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  1. #1
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    What Microsoft wants to do with Windows 8?

    Please bear with me but I just have to throw it out here:

    Recently looking at the Modern UI and thinking about the many threads here and in other places about Windows 8 pro and cons I realized that Microsoft wants me to tell them among others:
    1. Who I communicate with via email
    2. Who I communicate with more informally (instant messaging)
    3. Who I am "friends" with (social networking)
    4. Where I live and when and where I am on buiness and/or vacation
    5. What I schedule in my calendar
    6. What photos I take when and where, the latter if I a have a modern camera with GPS feature (smartphones!)
    7. What stocks are in my portfolio or I am interested in
    8. What I store on Sky Drive
    9. What news I am interested in
    10. Where I take a vacation or travel to or plan to eventually travel to
    11. What sports I am interested in
    12. What media I consume
    13. What I look up and/or do and/or buy on the Internet (IE10)
    14. And there is more, so much more...

    From my 48 years in IT (sorry, sometimes I have to brag a wee bit; please forgive me) I have a vague idea what Artificial Intelligence programs can do when they scan my emails, my communications and correlate that with all the details I have had to tell Microsoft about myself to fill the tiles on the Modern UI with, for me, meaningful information. And Microsoft really tries quite obviously to coax me into using my age-old Hotmail account to log in.

    I believe to usually be fairly bland and somewhat straight headed but THIS is THE ONE aspect of Windows 8's Modern UI that fills me with quite some trepidation. Apple has made an incredible fortune "having access" to all this information about their customers and as I see it Microsoft wants to bake themselves a similar pie, not only get a slice.

    When I realized that my reaction was "Big Brother. . . ". Please don't tell me anything about "conspiracy" or similar, I have expressed only some thoughts, NOT A THEORY at all!

    I am really curious what kind of comments this will get; let it rip guys!
    Last edited by eikelein; 2012-10-22 at 01:20. Reason: Added and clarified details
    Eike J Heinze
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  2. #2
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    Nothing to let rip as far as I can see, I just went through all those settings about an hour ago, and yes, if one just chooses the defaults, and use the Apps store, therefore needing a online linked account...with the base of users Microsoft has; wow, what a treasure trove of information for them if it takes off.

    My first use impression is I could immediately see the value of the metro ui as a more interactive platform when a majority of user apps are online. It also seemed like the desktop should be looked at as a completely segregated component, like the OS is dual-platform...except of course for the lack of a start menu.
    The only reason for that that I could come up with on the spot was, Microsoft wants to drive/herd/nudge/force as much as possible, users to the metro interface (like I said, I don't think the more Internet based users will have much of a problem at all), otherwise it seems like the OS would be perfectly happy and robust being a sort of dual-OS.
    So why? I don't know, its usually economic though. Maybe since Microsoft has been trying to move folks to online renewing software subscriptions for several years now, they think this might really facilitate that. Seems like a renewing Office suite app would be far more profitable than someone still happily plunking away on Office 2003!

    I'll put the Stardock start menu in and see if the desktop "wakes" up and becomes more accessible for a die-hard desktop user like me.

  3. #3
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    I can't say I disagree. In my case, I am utilizing Skydrive minimally (Yes I took advantage of the offer to upgrade from 7 Gb to 25 Gb a few months ago.) However I never seem to use much. I have uploaded pictures and a few old archives, but not any recent important info. I guess I do not trust the cloud.

    I also have to say I do sign in using my Hotmail email (now updated to Outlook.com). It's just more convenient for me that way. However, this all started with Win 7, or was it XP, I am getting forgetful as I age less than gracefully.

    Personally I actually like Classic Shell better than Stardock Start8. Classic Shell allows more customization, and I prefer the skins available. However, each do provide what many are clamoring for, that familiar feel while they acclimate to Win 8, and both seem to work exceedingly well.

    Once we start getting some better apps I could see how the Modern UI could transform into something special. For now it appears, IMO, to be more the playground of Win 8. It just does not appear that the Modern UI is ready to do any real work for most business applications. I would hope over time this will change. The apps that are installed by default have improved recently. There seem to have been quite a few updates to the apps recently. I do not use many yet, just a couple of games I enjoy.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by eikelein View Post
    Apple has made an incredible fortune "having access" to all this information about their customers and as I see it Microsoft wants to bake themselves a similar pie, not only get a slice.
    That's it in a nutshell I think. Being able to offer targeted advertising space in Metro/Modern UI apps will be considerably more lucrative than generalised advertising. That income relies on there being a significant usage of those apps, and a relatively low usage of third-party utilities which block the adverts.

    As well as Apple, Google have a very similar business model of course. Whether you regard those policies as examples of excessive corporate greed and excessive invasion of privacy is a matter of personal judgement. What isn't in doubt is that the policies exist.

  5. #5
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    Google was the first that came to my mind as well, with all their free services and products; Chrome, Picasa, sync for all things mobile, maps, and of course search just to name a few. This potentially allows Microsoft to step in front of Google and absorb the full force of the info stream, metaphorically because they own the race track and Google just has a bunch of horses stabled there.
    Now, whether MS can monetize that info as well as Google has remains to be seen.

  6. #6
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    If anyone believes this is something new, that Apple, Google, Microsoft, or anyone have only been recently doing, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you. Advertisers have been doing this for many decades. Do you use a credit card? Everything you buy with a credit card, every where you use it is tracked. By the things you purchase they can tell much about you and the demographic area you live in. Your approximate income, where you vacation, what you like, what you are most likely to purchase next, etc. What about a "frequent shopper rewards card"? Do you think those are just to offer you good deals? Advertisers want your money and the more they know about you, the easier it is to entice you into parting with it. This is statistics taken to the highest level. Don't believe me? Read this: How Target markets to pregnant teens.

    I worked for a direct mail advertising company long before I got into IT. The Internet is just another vector for them to gather more information about us. But the notion that the Internet is somehow is diminishing our privacy is ludicrous. We lost our privacy long, long ago.
    Chuck

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  8. #7
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    Lost privacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Brown View Post
    . . . But the notion that the Internet is somehow is diminishing our privacy is ludicrous. We lost our privacy long, long ago.
    @Doc Brown: You are correct and I have no illusions about that either. But do I need to help making it THAT EASY?

    @all that so far have chimed or may do so in the future: Thank you!
    Eike J Heinze
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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by eikelein View Post
    @Doc Brown: You are correct and I have no illusions about that either. But do I need to help making it THAT EASY?
    Actually that was the point of my post. Its been that easy all along, and what's more, most people have been oblivious to it. Just read that link I provided. if that doesn't get people worked up more than MS or Google gathering info, then they are just burying their heads in the sand.
    Chuck

  10. #9
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    I still think there's a pretty substantial difference in degree that makes this a story, but yes, as far as privacy and ease; most folks are conditioned or being conditioned to give that away without a second thought; I cite Facebook and a variety of other social media forms and outlets...it certainly doesn't take a concerted effort to coerce the information, just better methods for gathering and organizing.

    What's the saying? Something like, if you don't know what the product is or how they're monetizing something because its free...it's you!
    Last edited by F.U.N. downtown; 2012-10-22 at 13:29.

  11. #10
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    I guess you can see it that way and I obviously won't rule out that making money out of all that can be a goal. Some aspects of this are new, but Microsoft has clearly stated that "they" won't read emails, as Google does, to monetize their free email service. On the other hand, there have been reports of users blocked out of skydrive for storing pics with nudity there...

    You can also look at it from another perspective. Metro showed up first in Windows phone. The integration of info on the start screen is really, really useful and contributes a lot to the efficiency of the OS. The live tiles are great for that purpose. So, IMO, all this integration actually can provide value to a user, in terms of the effort to access information that would otherwise still be available, but in a much harder to reach way (each distinct piece of info on it's own different app, as Apple does it, and looks so dated when you compare iOS with Windows Phone). So this integration is also a step forward in terms of usability and convenience for the user. I know how convenient it was when I got my Windows Phone. I actually created my facebook and twitter accounts after I got my phone, as the convenient access to the info provided by the integrated view offered by the Windows Phone OS became, then, quite obvious. Windows 8 just follows on the same path.

  12. #11
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    Yes, it was not stated or discussed in context, but MS has to stay on top of their game as well, they can't become the MySpace to everyone elses Facebook. The two concepts go hand in hand; they absolutely have to. Obviously, if they don't keep up Android and Apple flavors abound approaching from the device side and getting more and more computer-like all the time. And therein lies at least some, if not most of the reason a U.I. seemingly more suited to device and touchscreen use (in context to the neutering of the traditional desktop), is being released as the next Window OS. Its a big risk, but Microsoft has already attempted to compete head to head in the device market and keeps coming up the big loser to Android and Apple. They keep getting practically zero traction...Microsoft is betting that this direction will give them the traction they need so they can break out of the single digit market share territory with mobile devices. So you're absolutely right, their devices and interfaces have to be just as slick or more so and stay that way or its over.

    I think we were all just discussing what potential lies there, say when/if the number of devices running 8 in several years reaches half a billion or more. Microsoft won't need to read emails because they'll have a better method for delivering contextual advertising or whatever else develops in the lucrative world of targeted consumerism.

  13. #12
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    Some Info theft may be accepted some is criminal?

    I do not like all the id theft but but am prepared to accept some of the marketing ploys. The ones that bug me are the ones we are not all aware of, or the information that leaves our machines. Some of the major culprits of privacy pirates are large companies like ADOBE Products that inform adobe about the personal information of your hardware, software on your computer, serial numbers of hardware parts, IP addresses, other computers on your private network and much more. like modifying your registry and altering other products on your computer without first asking your permision or warning you. Adobe also causes exessive network traffic to and from Adobe when starting a adobe application and in many cases causes extreme data costs to you, or as in South Africa where one has Data caps (limited data tranfers) it brings some smaller companies to a halt. Imagine 10 to 20 users of Adobe in a company and one finds out that the data uploaded and downloaded to adobe each day from every machine just for licence validation and updates is over 200 times their email data use and normal business use combined. It's a crime!! and should not be allowed. As an IT profesional many users ask for their firewalls and Routers to be set up to prevent connection to adobe servers.
    A secong point of interest and posibly a major factor in security against hackers fails is that this type of Licencing methods are exploited by hackers to gain access to a computer. Software writers leave backdoors for their access to a computer and its registry to protect their software and alow them to disable it or change registry entries, This is where the system fails hopelessly and gives untold loopholes in security. Hackers and identity theives use these doors to gain access to a computer and steal bank account details and passwords. What makes it so hillarious is the fact that most protected software can be hacked if one wants to hack it but the actual protection scheme used by most is the access point used by hackers to actualy pirate it.
    Many people are giving up banking on the internet due to ID theft.
    Knowing what I buy is not a problem, knowing what I like is not a problem neither is knowing where I go on vacation, but when I go is a problem as my residence is open for burglary in my absence.
    Last edited by LexLen; 2012-11-26 at 15:29. Reason: Mistake

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