Paul Thurrott comes to a sad realization: ‘Windows 8 is a disaster. Period.’

“When critics described Windows 8.1 as a step backwards, I disagreed: Responding to customer complaints is never wrong, I argued, and the new version of the OS made it more acceptable on the many different types of PCs and devices on which Windows now runs,” Paul Thurrott writes for Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows.

“With Update 1, however, I’m beginning to question the validity of this new direction,” Thurrott writes, “and am now wondering whether Microsoft has simply fallen into an all-too-familiar trap of trying to please everyone, and creating a product that is ultimately not ideal for anyone.”

MacDailyNews Take: This sounds really familiar.

What was that we wrote way back on June 1, 2011, on the very day Microsoft Windows 8ista’s new “user interface” was revealed to the world? Oh, right:

Microsoft, in trying to cram everything into Windows 8 in an attempt to be all things to all devices, will end up with an OS that’s a jack of all trades and a master of none (which, after all, ought to be Microsoft’s company motto)… We simply do not see the world clamoring for the UI of an iPod also-ran now ported to an iPhone wannabe that nobody’s buying to be blown up onto a PC display.

Thurrott continues, “The result is a messy product, if you will, one that lacks the singular vision that is typically associated with the Mac and Apple’s other products. There’s no reason to mince words: This criticism has always been valid. And if you were to simplify the issue down to a sound bite, you might make the following claims: Windows was designed by a committee. The Mac, by contrast, often feels like it was designed by a single person.”

“God knows, Microsoft tries. It’s a wonderful observer and follower. After watching Windows Vista get mismanaged and then slapped around by Apple, it tapped Steven Sinofsky to reimagine Windows. It’s fair to say that this man shares many of the same character traits—and flaws—that defined Steve Jobs. He was belligerent and one-sided, didn’t work well with others, had no qualms about tossing out features and technologies that didn’t originate with his group, and had absolutely zero respect for customer feedback. Here, finally, was a guy who could push through a Steve Jobs-style, singular product vision,” Thurrott writes. “And he did. Sadly, the result was Windows 8.”

“So what does Update 1 add to the mix? This time around, Microsoft has committed what I consider to be the cardinal sin of Windows: It’s a return to that age-old issue where Windows simply grew, spaghetti-like, to accommodate every silly possible need of the system’s too diverse user group.”

MacDailyNews Take: This, too, sounds familiar. We also wrote on June 1, 2011:

Probably no one on earth knows how much or what kinds of residual legacy spaghetti code roils underneath it all (shudder)… If Microsoft’s going to ask Windows sufferers to “learn a whole new computer” (and that’s exactly how they’ll look at it, regardless of how Microsoft pitches it), millions will simply say, “Time to get a Mac to match my iPod, iPhone, and iPad!” As if they needed it: More good news for Apple.

Thurrott continues, “Windows 8.1 Update 1 again proves that design by committee never works, and that by not strictly adhering to a singular product vision, the solution that is extruded out to customers on the other side is messy, convoluted, and compromised… Everyone likes to compare Apple or the Mac to BMW and, you know what? Fair enough, and if that’s true then Windows is obviously GM, the overly-big messy GM of a decade ago. But Microsoft can’t afford for Windows to be like GM anymore—just like GM couldn’t, for whatever that’s worth. Maybe Windows needs to be more like GMC, the part of GM that only makes trucks (and truck-based SUVs). After all, while many people choose to use a truck for basic transportation, they’re really designed and optimized for work.”

MacDailyNews Take: Again, familiar:

It’s not rocket science: The things for which the vast majority of people use/used personal computers is easily accomplished with an iPad. PCs are overkill for the vast majority of people, just like an 18-wheeler is vs. a car/SUV.MacDailyNews Take, January 9, 2013

As usual, Steve Jobs told us what would happen long before it did:

When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks, because that’s what you needed on the farm. But as vehicles started to be used in the urban centers, cars got more popular. Innovations like automatic transmission and power steering and things that you didn’t care about in a truck as much started to become paramount in cars… PCs are going to be like trucks. They’re still going to be around, they’re still going to have a lot of value, but they’re going to be used by one out of X people. – Steve Jobs, June 1, 2010

And, oh by the way: Smart truckers drive Apple Macs, not antiquated, malware-infested, Windows PC lemons.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Finally – better obscenely late than never, we guess – Paul Thurrott has come to a sad realization. Cancel or allow?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Chuck” for the heads up.]


    1. Not quite.

      An idiot with a misguided sense of destiny and the power to fulfil that mission is far worse than an idiot with initiative.

      However, sense of destiny + power + initiative is the kind of thing that starts wars.

  1. I can’t believe he dissed Windows and actually wrote something that sounded like the Mac was better for the first time in history. Mark this down, copy it, paste it where you can. This is truly history in the making here from Paul himself.

      1. It was only because he flat out couldn’t defend it any longer.

        Pretty much the same deal here with Windows 8 – after a while he had no choice but to give up or risk being labelled on wikipedia as a highly deranged fanboy.

    1. Paul Thurrott has spent his entire professional life being wrong. One little piece of writing that is not completely wrong is not a convincing sign the he has gone through some sort of transition to become an honest or rational person. His brain probably is as muddled as ever, or as dishonest as ever. The best response is to completely ignore what he writes or says. He is irrelevant in a technical sense, and only marginally interesting as a psychological phenomenon.

  2. Yet, he will not walk away from this troubled company. So, like Microsoft itself, the followers suffer the same inherent problem. They fail to change or alter their course to obtain better products or methods.

    1. His writing style is fascinating: he’s ready to change his mind whenever a new software update comes out. I know that kind of ‘realism’ should be applauded, but the 180 –not after a x.1 update, but a security patch– feels… disingenuous?

  3. “…am now wondering whether Microsoft has simply fallen into an all-too-familiar trap of trying to please everyone, and creating a product that is ultimately not ideal for anyone.”

    Has fallen into? Uh, that has been their schtick from the beginning.

    Also, reading that sentence, I can’t help but think of Surface, the laptop/tablet hybrid that no one besides PC manufacturer’s wants.

  4. Hell has frozen over and dogs & cats are best pals re: Thurrott The Tech Dimwit.

    Clunky Windows was never a properly designed OS for the consumer market and unnecessarily complex so at the first sight of greener easier pastures in iPad many defected. No surprise. Windows – Jack of all trades, master of none, appealing to far fewer.

      1. There is a dusty corner where his ZungTang®™ cape and cowl hang, forever a monument to sarcasm disguised as vehement stupidity, humor hiding as blind obstinateness, bear trap camouflaged as flame bait.

        We know you live on, masked human. But we let your legacy lie in peace. Your brown humor shall never be flushed from our memories.

  5. “God knows, Microsoft tries.”

    Yes, they tried a bunch of things, but they didn’t try to actually build a Tablet OS (not in this decade anyway). They got lazy and figured they could roll over and dominate the Tablet market (again, lazy) by just forcing everyone to use Windows…

    We should all be thankful that there is competition in this market or we’d all be tapping the bottom left corner of the screen to pull up the Windows menu, etc (stylus optional).

    They did no work ,and now they’re in the hardware business (not because that solves the problem, but because their OEMs weren’t making any money). All of this talent, time and money (oceans of it) to foist a shitty product upon the customer.

    *slow applause*

    1. That stupid ‘Start’ button should have been fixed in 1995.

      It’s not buttons that users want. It’s the interface that pops up when you hit the ‘Start’ button that people want back. I always found it clunky as hell. But its incredibly useful compared to those 2D slab tile-your-bathroom retrograde 19th century kiosk things shoved in your face in Windows 8 AND 8.1.

  6. one big mistake Thurrott made is this:

    When you are a “doer” using Mac OS, you quickly realize you are “doing” more, faster and better that when you use windows. This is because the Mac OS is “doing” the BS that isn’t part of your job without you having to think about it.

    Said a different way: Use a Mac for work, you will be more productive. Both you and your boss will be happier. 🙂

  7. “It’s fair to say that this man shares many of the same character traits—and flaws—that defined Steve Jobs. He was belligerent and one-sided, didn’t work well with others…. ”

    LOL, had to read that a few times. “Same” ?
    Thurott just listed all the NEGATIVE traits and most of them urban legend anyhow…

    what about Job’s genius, ability to see and grasp the possibilities of promising technology before anyone else, understanding simplicity, taste and artistic vision, able to recognize, motivate and harness the talents of geniuses like Ive, Forstall, Fadell, Rubeinstein, Ron Johnson, Cook etc and so on….

    Did Sinofsky have THOSE traits , otherwise he’s not Jobs like at all… Anybody can act like an ass hole, it’s the other part, the GENIUS part that makes ground breaking products like Mac, OSX, iPod, iPhone, iTunes, iPad….

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