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Windows 8 is the new Windows Vista

In “Threshold” to be Called Windows 9, Ship in April 2015 long-time Windows watcher Paul Thurrott looks at Microsoft’s next operating system set to arrive early next year.

It seems Microsoft has woken up and realised just how unpopular Windows 8 is with users. Thurrott, never one to be unduly harsh when commenting on Microsoft writes:

Windows 8 is tanking harder than Microsoft is comfortable discussing in public, and the latest release, Windows 8.1, which is a substantial and free upgrade with major improvements over the original release, is in use on less than 25 million PCs at the moment. That’s a disaster, and Threshold needs to strike a better balance between meeting the needs of over a billion traditional PC users while enticing users to adopt this new Windows on new types of personal computing devices. In short, it needs to be everything that Windows 8 is not.

My Windows 8 experience is almost certainly not typical, but I realised early on how Microsoft needs to draw a line under the product and quickly move on before any more damage is done to the company’s long-term future. If I was the new Microsoft CEO, I’d accelerate Windows 9 and get it out as soon as possible.

Hasta la Vista baby

When Windows 8 arrived, I purchased it on day one. Within weeks I was so frustrated I wiped my PC clean and reinstalled Windows 7. That wasn’t the answer, so a month later I went back to Windows 8 resolving that I would just get over the things I didn’t like. We never got on, so when I needed to buy a mobile computer in mid-2013, I opted for a MacBook.

Although lots of people want to talk about the missing start button and start menu, that was never a big problem for me. What grates is the regular switching between the traditional desktop user interface and the more modern Metro interface.

I also found Windows 8 to be just plain painful on a non-touch screen computer. When I used a touch device, Windows 8 made sense, but touch does nothing for my productivity, indeed, I found I was working less efficiently with Windows 8 than I could on Windows 7 or now do on OS X. That speaks volumes.

Microsoft dropped the ball so badly, some people are seriously considering using clunky, second-rate Android as a desktop OS. That’s about as damning an indictment of Windows 8 as you could get.