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22Aug/12Off

Are people really waiting for Windows 8?

TechOps Guy: Nate

UPDATED  - Dell came out with their quarterly results and their PC business wasn't doing well, down 22% from a year ago.

A common theme I see popping up are people claiming folks are holding off until Windows 8 before buying their systems. Do you think this is true? I can imagine some folks holding off to buy the MS Tablet or something, but I can't imagine many people (I'd bet it's a rounding error) waiting for the desktop/laptop version of Windows 8 before buying their new PC.  Especially given apparently 70% of Dells PC sales go to commercial/government with only 30% going to consumer.

UPDATE - HP released their results and their PC shipments were similarly poor with revenues down 10-12%.

They'd rather not admit that a weak economy combined with the rise of tablets not running Microsoft software is probably where most of the blame lies. A market that Linux advocates long hoped to try to capture by being "good enough" to do things like browse the web, read email etc, but for many reasons was never able to really establish any foot hold. I remember my grandfather had such a Linux system, forgot who made it, but it ran entirely off of a CD, with perhaps only a few megs of flash storage (this was about 10-12 years ago). It was slow but it mostly worked, he certainly got far fewer viruses on that then when he eventually went to windows a few years later(Dell had to re-install his system several times a year due to malware infestations - he refused to stop going to dodgy porn sites).

What's new and good in Windows 8 vs 7 that would have folks want to hold back on a new desktop or laptop? It's pitched as the biggest product launch since Windows 95 and I believe that, though I don't see anywhere near the leap in technology from Windows 7 to 8 that happened from Win3.x to 95. (sort of like my feelings on vSphere 3.5->4 vs 4->5).

I suspect it's just an excuse, time will tell if there is a massive surge in PC buying shortly after Windows 8 launches but I don't expect there to be. The new Metro (or whatever they are calling it) ecosystem is minuscule compared to the existing windows ecosystem. Hell, all other ecosystems pale in comparison to the current windows ecosystem.

Do you know if people are holding back waiting for Windows 8 on a desktop or laptop style device? If so I'd be curious to hear the reasons.

I fear for Microsoft that Windows 8 will hit the ground with a thud. It'll sell millions just because there is such a massive install base of Windows folks (Vista sold quite a bit too remember that!).  Unlike some other players (*cough* HP WebOS *cough*), even if it is a thud initially Microsoft won't give up. I recall similar hype around Windows phone 7 and that hit with a thud as well and has gone nowhere. In short - MS is setting the expectations too high.

Something I did learn recently which I was not aware of before, one of my friends at Microsoft mentioned that the Windows Phone 7 platform was mostly acquired from another company(forgot which), Microsoft then went and gutted it and the result is what we have today. He had long lost all faith in Microsoft, in their ability to execute, stifling projects that have good prospects while promoting others that have none. I suppose that sort of thing is typical for a really big company. I don't know how he (or others) can put up with it without going crazy. He didn't have much positive things to say about Windows phone, nor did his girlfriend who also works at Microsoft. It was sort of "meh".

They'll keep trying though, Microsoft that is, throw enough money at anything and you'll eventually get it right, it may cost them a few more billion, and a few more years, but it's a big important market, so it's certainly a worthwhile investment.

I do find it funny while Ballmer was out trying to destroy Google, Apple comes out of nowhere and takes the torch and runs with it, and it took Microsoft many years to regroup and try to respond.

I don't hate Microsoft, haven't for a while, I do sort of feel sorry for them though, their massive fall from the top of the world to where they are now. They still have tons of cash mind you.. but from pretty much every other angle they aren't doing so well.

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