With Windows 8 rumoured to go RTM near mid-year, and released before year end, I thought I would hazard a few predictions about its acceptance/adoption:
Apple users will hate it. Why? Because it is not from Apple, and nothing cool can from from anyone but Apple.
Linux users will hate it. Why? Because it is from Microsoft, and Microsoft is the root of all that is evil in the universe. Oh, and it has a GUI.
Android users will hate it. Again, because it comes from Microsoft.
Many Microsoft fans will love it, but will be afraid to admit it in front of their “cool” Apple and Android friends.
Microsoft Marketing will fail. I hope this is not the case, but the last half dozen years or so leads me to believe that Microsoft cannot communicate with consumers (except XBox consumers, and gamers are a little different anyway)
Other than on a tablet or other touch device, no one will upgrade to Windows 8 until they absolutely have to (unless I am wrong and Microsoft marketing hits it out of the park).
I don’t think these are particularly high risk predictions!
This article from PC Magazine is interesting. It does a fairly good job of looking at the pros and cons of various OS’, without the silliness of most such discussions. The only aspects of it I think are a little unfair are the “Price” and “Installation” scores, both of which rate Mac OS better than either Windows XP or Vista.
On the price side, while it is true that you can buy Mac OS for less than Windows, you cannot (at least if you are a typical user) install it on your existing, non-Mac hardware. So the true cost of a typical user switching to Mac OS includes the cost of buying a completely new computer, at a premium price.
On the installation side, again the comparison is not quite fair. Both Windows and Linux are general-purpose OS’ which have to be able to install on a wide-range of hardware and almost unlimited permutations of hardware configurations. Again, Apple does not have this problem with Mac OS, since Apple tightly constrains (though not as tightly as it used to) the hardware configurations with which Mac OS must contend.
Here is an interesting post on the prevalence (or at least existence) of conspiracy-theory-types within the free software movement (actually, they exist within any community). However, this article points out something which I have said before, which is that these people, and other zealots in the open source world, do far more damage to the credibility of open source as a whole than any opponents of open source ever could.
Eventually, the pitch “we are better because we are not Microsoft” is just not enough, and in fact, begins to hurt the movement.
One statement I found particularly interesting was
This thing he calles “lock-in fear” and the extreme polarization (encouraged by Microsoft’s rhetoric, tactics, and track record) that you’re either all-Microsoft or no-Microsoft is my “web rift”.
While I would not disagree that Microsoft strongly encourages the use of its tools and technologies (after all, that is what most companies do, isn’t it?), I see far more rhetoric and tactical positioning on the part of non-Microsoft, anti-Microsoft, and Open Source communities insisting that one must be 100% non-Microsoft (and preferably not even play nice with anything Microsoft), or you are obviously a Microsoft fan boy.
I guess that the point that I am making is that a large part of the “lock-in fear” is created not by Microsoft’s behaviour, but by the behaviours of the anti-Microsoft crowd.
Well, as I dicussed in a previous post, I have been in the market for a new laptop. I have finally bought one. I decided to go for a Dell XPS rather than Apple (mostly due to cost). Such is life – maybe I will try a Mac next year. It is my intent on my new laptop to either dual boot Vista and Ubuntu, or (if I have a good enough experience with Ubuntu), just run Ubuntu and do all of my Windows stuff in hosted virtual machines.
So, last night I take my brand new laptop, and my newly burned Ubuntu CD, and set out. Ubuntu boots up from the CD just fine, but the screen resolution sucks because Ubuntu is philosophically opposed to loading the drivers for my video card. No big deal, I can live with 800×600 until I get a proper install done. So, I click on the install icon, and away I go. Or, actually, I don’t. It seems the Installer UI is not expecting 800×600 resolution, and the buttons to let me proceed through the installation are lost off the bottom of the screen. I also do not seem to be allow to resize this window. It being midnight and all, I gave up. I am sure there is some way around this, but I did not feel like screwing with it.
I will probably have another shot at trying to set up Ubuntu or some other Linux distro this weekend. Maybe I will have better luck and not just give up on Linux (sorry folks – this is stuff that should just work!)
PS – Vista is working fine on my new laptop. Transfered my files and settings from my old machine using “Windows Easy Transfer” – not a problem.
This is a good series of articles over on desktoplinux.com Is Linux Really Ready for Simple Users? (Part 1 of 8 ). Whether you agree or disagree with some of the details of his analyses, it is good to see someone taken an analytical look, rather than the usual ranting and raving of “Linux is great because Microsoft is evil”.