Tim Bajarin: Windows 8 is ‘welcome to the past’ instead of ‘welcome to the future’

“Due to scheduling conflicts I could not be in NYC yesterday for the Windows 8 launch but watched it intently as it was streamed around the world from Microsoft’s Web site. But what I saw was both impressive as well as confounding for many reasons,” Tim Bajarin writes for TechPinions.

“Let me start with the confounding issue first. Once Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage with his bubbly personality, he expressed ‘excitement’ about Windows 8 and he was right to do that. Windows 8 will always be known as the version of Windows that ushered in the age of the touch UI to the Windows world,” Bajarin writes. “And just as Windows 95 solidified the GUI in PC users mind, Windows 8 will burn into people’s conscience the fact that touch should be a key addition to the Windows User Interface. And before he spoke, other Microsoft executives showed off a plethora of laptops, all-in-one touch PCs as well as tablets that are already touch enabled so they can take full advantage of Windows 8 touch features.”

Bajarin writes, “But as I listened to Steve Ballmer speak, I could not help but think that his message was one of ‘welcome to the past’ instead of ‘welcome to the future.'”

Read more in the full article here.

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41 Comments

          1. While I don’t know why the word “shit” has much to do with ghettos (I hear that word everywhere), I have to say that Blacks don’t have an exclusive on the term ghetto. A ghetto is a part of city (usually considered a slum) that is occupied by ANY minority within that city. There are ghettos here in America and around the world that contain no Black people. Not everything is a racial slur.

            1. I know a racist when I see one. You’re the kind that have been keepin’ us down for over two hundred years in this country. Don’t try to deny it!

            2. I happen to have been fighting against racism for 40 years. I have married an Indian (from India in case you think natives are Indian) and have two children. My religion teaches that the earth is but one country and mankind is her citizens.

              You may be ignorant of the origins of the term ghetto and think it has to do with your limited world view that it applies to black people. I suggest that you rise above your ignorance and look it up. Your education is your responsibility as an adult and cannot be blamed on the amount of pigment in your skin.

  1. It is “Welcome to the Past” for Win8 because Balmer and Gates fervently believe they must absolutely maintain the need to have their PC OS remain the dominant desktop OS along with MSOffice so every decision must help secure that need, which supports profits.

    MS will also apparently force Win7 users to upgrade to Win8 by not releasing any Service Packs for Win7.

    Every single one of the MS decisions appears to make it more difficult for users in my opinion.

    They are trapped in legacy issues in so many ways.

  2. > Due to scheduling conflicts I could not be in NYC yesterday for the Windows 8…

    He probably had to do his laundry. 🙂

    The multi-touch interface, as defined by Apple for iPhone and then iPad (and copied by the competition), is only effective if (1) movement of hands and fingers is efficient and (2) the screen moves easily to accommodate the user and task.

    For (1), the screen must be relatively small so that the entire screen can be “touched” without excessive movements. Also, it should be easy to get fingers and hands (and arms) out of the line of sight between eyes and screen. Imagine an iMac-like touchscreen computer. Not only does the user need to make large movements to access the entire screen surface, once the gesture is made, another large movement must be made (in reverse) to prevent a body part from blocking the view to the screen. This is why keyboard and mouse/trackpad will remain the most popular input methods for larger-screen computers, because hands and fingers stay mostly in place (movement needed to access the entire screen is minimized). On a small touchscreen (say 12 inches or less), such as iPhone or iPad, movement required to access the entire screen is minimized.

    For (2), the screen must move easily to accommodate the user and the task being performed. It should not be necessary to move the user’s body (into uncomfortable positions) to accommodate the screen. This requires a light-weight device. A desktop computer is not a light-weight device, and its screen is not mobile. A laptop is lighter, but the screen is placed during use so it is not mobile. However, those computers are very useable with a keyboard and mouse/trackpad because the user does not move to accommodate the stationary screen location, but NOT if touching the screen is required. With a light-weight light device, just move the screen to any location or position that is most effective for the task being performed. Many think iPad mini is a lesser iPad, but it is actually an enhancement of the iPad user experience, because it less than HALF the weight of previous iPads and therefore MORE mobile and flexible during use.

    There will be Windows 8 laptops and desktop with touchscreen, because the competition’s only recourse is to go where Apple will not go, to compete with iPad. And those products will not be very usable or popular…

    1. ken1w
      You’ve explained it perfectly.

      Microsoft’s version of Touch (on monitors, large screens), is simply the marketing of an impractical novelty.

      The salesman runs the company.

    2. We don’t want practicality and usefulness……..especially if its backed by ease of use in an aesthetically pleasing package. I hate Apple. That being said, I ordered my iPad mini on my MacBook Pro after trying to order on my iPhone (which was resting on my iPad with Retina Display).

  3. I have spent the last couple of nights reinstalling windows vista on a friends laptop. letting it run windows update and trying to get all the software reinstalled. they downloaded a digital copy of norton internet security so they did not have a disk. i spent a fair amount of time on the phone with norton trying to get the software downloaded and activated. this experience has reminded me why I will never own another windows computer.

    1. My copy of Vista, which I run through Parallels purely so I can test web pages in IE, is stuck in an endless loop trying to install something called ‘service pack 1’. One install is not enough, apparently.

      So glad I’m a Mac fanboy.

  4. Touch controls in Windows 8 are useless and pointless. There is no need for it. The last thing I want to do is hold up my arms all day long moving things around on my computer screen.

    The only reason Windows 8 PCs will have touch control is because Microsoft needed some new gimmick feature to get people to buy new PCs (and therefore Win 8). There won’t be any touch-enabled apps anytime soon.

    But the reality is that Microsoft was too lazy to create a new mobile OS for its Surface tablets, and because it wants the “entire Windows experience” on Surface (BSD etc.), it had to add touch to PCs as well.

  5. I kid you not, while checking out the Surface tablet at the local mall, I tried to open the Netflix app and then waited for over a minute only to see the new green screen of death. It told me that Netflix had encountered a fatal error and could not open. Only wished that the Microsoft salesperson could have seen it too…

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