Five Ways to Save Windows 8

Original author: Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
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Is it possible to save the Windows 8 operating system? Microsoft must seriously ask itself this question. After all, the numbers do not lie. The market has adopted Windows 8 even worse than Microsoft's latest failed desktop OS, Vista. Even ASUS, which made a big bet on Windows 8, reports poor sales. Samsung has decided not to release a tablet with Windows 8 in Germany’s lucrative market.

If you simply drastically reduce the prices of Windows 8 and Office 2013 for mini-tablets, this will not help. Neither Windows 8, nor its close relatives of Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 even appear in Net Applications statistics on mobile devices and tablets for February 2013. In my opinion, discounts on Windows 8 for personal computers will not help either. Now and so many cheap computers with Windows 8, but they do not sell well.

So what can Microsoft do to make things better? Here are my suggestions.

1) Throw Metro

Officially, the main interface of Windows is called "Microsoft Design Language", but whatever it is called, it crashed on the desktop. Inveterate Windows fans will say that mastering the new system is a snap. To which I will answer: why learn something new in order to do the same? Metro, like other unfinished “innovative” interfaces like Linux Gnome 3.x, is a solution without a problem.

Microsoft interface designers, repeat after me: “The desktop is not the same as a tablet or smartphone.” Metro may work on the last two, but it has no place on the first.

2) Return Aero interface from Windows 7

Unlike Vista or Windows 8, people loved the Windows 7 operating system. And why? Although Aero differed from the XP interface, it was still very familiar, it was convenient with it. And while there were improvements in it. But the desktop mode of Windows Explorer in Windows 8 is simply no good.

Although it has no radical Metro innovations, it is still different and annoying. And like Metro, it does not improve the user experience. Why do you think programs like Star8 by Stardock that return the Start menu are so popular? I will tell you: not because people love the old interface, but because the Aero style is more convenient for them.

3) One desktop

And finally, the main question. Let's make the new Aero desktop mode in Windows 8 the only interface. Seriously, why are there two interfaces on the same operating system? For what reason do we need the Internet Explorer 10 navigation bar in the Metro interface and in desktop mode?

And the matter is not only in appearance. Different applications work differently. For example, IE 10 has built-in Adobe Flash. And you think that you can see the same sites in IE 10, no matter where you started it? You are mistaken.

It turns out that if you run IE 10 from Metro, then Flash can only be viewed if the site is on the Microsoft Compatibility View list. But if you run the same site in desktop mode, then it will always work without problems! Microsoft wants to completely confuse users, or what?

To quote an IDC analyst, Bob O'Donnell: “Some of Microsoft's solutions in retrospect turned out to be erroneous, in particular the ban on loading into the desktop mode and removing the start button. These two things are constantly mentioned. ”

This is hardly worth wondering. When Windows 8 first appeared, interface guru Jacob Nielsen immediately stated that two modes on the same device was a "recipe for usability problems." And not only because users have to remember where which function is located, but mainly because switching between the two interfaces creates more problems than it solves.

Exactly! To summarize, give us one interface, and immediately!

4) Fix Windows marketing

Repeat after me. Windows 8 is not Windows RT. Surface Pro is not Surface RT. Technicians already know this. Do you know who does not know this? Ordinary people. If they gave me 10 cents each time, when my next not technically enlightened friend asks why his desktop applications do not work in Windows RT or Surface RT, I would get rich.

Windows RT, like its Microsoft hardware platform, Surface RT, is a subset of Windows. You cannot install “regular” Windows programs on RT. Only some Metro programs can be installed. RT cannot be used in those companies where they work with Windows and rely on Active Directory.

In short, RT is not really Windows. So name it differently, write some other nameplate on Surface RT. Stop misleading users!

5) Improve regular applications in Windows 8

No one is waiting for free Office 2013 on every Windows 8 computer, but have you ever seen native Windows 8 apps? There is Mail, which does not support POP (Post Office Protocol), nor the message chain. There is a photo application in which there are no most basic editing functions. If Dropbox can automatically sync anything in a folder on my PC to the cloud and vice versa, why can't SkyDrive do the same?

It seems that Microsoft is already working on improving the standard Windows 8 software. Maybe even we will see the results of this work already this month.

But although it will be nice, in itself it is not enough. Microsoft must fundamentally change and improve the look and feel of Windows 8. Otherwise, it will have to passively observe the decline in the market share of its OS.

I'm not a big fan of Windows, but there are a lot of nice things about Windows 8. And let Microsoft's promise to improve security be as empty as before, but Windows 8 is actually faster and more stable than Windows 7.

Even two of these three points could make Windows 8 a must-have update for everyone. If Microsoft swallows pride and gives users a simple, old-style interface that they can enjoy working in, Windows 8 can still win.

But what if not? Then you need to ensure good availability of Windows 7, at least until the release of Windows Blue, because there will be no large sales of Windows 8.

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