Microsoft set for Windows 8 Relaunch

Microsoft set for Windows 8 Relaunch

It’s been a strange sort of day for Microsoft and its flagship Windows 8 Operating System as there have been more rumours that the company has been forced into a U-turn over the OS whilst at the same time it has been reported that Windows 8 passed the 100 million sales mark.

Let us look at the bad news first, which is that Microsoft may be forced into a relaunch of Windows 8 due to the amount of criticism it has drawn from some users.

Apparently some users felt they changed too much too quickly, the main focal point of their complaint seems to be the removal of Windows long standing ‘Start’ button, as many claim customers updating to Windows 8 did not understand or grasp the raft of new features and the completely revamped layout.

The logistics of the move to Windows 8, which attempted to bridge the gap between desktop computing and touch screen interfaces with one all-inclusive OS, always meant that it was in danger of ostracising some users who were not as tech-savvy as others but apparently the level of flak they have received for the move has resulted in them announcing this relaunch.

The relaunch, named “Windows Blue”, will supposedly come later in the year and will be coupled with an alteration of some “key aspects” of Windows 8 as the company conceded that “the learning curve is very real”.

Microsoft’s announcement must have been difficult for the company, as they put so much on the flagship OS and they really seemed  to feel that they had mastered the middle ground between desktop computing and new tablet technology.

It would appear however that the learning curve they spoke of was just too great for existing users and even undertrained retail staff have been blamed for the failure of punters to grasp the new concepts in Windows 8.

This U-turn has been dubbed by many as the biggest change in policy over a new product by a large corporation since Coca-Cola cut it’s losses and admitted their ‘New Coke’ was a terrible idea almost thirty years ago.

So we can expect a scaling back of some of the key new features of Windows 8 when Windows Blue is released later this year and the result will probably be something between old Windows Operating Systems and Windows 8, they may just stick that trusty ‘Start’ menu back in for good measure.

Microsoft set for Windows 8 RelaunchIt is strange that the news of this relaunch was announced on the same day as figures suggested that Microsoft had 100 million licensed users that had adopted Windows 8.

The figure is an impressive one considering that the product has only been in general release for about seven months and alongside these impressive sales figures is the fact that Microsoft’s SkyDrive passed 250m users, 20% (50m) of which have come since the release of Windows 8, which shows that users were using some features like Microsoft’s integrated cloud software.

Microsoft’s plans to relaunch Windows 8 shows however that customer opinion and critic response to the product may be more important than sales figures and could give an insight into just how much criticism the company received for the revamped OS, as there would have to be considerable consumer pressure to alter something that performed considerably well on the sales front.

Despite the good news from sales today will be marked down as a bad one at Microsoft Campus with their U-turn on something they were so proud of and excited about when it was first released is slightly embarrassing and it will certainly be interesting to see just how many new features and key concepts from Windows 8 gets stripped off and left on the cutting room floor when Windows Blue is released this year.

I’d love to hear some opinions from readers that have used Windows 8, is this good or bad news to you? Did you love the new look OS or do you agree with those who complain the learning curve was just too steep?

Sources [The Scotsman] and [TheNextWeb]

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James is a journalism graduate who is a lover of technology and strangely praises Apple Computers, Google laptops and Windows Phones in their own right.

James is also prone to dedicating many hours to games he will never finish, he remains in denial of this fact, as he’s promised himself he’ll polish off Dino Crisis this weekend for the last seven years.

  • Shane

    Well it is quite offensive to suggest that the users are the ones not understanding, grasping, and walking the learning curve. Clearly the developers did not recognize the wants and needs of the user. It is they that did not understand and grasp this learning curve, called the development process. There are no advantages to the start menu screen on a desktop. It was simply the new phone/tablet trend that caused them to try and make a one size fits all OS. If we want live tiles, then put them on the background, simple as that. Elite master developer opinion-TT(n).

    • James Read

      Hi Shane, thanks for reading and commenting.

      When I said that some users are not understanding I was merely repeating what others have reported and Microsoft themselves have proclaimed, however I can see now how it seems like I took that explanation at face level, so I apologise for this. Windows 8 wasn’t without its issues, that much is obvious but personally I am a fan of certain aspects, I thought the live tiles were visually pleasing and were a innovative idea. I do agree though that Microsoft were maybe a tad foolish when they attempted to make an OS that fits all platforms, it is just impossible and it wouldn’t surprise me if Windows Blue gives some of the desktop type feeling back to computers.

  • Bill Gates

    I concur with Shane. I am a very tech savvy user and this operating system is a POS. It takes twice as long to do everything even after the learning curve. Typical Microsoft, don’t listen to the customer and slam some sh#t down our throats that they think will help them corner some market. I’m so pissed I bought a new laptop with this horrible OS on it. I need to do work on this computer not post to my facebook page.

    • James Read

      Hi, thanks for your comment, as I’ve said above sorry it has taken me so long to get around to replying.

      Personally I enjoyed Windows 8, I think the live tiles are great, which probably shows in my writing here, I admit I’m slightly biased. I do agree however that the software is not without its problems, I feel like the whole concept of a cross platform OS is a bold one but impossible to implement. As you say this results in a desktop being used for things like social media and other simple tasks without doing a lot of the things that most users need their desktops to do.

  • Darren

    I’ve been using Windows 8 on my desktop (software development) since it was released. After installing Start8 replacement Start button I really don’t have any complaints. Start8 also lets you set the desktop as the default screen after login.

    IMO, if they would have added these 2 items (Start button and option to see desktop by default) there would be minimal complaints. I have Windows 8 Pro which includes Hyper-V and the machine has performed very well. I can investigate the new Start Screen when I want but for the most part I have an improved Windows 7.

    • James Read

      Hi Darren, thanks for reading and commenting, sorry I’ve just gotten around to responding I’ve only just seen your posts!

      It seems like many people agree, it was the removal of the Start button that a lot of people struggled with in terms of interface, however I don’t think this was the only downside to Windows 8 and the addition of a Start button will probably be one of many additions Microsoft make in Windows Blue to try and make it more user friendly on Desktops.

      It is interesting that you say the items you have installed causes you to have an updated version of Windows 7 as personally I view the two systems as contrasting greatly but I suppose I can’t really comment as I’ve not experienced your personal set-up.

  • Mike

    I have used windows 8 for 6 months. I immediately installed a start button program. It was impossible to find anything on that start screen, and I didn’t want to figure out how to customize it. Any new app installed changes where things were on that screen. However, the biggest complaint I actually have with the Windows 8 desktop is that it is NOT windows. My use of the product has a game going in one corner, my email available in another corner, and watching TV or a movie in the other part of the screen. I can size things how I need to, overlay one window on another to make the best use of the screen. With the “windows” 8 interface you have no control over using multiple applications or putting them how you want. There should always have been two options when installed, making it look like a tablet, or making it useable as a desktop – they are two completely different uses of hardware and should be treated as such.

    • James Read

      Hi Mike, thanks for your comment.

      I completely agree that Microsoft where trying to make a one-size fit all when it is almost impossible to do so, the way we use tablets, phones and desktops differs too greatly to have one OS that runs across all platforms.

      Personally I think when they won design awards for the mobile OS because of the live tiles (which I think is one of the better aspects of Windows 8) they kind of got carried away with them and pushed them a bit too eagerly. An option of different uses dependent on the hardware would certainly be beneficial, with it slightly tweaking how the software responds.