, and catchy (although "iPod Touch" is kind of a clunker).

    Meanwhile, Microsoft just continues to shoot itself in the foot. "Yeah, I'm using Internet Explorer 9 on Windows 7 Home Premium and syncing my Zune with Windows Media Player...." Why don't you just tape a "Kick me" sign to your back? Microsoft can even have a better product, but nobody wants it simply because it's Microsoft - that really says something about their level of incompetence in the marketing arena.

    And probably the worst part is that they try to position all their various offerings as giving you choice, when really it's all about crippling various features, and the choice you have is about how much money you choose to fork over to do what you need to do. Really - I need to buy Win 8 Pro to use Media Center? Microsoft must really want to avoid selling Media Center.

    Just sad.

  8. #8
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    Win 8 'versions'

    XP lives, indeed. As does Win 7 Ultimate.

    As someone else said, I really do want MSFT to succeed, but once again, their marketing wing, full of overeager MBA youngsters who seem to 1) forget the past history of MSFT ignoring the fact that many of us have been burned numerous times and 2) be willing to throw out last years excellent technology for flash (no pun intended) and stripping out of power user (who have been their base supporters) features. This will drive power users like me further into the Linux&Mac camps, as there is no *dumbing down* nor *paying for privileges* in either of those OSs. I want the ability to have a version of the OS with all the power *in case my customers need me to fix something*, or I want to quickly trial out a capability at a home setup. I'm a small shop, so I don't want to waste time dealing with the SA program of MSFT just so they can squeeze $1 more out of me and millions of other technology specialists who support their base users. I don't have to with either of their competitors. Given these choices, I will be promoting "staying with 7" for as long as possible.

    The choices they are putting to us, once again, show that Ballmer is continuing to allow the same mistakes of the past to continue into the future. The programming model changes yearly, the inability to deliver compelling phone and tablet choices, years after Apple and Google have done so, is just quite unbelievable. One lesson from history they may not be able to avoid, is ending up like DEC.

  9. #9
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    As someone else said, I really do want MSFT to succeed
    Exactly. They really do make some nice products, but in their quest to squeeze out the last dollar for their revenue stream, they actually drive users - and their dollars - away with complexity and annoyances. I sometimes think they have their own FUD department.

    Here's some help

    1) Have one version of Windows 8, and stop calling it "Windows 8". Just call it "8". Or "Honey Badger". Or just something that's not 20 years old. Then spin some cool marketing around it.
    2) If you absolutely must have features to milk the cash cow, have them available as add-ons or some sort of app store thing. I'm not going to pay through the nose for some Win 8 Pro version just to get one feature, but hey, I'd go to the "Honey Badger App Store" to buy the Remote Desktop Server add-on for $5 or $10.
    3) Stop calling it Remote Desktop Server. Call it "E.T."... "Hey users, want to be able to "phone home" to your Honey Badger? Get the "E.T." add-on". Whatever. Get a clue. It's a cool feature, but how can you generate buzz around Remote Deskto... [zzzzzz].....
    4) Stop making the Win8 home screen look like the Partridge Family bus.

  10. #10
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    Cool Another voice of frustration...

    Like several earlier comments, mine will mention the HUGE difference in the consumer experience in dealing with the upgrades of the two major platforms, Windows and Mac OSX.

    Although our installation includes 4 PCs (desktop XP running as a server, HP notebook running Vista, desktop Windows 7, and a still-in-the-box Windows 7 machine awaiting completing of our minor remodel), as well as 2 Macs (2010 Macbook and 2011 Intel iMac, both running OS X v. 10.6.8 Snow Leopard; the iMac just replaced our G5 iMac, also running Snow Leopard, which was sent to our grandchildren, who think they have died and gone to Heaven)--clearly we are a PC house--there is every possible, even slam-dunk reason to just abandon Windows, if only for the simplicity and cost factors involved in upgrading. We even have a file-serving Linux machine that is at least 6 years old and (IIRC) never been rebooted since our HD upgrade, over 2 years ago. The sucker just refuses to die.

    For the life of me, I don't understand why Microsoft seems to be intent on shooting itself in the foot with the ridiculous and largely, meaningless naming/version conventions. To gouge the Ultimate user with a Software Assurance plan is just insane and I cannot believe that small shops like ours will long endure such certifiable madness.

    Our cost of upgrading both Macs to Lion will be under $75 and completely seamless via the Mac App Store download/install (and assured for at least the next 2 versions beyond Lion). Our cost of upgrading all four PCs (which is an absolute impossibility, due to system incapacities and disparities) would be roughly 5-6 times that (and VASTLY more time-consuming, frustratingly, maddeningly more time-consuming )! Something is just not right about the disparity in ROI. This is a difference in cost that actually erases the difference between the premium Mac cost against the PC upfront expense, and actually makes the Macs WAY cheaper. Amazing! We have been greatly pleased at the two Windows 7 machines (even though we wish Microsoft would keep its mits OFF of Office: don't those idiots have anything else to do except screw up a virtually perfect product?!?), but I suspect Windows 8 will be the last jump we make with Windows (and even that on just 2 machines, or perhaps 3, if we retire the XP machine--a chilling thought, indeed!).

    With web-based applications and Windows running on the Intel iMac for the two accounting applications we do need, there's just no reason for PC hardware purchases beyond the next 2-4 years. Unless something blazingly remarkable occurs that changes that reality, I think our direction in the future is clear. As a PC user since MS-DOS 2 and user of every version of Windows from the moment it was born, I cannot believe the ride is coming to an end. Incidentally, we still have our Mac+ c. 1985, all $5000 of it, counting the separate HD and CD units--and it still works!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by richardlw View Post
    One more reason I'm so happy with my switch to a MacBook Pro 3 years ago. I now have 3 macs in my business, just wish I could scrap the 28 windows machines. Although I primarily love it for the increased efficiency and productivity, when it comes to new software versions, $29.
    I have to agree. Reading about the "convergence of devices" with Windows 8, and the continuing confusion of SKU's makes me very happy to have switched to Mac as my primary computer a few years ago. I still run Win7 Enterprise at work (as a VM on my Mac) for those rare occasions when certain internal web applications or plug-ins for Outlook (Infuzer, which I love) not available on Mac are needed, but I rarely even start it up.

    Like others here, I actually wish MSFT the best because I think marketplace competition is good for everyone...and I still have to use Windows now and then. I think this article illustrates the problem well, though. While Apple focuses on doing a few things very well (not perfect, I understand that) and simplifies as much as possible (two versions total for computer; one for consumer/workstation, one for servers, same iOS for all mobile devices), we have MSFT - again - muddying the waters and confusing customers with a dizzying array of versions. Then they force you to pay for that ONE feature you may need by having to purchase a "higher" version of the product. UGH. They need a Zen Master or something.

  12. #12
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    OMG! What an extraordinary mess the MS Empire has created!
    It makes me Soooo glad I use an iMac, with ONE OS that works and works and keeps on working!

    MS reminds me of GM.
    When they have problems with a car, they bring out an all new re-designed one, rather than fix the problems they have had.
    Well, guess what, the new car has it's own new problems, so nobody ever gets a good car with no problems!

    I have seen Win 8 previews and to say that I am unimpressed is being way too kind.

    I also use Win 7 on my Mac for the occasional things I have to do, with the XP Compatiblility "thingy."
    I avoid it as much as I can, but patch Tuesday keeps on keeping on...

    XP was pretty good operating system, unlike Vista and Win 7, but MS just had to mess with it...

    Oh well, you get what you pay for - PC's are cheaper, right, and that perception is the problem, oh you want Windows with that, and updates too! Oh boy!
    The Total Cost of Ownership then hits you right where it hurts.

    PS I just sold 3 Macs on eBay and one on Craigs List. One was 12 years old and the others were 10 years old, still running with Office etc, but no longer needed...
    It was like losing a friend...

  13. #13
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    I installed the Developer Preview and the Consumer Preview in a dual-boot on my Win7 HP 64-bit Toshiba Satellite. I don't use Metro, but it is possible to use my touchpad (USB device) or maybe buy a Wacom Bamboo Tablet, and Metro isn't half bad. It is not however, a desktop in any sense, so I spend 90% of my time in Legacy Mode.

    Legacy Desktop Mode would be (probably) most like Win 8 Pro, although I would probably opt in on the Media Center if it isn't too expensive. Skydrive storage is too expensive, and I prefer local storage and local backup. Due to improvements in file handling, I think the Win 8 Pro desktop might be nice to have, again, depending on the cost.

    Not liking Metro is not the same as not liking Windows 8. There are other changes which are actually improvements. Will I upgrade immediately? Depends on the deals available for Win 7 HP users. Will I pay $50.00 a year to use the App Store? NO! Will there be free Apps which do not require a subscription to the Store? Doubt it. So, no Metro for me! Media Center (if it is not tied to Windows Live or Metro) maybe. Otherwise, a self-assembled bundle of media applications for the Legacy Desktop. Probably a better option anyway. More customizable, and all the access to Hulu Plus and Netflix Metro or Windows Live Media Center would offer, and at a fraction of the overall cost.

    Don't toss out this baby with the bathwater -- as a desktop only Pro version OS, Win 8 looks better than Win 7, which ain't half bad. With Solid State Storage (SSD), Pooled Storage arrays also look interesting. (I am not a fan of pooling mechanical drives.) Probably also a Pro-only feature.

    BTW, I am not a fan of Tablets, so this does not enter into my assessment.
    -- Bob Primak --

  14. #14
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    Feedback from an aging luddite...

    I read with great interest your "Taking stock of the Windows 8 versions" and, you know what?

    I didn't understand hardly a word.

    I'd been building, repairing, teaching, selling and, of course, using PCs since they first appeared in the 80s with the Radio Shack "Trash 80" and the Osborne "portable" with it's 9" orange on dull grey screen and two low density floppy disks.

    I've used Windows XP since it came out and have been thoroughly satisfied with its performance. It has never crashed and takes minimum maintenance. It allows me to play on the web, work with my photos in Lightroom and Photoshop Elements, watch DVDs and other videos, play games, etc. What more could I possibly need or want an operating system to do?

    Oh yes... and it's fully paid for.

    I have not and will not "upgrade" to Windows 7 or Vista - absolutely no need whatever to do so that I'm aware of.

    I was looking to see what Windows 8 would bring since I suspect Microsoft will soon not only be abandoning any and all support for Windows XP, but, and here's my cynicism showing through, I wouldn't put it past them to add some sort of malware to their last "security updates" which will mysteriously kneecap the software, leaving us with no choice but to buy their latest offerings.

    Could you please do an article for us fixed & limited income, pensioned off, "over-the-hill" gang of luddites that outlines how we may continue using our trusty desktop PCs without being forced into buying what we don't need and can't afford?

    Thanks,
    Richard in New Brunswick, Canada

  15. #15
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    Backward Compatiblity

    Just wondering if Media Center Edition will be backward compatible with the XP version (i.e., it won't join a domain without the banana hack).

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