“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.]