Windows 8

Poll Results: Is there a market for Windows 8 or is Microsoft playing with fire?

See how your TechRepublic peers answered this question: Is there a market for Windows 8 or is Microsoft playing with fire?

On April 7, 2011, I asked the readers of the TechRepublic Microsoft Windows Blog this poll question:

Is there a market for Windows 8 or is Microsoft playing with fire?

In the past month or so, TechRepublic has published "leaked" screenshots of Windows 8, and the interest has been greater than I expected. I have been, and I remain, skeptical that Windows 8's being released so quickly on the heels of Windows 7 is a good move by Microsoft.

I am sensing a significant amount of upgrade fatigue, especially in small businesses. To overcome that reluctance to yet another upgrade to the Windows operating system, Microsoft will have to do something noteworthy with Windows 8 -- something I have yet to see in any of the leaked photo galleries.

Thus spawned my poll question regarding the potential market acceptance of Windows 8. Not surprisingly for the TechRepublic practical-based audience, most poll respondents are content to wait for additional information. However, plenty of respondents are exasperated by the prospect of another operating system migration.

Should Windows 8 even be on our radar at this early point in the development cycle?

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

68 comments
wuboyblue
wuboyblue

I'm kind of looking forward to W8 as long as it doesn't mess with Xbox development or WMC. Microsoft has become the defacto desktop for 90% of the world and with really good reason, boot times aside, everything works well together. Putting an Xbox virtual machine into W8 won't exactly move me from my Xbox, which integrates well with WMC. Business apps aside, I develop games and W7 is a really good platform for both tools and target. W8 is supposed to be faster and lighter, so bring it on. I love the guys who talk Linux and I have to ask, for what, web browsing. The only useful Linux desktop I have is Android 2.2 on my phone.

MarkReynoldsIT
MarkReynoldsIT

Sorry, Rick S._z, but while I heartily agree that Windows 3.1 was far more stable and useful than Windows 3.0, Windows for Workgroups (aka WfWG) was version 3.11, not 3.1. 3.1 did not come with the networking buit in. Ah, a trip down memory lane...!!! Do I remember my 16kB Microbee fondly? Absolutely! Do I believe we are better off for always marching forwards (just like we did when we moved from Windows 3.0 to Windows 3.1)? Absolutely!

Awahili Guni
Awahili Guni

It might help if I put my humble opinion here to sum it up in an eloquent manner in generalization. Consider this fact (whether it be Apple, Com, IBM, Win 95, I-286 (OS Towers running on 5.25 discs) all the way back to warehouse styled computers running on reels and data punch cards); if one were to run on such computer technology of those eras today; need not I emphasize how much of a laughingstock we would, superimpose, make of them? I am positively sure many of us would become like "Jeff Foxworthy" in Compute-World poking fun of the "Ancient" Technology. It is quite obvious that the progression of technologies is advancing and accelerating at a rapid pace (not to mention growing smaller and quite handy as well as lighter, faster almost to a point of being 'Super Sonic Speed'). Balance for Balance; the scale in technology is found wanting; one cannot use what now is obsolete; as the saying goes "for what once was, is no more" ... meaning we have nothing but to look into the future and be future-wise using much wisdom in store. While to many it may seem to be "same old, same old" but is it really? "Talk to the Hand" so as it is said, to the "Old Schoolers" who have been around the block so many times over the decades, having seen it all, trod the very computer technology soil long before many were in diapers, in school days or is that daze? To be frank and honest, if it weren't for the "Old Schoolers", technology were not be where it is today for great was that push - literally shoved over the fence! This I ask, think about it; if no one had done what they did when the "heave ho" was given a golden opportunity - we would all be stuck with the long tirade of command prompts and the world of computerization would be at a snails pace given to that aspect. Because the computers which once were thought as "evil" were found to be excessively benefitable for a wide array of fields - both good and bad unfortunately; therefore, the need to so quote the old adage "build a better moustrap and the world will bang at your door"; likewise with technology; it is imperative that newer and improvise technology be at store (better mousetrap) so the world (commercial to home users) can use at ease and nearly at the speed of light without so much usage of manuals and education; aka "Smart Computers" - the goal of development of one (futuristic) with hardly any errors, malfunctionings, et al. Much is needed to be fined tuned as the progression moves upward and onwards. One might call it "The Race to Space"....

upstatelee18
upstatelee18

If Microsoft desires to draw us back to buy yet one more iteration of windows, this after most of us have just recovered over our shock of being subjected to Vista, than they would XP-ize 7 and send our users OSs that remind them of using a decade old computer from back before the "depre-cession". That way we don't have to re-install Word 2003 on our computers because 2007 was completely unusable.

dal765
dal765

Reliability, robustness, replaceability. Let's face it, Windows is a historic hodgepodge. Both OS files and folders, and the registry, and even 'My documents' (ha- I never use that- invaded by loads of program folders) are irretrievably and inextricably mixed up with user files, folders and bits of installed programs. Put the OS where it belongs, in a partition where it can't be touched by the user. Let the OS be capable of being reinstalled, upgraded independently of user programs. Let it never be corrupted by bad installations, careless 'cleaning' or other inappropriate user intervention. At present, even if you install programs on a separate partition, and have user data on another, you can never fully remove user data from the OS partition. Hmm. any hope? Legacy...??

pbug56
pbug56

I'm waiting for MS to finish Win 7 and get it fullystable. And I don't want a new OS every other year. Maybe in 5 to 10 years we'll need a new one. In the meantime, I hope MS loses lots of Win 7 sales from those people now waiting for Win 8 to come out.

armamatt
armamatt

Jumping to a new OS like W7 or its mongrel breed W8 would be a lot better if Microsoft sold their products at a reasonable price. $29.95 would be more reasonable. Why: because a big chunk of what you are buying you have already paid for several times. The operating carries programming from previous OS's and you still pay for it again, and again. If Microsoft really wants to grab the market and have world domination it needs to sell its os much closer to the real cost of production. Besides there would be a lot less copying and pirates if it was reasonable. I would even accept a subscription version for 30 bucks a year. Don't renew the subscription, then no updates. I still like XP over W7 which has several "I hate" features. Windows 8 is not even in my thoughts right now.

sammy.mah
sammy.mah

Why not release new feature, and upgrade Windows7. This, way they can see/test/integrate new features and fix the faults as they go. Seems every other relase is a failure...ME...Vista...W8? I like W7, just needs to be tweaked to meet the current, changing demands of an OS. It's hard enough to switch a business to W7...now switch from W7 to W8??? ha ha ha ha...

Peter Sanders
Peter Sanders

If MS could just remove the bloat and the huge dependance of the OS on explorer and make it as fast as an OS should be, I'd be interested. BTW an incremental search in windows explorer would be a nice feature - how many years/versions does it take? It'll never happen :( regards Peter

RipVan
RipVan

Gates sees how the PRODUCTS are not as important to Apple as the flock of iSheep. Gates is trying to grow his own flock. He will have to go through a LOT of products. I am glad that MS sux so bad, it is good income and I don't have to use it at home. It is amusing to read the replies though! Maybe Gates is on his way after all...

oledave
oledave

I've been using MS since MS Win 3.0. I can remember prior to that, sending e-mail via DOS. The only O.S. of major (over-all) quality change was XP. Everything else to say the least, was simply other dogs with different fleas. MS would do well with future in mind, a major O.S. change instead of marketing the qustionable "one after another O.S." for the sake of the "money-go-round". Then again, who knows ... pencil, paper and envelopes may become popular again.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Changing the drivers and making them incompatible with older hardware, and making software specifically not work (Direct X10, DX11, IE9, VB5, etc.) It seems MS has forgotten that the OS is only there to run our programs. If it can't do that, its not a good OS.

Rick S._z
Rick S._z

It's the same as always: Microsoft will force all the computer/electronics chain stores, and all the OEMs, to sell only the new version. In the same way that XP vanished from store shelves - replaced by "new and shiny" Vista; and Vista vanished from store shelves - replaced by "new and shiny" Win7; Win7 will vanish from store shelves, replaced by Win8. In the case of Vista replacing XP, a lot of buyers were very unhappy with the single-alternative "choice". In the case of Win7 replacing Vista, we were DELIGHTED to have it done to us. But it's all the result of Microsoft's freedom to reward and punish their partners with "special deals" for those who follow their orders. In the old days, this was done on the basis of price. Nowadays, the "Modified Final Judgement" pretends to control this criminal monopoly behavior. But it seems to me that Microsoft is still able to provide the EXACT SAME MONEY as a "reward" to compliant OEMs and Retailers, with the exact same result. It simply has a different name, and a little logo. The MFJ was constructed with a loophole, big enough for an Aircraft Carrier. Instead of being a discounted price on software, it's those "co-marketing agreements", in which we all see the newspaper ads and websites of stores and OEMs show a little box saying, "XXXX recommends Microsoft Windows". The legal trickery, as I understand it, is to claim that the vast amounts of "co-marketing money" are given in exchange for those little advertising boxes. But in fact, you've NEVER seen a full-power Linux desktop computer for sale at Best Buy, Office Depot, or Office Max. (During the worst of the Vista problems, you saw a few pathetic netbooks, NEVER a desktop.) And you never will see such a machine on a retail store shelf. In the exact same way, Microsoft will ALWAYS force new versions to replace old versions at stores. How was the "legal" Windows-Vista *WIPE-OUT* of Windows-XP at retailers (done under the rules of the MFJ) any different, for consumers, than the previous Windows-ME *WIPE-OUT* of Windows-98SE? It wasn't. We're like little mice, forced to run on a treadmill, and kept there by Microsoft's ongoing monopoly-like power. KEEP RUNNING! After Windows-8 has come out, and your old box dies, you'll be forced to upgrade Windows. The cost of "Retail" Windows, which you can re-install to a different motherboard, is astronomical. Like it or not you have to KEEP RUNNING, YOU'LL BE ON WINDOWS-8! BTW, I haven't been paying attention to details of the features list, which is still in flux. But if Redmond has the brains to copy/emulate the multi-desktop tricks of Open-Source Compiz and KDE, then you will really, REALLY like using it.

lk_bellsouth.net
lk_bellsouth.net

Windows 8? Too much, too soon, very weary of the constant upgrade hassle and all that goes with it. Although Apple makes a fine product I'm not particularly an Apple enthusiast. However, credit given where it is due, they have the correct marketing approach in regard to their operating system. One version, all bells and whistles included, sold for a more than reasonable price, and does what the client wants it to do. It's simple, straightforward, user friendly, rarely if ever needs service packs, and enables the client to concentrate on productivity, not a thousand updates, security issues, etc. that are associated with all Microsoft products. Apple has a very stable operating system, something that Microsoft has never been able to say. Microsoft would do well to study and adopt their business model and marketing philosophy.

malcolmreynolds
malcolmreynolds

I wonder if Microsoft might be abandoning service packs alltogether. 2 years is hardly a cycle to continue releasing OSes, unless you're just upgrading small pieces and changing out some elements of the UI. I wonder if "Windows 8" will be in the same category as "Windows 96" and "Windows 97." That said, no, I would not upgrade to 8 if it comes out only 2 years after 7. No way, unless we're talking ground breaking I-need-to-have-them features. 7 is stable, reliable, and I haven't had any major problems with it, and I certainly don't need to lose another $250. I jumped the gun on new-and-shiny Vista, and I'm not making that mistake again.

bjennings
bjennings

Why is it that once they finally get an op system to the point of being stable, they come out with a new problem and start over? It seems to me more of a system to print money. Any business without a monopoly would have failed long ago. Let's move the steering wheel, brake pedal, and door handle on every new model!

jck
jck

There is a market for Windows 8: new computer purchases. However considering the last 2 places I've been employed *still* use Windows XP Professional...I don't know if there is a significant market yet for it in the business environment. I think Microsoft (after the application compatibility issues places had with Vista) has a lot to prove to private and public sector before they will seriously consider moving to Windows 8. As a home user, I know that I am still putting Windows XP 64-bit on PCs for myself...or a Linux distro. Until such a time that I must have an OS which is newer for hardware compatibility, I will not even consider moving up.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

While you're turning blue, you might as well ask to have the browser stripped out of the OS too.

malcolmreynolds
malcolmreynolds

"Put the OS where it belongs, in a partition where it can't be touched by the user." Can you imagine the avalanche of whining and accusation of draconian software development if they did that?

haydenh
haydenh

One thing Apple has done right is the pricing of their OS. I think Microsoft needs to follow suit. As it relates to Windows 8, I am really confused about the direction. I saw the demo and I like the concepts but I don't think they need to move to solely a touch interface just yet. I think they maybe jumping the gun.

cerewa
cerewa

(((If Microsoft really wants to grab the market and have world domination it needs to sell its os much closer to the real cost of production. Besides there would be a lot less copying and pirates if it was reasonable.))) I'm almost hoping that microsoft will successfully crack down on pirated software, but NOT lower prices. The day they do that will be a big boost to open source software.

malcolmreynolds
malcolmreynolds

You can pick up a new laptop with 4 gig of RAM and a core i5 3 GHz cpu for around $450 if you shop around, that will make Windows 7 fly. Hell, my 5 year old Inspiron with a 1.6 Centrino single core and 2 gig of ram runs Windows 7 perfectly acceptably. Don't install so much crapware.

Rick S._z
Rick S._z

MS Win 3.1 (AKA "Windows for Workgroups") was more stable than 3.0, *and* more capable. Even I have to give credit for a completely original MS invention which made it's appearance in 3.1: TrueType fonts. 98-SE, if I may remind you, was the pinnacle of that series (Win-95, Win-98, Win98-SE, and Win-ME). Unlike ME, it was a nearly pure "bugfix refresh/rollup" Release. For may years, until Win-XP gaming matured, THIS was the Version every gamer wanted to have. XP had a very buggy start. It was (of course) based on Windows NT, but it was far behind Win-2K in RASUI. (I'd characterize the choice as 18 development months of shiny newness, with bugs, traded against 1-2 Service Packs of additional stability be added to Win-2K in the same time frame.

jck
jck

XP was taken away and shiny Vista was put on shelves... But when MS wasn't selling enough Vista, they went back to letting OEMs put XP on computers with an option to upgrade to Vista...so they could actually sell more OS licenses. I got caught in that with the Dell laptop. Bought it with Vista, Dell wouldn't let me downgrade. Then weeks later, Dell started offering the laptop with XP pro again and wouldn't switch my license. Hence why I won't buy a Dell ever again. If a current OS's license from MS doesn't let me back-grade OSes to an older one that will work, I don't want it. I'll just get Home/Office XP x64 Pro CDs til none are left on the planet.

cursedfrogurt
cursedfrogurt

Astronomical? What are you talking about. Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64 - $179 for OEM on Newegg... Retail price? $274. $95 is astronomical to you? You must be one of those idiots that buys an $800 iPad then wrings his hands over a $2.99 app purchase. Conspiracy theories about Best Buy? You're seriously asserting that Best Buy, the company who flagrantly violates consumer protections and shafts their customers on a daily basis in their wild pursuit of profit, would deny customers a Linux desktop if - here's the kicker - anybody except power users would buy them? I guess the OSX running on all the macs I see at Best Buy doesn't count as *IX to you because it doesn't use KDE, huh? I use Linux a great deal, but even as good as Ubu is, from an objective standpoint it's nowhere near ready for your average idiot casual end user to use. Only OSX even comes close. Dear God... did I just praise Apple? :D

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

It's the business model. Microsoft is in the business of selling Office aps and operating systems. If you like the OS, you probably won't jump to change to a new one. Espically since Mocrosoft has a long history of messing up with new OS versions, and only getting it right on the third release. Win 95 was hyped to the Moon, but it was 98 SE that worked. Win XP was seriously downgraded to NT 4.X by a lot of users until SP2 or 3. Vista was a dog until SP2. Windows 7 is Vista SP3. Iif the systems worked well, they would sell fewer licenses. Welcome to the Monopoly.

malcolmreynolds
malcolmreynolds

I think I'd rather smash my fingers with a hammer than use 64 bit XP. Linux, oh yeah, I'm with you there, but 64 bit XP is a pile of unstable crap. Every machine I've had it on has had one problem or another that made it just short of unusable.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

At least, according to several anti-monopoly lawsuits.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I bet my old 200mhz with WIn95, a notoriously slow and memory leaking OS, will kick its ass in boot time. My average boot time, from end of POST to usable desktop, was about 12 seconds, shutdown time was near instant (less than a second). So your laptop with (i assume duel core?) its 30 times more processing power, and its 128 times more RAM, boot slower then technology that is 16 years old... Pathetic.

Rick S._z
Rick S._z

But later, the MS hammer came down on everyone (both OEMs and Retailers). All the 'XP Installed with Vista Upgrade Rights' inventory vanished. in my Metro area, it all vanished in the same week. And almost certainly not because it all sold out: rather, Co-Marketing payments required the stock to be PULLED.

malcolmreynolds
malcolmreynolds

...you already bought your license of Vista, from a package of probably a few million that was bought by Dell. You can't just exchange it for a license for XP, that's not how OEM licensing works. That Vista license is permanently tied to that PC. I'm not saying it's a perfect system, but it's not Dell's fault.

Rick S._z
Rick S._z

My entire computer cost about $300. You show a price which matches the entire box (including 2 DVD writers), and it doesn't even include an upgraded to Windows 8. Your wailing about Best Buy's nasty business tactics is a "Look at the Wookie" defense -- I mentioned some other computer chain stores, and you can probably think of others as well. They ALL took systems with Windows XP off the shelves during the same week. Microsoft rules the market with an iron fist. OSX doesn't count because those systems cost even MORE than Windows equivalents. MS supports Apple in these stores, because the higher-priced fruit can be used by clever lawyers to argue that "there IS competition, see all these Macintosh systems for sale"? Finally, you give Windows systems far to much credit, having labeled them as being "ready for your average idiot casual end user to use." I'll claim that from an "OBJECTIVE" point of view, they're utterly inconsistent, weird, easily broken, and hard to fix. The only reason why average idiot casual end users (like me) can get much of anything done under Windows is the fact that we've had almost 20 years to learn most of it's "Bad Things", and get used to them. The amount of additional weirdness at each new Release (With possible exceptions being made for Win-ME and Win-Vista) is small enough to keep us from running away, even though it would probably be be better for us (in the long run) if we DID switch.

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

I have requested a Linux laptop at Best Buy. They won't do it. The "Geek Squad" guys who are the resources for the others are usually running some flavor of Linux, but the Store won't support or honor warrenty if Linux computers. The reason is that Linux users don't need to buy a bunch of add on software to make the system usable. Best Buy makes very little from computer sales. It's the Geek Squad services, the sales of endless numbers of 'Anti-virus' and 'security' programs that bring in the money. You will see Target selling Linux computers before you see Best Buy doing that.

jck
jck

You've had an entirely different experience than myself then. I have had one Vista machine. It is a Dell laptop, and it's on its 3rd HD already. I don't think that is just bad luck. I think something in Vista is harder on HDs. I have 6 rigs (either entirely or dual-/multi-boot) that have XP x64 Pro...and I use them for anything from router controlling to high-end gaming with Xfire or SLi configs. I've had one hard drive go bad under XP so far. As for Linux, I'm still just using it for basic end-user stuff. After I get settled here where I move (which seems like it's taking forever), I'm gonna get Audacity and Kubuntu, or get Musix, and setup a linux-driven home recording studio. Too many friends have told me I need to be doing music. As for Windows 8, I can't really judge its stability. Windows 7 had nicer boot and shutdown times and better file system responsiveness than Vista. However, Win 7 had a lot of new (to borrow a James May term) "fluff" I didn't need. So, I saw no need to drop $100 on an upgrade per box.

malcolmreynolds
malcolmreynolds

Aero Desktop Superfetch BitLocker Handwriting Recognition Virtual Hard Disk Support DirectAccess Media Center and all it's related apps Brand new taskbar

Slayer_
Slayer_

So far, near as i can tell, the biggest change is the Aero graphics. if that is adding 14.9 gigs of space... wtf... The key things still haven't changed, we still BSOD, we still have memory leaks, we still require virus and anti malware scanners. So are we talking things like UAC? I bought a car that specifically didn't have traction control? Why? out of all rental cars I have driven, the traction control ones are the most irritating, especially in the winter. Near as i can figure, it displays a light when you are sliding (So did my Lumina with ABS, the result is the same) and retard the engine when you need to deperatly accelerate. Again, especially bad in the winter, a tiny bit of ice spin and the stupid thing tries to stall the engine in the middle of an intersection. Stuck in the snow? not a chance, it kills the engine again. Worthless crap.

malcolmreynolds
malcolmreynolds

The extra weight in a Veyron is luxury and, well, just inattentiveness in it's design toward weight. The McLaren F1 is lighter because that's what it was designed to be, just like Windows 95 was designed to run on machines with a fraction of the power of todays, and also why 95 still runs fast on that same older hardware. Personally, I don't care that newer OSes need more power. They're more feature rich, and you just have to understand that as they make OSes more intuitive, more interactive, and more feature-laden and, ergo, better, they're going to get bigger, and they're going to need more hardware to operate better. I don't understand why everyone complains about this, I really don't. Oh my God, Windows takes 15 gig of space on the hard drive! Big damn deal, it's hard to find an internal drive these days that's less than 250 GB. And even then, newegg is handing out 2 TB drives on sale for $70. This stuff is plummeting in price, why not make software that makes use of it?

jck
jck

It's like saying that a McLaren F1 will start off the line faster than a Bugatti Veyron because it has a higher power-to-weight ratio. They both do the same thing behind the scenes. The Veyron just has more technically advanced, powerful parts to move a more weighty payload. ;)

malcolmreynolds
malcolmreynolds

...a Saturn SL has more power than a Semi because you don't need to wait for it to warm up before you drive it. Boot time =/= raw speed. Windows 95 starts and will always start faster than 7 because it doesn't do nearly as much behind the scenes; not nearly as many services, and a much smaller, simpler kernel. By that standard, DOS is the fastest OS ever made.

jck
jck

I actually dug out my old Compaq Armada 4120T laptop w/Win98 (not SE) on it last night and powered it up. Has 80 MB RAM and 20GB HD. It boots as fast as my Vista-based Dell laptop with a dual-core AMD CPU w/4GB RAM and a 7200 RPM HD. :^0 Isn't modern tech amazing? ;)

malcolmreynolds
malcolmreynolds

That was only applicable to systems bought in a certain timeframe, likely, as I said up there, coinciding with a program Microsoft was offering.

malcolmreynolds
malcolmreynolds

Microsoft decided they were different. I'd expect Dell, or whoever manufactured it, has to eat the cost for an additional license (except when, for instance, Microsoft says they will). Ergo, they might do it to please a corporate account, since you're talking multiple times over in income with every sale, where that same cost might take years of casual user spending to equate out. In short, just business. I think you'd be hard pressed to find ANY OEM that would honor those types of requests. Again, I'm not saying this is right, I'm saying it's not Dell's doing.

jck
jck

I called Dell, and asked for an XP 64-bit disk to downgrade. I was told I could not have one...both before and after they announced they were "offering" XP installs again. Hence, I'll never buy another Dell.

jck
jck

If I have Vista Pro that came on a laptop, and say XYZ government has Vista Pro on their laptop...same model and all...should those not be the same type of license? And, it can't be cost. Because, I probably paid more for my retail purchase than they did under a state or GSA purchase. It's not right. A Dell-based Windows license should be the same per box no matter who the purchaser(excluding there the VLAs and all).

malcolmreynolds
malcolmreynolds

But not with a license from Dell, you have to provide one.

malcolmreynolds
malcolmreynolds

You're not an enterprise customer, you're a regular one.

RNR1995
RNR1995

Vista Pro or Ultimate could be downgraded to XP Pro

jck
jck

That in the past 3 employers where I have worked when Microsoft was pushing out Vista on new Dell PCs to government or enterprise customers that they get a "Vista license" which they can downgrade to XP... But, I can not get that? Hm? Perhaps it's not Dell's fault, but it seems unreasonable that I can't have a downgrade in OS (note: i didn't ask them to give me a newer, more improved product...i wanted the old one) unless i have a business TIN and want to order 200 units a year. Plus as I stated, shortly after that (literally days...less than a month I know) Dell started offering "XP with free Vista upgrade". It just makes no sense. I should be allowed to downgrade to a previous version since I own the license to the newest thing.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"...the Store won't support or honor warrenty if Linux computers." Technically, the store won't honor warranties if the original OS has been replaced. It doesn't matter what replaced it: Linux, OS X, Unix, DOS, whatever. I don't think it will even allow Windows upgrades, but I could be wrong about that one.

RipVan
RipVan

I get more and more people coming to me BEGGING to not tell them to go back to the Geek Squad. Once they tell me their horror story and some of the things they have been told by them, I DO have sympathy. They are a SALES squad and have very little technical knowledge. Like Microsoft, they are in search of gullible SUCKERS.

cursedfrogurt
cursedfrogurt

Geek Squad people may run *IX, as one can only assume (and hope) that the Geek Squad guys are somewhat technically competent power users and can deal with *IX. Based on your statements, I can only assume that you are a power user as well. *IX is fine for people like us. However, my mother, who is so technologically incompetent that she can't even set up her own wireless printer, would never survive even the gentlest experience ubu can provide. However, she can work fine with windows. I use OSX, Ubu, and various Windows OSes. I've used Linux since Slackware v1 when you had to download a bajillion 1.44mb files from UCLA's anony-ftp repository. It's come a long, long way over the past almost-20 years. But it's still not ready for the average business user or consumer. Want proof? Look at this thread. For example, SinisterSlay's complaint below where he bashes Microsoft for cutting off backwards compatibility. UBU, as it exists today, could never survive in an environment where it needed to baby and coddle nontechnical users who can't even understand why, in the name of progress and improvement, you need to terminate support for ten year old hardware. The people who can't voice their complaint without turning it into some sort of Coast-to-Coast-esque conspiracy theory instead of a technological necessity. When I stop having customers pay several hundred dollars an hour to ask me questions that are clearly answered in the installation documentation, I'll believe UBU (as it exists today) is ready for the average joe business degree (hurr). Dude, you're missing the point. If UBU had to support several million idiots like Windows did, it would have a ton of Anti-virus and security programs, too. It's easy to talk shit when you only have an estimated single digit market share. Microsoft does do a lot of stupid shit, but if you've ever done any sort of OS-level C/ASM/CPP programming, you would know that they go out of their way to a ridiculous degree to support backwards compatibility, etc. Is it perfect? No. But you can't realistically both bash MSFT for not being advanced enough and also for cutting off backwards compatibility/ease of use. Something's gotta give.

nwallette
nwallette

I'm an avid Linux user. It certainly has its place. Appliances; network storage and routing; servers; development; even as a desktop for those who are so inclined. But a recording platform? That's where I would hesitate. Understand, I say this with mixed feelings, as I would love to see less performance-critical software running on a poorly-tuned general purpose OS like Windows. I know that the potential of custom-designed Linux kernels and highly optimized low-latency audio stacks would greatly benefit real-time DSP and virtual instrument applications. There's so much "cruft" on the Windows platform that doesn't need to be running on an audio workstation, and only some of it can safely be disabled. But. This is one of many industries that is driven by applications. The OS is just a dependency. On Linux, you have very little choice on what hardware to use. Audio devices should be chosen based on flexibility, I/O, driver stability, DAC and clock performance... that sort of thing. You really limit your options if you have to work within the small subset of devices that comes from a manufacturer that is willing to throw a bone to the Linux crowd. And then there's the software. I know there is work being done to get VST supported natively in Linux. But what about [shudder.. sigh...] iLok drivers? They can barely get Windows support working. It's a crying shame, but without an iLok, you lose access to a lot of really great plugins. (I wouldn't shed a tear over news of their funeral though -- that's for sure.) If all you want to do is record multitrack audio and MIDI, you may be OK. But if you're going the "studio" route, you may need to compromise. At least most audio software shops license both the Windows and Mac releases with a single purchase. Then, about the only thing you need to re-buy if you change platforms is your DAW. Not a trivial matter, but your plugin / VI investment is safe at least. Now, if one of the industry heavyweights could start up a purpose-built Linux distro and get the other hardware/software vendors on-board, I would be tickled. Can you imagine Waves Multirack running directly on top of the kernel and X-Windows? Having a boot time footprint of about 20MB of RAM..

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