I installed Windows 8.1 last week to see how bad it really is.
Well, it’s more stable than Windows Me, but Windows Me was a lot nicer to use. It’s awful. Because I listen to podcasts, I know that there’s magic in hovering your mouse over the upper right hand screen. And somehow I was able to get to a desktop pretty quickly. The first thing I did was launch Internet Explorer and install Classic Shell, which, as promised, makes it a dead ringer for Windows 7 or XP or even 2000 if you want. Much better.
All in all it sounds reasonable to me. His recollection of DOS and some DOS version 8 confused me at first, but that was what the DOS buried in Windows ME was called. But mentioning it is appropriate, because it shows how DOS faded from center stage to being barely visible in the end, to the point where it was difficult to dig it out, and that it took 15 years for it to happen. He’s completely right, that if Microsoft had pulled the plug on DOS in 1985, Windows would have failed. Read more
If you’ve been paying any attention at all, you probably know that new PC sales are in the toilet–out of the five biggest vendors, the only one whose sales managed to hold steady in Q1 2013 was Lenovo, while the other four saw a sales decline. So now Slashdot linked to a ZDNet piece stating that Windows is over, and said it must be true because ZDNet always sides with Microsoft.
Let’s not read too much into that. The author of the piece is a longtime open-source advocate. The points he raises are completely valid, but if there’s one person who’s going to take Microsoft to task, it’s Steven Vaughan-Nichols.
Microsoft has a long road ahead, but there is precedent for salvaging the boondoggle known as Windows 8. And I don’t think Windows 8 is the only factor here. Read more
Microsoft is getting aggressive with Windows release dates, and I can’t help but wonder if it’s going to put a damper on future sales.
Windows 8 is coming out in August, which was a poorly kept secret anyway. That can’t be helping Windows 7 sales, but at this point I think Microsoft is mostly concerned about new computer sales and corporate sales. What’s more concerning to me–initially–is the revelation that Windows 9 will be out in November 2014. Read more
Steve Ballmer announced today that Microsoft has sold 400 million Windows 7 licenses, but anywhere from half to two-thirds of PCs are still running Windows XP and need to get with the program.
He also continues to insist Windows 8 will ship in 2012, which really makes me wonder why those XP users need to switch now. December 2012 is 17 short months away, and XP support runs until 2014. I see little need to rush out now and buy Windows 7, use it for 18-24 months, and then turn around and buy Windows 8. If XP is fulfilling users’ needs, what’s the hurry? Unless Windows 8 is going to be late, as bad as Vista, or both. But none of that can happen, right? (Note: It’s not 2014 anymore, so if you haven’t upgraded from XP, you need to.)
I’m sure the Windows 8 Police will be along to haul me away shortly for insinuating such things. But until that happens, that 400 million figure lets us do some other interesting extrapolation. Read more
Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire is a 1992 autobiography of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. It’s old. But it’s a compelling snapshot of what the industry thought of Gates and Microsoft before Windows 95, before Microsoft Office, and before Internet Explorer. Indeed, it gives an early glimpse into the struggle to bring Windows to market, some of the bad bets Microsoft cast on its early productivity software, and just how close Microsoft came to betting the company on the success of the Apple Macintosh.
If Microsoft’s history were written today, many of these stories would probably be forgotten.
Many years ago, I wrote about the disadvantages of Windows 3.1 because I started noticing people searching for that. Now, I see people asking the same question about Windows 98. I spent 9 months of my life ripping Windows 98 apart and putting it back together again and writing about it, so I know it well.
As much of an improvement as Windows 98 was over Windows 3.1 and even Windows 95, it, too, is feeling the effects of time. Windows 98SE was the best of the Windows 9x series (better than its successor, Windows ME), but there are better things to run today.